Flyers

NHL Notes: Canadiens buy out Tomas Kaberle

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NHL Notes: Canadiens buy out Tomas Kaberle

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens used a compliance buyout Friday on defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

The 14-year NHL veteran had a year remaining on his contract with a salary cap hit of $4.25 million.

The NHL teams are allowed to buy out two players under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Canadiens used their first one to buy out center Scott Gomez before the lockout-shortened season.

Kaberle spent two seasons with the Canadiens. He had three goals and 25 points in 53 regular-season games. He was acquired Dec. 9, 2011, from Carolina in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek.

Senators: Alfredsson returning for 18th season
OTTAWA -- Daniel Alfredsson will be returning for an 18th season with the Ottawa Senators.

The 40-year-old Alfredsson had been contemplating retirement after last season, but the Senators received word from his agent Friday letting them know he'd be back.

Alfredsson has been Ottawa's captain for 14 seasons.

In 47 regular-season games last year, the Swede had 10 goals and 16 assists. In the playoffs, he scored four goals and six assists in 10 games. The six-time all-star has 426 goals and 682 assists in 1,178 career regular-season games.

Sochi Olympics: NHL agreement close?
NEW YORK -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will try to wrap up a deal Monday allowing NHL players to compete in the Sochi Olympics.

He says the league will meet in New York with the players' association, the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation.

Bettman spoke Thursday after a session with the Board of Governors. He says the board has given him the authority to finish the deal. Bettman said "that's something we will try and conclude an agreement with."

Having the NHL players compete in the games would mean a break in next year's NHL regular season of about two weeks in February.

Best of NHL: Jaden Schwartz hat trick lifts Blues over Blackhawks

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AP Images

Best of NHL: Jaden Schwartz hat trick lifts Blues over Blackhawks

ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Schwartz has four goals and six assists this season and has at least one point in six of the Blues' first seven games. It was his 51st career multi-point game and fourth this season.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist, Kyle Brodziak also scored, and Jake Allen made 22 saves. The Blues snapped a two-game losing streak

Duncan Keith and Ryan Hartman had late goals for Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves (see full recap).

Maple Leafs ride big 1st period to win
TORONTO -- Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves in his season debut and the Toronto Maple Leafs scored four times in the first period in a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Starting in place of Frederik Andersen, McElhinney stopped 14 shots in the third period to hold off the Red Wings.

Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, Auston Matthews, Connor Brown, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander scored to help Toronto improve to an NHL-best 6-1-0. The Maple Leafs were coming off a 2-0 victory at Washington on Tuesday night.

Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Ericsson scored for the Red Wings, and Nick Jensen had three assists.

Jimmy Howard gave up three goals on four shots before getting yanked in favor of Petr Mrazek late in the first period (see full recap).

How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad

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USA Today Images

How Michal Neuvirth found fresh inspiration in being a dad

For the first time in his nine-year career, Michal Neuvirth knows when he gets home at night after a game, there will be someone waiting for him with a smile.

Win or lose, it doesn’t matter to Neuvirth, or especially to his one-month-old daughter, Emily Gudasová Carolina.

“When you come home, there’s a baby waiting and it's such an amazing feeling that someone is waiting for you at home,” Neuvirth said after Tuesday's 5-1 win over Florida. “Last year, I was mostly here by myself, so I definitely like it better having a family with me now.”

Family now consists of his newborn daughter, his fiancee Karolína Gudasová and uncle Radko Gudas, Gudasová’s older brother and Neuvirth’s Flyers teammate.

To those of us on the outside, the responsibility of fatherhood seemingly has altered Neuvirth’s disposition. He smiles more, cracks a few jokes and elaborates just a little more with his answers to the media. Perhaps, he can tolerate us because there’s a deeper purpose and a sense of providing that comes with fatherhood.  

“It’s amazing feeling being a dad,” Neuvirth said. “For me, I just have another motivation to play for my family now.”

Of course, it also helps I’ve yet to see Neuvirth yawn or show up to practice with bags under his eyes. He has escaped any late-night drama with an eight-day road trip to start the season, and for now, he apparently has a rare lifetime pass for any early morning feedings.  

“I have an amazing fiancee. She takes care of her (Emily) as much as she needs to,” Neuvirth said. “I usually put her to bed at 10-10:30. During the night Karolina goes and feeds her in the living room, and I’m a deep sleeper, so she doesn’t wake me up.”

As Gudasová has kept an eye on the cradle, Neuvirth has secured the crease. He’s allowed three goals in his two starts this season with a .956 save percentage, which has initiated the debate for more playing time.

Interestingly, adapting to a new addition is something Neuvirth has also discussed with teammate and fellow netminder, Brian Elliott, who went through a similar set of circumstances with his son, Owen, last season in Calgary. Elliott called that first month with the Flames “a huge adjustment” and his October numbers reflected that.

Six games into the season, Neuvirth apparently has it all figured out. 

Of course, a good night’s sleep has a way of bringing clarity to the situation.