Shootout
By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘NHL’
Posted: June 29th, 2014

Here’s a list of the 41 OHL players selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft this weekend at Wells Fargo Center in Phiadelphia…

No. Pos. Name (OHL club) – NHL club
First round
1. D Aaron Ekblad (Barrie) – Florida
4. C Sam Bennett (Kingston) – Calgary
5. LW Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa) – N.Y. Islanders
10. LW Nick Ritchie (Peterborough) – Anaheim
12. LW Brendan Perlini (Niagara) – Arizona
19. D Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia) – Tampa Bay
21. C Robby Fabbri (Guelph) – St. Louis
24. C Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie) – Vancouver
27. RW Nikolay Goldobin (Sarnia) – San Jose
28. C/RW Joshua Ho-Sang (Windsor) – N.Y. Islanders

Second round
31. LW Brendan Lemieux (Barrie) – Buffalo
37. G Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth) – Carolina
43. C Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener) – Arizona
44. C Eric Cornel (Peterborough) – Buffalo
50. D Roland McKeown (Kingston) – Los Angeles
54. RW Hunter Smith (Oshawa) – Calgary
58. LW Christian Dvorak (London) – Arizona
59. G Brandon Halverson (Sault Ste. Marie) – N.Y. Rangers
60. D Alex Lintuniemi (Ottawa) – Los Angeles

Third round
71. RW Connor Chatham (Plymouth) – New Jersey
75. D Alex Peters (Plymouth) – Dallas
77. D Blake Siebenaler (Niagara) – Columbus
81. LW Dylan Sadowy (Saginaw) – San Jose
84. D Kyle Wood (North Bay) – Colorado
90. C Michael Amadio (North Bay) – Los Angeles

Fourth round
93. RW Nick Magyar (Kitchener) – Colorado
96. D Josh Wesley (Plymouth) – Carolina
115. G Brent Moran (Niagara) – Dallas
117. LW Michael Bunting (Sault Ste. Marie) – Arizona

Sixth round
154. D Aaron Haydon (Niagara) – Dallas
156. C Kyle Pettit (Erie) – Vancouver
157. C Jake Marchment (Belleville) – Los Angeles
170. LW Cristiano DiGiacinto (Windsor) – Tampa Bay
171. RW Kevin Labanc (Barrie) – San Jose
172. RW Chandler Yakimowicz (London) – St. Louis
173. RW Jaden Lindo (Owen Sound) – Pittsburgh
180. LW Matthew Mistele (Plymouth) – Los Angeles

Seventh round
187. D Kyle Jenkins (Sault Ste. Marie) – Carolina
195. D Patrick Sanvido (Windsor) – Dallas
209. RW Spencer Watson (Kingston) – Los Angeles
210. D Jacob Middleton (Ottawa) – Los Angeles
 

 

Posted: June 26th, 2014

The 2014 NHL Entry Draft has been described as wide open with several players capable of being the No. 1 pick.
That may be true, yet the player that should be picked first overall tonight at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia seems simple to me – Barrie D Aaron Ekblad. Why? Because I’ve always

Aaron Ekblad

believed you build a winning team from back to front.
Ekblad is the total package on defense – a big (6-4, 217 pounds) shutdown D who’s strong, physical, quick and agile on his skates. He can produce consistently on the offensive end, and has the hockey intelligence to spearhead the power play.
The Florida Panthers, who have the No. 1 pick, already have promising young D on the roster – Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov – but they should pounce on Ekblad quickly. If not, the Buffalo Sabres should say thanks to the Panthers for passing on him, and quickly make Ekblad their pick at No. 2.

Check out these NHL.com videos on Ekblad and other top draft prospects

Now check out some mock drafts…

* Ryan Kennedy from The Hockey News

* NHL.com overview
* NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman
* NHL.com’s Mike G. Morreale
* NHL.com’s Steven Hoffner

First-round order 
1. Florida
2. Buffalo
3. Edmonton
4. Calgary
5. N.Y. Islanders
6. Vancouver
7. Carolina
8. Toronto
9. Winnipeg
10. Anaheim (from Ottawa)
11. Nashville
12. Arizona
13. Washington
14. Dallas
15. Detroit
16. Columbus
17. Philadelphia
18. Minnesota
19. Tampa Bay
20. San Jose
21. Buffalo (conditional from St. Louis)
22. Pittsburgh
23. Colorado
24. Anaheim
25. Boston
26. Montreal
27. Chicago
28. Tampa Bay (from N.Y. Rangers)
29. Los Angeles
30. New Jersey 

