Ducks acquire Grant from Penguins for Blandisi

The Anaheim Ducks have acquired center Derek Grant from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for center Joseph Blandisi, the team announced early Thursday morning.

Grant has appeared in 25 games with the Penguins this season, posting five points and a plus-3 rating during that time. Blandisi has spent the majority of the last two seasons in the AHL with San Diego, scoring 13 goals and adding 28 helpers in 55 games at that level.

The move added to a busy night for the Ducks, as the club dealt Luke Schenn and a 7th-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks for Michael Del Zotto earlier on.

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Canucks trade Del Zotto to Ducks for Schenn, 7th-round pick

The Vancouver Canucks traded defenseman Michael Del Zotto to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday in exchange for Luke Schenn and a 2020 seventh-round pick, the teams announced.

Del Zotto, 28, has appeared in just 23 games for the Canucks this season, recording one goal and three assists.

Schenn, meanwhile, has spent the majority of his 2018-19 campaign with the AHL's San Diego Gulls, where the 29-year-old has chipped in 10 points.

The deal marks the Ducks' second trade of the day, as they previously shipped forward Pontus Aberg to the Minnesota Wild for Justin Kloos.

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Report: Blue Jackets, Penguins hold trade talks about Brassard

The Columbus Blue Jackets have had trade talks with the Pittsburgh Penguins about center Derick Brassard, reports The Athletic's Aaron Portzline.

It was reported on Tuesday that Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford is listening to offers on Brassard with the expectation that he'll be traded before the deadline on Feb. 25.

Columbus drafted Brassard sixth overall in 2006, and 31-year-old spent the first six seasons of his career with the organization. He arrived in Pittsburgh prior to last year's trade deadline in a three-team deal that involved the Ottawa Senators and Vegas Golden Knights.

Brassard has recorded 14 points in 37 games and is an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

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Beaulieu looking for trade out of Buffalo if role doesn’t increase

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is seeking a new home if his role doesn't increase, his agent, Kent Hughes, told The Associated Press.

The blue-liner didn't demand a trade but did request they consider moving him if he doesn't fit in their plans going forward.

"He's not unhappy with Buffalo, he's just looking for more of an opportunity to play," Hughes said.

Beaulieu was traded to Buffalo from the Montreal Canadiens during the 2017 offseason. In his second season with the Sabres, he's notched three goals and four assists while logging 14:46 per contest.

The 26-year-old carries a cap hit of $2.4 million and is a restricted free agent after this season.

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NHL and NHLPA abandon possibility of World Cup in 2020

The NHL and NHLPA have abandoned the possibility of hosting a World Cup of Hockey in 2020, the league announced Wednesday.

In October, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league hoped to host the tournament in the fall of 2020, but the running of the event was contingent upon neither the NHL or NHLPA exercising its right to terminate the current collective bargaining agreement next year - which is still unclear.

After debuting in 1996 and a second running in 2004, the NHL brought back the World Cup in 2016. While Canada winning was a predictable outcome, the tournament was considered a tremendous success thanks in large part to the infusion of Team North America - the under-23 squad captained by Connor McDavid that dazzled with some of the most exciting hockey the international stage has ever seen.

The 2016 World Cup also represented the most recent best-on-best tournament, and with 2020 now off the table, the future international calendar is largely unclear with labor negotiations looming.

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Ducks trade Aberg to Wild for Justin Kloos

The Anaheim Ducks have traded forward Pontus Aberg to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for center Justin Kloos, the team announced Wednesday.

Aberg, 25, had carved out a solid role with the Ducks after being claimed off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers in October. He managed 19 points in 37 games with the club before being traded, and his 11 goals put him in a tie for second on the team.

Kloos, also 25, has one NHL game under his belt and has spent the 2018-19 with the AHL's Iowa Wild, where he's recorded 12 goals and 18 assists in 34 games.

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Report: Flames to retire Iginla’s No. 12

The Calgary Flames will announce Thursday their plans to retire former captain Jarome Iginla's No. 12, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.

After not suiting up for the 2017-18 campaign, Iginla returned to Calgary last summer to officially announce his retirement following 20 seasons in the NHL.

A first-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 1995, he was traded to the Flames before ever playing an NHL game and was the heart and soul of the franchise for 16 years. He is the club's all-time leader in games played (1,219), goals (525) and points (1,095).

During his run in Calgary, the winger was a three-time First-Team All-Star, winning two Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophies, an Art Ross, and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the league's most outstanding player as voted by the players' association in 2001-02. He led the Flames to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004 but ultimately lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Iginla also had stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, and Colorado Avalanche to close out his career.

He'll be the third player to have his number retired by the Flames, joining Lanny McDonald and Mike Vernon.

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Canadiens’ Byron suspended 3 games for charging Panthers’ Weegar

Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron was suspended three games Wednesday for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced.

The incident occurred during Tuesday night's clash between the two clubs.

Byron made "significant and forceful head contact," the Department of Player Safety explained. He was assessed a two-minute minor for charging on the play.

Byron issued the followed statement:

Weegar left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return.

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Report: Oilers’ 1st-rounder ‘definitely in play’ in trade talks

Despite sitting on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, the Edmonton Oilers appear to be all-in for the 2018-19 season.

The Oilers' first-round pick is "definitely in play" ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

On Dec. 14, CEO Bob Nicholson said general manager Peter Chiarelli's job is safe as long as the team makes the playoffs

Earlier this week, TSN's Ryan Rishaug reported that the Oilers are on a "full-court press" to find forward help.

The Oilers shored up the back end of their blue line by adding Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic in two separate trades on Dec. 30. Edmonton's defense corps will also get a boost when Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera return from their injuries, but holes remain up front.

Outside of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and surprisingly, journeyman Alex Chiasson, the Oilers have struggled to get consistent offensive contributions from the remaining eight forwards.

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Report: Bruins, Oilers, Penguins, Canucks among teams interested in Ferland

Carolina Hurricanes forward Micheal Ferland is looking like a hot commodity in trade circles.

"The list is longer, but Boston, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver are among those interested in Micheal Ferland," Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported in the latest edition of his 31 Thoughts column.

Ferland would add significant forward depth to clubs like the Bruins and Penguins and could easily slot into a top-six role with the Oilers and Canucks.

The 26-year-old is in his first season with the Hurricanes after the Calgary Flames traded him at last year's draft in a deal that also sent Dougie Hamilton and defensive prospect Adam Fox to Raleigh in exchange for Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm.

Ferland is in the midst of a strong campaign, posting 13 goals - tied for second on the club behind Sebastian Aho - and 25 points in 39 games. He ranks first among Hurricanes players with 2.9 hits per game, second in power-play goals (5), and second in game-winning goals (3).

His modest cap hit of $1.75 million should also be enticing to potential buyers.

The rugged winger is in the final year of a two-year contract and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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