Category Archives: Hockey News

Flyers’ Giroux out vs. Maple Leafs with upper-body injury after Subban hit

Claude Giroux will not be playing in his native province on Saturday.

The Philadelphia Flyers' star center will miss the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury and is considered day to day, the team announced.

Giroux was the recipient of a P.K. Subban hit late in the third period of Friday's game in Montreal. He left the game briefly, but was able to return for overtime and participated in the shootout. No penalty was called on the play.

The Hearst, Ontario native and Flyers captain has appeared in all 57 games this season, and leads the team in scoring with 49 points.

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VIDEO: Penguins’ Letang penalized for playing with opponent’s stick

Kris Letang's attempt to make lemonade out of lemons backfired in a big way.

After the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman's stick was slashed out of his hands by Cedric Paquette, he proceeded to grab hold of the Tampa Bay Lightning forward's twig and skate down the ice to help defend his net.

His punishment was two minor penalties: one for playing with an illegal stick and one for unsportsmanlike conduct.

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Wild, Blackhawks take practice outdoors for Stadium Series

The NHL's latest outdoor adventure is set to take place Sunday, and the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks took some time to get acquainted with their temporary surroundings with respective practices.

The Wild, who will host the game at the University of Minnesota's TFC Bank Stadium, took to the ice first in advance of what will be the first outdoor game in franchise history.

For Chicago, it will be their fifth outdoor game, but the novelty doesn't appear to be wearing off.

Once again, the Blackhawks invited the USA Warriors - a hockey program for injured and disabled veterans - to join them on the ice.

The actual Stadium Series game is set for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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Steven Stamkos scores 300th career goal

Steven Stamkos knows how to put the puck in the net.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain recorded his 300th career goal with a first-period tap-in against the Pittsburgh Penguins, becoming the third player in team history to reach that mark, following Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

Only Alex Ovechkin accomplished the feat faster among active players.

The goal came in his 550th game, giving him a career average of 0.54 per contest.

The impending unrestricted free agent now has 24 on the season, a pace that puts him on track for one of the lowest single-season totals of his career.

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Rangers’ McDonagh sidelined with jaw contusion, neck spasm after Komarov hit

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh is being held off the ice with a jaw contusion and a neck spasm, the club announced Saturday.

The captain was injured by an elbow to the head from Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov, who was suspended three games for his actions.

McDonagh was playing in his second game since returning from a concussion, but appears to have avoided that particular injury this time around.

The Rangers' next game is Sunday against Detroit.

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3 teams that can use Andrew Ladd

With the NHL's trade deadline only nine days away, the Winnipeg Jets must decide what to do with captain Andrew Ladd.

Set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, Ladd appears destined to hit the trade market as a rental player with the Jets already committed to Dustin Byfuglien long term and sitting well outside the playoff picture.

Winnipeg is expected to make one last push to sign Ladd to a contract extension, but it doesn't help his case that he's recorded only 15 goals and 17 assists in 57 games, putting him on pace for his worst output since joining the team.

Still, an attractive deadline option he remains. Here are three teams that could be vying for his services.

Chicago Blackhawks

Ladd is no stranger to Chicago, where the Blackhawks are reportedly in hot pursuit of a top-line left winger.

A member of the first of Chicago's three recent Stanley Cup championship teams, Ladd recorded six points in 19 playoff games back in 2010, but was subsequently traded to the then-Atlanta Thrashers in a cost-saving measure.

Ladd has more than come into his own over the past six seasons since his name was engraved on the Cup, averaging 0.71 points per game with the Thrashers/Jets while becoming a leader both on and off the ice.

His familiarity with the Blackhawks and his ability to meet a clear need for the defending champions makes him a perfect fit to boost a Chicago team with a great chance at coming out of the West once again.

Florida Panthers

Ladd also has ties to the Panthers, namely general manager Dale Tallon, who brought the winger to Chicago prior to the deadline in 2008 by way of the Carolina Hurricanes (the club which drafted him fourth overall in 2004).

The upstart Panthers hold a five-point lead in the Atlantic Division, and, barring complete disaster, are indeed headed for the postseason for only the fifth time in franchise history. And in a year when the Eastern Conference seems to be Washington's to lose, the new divisional playoff format means the Panthers could very well advance to the conference finals if all goes their way.

