Rumor Roundup: Dupuis’ injury has Penguins perusing trade market

Pascal Dupuis

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward lines suffered a serious blow when veteran winger Pascal Dupuis was sidelined for six months with a blood clot in one of his lungs. It didn’t take long for rumors to surface over how they’ll address Dupuis’ absence.

USA Today’s Kevin Allen believes the Penguins have trade options to pursue. Among them are Buffalo Sabres wingers Drew Stafford and Chris Stewart, who are both eligible for unrestricted free agency in July, and Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov. Read more

Sharks send Jason Demers, third-round pick to Dallas for Brenden Dillon

Jared Clinton
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It’s been a busy day for Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill.

Earlier this afternoon, Nill and the Stars announced the re-signing of center Jason Spezza to a four-year deal worth $30 million dollars. The deal, worth $7.5 million annually, wasn’t Nill’s final move of the day, however, as a trade between the Stars and the San Jose Sharks came out of nowhere.

The deal sends defenseman Jason Demers and a third-round pick to Dallas, while defenseman Brenden Dillon goes the other way. Read more

Why Jason Spezza’s contract extension was horrible timing by Dallas

Matt Larkin
Jason Spezza has 18 points in his first 20 games with Dallas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Everything about the Dallas Stars’ season was a head scratcher leading up to Friday, so the announcement of Jason Spezza’s four-year, $30-million contract extension is fitting.

Jason Spezza was a good get for the Dallas Stars in a summer trade with Ottawa that didn’t cost GM Jim Nill an arm and a leg. Spezza, 31, still had plenty left in the tank. He remained a point-per-game player, give or take, he was excited to play in a less hockey-mad market and there was a solid chance he would flourish as Dallas’ No. 2 center behind Tyler Seguin.

Spezza’s short stay as a Dallas Star has delivered on expectations. He’s tallied 18 points in 20 games, racking up assists on the power play. He hasn’t been a world beater in his own zone, but Spezza was never mistaken for Patrice Bergeron to begin with.

Note the term “short stay,” however. The man is 20 games into his Dallas Stars career. Why on Earth would this team sign him to a four-year extension now? The reasons not to stick out like a mason jar full of sore thumbs.

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Horvat, Klingberg, and Clendening register first career goals

Bo Horvat

Amidst all the other accolades rookies Bo Horvat, John Klingberg, and Adam Clendening may receive, you can be certain that one thing they’ll never forget is there first NHL goals. For each, that marker came on Thursday night.

Horvat, the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft, has only suited up for seven games for the Vancouver Canucks due to a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the first month of the season. It was lucky number seven that provided the former London Knight with his first tally: Read more

The top 10 schools that should join Arizona State in going D1

Penn State has been an early D1 success (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/MCT via Getty Images)

Ever since Arizona State announced that its successful ACHA club team would be making the leap to Division 1 hockey, coach Greg Powers has been fighting a war against his inbox. See, every time the Sun Devils bench boss finishes reading an email, five or six more pop up. Powers has received about 600 emails in the past day from potential recruits, family advisors (ie agents) and other ACHA coaches who want to know how his school did it.

“We expected it was going to be big news,” Powers said. “I’ve been pushing Arizona State as the most unique college hockey experience in the country for four years.”

Arizona State has national name recognition thanks to it affiliation in other sports with the Pac-12 conference, it’s a huge school (80,000 students) and it has that great Southwestern climate to boast. The Sun Devils also had a nice model in Penn State, a similar school (minus the weather) that went from the ACHA to Division 1 just a few years ago and is already thriving in the newly-formed Big Ten conference.

“Penn State is awesome,” Powers said. “Their blueprint for success has worked. It’s real, you can do it. We did it.”

In fact, when the Nittany Lions were in their transition season, they hosted Powers’ Arizona State team and the Sun Devils came away with a win. The victory put the school on the map and that’s when the rumblings began in the greater Phoenix area.

So if other club-level schools are calling Powers, we may not be done yet with college expansion in the near future. But which schools would bring the most buzz with them? Here’s a top 10 based on national prominence, geographical uniqueness (so if your state already has a team, too bad) and conference links, if any. As a bonus, I’ve included young local players from each area.

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Playing past their prime didn’t hurt Forsberg, Modano & Hasek – & it won’t hurt Brodeur’s legacy either

Martin Brodeur (Getty Images)

When I look at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014, the first thing I think of is the eye-popping talent and character of the players and people. The second thing that comes to mind, oddly enough, is Martin Brodeur.

Because as the former Devils goalie floats in limbo these days, not employed by any team but not ready to say he’s retired, I hear some say he’s doing himself a disservice by not realizing what the lack of job offers is telling him, and suggest Brodeur should call a press conference as soon as possible to put his 21-season career to bed. But when you look at the careers of this year’s HHOF inductees, it becomes clear even the best of the best can’t help but play past their best due date. Guys like Red Wings icon (and 2015 lock Hall-of-Famer) Nicklas Lidstrom or Canadiens great Ken Dryden, who retire before a precipitous decline in effectiveness sets in, are the exception. The majority of the elite – including 2014 honorees Peter Forsberg and Mike Modano, and to a lesser degree, Dominik Hasek and Rob Blake – did not leave the sport at their peak. Read more

Stars’ Roussel, Blackhawks’ Shaw throw down in Fight of the Year candidate

Jared Clinton
Dallas Stars v Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw has fought twice in the last two seasons. Both bouts have been with Dallas Stars winger Antoine Roussel. Safe to say the two don’t like each other very much, and the pair renewed hostilities on Sunday night.

Midway through the first period, with the Stars up 2-1, Shaw came across behind Roussel, and whatever Shaw said certainly sparked something in his opponent. Roussel immediately turned, the gloves were off, and the two threw haymakers in a sure Fight of the Year candidate: Read more

Rumor Roundup: Nervous GMs may make moves near American Thanksgiving

Tyler Myers

Since the implementation of the salary cap in 2005, early-season NHL trades have become rare. Even the ability for teams to absorb part of a player’s salary failed to spark an increase in player movement during a season’s opening weeks.

That partially explains why it took a month for this regular season’s first trade to occur, when the Dallas Stars shipped aging defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. Since that deal there’s anticipation over when the next NHL trade will take place. Read more