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

Artemi Panarin doesn’t want to be traded, will discuss future with Columbus

Beginning this offseason, the rumblings that star forward Artemi Panarin did not want to re-sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets created the impression that a blockbuster trade was inevitable prior to the end of this season, when Panarin becomes an unrestricted free agent. That no longer appears to be the case. In the midst of another strong season for both Panarin and his team, the high-scoring winger is hoping to stay in Columbus through the end of the season, his agent, Dan Milstein, told TSN’s “Leafs Lunch” on Friday. Panarin is also reportedly opening up to the idea of an extension with the Blue Jackets.

Milstein stated that he and Panarin plan to meet over the All-Star break in late January to discuss the future. Part of that conversation will be about a potential long-term fit with the Blue Jackets. “He likes it in Columbus. They have a very good, young team…Management has been nothing but great to him. … He wants to help the team to win the Stanley Cup,” Milstein said.

Panarin is a competitive player, and Milstein made it clear that last season’s early playoff exit bothered the all-world winger, and he hopes to lead the team deeper into the postseason this year. There is also the potential for a long-term fit in Columbus, as Milstein applauded the efforts of young center Pierre-Luc Dubois and said that Panarin has enjoyed playing alongside him this season. While Panarin leads the Jackets with 41 points, the sophomore centerman is not far behind with 32. The promise of that pairing moving forward could be a vital factor in Panarin’s decision.

However, other teams and their rosters will certainly be considered. Milstein was honest that he and Panarin will likely begin discussing his potential fits with other teams when they meet next month. Panarin, still just 27, will likely be the most sought-after forward on the free agent market if he opts to leave Columbus and could pick almost any team to play for given his unique skill set. It has previously been reported that Panarin prefers to play in a coastal metropolitan area, with many speculating that the three New York-area teams, all of whom are in comfortable salary-cap situations, are possible fits, while Boston, Florida, Carolina or one of the three California teams would also be logical landing spots. The competitive Panarin also wants a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Even though he will almost certainly sign a seven-year contract at a minimum and a lot can change in that time, teams’ recent success and talent pool moving forward will also weigh heavily on his decision. As Milstein stated, they believe that the Blue Jackets are one of those talented, young teams that will be a contender moving forward.

One thing that will not affect Panarin’s decision is the future of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, at least not in a personal sense. Although the two are good friends, Milstein said that “they are in no way going to be going as a package.” Bobrovsky appears to be headed for the free agent market, but his likely departure does not necessarily mean that Panarin will leave Columbus simply because his friend is gone. However, how the Jackets plan to handle the massive hole that Bobrovksy would leave in net will definitely be a part of Panarin’s calculations.

By Zach Leach

Full Article

Philadelphia Flyers follow different script, fire GM Ron Hextall and not the coach

When Ron Hextall played goaltender in the NHL, he was the king of aggressiveness. He ruled his crease with an enviable blend of fire and passion. He owned a volcanic temper and a molten competitiveness. He was driven to be the best at his position.

His style as an NHL general manager has been far different. He has been less impulsive, more calculating.  He has favored long-term planning to quick fixes

The Flyers may have wanted him to be the Hextall of old to deal with the current struggles, and his unwillingness to do that probably cost him his job.

When a team starts poorly, the coach is usually the first to go. But Hextall hasn’t fired his coach or made a bold trade, and the Flyers decided he was the one who should go.

“It has become clear that we no longer share the same philosophical approach concerning the direction of the team,” Flyers President Paul Holmgren said. “In light of these differences, we feel it’s in the organization’s best interests to make a change, effective immediately. I have already begun a process to identify and select our next general manager, which we hope to complete as soon as possible.”

That’s sports-speak for the organization didn’t appreciate Hextall’s low-key approach. We can conclude the Philadelphia brass expected Hextall to light a fire under an under-achieving team. He didn’t seem to have a match.

The Flyers were expected to be among the Metropolitan’s best teams. Instead, they are 10-11-2 with a -13 goal-differential. Their 3.57 goals-against average ranks 29th out of 31 NHL teams.

Hextall has been Philadelphia’s GM since May 7, 2014, and his most significant failing was an inability to correct a goaltending problem that has plagued the organization for years. The Flyers haven’t had a long-term goaltending solution since he was traded in 1992.

