What impact will Brodie and Seidenberg injuries have on Flames, Bruins?

Dominik Luszczyszyn
T.J. Brodie (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

The Calgary Flames will be without one of their key cogs for a while as T.J. Brodie will be sidelined three-to-six weeks thanks to a broken bone in his hand that occurred in Monday’s pre-season tilt with the Oilers.

It’s rough that the injury occurred during meaningless pre-season action, but it does give Brodie two extra weeks to recover which means that he likely only misses 3-13 games. The question is just how big of a loss that is to the Flames.

That’s where a stat like WAR is especially helpful. We’ve been rolling out projections based on WAR with our daily season previews using this method and we can apply the same concept to Brodie’s injury. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Eric Staal could be top rental player at deadline

Lyle Richardson
Eric Staal (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Most of the recent NHL media speculation is focused upon the respective contract statuses of Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar. Lately, however, attention has shifted onto forward Eric Staal’s future with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Like Stamkos and Kopitar, the 30-year-old Hurricanes captain is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. In an interview with Sportnet The Fan 960, Elliotte Friedman claims Staal’s agent Rick Curran and Hurricanes GM Ron Francis were no closer to a deal.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Curran and Francis had a great open dialogue, but no time frame on reaching an agreement. He points out Staal’s status is different to that of Stamkos and Kopitar, who are playing on postseason contenders. Read more

Bruins prospect Khokhlachev voices displeasure about role, wants shot at the NHL

Jared Clinton
Alexander Khokhlachev (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

For the past two seasons, Alexander Khokhlachev has been the Providence Bruins’ leading scorer, yet he has only managed to crack the Boston lineup for four games. With training camp underway, the 22-year-old has been vocal about getting a shot to show what he can do in the big league.

When asked about his role with the team at Bruins training camp over the weekend, Khokhlachev didn’t hold back.

“Boston should make a decision with me,” he told WEEI’s DJ Bean. “I’ve waited for my chance already. Two years. I’m just still waiting. We’ll see. They should make a decision. Give me a chance, or I don’t know. We’ll see [what] they’ll do.” Read more

Simon Gagne’s five greatest moments in honor of his 14-year career

(Fracois Lacasse/Getty Images)

After a 14-year career in the NHL, Simon Gagne officially announced his retirement from the NHL Tuesday.

While the past few years of his career were difficult — he bounced around from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles to Philadelphia and finally to Boston in his final three seasons — Gagne, 35, retires with quite the trophy case and more than a few memorable moments in his career.

The Ste. Foy, Que., native was a first-round pick of the Flyers in 1998, taken with the 22nd overall selection. With his career officially coming to an end Tuesday, Gagne finishes as the eighth-highest scoring player to come out of the 1998 draft with 291 goals and 601 points over his 14 seasons.

Without question, Gagne’s best years came in Philadelphia and it’s no surprise that moments from his time with the Flyers make up more than half of his top-five career moments. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Plekanec’s contract status stokes trade rumors

Lyle Richardson
Tomas Plekanec (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

After playing without a captain through 2014-15, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin recently announced a new one will be selected before the start of the upcoming season. The candidates could come from among last season’s four alternates, which include center Tomas Plekanec.

The Montreal Gazette’s Jack Todd made the case for Plekanec as Habs captain, who he considers “arguably the most under-rated player ever to wear the CH”. There’s certainly merit to Todd’s suggestion, as the 32-year-old pivot spent his entire NHL career with the Habs and is clearly their best two-way forward.

However, Todd notes there’s some talk in Montreal claiming Plekanec might be traded to make room for youngster Alex Galchenyuk, who will start the season at center. Galchenyuk, 21, spent most of young NHL career at left wing. Given his offensive skills (20 goals, 46 points in 80 games last season), he will be centering one of the top two lines.

Suggestions that Plekanec should be moved are likely tied to his contract status. He’s an unrestricted free agent next July and is completing a six-year, $30-million contract with an annual average salary of $5 million. His recent comments claiming his agent hasn’t been contacted by management about a contract extension likely stoked the trade rumors.

However, it’s doubtful the Canadiens will shop Plekanec now. As Todd observes, if Galchenyuk struggles at his new position, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s back on the wing by Halloween. That will snuff out suggestions about moving the veteran center.

Bergevin likely intends to evaluate Plekanec’s performance this season before opening contract negotiations. If he’s named Canadiens captain, it’ll be an obvious indication Bergevin intends to keep him around for a while.


Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney spent the summer courting free-agent defenseman like Cody Franson, Christian Ehrhoff and Marek Zidlicky. However, with training camp opening soon, Sweeney has opted not to add a veteran blueliner.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports Sweeney was tempted to pursue Franson as his asking price dropped over the summer, but decided to give young defensemen like Zach Trotman, Colin Miller and Joe Morrow an opportunity to earn a spot. It also means Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid will be given a look as top-four defensemen.

If those youngsters struggle in training camp or early in the season, Haggerty believes Sweeney won’t hesitate to pursue some big-name rearguards who could become available, like Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien or Chicago’s Brent Seabrook.

It’s possible blueliners of that caliber might become obtainable, but Sweeney could be waiting a while. Given the value of Byfuglien and Seabrook to their respective club, the earliest they could hit the trade block this season – if at all – is near the Feb. 29th trade deadline. Of course, that will depend upon whether those clubs are in playoff contention by then.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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What’s best for Malcolm Subban’s future – the AHL or the NHL?

Matt Larkin
Malcolm Subban. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

It was the moment he’d awaited for years. Then it was a tortuously slow affair with no end in sight. Then it was over in the blink of an eye. Somehow, Malcolm Subban’s NHL debut was all three.

The Boston Bruins’ prized goaltending prospect earned his first start Feb. 20, 2015 against the powerhouse St. Louis Blues. Plenty of pundits speculated Subban would start the game prior, against the lowly Edmonton Oilers, for an easier test, not to mention a trade showcase for an opponent still seeking a long-term No. 1 at the time. Instead, Bruins coach Claude Julien threw Subban to the wolves. But, hey, it was a vote of confidence for a netminder chosen 24th overall in the 2012 draft and rated as the No. 3 prospect at his position in THN Future Watch. And Subban had more than earned a shot in the midst of a second straight stellar campaign with AHL Providence.

The dream came true but quickly became a nightmare. The Blues didn’t manage a shot for the first 13 minutes. They put three pucks on net in the first period. Then came a sudden second-period barrage, in which they peppered Subban and pumped home three goals in the first 5:09. Julien gave a shell-shocked Subban the hook.

“It was really exciting and thrilling, but it was tough,” Subban said. “If you ask any goalie, it’s tough when you’re not getting a lot of action and then all of a sudden you get a flurry of shots. I wish it went a little better, but I’ll be ready for my next opportunity.”

Read more

Rumor Roundup: Blueline a concern for Bruins

Lyle Richardson
Cody Franson. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s been nearly a month since Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney expressed interest in adding a defenseman via free agency during an interview with the club’s website. Speculation over who Sweeney might sign is creating headlines in an otherwise quiet NHL rumor mill.

Since trading away Dougie Hamilton in June, Sweeney signed former San Jose Sharks blueliner Matt Irwin. However, the Bruins defense corps could use another skilled puck-moving rear guard, especially with Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg getting long in the tooth.

Over the last several weeks, the Bruins were linked to defensemen Cody Franson, Christian Ehrhoff and Marek Zidlicky. Sweeney confirmed speaking with Franson and Zidlicky, but doesn’t appear close to signing either player. Ehrhoff received an offer from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but is reportedly speaking to other teams. The Bruins could be one of them. Read more

AHL Logo Ranking: No. 28 – Providence Bruins

Jared Clinton
Providence Bruins logo. (via Sportslogos.net/Chris Creamer)

(The AHL has undergone a season of change and one third of the league has changed locations or logos for the 2015-16 season. Leading up to the new season, The Hockey News will be ranking the logos of the league’s teams and offering a brief look at the history of each franchise. See the rest of the rankings in our AHL feed.)

The Providence Bruins were one win away from advancing to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs in 2014-15 but lost consecutive one-goal games to the Hartford Wolf Pack, ending up on the losing end of the first-round best-of-five series. In 2015-16, it might be harder for Providence to even get that far.

When the upcoming season begins, the baby Bruins could be without the likes of Seth Griffith and David Pastrnak, who were two of the club’s most prolific scorers during the past season. Both Griffith and Pastrnak have shots at making the big club in 2015-16 and without either, Providence’s offense will have to rely on Alex Khokhlachev. Justin Florek, who contributed 11 goals and 35 points, has moved on to the New York Islanders.

That’s not to mention that one starting netminder, either Jeremy Smith or Malcolm Subban, will be making the jump to the NHL to backup Tuukka Rask, with rookie netminder Zane McIntyre suiting up as a backup goaltender for Providence.

The club has been to the post-season in each of the past three seasons, but as the Bruins look to rebuild, some of the weight could come crashing down on the team in Providence. Read more