If Sabres are tanking, who could blame them?

Jack Eichel (left) and Connor McDavid  (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Most would have to acknowledge, the optics of it don’t look great. After pulling off a blockbuster eight player trade Wednesday morning, Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray traded a bona fide No. 1 goaltender (Jhonas Enroth) who had compiled a .939 save percentage in his previous two games for a backup who is statistically one of the worst goaltenders at the NHL level (Anders Lindback) and a conditional third-round pick.

The move led a lot of observers to opine that the Sabres, already four points in arrears of the Edmonton Oilers for 30th place overall, were tanking the season in an attempt to get the best possible shot at the first pick overall and the coveted Connor McDavid. One tweet yesterday said jokingly that Murray had seen his team almost win a game Tuesday night against Ottawa and decided something had to be done. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Maple Leafs moves coming with trade deadline looming

Lyle Richardson
Cody Franson (Abelimages/Getty Images)

Anticipation is brewing in the Toronto media over potential moves by the Maple Leafs at the NHL trade deadline on March 2. The Leafs’ recent minor move (shipping Carter Ashton and David Broll to Tampa Bay for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2016) is considered by most observers the first of more deals to come by deadline day.

Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun believes the Leafs are poised to blow up the roster in preparation for another lengthy rebuild. He expects they could make as many as five trades leading up to deadline day. Simmons considers defenseman Morgan Rielly and winger James van Riemsdyk as their only untouchables.

The most likely to move are defenseman Cody Franson and forwards Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik. The trio are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claims the Leafs are nowhere close to re-signing them. Read more

10 players who retired with teams you wouldn’t expect

Mats Sundin

This season the NHL has had three very different situations play out when it comes to the retirement of notable players. Each of Daniel Alfredsson, Martin Brodeur, and Evgeni Nabokov had called it quits, but each in different ways.

Alfredsson signed a one-day free agent deal with the Senators to retire in the city that he called home for so many years, while Brodeur retired a Blue after signing a deal in St. Louis as a free agent after Brian Elliott went down with an injury.

Then there’s Nabokov. The long-time San Jose Sharks goaltender was traded back to San Jose on Monday following a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a move that will allow the 39-year-old to hang them up in the place he had the best years of his career.

Many times, however, players aren’t allowed to ride off into the sunset the way that Alfredsson and Nabokov had. So, like Brodeur, these are 10 players that have retired in cities you wouldn’t expect: Read more

Carey Price mimics Carter Hutton’s save-of-the-year candidate with one of his own

Carey Price (Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Last week, Preds goalie Carter Hutton wowed the hockey world with a surefire year-end candidate for save of the 2014-15 NHL season. Sunday night in Boston, Canadiens star netminder Carey Price pulled off nearly exactly the same save, stunning Boston’s Daniel Paille with an incredible, backward-twisting stop.

With Montreal leading the host Bruins 1-0 late in the second period, Price made the initial stop on a Bruins rush, but the astonishing part of the sequence comes when you see his world-class reflexes and instincts at work after Paille attempts to bat home the rebound:
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The 10 worst free agent signings of 2014-15

Dave Bolland's five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Florida Panthers is one of the worst UFA deals handed out. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Blues’ signing of Martin Brodeur didn’t turn out the way many fans would have hoped, with the legendary netminder playing some of the worst hockey of his career and then retiring once there was no longer a spot for him in the lineup.

But the signing was a calculated risk. Brodeur came cheap, was a capable backup and a teacher and mentor for young goaltender Jake Allen. Because Brodeur retired before Feb. 1, it saved the Blues from paying a roster bonus to the veteran netminder. Those are all reasons you won’t find Brodeur on this list of the worst signings of this season.

What you will find is a few players who are overpaid, contracts that are far too long, and a few gambles that simply didn’t pay off. Read more

Morgan Rielly scores on incredible solo effort against Oilers

Jared Clinton
rielly-455609307

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently mired in an 11 game losing streak, but defenseman Morgan Rielly pulled out every move in his arsenal in an attempt to snap the slide.

With the Maple Leafs already up 2-0 over the visiting Oilers, Rielly blocked a shot by Edmonton winger Nail Yakupov, and the rest is highlight reel material. After the block, he gathered the puck, skated through the neutral zone, cut into the middle, beat a pair of Oilers defenders, toe dragged around defenseman Andrew Ference, and buried the puck top shelf. Read more

Season-ending surgery could be best thing for Evander Kane and Jets

Ken Campbell
Evander Kane (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour used to love the practical jokes that are such a big part of hockey culture. He recalled that when he was with the St. Louis Blues, players would often light team broadcaster Dan Kelly’s newspaper on fire during team flights. Think about that for a minute.

Guys would dunk doughnuts into wax that looked exactly like glaze. Or pump Vaseline into the jelly filled ones. But the best one Gilmour ever witnessed occurred when Gilmour played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1990s. Read more