This season he opted to stay with Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth, both coming off injuries, and the Flyers have the NHL’s lowest save percentage (.880). Now both goalies are hurt.

Hextall’s time in Philadelphia’s has been marked by too much patience. This is not a city that appreciates a long-term plan. Hextall hasn’t made bold trades to make the team better immediately, and the team seems to be backsliding. Young Ivan Provorov, cast last season as a future Norris Trophy winner, isn’t the same player this season. Look at Shayne Gostisbehere’s plus-minus of -12 and Jakub Voracek’s -10 plus-minus. Something is wrong in Philadelphia

The Flyers were waiting for Hextall to do something, and he never did. Carter Hart is the Flyers’ hot goalie prospect. He’s 20 and not not ready to play in the NHL. But should Hextall have called him up for one game just to create a different energy around the team? We will never know. He should have done something, anything, even one thing.

Holmgren doesn’t have the same patience. He saw a team that has struggled mightily and is only four points out of a playoff spot. He felt if he acted boldly he might be able to salvage the season. That’s the way he operate.

Hextall didn’t act boldly. That’s not the way he operates. That’s why he is out of a job.

 

The most surprising developments of the NHL season so far

The one constant in any given NHL season should always be to expect the unexpected because there is always going to be something that surprises you — maybe even shocks you.

The team that you thought might stink could turn out to be good for some bizarre reason.

The player you pegged as an offseason flop might catch lightning in a bottle and excel.

The player who was supposed to put the Stanley Cup contender over the top? Well, that might be the one who flops and ends up holding the team back.

We have seen a lot of those scenarios playing out over the first quarter of the NHL season.

Among them…

The Max Pacioretty trade is working…for Montreal

After more than a year of constant rumors and trade speculation, the Montreal Canadiens finally put an end to all of the drama and sent Max Pacioretty, their best goal-scorer and one of their best players from the past decade, to the Vegas Golden Knights.

At the time it looked to be a huge score for a Vegas team that stunned the hockey world a year ago by reaching the Stanley Cup Final in its debut season, and it would finally kick off a much-needed rebuild in Montreal.

In return, the Canadiens received a package of players centered around Tomas Tatar, who was a total flop in Vegas after he was acquired at the trade deadline this past season, and 2017 first-round pick Nick Suzuki.

So far it has gone the exact opposite way anyone could have anticipated.

Through Vegas’ first 19 games (of which Pacioretty appeared in only 15 due to injury), he has managed just two goals and two assists, while Tatar, who seems to have rediscovered his scoring touch in Montreal, has recorded 16 points (including eight goals) in his first 19 games. Suzuki, meanwhile, has continued to dominate in the Ontario Hockey League.

At some point Tatar is going to cool off, and Pacioretty is going to rebound. And ultimately the key player to this trade for Montreal was — and will continue to be — Suzuki. But it’s still been shocking to see how this trade has worked out in the early going, even if it doesn’t last.

For now though it is a primary reason why Montreal has been one of the biggest surprise teams in the league and why Vegas has been one of the early disappointments.

Max Domi: offensive machine

Sticking with the Canadiens for a second, their other big offseason trade saw them send Alex Galchenyuk to the Arizona Coyotes in a one-for-one swap for Max Domi.

Domi was coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons in the desert where he managed just nine goals in each, with four of his goals a season ago coming as empty-netters. It seemed that his offense had completely dried up after a promising rookie season.

But just like the Tatar-for-Pacioretty trade, this one has found a way to work out for Montreal in the early going.

Through Thursday, Nov. 15, Domi had already scored 10 goals (all of them with an opposing goalie in the net) and was one of the league’s top-10 total point producers. Even if it is an unsustainable pace, he is still going to crush his numbers from the previous two years.

The Blackhawks fire Joel Quenneville

It should have been expected that the Chicago Blackhawks might struggle this season. They had not won a playoff series in three years and were coming off their first non-playoff season in nearly a decade. The core is getting older, the depth is getting thinner and the salary cap space is still perpetually getting tighter for them. At some point they were going to start making some changes, and eventually that was going to lead to the end of the Joel Quenneville era. It was just surprising to see that after everything Quenneville did for the franchise that he was let go as quickly as he was, especially when a lot of the team’s recent struggles are probably out of his hands.

