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NHL notebook: Stamkos targeting Saturday for return

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Wire Reports
Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, 7:45 p.m.

• Lightning star Steven Stamkos has set Saturday against the Red Wings as his target date to return from a broken leg suffered less than three months ago, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Thomas Vanek recently turned down a lucrative contract offer from the Islanders, and the team is looking into trading the impending unrestricted free-agent forward, according to Newsday. The newspaper reported Monday that Vanek turned down an offer believed to be similar to his seven-year, $50 million contract that expires at the end of the 2013-14 season.

• The Canadiens traded defenseman Raphael Diaz to the Canucks for forward Dale Weise. Diaz, 28, had 11 assists and 12 penalty minutes in 46 games for the Canadiens this season.

Mikko Koivu's return to the Wild likely won't come until after the Olympics, leaving his availability for Finland during the Winter Games in question. Koivu broke his right ankle Jan. 4 when he was hit by a puck, and he had surgery to accelerate the recovery. The captain and first-line center has resumed skating, but Wild coach Mike Yeo told reporters after practice Monday that Koivu's availability for the last two games before the Olympics break was “highly in doubt.” Koivu still could play in the Winter Games, however, if he's cleared in time by the team's medical staff.

• The Ducks recalled defenseman Sami Vatanen from their AHL affiliate in Norfolk. The NHL-leading Ducks also put defenseman Mark Fistric on injured reserve.

• The Flames might have to do without goaltender Karri Ramo after he suffered an MCL injury during Saturday night's game against the Wild. He will be out until after the Olympic break. The Flames called up goalkeeper Joni Ortio from the AHL's Abbotsford Heat.

— Wire reports

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