Hartnell, Carter fume about rumour: Take 5

HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.

HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.

1. Hartnell, Carter fume about rumour

For a week now, an internet rumour started by a Temple University blogger has hovered over the struggling Philadelphia Flyers. The rumour alleged that Flyers forward Jeff Carter had an affair with the wife of his teammate, Scott Hartnell.

Both players denied the claim and were angered with the assertion. The Flyers' brass is considering a lawsuit.

"I don’t know how they dreamed those stories up," Hartnell told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It really plays on guys’ minds. Guys are dealing with personal issues, and that’s the last thing you need is people talking about sleeping with other guys’ wives and all sort of stupid stuff.

"It’s obviously frustrating. I don’t know how a person can sleep with himself at night when he does something like that. I’ve been buddies with Carts for a few years now, and obviously that stuff is totally untrue."

Carter added that the rumour "makes me look like an idiot. The guy is dealing with lives, and he doesn’t realize it."

"It’s just funny to see how much pull one guy can have," Hartnell said. "It’s an amazing thing, the internet, but for all the good things, there are obviously some bad things about it, too."

2. Flyers hit the road

As far as Philadelphia veteran defenceman Chris Pronger is concerned, playing six times in a row away from home over the holidays could be a solution to the Flyers finding their game. In their last game at home, the Flyers heard the jeers from their demanding fans.

Philadelphia certainly started the road trip on the right track with a 5-2 win in Tampa Bay on Wednesday to move within five points of the final playoff spot in the East.

As part of this stint away from the Wachovia Center will be the Winter Classic at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day.

"It's the perfect setting, to be honest with you," Pronger said. "What better way to get back to your roots and your childhood than playing in an outdoor game and playing in front of, I don't know, 35,000 people and enjoying yourself out in nature and the elements? It certainly should be a lot of fun, and it should hopefully be able to bring back the fun. I'm hoping that the fun will already be back in our game before the first. But it would definitely be a step ahead and a step in the right direction."

3. Devils lose Martin for another month

The New Jersey Devils have moved to the top of the NHL’s overall standings despite being without their top defenceman, Paul Martin, for the past two months.

Now Martin’s absence has been prolonged for an additional month after the defenceman underwent surgery earlier this week to further correct his arm injury. Martin suffered a broken left forearm in a game against Pittsburgh on Oct. 24, when he blocked a Bill Guerin shot. Initially, Martin was supposed to be out four to six weeks.

4. Wings blanked again

The injury-riddled Detroit Red Wings were blanked 3-0 by the rival Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. The Wings already have been shut out five times this season, all in the past 15 games. This is the most times the team has been blanked in a season before Dec. 31 since 1958-59.

5. Coyotes cruise into Christmas

The Phoenix Coyotes rolled into the two-day Christmas break as one of the better teams in the league. Goalie Iyla Bryzgalov’s league-leading fifth shutout in a 4-0 victory against Anaheim on Wednesday meant the Coyotes have gone 10-2-1 in their past 13 matches and have moved into fourth in the Western Conference.

You won’t find any Coyotes among the top 75 scorers in the league, but a big reason for their success recently has been the play of Bryzgalov and the line of Matthew Lombardi between Shane Doan and Scottie Upshall. They have a combined 13 points in the past two games.