Thibault to return to practice

Updated: October 12, 2005, 8:41 PM ET
Associated Press

Pittsburgh Penguins: Goalie Jocelyn Thibault plans to resume practicing today, four days after he was struck on the inside of the kneecap by a shot.

He could return to active duty as early as Saturday, when he is eligible to come off injured reserve.

Thibault says he is feeling much better and that the swelling has decreased.

He was injured when he dropped into the butterfly position to stop a Rico Fata shot in the game-day skate.

The puck missed his pads and hit Thibault on the side of his kneecap. X-rays found no fractures.

Phoenix Coyotes: The Coyotes reassigned goaltender Steve Passmore to their AHL affiliate in San Antonio on Wednesday.

Passmore was recalled by Phoenix on Monday and dressed as the backup goalie in Tuesday night's 3-2 loss at Dallas.

In two games with San Antonio this season, Passmore has a 1-1 record and 4.05 goals-against average.

The 32-year-old Passmore, a six-year NHL veteran, was signed by the Coyotes as a free agent on Aug. 19.

In other action, the team Coyotes hired John Browne, a former executive with baseball's Devil Rays, as executive vice president of business development for the franchise and the Glendale Arena.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Gilbert Brule, the first-round draft pick, will miss six weeks with a broken sternum.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound center was injured Friday night on a hit by Flames defender Roman Hamrlik, Blue Jackets spokesman Todd Sharrock said. Columbus placed the 18-year-old Brule on injured reserve retroactive to Friday.

Forward Rick Nash remained on injured reserve with a sprained ankle and was listed as day-to-day. He did not travel with the team on its four-game road trip to Chicago and California.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press