 

 

Posted: April 15th, 2014

Eastern Conference
Quarterfinals
No. 1A Boston def. WC2 Detroit, 4-1
No. 3A Montreal def. No. 2A Tampa Bay, 4-2
No. 1M Pittsburgh def. WC1 Columbus, 4-2
No. 2M N.Y. Rangers def. No. 3M Philadelphia, 4-3
Semifinals
No. 1A Boston def. No. 3A Montreal, 4-1
No. 1M Pittsburgh def. No. 2M N.Y. Rangers, 4-2
Finals
No. 1A Boston def. No. 1M Pittsburgh, 4-2

Western Conference
Quarterfinals
No. 1C Colorado def. WC1 Minnesota, 4-2
No. 3C Chicago def. No. 2C St. Louis, 4-2
No. 1P Anaheim def. WC2 Dallas, 4-1
No. 3P Los Angeles def. No. 2P San Jose, 4-2
Semifinals
No. 3C Chicago def. No. 1C Colorado, 4-2
No. 3P Los Angeles def. No. 1P Anaheim, 4-3
Finals
No. 3C Chicago def. No. 3P Los Angeles, 4-3

Stanley Cup Final
No. 3C Chicago def. No. 1A Boston, 4-3

- Victor Fernandes
 

Posted in: NHL, Uncategorized
Posted: April 15th, 2014

WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

No. 1C Colorado Avalanche vs. WC1 Minnesota Wild
Season records: Colorado 52-22-8, Minnesota 43-27-12
Season series: Colorado won 4-0-1
Players to watch
Colorado – G Semyon Varlamov (41-14-6 record, 2.41 goals-against average, .927 save percentage, 2 shutouts), C Matt Duchene (23 goals, 47 assists, 70 points), LW Gabriel Landeskog (26-39-65), C Ryan O’Reilly (28-36-64), C Nathan MacKinnon (24-39-63), D Tyson Barrie (13-25-38, plus-17); Minnesota – RW Jason Pominville (30-30-60), LW Zach Parise (29-27-56), C Mikko Koivu (11-43-54), D Ryan Suter (8-35-43, +15), LW Matt Moulson (23-28-51), G Darcy Kuemper (12-8-4, 2.43, .915, 2 SHO)
Fast facts: Duchene reportedly could miss the first two games with a knee injury. … O’Reilly, a former Erie Otter, set career highs with 28 goals and 64 points, and nearly was the first NHL player to finish a season without any penalty minutes (2 PIMs). … Moulson had six goals and 13 points in 20 games since being acquired from the New York Islanders.
Outlook: The Avalanche are having a dream season after struggling the past few years. They will most one step closer to their dream of capturing the Stanley Cup.
Prediction: Avalanche in 6 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Thursday at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Saturday at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.
Game 3 – Monday at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – April 24 at Minnesota, 9:30 p.m.
Game 5 – April 26 at Colorado, TBD*
Game 6 – April 28 at Minnesota, TBD*
Game 7 – April 30 at Colorado, TBD*
* If necessary

No. 2C St. Louis Blues vs. No. 3C Chicago Blackhawks
Season records: St. Louis 52-23-7, Chicago 46-21-15
Season series: St. Louis won 3-2
Players to watch
St. Louis – G Ryan Miller (25-30-4, 2.64, .918, 1 SHO), LW Alexander Steen (33-29-62), RW T.J. Oshie (21-39-60), C David Backes (27-30-57), LW Jaden Schwartz (25-31-56), D Alex Pietrangelo (8-43-51, +20), D Kevin Shattenkirk (10-35-45, +1); Chicago – LW Patrick Sharp (34-44-78), RW Patrick Kane (29-40-69), C Jonathan Toews (28-40-68), D Duncan Keith (6-55-61, +22), RW Marian Hossa (30-30-60), G Corey Crawford (32-16-10, 2.26, .917, 2 SHO)
Fast facts: Miller had a 10-8-1 record, 2.47 GAA, .903 save pct. and one shutout in 19 games since being acquired from Buffalo. … Kane and Toews reportedly said they are ready to play after missing the last 12 games with injuries. … Chicago won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2013. … St. Louis won the first three regular-season meetings, while the Blackhawks won the last two.
Outlook: The Blues have been touted as a Cup contender all season long. But the Blackhawks are the defending champion. So they know how win at this time of year.
Prediction: Blackhawks in 6 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Thursday at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Game 2 – Sunday at St. Louis, 3 p.m.
Game 3 – Monday at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Game 4 – April 23 at Chicago, 9:30 p.m.
Game 5 – April 25 at St. Louis, 8 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 27 at Chicago, 3 p.m.*
Game 7 – April 29 at St. Louis, TBD*
* If necessary

