The NHL’s top 25 forwards of all time

25. Joe Thornton

Joe Thornton might be the most underappreciated superstar in the history of the league. Instead of being celebrated for his ability, production and overall dominance, he has spent most of his career listening to criticisms about playoff shortcomings (that were not his fault) and not yet winning a championship (also not his fault; but this year’s San Jose Sharks team seems to have an outstanding chance). He is the type of player who 10 or 20 years after he retires, the hockey world will look back and wonder why he was not held in higher regard during his playing days. He might be one of the top five playmakers in the history of the sport and has a defensive game to match. He has never been a great goal-scorer, but he is good enough, and his playmaking more than makes up for whatever shortcomings he has when it came to scoring goals.

24. Joe Sakic

Before they relocated and became the Colorado Avalanche, the Quebec Nordiques had a run of high-draft picks in the mid to late 1980s who would help build the foundation of a two-time Stanley Cup winner (in Colorado). The first of those to be put in place was their 1987 first-round pick, No. 15 overall, Joe Sakic. Sakic would go on to be the centerpiece of the franchise for the better part of the next two decades as one of the league’s best two-way centers. He finished his career in the top 16 in goals, assists, total points, and he collected several pieces of hardware, including a pair of Stanley Cup rings, an MVP award, a Lester B. Pearson Award (best player as voted on by the players) and a Conn Smythe Trophy.

23. Ron Francis

Ron Francis was never the most dominant player in hockey, but there is a lot to be said for sustained excellence over two decades in the world’s best league. When all is said and done, Francis is in the top five all time in assists, points and games played and was an exceptional two-way center and playmaker and a key cog for a two-time Stanley Cup winner in Pittsburgh.

22. Pavel Bure

Like Eric Lindros, this isn’t about career totals or championships; this is about playing the game at the highest level and dominating in a way few others have. Pavel Bure was a total game-changer when he arrived in Vancouver in the early 1990s and spent a decade as the most dangerous goal scorer in the league. With better health and a more offensive friendly era, who knows what he would have been capable of. Even with all of that, he was still a four-time goal-scoring champion who twice topped the 60-goal mark until his knees gave out.

21. Eric Lindros

Maybe a controversial pick for the top 20, but Eric Lindros was a force unlike anything anyone had ever seen when he entered the NHL. An unmatched combination of size, skill, speed, strength and determination, Lindros was an astonishingly dominant player from the moment he arrived in the league. The only thing that slowed him down and kept him from reaching his peak potential was concussions. Even so, he still did enough to be considered one of the all-time greats.

20. Marcel Dionne

Marcel Dionne’s career was defined by three things: longevity, productivity and never being fortunate enough to play on a championship-winning team. He is one of the most productive and prolific offensive players in league history, but because he never played on a team that was good enough to get even remotely close to a Stanley Cup he is mostly forgotten. How much different would his career look today with even one championship on his resume? How much better would his reputation be? Significantly better, for sure.

19. Charlie Conacher

By far the most dangerous goal scorer of the 1930s, Charlie Conacher finished as the NHL’s leading goal scorer five different times in his career, and for the first six years of his career he was a point-per-game player. That level of production was almost unheard of in the early 1930s, and as of the 1936 season he was one of just four players in league history at that time to average such a pace. Among his peers at the time, there was quite simply no one close to him.

18. Howie Morenz

We are going way back in time for this one, but Howie Morenz was one of the NHL’s first superstars, playing in the 1920s and winning three MVP awards throughout his career. During his first 10 years in the NHL, he scored 41 more goals than any other player in the league and was one of only two players in that era to top the 200-goal mark, between 1923 and 1933.

All 25 Here

10 thoughts after the NHL trade deadline

In a lot of ways the 2019 NHL trade deadline was a predictable one.

The Ottawa Senators sold off their few remaining good players. The Nashville Predators were heavy buyers. Teams like the Calgary Flames and New York Islanders that appear to be ahead of schedule did not mess with what has worked for them so far and decided to stay the course and see where their current rosters can take them. There also were not really any major shockers, outside of maybe Mikael Granlund being traded by Minnesota, in terms of the players who did get moved.

But there were still a few surprises thrown in.

The Columbus Blue Jackets went wild and mortgaged their short-term future for the hope of even shorter-term success, the San Jose Sharks doubled down on their confidence in Martin Jones, the Vegas Golden Knights went after the big fish again and the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals made some minor tweaks to their rosters.

