NHL News: Kivlenieks, Kotkaniemi, Killorn, Dansk and Johns
Blue Jackets Matiss Kivlenieks dies in freak accident. Canadiens make a few lineup changes, Jesperi Kotkaniemi scratched. Alex Killorn a game-time decision.
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Kivlenieks dies in freak accident

Brian Hedger: Columbus Blue Jackets 24-year old goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died from a “fireworks mortar blast chest trauma” according to the autopsy performed by the Oakland County medical examiner.

Jarmo Kekalainen: “Life is so precious and can be so fragile. Hug your loved ones today. RIP Matiss, you will be dearly missed.”

Canadiens make some lineup changes

Alexandre Gascon: Montreal Canadiens lines at their morning skate.


John Lu: Canadiens Dominique Ducharme: “It’s nothing against (Kotkaniemi) or anything else but we have depth and we have options.”

John Lu: Ducharme: “Again, it’s not punishment… sometimes as a hockey player you face these moments,” adding “He’s a good team guy and understands the situation even though nobody wants to sit.”

Eric Engels: Ducharme: “First, we wanted to put Evans with Byron and Lehkonen and didn’t want to undo our duos of Danault-Gallagher, Caufield-Suzuki and the fourth line. On D, we wanted to bring in more dynamic skaters in Romanov and Kulak.”

Eric Engels: “This needs to stop. Seriously. No one hates Kotkaniemi. Ducharme is putting Evans with Byron and Lehkonen and likely using them as a shutdown line. He’s moving Toffoli with Danault and Gallagher for offence and moving Anderson with Caufield and Suzuki for sustained pressure.”

Eric Engels: “Anyway… I’m not advocating the move. Just explaining it. But it has nothing to do with like or dislike.”

GTD for Killorn

Chris Johnston: Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn was on the ice for their morning skate and will be a game-time decision.

Coach Jon Cooper: “he’s definitely inching his way closer.

Dansk signs in the KHL

Ben Gotz: Vegas Golden Knights UFA goaltender Oskar Dansk sign a two-year deal with Spartak of the KHL.

Plenty of coaches available for midseason changes

Luke Fox of Sportsnet: If a team is looking to make a coaching midseason next year there are numerous familiar names still available: Rick Tocchet, John Tortorella, Claude Julien, Bruce Boudreau, David Quinn, and Mike Babcock.