No. 1P Anaheim Ducks vs. WC2 Dallas Stars
Season records: Anaheim 54-20-8, Dallas 40-31-11
Season series: Dallas won 2-1
Players to watch
Anaheim – C Ryan Getzlaf (31-56-87), RW Corey Perry (43-39-82), C Nick Bonino (22-27-49), C Andrew Cogliano (21-21-42), D Cam Fowler (6-30-36), G Jonas Hiller (29-13-7, 2.48, .911, 5 SHO); Dallas – C Tyler Seguin (37-47-84), G Kari Lehtonen (33-20-10, 2.41, .919, 5 SHO), LW Jamie Benn (34-45-79), D Alex Goligoski (6-36-42, +9), RW Alex Chiasson (13-22-35), C Cody Eakin (16-19-35)
Fast facts: Getzlaf finished second to the Penguins’ Crosby in the league’s scoring race. … Seguin set career highs in goals, assists and points in his first season with the Stars. … Goligoski, the former Penguin, set career highs in assists and points. … Dallas snapped a six-year streak of missing the playoffs under former Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff.
Outlook: The secret to the Ducks’ success isn’t a secret at all. Hiller has to be strong in net, while Getzlaf and Perry have to spark the best forward line on the ice.
Prediction: Ducks in 5 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Today at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
Game 2 – Friday at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
Game 3 – Monday at Dallas, 9:30 p.m.
Game 4 – April 23 at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Game 5 – April 25 at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 27 at Dallas, TBD*
Game 7 – April 29 at Anaheim, TBD*
* If necessary

No. 2P San Jose Sharks vs. No. 3P Los Angeles Kings
Season records: San Jose 51-22-9, Los Angeles 46-28-8
Season series: Los Angeles won 3-1-1
Players to watch
Anaheim – C Joe Pavelski (41-38-79), C Joe Thornton (11-65-76), LW Patrick Marleau (33-37-70), G Antti Niemi (39-17-7, 2.39, .913, 4 SHO), C Logan Couture (23-31-54), D Dan Boyle (12-24-36); Los Angeles – G Jonathan Quick (27-17-4, 2.07, .915, 6 SHO), D Drew Doughty (10-27-37, +18), C Anze Kopitar (29-41-70), C Jeff Carter (27-23-50), RW Justin Williams (19-24-43), C Mike Richards (11-30-41)
Fast facts: The Kings eliminated San Jose in the conference semifinals a season ago, with five games being decided by one goal. … The Kings had identical 23-14-4 records at home and on the road. … Former Otter Jordan Nolan set career highs with six goals and 10 points in 64 games in his first full season with the Kings.
Outlook: The Sharks score goals, but the Kings shut down teams that score goals. Defense is more important at playoff time.
Prediction: Kings in 6 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Thursday at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Sunday at San Jose, 10 p.m.
Game 3 – Tuesday at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.
Game 4 – April 24 at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
Game 5 – April 26 at San Jose, TBD*
Game 6 – April 28 at Los Angeles, TBD*
Game 7 – April 30 at San Jose, TBD*
* If necessary

Posted: April 15th, 2014

EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

No. 1M Pittsburgh Penguins vs. WC1 Columbus Blue Jackets
Season records: Pittsburgh 51-24-7, Columbus 43-32-7
Season series: Pittsburgh won 5-0
Players to watch
Pittsburgh – C Sidney Crosby (36 goals, 68 assists, 104 points), C Evgeni Malkin (23-49-72), LW Chris Kunitz (35-33-88), RW James Neal (27-34-61), D Kris Letang (11-11-22, minus-8 in 37 games), G Marc-Andre Fleury (39-18-5 record, 2.37 goals-against average, .915 save percentage, 5 shutouts); Columbus – C Ryan Johansen (33-30-63), D James Wisniewski (7-44-51), G Sergei Bobrovsky (32-20-5, 2.38, .923, 5 SHO), C Brandon Dubinsky (16-34-50), RW Cam Atkinson (21-19-40), LW Nick Foligno (18-21-39)
Fast facts: Crosby won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s scoring champion for the second time. He won the title by 17 points. … Letang rejoined Pittsburgh’s lineup last week after missing more than two months while recovering from a stroke. … Malkin (foot) missed the final 11 regular-season games. His status reportedly remains uncertain. … The Blue Jackets have reached the playoffs for the second time in the franchise’s 14-year history. They were swept by Detroit in the first round in 2009.
Outlook: The Penguins have been banged-up, and the Blue Jackets are a hard-working team capable of an upset. But that won’t happen this year.
Prediction: Penguins in 6 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Today at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Saturday at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Monday at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – April 23 at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – April 26 at Pittsburgh, TBD*
Game 6 – April 28 at Columbus, TBD*
Game 7 – April 30 at Pittsburgh, TBD*
* If necessary

