All posts by Josh Wegman

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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Canadiens’ Byron to have hearing for charging Panthers’ Weegar

Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron will have a hearing Wednesday for charging Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, the Department of Player Safety announced.

The incident occurred during the second period of Tuesday's meeting between the two clubs.

It appears Byron makes direct contact with Weegar's head. He was assessed a two-minute minor for charging on the play. Weegar left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return.

Byron has 10 goals and eight assists in 34 games this season.

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Jets’ Little: Vegas matchup has been ‘circled on our calendars’

The Winnipeg Jets will play their 46th game of the season Tuesday night, and despite the fact that they can now essentially cruise to the playoffs, this meeting is no run-of-the-mill affair.

The Jets will take on the Vegas Golden Knights, who beat them in five games in last year's Western Conference Final. Veteran forward Bryan Little is just one player who hasn't forgotten.

"It's one of those games that we've been looking forward to," Little told reporters Tuesday. "Obviously anytime a team beats out another team you look forward to that matchup again when you see them next season, so this is one we've had circled on our calendars."

"We wanna beat these guys pretty badly," he added.

The heavily favored Jets seemed destined to roll through the Golden Knights after a decisive Game 7 victory against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Nashville Predators in the second round last season, but Vegas had other plans.

After the Jets took Game 1 by a score of 4-2, the Golden Knights were victorious in the next four games en route to the Stanley Cup Final. Winnipeg managed just six goals against goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in those final four contests.

Both squads remain two of the best in the NHL this season, so it's a game all hockey fans should've circled on their calendars.

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Flyers’ Hart: I ‘would’ve gotten my a– kicked’ in goalie fight with Dubnyk

Warning: Story contains coarse language

During the second period of Monday night's tilt between the Wild and Flyers, Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk took exception to Philadelphia forward Scott Laughton invading his personal space.

Flyers netminder Carter Hart admitted he briefly considered engaging in a goalie fight with Dubnyk, but thought better of it.

"I probably would have gotten my ass kicked," Hart told Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post.

The tale of the tape certainly wouldn't have favored the Flyers' rookie goaltender. Hart, 20, stands at 6-foot-2 and 181 lbs, while Dubnyk, 32, is listed at 6-foot-6, 224 lbs.

There's no record of Dubnyk partaking in a goalie fight in the NHL, but he's no stranger to ruffling feathers. In two separate incidents during the 2016-17 season, he engaged in a shoving match with Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and started a line brawl with the New York Islanders.

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Report: Oilers on ‘full-court press’ to find forward help

Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers' brass are reportedly pulling out all the stops to help salvage their season.

The organization is on a "full-court press" to find forward help, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug.

The Oilers have an embarrassment of riches down the middle with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Elsewhere up front, however, there are significant holes:

LW C RW
Leon Draisaitl Connor McDavid Ty Rattie
Milan Lucic Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Alex Chiasson
Ryan Spooner Kyle Brodziak Jesse Puljujarvi
Tobias Rieder Jujhar Khaira Zack Kassian

Outside of the aforementioned trio, Alex Chiasson is Edmonton's only forward to have met or exceeded expectations thus far.

Since taking over as Oilers general manager in April 2015, Chiarelli has traded away Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Drake Caggiula, and the draft picks that became Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. All Edmonton has to show for it are Adam Larsson, Ryan Spooner, and Brandon Manning.

On Dec. 14, Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson said Chiarelli's job is safe as long as the Oilers make the playoffs.

The Oilers acquired both Manning and Alex Petrovic in separate trades on Dec. 30 in an attempt to shore up the blue line, and it appears the focus has now shifted toward a forward group severely lacking depth.

Despite a turbulent season thus far, Edmonton sits just two points out of a playoff spot.

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Report: Oilers on ‘full-court press’ to find forward help

Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Edmonton Oilers' brass are reportedly pulling out all the stops to help salvage their season.

The organization is on a "full-court press" to find forward help, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug.

Edmonton has only $51,371 in projected cap space, according to CapFriendly.

