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NHL roundup: Predators lose 3 to surgery; league suspends Volchenkov

The SportsXchange

The Nashville Predators lost forwards Gabriel Bourque, Paul Gaustad and Colin Wilson for the rest of the season, due to various surgeries, the team announced Thursday.

All three are expected to be ready for training camp in September.

Predators general manager David Poile told the Tennessean that Gaustad and Wilson need shoulder surgeries that will keep them sidelined for four months. Bourque reportedly is out with a knee injury.

Nashville entered Thursday 13th in the Western Conference, five points behind the Detroit Red Wings for a postseason berth.

Also, the Predators assigned Joonas Rask to their American Hockey League affiliate in Milwaukee, after the forward recently ended his fifth season in the Finnish Elite League with Jokerit.

Rask, 23, scored five goals and had five assists in 52 games with Jokerit in 2012-13. He is the younger brother of Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

--New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended for four games without pay, for elbowing Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand in Wednesday's game.

The incident occurred at 15:11 of the second period, and Volchenkov was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct. As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Volchenkov will forfeit $91,891.88.

--Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said he's close to a six-year contract extension to stay in Detroit.

Howard said there are some minor details to work out, but he hopes to sign by the weekend. TSN reported that the deal is worth $31.8 million.

"I wanted to be here," Howard said. "I get along great with everyone here. I believe in this organization. I just want to be here and get the job done."

An all-star last season, Howard has won at least 35 games in three straight seasons. He is 16-12-4 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .917 save percentage this season.
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