Empty Netter Assists - Western Conference - 1-6-09

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Central Division

-The Blue Jackets put defenseman Rostislav Klesla on injured reserve due to a "lower-body" injury.

-We're a little late with this, but check out this brutal cross check by Blues forward David Backes on Columbus forward Kristian Huselius from Sunday:

-Backes received a game misconduct for that play. It was his third of the season and earned him an automatic one-game suspsension. As Adam Gretz of AOL points out, that's probably not enough of a punishment considering Huselius suffered a concussion.

-Predators forward Steve Sullivan is hoping to return to his team's lineup Saturday. He has been sidelined with a back injury since 2007.

-The Red Wings' penalty killing is having issues on the road.

-George Vecsey of The New York Times says the NHL has managed to claim New Year's Day from college football with the Winter Classic.

-Blues forward Andy McDonald (right) is close to returning to the lineup. He's been shelved since Nov. 16 with an ankle injury.

Northwest Division

-Dwayne Roloson made 25 savs for the Oilers who edged the visiting Islanders, 3-2. Joey MacDonald made 24 saves for New York. Islanders forward Doug Weight did not play after a collision with a goaltender in the team's morning skate.

-During a team skills competition, Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray unofficially set a league record with a slap shot times at 106.7 mph.

-The Flames demoted forward Jamie Lundmark to Quad City of the AHL.

-The Canucks demoted forward Jannik Hansen and goaltender Cory Schneider to Manitoba of the AHL.

-Hansen's demotion cleared room on the roster for forward Mats Sundin.

-Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote (arm) and forward Ian Laperriere (back) are dinged up.

-Colorado is another team that doesn't seem too eager to swing a deal.

-Wild coach Jacques Lemaire is scared of forward Owen Nolan.

Pacific Division

-Ducks forward and Washington, Pa. native George Parros (right) ain't no long hair no more.

-With Teemu Selanne dinged up, should the Ducks turn to forward Samuel Pahlsson to carry the load offensively?

-Coyotes forward Todd Fedoruk found the teeth of teammate and former Penguins prospect Daniel Carcillo in an odd place. Fire Ray Shero.

-There might not be a lot of them, but Coyotes fans are classy. They applauded Islanders forward Doug Weight recently when he recorded his 1,000th career point in Phoenix.

-From the "Ohhh Boo-Hoo" department, the Sharks aren't happy with their "lousy" 10-4-2 record on the road.

-With forward Jody Shelley dinged up with an "upper-body" ailment, San Jose recalled forward Brad Staubitz from Worcester of the AHL.

Norris Division

-Canada beat Sweden 5-1 and claimed the gold medal in the IIHF World Junior Championships.

-As if life weren't rough enough for Ray Shero right now, former Penguins' prospect Angelo Esposito scored the game winner for Canada. Fire Ray Shero.

-Esposito's goal:

-Fire Ray Shero.

(Photos: McDonald-Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images; Parros-Mark Avery/Associated Press)

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