In the pros: Hillen injury, Crabb, Prosser, Schwartz, Stuart, AHL

Hillen shootsFrom the Washington Times …

TAMPA, Fla. | Washington Capitals defenseman and former Tiger Jack Hillen left Saturday night’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning after taking a hit into the boards from Vinny Lecavalier.

Hillen’s left shoulder hit into the boards after Lecavalier struck him with what appeared to be a clean check. He was down on the ice and in pain until the whistle blew with 8:17 left in the second period.

Hillen was attended to on the ice but skated off under his own power, favoring his left arm. Hillen did not return. Coach Adam Oates said the defenseman had an upper-body injury but offered no other update.

Hillen, who’s listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, signed a one-year contract with the Caps in July. He was making his Washington debut.

Adam Oates dressed seven defensemen and 11 forwards, so Hillen’s injury knocked the Caps down to the usual six. No penalty was called on the play. Joey Crabb was a healthy scratch.

In other former Tigers news, Nate Prosser logged 12:10 in the Wild’s 4-2 win over Colorado. Jaden Schwartz played 11:59 in St. Louis’ 6-0 win over Detroit, , took two shots, blocked two shots and one hit. Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart drew an early boarding call that set up a Jets’ 1-0 lead on a power-play goal.

Both Richard Bachman and Toby Petersen, who enters his 13th professional season in 2012-13, his ninth in the AHL, are starting the season with the Texas Stars. Petersen signed a two-year two-way contract with Dallas on July 2, 2012.

Kris Fredheim has five points (four assists) in 24 games with the AHL’s Houston Aeros. Brian Connelly had 22 points (20 assists) in 33 games before a recent injury. Chad Rau has seven points (four goals) in 24 games with Houston.

Weekend reading: Stuart, Haula, PSU, North Dakota, Denver

Former Tiger Mark Stuart gets high praise as one of the NHL’s top 10 shutdown defensemen by Bleacher Report.

Minnesota’s Erik Haula ran afoul of the law recently. Fallout from the misdemeanor will be handled internally, coach Don Lucia said.

The North Dakota beat writer gives his take how Penn State hockey could be affected by the NCAA sanctions against the football program.

Former UND goalie Jordan Parise, brother of the more famous Zach, has seen his professional career go in a different direction.

A former Denver captain is back home playing for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles. Luke Salazar is headed to Norway.

Thursday reading: Pros updates, weekend preview notes

Mark Stuart has been a leader at every level of hockey he's played.

Former Tiger Mark Stuart, pictured at left playing for Team USA last summer, is profiled by the Winnipeg Jets while listing all his considerable accomplishments.

Getting replaced by Joey Crabb on your line is a good motivational tool for Leafs’ coaches. Crabb has made the most of his chance this season.

From the “Hockey is a Small World” department, here’s a story by the Post’s Mike Chambers linking two Avalanche teammates to their peewee days when they lost to two former Denver standouts and a former CC goalie named Richard Bachman.

Here’s Goon’s World’s weekly predictions and an injury update for Colorado College, which looks to have lost sophomore Michael Morin for the season with surgery on a broken right ankle.

Here’s the Gazette’s capsule preview for the home-and-home series between CC and Denver.

The Minnesota AD announced he will retire soon.

Former Mankato standout and Blues captain David Backes used his free time over the NHL All-Star Break to save three shelter dogs by flying them from Houston  to a no-kill shelter in St. Louis.

The City of Mankato is looking to invest some serious money into improving the Verizon Wireless Center. Great job by Shane Frederick finding that Backers story.

After some talk of the Blues trading the rights to current CC sophomore standout Jaden Schwartz, that rumor has been dispelled.

Michigan Tech is no longer anyone’s doormat.  The Huskies take on MSU-Mankato this weekend.

Here’s Denver’s weekly press conference video  featuring coach George Gwozdecky.

Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore discusses his team’s road series at Nebraska-Omaha in this video.

