NHL notebook

With role diminishing, McLaren is waived by Sharks

Associated Press / October 8, 2008
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The Sharks put Kyle McLaren on waivers yesterday, possibly ending the oft-injured defenseman's 4 1/2-year tenure with the club.

McLaren, a 12-year NHL veteran who played seven seasons with the Bruins, had three goals and eight assists while battling constant knee injuries last season, undergoing surgery in January.

He appeared in two exhibition games with the Sharks, who didn't even allow him to skate in intrasquad scrimmages while attempting to move him.

"Kyle has been a tremendous professional through this," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "We're trying to do what's right for him, so we'll see what the next few days brings."

McLaren's role was diminished before training camp when San Jose acquired veteran defensemen Rob Blake, Dan Boyle, and Brad Lukowich.

The Sharks also signed young defensemen Christian Ehrhoff, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Doug Murray to contract extensions in recent months.

Khabibulin stays put

Nikolai Khabibulin is expected to start the regular season with the Blackhawks.

The 35-year-old goaltender seemed destined to be sent to the minors, get traded, or opt to play in his native Russia by the time the Blackhawks open their regular season Friday night against the Rangers. But Khabibulin was on GM Dale Tallon's final roster.

Khabibulin, who did not appear in any of Chicago's eight exhibition games, is entering the final year of a four-year contract that is set to pay him $6.75 million this season.

The Blackhawks signed free agent goalie Cristobal Huet to a four-year, $22.45 million deal July 1.

Ovechkin 'will be OK'

Alex Ovechkin left practice early, but the reigning NHL MVP is expected to play in the Capitals' season opener Friday at Atlanta. Ovechkin skated off the ice at the Verizon Center in Washington after less than 15 minutes. "He'll be OK. He'll be playing Friday," coach Bruce Boudreau said at the team's media day. "You know, it's nothing serious at all, but, I mean, it would be prudent for me not to say why he went off." . . . Injured Islanders defenseman Chris Lee flew back to New York after being hospitalized overnight in Florida following a hard hit in an exhibition game against the Panthers Monday night. Lee was removed from the ice on a stretcher with 11:02 left in the third period of the Islanders' 6-0 loss after being checked into the boards from behind by Rostislav Olesz. In other news from Long Island, goaltender Yann Denis, who starred at Brown University, was demoted to Bridgeport (AHL) . . . The Kings re-signed restricted free agent center Patrick O'Sullivan to a three-year contract. O'Sullivan was fourth on the Kings in scoring last season with 53 points.

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