Morning Hits: Abdelkader, Tarasenko, Coyotes, Avalanche, Sabres, and Flyers

  • Ansar Khan: Red Wings Justin Abdelkader was suspended for two games for his hit on Ducks Toni Lydman.
  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Blues Vladimir Tarasenko has been a healthy scratch for the first three games of their series with the Kings, but that is likely to change. Coach Ken Hitchcock when walking by Tarasenko after their 1-0 loss:

    “Get ready to play,” Hitchcock told Tarasenko.

    On where he’ll fit into the lineup:

    “I haven’t gotten that far yet,” Hitchcock said. “That’s (Monday’s) decision. I’ll have to sleep on a lot of that stuff just to see what we need. I think he looks hungry and ready to play and I’m sure he’s going to play well when he gets in. But you’re not really sure if you want to screw around with the lineup right now when we’re playing so well, so I’ve got to balance that out right now.”

  • Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic: Offensive players may be targets this offseason for the Coyotes.

    “We know there are things we have to do to get better,” General Manager Don Maloney said. “We have to find quite frankly more help up front. I look at our team; our defense is strong. We have strong depth there. Certainly our goaltending is a little bit of a question right now in regards to signing people, but from a depth perspective it looks good.

    “Up front, we have work to do.”

    Targets could be Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder and Nathan Horton. The Coyotes also have some of their own free agents to deal with. They currently have three free agent goalies: Mike Smith, Jason LaBarbera and Chad Johnson. Other free agents include: Boyd Gordon, Kyle Chipchura and Rob Klinkhammer. Mikkel Boedker, Lauri Korpikoski and Michael Stone are RFAs.

  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: With the first overall pick, the Avalanche could make defenseman Seth Jones their first overall pick.

    “He’s certainly a player we’ll be considering,” Pracey said, with something of a cat-that-ate-the-canary look.

  • Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News: The Flyers could look to buyout Daniel Briere and/or Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers are desperate to for a top defenseman, but it may cost them Matt Read or Sean Couturier and a high draft pick. If they looked at moving Brayden Schenn, it would bring them a bigger return.
  • Randy Miller of the Courier Post: Miller’s top 10 list of what went wrong with the Flyers: 1. Homer strikes out swinging: Struck out on Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Shea Weber. Lost Jaromir Jagr because they were waiting for answers with the others. 2. Missed opportunity: Many Flyers went overseas and didn’t work out with teammates like what some other teams did. 3. Slow start: Lost their first 3 games and four of six. Never recovered. 4. Somebody call a doctor: Injuries throughout the season. By the end of the year, they were without six defenseman and three forwards. 5. Offensive offense: They scored one or fewer 12 times, two or fewer 28 times. 6. Road to nowhere: They only went 8-15-1 on the road. 7. Bedeviled again: 8. Recipe for disaster: They had a 4-8 record when tied after 40 minutes. 9. Growing pains: Sean Courturier had sophomore slump. 10. Bryz, Bryz and more Bryz: The Flyers may have made the wrong move by trading Sergei Bobrovsky last year. Bryzgalov had a good first half but was worn down by the end of the year. He played in 36 of their first 38 games.
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