NHL News: Patrik Laine out, Darnell Nurse fined, and more

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Newcomer Johnny Gaudreau and the rest of the Blue Jackets will play host to the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning, but they will almost surely do it without sharpshooting goal-scorer Patrik Laine.

The Finnish top-line right wing was injured Wednesday as the Carolina Hurricanes beat visiting Columbus 4-1 in the season-opening game.

Patrick Laine out

After netting the first goal 11 seconds into the second period, Laine appeared to hurt his right arm after contact along the boards with Carolina’s Brett Pesce. Laine went to the dressing room and was ruled out after playing 12 shifts and 7:49.

The organization announced that its star forward would undergo further tests later Thursday and that it had recalled forward Kent Johnson from AHL Cleveland.

Update: Laine out 3-4 weeks

Oilers Darnell Nurse fined

darnell nurse injury
Apr 26, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (25) puck juggles in warm up before a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse drew a $5,000 fine Thursday for interference on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs.

The fine announced by NHL Player Safety is maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement.

The incident occurred at the end of the first period during the Oilers’ season-opening 5-3 victory on Wednesday.

Nurse, 27, opened his ninth season with Edmonton by registering a goal and an assist against the Canucks. He has 194 points (55 goals, 139 assists) in 478 games with the Oilers.

Habs place Mike Matheson on IR

The Montreal Canadiens placed Mike Matheson on injured reserve Thursday and recalled fellow defenseman Corey Schueneman from the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League.

Matheson, 28, underwent an MRI on Wednesday to determine the severity of his lower-back injury.

The Canadiens acquired Matheson and a fourth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft from the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 16 for defenseman Jeff Petry and forward Ryan Poehling.

Matheson recorded career-high totals in goals (11), assists (20) and points (31) while playing in 74 games last season with the Penguins.

Schueneman, 27, had six points (two goals, four assists) in 24 games last season with the Canadiens.

NHL interviews Ian Cole

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ian Cole is awaiting word of possible sanctions from the NHL after the league interviewed him on Wednesday regarding sexual-assault allegations, Sportsnet and ESPN reported.

Cole was suspended by the team on Sunday after a woman accused him of grooming her for sexual activity while she was still a minor and sexually assaulting her.

Cole, 33, denied the report, but the Lightning still put him on paid leave until an investigation is completed.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times, that the league hopes to interview the woman who made the allegations. Bettman added, “Obviously the allegations on Twitter are disturbing but I think we need to take the appropriate time to understand exactly what happened.”

With the length of the league’s inquiry uncertain, Cole’s playing status could remain in limbo indefinitely. Cole missed the Lightning’s season opener on Tuesday, a 3-1 road loss to the New York Rangers. Tampa Bay continues its season-opening road trip with games Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Cole joined the Lightning on a one-year, $3 million free agent contract in July. He has played for six teams (not counting Tampa Bay) in 12-year NHL career, compiling 29 goals, 136 assists and a plus-131 rating in 670 career games.

–Field Level Media