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PARENTEAU RESPONDS TO TRADE RUMOURS
P.A. Parenteau didn’t try to stickhandle around questions from The Denver Post when it came to his recent status as a healthy scratch, which triggered some trade rumours involving the Montreal Canadiens. Parenteau is from Hull, Quebec.
“Any time a top-six guy on a team is out of the lineup (rumours) are going to go around. It’s part of the game, but it’s not fun with family and stuff like that. It’s Montreal, too, and everyone was calling me. But I’m trying to block that out and wait for my turn. The team is winning, playing really well and Patty likes his top-six right now. I’ll be patient. I know I belong on the top-six, big-time, I proved it in the past, but sometimes things change in this league pretty quick. We’ll see where this goes.”
Patrick Roy, incidentally, reiterated Thursday Parenteau is not in his doghouse.
“I like P.A. He’s a great guy,” Roy said. “Unfortunately in this business when you get hurt it gives opportunity for others — and that’s what I ask, to take advantage of an opportunity with a player is hurt — and I like the lineup that I have right now. McGinn has scored almost every other night for us and with Tanguay, Stastny and Landeskog we’re 14-1.”
MELNYK: SENS WILL STILL SPEND WISELY
The Ottawa Citizen reflects on the national Rogers Communications broadcasting deal with the NHL, announced last fall, as well as this week’s news on the regional pact. Combined, the deals are expected to generate an estimated $20 million to $30 million per year for the Senators over the next 12 years – although factors like the fluctuating Canadian dollar will impact those totals.
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk: “This puts us on a solid footing. We are going to be competitive in spending on players. If I need to spend an extra $2 million to $3 million to make the playoffs, it’s a no-brainer. I’ll do it.”
On how he’s not about to open his vault: “We’re still going to spend wisely,” he said. “Just because you have extra money in your pocket, doesn’t mean you go out and spend it.
On a prospect-related note, this was part of Melynk’s email to The Ottawa Sun: “A number of our players would easily make NHL teams right now — we just have too much talent on the Senators. We have excellent, second to none, management in hockey operations, namely Bryan Murray, Randy Lee and his development and training staff, Pierre Dorion — arguably the best scouting head and his team an award winning head coach in Paul MacLean and his assistants. Not to mention an excellent young, team on the ice now!!!”
SULLIVAN DEFENDS CANUCKS’ ICE TIME TOTALS
The Vancouver Sun illustrates how Canucks interim head coach Mike Sullivan says “you guys draw the assumption” that overuse is why the top Canucks are struggling, in relation to their high minutes played and the criticism from the media.
“Since you guys have been on this and asking me these questions, I’ve been kind of exploring the league myself a little bit,” Sullivan said after Thursday’s practice. “Ryan Kesler plays four seconds on average more than Sidney Crosby. Is Sidney Crosby, is that a problem for him?
“Marty St. Louis, his average ice time is 21:46. He plays more minutes than the (Sedins). Marty St. Louis is 39 years old. Is the minutes a problem for him?”
Excluding the three Canucks though, seven of the top nine NHL forwards in average ice time play in the Eastern time zone.
“You travel in the east, too,” Sullivan said. “Tampa is not an easy travel schedule; I coached there. Our best information is our players and we communicate with those guys on a daily basis.”
He added: “Listen, as a coaching staff, we’re looking for answers, too. We’re looking for solutions, too. And we talk about this stuff all the time – not only as a staff, but also with our players.”
OVECHKIN GUNNING FOR GOLD IN SOCHI
The Washington Post explains how the Sochi Games are Alex Ovechkin’s next opportunity to attain the team glory that has eluded him.
“Growing up in Russia, Olympics, it’s a lot for us,” Ovechkin said. “Maybe somebody don’t understand it, but it’s the biggest event maybe of our year and maybe of my life.”
On the longtime dream: “Since I was a little kid and since everybody was a little kid, their dream was to play in the Olympic Games.
“Especially we have the chance to represent the country in Sochi, it’s unbelievable. … I don’t think somebody is going to just say their mission is done just to be in the Olympic Games. Our mission is to win the gold medal and play our best hockey.”
On the intense scrutiny: “It’s going to be lots of pressure. It’s going to be lots of media. It’s going to be lots of attention out there. Of course, when you get closer to that, you just have to handle it.”
JAGR’S HOT TUB WORKOUT
Jaromir Jagr’s dedicated training habits have become the stuff of legends with each NHL stop he makes, but NJ.com brings a new twist.
Dallas Stars right wing Ryan Garbutt explains what he saw last season when entering an oversized hot tub at the team’s practice rink.
“Jags actually would bring his hockey stick in the pool to work on his grip strength,” Garbutt said Thursday. “He’d be in there making waves with his stick. And I saw him doing it a few times. He’d keep a stick in there.”
Just part of his extensive workout program, Jagr explained later, while adding that he actually was working on strengthening his stomach muscles.
“That was my workout,” said Jagr, who turns 42 on Feb. 15. “It’s a pretty good workout if you get used to it.”
OSHIE’S VERSATILITY HELPS BLUES
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes how depth and flexibility have been calling cards for the Blues this season. The coaching staff has taken advantage of the forwards’ abilities to play different roles.
T.J. Oshie has been one such player for head coach Ken Hitchcock.
“Oshie is the guy who can play left, right and center,” Hitchcock said. “He can play in a checking role or a scoring role. Oshie’s the guy who can provide us with flexibility.”
JONES, DEL ZOTTO PARTNERSHIP BLOSSOMING
The Nashville Tennessean notes the Predators made the Michael Del Zotto trade with Seth Jones in mind and envision the defensive pairing last for many years.
“We’re just trying to get them to talk,” coach Barry Trotz said. “They’re both guys who compete really hard, and they can do some things offensively. As long as they’re not both (jumping into the play) at the same time, I’m pretty happy about that.”
Jones: “The more games you play the more experience you gain with each other. Trust isn’t an issue. I trust him that he’s going to make the right play, and I’m sure he trusts me as well on the ice, so we’re using each other a lot.
“We’re both pretty offensive. When I look over and see him going, it’s perfectly fine with me. He’s doing great so far.”
PROSPAL: RETIREMENT IS A RELIEF
The Columbus Dispatch indicates Vinny Prospal’s retirement announcement provided some peace.
“It felt like I was finally free of all the pressure,” said Prospal. “I don’t have to prove to anybody that I’m better than the guy sitting next to me. I don’t have to fight off that guy fighting for my job, or the other guy trying to take my spot on the power play. I just felt such a relief.”
Prospal was loved by the players during his time in Columbus and he’s proud of the mark he helped to leave on the club.
“When I got there, nobody wanted to be there,” Prospal said. “But we became a team that was relentless, and they still use that word there. It’s a team nobody wants to play against, and we only got better over time.
“They brought me in to change the culture, and I’m always going to be proud of that, that I was part of the spark plug. The players weren’t happy. The fans weren’t happy, of course. But now it’s a team that makes people proud.”
RUPP PROTECTS WILD TEAMMATES
The Pioneer Press notes skilled Jason Zucker and physical Mike Rupp have been alternating spots in the lineup lately. With Rupp in the lineup, the whole team feels protected, head coach Mike Yeo said.
“It’s like having your big brother with you; you feel a little bit stronger,” Yeo said. “You know that when push comes to shove, he’s going to step up and stand up for his teammates. That breeds a good feeling on the bench and in the locker room.”
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