Phaneuf cleared to return … Kane injured … Seguin staying with Bruins … Brodeur almost ready
  • Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star: Dion Phaneuf has been cleared to return to the Maple Leafs, and will accompany the team to Washington and Pittsburgh. He took part in his first full practice since his injury. It’s not known yet which game he’ll make his return, December 16th against Calgary has been a game he’s been focused on. When Phaneuf returns, the Leafs will have some decisions to make on the blueline, as they have plenty of NHL calibre defenseman.

  • Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald: Patrick Kane only last 23 seconds yesterday before leaving the after falling awkwardly into the boards. “We’ll know more (Monday) exactly where we’re at,” Quenneville said. “It’s tough to speculate and I don’t want to go there right now, but it’s not real serious. I’ll go to that extent.”

  • David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail: The salary cap could go up $2.1 million from the current $59.4 million if the players exercise the 5% inflator clause. At the Board of Governors meetings (starting today) there will be plenty of talk on ownership. Harley Hotchkiss is looking to sell is 22% stake in the Calgary Flames to the other owners. Potential Phoenix Coyotes owner, Matthew Hulsizer, is expected meet with the committee. They’ll likely also talk about the ownership of Atlanta Thrashers, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Thrashers could potential move to Winnipeg or Quebec City.

  • Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette: Andrei Markov will be a UFA after this season, has he worn a Canadiens jersey for the last time? Will they give him big money despite only playing 52 games and have 2 major knee surgeries. The Canadiens have plenty of time to figure out if need to find a replacement for him, trade deadline day is February 28th.

  • Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has told Tyler Seguin that he’ll remain with the club and won’t be going to the World Jurior Championships later this month.

  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: The New York Rangers continue to have $4.125 million dollars as healthy scratches, Todd White and Matt Gilroy. The longer they carry them, the more salary counts against their cap, which may make it more difficult to add a large salary, say a Brad Richards. Sather doesn’t want to send top young assets for Richards, since he could possibly get him for free on July 1st.

  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Michael Leighton or Brian Boucher could be put on waivers once the Leighton’s conditioning stint is over. The Peguins “emphatically say” they are not going to trade Evgeni Malkin for wingers for Sidney Crosby.