We examine all of that and more with 10 thoughts and observations after the NHL trade deadline.

1.  Columbus has everything riding on this season

Keeping Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky was a pretty good indication that the Columbus Blue Jackets were willing to see what they could do this season instead of being resigned to the fact they will lose both over the summer, and thus trading them before the deadline. But then they doubled down on that by being the biggest buyers at the deadline by giving up draft picks and prospects for rentals Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuaid and Keith Kinkaid. That leaves the Blue Jackets with six unrestricted free agents after this season (including Panarin, Bobrovsky, Duchene and Dzingel) and only two draft picks in the 2019 class: a third-rounder and a seventh-rounder. That is the definition of “all-in.” The wild thing about this is that they are not even a lock to make the playoffs. This could all go south very quickly if they do not secure one of the top eight seeds in the Eastern Conference.

2. The Sharks have everything riding on Martin Jones

The San Jose Sharks made themselves better at the trade deadline by getting Gustav Nyquist from the Detroit Red Wings, making an already deep team that much stronger. They did not, however, address the biggest question mark facing them: goaltending. The tag-team duo of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell has not played up to a championship level this season and that could prove to be the team’s ultimate undoing in the playoffs. Jones has never been one to steal games for the Sharks, but he has always been, at worst, a league-average to slightly above-league-average starter. If he can return to that form and play at that level, the Sharks will be a formidable team in the playoffs. If he does not, it could derail a potential championship season.

3. The Flames have a lot of faith in their team

The San Jose Sharks added Nyquist. The Vegas Golden Knights added Mark Stone. The Nashville Predators added Mikael Granlund and Wayne Simmonds. The Winnipeg Jets added Kevin Hayes. All of the top contenders in the Western Conference added a significant player. The Calgary Flames? Added Oscar Fantenberg. A depth defender. No insurance in goal. No additional depth up front. They are riding into the playoffs with the team that has gotten them to this point in the season. Sometimes that is a good thing.

4. The Detroit Red Wings probably should have done more

It is a few years overdue, but the Detroit Red Wings have finally started to rebuild their aging, expensive, declining roster. They have assembled a ton of draft picks and have at least set themselves up for a chance to restock the cupboards. But why didn’t they do more? Trading Nyquist was a necessary move, given his pending status as a UFA, but was there really no market for Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall, Thomas Vanek or any other veteran on the team? It just seems like there was a chance here to move more players and get even more draft picks for the future.

5. The Nashville Predators love blockbusters

David Poile has assembled a powerhouse team in Nashville and somehow still kept his team well under the league’s salary cap. He’s also scored some of the biggest trades in the NHL over the past few years acquiring P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, and Kyle Turris as part of blockbuster deals. He added to that at the trade deadline by pulling a stunner when he sent Kevin Fiala to the Minnesota Wild for Granlund and then acquiring Simmonds from the Philadelphia Flyers. Oh, and don’t forget about that pre-deadline deal to get Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils. That is what going all in looks like for a Stanley Cup contender, and, amazingly, his team is still in a great position under the salary cap in future seasons. A lot of times when GM’s swing for the fences on big trades, they start to eventually come up empty. That has yet to happen for Poile, who just keeps hitting home runs.

6. The Vegas Golden Knights go big

Even though they were in the Stanley Cup Final a year ago, it is still remarkable to see the Vegas Golden Knights, in Year 2 of their existence, going after the big-ticket players. They went all in trying to get Erik Karlsson. When that failed they traded for Max Pacioretty and signed Paul Stastny. Now they pulled off one of the biggest scores of the deadline in getting Stone from the Ottawa Senators, then agreed to a new contract. Stone is a star, a true top-line winger, and a player who can make a difference for an already strong team that is a contender. He is still in the prime of his career, making this a huge score for both the short term and long term.

7. Did Boston do enough?

The Boston Bruins are an outstanding team and a sneaky contender in the Eastern Conference, getting lost in the shadow of Tampa Bay and Toronto. But the top half of their lineup is as good as anybody’s in the league, and they have two goalies playing at an extremely high level in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Their big question has been depth, as there has been little offensive production after Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, David Krejci, Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug (when they are healthy). They attempted to address that by acquiring Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. They are solid additions, and Johansson has been especially hot lately now that he is healthy. But will they be enough to get the Bruins through what will almost certainly be a daunting playoff run in the Atlantic Division that will probably include both the Maple Leafs and Lightning?

