Bruins willing to keep Eriksson past deadline without extension

The largest question surrounding the Boston Bruins heading into the trade deadline has been whether they'll trade forward Loui Eriksson or sign him to an extension.

But now it appears they may go a different, and riskier, direction.

General manager Don Sweeney told reporters Sunday that the Bruins would have no issue with holding onto Eriksson through the trade deadline without having him signed to a contract extension, according to CSNNE's Joe Haggerty. Sweeney hopes he could hang on to the Swede for a playoff run.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that contract negotiations were in "slow motion," though the forward has brought his price down since his original ask.

The 30-year-old is expected to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are tied with the Bruins for second in the Atlantic Division with one game in hand.

Eriksson has 48 points in 62 games this season, his most productive campaign since 2012.

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VIDEO: Wild’s Haula buries go-ahead goal after fantastic individual effort

Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula is on fire.

Haula blocked a shot, flew by the defense, and went shelf past Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo for a third period go-ahead goal Sunday.

The 24-year-old has emerged as a key contributor during the stretch run for the Wild, recording 10 points in his last 11 games to surpass his total from the first 46 games of the season.

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VIDEO: Coyotes prospect Strome goes 1-on-4 for beautiful goal

Arizona Coyotes top prospect Dylan Strome continues to prove he's way too good for the OHL.

Strome gave the Erie Otters an early lead Sunday, making the Niagara Ice Dogs look absolutely ridiculous by dancing through four of them on a beautiful individual effort for the goal.

The 18-year-old has 32 goals and 60 assists in 47 games this season.

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VIDEO: Hurricanes salute departed captain Eric Staal

The Carolina Hurricanes seem to agree with the saying: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

The club feted its former captain Eric Staal before facing off against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, shortly after Staal was traded to the New York Rangers in a blockbuster deal.

Staal leaves the club after 12 seasons and 909 regular-season games. He departs as the franchise's leader (based on its time in Carolina) in games played, goals (322), assists (453), points (775), hat tricks (13), power-play goals (105), shorthanded goals (16), and game-winning goals (47). He represented the Hurricanes in four All-Star Games and brought home a title in 2006.

That's a legacy, alright.

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Rangers GM hopes trade re-energizes Staal, says Yandle won’t be traded

New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton met with the media after pulling off a massive trade Sunday, acquiring Eric Staal from the Carolina Hurricanes for two draft picks and a prospect.

Gorton's most important messages: The Rangers may not be done adding ahead of Monday's trade deadline, and defenseman Keith Yandle - and his expiring contract - will not be traded.

"We're looking at a player we think can be energized by this trade," Gorton said about Staal. "We see the numbers. We scouted him a lot. (I) think this really helps our top nine, center, wing, (and) power play. I think it's a pretty exciting time for our team. I think they'll be energized."

Gorton wouldn't talk about Staal's future, and whether he may be a Ranger next season and beyond.

"He's a Ranger for today and we'll see what happens," he said. "We felt like he was one of the - if not the - best available players on the market. To have Marc (Staal) here had to have helped, (Eric) would've known what it's like to play in New York."

It's the second straight season the Rangers have made a splash around the trade deadline. Last year it was made by acquiring Yandle, and Gorton was explicit about the defender's future.

"We're not trading him."

Gorton added that the Rangers could still add to their roster - if necessary, and if the price is right.

"We have enough (cap) room to add a small salary player if we wanted to," he said.

Make no mistake: The Rangers are all-in.

- With H/T to Steve Zipay, Pat Leonard, and Andrew Gross.

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VIDEO: Panthers’ Montoya exits game after collision with Wild’s Scandella

Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo was forced into action Sunday after Al Montoya was on the receiving end of a violent first-period collision with Minnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella.

The 31-year-old remained on the ice for several moments before exiting with help from the trainer. It's the second time this season Luongo has been forced into action following an injury to Montoya.

Scandella was assessed a minor penalty on the play despite appearing to be shoved into the goalie by Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad.

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Blackhawks edge Capitals in potential Stanley Cup preview

The Chicago Blackhawks made a big statement against the Washington Capitals in a potential Stanley Cup preview Sunday afternoon.

Dennis Rasmussen scored the game-winner as the Blackhawks regained top spot in the Western Conference with a 3-2 victory over the league-leading Capitals.

Andrew Ladd picked up an assist in his first game since returning to Chicago when Jonathan Toews buried a go-ahead goal off a nice feed from Teuvo Teravainen on the power-play earlier in the game.

Patrick Kane also scored in the win, while Corey Crawford outplayed Braden Holtby at the other end making 28 saves to help the Blackhawks snap a two-game losing skid.

With the victory, Chicago overtook the Dallas Stars for top spot in the Central Division with 83 points, and sit 11 points back of Washington in the Presidents' Trophy race. The Blackhawks will head to Detroit for an Original Six matchup versus the Red Wings on Wednesday.

Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals, who'll look to get back on track Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Hurricanes Trade Eric Staal to New York Rangers.

The Carolina Hurricanes have traded center Eric Staal to the New York Rangers for two second picks and prospect Aleksi Saarela.   SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes also reportedly agreed to pick up half of Staal’s remaining salary. The picks are a second in 2016 and in 2017. Several weeks of speculation linking Staal to the Rangers […]

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