Watch: Kuznetsov snipes for 5th goal in 6 games

If you thought the All-Star break might slow down Evgeny Kuznetsov's hot streak, think again.

The 24-year-old Washington Capitals pivot opened the scoring against the New York Islanders with a scorcher against netminder Thomas Greiss, using his speed to find some uncontested space in the slot.

Kuznetsov's tally was his fifth in just six games, and his 10th of the season.

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Report: Sens, Avs ‘likely’ to play regular-season games in Sweden in November

The Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche may be going on an extended road trip next season.

The two clubs are "likely" to play two regular-season games in Sweden scheduled for November, Darren Dreger of TSN reports.

The decision must be approved by the NHLPA before being finalized, and an answer could be coming within two weeks, Dreger adds.

Both captains - Erik Karlsson of the Senators and Gabriel Landeskog of the Avalanche - are natives of Sweden, adding a nice tie-in to the potential event.

The NHL hasn't traveled to Europe since 2011, when the Ducks, Sabres, Kings, and Rangers all opened their seasons stationed across the Atlantic, playing games in Finland, Sweden, and Germany.

Beyond a possible European expedition, Dreger reports the Kings and Vancouver Canucks are likely to travel to China for a slate of exhibition games, which also depends on approval from the player's association.

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Oilers winning at best pace since ’87 Cup-winning season

After seeing just how much of an impact Connor McDavid has had on the NHL since being tabbed as the 2015 No. 1 pick, it should be no surprise to see his Edmonton Oilers finally getting in the win column more often than not.

But it may be a bit of a shock to see how well McDavid's club is doing from a historic perspective.

As Edmonton comes out of the All-Star break, the club sits with 64 points through 51 games, tied with the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead. Impressive? Sure, but nothing compared to how that pace stacks up against the legendary Oilers teams of old:

That's right, Edmonton's 64-point effort thus far isn't just an indication of how far removed they are from last season - when they had just 45 points over the same span - but a promising sign that the team as finally turned the page.

It's in fact the best pace they've posted in 30 years, since the organization's dynasty days.

Keep in mind, Edmonton won two more Stanley Cups following their '87 championship, with Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier still dominating. And McDavid's Oilers have posted more points through 51 games than even those star-studded teams.

Of course, to be fair, the '88 and '90 Oilers weren't given the gift of a point for overtime losses (instituted in 1999-00) or the game-ending shootout (which came to the NHL in 2005-06).

The 2016-17 crew still has miles to go before they can be considered anywhere near as talented as those record-setting Oilers teams, but it's clear what's happening in Edmonton is more than a slight step forward.

This season might be a tad too soon for the young Albertan club to claw their way back to the Cup, but make no mistake - McDavid's time is coming, quickly.

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NHL called former players ‘mere puppets’ in lawsuit documents

The NHL referred to former players as 'mere puppets' in documents connected to its ongoing lawsuit regarding the handling of head injuries, according to TSN Senior Correspondent Rick Westhead.

The league took issue with former players involved in the concussion lawsuit who wrote op-ed pieces on the subject for news publications. Such was the case with Reed Larson, formerly of the Detroit Red Wings, who penned a 2015 piece for The Detroit News on the subject.

Wrote Westhead on the league's request:

According to a decision in the case that was unsealed late Monday, the league wrote in court documents that former NHL players like Larson who are suing the league are "mere puppets" who "certainly would not have had the mental faculties to write lucid and sophisticated op-eds for publications."

The NHL asked a judge for help obtaining correspondence between those former players and CLS Strategies, a Washington-based public relations firm that has given communications advice to the lawyers who represent a group of more than 100 former NHL players suing the league.

Judge Susan Nelson denied the league's request, as it was revealed during the deposition of Larson, Bernie Nicholls, and David Christian that while the three hadn't initiated the original drafts of their published pieces, they reviewed their articles before publication and believed they represented their own words.

"The deposition transcripts, in full context, demonstrate that the named plaintiffs were interviewed for certain publications, their own words were used, and they had authority to edit and approve the op-ed pieces bearing their names," Nelson wrote in her 2016 judgment.

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Colborne’s bizarre season adding to Colorado’s free fall

Joe Colborne was a polarizing figure during his time with the Calgary Flames, showing enough inconsistency to leave some unsure of his worth, but enough raw potential to convince some he was the club's greatest hidden gem.

So when Flames fans watched Colborne rattle off a hat trick in his first game wearing Colorado Avalanche colors, it seemed clear Calgary had let another one slip away.

But it looks like general manager Brad Treliving has nothing to worry about, as Colborne has fallen well short of replicating that opening-night performance.

After posting three tallies in game one and adding an assist three games later, Colborne hasn't registered a single point in the 32 games that have followed - a colossal cold streak that has spanned three months.

It isn't as if the big-bodied winger is lacking the tools to contribute. He may not be an All-Star, but Colborne has been a fairly serviceable offensive option in the past.

He potted a career-high 19 goals and 44 points in just 73 games for the Flames last season, seeing top-six minutes for much of the campaign. While it was clear he was on track for a slight regression - he posted a pretty unsustainable shooting percentage of 19 percent - Colborne had proven himself to have enough raw skill to become a decent secondary option at the NHL level.

Half a season later, it's unclear if that's still the case.

A downgrade in linemates seems to have sapped Colborne of his ability to put up numbers, as he's moved from playing with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik to spending time with the likes of John Mitchell and Cody McLeod.