No. 2M New York Rangers vs. No. 3M Philadelphia Flyers
Season records: New York 45-31-6, Philadelphia 42-30-10
Season series: Tied 2-2
Players to watch
New York – G Henrik Lundqvist (33-24-5, 2.36, .920, 5 SHO), LW Matt Zuccarello (19-40-59), C Derek Stepan (17-40-57), C Brad Richards (20-31-51), D Ryan McDonagh (14-29-43, +11), LW Rick Nash (26-13-39); Philadelphia – C Claude Giroux (28-58-86), RW Jakub Vorachek (23-39-62), RW Wayne Simmonds (29-31-60), LW Scott Hartnell (20-32-52), D Mark Streit (10-34-44), G Steve Mason (33-18-7, 2.50, .917, 4 SHO)
Fast facts: Rangers RW Martin St. Louis has one goal and eight points in 19 games since being acquired from Tampa Bay in a high-profile, deadline-day trade last month. … The home team won all four regular-season meetings. … The Flyers won the last three playoff series against the Rangers. … The Rangers led the Eastern Conference with 25 road wins.
Outlook: This will be a hard-fought, evenly matched series between two fierce rivals. The winner moves on to the next round, but how much will that team have left?
Prediction: Rangers in 7 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Thursday at New York, 7 p.m.
Game 2 – Sunday at New York, noon
Game 3 – Tuesday at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.
Game 4 – April 25 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – April 27 at New York, noon*
Game 6 – April 29 at Philadelphia, TBD*
Game 7 – April 30 at New York, TBD*
* If necessary

No. 1A Boston Bruins vs. WC2 Detroit Red Wings
Season records: Boston 54-19-9, Detroit 39-28-15
Season series: Detroit won 3-1
Players to watch
Boston – G Tuukka Rask (36-15-6, 2.04, .930, 7 SHO), C David Krejci (19-50-69), C Patrice Bergeron (30-32-62), RW Jarome Iginla (30-31-61), LW Milan Lucic (24-35-59), D Zdeno Chara (17-23-40, +25); Detroit – RW Daniel Alfredsson (18-31-49), D Niklas Kronwall (8-41-49), LW Henrik Zetterberg (16-32-48), RW Gustav Nyquist (28-20-48), C Pavel Datsyuk (17-20-37), G Jimmy Howard (21-19-11, 2.66, .910, 2 SHO)
Fast facts: Boston and Detroit meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1957. … The Red Wings were the only team to earn three wins against the Bruins. … Detroit secured its 23rd straight playoff berth by three points over Washington. … Boston edged Anaheim by one point for the league’s regular-season championship and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. … The Bruins led the Eastern Conference with 261 goals scored and 177 goals against.
Outlook: The Bruins have been a model of consistency, especially in the playoffs, the past several years. It won’t be any different this time around.
Prediction: Bruins in 5 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Friday at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2 – Sunday at Boston, 3 p.m.
Game 3 – Tuesday at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 – April 24 at Detroit, 8 p.m.
Game 5 – April 26 at Boston, 3 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 28 at Detroit, TBD*
Game 7 – April 30 at Boston, TBD*
* If necessary

