NHL referee blurts several F-bombs into live mic during penalty call

As the old broadcasting adage goes, always assume the mic is hot.

NHL referee Frederick L’Ecuyer learned this the hard way during Thursday’s game between the Blue Jackets and Predators. L’Ecuyer skated to center ice to announce an interference penalty on Ryan Murray when he decided to share a few choice words with another player on the ice, forgetting his mic was live. You know the rest.

Crosby joined elite company in 2015 at the IIHF World Championship. Already with a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold medal to his name, Crosby and the rest of Team Canada traveled to the Czech Republic, looking to end an eight-year gold medal drought in the tournament.

With Crosby serving as captain, Canada flexed its international hockey muscles, out-scoring opponents 49-14 in the seven group games and 17-1 in the three knockout rounds. Canada defeated Russia 6-1 in the championship game, and Crosby had a goal and an assist in the winning effort. Crosby became the first player to join the triple-gold club (Stanley Cup, and Olympic and IIHF gold), having captained all three teams, and finished the tournament with 11 points in nine games.

Canada dominated the 2014 Winter Olympics, and did so without the goal-scoring services of Crosby, for the most part. Despite Crosby being held without a goal in Canada’s first five games, the defending Olympic champions were still rolling, outscoring their opponents 14-3.

But Crosby came through in the tournament’s biggest moment, giving Canada an insurance tally against Sweden and a 2-0 lead in the second period. Crosby broke in all alone on Henrik Lundqvist before sliding the puck past his left skate, his first goal of the 2014 tournament.

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Hurricanes’ Bryan Bickell continues battle with MS, headed to AHL

Bryan Bickell’s battle against MS will continue in the AHL but with an eye toward the NHL.

The Hurricanes placed the veteran forward on waivers Thursday with the intent of assigning him to the Charlotte Checkers, the team announced.

The Checkers are scheduled for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, the start of a six-game homestand a little more than two hours from Raleigh.

When the Stars announced the attendance for Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, they poked fun at the disputed number.

Trump claimed the media has lied about the number of people in Friday’s crowd. Trump press secretary Sean Spicer doubled down on Trump’s claim, saying Friday’s crowd was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, a statement that photographs clearly show to be false.

The largest crowd ever to attend an inaugural address is believed to occur in 2009 when an estimated 1.8 million people watched live as Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation’s first black president.

Why Trump has decided to continue his running war with the media over something as benign as an inauguration crowd is odd, but nobody should get bent out of shape over it. Just laugh about it and move on, as the Stars have taught us.

Joe Thornton, C ( Re-signed with Sharks ) With longtime teammate Patrick Marleau gone to Toronto, the Sharks upped the ante to keep Thornton in the fold with a one-year, $8 million deal. It’s a sigh of relief for San Jose to get Jumbo Joe back in the fold for another run at the Cup. He was courted by a number of teams along with Marleau. Not a bad 38th birthday present.

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Sabres’ Kyle Okposo hospitalized in ICU; team ‘very concerned’

The Sabres are very concerned for forward Kyle Okposo, who is hospitalized and in intensive care with an undisclosed ailment.

WGR-AM 550 in Buffalo first reported Tuesday Okposo has been in the hospital undergoing multiple tests to determine the cause of an illness he’s been dealing with since March 28. Okposo is in in-patient care in the Neuro Surgical ICU at Buffalo General Hospital, The Buffalo News confirmed.

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma offered few details, including a diagnosis, while meeting with reporters Wednesday following the team’s morning skate.

Stamkos, who has been sidelined since Nov. 15, remains on the 4-6 month timeline he was initially given after tearing a lateral meniscus in his right knee and undergoing arthroscopic surgery. Though he still hasn’t ruled out getting back on the ice before the regular season ends on April 9, the team is still unable to update his return timetable.

He’s progressing well, general manager Steve Yzerman said, via the Tampa Bay Times. He’s doing well, but can’t give a return date yet.

Stamkos, 26, was tied for second in the NHL with 20 points when he got hurt. No stranger to the injury plague, he missed most of the 2013-14 season after breaking his leg in early November and missed seven weeks late last season after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

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Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth collapses in net without contact

Saturday’s game between the Flyers and Devils was suspended early after Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth collapses in net.

Neuvirth went down without any contact.

Neuvirth, 29, had made six saves while on the ice for the first 7:37. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher and replaced in net by rookie Anthony Stolarz, who was called up earlier in the day. Neuvirth was conscious and moving on the ice.

The Flyers scored the first two goals of the game and held a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. The Flyers went on for a 3-0 victory and Neuvirth was credited with the win.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Neuvirth was awake and alert and was taken to Pennsylvania Hospital for observation. The team would provide more information on his condition on Sunday.

The Stars have been really bad at drafting hockey players for a long time. Actually, that’s not entirely true. From Mike Modano to Jarome Iginla to Jamie Benn, the Stars have selected some great players. They just never get two in the same draft. They’ve never drafted two 500-point scorers in the same year, and we’re going back to 1967 here. That’s pretty remarkable.

They also haven’t drafted a goaltender who became a consistent starter in the league since Marty Turco in 1994. There’s no one else in Modano’s class, but he’s the best player in franchise history.

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