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Morning Hits: Torts, Ovechkin Responds, Klesla, Blue Jackets Viewership and the Preds want an ASG

  • Elliott Pap: Canucks coach John Tortorella on GM Mike Gillis’ comments: “I not going to comment on what happened yesterday. That’s a discussion Mike and I will have internally.”
  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: Alex Ovechkin on Adam Oates’ comments that he “quit” on the play on Thursday’s game winning goal.

    “He’s the head coach and I get the blame from it, but in that moment I think everybody quit on the play,” Ovechkin said following the Capitals’ morning skate at Prudential Center on Friday in his first public comments since Oates criticized his lackluster defensive play against the Stars.

    “To be honest with you I didn’t see him, I kind of lost the position. It is what it is,” Ovechkin said. “We make lots of mistakes, it’s not about one mistake. You can’t blame one mistake in the whole game.”

  • Tim Wharnsby: The Sabres put Rostislav Klesla on unconditional waivers.
  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The Blue Jackets sit 29th of 30 in attendance. They are only getting an average of 6,000 households watching their games on Fox Sports Ohio. They were at 9,000 last year. The Cincinnati Reds are averaging 18,000 households, 9,285 for the Indians and 5,400 for the Cavaliers. The Blue Jackets will host the 2015 All-Star game.

    “The Blue Jackets are doing just fine,” Bettman said in an email exchange with The Dispatch. “They have put together a strong young team, they have built momentum on the ice and in the community, and we are truly excited about their present as well as their future.”

  • Nate Rau and Michael Cass of the Tennessean: The All-Star game could be in Nashville as soon as 2016.

    “We’ve made it clear that we deserve it, and it would be really good for the franchise,” he said. “They’ve sort of implied that they appreciate the mayor and the city stepping up to keep the team here, so the conversation’s always been, ‘Well, we did that; we want this in return.”