Full 10

By: Adam Gretz

Senators fire coach Guy Boucher

The Ottawa Senators have made another major move in their continuing rebuild, this time firing head coach Guy Boucher. Assistant coach Marc Crawford will take over in the interim as the team begins its search for a new head coach. GM Pierre Dorion had this to say in a press release:

I want to thank Guy for his three years of service. He is a good person and has been an excellent representative of the Senators. At this point, however, we need a different set of coaching and leadership skills to guide our team through this rebuild. In the interim, Marc will bring a different perspective along with a wealth of head coaching experience.

This move comes almost immediately after Dorion told Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia that the team would wait until the end of the season to evaluate Boucher’s future. Apparently Senators management changed its mind and made the move now to ensure different habits would be instilled over the last few weeks of the season. To that end, former Senators player Chris Kelly has been added to the coaching staff.

Boucher’s tenure in Ottawa comes to an end a few weeks before his three-year contract expired, and he’ll finish with a 94-108-26 record. His time in Ottawa went similar to his previous job in Tampa Bay, where he led the Lightning to an outstanding first season before struggling in years two and three. The Senators went 44-28-10 in 2016-17 before almost making it to the Stanley Cup Final but fell apart last season and have been a disaster this year.

The Sens announced their coaching search and explained what they are looking for in their next bench boss, with development and growth listed at the very top. Dorion admitted that Crawford would be considered for the full-time job, though it sounds more like the team is looking outside of the organization for a new head coach. Crawford of course has plenty of experience in the role, previously coaching the Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, while also taking the Colorado Avalanche all the way to a Stanley Cup championship in 1996.

Full Article

By: Gavin Lee

Canadiens goalie shares incredibly sweet moment with young fan who lost his mom to cancer

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price did something pretty incredible for a huge young fan of his who recently had his mother pass away from cancer.

Price should now have millions of new fans, even if hockey isn’t your thing, because what he did was so special.

The fan’s mom’s dying wish last year was for her son, Anderson, to get to meet Price some day. That moment happened this week in Toronto, as the two shared an emotional moment after the team’s morning skate.

Anderson’s aunt shared this note on Facebook:

I wanted to share this video of my nephew Anderson, meeting his idol, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. Last year as Anderson’s mom was dying of cancer she promised she would do everything she could to make his dream come true. Unfortunately, she passed away before that could happen but through some very kind and generous friends we were able to arrange a visit to the morning skate. As you can see in the video, Carey Price was a class act not only giving Anderson two signed sticks, a signed puck, signing his jersey and mini stick but he also gave him the biggest hug. Words cannot describe how much this meant to Anderson and we are forever grateful to this wonderful man.

The video is now making the rounds around the internet and for good reason – it’s so darn touching.

This is everything – this young fan, Anderson, met his idol @CP0031, after his mother passed away due to cancer. She had promised him that she would do everything in her power to help the two meet and it happened. This right here is hockey. #OurGreatGame

( FB/ Tammy Whitehead) pic.twitter.com/ww6jLM2yoF

– NHL (@NHL) March 1, 2019

Carey Price. What a good dude.

By: Andy Nesbitt

Original Article

Mats Zuccarello has eventful day in first game with Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars acquired winger Mats Zuccarello Saturday night and brought him to Dallas early Sunday. The team traded two conditional picks for the veteran winger, including a conditional third-round pick in 2020 that could turn into a first-rounder if Zuccarello re-signs with the Stars.

However, Zuccarello was non-committal when asked about his unrestricted free-agent status, according to The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro. The veteran said he isn’t thinking about it right now and his goal is to help the Stars get into the playoffs and beyond.

In other Western Conference notes:

