NHL Roundup: Crosby out 6 weeks; Merzlikins aiming for Vezina; Kotkaniemi and future of offer sheets

The latest news around the NHL.

By Forever Blueshirts
nhl crosby surgery
Apr 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) hits Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss a minimum of six weeks after undergoing a procedure on his left wrist Wednesday.

That timeline means Crosby likely won’t be ready for the Penguins’ season opener Oct. 12 at the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NHL Roundup: Crosby has wrist surgery

“This is not a new injury for Sid,” Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said in a statement. “It is something that he has played through for years. After exhausting all minimally-invasive options and much discussion, it was decided that surgery was in his best interest.”

Brian Boyle who was signed to a PTO, may get a longer look in Crosby’s absence.

Crosby’s surgery was performed in New York by Dr. Robert Hotchkiss, in collaboration with Penguins team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, the Penguins said.

Crosby, 34, is entering his 17th NHL season and remains one of the league’s premier stars. The three-time Stanley Cup champion and two-time league MVP has 1,325 points (486 goals, 839 assists) in his career.

Elvis Merzlikins wants to win Vezina for fallen friend

Elvis Merzlikins is dedicating this season to Matiss Kivlenieks who lost his life tragically in a 4th of July accident.

“I don’t want to make any promises, but I can tell you … my plan is to win a Vezina Trophy,” Merzlikins told The Athletic in comments published Tuesday. “I’m gonna win a … Vezina for him. We can’t make promises because this is hockey and we don’t know how the season can go, but this is my goal. I believe I’m going to reach it.”

NHL.com

The 27 year-old net-minder was 8-12-5 with a 2.77 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage. In 61 NHL games, Merzlikins numbers are excellent as he sports a 2.54 GAA and a .920 SV% to go with a 21-21-13 record. He has 7 career shutouts as well.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi excited

nhl roundup
Dec 1, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) makes a save against Montreal Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) shot during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Kotkaniemi, 21, had five goals and 15 assists in 56 games last season. In three NHL seasons, all with Montreal, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 has scored 22 goals and added 40 assists in 171 games.

Now the Canes new forward is excited about lies ahead.

“I was just really excited when I saw the offer sheet the first time,” Kotkaniemi said Sunday. “I thought how it would be over there. I had a good talk with [Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon] and Carolina, so I was just really excited. … I mean, like I said, Carolina is a great team, they’ll be a [Stanley Cup] contender next year. Everyone wants to be part of a team like that, so it was a good decision from our side.”

NHL.com

The future of NHL offer sheets

Over at The Daily Goal Horn, I took a deeper dive on the impact of the Canes successful offer sheet and what that means going forward. Read it here.

-Field Level Media contributed to this report.