tampabay.com

Primeau out for season because of concussion

By wire services
Published February 28, 2006


PHILADELPHIA - Flyers captain Keith Primeau will sit out the rest of the season nearly four months after another concussion, the Associated Press and Philadelphia Inquirer reported. An announcement is expected today.

Primeau was hurt Oct.25 on a hit by Montreal's Alexander Perezhogin, the latest and most severe of a series of head injuries the center has sustained during a 15-year career. He had not been cleared to play by Flyers doctors, and a concussion specialist in Montreal advised him to sit out the rest of the season. The AP and Inquirer reported Primeau, 34, will try to return next season.

Because he will not come off injured reserve, Primeau's salary for the games he misses, about $2.5-million, will not count toward the salary cap. That gives the Flyers extra room as the March9 trade deadline approaches.

Primeau played two games after he was injured before symptoms forced him out Oct.30 against Ottawa.

Primeau did not return messages seeking comment.

He had one goal in nine games this season and was asked by Flyers general manger Bob Clarke to decide on his status by the end of the Olympic break.

Primeau missed 21 games because of a concussion sustained against the Rangers in 2003-04, and he sustained at least two head injuries during the 2004 playoffs, in the Eastern semifinals against the Maple Leafs and the Eastern final against the Lightning.

Swedish Wings won't play

The Red Wings will be without their five Swedish players for tonight's game because of Monday's Olympic gold-medal celebration in Stockholm.

Niklas Lidstrom, who scored the winner against Finland, Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall will join the team for Wednesday's game.

Their other five Olympians, Americans Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider, Czech Robert Lang, Russian Pavel Datsyuk and Canadian Kris Draper, are expected to play tonight.

Other Swedes are expected to return in time for tonight's games, including Fredrik Modin (Lightning), Mats Sundin (Toronto), Peter Forsberg (Flyers) and Daniel and Henrik Sedin (Vancouver).

CANUCKS: Tomas Mojzis and Sven Butenschon were recalled from Manitoba for tonight's game against Calgary. They replace Sami Salo and Mattias Ohlund, two of Vancouver's top three defensemen who were hurt in the Olympic tournament. The third, Ed Jovanovski, is expected to miss most of the rest of the regular season after abdominal surgery.

Ohlund, a Swede, injured his ribs and left shoulder sliding into the end boards. Salo hurt his right shoulder and chest colliding with a Finnish teammate. Ohlund hopes to return Thursday or Friday. Salo's return is unknown.

SHARKS: Backup goalie Vesa Toskala signed a two-year extension. Toskala, 28, who would have been an unrestricted free agent after this season, is 8-5-2 with a 3.12 goals-against average but 8-0-2 with a 2.45 GAA in his past 10 games. LEMIEUX UPDATE: Penguins owner Mario Lemieux had a medical procedure designed to provide a long-term fix for his irregular heartbeat. The team said Lemieux, 40, who retired in January, should be released from the hospital today.