  • Zuccarello, who had a goal and an assist in his debut with Dallas, left Sunday’s game against Chicago with an upper-body injury. Zuccarello was hit in the arm or hand while blocking a shot by Chicago’s Ryan Murphy late in the second period (video link here). Forward Jamie Benn was also declared out with a lower-body injury as the Stars suddenly lost two key players in their newly enhanced lineup. No word on the severity of either injury.
  • TSN’s Ryan Rishaug writes the Edmonton Oilers might still make a move at the deadline, with forward Alex Chiasson being the most viable trade chip. The Oilers would be looking for a pick and Rishaug believes if a team is willing to offer a third-rounder for Chiasson, Edmonton will pull the trigger. Chiasson has 17 goals and has been one of the few bright spots during a dismal season in Edmonton.
  • Fox Sports Andy Strickland reports that Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington will become a Group 2 restricted free agent this summer once he hits 26 games this season. The standard number is 28 games, but Binnington signed his entry-level contract in the 2012-13 season, which had a reduced schedule due to the lockout. His number of games was reduced. The 25-year-old Binnington, who spent a good portion of his career in the AHL, has a 14-2-1 record to go with a 1.70 GAA and a .934 save percentage. He is in line to get a significant pay raise.
  • The San Jose Sharks were without star defenseman Erik Karlsson  on Sunday after he left Saturday’s game after re-tweaking his strained groin, which kept him out of nine games recently. There is no word on how long he will be out, according to Paul Gackle of the Mercury News. Head coach Peter DeBoer expressed optimism that it wouldn’t be long. Of course, DeBoer said the same thing when Karlsson first was injured, which could be worrying. “We have MRIs and those types of things, but you get put in spots, you can re-tweak, you can overextend it,” DeBoer said. “Everybody thinks it’s healthy and then you get hit a certain way. It’s a contact sport. You can’t control that stuff.”

By Holgen Stolzenberg

Original Article

Blackhawks still on the outside looking in after winning streak

When the Boston Bruins snapped the Chicago Blackhawks’ winning streak at seven games Tuesday night, it brought to light how little the run actually meant in the bigger picture. The Blackhawks have certainly improved in the second half, but are still on the outside looking in by a substantial margin.

Even after stockpiling points over the last few weeks, Chicago is currently 12th in the Western Conference and virtually tied with the Edmonton Oilers in points percentage, who trail by two points but have two games in hand. The Blackhawks are four points behind the Minnesota Wild in for the final wild-card spot and would have to leapfrog three more teams to get there, two of which hold games in hand, too.

The upcoming schedule for the ’Hawks is light; it features five home contests and six non-playoff teams out of eight games. However, the schedule is not as easy the rest of the way. If management takes another small stretch of success before the deadline to mean that the team should not be sellers this season, it could be a mistake.

Given that Chicago’s top rentals are not imperative to winning anyway – Marcus Kruger, Chris Kunitz, Andreas Martinsen, Cam Ward – the best and most likely course of action will be for the Blackhawks to entertain all trade offers over the remaining days before the deadline and not engage in any buyer talk.

  • The Blackhawks announced Wednesday that center David Kampf has been placed on injured reserve. Although the placement is retroactive to Feb. 5, do not expect Kampf back soon. NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis notes that the timeline to return is three to four weeks, making a reappearance by Kampf before the end of the month unlikely. Kampf has 16 points in 50 games for the Blackhawks this season and has been a solid bottom-six forward for the team in his second year since making the jump from Europe.
  • The silver lining to Kampf’s injury, as Roumeliotis points out, is that it opens up a roster spot for goaltender Corey Crawford to potentially make his return. Crawford has reportedly been getting close to game readiness and after missing the past two months while battling concussion symptoms. If Crawford is able to return and at least show that he is capable of splitting time with rookie Collin Delia, that would give the Blackhawks even further encouragement to peddle veteran backup Ward before the deadline rather than carry three goalies.
  • Luc Snuggerud worked quickly to find a new team after his contract was terminated by the Blackhawks on Monday. The young defenseman has signed with a rather obscure club, the Stavanger Oilers in Norway. The team announced a contract for the remainder of the season with Snuggerud. While hockey is growing in Norway, the national pro league is not considered to be among the elite in Europe. In fact, on the entire Oilers roster, including eight North American skaters, only Greg Mauldin has any NHL experience. As such, Snuggerud is expected to step in and make an immediate impact for Stavanger, which is what he was unable to do in the Blackhawks organization.

Original Article

By Zach Leach

Ranking all the NHL alternate jerseys from the 2018-19 season

After a spell without them, third jerseys are back for the NHL! Now, that may cause fear to rise in your gullet. At least it will if you are old enough to remember that first wave of (largely hideous) third jerseys from the ‘90s. Somehow, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks managed to make themselves look even worse! The NHL didn’t have alternate/third jerseys last year due to switching all their jerseys to Adidas. Now Adidas is able to crank out third jerseys for what is expected to be about 15-20 teams. Some of the looks have been seen before but not for the past few years. Here’s a look at all the third jerseys we know about, ranked in terms of quality.

21. Arizona Coyotes

Apparently we’re at a place where we’re willing to nostalgically accept these Coyotes jerseys as existing? Until they changed their look to a simpler style, Arizona, then Phoenix, was rivaled by only the Minnesota Wild for worse look in the league. We don’t care if they’re ironically bringing back the Kachina jerseys. They still look bad and are WAY too busy for a sports uniform.

