Sidney Crosby has giant, swollen face during meeting with media

Jared Clinton
Sidney Crosby had a visibly swollen face when he met with media on Friday. (via PensTV)

After missing practice on Thursday, Sidney Crosby rejoined the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. When he met with media he looked, well, different.

The right side of Crosby’s face was protruding and quite visibly swollen, leading to speculation that the superstar was the latest player to be hit with the mumps virus. The virus has spread throughout the league, most recently sidelining Adam Larsson and Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils.

You can take a look at Crosby’s interview below: Read more

Behemoth 2015 prospect Jordan Greenway leads off The Hot List

Jordan Greenway (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

World junior camps are approaching and some teams are getting excellent news already. Most recently, Canada found out that New York Rangers rookie Anthony Duclair will be loaned out, giving the host nation another speedy and dangerous offensive weapon in its arsenal. Finland must be happy that Dallas gave its blessing for Julius Honka to return, while Washington’s Andre Burakovsky is still a wait-and-see for Sweden. In the meantime, here are some of the other top prospects making noise in the hockey world.

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Rumor Roundup: Leafs’ Kadri, Wings’ Kindl, and Panthers’ Boyes could all be on the move

Nazem Kadri

The Toronto Maple Leafs have improved since suffering lopsided back-to-back losses against Buffalo and Nashville, finishing November by winning three of four games. While that’s silenced most of their critics, it hasn’t keep them out of the rumor mill.

On Monday, Darren Dreger told TSN 1050 he will be surprised if center Nazem Kadri is still with the Leafs by the trade deadline. Dreger feels Kadri hasn’t reached the level of consistency GM Dave Nonis expects of him.

The young center is slated to become a restricted free agent in July. His previous contract talks dragged on into training camp before a deal was reached. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Edmonton shakeup could be helped by Senators, Blues, or Penguins

Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers

Last week there was speculation the Edmonton Oilers were close to shipping winger David Perron to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Artem Anisimov. The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline reported Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was talking with other GMs but wasn’t close to making a trade, while Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman followed up claiming Jackets management weren’t keen on parting with Anisimov.

With Anisimov now sidelined two-three months with a torn triceps muscle, the Oilers must look elsewhere for a center. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Craig MacTavish was spotted chatting with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong during Friday’s Oilers-Blues game. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Several teams may be looking to make moves before holiday freeze

Jordan Eberle (Getty Images)

While anticipation over possible moves by the floundering Edmonton Oilers dominates the NHL rumor mill, others clubs could become active in the trade market between now and the NHL Christmas trade freeze, which commences at midnight on December 19.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would like to add “heaviness” to his roster to bolster his club’s size and strength on the puck. In a recent response to reader e-mail regarding possible trade targets, Haggerty lists Winnipeg’s Evander Kane and Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle as options, though the asking price could be more than the Bruins are willing to pay. Read more

Cam Ward robs Blake Comeau with reach back stick save

Jared Clinton
Wardedit

Coming off a recent hat trick, you wouldn’t be wrong if you were to say that Blake Comeau had a hot hand. On Friday night, however, Cam Ward showed Comeau something of his own.

Midway through the first period with the score tied, Kris Letang cycled the puck back into the corner to Evgeni Malkin. In seconds the puck was off the stick of Malkin and deftly moved on to Comeau, who faked a forehand shot, swooped it to his backhand, and went to lift it into the yawning cage. Ward had a different idea: Read more

THN Analytics: comparing NHL greats with new historical data

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Bruce Bennett)

For many decades, the comparison of great NHLers has primarily been in the hands of storytellers, a case of trophies, or a rudimentary set of statistics. The concerted efforts of a community of researchers, The Hockey Summary Project, has helped open us up to much finer details of these players’ careers, and granted us the opportunity to create new points of comparison.

One big area of comparison, that transcends things like era scoring effects and rink counting bias, is looking at the proportions of shots and assists taken in the games the player participated (% of Team Shots and % of Team Assists – or %TSh and %TA, respectively). Quantifying contribution this way gets us a lot closer to how important a player can be to a team’s possession performance. Why shots and assists rather than goals? For one, the idea is to better capture how a player contributed to possessing the puck; going beyond goals (which are still counted as shots) gives us more evidence the player was an important part of the team’s puck movement. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Blueliners plentiful in upcoming UFA crop

Marc Staal (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

ESPN.com’s Craig Custance recently listed his top-20 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2015. What’s notable about Custance’s list, apart from the lack of genuine superstar talent in next summer’s UFA market, is that it’s dominated by defensemen.

The notables include Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin, Boston’s Adam McQuaid, Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, Pittsburgh’s Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin, Toronto’s Cody Franson,Washington’s Mike Green, the Rangers’ Marc Staal and the Islanders’ Johnny Boychuk. Read more