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

One of NHL all-star weekend’s brightest stars is Darryl Sutter’s son, Chris

Adam Proteau
Darryl Sutter and Chris Sutter (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Although hometown hero Ryan Johansen was voted MVP of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Sunday night, the person who best embodied the spirit of the event was Chris Sutter, son of L.A. Kings (and Team Foligno) coach Darryl Sutter.

Chris Sutter, who lives with Down Syndrome, was helping his father coach Team Foligno in Columbus, and took the game as seriously as anyone in the building. The 21-year-old was on the bench offering support to Bobby Ryan after his goal, as well as advice to superstar Patrick Kane (while fellow star Alex Ovechkin looked on amusedly): Read more

Rumor Roundup: Maple Leafs, Kings, Sabres, Oilers, and Senators all prepared to make moves following break

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHL)

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

Fellow top picks to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: It gets better

Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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.

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Dennis Wideman scored an OT winner that shocked everyone in the building

Jared Clinton
(Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Monday night’s game between the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings is one of those you remember for many reasons once the season is over.

For the entire 64-minute contest, the action was great, fans got a glimpse of 3-on-3 overtime, and the finish was incredible. The only problem, however, was that Calgary’s Dennis Wideman was the only one who knew the game was over.

With less than a minute left in overtime, Wideman got the puck down close to the Los Angeles goal line and, with Kings netminder Jonathan Quick down and sliding across the crease, the Flames defenseman buried the puck in the top shelf. You can hear Wideman after the puck goes in, with his arms raised, hollering, “Yeah!” It would have been an incredible moment to end a fantastic game, but Wideman was the only one who knew he scored. Read more

Rob Blake takes his ‘last shift’ as the L.A. Kings retire his No. 4

Josh Elliott
Rob Blake's number retired

With a pre-game tribute, some familiar faces and much fanfare, the Los Angeles Kings honoured one of their former greats (and current assistant GM) Rob Blake in a touching ceremony at the Staples Center in L.A. on Saturday.

“I kind of look at this as the last shift No. 4 will ever take,” Blake told the crowd at the Staples Center.

About 40 former Kings players were on hand for the ceremony, including Luc Robitaille, Kelly Hrudey, Dan Bylsma, Rogie Vachon, Warren Rychel, Mike Donnelly and Blake’s old defence partner, Mattias Norstrom. They all sat on chairs wearing Kings jerseys surrounding a stage with Blake’s No. 4 on it.
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Five unforgettable Rob Blake moments with the Los Angeles Kings

Josh Elliott
Rob Blake LA Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are writing some of the most memorable moments in their franchise history these days, but they’ll pause that process tonight to retire the number of Rob Blake, the best defenceman in Kings history so far.

Drew Doughty may one day usurp Blake of that mantle. But for now, No. 4 stands as the top blueliner in franchise history, and the Kings’ most recent contribution to the Hall of Fame.

That’s not bad for the hard-hitting Simcoe, Ontario native, who was drafted in the fourth round (70th overall) by L.A. in 1988.
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