Skinner scores buzzer beater with 0.2 seconds left, keeps Hurricanes’ playoff hopes alive

Jared Clinton
Jeff Skinner (Karl DeBlaker/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Carolina Hurricanes simply won’t go away in the Eastern Conference wild-card race, and even when it looks like they’re about to fall too far out of contention for the final wild-card spot, the Hurricanes pull off a bit of magic to stay within striking distance of the playoffs.

Take Tuesday for example. Down 3-2 to the Senators with two minutes remaining, Carolina goaltender Cam Ward headed to the bench for an extra attacker, and seconds later Ottawa’s Mark Stone came inches from hitting the empty net which would have iced the game for the Senators. Roughly 45 seconds later, Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman took his own attempt at the empty cage and shot it just wide, turning possession over to Carolina.

For the next minute-plus, the Hurricanes chipped, chased, hit and were dogged on loose pucks. And after coming within inches of being down 4-2 on two separate occasions, the puck found the Hurricanes’ Jeff Skinner in front of the net with 1.5 seconds remaining. Skinner wound up, fired and with 0.2 seconds remaining, the puck found the net: Read more

Prospect Need to Know: Sebastian Aho is soaring to the top

Sebastian Aho (Photo by Karpat Oulu/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

The NHL trade deadline had plenty of ramifications in the prospect world, with a slew of draft selections going to new teams and some actual players changing organizations as well. One situation to keep an eye on? Conner Bleackley, now of Arizona. The Colorado first-rounder would net the Coyotes a compensatory second-round pick if he doesn’t sign with his new team and based on his fractured kneecap and uneven career to date, that could be a real possibility.

 

Here’s a look at some of the other prospects you should know about right now:

 

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The five best Leap Day players, in honor of Simon Gagne’s ninth birthday

Simon Gagne

Today is Simon Gagne’s ninth birthday. Of course, seeing as Gagne was born in 1980, he’s actually turning 36 today, but given that his actual birthday is the Leap Day, Feb. 29, Gagne has only celebrated his actual birthday nine times.

That means w Gagne made his NHL debut, he had only celebrated four actual birthdays. So, in a sense, Gagne made it onto the Philadelphia Flyers before celebrating his fifth birthday. A real prodigy for his age, you could say.

The thing is, though, Gagne wasn’t the first Leap Day-born player to make it to the NHL having celebrated only a handful of birthdays, nor was he the best. And while he ranks among the very best of the Leap Day players, he’s not the best, and it’s going to be tough for anyone to ever take the crown as the best Leap Day-born NHLer. Here are the five best players born on Feb. 29: Read more

Rangers land Eric Staal in trade with ‘Canes

Dhiren Mahiban
Eric Staal (Len Redkoles/Getty Images)

Eric Saal is headed to New York.

Rangers acquired the Carolina Hurricanes captain in exchange for prospect Aleksi Saarela and second-round picks in both 2016 and 2017,  the team confirmed.

In order to facilitate the deal, Staal had to waive his no-trade clause.

Staal, who joins brother Marc Staal, is in the final year of his seven-year, $57.7 million contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

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Rumor Roundup: Eric Staal still hasn’t been asked to waive no-trade clause

Eric Staal

While the NHL trade deadline is fast approaching, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal remains in limbo. A pending free-agent in July, there’s been no reported progress in contract talks between Staal’s agent and Hurricanes GM Ron Francis.

However, The News & Observer’s Chip Alexander reports Francis still hasn’t approached the 31-year-old Staal about waiving his no-trade clause. The Hurricanes captain isn’t ruling out doing so, though he cautions it depends upon the deal and the destination.

Francis could be simply waiting until deadline day to move Staal, hoping to drive up his trade value. Despite the lack of news regarding Staal’s trade status, speculation persists over potential destinations. TSN’s Bob McKenzie wonders if the New York Rangers can resist the temptation to make a pitch to the Hurricanes, especially after dealing away future assets in recent years.

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Trade deadline target Eric Staal: “I’ve got to play better than I have”

Eric Staal (left) and Frank Corrado (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Eric Staal emerged from the Carolina Hurricanes changing area into the dressing room with a scowl on his face. That had a lot to do with the fact that his team had just lost a crucial game to the second-worst team in the league, but also because he knew the questions about his future were coming.

With the trade of Andrew Ladd earlier in the evening, Staal became the marquee player available leading up to Monday’s trade deadline, that is if indeed he’s available. This much we know: Staal has not been asked by Hurricanes GM Ron Francis to waive his no-trade clause of yet and he’s not sure what he would do if he were asked. He’s in the last year of his contract and there has not been a single offer for a contract extension made to him this season, nor has there been a proposal put to the Hurricanes by Staal’s agent Rick Curran.

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Rumor Roundup: Ladd, Staal and Boedker worth watching with one week until deadline

Mikkel Boedker (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The NHL’s Feb. 29 trade deadline is only a week away. As the big day approaches, Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal and Arizona Coyotes winger Mikkel Boedker top the list of players expected to be on the move.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers are possible destinations for the 30-year-old Jets captain. Both teams have the cap space to take on the remainder of his $4.4-million cap hit. Friedman also speculates the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks could get in on the bidding.

TSN’s Gary Lawless also believes the Panthers, Blackhawks and Ducks could pursue Ladd, along with the Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. He claims the Jets received an offer from one club of a first-round pick and a prospect, though he didn’t indicate where it came from.

If the Jets trade Ladd, they could seek a return that helps them now and in the future. With the Islanders and Panthers having depth in good young forwards, that could give them an edge over the Blackhawks and Ducks. As for the Capitals, recent reports out of Washington suggest they’re in the market for a depth defenseman, not a first-line left wing. Read more