HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.Flyers captain Mike Richards has been stung by suggestions that he and some of his teammates party too much. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
1. Captain Richards and Philly reporters at odds, again
There appeared to be a thawing period between Flyers captain Mike Richards and the team's beat reporters until he gave a recent interview with The Hockey News.
After stating in the article that rumours in Philadelphia start flying when you're losing, Richards was asked after the Flyers' 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday to clarify his remarks.
"The drinking articles and things like that," he said. "That the players were drinking too much, that Richards and [Jeff] Carter were out all the time."
Richards wasn't happy that he had to revisit the rumours and innuendo that surfaced earlier this year, resulting in several weeks in which Richards did not talk to reporters.
Last summer, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren admitted in an interview that concerns were raised by the coaching staff about the lifestyles of the younger group of players that lived in downtown Philadelphia.
Earlier this season, in an interview with ex-Flyer Joffrey Lupul, who was traded to Anaheim in the Chris Pronger deal, Lupul was asked if he thought his trade, and Scottie Upshall being moved to the Phoenix Coyotes, were tied to the nightlife concerns.
"Sure, we went out a lot for dinner and stuff, and although we all are young guys — Richards, Carter, all of us — we still knew how to handle ourselves in a professional manner," Lupul said.
2. Patrice Bergeron may return Monday
Martin Luther King Day in the United States means two afternoon games. The Ottawa Senators visit the Boston Bruins in one affair and the New York Islanders play host to the New Jersey Devils in the other.
The Bruins hope to have centre Patrice Bergeron back from his broken thumb, an injury that occurred exactly two weeks ago. The Senators will likely have defenceman Filip Kuba back from his upper-body injury, and there's talk that Jason Spezza could return from his knee injury later this week.
3. Are Joe Louis Arena's days numbered?
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland says his team will be playing out of Joe Louis Arena next season, but a Detroit News report claims that the team has engaged in talks with the Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the NBA's Detroit Pistons.
The story reports that the Red Wings' lease with Joe Louis Arena ends after this season. There also was a suggestion that the hockey team may look at playing at Ford Field, where the NCAA’s Frozen Four will be held in this spring.
4. World junior hero looks good in the NHL
John Carlson, the teenager who scored the overtime winner in the world junior gold medal final thriller earlier this month, was in the Washington Capitals' lineup on Friday against Toronto and played again on Sunday against Philadelphia.
Carlson was a combined plus-4 in the two Capitals victories, but is slated to be returned to the Hershey Bears of the AHL in order to participate in the league’s all-star game on Tuesday in Portland, Maine.
5. Bodie scores his first
It wasn't exactly highlight-reel material — the puck bounced off his skate — but Anaheim Ducks rookie Troy Bodie scored his first NHL goal in his team’s 5-4 come-from-behind win against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.
"Usually in the American League, you can tell someone that you went end to end and buried it," the rugged forward said with a laugh. "You can't get away with that in this league. They've got video evidence."
The native of Portage La Prairie, Man., who turns 25 on Jan. 25, was playing in his 15th career NHL game.