Latest on the Lightning and Devils – March 12, 2016

More speculation over the futures of Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin, while the New Jersey Devils could welcome back Lee Stempniak via free agency. TSN 1050 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Bob McKenzie recently speculated Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos hasn’t decided anything yet. Stamkos is eligible for UFA status in July and the subject of season-long […]

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 12, 2016

Dennis Wideman suspension reduced, no charges against Evander Kane and more in today’s collection of NHL headlines. Notable Game Recaps. THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Jason Spezza scored in his fifth straight game to help the Dallas Stars to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, moving the Stars into first place in the Western Conference. […]

Thankful Wideman maintains incident with linesman was ‘completely accidental’

After a "chaotic" six-plus weeks and 19 games lost while in limbo, Dennis Wideman spoke for the final time about his now infamous Jan. 27 incident - and the since-reduced suspension - for cross-checking linesman Don Henderson.

And he stuck to his guns, of course.

"I'm happy that it was reduced to 10 games," Wideman said. "But I still maintain that it was completely accidental, and I had no intent on hitting Donny at all."

Wideman thanked the Flames, the club's staff, his coaches, teammates, and the NHLPA for support throughout. And though he acknowledged that it was "precedent-setting," he hopes that next time, the process will move along quicker.

Wideman will receive compensation for the needlessly lost time, but it will be impossible to repay both the player and organization the nine additional games he was forced to sit.

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Revisiting the Jason Spezza trade ain’t pretty for the Senators

Jason Spezza scored in a fifth straight game and for the 26th time on the season Friday and in the process reached, then later surpassed, the 50-point plateau for an 11th time in his career.

So naturally, and nearly two seasons after the fact (and conveniently while he's on a tear), it's time to revisit the trade he helped engineer from the Ottawa Senators.

And boy, it ain't pretty Senators fans.

For those who need a reminder:

Dallas receives: Jason Spezza, Ludwig Karlsson
Ottawa receives: Alex Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nick Paul, 2nd-round pick

In Dallas, Spezza has the benefit of often sharing the ice with two of the NHL's premier attacking players in Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. But by no means should that discount or taint what he's done through 144 games.

Entering Friday's game, a 5-2 win in which he contributed a pair of points, Spezza's 2.69 points/60 minutes represents a greater rate than any Senators player, and is 0.60 points better than Ottawa's top producing center, Kyle Turris.

In addition to that, Spezza's 4.94 points/60 minutes on the power play (which incredibly, is actually greater than Benn's) is more than any Senators player. Yes, that includes Erik Karlsson.

While Spezza continues to be an objectively elite point producer, racking up 111 in 144 games, the Senators have received basically nothing in return.

Chiasson, the only regular contributor Ottawa acquired in the deal, has 37 points in 140 games and has been maligned throughout his tenure. Paul remains a decent prospect, but hasn't had his attacking talents translate in his first professional season. Guptill has since been dealt in a minor-league deal. And Gabriel Gagne, the eventual second-round selection, is stuck on 14 goals in an unremarkable third Major Junior season.

It's important to note that the Senators haven't been rendered impotent by the absence of their long-time captain. In fact, they rank eight slots behind Dallas as the ninth-highest scoring team since Spezza's departure. But in the immediate, and also toward the long term, it's hard to imagine the Spezza deal - a critical moment in the history of the franchise - ever looking favorably on the Senators.

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