Boston Bruins right wing Loui Eriksson remains a hot topic of NHL trade speculation. Eligible for UFA status in July, recent reports claim the 30-year-old could seek a five-year deal worth over $6 million per season. That’s too expensive for the Bruins, who could trade Eriksson rather than lose him to free agency in July.
The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa reports the Bruins could try moving Eriksson for a defenseman. While that deal would address a pressing need for the Bruins, it will be difficult replacing a reliable two-way right winger. Indeed, trading Eriksson could adversely affect their playoff hopes.
As bad as the Montreal Canadiens have been since the holiday break, the Minnesota Wild haven’t been far behind. Over their past 18 games, Minnesota is 5-10-3, have had one of the league’s worst offenses and things aren’t getting any better.
Saturday afternoon, the Wild announced defenseman Jonas Brodin will be out three-to-six weeks with a broken foot. Brodin’s injury occurred Thursday in a contest against the New York Rangers when he blocked a shot, and, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo, was seen limping post-game. Brodin was placed on injured reserve.
Losing Brodin doesn’t just hurt the Wild on-ice, though, as his name has been at the center of several trade rumors over the past few weeks. Minnesota has a plethora of talented defensemen, but have been lacking scoring punch for most of the season leading many to believe a young blueliner could be dealt to acquire some offensive talent. Read more
With the end of the all-star break, the NHL season has reached it’s unofficial halfway point, making a great time to look at which teams have been hot (or not). Most people would take that to mean who got the most points during January, but with the NHL’s new numbers movement we can dig a little deeper than that. What’s more interesting to me is which teams actively improved (or degraded) their game regardless of results and identifying which teams are trending in the right or wrong direction.
Most people generally use shot rates to measure that as they’re good indications of a teams true talent level. They do fluctuate a bit throughout the year and that movement is worth keeping an eye on. That’s what this trend report is all about because how a team is playing lately is usually a good indication of what’s to come in the future.
With that being said, here are three teams that are going in the right direction, and three teams that are trending the other way.
Marco Scandella definitely doesn’t have the height to make in basketball, but the Minnesota Wild blueliner brought a bit of the hardcourt to the rink Thursday with a brilliant alley-oop pass to spring Charlie Coyle for a breakaway goal. Scandella and Coyle might be lucky the goal counted, too, because it appeared to come a fraction of an inch from being called back.
Scandella’s pass came with time winding down in the second frame. After gaining possession in the Minnesota zone, Scandella quickly flipped the puck up and over the Los Angeles Kings defense and down the ice. When the puck hit the ice, it landed right in front of Coyle, but the spin of the puck caused it to take a short hop instead of the long bounce Coyle was expecting. Coyle was able to grab the puck from behind him, though, before skating in for a nice finish to beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick: Read more
As the Winnipeg Jets struggle to gain ground in the Western Conference standings, there’s growing interest in GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s contract talks with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and left wing Andrew Ladd. The duo are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July, prompting questions over their future with the franchise.
Of the duo, the 30-year-old Byfuglien could attract the most interest. With his offensive skills and physical presence, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound blueliner could fetch a quality return if Cheveldayoff decides to trade him.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie claims Cheveldayoff’s fellow GMs anticipate Byfuglien could be available before the trade deadline. They doubt the Jets can afford to re-sign him and promising blueliner Jacob Trouba.
With this season’s Feb. 29 trade deadline over six weeks away, left wing Eric Staal’s tenure with the Carolina Hurricanes could be drawing to a close. Staal, 31, is completing a seven-year, $57.5 million contract and is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.
It was anticipated talks between Staal and Hurricanes GM Ron Francis would begin this month. However, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Luke DeCock reports discussions appear stagnant. He speculates a Staal trade is possible, “even likely” by the trade deadline.
Columbus Blue Jackets winger Nick Foligno and Minnesota Wild center Mikael Granlund got their names in the record book Tuesday night, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the two players won’t be linked forever after tying the record for fastest goals by two teams when the pair scored two seconds apart.
The Blue Jackets trailed the Wild 2-1 late in the third period when Columbus coach John Tortorella decided to pull goaltender Anton Forsberg. With the net empty, Minnesota winger Zach Parise was able to notch his third goal of the outing to put the Wild up 3-1 with less than one minute remaining.
Down two goals, Tortorella decided to try his hand with the net empty once more. After a Columbus faceoff win, Forsberg again headed to the bench and this time the Blue Jackets capitalized when Foligno knocked home a loose puck with 16 seconds remaining in the game. Tortorella kept Forsberg off the ice for the post-goal faceoff, though, which set up the record-tying tally: Read more
Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu was forced out of Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but he could be sidelined longer following a scary collision with the boards.
Little more than a minute into Tuesday’s game, Koivu chipped the puck behind the Blue Jackets defense and gave chase into the Columbus zone. Koivu managed to get the puck past Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard, but once Koivu caught up to the puck and fired it toward the net, he was given a shove by Savard. The shove forced Koivu to go sliding into the boards back first and he looked to have been shaken up: Read more