Florida is led by a host of young talent, with veterans Jaromir Jagr, Roberto Luongo, and Brian Campbell - also a member of Chicago's 2010 Cup squad - serving as reason to believe this team can succeed sooner than expected.

The addition of Ladd, even as a rental, could go a long way toward ensuring some measure of postseason success, but Tallon will no doubt be weary of giving up too much in order to pull off such a deal.

New York Rangers

The Rangers have been one of the most successful playoff teams in recent years, with three trips to the conference finals and a Stanley Cup Final appearance to their credit over the past four seasons.

They haven't been able to achieve the highest goal, however, and perhaps only have limited chances at reaching the NHL's peak with their current crop of players.

With Rick Nash recovering from a bone bruise and Chris Kreider not living up to expectations, GM Jeff Gorton finds his club weak at left wing, with a surprise breakout from J.T. Miller - a natural center - helping fill the void for now.

The Rangers likely wouldn't be able to keep Ladd long term based on their cap situation, but he's exactly the type of player they need in their top six if they want to make good on their quest for a Cup.

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Report: Islanders, Barclays Center exploring ways to modify lease, cut ties

The New York Islanders may not be hip to Brooklyn.

After only 31 games played at Barclays Center, both sides are believed to be exploring ways to modify the terms of their lease agreement or even sever ties altogether, according to the New York Post.

In 2012, Islanders owner Charles Wang signed a 25-year lease with the Brooklyn arena to have the team play there beginning this season, but a source tells the Post the agreement includes "a little-known out clause that kicks in after the fourth season that both sides could take advantage of."

Under the agreement, Barclays pays the Islanders an average lump sum of $53.5 million per year, while the arena retains cash made off tickets, suite sales, and sponsorships.

Jonathan Ledecky, who heads a group of investors set to take over ownership of the Islanders on July 1, is hearing complaints from longtime fans about the setup at Barclays - including high ticket prices and obstructed views - and is considering a move back to Long Island or to another venue in the New York area.

Nassau Coliseum, the team's former home, is undergoing renovations that include cutting its seating to 13,000, rendering it too small to host NHL hockey.

Barclays Center CEO Brett Yorkman, however, denies the report claiming the Islanders could play elsewhere in the near future.

"We are enjoying the first year of hockey in Brooklyn," he told the Post. "We are looking forward to a heated playoff run and a long future and partnership with the Islanders."

The Islanders rank 28th with an average attendance of 13,424, while posting the league's fourth-best home record at 19-8-4.

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Trade Deadline Preview: ‘Canes should sell, Pens can stand pat in Metropolitan Division

Ahead of the Feb. 29 trade deadline, we're taking a look at each division to assess who's buying, who's selling, and who's standing pat.

There are plenty of buyers and there should be a few sellers in the Metropolitan Division as the deadline approaches.

The Metro boasts the best team in the league and a collection of competitive clubs, most of which likely feel they have a shot at the postseason and beyond.

That competitiveness makes it tricky for teams to decide whether to go all-in or be patient, but it also likely gives the clubs the impression that they should try to improve.

Here's what we think each team from the NHL's most vaguely named division should do prior to the deadline:


New York Rangers

The Rangers sit comfortably in a playoff spot, but after a Stanley Cup Final defeat in 2014 and a Game 7 loss in the 2015 Eastern Conference final, their window to win it all is slowly closing.

New York remains the oldest team in the NHL, and the team has several obvious needs, including a skilled forward to offset the loss of Rick Nash, and goaltending depth.

Related - Alter: Rangers must deal at deadline to put aging roster over the top

They'll have nearly $5 million in cap space on deadline day, and there are several forwards who could help generate scoring chances on the wing for a New York club that ranks 20th in even-strength Corsi For percentage.

New York Islanders

The Islanders will have nearly $26 million in cap space on deadline day, so taking on salary in preparation for a deep playoff push won't be a concern.

They're sitting in third place in the division, and while there's plenty of talent on the roster, the Islanders have an opportunity to improve.

New York has skill up front with the likes of John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Brock Nelson, and Ryan Strome, but they could certainly be deeper.

Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and aging defenseman Marek Zidlicky are pending unrestricted free agents, but Okposo is the only one with considerable value, and general manager Garth Snow has been tight-lipped about the forward's future in Brooklyn.