20. Anaheim Ducks

Sorry, we aren’t going to buy your nostalgia, take two. The Anaheim logo with the duck-shaped hockey mask was dumb then, and it’s dumb now. However, the purple-and-teal look feels like it has aged a little better. The stripes are nice. The logo is still hot garbage.

19. New York Islanders

There are two things going against the Islanders’ third jerseys. One, it’s basically a replicant of the black third jersey they wore before, but now it’s blue. Two, it’s not an interesting logo, and it’s much worse than the traditional Islanders logo. It also lacks the kitschy fun of the fisherman logo. Just blah all around.

18. Philadelphia Flyers

These jerseys are too basic to be offensive but also too boring to be interesting. They look fine. This is a shrug in hockey jersey form. They better wear it around Halloween.

17. Los Angeles Kings

Straight up, we miss the yellow-and-purple crown look from the expansion era. Instead of that, the Kings are going with another gray alternate, a slight tweak from their 50th anniversary look. It’s not a bad look, but it doesn’t really stir up much in the way of feelings.

 

16. Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks and the Bruins aren’t wearing third jerseys, per se, but they did wear retro looks for the Winter Classic. Both are harkening back to their ‘30s looks. These Chicago ones are kind of crazy because they are just black and white. A Blackhawks jersey without a hint of red? That’s practically sacrilege!

15. Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers’ jersey is good and a reflection of their old look for their 40th anniversary. However, it’s not all that different from their usual look. They are just wearing a bright royal blue with the orange. It pops, but it’s not different enough to rank too high.

14. San Jose Sharks

Shocker! The Sharks have a black alternate jersey. Back in the day, “third jersey” basically meant “black jersey,” but now that isn’t the case so this isn’t quite as eye-rolling. They also have made the new logo blacker as well, borrowing from the aesthetic choices of “Spinal Tap.” And there’s a new shoulder logo with a fin poking out of the water, which is actually cool.

 

13. Ottawa Senators

Everything is terrible about the Senators…save for their expected third jersey. They are bringing back their centennial look, which has a great old school vibe. Their logo is just a big “O.” The simplicity works.

12. Pittsburgh Penguins

Like a character from the least-popular Austin Powers movie, the Penguins seem to love gold. That being said, these jerseys really pop. They are bright but not garish, and gold is deeply tied to Pittsburgh sports. The Stanley Cup may be silver, but gold still has its charm in the NHL.

11. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets’ look is cool. The blue they usually sport works great, the lettering of the logo is sharp, and I really like the stripe. It definitely is a classy jersey, but the Jets have such a good look normally, it feels like an unnecessary alternative.

10. Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto is expected to kick it very old school again by busting out its St. Pats jerseys, a shout out to a defunct hockey team based in the city. Hey, you can always wear it on St. Patrick’s Day and have it be a hit. It’s weird to see the Maple Leafs not wearing blue, but to be fair they also aren’t even wearing the words “maple” or “leafs.” That’s fun in and of itself, and the St. Pats jerseys are pretty nice as well

Full List

By: Chris Morgan

 

Rick Nash forced to retire due to concussion symptoms

Whatever hope that was left for Rick Nash to continue his playing career with a late-season contract can be extinguished, as Darren Dreger of TSN relays a message from agent Joe Resnick:

Due to unresolved issues/symptoms from the concussion sustained last March, Rick Nash will be forced to retire from the game of hockey. Under the advice of his medical team, the risk of further brain injury is far too great if Rick returns to play. Rick would like to thank everyone who has supported him during this difficult time period.

Dreger adds that Toronto, San Jose, Columbus, Boston and Pittsburgh had all checked in on Nash as a potential addition, though they can obviously all now cross him off any list. The 34-year-old forward will finish his career with 437 goals and 805 points in 1,060 regular season games, but was never able to lift that elusive Stanley Cup. He unfortunately suffered his latest head injury when chasing that dream with the Boston Bruins, a team that traded a large package of assets to get his unique skill set.

It was a unique skill set indeed for the 2002 first-overall pick. The 6-foot-4 winger at his best was a freight train on skates, moving faster than almost anyone on the ice and using his exceptionally long reach to slide pucks around defensemen and goaltenders alike. Developed into a top defensive player along with his elite offensive upside, Nash received Selke votes three times in his career. He would also receive Hart Trophy votes on three occasions, though the only individual trophy he collected was a Maurice Richard award for leading the league in goals as a 19-year-old sophomore.

