Suspend him or not: Emelin boards Spezza, Kesler clips Dorsett

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After a weekend of fun and festivities, the NHL’s back and it’s already time to talk about potential suspensions. Two separate incidents on Tuesday could find Montreal’s Alexei Emelin and Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler in hot water.

Early in the second period of the Canadiens’ tilt against the visiting Dallas Stars, Emelin gave chase to Jason Spezza behind the net and, with the puck coming towards the Stars center, Emelin gave him a shove from behind which resulted in a bloodied Spezza. Read more

Radek Dvorak calls it quits on 18-year, 1,260-game NHL career

Radek Dvorak (Paul Bereswill/Getty Images Sport)

Veteran right winger Radek Dvorak, who played 1,260 career regular-season NHL games with eight teams over 18 years, retired Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Dvorak was drafted by the Florida Panthers 10th overall in 1995, and developed into a solid, if unspectacular forward who could play defense (he still holds Florida’s team record for most shorthanded goals, with 16). He had a 31-goal campaign for the Rangers in 2000-01, but never scored more than 20 in a single season after that. Having had two separate stints with the team, he’s second in Panthers franchise history in games played (613), but also spent time with the Blueshirts, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks and the Carolina Hurricanes. And he represented his homeland at the 2002 Olympics, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and numerous IIHF World Championships. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Stars eyeing pair of Maple Leafs defensemen

Cody Franson. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

In recent days there’s been some buzz claiming the Dallas Stars could be interested in Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen Dion Phaneuf or Cody Franson. The basis for this was a report on the Stars needs by Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.

Heika, however, didn’t say the Stars were actively interested in the pair, only that the club’s focus “seems to be on minute-munching defenders with size.” He merely listed Phaneuf and Franson among several blueline options (Arizona’s Zbynek Michalek and Ottawa’s Marc Methot being the others) who might be available leading up to the March trade deadline. Read more

Rumor Roundup: What to watch as trade deadline draws near

Fleischmann Kopecky featured

With the 2015 NHL All-Star Game now history and teams returning to action on Tuesday, the focus shifts toward the approaching NHL trade deadline on March 2. It’s expected trade activity will increase over the next five weeks as more clubs fall out of playoff contention.

As the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch observes, only four teams – Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers – can be considered non-contenders and therefore sellers in the trade market. Between now and the trade deadline, Garrioch believes they will be joined by the Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers. Read more

After 22 seasons, Ray Whitney officially announces retirement

(John Russell/Getty Images)

When you think of players who scored 1,000 points in the NHL, the last name to come to mind is often Ray Whitney. And on Wednesday, one of the NHL’s best and quietest scorers called it a career.

Whitney, 42, was prolific with every team he ever went to, and a model of consistency. He was a 10-time 20-goal scorer, nine-time 60-plus point getter, yet was only named to any of the league’s season-ending all-star teams on one occasion, a second team nod in 2011-12. Read more

Shawn Horcoff flattened an unsuspecting Patrick Sharp last night

Jared Clinton
Patrick Sharp (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

There’s a good reason why players are taught to check over their shoulders before attempting to make a quick move one way or the other. Unfortunately for him, Patrick Sharp can be used as an example of what not to do.

On Sunday night, as the Blackhawks took on the Stars, Sharp skated into the Dallas zone after a loose puck. With Dallas defenseman Jamie Oleksiak putting pressure on him from the right, he turned back quickly, only to be met by the hard-charging shoulder of Shawn Horcoff. The hit was a train wreck. Read more

Toronto Maple Leafs need to change a lot more than just the coach

Ken Campbell
Dion Phaneuf (left) and Phil Kessel  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Regardless of whether the Toronto Maple Leafs bring in Mike Babcock, Dan Bylsma, Guy Boucher, or while we’re the ‘B’ theme, the second coming of Toe Blake or Scotty Bowman, two essential elements of the culture of this team are going to have to change if it has any hope of success.

The first is way up where the guys who have the key to the executive bathroom reside. At some point, team president Brendan Shanahan is going to have to decide who is ultimately responsible for the on-ice product. Is it Shanahan himself? Is it current GM David Nonis, or is it someone with whom Shanahan is comfortable working? Read more