Prospect Need to Know: Sabres pick Will Borgen proud of his Spud roots

Will Borgen (photo courtesy of St. Cloud State)

I’m back from Finland and things are not slowing down. The home team took gold at the world juniors in one of the best games I’ve ever seen live and the talent overall was incredible in Helsinki. But a whole slew of trades have gone down in the CHL since we last gathered, while the USHL Top Prospects Game runs tonight in Omaha. Names to watch in Nebraska include Cam Morrison (Notre Dame commit), William Knierim (Miami) and Matt Filipe (Northeastern). As for everything else prospect, let’s get to the list.


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Suspend him or not: Brad Malone clips Nick Foligno with high hit

Jared Clinton
Brad Malone hits Nick Foligno (via Streamable)

Hurricanes winger Brad Malone has had trouble finding a big role in Carolina’s lineup, but he may not have much of a choice whether or not he suits up for the next couple of games after he dropped Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno with a high hit.

With the Hurricanes leading 2-1 in the third period, Foligno took a stretch pass from Seth Jones and cut across the blueline before putting a pass towards the slot area. As Foligno made the pass, Malone caught Foligno with a high hit that left the Blue Jackets captain down on the ice: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Penguins biggest moves could come in the off-season

Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The struggling Pittsburgh Penguins could be worth watching as the Feb. 29th trade deadline approaches. Currently sitting outside of playoff contention, management could attempt to swing a deal to bolster their chances.

Such a move, however, won’t improve their Stanley Cup aspirations. Indeed, their window of opportunity to win a championship with their current core of talent has closed. Sliding further out of playoff contention will increase calls for a roster rebuild, perhaps by shopping superstar centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, however, doubts either guy will be moved. He points out the club is currently up for sale, and dealing away Crosby or Malkin could affect its value. Friedman also believes it’s up to ownership, not management, to make that decision. Read more

Kris Versteeg gets creative, goes between his legs for great goal

Jared Clinton
Kris Versteeg (via NHL/YouTube)

Hurricanes winger Kris Versteeg is a three-time 20-goal scorer and he’d probably be the first to admit that he’d love to have a much larger number in the goal column, but even if Versteeg isn’t filling the net it doesn’t mean he’s lost his creativity.

In the third period of Carolina’s outing against the red-hot Washington Capitals, Versteeg scored one of the more clever goals of the season. Following a Hurricanes break-in, Versteeg found himself stationed to the side of Capitals netminder Philipp Grubauer when Hurricanes defenseman John-Michael Liles fired a puck on net. Liles’ shot missed wide to the right but bounced perfectly — and we mean perfectly — to Versteeg.

With one quick move, Versteeg pulled the puck between his legs and fired a quick chip shot over the outstretched pad of Grubauer to get Carolina within one: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Notable stars remain on trade block as holiday freeze sets in

Steven Stamkos (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

With the NHL holiday trade freeze in effect until midnight on Dec. 27, here’s a look at the recent speculation on several notable stars.

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning’s visit to play the Maple Leafs in Toronto last week created considerable chatter over the pending UFA’s future in Tampa Bay. In an interview with The Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith, Stamkos insisted he wants to re-sign with the Bolts.

He dismissed rumors of a rift with coach Jon Cooper, claimed his camp has engaged in contract discussions with Lightning management and claimed all other info suggesting he wants out of Tampa Bay is false.

Read more Roundtable: NHL teams in need of a logo and jersey refresh

Florida Panthers (Getty Images)

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.

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Rumor Roundup: Trade talk dies down as holiday freeze approaches

Matt Duchene, Patrick Marleau, and Ryan Johansen. (Getty Images)

November saw a number of notable NHL players pop up in the rumor mill. Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, Columbus Blue Jackets pivot Ryan Johansen, San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, and Edmonton Oilers forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle became hot topics of trade speculation.

Moving into mid-December and with the league’s holiday trade freeze (Dec. 19-27) just over a week away, much of the trade chatter regarding those players has cooled off or completely died out.

Since Duchene first surfaced in trade talk in early-November, he’s become one of the league’s hottest offensive stars. Most observers now assume Avs GM Joe Sakic was simply trying to light a fire under the 24-year-old, who was off to a slow start.

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