The Montreal Canadiens had a logjam in goal following the acquisition of Ben Scrivens, but they cleared some room Thursday by sending netminder Dustin Tokarski to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for winger Max Friberg.
Before the season began, Tokarski seemed a lock to backup Carey Price but was beaten for the gig by Mike Condon. With Condon filling out the backup role, Tokarski had spent most of his season in the AHL with the St. John’s IceCaps and had only started four games with Price on the shelf. Over six total outings, he posted a 1-3-0 record, 3.18 goals-against average and .878 save percentage.
The depth chart in Montreal was only getting more crowded and Tokarski wasn’t having a great season in the AHL either. Rookie Zach Fucale was outplaying him in St. John’s and Eddie Pasquale was a more than capable backup netminder for the IceCaps, making Tokarski expendable. When Price returns, too, the Canadiens will have to make a choice about which of Scrivens or Condon to demote. There would have been no way for the IceCaps to carry four netminders. Read more
Wednesday was a whirlwind day for Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson. In the afternoon, Gibson learned he had been named to the 2016 Pacific Division all-star team. But before the night was through, Gibson was heading to the dressing room early and on the shelf day-to-day with an apparent right leg injury.
Gibson’s injury came early in the third period of Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After sloppy neutral zone play by the Ducks, Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri burst through the neutral zone and stripped Anaheim blueliner Shea Theodore of the puck. Kadri didn’t have enough space between himself and the net to make a move and the back pressure from Theodore caused Kadri to fall into Gibson.
The contact from Kadri wasn’t too heavy, but it was the way he clipped Gibson that seemed to injure the netminder. The contact pushed Gibson’s leg awkwardly under his body, and following the collision Gibson was grabbing at his right leg and ankle: Read more
The Anaheim Ducks will be without the help of defenseman Cam Fowler for another 3-5 weeks, the club announced.
Fowler has been sidelined with a sprained right knee suffered in the Ducks win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 27.
After 10 seasons with the Canucks, Kevin Bieksa returned to Vancouver on Friday as a member of the opposition.
The Canucks honored Bieksa with a video tribute during the first period of their 2-1 shootout win over the Ducks.
The Ducks are one point back of getting out of the Pacific Division basement, but Anaheim is going to have to try to get back into the playoff hunt without the help of blueliner Cam Fowler.
After Fowler left Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury, the Ducks announced Monday the 24-year-old defenseman has been placed on injured reserve after suffering a sprained knee in Anaheim’s 4-2 win over Philadelphia. Worse yet, though, the Ducks don’t have a timeline for Fowler’s return.
“We all consider him one of our top defensemen,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told AnaheimDucks.com’s Kyle Shohara. “You lose him for any length of time, and I don’t know what the timeframe is, but it’s going to hurt any time he’s not playing.” Read more
It was believed the Anaheim Ducks would turn their season around at any point in the past month. It was expected in November after their October struggles, and it was believed that, after a rocky November, December would be the month the Ducks really turned it on.
Instead, Anaheim remains in the NHL’s basement with an 11-14-5 record through 30 games and have lost six of their past 10 contests. They sit in 28th place in the league, but are tied in points with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets for the honor of least points in the league. Worst of all, the Ducks offense hasn’t just been missing, it’s been near non-existent to a befuddling extent.
Through 30 games, the Ducks have 56 goals. The next closest teams, the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, each have 68. Anaheim has the third-worst goal differential at minus-20. And with struggles like this, coach Bruce Boudreau has seen just about enough. Following Thursday’s game — a 3-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres — Boudreau voiced his displeasure with the team. Read more
A month ago, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated over defenseman Tyson Barrie’s future with the Colorado Avalanche. Barrie, 24, is slated to become a restricted free agent in July. He’s currently earning $3.2 million in actual salary ($2.6-million cap hit) and possesses salary arbitration rights.
Though Friedman said he has no evidence of Barrie on the trade block, he claimed several teams were keeping an eye on the blueliner’s status. If the Avalanche have difficulty getting Barrie under contract, perhaps they’ll consider trading him.
In his Dec. 15 “30 Thoughts’ column, Friedman revisited Barrie’s status. If the Avs can’t or won’t re-sign the blueliner, he wonders if the Vancouver Canucks could make a pitch for him, perhaps by offering up forward Jake Virtanen as part of the return.
Rebranding professional sports teams is not a new or unusual concept. In their 45 years of existence the Vancouver Canucks have had enough logos and jerseys to cover off all the colors of the rainbow.
The Florida Panthers made headlines last week by announcing they were going to make sweeping changes to their logo, colors, and uniforms — then the Toronto Maple Leafs stole their thunder when reports surfaced that they were going to make changes to their iconic logo and uniform as part of their centennial season in 2016-17.
That got us thinking — which NHL teams actually need a logo or uniform refresh? Here are the answers.