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
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
Talk of the the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings swapping toxic contracts by exchanging defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Mike Richards persists in the rumor mill. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes it could make sense for both clubs. He thinks the Kings might go for it but not the Leafs at this point.
Phaneuf, 29, is in the first year of a seven-year, $49-million contract with an annual cap hit of $7 million. Richards, 29, is in the seventh-season of a 12-year, $69-million deal worth $5.75-million per season. Read more
COLUMBUS – Filip Forsberg went from having no cars to owning two in record time. The Nashville Predators rookie, who has been bumming rides from teammate Mattias Ekholm most of his first season in the NHL, bought a new Jaguar recently, then won a Honda Accord for being taken last overall in the all-star fantasy draft.
In a recent piece on Forsberg in THN’s Rookie Issue, Forsberg talked about not having a set of wheels. “That might change soon,” he said. Little did he know at the time he was going to have one too many cars before long.
“It was just a really fun thing to be here with the guys,” Forsberg said. “Hopefully I can play in another All-Star Game and move up in the draft in the future. And I get a car out of this. That’s not too bad either.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers, who was chosen second last in a fan vote, also received a Honda Accord. No word on whether it was equipped with a block heater.
Both Forsberg and Nugent-Hopkins said they would likely give the new car to a family member, “but you can never have too many cars,” Forsberg said.
Nugent-Hopkins said he expects members of his family back in Burnaby, B.C. will be vying for the prize.
“I’m expecting a few calls from family members lobbying for it,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We’ll see who gets it.”
COLUMBUS – Despite some high-profile cancellations, a lot of players are happy to be at the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus this weekend. For some, it’s the chance to treat friends and family to a grand experience. For others, it’s the camaraderie on the ice. But Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins may also sneak in some time to do some fact-finding in Ohio.
Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin has been a central force in Washington’s success thus far this season, and even in a losing cause Tuesday against the Oilers, the Russian star showed his force is sometimes too much for goal cameras when he’s blasting pucks in nets.
The 29-year-old Ovechkin had already scored once in front of his home crowd Tuesday when, on the power play, he drilled a shot from the circle and beat Edmonton goalie Viktor Fasth for his 27th goal of the year. Unfortunately for the goal camera, Ovechkin really got all of the puck: Read more
Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens has established himself as one of the NHL’s leading voices in mental illness awareness, and he’s now teamed up with athletes and celebrities outside the hockey world to spread the word and encourage understanding and acceptance of those who suffer from it.
Working with the group Bring Change 2 Mind – a non-profit charity founded by actress Glenn Close to raise mental illness awareness – Scrivens is joining fellow athlete Brandon Marshall of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, actor Wayne Brady and musician Michael Angelakos of the group Passion Pit on a new public service announcement campaign, #StrongerThanStigma, that encourages the normalization of mental health conversations among men: Read more
Georges Laraque hasn’t laced up the skates to play professional hockey in five years, but he’s signed a deal to play his first professional game since the 2009-10 season.
Laraque, 38, has signed a one-week contract with Fana IHK of the Norwegian second division, and the team has given him nearly two months to prepare for the week long stint which will see the former NHL tough guy play a pair of games in March. Read more