That abrupt plot twist is terrible news for Colorado, as the club remains desperate for any type of offensive life. The Avalanche rank last in the league in goals per game, and - unsurprisingly - sit last in the standings as well.

Related: Avalanche's MacKinnon: 'We're pretty fragile'

Unfortunately for general manager Joe Sakic, Colborne isn't coming cheap either. The snake-bitten forward is owed $5 million over this season and the next.

For perspective, veteran Avalanche winger Rene Bourque is earning only $650,000 this season, and has nine goals to his name - tied with Gabriel Landeskog for third-most on the team.

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Golden Knights can make trades once sale closes

Get ready to see post-deadline trades this year.

That's because the league's expansion franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, could start making deals beginning in just over a month's time.

Once the sale of the team has been finalized - which is expected to happen around March 1 - the Golden Knights will be granted the opportunity to begin making trades, NHL deputy commissioner Billy Daly noted during All-Star festivities this past weekend, according to Sportsnet's Emily Sadler.

"Once they close the transaction, (general manager George McPhee) will be able to make player-related transactions within some parameters," Daly said. "Obviously he still can’t acquire players who are still playing the 2016-17 season, but he can acquire draft picks, he can acquire (unsigned draft choices), sign draft choices, player assets. He can start making deals associated with the expansion draft."

The provision should certainly help the infant franchise get going on its roster construction. In addition, the team will also be granted a 48-hour period - between the time the protected roster lists are submitted and the expansion draft - where they will be allowed to negotiate with unrestricted and restricted free agents who are not protected, and sign players, which was reported by TSN's Pierre LeBrun back in October.

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Maple Leafs’ Kadri: Trump’s travel ban is obviously unfortunate

Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri has once again been asked to comment on happenings south of the border.

A rare player of Muslim descent to make the NHL, Kadri was asked Tuesday about U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning citizens of seven primarily Muslim nations from entering the United States.

Kadri offered the following response, per Sportsnet:

Obviously it's unfortunate. I'm obviously proud to be Canadian and happy it doesn't affect me a whole lot. But, you know, banning some people from coming back into the country - and some smart people that really could make a difference - I really feel bad for those kind of people and their families, and just not being able to come back to America and do what they want to do.

Back in December 2015, Kadri - born to Lebanese parents in London, Ont. - called Trump 'pretty delusional' after the then-presidential candidate made it known he planned to restrict Muslims from entering America.

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Canadiens unveil logo, jerseys for AHL’s Laval Rocket

The Montreal Canadiens have unveiled the new look for their AHL affiliate.

The Rocket - named after Canadiens legend Maurice 'Rocket' Richard - will be represented by the following logo and jerseys when the team begins play at Place Bell in nearby Laval in 2017-18:

"We reached our objective by creating a logo and uniform that solidifies the historic link between the Rocket de Laval and the Canadiens, while honoring a Quebec legend, and by creating a new identity for a new generation of fans," Place Bell president Vincent Lucier said.

The team will also use the following tagline for marketing purposes.

The Rocket nickname was selected after an extensive fan vote during the summer of 2016.

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Avalanche’s MacKinnon: ‘We’re pretty fragile’

The All-Star festivities were a much needed distraction for Nathan MacKinnon.

The Colorado Avalanche forward has watched his club spin out of control, crashing to the bottom of the league standings and leaving him and his teammates in shock.

"It sucks. I've never been in a position like this in my life," MacKinnon said, according to Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski.

"We didn't expect this. We thought we'd be in the mix. I know we wouldn't have won the division (this season), but I thought we'd have a chance to make the playoffs. Obviously, that's not the case. So we're just trying to get better, get ready for next season."

The club sits 30th in the league - 10 points below the next-closest team, the Arizona Coyotes.

It's been a complete system failure, too. The Avalanche are last in the league in both goals for and against per game with 2.02 and 3.37 marks, respectively.

"We've been in games, but we can't score," MacKinnon said. "We score two a game, and we give up the most goals in the league, so that's not a good combo. We're pretty fragile. I don't want to beat up the team too much. We're in a lot of games, but then we press the panic button too easily. Like in San Jose, when Marleau scored four against us in one period, in like eight minutes. That was a 1-1 game."

What's made the losing so unbearable, MacKinnon admits, is the amount of optimism that surrounded the team following the 2013-14 season, which saw the Avalanche capture the Central Division with 52 wins and 112 points.

"We thought we were going to be a Cup team in the next five years," he said. "Looking back on it, I took it for granted how hard it is to win. I came in, won 50 games. I thought I was going to win every year."

With this season all but over for the Avalanche, eyes will be fixated on next year. It's looking more and more like the club will tear it down, and the focus will soon be shifting to the likes of Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier at June's draft.

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Devils moving AHL affiliate to Binghamton

The American Hockey League has approved the relocation of the New Jersey Devils' minor-league affiliate from Albany, N.Y., to Binghamton, N.Y., effective for the 2017-18 season.

"After evaluating multiple scenarios and obtaining the approval of the AHL Board of Governors, we have agreed to partner with a local operating group in Binghamton, NY to relocate our AHL franchise for the 2017-18 season," Devils president Hugh Weber said in a statement.

"The new arrangement will allow the organization to focus its efforts on developing our player prospects, while leaving the business operations to those with expertise in the market."

A spot had been opened up for a team in Binghamton when the Ottawa Senators announced their AHL club would be moving to Belleville, Ontario.

The city's Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena will therefore have a main tenant for the immediate future.

The Senators' AHL team had called Binghamton home since 2002.

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