The Blackhawks were done in a year ago by an injury to starting goalie Corey Crawford and the fact that they had no capable backup to fill in for him.

This year the problem is that the roster, outside of the top four or five players, just really isn’t that good, and that responsibility has to fall on the front office.

Eventually it will. Because once the Blackhawks continue to struggle under a new coach (and given the roster, they will), the next change will be at the top.

Full Article

By Adam Gretz

NHL Power Rankings: Standout rookies for all 31 teams

Youth continues to be served in the NHL, as almost every team has a first-year player making an impact. For this week’s ESPN NHL Power Rankings — voted on as always by ESPN’s panel of experts — we take a look at some of its best freshmen (or, in some cases, middle schoolers waiting to get the call-up to the big school) of the 2018-19 season thus far.

1. Nashville Predators

Previous ranking: 1

Eeli Tolvanen. There was a time when this talented Finnish winger was being chatted up as a potential Calder Trophy contender, before being demoted to the AHL in the preseason. So far, he has eight points in 14 games with Milwaukee, with four of his seven assists coming on the power play.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 2

Anthony Cirelli. The Lightning forward has four points in 15 games, skating 13:50 per night, with a minus-4 goal differential at 5-on-5.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous ranking: 5

Igor Ozhiganov. The 25-year-old KHL import doesn’t have a point in 12 games while skating 13:50 per night. As Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star wrote: “He hasn’t done anything particularly noteworthy — no big goals, or memorable passes. But he hasn’t done anything wrong, and that in itself is often praise-worthy of a defenseman.” So, congrats on not being noteworthy, Igor.

4. Colorado Avalanche

Previous ranking: 3

Vladislav Kamenev. Acquired from the Predators as part of the Matt Duchene trade, Kamenev had his arm broken by defenseman Brooks Orpik last season, limiting him to just three games. He’s played nine games this season with a goal and an assist, skating just 9:05 per game as a fourth-line center.

5. San Jose Sharks

Previous ranking: 6

Antti Suomela. The 24-year-old Finnish center has two goals and three assists in 14 games. His 1.91 points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 is third best on the Sharks this season.

6. Boston Bruins

Previous ranking: 7

Ryan Donato. One of the most surprising demotions of the season thus far. Donato had one goal in 11 games and was sent down to AHL Providence to work on his offensive game. That’s after his incredible nine points in 12 games debut for the Bruins in 2017-18.

7. Winnipeg Jets

Previous ranking: 8

Brendan Lemieux. The most notable accomplishment for the spawn of Claude Lemieux this season has been a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Vincent Trocheck. Otherwise, he’s averaged 5:32 per game and is a minus-17 in shot attempts at 5-on-5.

8. Washington Capitals

Previous ranking: 10

Travis Boyd. The depth forward, 25, was injured in the preseason and returned on Nov. 5 with two assists against the Oilers.

9. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous ranking: 4

Juuso Riikola. Injuries on defense for the Penguins gave the 24-year-old Finn some early-season chances. He’s been a bit overwhelmed, to the tune of minus-39 in shot attempts, worst among Pittsburgh defensemen. Yes, including Jack Johnson.

10. Minnesota Wild

Previous ranking: 9

Jordan Greenway. The promising winger was sent down to the AHL after a rough start, playing a couple of games for Iowa. He returned with a rediscovered confidence, and has a goal and two assists in his last four games.

11. Calgary Flames

Previous ranking: 15

Juuso Valimaki. Another Finn! Valimaki, a first-rounder for the Flames in 2017, is skating 14:46 per game. He’s on the plus side of possession but has a minus-5 in goal differential.

12. Vancouver Canucks

Previous ranking: 24

Elias Pettersson. The Canucks star rookie became the first player to record 16-plus points through his first 10 career NHL games since 1992-93, when Dimitri Kvartalnov and Nikolai Borschevsky accomplished the feat. You heard it here first: Elias Pettersson, the new Nikolai Borschevsky.

