Monday, February 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Reports: A 48-game season will start Jan. 19

The NHL is set on starting the season Jan. 19 and keeping its abbreviated season at 48 games.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the date and schedule length in an email to the Orange County Register; espn.com also reported Jan. 19 as the start date.

After a 113-day lockout, the league had been debating whether to play 50 games starting Jan. 15 or to have a 48-game schedule starting four days later.

A 48-game schedule is the same length as the season in 2005 following another labor stoppage.

The league and NHL Players Association were still working Tuesday on finishing the details of a collective bargaining agreement, which must still be ratified by the union and owners.

Owners will vote today on the agreement. If a majority approves, as expected, the NHL will move one step closer toward the official end of the lockout that began Sept. 16.

Also, TSN reported that each team would play five games against two division opponents, four games against the other two division opponents and three games against the other 10 teams in their conference. Teams would not meet any teams from the other conference.

Kovalchuk will be back from Russia to join Devils

NEWARK, N.J. — Superstar forward llya Kovalchuk has to play for the Devils once the lockout is officially lifted.

Daly said Tuesday that the KHL reaffirmed its intention to honor an agreement with the NHL concerning contracts.

"They would not permit a player who is under a valid and binding NHL SPC (to) continue to play in the KHL once the lockout is officially lifted," Daly said in an email to the Associated Press. "They have confirmed their intention to honor this agreement to us."

There has been some intrigue this week whether Kovalchuk would leave SKA St. Petersburg to return to the Devils. Some reports in Russia said he was concerned that he would make less money playing in a shortened NHL season.

Kovalchuk, who signed a 15-year, $100 million contract with New Jersey in 2010, played a KHL game Tuesday.

Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello wasn't worried.

"I have no knowledge of anything other thank him coming back," Lamoriello said in a telephone interview.

SABRES: The team's owner apologized to fans for the lockout as players started to trickle back in to start preparing for the season. "On behalf of the Pegulas and the Sabres, we do apologize that fans have to go through this," team president Ted Black said, referring to team owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim. "We're back in business. … And we're going to do whatever we can to get back on track to the mission that Terry has laid out for us: And that's to win the Stanley Cup."

HUSELIUS RETIRES: Veteran forward Kristian Huselius announced his retirement, prohockeytalk.com reported. Huselius made the announcement in Swedish media, saying he could not recover well enough from a hip injury. The 34-year-old played briefly for AIK of the Swedish Elite League during the lockout.

Comments
Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

Trade rumors can weigh on NHL players as deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — Tyler Johnson was as good as gone.Or so it seemed.The scuttlebutt around last year's trade deadline was that the Lightning center could be the piece headed elsewhere to land a top-four defenseman. Maybe Nashville? St. Louis?Then th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Better ‘D’ starts at home with Lightning

Better ‘D’ starts at home with Lightning

TAMPA – The Lightning still might land that top tier defenseman it certainly needs by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. But if that player was wearing a Tampa Bay sweater Saturday, would the outcome against the Devils have been any different?The Ligh...
Published: 02/19/18
Rumor mill: What Lightning might do at trade deadline

Rumor mill: What Lightning might do at trade deadline

Reports and rumors involving the Lightning leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 26:Feb. 17A smaller move could pay big dividendsIf you look at the history of recent Stanley Cup champions, their pivotal moves were subtle, not splashy, the Time...
Published: 02/19/18
Devils’ Wood gets 2 games for boarding Namestnikov

Devils’ Wood gets 2 games for boarding Namestnikov

Devils forward Miles Wood was suspended two games without pay for his boarding penalty Saturday night against Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov during the second period of the Devils 4-3 victory.The hit knocked Namestnikov into the boards ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Flashy trades not always the smartest moves

Flashy trades not always the smartest moves

TAMPA — When it comes to the trade deadline, everyone wants the big names. They dream of blockbusters.Lightning fans would love Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson or Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Maybe even Rangers wing Rick Nash.But if you ...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Dotchin working on ‘inconsistencies’

Dotchin working on ‘inconsistencies’

TAMPA — Lightning D Jake Dotchin was scratched Saturday against the Devils, making it the fifth time in six games that he did not play."Obviously the playing time is down a bit," Dotchin said after the morning skate. "I just got to keep working...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Winter Olympics: Americans had brawn. Russians had more goals.

Winter Olympics: Americans had brawn. Russians had more goals.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — It was a game for Cold War nostalgia and present-day geopolitical angst, for feisty, post-whistle scraps in the corners and for cheap jokes on Twitter. It was a game drenched in history at the start and simmering with ill fee...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Emphasis on ‘D’ continues as Lightning face Devils

Emphasis on ‘D’ continues as Lightning face Devils

The emphasis was on defense during Friday's practice and today's morning skate as the Lightning look to reduce not only the number of shots on goal allowed but also scoring chances. It allowed 39 in Thursday's win against the Red Wings and 33 in Thu...
Published: 02/17/18
Lightning falls to Devils

Lightning falls to Devils

TAMPA — The Lightning took enough shots to win Saturday’s game against the Devils. It scored enough goals to win, too. Problem was, the Lightning made enough mistakes to lose."There were a lot of positives," captain Steven Stamkos said, "but they sco...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Winter Olympics: Youth leads U.S. men’s hockey team against Russia on Saturday

Winter Olympics: Youth leads U.S. men’s hockey team against Russia on Saturday

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk were dominating the NHL before Ryan Donato, Troy Terry and Jordan Greenway started playing organized hockey. "I think I dreamed about playing against those guys one day," Donato, 21, said. Dre...
Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/17/18