Getting To Know: Dennis Hextall

Dennis Hextall (Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Former NHL left winger from 1967-1980 with Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, California Golden Seals, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals. Currently coaches hockey in Edwards, Colorado at Battle Mountain HS.

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 175 pounds
DOB: April 17, 1943 In: Poplar Point, M.B. Read more

Back injury suffered in practice could sideline Rangers’ Rick Nash

Jared Clinton
Rick Nash. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

The New York Rangers will play the first of two back-to-back road games Friday night when they head to Colorado, but they could be without Rick Nash for one or both outings.

In practice Thursday, Nash tweaked his back during a drill and had to leave the ice. Following the Rangers practice, coach Alain Vigneault said Nash was day-to-day and was unsure of his status for Friday’s tilt against the Avalanche.

“I just threw it out, I couldn’t move, it locked up,” Nash told’s Andrew Gross. “I’ve had locked up backs but the last two and a half years, I’ve been pretty good that way. I just have to put my trust in the trainers and…get it to keep moving. It felt good the first three drills, then I twisted it and it went out on me.” Read more

McDavid injury opens Calder race up to late-bloomers

Colton Parayko (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

As Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said in his news conference to update the Connor McDavid injury, when you’re talking about plates and screws, the news isn’t really good. And when you talk about months, and stress the plural as Peter Chiarelli did, well you can understand why Chiarelli looked so grim.

But let’s say McDavid is a quick healer and misses eight weeks with his broken clavicle, the same way Patrick Kane did last season. That would put him back in Edmonton Oilers lineup in the New Year. It would mean he’d miss 26 games and essentially destroy his chances of winning the Calder Trophy.

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Suspend them or not: Marc Staal, Antoine Roussel and Ryan Reaves

Ryan Reaves and Anze Kopitar.

It seemed no player in any arena in any game Tuesday night was safe from a questionable hit. Alex Ovechkin, Zac Rinaldo and Anze Kopitar all found themselves on the receiving ends.

First, the Washington Capitals’ Ovie took a spear to the groin from New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal:

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Prospect Need to Know: Carter Hart makes his crease case for 2016

Everett's Carter Hart  (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

It’s been a controversial week in the prospect world, as the CHL-NCAA talent war reached DEFCON 1. First, Toronto pick Jeremy Bracco departed Boston College for OHL Kitchener, then days later Carolina prospect Warren Foegele jetted from New Hampshire for OHL Kingston. This didn’t sit well with social media’s college boosters, but in the end it’s up to the players. As for Kingston, the Frontenacs just traded for Maple Leafs pick Stephen Desrocher, who won a Memorial Cup with Oshawa last year. He’ll add size and a big shot to the blueline of a team clearly going for it all. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about the world of prospects right now.


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Zuccarello, Weise have big offensive nights

Mats Zuccarello (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The hats were flying last night and it was as a result of two unlikely marksmen.

New York Rangers right winger Mats Zuccarello and Montreal Canadiens right winger Dale Weise recorded their first career hat tricks in separate victories.

The Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on the strength of three Zuccarello goals, the final one into an empty net.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault reunited Zuccarello with linemates Rick Nash and Derick Brassard for the first time in five games and the move paid off handsomely. The trio combined for nine points as Nash and Brassard each had three assists.

As a result, it marked the first time since March 30, 1975 that a Ranger scored at least three goals that were assisted by the same two players, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Steve Vickers scored four with help from Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert.

Zuccarello’s hat trick was also the second in the NHL by a Norwegian player, according to Sportsnet. Espen Knutsen of the Columbus Blue Jackets was the first do in 2002.
Zuccarello now has seven goals this season and 52 in 233 career regular season games.

With the win, the Rangers improved their record to 7-2-2 and sit atop the Metropolitan Division, two points clear of the Washington Capitals.

Weise’s goals helped the Canadiens paste the Calgary Flames 6-2 and improve their NHL-best record to 10-2-0.

Dale Weise (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Dale Weise (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Weise opened the scoring in the first period and closed out the scoring in the third, both times receiving assists from linemates Tomas Fleischmann and David Desharnais.

He netted his other goal in the second period when he beat Flames goalie Joni Ortio after he forced a turnover in the Calgary zone.

The goals gave Weise six on the season and 29 in 270 career games.

Zuccarello and Weise became the eighth and ninth players to record hat tricks this season. They joined Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington), Jason Spezza (Dallas), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Joel Ward (San Jose), Mikkel Boedker (Arizona), Anthony Duclair (Arizona) and Justin Abdelkader (Detroit).

Watch Kevin Hayes’ slick behind the back pass sparks Rangers win over Flames

Jared Clinton
Kevin Hayes (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

In Kevin Hayes’ rookie season, he picked up 17 goals and 45 points and was a big part of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers. Now in his sophomore campaign, the 23-year-old former Boston College standout isn’t showing any signs of slowing.

Hayes entered Sunday’s tilt against the Calgary Flames on a two-game point streak and he extended the streak in style. After picking up a loose puck behind the Flames’ net, he swooped around, spotted rookie Oscar Lindberg streaking into the slot and then Hayes ripped a no-look, behind the back pass to set up Lindberg for the game-tying marker: Read more

Suspend him or not: Radko Gudas lays out Viktor Stalberg with borderline hit

Jared Clinton
Radko Gudas hits Viktor Stalberg (via Streamable)

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may be receiving a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his hit on New York Rangers’ Viktor Stalberg.

With a minute left in the second period of Saturday’s game, Stalberg took a pass out of the defensive zone and was shielding off Flyers captain Claude Giroux when Gudas stepped up and laid out the 29-year-old left winger. The hit left Stalberg flat on the ice: Read more