Travis Hamonic likely remains on the trading block given his personal situation. If they're able to accommodate him before the deadline, they'll need to add at least one, or preferably two, top-four defensemen. Even if they can't do that, they could use an upgrade over second-pairing left-handed shot Brian Strait.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils are right on the playoff bubble when many expected them to be sellers by this point in the season.

New Jersey's top-six has exceeded expectations, and Corey Schneider has been excellent in goal, but with nearly $40 million in cap space projected on deadline day, the Devils are in position to address their current needs while also setting themselves up for the future.

A pending UFA depth defenseman like Dan Hamhius or Kris Russell would give the Devils a boost for their playoff pursuit, and if their hypothetical addition opts to walk at season's end, that would give New Jersey even more cap flexibility, allowing them to complete the rebuild in 2016-17.


Columbus Blue Jackets

It's another lost season for the Blue Jackets, who hoped a healthier roster and the addition of Brandon Saad would vault them into the playoff hunt.

Columbus doesn't have much to sell, but they have even less to gain by buying or standing pat, and should seek every opportunity to clear cap space before the deadline.

The Blue Jackets have more than $25 million committed to five forwards for the next three seasons, and three of them (Saad, Brandon Dubinsky, and Nick Foligno) are on the books until 2020.

Columbus will have about $15 million in cap room on deadline day, but that will dwindle down to about $3 million by season's end.

Rene Bourque is a pending unrestricted free agent, as is defenseman Justin Falk, and the Blue Jackets should look to get whatever they possibly can for the pair.

Carolina Hurricanes

If the Hurricanes make the playoffs, they won't go far, so the future should be their priority.

Eric Staal hasn't been asked to waive his no-trade clause yet, but GM Ron Francis should broach the subject with his captain if he wants to continue building with the future in mind.

Staal hasn't played well recently (one point in his last eight games), so his value is low, but plenty of teams would likely consider the veteran forward, who has playoff experience and a history of scoring prowess.

Carolina has a ton of pending UFAs, including Staal, Kris Versteeg, Nathan Gerbe, and goaltender Cam Ward. It'll be a tough sell to fans if the Hurricanes are in a playoff spot at the deadline, but if they're on the outside looking in, Francis should put up the "for sale" sign.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers, like the Hurricanes, are caught between an opportunity to rebuild and a potential playoff spot.

Philadelphia is five points back of the final playoff spot, three points behind Carolina. This won't be the Flyers' year, but they're in better shape than the Hurricanes in the long term.

There's a solid core in place with Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Wayne Simmonds all locked up long term, and Shayne Gostisbehere's blossoming as a rookie.

Still, Sam Gagner is in the final season of his contract at a cap hit of $3.2 million, and R.J. Umberger will be an unrestricted free agent after next season, although he comes at a cap hit of $4.6 million.

Neither player appears to have a future with the Flyers, and Philadelphia should look to move whichever non-core pieces they can to help facilitate the club's resurgence.

Standing Pat

Washington Capitals

This is the Capitals' best chance to win a Stanley Cup in the Alex Ovechkin era, but they don't need to do anything significant to ensure that happens.

They're set in goal with Vezina Trophy front-runner Braden Holtby, and their forward depth is the best it's been in years with Evgeny Kuznetsov, Justin Williams, and T.J. Oshie bolstering the offense that continues to be led by Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

The defense, led by John Carlson and Matt Niskanen, has been fine, too.

Washington will only have about $1.1 million in cap space on deadline day, and while the Capitals do have a couple of pending UFAs, it would be shocking if they did much to disrupt a roster that's been unrivaled to this point.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins haven't exactly lived up to expectations following the Phil Kessel trade last summer, but they're still one of the Eastern Conference's most dangerous teams when Evgeni Malkin is healthy.

Pittsburgh is up against the cap, with less than $2 million expected to be available to general manager Jim Rutherford on deadline day.

They're in a wild-card spot now, and Malkin is close to returning, so given their financial limitations it wouldn't be surprising if the Penguins showed restraint on Feb. 29.

(Cap figures courtesy: General Fanager)

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NHL Rumor Roundup – February 20, 2016

Latest on the Canadiens, Jets, Predators, Red Wings and more in your NHL rumor mill.  Latest on Subban and Weise. SPORTSNET:  A rumor claiming the Montreal Canadiens were gauging trade interest in defenseman P.K. Subban blew up via traditional and social media on Friday. TVA Sports’ Louis Jean cited an anonymous executive from a rival […]