By Tom Downey, Chat Sports
The NHL playoffs start in just over a month, with the remaining games playing a critical role in the postseason picture. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings currently hold the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference, while the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche are the wild card leaders in the West.
Check out the latest NHL rumors and news below.
• The NHL announced three new outdoor games for the 2016–17 season. The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Red Wings at BMO Field in the NHL Centennial Classic. The Winter Classic will pit the Chicago Blackhawks against the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium. The Pittsburgh Penguins will face the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stadium Series at Heinz Field.
• The NHL suspended Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jarred Tinordi for 20 games. His suspension stems from a violation of the league’s performance enhancing substances program.
• The investigation of Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has been closed by the NHL. The Chicago Tribune reports the rape allegations against Kane were determined to be unfounded.
• The New York Islanders won’t have goalie Jaroslav Halak for at least six weeks. NHL.com reports he’ll miss the rest of the regular season and at least part of the playoffs due to what is likely a lower body injury.
• NHL Player Safety will have a pair of meetings with players Thursday. The first is with Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse for starting a fight. The second is with Boston Bruins defenseman John-Michael Liles for a check to the head.
• New Jersey Devils forward Tuomo Ruutu was fined $5,000 by the NHL for slew-footing—or tripping—Penguins forward Matt Cullen.