The hockey world is in mourning today, as former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski has passed away at age 49. Zalapski was selected fourth-overall in 1986 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, making his debut in 1988 and recording a point in his very first game. He’d go on to play for the Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers before heading across the ocean to continue his playing career in various leagues around Europe.
Although his best NHL season came in 1992-93 when he scored 65 points for the Whalers, he may be best remembered as a member of the 1988 Canadian Olympic hockey team. Canada would come fourth at those Games, losing the tournament to the powerhouse Soviet Union that featured players like Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov, Viacheslav Fetisov and Vladimir Krutov. Zalapski was second among Canadian defenders with four points in the tournament. PHR sends our best wishes to his family and friends during this tough time.
- The Anaheim Ducks were dealt another blow when Corey Perry was ruled “week-to-week” with a lower-body injury suffered last night, just the latest in a long line of suffering by their best players. Ryan Kesler has yet to suit up this season, while Ryan Getzlaf, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Ondrej Kase, Patrick Eaves and others have all missed substantial amounts of the season already. The Ducks are trying to scratch and claw their way back into the playoff picture, and will have to rely on newcomer Adam Henrique to provide some offense in Perry’s absence. Henrique has gotten off to a quick start since coming over from the New Jersey Devils, but will need to keep it going now that the team has lost their top offensive weapon.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without their top center again tonight, as Auston Matthews was missing again at today’s morning skate and is “day-to-day” with an upper-body injury. Matthews sustained the injury when he collided with teammate Morgan Rielly on Saturday night, and missed the team’s last game. Amazingly, in the five games the Maple Leafs have played this season without Matthews the team has a perfect 5-0 record. They’ll try to continue that as they head on a three-game road trip starting tonight in Philadelphia.