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Gary Bettman, center, chosen as the first commissioner of the NHL, is flanked by Bruce McNall, left, chairman of the board of the NHL, and Gil Stein, acting NHL president on Dec 11, 1992. (Bruce Bennet/The Associated Press)
Gary Bettman, center, chosen as the first commissioner of the NHL, is flanked by Bruce McNall, left, chairman of the board of the NHL, and Gil Stein, acting NHL president on Dec 11, 1992. (Bruce Bennet/The Associated Press)


Happy Anniversary Gary Bettman Add to ...

The Phoenix Coyotes’ Raffi Torres is eligible to return to the line-up for Saturday’s date with the Dallas Stars after serving his suspension for concussing the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa with a hit to the head during the playoffs last year. Torres was originally suspended for 25 games by league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, but had it reduced to 21 games in early July by commissioner Gary Bettman following an appeal. Torres served 13 games last spring, and eight more to start the 2012-13 season ...Thankfully, Hossa looks fully recovered and is off to a good scoring start (nine points in seven games), as is the Boston Bruins’ Nathan Horton, who missed 36 regular-season and seven playoff games last year, also because of a concussion. Horton had five points in six games, after being restored to his regular line, with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, which was a big hit for Boston during their 2011 Stanley Cup run ...Tyler Seguin, who led the Bruins with 29 goals last season, finally got his first the other night and coach Claude Julien noted to the Boston Globe it might have been because Seguin was “out of sync” after playing in Switzerland on the big ice during the lockout ... Equally out of sync: Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown, a 54-point scorer last year, who had managed just a single assist and a minus-five rating through his team’s first five games ... Nail Yakupov, the first player chosen in the 2012 entry draft, is paying immediate dividends for the Edmonton Oilers. Of Yakupov’s four goals, one came in the final five seconds of regulation against the Los Angeles Kings, which led to an overtime victory; while another came in OT vs. Phoenix ...The Calgary Flames may have had the strangest scheduling start to the season, playing only four games in the first 12 days, including a five-day break this past week, which permitted coach Bob Hartley to run a mini-training camp of sorts – not a bad thing for a team trying to adjust to a new coach. Things heat up from here: In February, the 1-3-1 Flames play catch-up, with 14 games in just 28 days ...Injuries are undermining performances all around the NHL, but the Colorado Avalanche have been particularly missing their new captain 20-year-old Gabriel Landeskog, who had been brilliant in the early going – or until he was knocked out of the line-up with head and neck injuries following a Brad Stuart check. With Steve Downie gone for the season (knee) and last year’s scoring leader Ryan O’Reilly unsigned, the Avs have been sputtering offensively until they popped six past Calgary and Miikka Kiprusoff on Thursday night, in a meeting of the 14th and 15th place teams in the Western Conference ... Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith is scheduled to return this weekend after missing time with a foot problem, but in the interim, the Coyotes got two good games out of Chad Johnson, a free-agent pickup last summer. Johnson started with a shutout victory and then earned the Coyotes a point in a 2-1 OT loss to Edmonton this week, which technically left him atop the goalie statistics with a miniscule 0.98 goals-against average. Playing ahead of the usual Phoenix No. 2 Jason LaBarbera, Johnson had previously made six NHL cameos over two season as Henrik Lundqvist’s back-up with the New York Rangers ... Desperately short of scoring balance, the Rangers were happy to learn that team captain Ryan Callahan’s shoulder injury wasn’t considered too serious and that he’ll likely only miss 10 days to two weeks. Callahan’s shoulder popped out in a fight with the Philadelphia Flyers’ Max Talbot – and the initial fears were it could be far more serious. Carl Hagelin, who lost his spot on the top line to Rick Nash, is especially struggling, with zero points in his first six games. Hagelin also failed to score a goal in 17 playoff games last spring (and added just three assists), after a pretty good rookie year (38 points in 64 games).

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