13. New York Islanders

Previous ranking: 16

Josh Ho-Sang. As usual, interesting things are happening around Josh Ho-Sang. He was on fire for the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers, including a 12 points in 12 games run. At the same time, he had to apologize for comments he gave to the New York Post about his lack of premium ice time.

14. Montreal Canadiens

Previous ranking: 14

Jesperi Kotkaniemi. He’s 18 years old, the No. 3 overall pick in June, and has seven points in his first 15 NHL games for the resurgent Habs.

15. Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous ranking: 17

Calvin Thurkauf. He’s missed a bit with an undisclosed injury, but the former Swiss world junior team captain had 24 points in 75 games with Cleveland last season. He’s got some upside, and the Jackets will have an eye on the AHL to see what the winger does in his second pro season.

Full List

By: Greg Wyshynski

Bridge contract likely for William Nylander

While the mutual preference of both the Maple Leafs and winger William Nylander would be to get a long-term deal done, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that this no longer appears to be an option. He notes that there isn’t an AAV that is high enough for Nylander’s liking that fits in with Toronto’s salary structure for 2019-20 and beyond.

With that in mind, the Leafs are basically down to two options – either sign him to a bridge contract or trade him and by all accounts, the latter route is something they have no interest in going at this point nor has Nylander requested a move.

Accordingly, the bigger question now is how long the bridge deal will be. Although the 22-year-old has gone through his entry-level contract, only two of those seasons qualified as counting towards UFA status as he failed to play in 40 games back in 2015-16. As a result, Nylander is still five years away from being able to become an unrestricted free agent. That gives Toronto the opportunity of pursuing a three-year bridge pact instead of the standard two while still leaving him with a couple of arbitration-eligible seasons at the end of the deal.  In doing so, they’d also have a much better idea of what they can afford long-term as by then, both winger Mitch Marner and center Auston Matthews will be locked up as well.

As most core players coming off of their entry-level deals sign long-term deals, there aren’t many comparable contracts in recent years to work with. One that would be close is Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov.  Following two straight seasons of over 60 points (same as Nylander), the Russian inked a three-year, $14.3M contract. That took up 6.53 percent of the salary cap at the time; that percentage of the current cap today would work out to an AAV of just over $5.19M which would seemingly represent the ceiling of a Nylander bridge deal. A contract like that could very well be back-loaded as well to yield a higher qualifying offer at its expiration.

Toronto GM Kyle Dubas has stated on many occasions that he believes that he can keep the core of the team together even after bringing in John Tavares this offseason. Given the state of where things are, it appears that he’ll have to settle for giving Nylander a short-term deal to make that happen.

Originally posted on Pro Hockey Rumors  |  By Brian La Rose

Full Article

Senators place three players on IR following loss to Flyers

The Ottawa Senators were off to a better-than-expected start in the early going of the season, but Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers seems to have derailed things quite a bit. In a match that reminded of a past decade with line brawls and physical play, the Senators left the loss with several injuries. Today they have placed Cody Ceci, Ryan Dzingel and Alex Formenton on injured reserve. While the other two are dealing with undisclosed injuries, Formenton has a concussion. Christian Jaros and Nick Paul have been recalled from the AHL to fill in.

The Senators weren’t expected by many people to win many games this season, but after looking at least competitive in the early going there was some hope growing. Players like Formenton and Thomas Chabot were showing what the next wave of talent could bring, while Mark Stone looked worth every penny of the $7.35M contract he signed this summer. Injuries like this though will truly test the team’s depth, given that it was already razor thin at the NHL level. Jaros looked great in the preseason and could make an impact if inserted into the lineup — something that’s not guaranteed given Ben Harpur’s imminent return — but Paul has struggled so many times before for the Senators that there is little excitement about his return.

A concussion is one of the worst-case scenarios in this situation, given the uncertain health effects that they can cause. Formenton is a bright spot for the future given his speed and offensive upside and also gave fans a little taste of his toughness by getting involved in several scrums and a battle with Philadelphia’s Robert Hagg. Unfortunately it was a cross-check delivered to his head by Jori Lehtera that likely caused the injury, which will at the very least slow down Formenton’s early development.

By Gavin Lee

Follow here