No. 2A Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 3A Montreal Canadiens
Season records: Tampa Bay 46-27-9, Montreal 46-28-8
Season series: Tampa Bay won 3-1
Players to watch
Tampa Bay – C Steven Stamkos (25-15-40 in 37 games), LW Ondrej Palat (23-36-59), D Victor Hedman (13-42-55, +5), C Tyler Johnson (24-26-50), D Matt Carle (2-29-31, +11), G Ben Bishop (37-14-7, 2.23, .924, 5 SHO); Montreal – LW Thomas Vanek (27-41-68), G Carey Price (34-20-5, 2.32, .927, 6 SHO), LW Max Pacioretty (39-21-60), D P.K. Subban (10-43-53), C David Desharnais (16-36-52), D Andrei Markov (7-36-43)
Fast facts: Stamkos led the league in goals per game (0.67) despite missing 45 games with a broken right leg. …Bishop reportedly will miss Game 1 with an elbow injury. … Vanek had six goals and 15 points in 18 games since being acquired from the N.Y. Islanders at the trade deadline last month. … All four regular-season meetings were decided by two goals or fewer, with three being one-goal games and two heading to overtime. … Tampa Bay earned home-ice advantage over Montreal by one point in the standings.
Outlook: Stamkos will be a key figure in this series, but the Canadiens will win out in the end.
Prediction: Canadiens in 6 games

Series schedule
Game 1 – Today at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Game 2 – Friday at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Game 3 – Sunday at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Tuesday at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 5 – April 24 at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.*
Game 6 – April 27 at Montreal, TBD*
Game 7 – April 29 at Tampa Bay, TBD*
* If necessary 

Posted: April 15th, 2014

Five former Erie Otters are set to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin tonight…
(includes position, age, current NHL club, total NHL games played and years played) 

Michael Blunden

RW Mike Blunden (27), Montreal – 102 games (2006-08, 2009-14)
* Spent most of the season with Hamilton (AHL), where he scored a career-high 18 goals and had 36 points, one shy of his career high (37 with Rockford, 2007-08) … had no points and five penalty minutes in seven games with the Canadiens … hasn’t recorded a point in the NHL since the 2011-12 season (two goals, four points in a career-high 39 games)

D Carlo Colaiacovo (31), St. Louis – 401 games

Carlo Colaiacovo

(2002-04, 2005-14)
* Played in 25 games, and was a healthy scratch numerous times … has one goal, four points, a minus-4 rating and 18 penalty minutes this season … has played in 31 games the past two seasons after topping the 60-game mark every year from 2008-12 … has 20 games of playoff experience, including nine with Detroit a season ago

Jordan Nolan

C Jordan Nolan (24), Los Angeles – 134 games (2011-14)
* Set career highs with six goals, 10 points, 54 penalty minutes and 64 games in his first full season with the Kings … made his playoff debut a season ago (no points, no penalty minutes in seven games) … played in his 100th career game Dec. 21 against Colorado … son of Buffalo Sabres head coach Ted Nolan

F Ryan O’Reilly (23), Colorado – 345 games

Ryan O'Reilly

(2009-14)
* Led the Avalanche with 28 goals, third with 64 points and fourth with 36 assists … set career highs in goals and points, and was one assist shy of matching his season best (37 in 2011-12) … nearly became the first player in NHL history to finish a season without any penalty minutes … had two PIMs this season and eight in the past three seasons

Michael Rupp

LW Mike Rupp (34), Minnesota – 610 games (2002-04, 2005-14)
* Played in only 13 games this season, partly because he was recovering from offseason knee injury … has to serve the final three games of a four-game suspension for a hit to St. Louis center T.J. Oshie’s head last week … has played in 58 NHL games the past two seasons after playing in 60 or more every year from 2006-12
Note: Detroit C Riley Sheahan, 22, was the Otters’ fourth-round pick in the 2007 OHL Priority Selection, but never signed with the club. 
Posted: April 11th, 2014
Mercyhurst senior forward Daniel O’Donoghue signed a contract with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes today. (Contributed/Mercyhurst University)

Mercyhurst’s Daniel O’Donoghue turned the best season of his college hockey career into a NHL contract Friday.

The senior forward signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, and will join the club’s AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates in Portland, Maine, as early as this weekend. The Pirates play in Manchester, N.H., against the Monarchs tonight before returning home to face the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday.

“It’s a great feeling, and I’m very excited,” O’Donoghue said in a statement. “I have a lot of emotions running through me right now – anxious, excited, nervous. … It’s been a long time coming, and I’m excited just to get my foot in the door.”

He set career highs with 15 goals, 28 assists and 43 points in 38 games. He finished his four-year career with 119 points (45 goals, 74 assists). He’s one of 16 players in the school’s NCAA Division I history to reach the 100-point mark, and of five to sign professional contracts. The others are Jody Robinson (New York Islanders), T.J. Kemp (Edmonton Oilers), Jamie Hunt (Washington Capitals) and Cullen Eddy (Philadelphia Flyers). Hunt is the lone player to play in a NHL regular-season game (2006-07).

