Talk about unlikely destinations for Jaromir Jagr.
The Florida Panthers announced Thursday they have acquired 43-year-old winger Jarmoir Jagr from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round selection in 2016. The conditions of the third-round pick have not yet been released. Read more
Chicago Blackhawks fans were holding their breath Tuesday after star winger Patrick Kane was injured on a controversial play involving Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic and had to leave the game.
Kane, Chicago’s leading scorer this season – and the man tied with Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom as the league’s top point-getter entering Tuesday’s action – entered the night tied for the NHL lead in points with 64, but the 26-year-old was hurt in the first period after Petrovic gave him a push from behind and he fell awkwardly into the boards: (video via SomeHockeyVideos) Read more
As the NHL’s March 2 trade deadline draws closer, the number of deals are starting to pick up. Early Tuesday, the Canadiens sent left winger Jiri Sekac to Anaheim for right winger Devante Smith-Pelley – and late the same night, the surging Minnesota Wild attempted to bolster their playoff chances by acquiring disgruntled winger Sean Bergenheim and a seventh-round draft pick in 2016 from Florida in exchange for a 2016 third-round pick.
Bergenheim had fallen out of favor very publicly in Florida – he’s been out of Florida’s lineup for ten of their past 16 games and his agent has angrily demanded a trade on his behalf – but he’s still got decent numbers (eight goals and 18 points in 39 games) in limited minutes and isn’t a defensive liability. He’ll help the Wild deal with injuries to wingers Jason Zucker, Ryan Carter and Matt Cooke. The 31-year-old Finn hasn’t scored more than 17 goals in either of his previous seasons with the Panthers, but his expiring contract, reasonable salary cap pro-rated hit (his 2014-15 salary is $2.75 million) and playoff history (which includes nine goals in 16 games with Tampa Bay in 2011 and three goals and six points in seven games with Florida in 2012) made him attractive enough to Wild GM Chuck Fletcher. Read more
If there’s going to be trade action in any division, the Atlantic is the one to watch. With Montreal, Tampa Bay and Detroit fighting for top spot, Boston and Florida trading punches in the Wild Card and Toronto set for a full rebuild, there’s potential for the entire division to be shaken up on March 2. Even if the star players, such as Maple Leafs Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, aren’t moved at the deadline, there are going to be changes coming to the Atlantic as the teams either push for a shot in the wide open Eastern Conference or shuffle the deck and build for the future. Read more
Whoever lands Sean Bergenheim at the trade deadline should be considered an early winner.
And Bergenheim will be traded. Maybe not this week and maybe not until the waning moments of the trade deadline, but Bergenheim has asked for a trade, the rumors of multiple interested teams aren’t slowing down and Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon seems likely to move the 31-year-old winger.
Granted there’s no vast overpayment – mortgaging the future and giving up multiple first-round picks, for example – whichever GM acquires Bergenheim should be lauded, because they will have instantly made their team a lot better. Read more
Curtis Glencross‘ days with the Calgary Flames could be numbered. The 32-year-old left winger is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Tuesday there was no contract discussions between Glencross and Flames management, fuelling suggestions he could be dealt by the trade deadline.
Those rumors ramped up Friday when reports emerged from Calgary claiming Glencross, who has a full no-movement clause, was asked to provide a list of preferred trade destinations. However, the Calgary Herald’s Kristen Odland reports GM Brad Treliving said the veteran hasn’t requested a trade, adding it was possible Glencross could finish the season with the Flames. Read more
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel remains the subject of intense trade speculation leading up to the March trade deadline. Despite his hefty contract ($8 million-annually for the next seven seasons), there’s reports he’s attracting interest from several NHL teams.
On Monday, Leafs GM Dave Nonis told Sportsnet’s Hockey Central panel the 27-year-old Kessel lacks a full no-trade clause. Nonis admitted the Leafs “have teams we can trade him to,” claiming they have the flexibility to change their team. Despite having discussions with other clubs, Nonis notes stars like Kessel carrying expensive contracts tend to move in the off-season, “if at all.”
Sun-Sentinel.com’s Harvey Fialkov believes Kessel would love to play for the Florida Panthers, as he lives in South Florida during the summer. Fialkov notes the Panthers have depth in young talent to interest the Leafs, though he doesn’t believe Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon will part with defenseman Aaron Ekblad or forwards Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad or Brandon Pirri. Read more
Think about the elite centers in the NHL and more than likely, the team they play for acquired them through the draft.
Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Tavares, Toews, Getzlaf, Giroux, Kopitar and Henrik Sedin all qualify and it’s no coincidence they were all snatched up in the first round. Tellingly, none of those players have been traded in their careers and to be a little cheeky, you kinda have to wait until the Boston Bruins are ready to trade a No. 1 center (Thornton, Seguin now that he’s in Dallas) if you want one.
Since that’s probably not going to happen again for awhile, the path to success is clear – since it’s near impossible to win the Stanley Cup these days without a great top pivot – and Florida’s leading scorer happens to fit the mold.