Red Wings land veteran winger Erik Cole from Stars as insurance for concussed Johan Franzen

Adam Proteau
Erik Cole (Glenn James/NHL)

The Red Wings are en route to their 24th consecutive playoff appearance, but may be without concussed key winger Johan Franzen for its entirety. With that in mind, GM Ken Holland moved Sunday and made a deal with his former assistant GM and current Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill for veteran Erik Cole.

The trade also sends a third-round draft pick in 2015 from Dallas to Detroit, while the Stars receive a second-round pick in 2015 as well as two 22-year-old prospects: centre Mattias Janmark, and defenseman Mattias Backman. But the Wings get the most recognizable asset in the Cole, who at 36 is nearing the end of his 13-season NHL career, yet still is contributing a better-than average amount of offense (he’s got 18 goals and 33 points in 57 games this year after posting 16 goals and 29 points in 75 games last season) and plays a physical game coach Mike Babcock will appreciate. Read more

THN Trade Deadline preview: Central Division

o'reilly

As of Wednesday night, there is no division in the league that boasts more teams on the brink of the playoffs Central Division and that could have a major impact on the trade deadline action throughout the division. The Minnesota Wild made a major move in landing Devan Dubnyk in December and made another splash when they landed Sean Bergenheim from the Florida Panthers, so it will be interesting to see if the Winnipeg Jets – currently holding on for dear life to one of the West’s wild-card spots – answers back.

St. Louis, Chicago and Nashville are all probably done aside from minor deals and Colorado and Dallas are right in the middle – they could be buyers and they could be sellers. Don’t be shocked if the Central is the quietest of the four divisions at the deadline. Read more

Prospect Hot List: San Jose’s Swiss grinder, Noah Rod

Switzerland's Noah Rod celebrates at the world juniors (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

Weather permitting, Boston’s NCAA Beanpot tournament will end next week and hopefully I’ll be there. In the meantime, some more important dates were established when the CHL announced the hosts of next year’s Super Series with Russia: Kamloops, Kelowna, Owen Sound, Windsor, Rouyn-Noranda and Halifax. With that out of the way, let’s take a trip around the world of prospects.

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Dmitry Kulikov gets four-game ban for hit on Tyler Seguin

Jared Clinton
Dmitry Kulikov (via NHL Department of Player Safety/NHL)

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has suspended Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov for four games as a result of his low hit on Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin.

The hit earned Kulikov a five-minute major for clipping and a game misconduct, while Seguin was forced to leave the game. There was no question that the play would result in a suspension and the four-game ban for Kulikov is the first suspension of his career. Read more

Why no Selke love for two-way wingers like Hossa and Nash?

Josh Elliott
Marian Hossa and Rick Nash

Officially, the Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”

There’s nothing in there about faceoff percentage, yet that stat seems to have become one of the most important criteria for picking the Selke winner. Faceoff winning percentage comes up in the Selke conversation just as often as stats like plus-minus, shorthanded minutes and point production.

The problem with that is wingers are rarely taken seriously as potential Selke candidates.
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Cody McLeod earns first star with 2 fights, a cheap shot, no points

Josh Elliott
Cody McLeod

There must have been something in the air in Denver on Saturday.

How else do you explain a fourth-line fighter getting first star honours after picking up 30 penalty minutes and getting kicked out of the game?

Colorado’s Cody McLeod fought twice, played 8:58 and took four shots on net to nab top honours in the game. Nevermind that his teammates outscored the Dallas Stars 4-1.

No, it was clearly McLeod’s game-changing dust-up with Jason Demers in the third period that turned the tide.
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Suspend him or not: Dmitry Kulikov takes out Tyler Seguin with a low hit

Josh Elliott
Tyler Seguin

Dmitry Kulikov took out Tyler Seguin‘s legs with a dirty low bridge hit on Friday that should earn the Florida defender a suspension on top of his game misconduct.

The play happened in the third period of a game between the Stars and Panthers with 6:55 left on the clock and Seguin’s Stars ahead 2-0.

Seguin had just entered the Panthers zone and passed the puck away when Kulikov ducked low and took out Seguin’s legs in the middle of the ice. Seguin went toppling over Kulikov and couldn’t get back to his feet. He had to be helped to the dressing room.

See it for yourself.
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