While he didn’t ever lift the Stanley Cup, it would be foolish to think that Nash couldn’t contribute to team success. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, he took part in the tournament three times for Canada over the years. His versatility in that tournament often led to him being part of a checking line that was tasked with shutting down some of the best players in the world, though in 2010 he still recorded five points in seven games.

Nash was also a three-time medalist at the World Championship, captaining Canada in his final appearance at the tournament in 2011. The “C” is something he had also worn for the Columbus Blue Jackets for several years, as the team’s first franchise player. He introduced NHL hockey to the Columbus fan base as a teenage phenom and provided them with highlight after highlight throughout the years.

The second part of his career was spent with the New York Rangers, where he once again found his scoring touch and put up a 42-goal season for the team in 2014-15. He is one of only 12 players to have ever scored at least 42 goals in a single season for the Rangers, and should be remembered well even if he wasn’t able to get the team to a championship.

The Brampton, Ontario-born Nash has always been extremely dedicated to his family, and this decision is just more proof of that dedication. While there is certainly more successful hockey in his body, taking care of his brain is the obvious choice. He’ll be remembered as one of the greatest goal-scoring talents of his generation, and one that helped the Blue Jackets establish themselves as a fixture in the NHL.

By: Gavin Lee

Original Article

2019 NHL All-Star rosters announced

The NHL has announced the four rosters for the 2019 All-Star Game today, scheduled to be held on January 26th in San Jose. Earlier today, Alex Ovechkin, who was elected captain of Metropolitan Division squad, told the league that he wouldn’t be attending and will accept the punishment of missing one game either before or after the break. Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews will represent the Pacific, Central and Atlantic respectively, as the other captains. A replacement captain for Ovechkin has yet to be named.

The full rosters are as follows:

Pacific Division

John Gibson (ANA)
Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK)

D Erik Karlsson (SJS)
Brent Burns (SJS)
Drew Doughty (LAK)

Connor McDavid (EDM)*
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)
Joe Pavelski (SJS)
F Elias Pettersson (VAN)
F Clayton Keller (ARI)

Central Division

Pekka Rinne (NSH)
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)

D Roman Josi (NSH)
D Miro Heiskanen (DAL)

Nathan MacKinnon (COL)*
Mikko Rantanen (COL)
Blake Wheeler (WPG)
Patrick Kane (CHI)

Mark Scheifele (WPG)
F Ryan O’Reilly (STL)

Atlantic Division

Jimmy Howard (DET)
G Carey Price (MTL)

Keith Yandle (FLA)
D Thomas Chabot (OTT)

F Auston Matthews (TOR)*
F Nikita Kucherov (TBL)
F Steven Stamkos (TBL)
John Tavares (TOR)

F David Pastrnak (BOS)
F Jack Eichel (BUF)

Full List

By Zach Leach

Bruins’ Brad Marchand set to return for Winter Classic

The Boston Bruins should get a boost just in time for the Winter Classic on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen reports that Brad Marchand should be ready to go after practicing today, barring any setbacks. He missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, but it looks like it wasn’t a serious issue.

Marchand is having another solid campaign with 12 goals and 41 points in 39 games this season.

Rosen also reports that defenseman Charlie McAvoy remains questionable for the big game. McAvoy has missed two games with a lower-body injury and did not practice today. The gifted defenseman has struggled with injuries and has appeared in just 17 games this year, although he has 11 points.

In other NHL injury notes:

  • Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post writes that Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen will be out Monday against Nashville and miss his second straight game with an undisclosed upper-body injury. However, the team got better news on Brooks Orpik, who is listed as a game-time decision for Monday after missing 27 games with a right-knee injury. Khurshudyan reports both players practiced Sunday and are close to returning. The team has also been without Christian Djoos.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins could be without forward Bryan Rust and defenseman Olli Maatta on Monday as both are listed as day-to-day, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Matt Vensel. Rust didn’t practice today with an undisclosed injury, and Maatta suffered a lower-body injury during Saturday’s game against St. Louis, but finished the game. He also didn’t practice today.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau is close to a return. While he’s not expected to play Monday, he could be back not long after that. The 26-year-old has been out all season after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles. He had a six-month timetable in mid-September and is well ahead of schedule. Pageau had 14 goals and 29 points last season.

By Holger Stolzenberg

Original Article