NHL: Pluses and minuses around the league


+ Congratulations to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame’s newest class, which was scheduled for induction Monday at a ceremony in Chicago. Well-deserved honors for former players Chris Chelios, Gary Suter and Keith Tkachuk, longtime Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider, and broadcaster Mike Emrick.

+ The Minnesota Wild is not boring. The once sleep-inducing team has outscored opponents, 25-12, in winning seven straight games and leads the NHL with 43 points. The Wild has speed, a great forecheck and fine goaltending.

+ The Florida Panthers practiced outdoors in New York’s Central Park on Saturday evoking childhood memories of shinny on the pond. Unfortunately, their game against the Rangers on Sunday was no walk in the park: they were routed, 6-1.


- What was Montreal General Manager Pierre Gauthier thinking when he acquired defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who has a cap hit of $4.25 million this season and two after that? Gauthier said he needed power-play help, but Kaberle hasn’t scored a power-play goal in two seasons. Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford had to be ecstatic to dump that contract. “I should have known better,” Rutherford said of signing Kaberle. Obviously, Gauthier didn’t.

- Edmonton defenseman Andy Sutton was suspended only eight games for charging Carolina’s Alexei Ponikarovsky, a second offense following a five-game suspension earlier this season. He has played 16 games, almost as many as he will have missed.

- Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby is out indefinitely because of headaches, only three weeks after he returned from a 10-month absence because of a concussion. Three Flyers are also out of action because of head injuries: NHL scoring leader Claude Giroux, workhorse defenseman Chris Pronger — who was scheduled to see two Pittsburgh specialists who have treated Crosby — and former Kings prospect Brayden Schenn.