NHL notes: Penguins place Letang, Vokoun on IR
Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic (C) and Pittsburgh Penguins' Kris Letang (L) watch the puck cross the goal line behind Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun on a goal by Bruins' David Krejci (not pictured) during the first period in Game 3 of their NHL Eastern Conference finals hockey playoff series in Boston, Massachusetts, June 5, 2013. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
The Pittsburgh Penguins placed defenceman Kris Letang and goalie Tomas Vokoun on injured reserve Monday.
Letang didn’t skate with the Penguins over the weekend ahead of Thursday’s opener against the visiting New Jersey Devils and there’s no timetable for his return from a lower-body injury suffered late last week.
This after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday that Letang’s injury is not serious and involves the knee.
Two months after inking the 26-year-old to an eight-year, $58 million deal, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said there’s no timetable for the 2013 Norris Trophy finalist’s return.
Vokoun was released from hospital last week following a blood clot scare that will see him miss an indefinite amount of time.
In 2006, the 37-year old was diagnosed with a rare blood condition that causes multiple clots.
HYBRID ICING APPROVED
The NHLPA has approved hybrid icing, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told NHL Live Monday, paving the way for its inclusion this season.
The rule calls on linesmen to whistle a play dead if a defending player beats his opposition to the faceoff dots in his defensive zone.
The judgment call is intended to decrease the number of collisions near the end boards that can result in injury.
"I think for our guys, they'll be able to handle it easily," NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom told NHL.com. "They have to think about two things: player safety and the race for the puck. There is no attainable pass anymore, so they don't have to worry about that."
But some players have been outspoken against the change, saying it leaves too much room for costly errors in judgment to occur deep in one’s own end.
"I just find that there's too big of a gray area when you're going back," said Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf. "It has nothing to do with the linesmen calling it because it's new to everyone, but from my opinion I like the old way of doing it."
FLYERS SIGNING GILL
The Philadelphia Flyers are expected to sign 38-year-old Hal Gill as their eighth defenceman, CSN Philly reported Monday.
With the Flyers expected to place a number of players on long term injured reserve, including a concussed Chris Pronger, room is expected to open on Philly’s roster.
In 32 games with the Nashville Predators last season, Gill finished with no points, 12 penalty minutes and was a minus-3.
For his career, Gill has 184 points (36 goals, 148 assists) to go along with 960 penalty minutes through 1,102 regular season games.
Including Pronger, who hasn’t officially retired, 24 active NHLers have eclipsed the 1,000 games mark.
BRIEFLY: Montreal Canadiens defencman Douglas Murray will miss 4-6 weeks with an upper-body injury … Flyers forward Jakub Voracek says he’ll be ready for his team’s home opener against Toronto on Wednesday. The 24-year-old injured his back in a pre-season game last week … The Vancouver Canucks announced they’ve claimed Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Ryan Stanton, 24, off waivers