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Blues alumni in spotlight at NHL All-Star Skills –



ST. LOUIS — Al MacInnis grabbed one of his old wooden sticks and wound up for a slap shot.

Another former St. Louis Blues great, Bernie Federko, took the ice and passed a few pucks to Alex Pietrangelo.

Blues center Ryan O’Reilly stepped aside to give Brett Hull a chance to show off his wrist shot again. And former Blues forward Keith Tkachuk had a moment in the spotlight to take a shot too.

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The Blues alumni’s close involvement with the current team was on full display during the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills presented by New Amsterdam Vodka at Enterprise Center on Friday as part of the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, with the festivities being held here for the first time since 1988.

[RELATED: NHL All-Star Skills resultsComplete 2020 NHL All-Star Game coverage]

Even Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, a St. Louis center for all of 31 games (including the Stanley Cup Playoffs) during the 1995-96 season, was on hand. Before the skills events began, he called St. Louis one of the greatest cities in the world.

And with the hockey world’s eyes on St. Louis, the former Blues players did their best to help make the weekend a memorable one for area fans.

“It’s incredible,” said MacInnis, the senior adviser to Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. “It couldn’t happen to a better group of hockey fans. I love it. I’ve been here for 25 years. I know what it means to these people. I know what it means to the hockey fans. Lots of credit’s got to go to (Blues chairman) Tom Stillman, (president and CEO of business operations) Chris Zimmerman and their group banging the League’s door down to host these events because we know what St. Louis is all about.

“… Listen, the All-Star Game is in St. Louis, I work for the Blues, we just won the [Stanley] Cup. We were all trying to help out growing the game. Hullie participated, Gretzky, Tkachuk, Bernie Federko. How do you say no to that?”

MacInnis, a defenseman who played the final 10 seasons (1994-95 to 2003-04) of his 23-season NHL career with the Blues, took a 100.4 mph slap shot prior to the Enterprise NHL Hardest Shot after having participated in many such competitions as a player.

Federko, a forward who played 13 of his 14 NHL seasons with St. Louis (1976-77 to 1988-89) and played the most games (927) in its history, appeared with Pietrangelo before the captain took part in the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting.

Hull, a forward who played 11 seasons in St. Louis (1987-88 to 1997-98) and holds the Blues goals record (527), stepped in to take a shot during O’Reilly’s turn in the Shooting Stars (it didn’t count). Tkachuk, who played nine seasons in St. Louis (2000-2010), also stepped onstage and took a shot before his sons, Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk and Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk, took part in that event.

Video: MacInnis, Tkachuk, Hull appear at Skills Competition

Current NHL players were impressed with the showing by the Blues alumni.

“I thought that was really cool, a really cool touch and I think the fans like it,” Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid said. “Some obviously special players have played for St. Louis, and it’s cool to see them come back and be recognized.”

The Blues Alumni Association, established in 1988, has helped forge a bond between current St. Louis players and those from the past.

“The boys love having them around and seeing them,” said Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, the winner of the Bud Light NHL Save Streak. “It just goes to show how special the city of St. Louis is with the alumni coming back and enjoying themselves. It’s good for the fans to see them back on the ice. Overall, it was well done.”

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Ice Chips Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks healthy scratch – TSN



Keep updated on all the injury news and roster updates from around the NHL with daily Ice Chips.

Vancouver Canucks

Forward Brock Boeser will be a healthy scratch Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes, according to TSN’s Farhan Lalji. Boeser has spent much of the past three games on the third line. 

“Sometimes tough love is tough love. I know he’s capable of being much better,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We want to win and we need him over the long haul to win. We need to be better. It could have been one of a few guys.”

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Boeser has three goals and 11 assists in 18 games this season. He will be replaced by Jake Studnicka in the lineup.

Canucks lines at practice:



Extras: Boeser, Dermott, Burroughs

Spencer Martin will start.

Montreal Canadiens

Jake Allen will get the start in net against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, while forward Brendan Gallagher will miss his second straight game due to a lower-body injury, Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis confirmed. 

Allen, 32, has gone 7-8-0 in 15 starts and has a 3.40 goals-against average and .898 save percentage so far this season.

Gallagher is suffering from a lower-body injury and will miss his second game in a row. The 30-year-old has three goals and five assists in 22 games in 2022-23.

Edmonton Oilers

Stuart Skinner will make his 12 start of the season for the Edmonton Oilers against the Canadiens. 

Skinner, 24, has a record of 6-5 along with a 2.91 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.

Projected lineup as per Tony Brar:




Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said that centre Anthony Cirelli will make his season debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Cirelli had 17 goals and 26 assists in 76 games last season.

Lines at morning skate ahead of matchup with Leafs, as per TSN’s Mark Masters:

Hagel – Point – Kucherov
Stamkos – Paul – Killorn
Namestnikov – Cirelli – Colton
Maroon – Bellemare – Perry

Hedman – Sergachev
Cole – Cernak
Bogosian – Perbix

Vasilevskiy starts 

Calgary Flames

Projected lineup vs. Washington Capitals:

Vladar starts 



Toronto Maple Leafs

Projected lineup vs. Lightning on Saturday, as per TSN’s Mark Masters:

Bunting – Matthews – Nylander 
Robertson – Tavares – Marner 
Kerfoot – Kampf – Engvall 
Aston-Reese – Holmberg – Simmonds 

Giordano – Holl 
Sandin – Liljegren 
Mete – Hollowell

Murray starts 

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‘A huge learning experience’: Canadiens’ young defence burned by Oilers core –



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