Alaska Anchorage has the unenviable task of hosting No. 1/2 Minnesota Duluth.

Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves talks about his team’s home series against St. Cloud State.

North Dakota’s Corban Knight is the subject of the “Through These Doors” weekly video feature. UND is idle this week as are the No. 1/2 Gophers.

This Week in the WCHA …

Games for Friday, February 3: St. Cloud State at Wisconsin (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Bemidji State at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Michigan Tech at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:37 pm CT; Colorado College at Denver (WCHA), 7:37 pm MT; Minnesota Duluth at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

Games for Saturday, February 4: Bemidji State at Nebraska Omaha (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Michigan Tech at Minnesota State (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Denver at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:07 pm MT; St. Cloud State at Wisconsin (WCHA), 8:07 pm CT; Minnesota Duluth at Alaska Anchorage (WCHA), 7:07 pm AT.

Wednesday reading: WCHA departures; Minnesota alumni gathering; Connelly sets record; Stuart fight video

It was a tough day at the office for former Tiger Mark Stuart against Boston enforcer Shawn Thornton on Tuesday night in a 5-3 loss to the Bruins. By the way, Boston media report they're friends. Video link is below.

Alaska-Anchorage leading scorer Mickey Spencer has left the Seawolves.

Cam Reid left St. Cloud State on Monday to play in major juniors.

Here’s the NHL predraft midseason rankings.

CC’s Jan. 21 road game at Minnesota will be broadcast in Canada by Fox International Networks on SCORE TV, along with other WCHA games, one Final Five semifinal and the title game.

CC alumni will have a gathering at Minnesota.  The deadline to sign up is Jan. 16.

Former Tiger Brian Connelly set an AHL Rockford career franchise record for assists (101). Can a promotion to the Blackhawks be that far away?

Jack Hillen was a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s game at Colorado. That was unfortunate for any CC fans hoping to see him in Denver.

Now that he’s been moved up to Toronto’s second line, Joey Crabb has a new nickname (toward end of column).

The Denver Post’s Terry Frei talks to Jaden Schwartz about the world junior championships.

In the pros: Prosser called up; Bachman secures Dallas backup job; Stuart fight video

Former Tiger Richard Bachman has secured the backup job in Dallas with the imminent release of Andrew Raycroft.

From the article:

“It’s no secret that we’ve been taking a look at Richard the past three weeks and he’s got a good number of starts,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. “It’s always a difficult decision because Andrew is a veteran guy and he’s a good teammate, but we made the decision at this time that we are going to go with Bachman.”

Nate Prosser was called up by Minnesota for tonight’s 6 p.m. Mountain game at Nashville.

Here’s video of Tuesday night’s fight between Mark Stuart and the Avs’ Cody McLeod:

Thursday reading

OCTOBER 9 – Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Stuart walks out onto the ice during the pre-game ceremony before his team plays the Montreal Canadiens in their first NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)

Here’s a cool shot of former Tiger Mark Stuart before Winnipeg’s first home game on Oct. 9. It made this fun slideshow of the 100 best international sports photos from Reuters.

Richard Bachman fell to 4-2 in his sixth NHL start in a row with a 4-1 loss versus the Flyers on Wednesday. Colorado Springs native Ben Holmstrom was a healthy scratch for the Flyers. Here’s more on Bachman.

Here’s a blog post on fan reaction to CC coach Scott Owens’ contract extension.

Brian Swanson shows off his hockey sense in this Aces game.

USA Hockey news for the world juniors and the team schedule. Here’s the final roster with plenty of WCHA representatives.

Alabama-Huntsville is trying to raise money for its program.

Chad Rau scores in an Aeros loss. A photo gallery picturing Rau and Kris Fredheim is included with the article.

SCSU’s Nick Jensen is profiled by the Red Wings.

Here’s the CC Bulletin’s article on the athletic complex renovations.