The NHL reduced its suspension of New York Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo from 10 games to six for Carcillo's actions toward an on-ice official May 23. Carcillo has sat out three playoff games and will be eligible to return in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The league reclassified his offense to a violation of Rule 40.4, for deliberately applying "physical force to an official for the sole purpose of getting free of such official during or immediately following an altercation." He had been sanctioned under the harsher Rule 40.3, for deliberately applying physical force to an official.
Carcillo began this season with the Kings before being traded to New York in January for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2014 entry draft. The Rangers needed toughness when Derek Dorsett was forced out of the lineup by an injury.
"Looks like I would have been in the Cup Final, anyway," Carcillo said. "I was very surprised about the trade. ... When Derek went down they seemed to need someone who played the same game as him. I stepped in and the team went on a pretty good run, and obviously we're on a great run here. Hopefully, we can finish the job."
Carcillo goes back with Kings forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, all the way to their days in Philadelphia. So did he shut down communications with Richards and Carter for the Final?
"I still have their number. I didn't block their numbers or anything," Carcillo said, looking amused. "They can text me if they want."
Glen Sather praises Marian Gaborik
Rangers General Manager Glen Sather had nothing but praise for Kings winger Marian Gaborik, who leads all playoff scorers with 12 goals.
"I like Marian a lot. I think he's a great guy and a great player," said Sather, who signed Gaborik to a five-year, $37.5-million contract as a free agent in the summer of 2009 and got two 40-goal seasons from the Slovakian winger.
That didn't stop Sather from trading Gaborik to Columbus in 2013 for forwards Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett and defenseman John Moore.
"To get the kind of quality players that we were able to get, we needed depth on our team, and it certainly did it for us," Sather said. "I'm happy for Marian. He's a terrific guy. It was like every trade. It's complicated and difficult."
The Blue Jackets traded Gaborik to the Kings in March for Matt Frattin, a second-round draft pick and a conditional third-round pick.
Kenny Albert takes over
Kenny Albert will replace Mike Emrick as the play-by-play announcer for NBC's telecast of Game 1. Emrick will be absent because of a death in his family. Coverage of the game will start at 5 p.m. PDT, with pregame coverage scheduled to start at 4 p.m. on NBCSN.
Just passing through
Rangers forward Brian Boyle's stay with the Kings was not a lengthy one — 36 games spread over parts of two seasons — and he said Tuesday at media day that he was in Los Angeles for "like five minutes."
Still, he had some warm memories. Boyle scored four goals in his first seven NHL games with the Kings and experienced the novelty of a West Coast lifestyle before getting traded to New York in 2009.
"There were fun times just being the first pro team, first NHL team I got to play with," said Boyle, who was a first-round Kings draft pick in 2003. "I learned a lot here but it was a while ago. I think I really became an NHLer in New York. Maybe yesterday and today, you look around the building and you remember things, but after that I think it will probably subside when we get to playing the games.
"It was a good group of guys. It was a younger team ... it was certainly different being 3,000 miles from home, come to practice and driving home to the beach. That was different. It was a great experience, and I think, in a lot of ways for maturing and growing up."
He remembered Kings defenseman Matt Greene taking him under his wing as well as former Kings defenseman and now broadcaster Sean O'Donnell. Defenseman Peter Harrold, now with the New Jersey Devils, was a one-man car service.
"I was up and down so much one year, that's when I got called up [from Manchester] he would just pick me up," Boyle said. "He was a newlywed at the time and I'd have the extra bedroom."
QUESTION: Glen, having been through this before, what is the Final like for
a GM? What do you do during this time?
Sather: It's really complicated. Today it took us about three hours to figure out which golf course we were going to play on this afternoon, then later on this evening we have the question about dinner, what are you going to watch on TV tonight (laughter)? Is "Game of Thrones" on? Its tough.