The Oilers have an embarrassment of riches down the middle with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Elsewhere up front, however, there are significant holes:

LW C RW
Leon Draisaitl Connor McDavid Ty Rattie
Milan Lucic Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Alex Chiasson
Ryan Spooner Kyle Brodziak Jesse Puljujarvi
Tobias Rieder Jujhar Khaira Zack Kassian

Outside of the aforementioned trio, Alex Chiasson is Edmonton's only forward to have met or exceeded expectations thus far.

Since taking over as Oilers general manager in April 2015, Chiarelli has traded away Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Drake Caggiula, and the draft picks that became Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. All Edmonton has to show for it are Adam Larsson, Ryan Spooner, and Brandon Manning.

On Dec. 14, Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson said Chiarelli's job is safe as long as the Oilers make the playoffs.

The Oilers acquired both Manning and Alex Petrovic in separate trades on Dec. 30 in an attempt to shore up the blue line, and it appears the focus has now shifted toward a forward group severely lacking depth.

Despite a turbulent season thus far, Edmonton sits just two points out of a playoff spot.

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Josh Gorges retires after 13 NHL seasons

Josh Gorges is calling it quits.

The rugged blue-liner announced his retirement after spending 13 NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens, and Buffalo Sabres.

View this post on Instagram

I would like to take the time to officially announce my retirement from the #NHL and the game of hockey. Even though this is a sad day I am extremely excited about the next chapter in my life and the opportunity to be back at home with my family. There is too many people to thank on here, but those of you who helped me along the way and helped me make my dreams come true I am forever greatful. I love the game of hockey and always will. It has given me everything I have today, taught me to be a man, taught me valuable life lessons that I would not have gotten anywhere else. Coming to the rink knowing I got to compete with and against the best in the world is one of the greatest feelings there is. So to all the teammates I got to play with, thank you for everything along the way I will miss you the most! #nhl #nhlpa #canadiens #sjsharks #sabres #whl #kelownarockets #hockey

A post shared by Josh Gorges (@joshgorges2018) on

Gorges spent the bulk of his career - 464 of his 783 career games - with the Habs, where he became a solid shutdown defenseman at his peak.

The 34-year-old played in 34 games with the Sabres last season before going unsigned in free agency this summer.

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Leafs’ Andersen back vs. Avs after 8-game absence

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen returned to the crease on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Andersen missed Toronto's last eight games due to a groin injury and more recently, the flu.

He's put himself in the Vezina Trophy conversation this season on the back of a 20-9-1 record with a .923 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.

Andersen has arguably been Toronto's MVP this season, as the club went 4-4-0 during his eight-game hiatus - with Garret Sparks and Michael Hutchinson defending the cage - but managed a 9-5-0 record during Auston Matthews' month-long absence earlier in the campaign.

Sparks missed the last five games due to a concussion, but he'll return as Andersen's backup on Monday, according to Masters.

Since Hutchinson has played less than 10 games this season, he can be sent down to the AHL without having to clear waivers. The Maple Leafs traded a fifth-round pick to the Florida Panthers for Hutchinson on Dec. 29.

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Ducks trade Cogliano to Stars for Shore

The Anaheim Ducks traded veteran forward Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars on Monday in exchange for forward Devin Shore.

The speedy Cogliano, 31, is arguably the NHL's most durable player, having missed just two games in his 12-year career, which was due to a two-game suspension last season. Like most Ducks players, he's in the midst of a down year, having collected just three goals and eight assists in 46 games - well off his usual 15-goal, 35-point pace.

Shore, a second-round pick by the Stars in 2012, has tallied five goals and 12 assists this season, putting him on track to match his 32-, and 33-point outputs from each of his first two NHL campaigns.

The Ducks will save nearly $1 million in cap space with this trade. Shore's cap hit is $2.3 million and he'll be a restricted free agent when his deal expires after next season. Cogliano's signed through the 2020-21 campaign with a $3.25-million cap hit.

The deal comes with the Ducks in the midst of an 11-game losing streak, so it's possible general manager Bob Murray was seeking a modest shake-up while adding a younger player in the 24-year-old Shore.

The Stars, who currently sit third in the Central Division with 50 points, are in win-now mode and acquired a veteran forward for the stretch run.

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