Oilers trade Schultz to Penguins

The Edmonton Oilers have traded defenseman Justin Schultz to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a third-round draft pick in 2016.

The deal closes a chapter on endless speculation regarding Schultz, who was a healthy scratch Thursday for "protection reasons."

"We were trying to add some depth to our defense and we were very pleased to add him," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said.

The 25-year-old moves on from the Oilers after joining them during the 2012-13 season as a free agent out of the University of Wisconsin.

After an impressive rookie season where he notched eight goals and 27 points, Schultz has seen his offensive production drop while criticism about his defensive play grew.

Schultz concludes his time with the Oilers with 28 goals and 101 points in 248 games.

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Reimer ‘definitely’ open to possible Toronto return

James Reimer may not have played his last game as a Toronto Maple Leaf.

The 27-year-old - dealt to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, alongside Jeremy Morin in exchange for goaltender Alex Stalock, forward Ben Smith, and a fourth-round draft pick in 2018 - hasn't ruled out a return to his former club.

Related: Lamoriello: Maple Leafs must figure out what they have in Sparks

"It's definitely an option," said Reimer, according to TSN's Mark Masters. "It's a special place and I have a lot of great memories here and a lot of good friends.

"Who knows what's going to happen. It's a long time in the future and we'll cross that bridge when we do. As for right now, I'm looking forward to putting on a Shark's uniform."

Reimer's six-year career with the Maple Leafs saw him become the team's all-time leader in career save percentage with a .914 mark, while also ranking 10th in wins, and third with 5,590 career saves.

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Stars’ Hemsky pulled from Saturday’s game due to illness

With trade winds swirling all over the NHL, a member of the Dallas Stars made an early exit from Saturday's game against the New York Rangers.

Forward Ales Hemsky was forced out of the contest due to an illness, and was deemed unable to return.

Earlier on Saturday, a report surfaced suggesting Dallas was interested in acquiring defenseman Dan Hamhuis from the Vancouver Canucks. Whether Hemsky's apparent illness is in any way related to possible moves at the impending trade deadline remains to be seen.

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Predators’ Forsberg records 2nd hat trick in 3 games

Filip Forsberg is red hot right now.

For the second time in three games, the Nashville Predators forward recorded a hat trick, with his latest three-goal outburst coming in succession during the second period of Saturday's contest against the St. Louis Blues.

The goal that completed Forsberg's natural hat trick also spelled the end of Jake Allen's afternoon in net.

Forsberg now has 12 goals in his past 11 games, and a total of 26 on the season, which ties his career-high mark from last year.

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Toronto Marlies sign Zamboni driver as backup goalie … again

The Toronto Marlies have a friend in David Ayres.

The farm club of the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Ayres - the Zamboni driver at Ricoh Coliseum - to an amateur tryout contract Saturday. He was needed after Garret Sparks was recalled to the big club, after the Maple Leafs traded James Reimer to the San Jose Sharks in a four-player deal earlier in the day.

This isn't the first time Ayres has got the call from the AHL team, having previously served as a backup to Jonathan Bernier with the Marlies in December. In fact, Ayres has been practicing with the Marlies for three years.

"I've been on the ice with injured players, healthy scratches," Ayres said in December, according to Sportsnet's Joe Pack. "I practiced with the black aces every single day three years ago. I've been in full team practices when goalies get called up or get injured. I know a lot of guys on the team and they used to tease me, 'You practice all the time, but you're never going to get into a game.'"

Ayres said he thought it was a joke back in December when he was told the Marlies needed his services. It took Maple Leafs assistant general manager and Marlies GM Kyle Dubas to make Ayres a believer.

"'No Dave, we're not joking. Throw your great in the truck and get rolling,'" is what Ayres said Dubas told him when the team gave him his first tryout contract.

So, this isn't Ayres' first rodeo. But the Maple Leafs and Marlies must surely be holding their breath.

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Wild’s Parise to return Sunday after 2-game absence

The Minnesota Wild will have Zach Parise back in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Florida Panthers, head coach John Torchetti confirmed Saturday.

Parise missed the past two games with an upper-body injury.

The 31-year-old ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 36 points, and has also tallied 18 goals.

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Panthers Acquire Purcell and Kindl

The Florida Panthers acquired winger Teddy Purcell from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a third-round draft pick. They also acquired defenseman Jakub Kindl from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2017.  SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers GM Dale Tallon’s been a busy man, having already acquired forward Jiri Hudler from the […]

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