Morning Hits and Injuries: Yzerman, Devils, Kuznetsov, Kassian, Gorges, Laich, Vatanen and Hanzal

  • Hockey Central: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman: “We respect [St. Louis'] decision whether we agreed with it or not.”
  • Darren Dreger: If the Devils miss the playoffs, they will still remain in the NHL draft lottery. If they win the lottery, they would still pick 30th, but the second team moves up to the No. 1 slot. (helps with seeding the remaining rounds)
  • Darren Dreger: Some teams are accusing the NHL of doing the new Devils ownership a favor.
  • Igor Eronko: Evgeni Kuznetsov has terminated his contract with Traktor of the KHL. Dmitry Chesnokov: Traktor confirms that Kuznetsov will fly to Washington tomorrow. Katie Carrera: The Capitals decline to comment on Kuznetsov, but getting closer to signing him.
  • Nick Kyproes: Canucks Zack Kassian has a phone hearing this morning for his boarding hit on Stars Brenden Dillon.
  • Arpon Basu: Canadiens announce that defenseman Josh Gorges returned to Montreal to have his hand injury evaluated.
  • Eric Stephens: Ducks Sami Vatanen could be out two weeks. Rickard Rakell has been recalled.
  • Sarah McLellan: Coyotes Dave Schlemko has a lower-body injury and it’s not known if he’ll make the road trip.
  • Sarah McLellan: Coyotes coach Dave Tippett doesn’t see why Martin Hanzal wouldn’t make the trip.