“Our season ended almost a month ago, and I thought it would go a little quicker than this,” O’Donoghue said. “But it all worked out in the end.”

Posted: April 11th, 2014

Minnesota Wild winger and former Erie Otter Michael Rupp has been suspended four games without pay for a hit to the head of St. Louis Blues winger T.J. Oshie on Thursday night, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Friday.

Rupp was given a match penalty for intent to injure. Rupp, who has one point and 23 penalty minutes in 13 games of an injury-plagued season, begins serving his suspension in Sunday’s regular-season finale against Nashville, and continues with the Wild’s first three Stanley Cup playoff games. Rupp also will forfeit $7,692.31 from his salary, which will be added to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, according to the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Check out video of the hit, more about this story and the league’s explanation for the ruling here

Posted: March 5th, 2014

After a long day of following the NHL’s deadline deals, here’s my top winners and losers from on trade market (in no particular order):

WINNERS

Thomas Vanek

* Montreal - The Canadiens needed to solidify their offense in hopes of making a deep Stanley Cup run this season. They acquired F Thomas Vanek, one of the league’s top offensive performers who instantly becomes the club’s leading scorer with 21 goals and 53 points. And they got him for a prospect and a second-round pick (a conditional one at that). If G Carey Price returns healthy, the Canadiens will be in good shape to make that run.
* Los Angeles - The Kings do everything well…except score goals. If F Marian Gaborik stays healthy (and with him, that’s always a big if), he provides that dangerous offensive threat that has big, strong forwards like Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards up front. Better yet, the Kings reportedly got Columbus to pick up half of Gaborik’s contract.
* Buffalo - The Sabres are still the worst team in the league standings. Expect them to rank near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, if not the league, next season. But the Sabres took a big step forward thanks to new GM Tim Murray‘s deals before and at the deadline.
Murray moved players he needed to move – G Ryan Miller (St. Louis) and F Matt Moulson (Minnesota). He also stockpiled picks that should lead to some top players – Erie Otters C Connor McDavid, perhaps? – over the next three years.

LOSERS
* N.Y. Islanders - GM Garth Snow waited until the last second to trade Vanek…and got way too little in return. Sadly, it could have been worse. The deadline could have passed without a deal, and the Islanders would have lost Vanek to free agency without getting absolutely nothing in return.

Roberto Luongo

* Vancouver - GM Mike Gillis traded G Cory Schneider to New Jersey during last summer’s draft, presumably to alleviate the Schneider-Roberto Luongo controversy in net. Then Gillis trades Luongo to Florida this week, leaving his team with inexperienced Eddie Lack in goal.
Meanwhile, Gillis didn’t trade F Ryan Kesler, who apparently doesn’t want to stay in Vancouver. It all makes sense, doesn’t it?
* Winnipeg – The novelty surrounding the NHL’s return to Winnipeg has worn off. It’s time for the Jets to make the playoffs. So what was done for the stretch run? Nothing. Worse yet, the Jets lost promising rookie F Mark Scheifele to a reported knee injury.

Meanwhile, the jury is still out on…
* N.Y. Rangers - They need the offense newly

Martin St. Louis

acquired F Martin St. Louis provides. But he’s 38 years old, and the deal that sends F Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay also includes first-round and second-round picks. So the Rangers need to win the Stanley Cup this season, because the future appears tenuous.
* Pittsburgh – It’s difficult to second-guess an organization as successful as the Penguins. But they needed help on D, given the absence of Kris Letang and Paul Martin. Yet they acquired a pair of role players up front – Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak.

*** McDavid and the 2015 NHL Entry Draft was a topic of conversation on the NHL trade deadline day. How did McDavid feel about that? Find out here

Posted: March 4th, 2014

In other trade news, the Phoenix Coyotes announced they traded forward prospect Chris Brown, 23, whose family has ties to Millcreek Township, to Washington on Tuesday in a deal that also sent defenseman Rostislav Klesla and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft to the Capitals for forwards Martin Erat and John Mitchell.
Brown, the Coyotes’ second-round pick in the 2009 draft, had no points and 19 penalty minutes in 11 games with the Coyotes the past two seasons. He had 41 goals, 82 points and 166 penalty minutes in two seasons with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, including 14 goals, 35 points and 68 penalty minutes in 51 games this year. The Flower Mound, Texas, native played at the University of Michigan from 2009-12 after two years with the United States National Development Team Program’s Under-18 team.

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