How will Matt Murray’s rise affect Marc-Andre Fleury’s future in Pittsburgh?

Matt Larkin
Matt Murray (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Marc-Andre Fleury is a great goaltender. He’s also one of hockey’s most universally liked players, one of the good guys. He has no timetable for his recovery from a second concussion sustained this season.

Our hearts go out to him. And yet, while no one would ever classify two concussions as a good thing, the Pittsburgh Penguins have squeezed lemonade out of that lemon by putting youngster Matt Murray in the spotlight. He’s won two straight starts while Fleury recovers. Murray has won five straight overall, and he’s 7-2 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in 2015-16, his maiden NHL voyage.

The key takeaway from Murray, 21, dominating immediately at the sport’s highest level: nobody who knew anything about him expected anything less. The kid has looked like a star in the making for a while now. He rates as the Pens’ No. 1 prospect and sits 39th among all NHL prospects in THN Future Watch 2016. He posted pre-forward-pass numbers in his first full AHL season a year ago, going 25-10-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average, .941 save percentage and 12 shutouts in just 40 appearances. He set an all-time league record for longest shutout streak at 304 minutes and 11 seconds. He won the Aldege ‘Baz’ Bastien Memorial Award as the circuit’s top goalie.

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Down Goes Brown: Five first overall busts who were traded, and what their teams got in return

Sean McIndoe
Alexandre Daigle. (Getty Images)

News broke this week that Nail Yakupov has asked the Oilers to trade him. That’s probably not devastating news for Edmonton fans, most of whom have soured on the unproductive winger. Four years after being taken with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, there’s little question that Yakupov is dangerously close to settling into bust territory.

But there’s good news for the Oilers. Trading a disappointing first overall pick is far from unprecedented. And in fact, history tells us that it’s even possible to extract some value from the deal. So let’s look back on five times in NHL history that a first overall bust was dealt a few years into their career, how those trades worked out, and what lessons the Oilers might be able to learn from them.

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Nail Yakupov confirms how inept the Edmonton Oilers have been

Ryan Kennedy
Nail Yakupov (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Can’t, or won’t? It almost doesn’t matter at this point.

The Edmonton Oilers are once again failing their way to a reward, like a C+ student with helicopter parents. Poor Auston Matthews is probably checking out the West Edmonton Mall website right now for good food court spots, since all of us, viscerally, know that the Oilers are going to win the draft lottery again.

Watching the Oilers these days falls somewhere between painful and infuriating – and I’m neutral; I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who lists themselves as a fan of the team. The defense is still in shambles, the goaltending hasn’t been able to cover enough. These have been problems for years and in light of the news that Nail Yakupov had requested a trade, it is borderline offensive that the Oilers haven’t made a blockbuster move this season (or last, for that matter).

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These five players gained fantasy value at 2016 trade deadline

Matt Larkin
Mikkel Boedker (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The team-swapping fun doesn’t change as soon as the NHL trade deadline ends. Now, we get to study the ripple effects across the league. We won’t know the true impact of every contender’s moves until the playoffs, and the sellers acquired pieces that may not bear fruit for years. In fantasy hockey pools, however, we’ll see immediate changes in player values. Some guys will benefit from being thrust into bigger assignments on new teams. Others will improve simply because they suddenly have better linemates. And vacancies left by seller teams may create room for youngsters to climb depth charts.

Here are five names enjoying value boosts for the stretch run after the trade deadline.

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Encouraging early returns for Maple Leafs kiddie corps

Ken Campbell
Kasperi Kapanen (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper doesn’t make a habit of paying too much attention to his opponents during a game, but he couldn’t help but feel a slight tinge of nostalgia when he looked over at the Toronto Maple Leafs bench Monday night.

It wasn’t long ago that Cooper was in the American League shepherding the careers of a bunch of young, promising players. He even won a Calder Cup championship, something the Toronto Marlies might do themselves this season. So he did see a lot of similarities between the journey some of the Tampa Bay Lightning players have taken and what the Maple Leafs are going through right now. He harkened back to his days of guiding kids like Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov on their path to the NHL.

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Your 2016 trade deadline winners and losers are…

Matt Larkin
Andrew Ladd. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Every trade deadline has winners and losers – even the uneventful ones. Monday’s deadline day produced tiny ripples on the trade front and little else but, hey, bodies did move. The proof is here in our trade tracker. Some teams upgraded, some added pieces for their futures and many failed to acquire sorely needed players or picks.

With that, here are THN’s 2016 trade deadline winners and losers. To make this exercise more interesting, any moves made within the past seven days will count as “deadline deals.” Close enough, right?

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Deadline Day is dying as an event, but here’s a way to save it

Dan Hamhuis.

Trade Deadline Day™ is slowly and painfully dying as a major event on the hockey calendar. If we needed anymore proof of that, this year’s dud provided it. When the players who didn’t get dealt are a bigger story than the ones who did, you know it’s been a rather underwhelming day.

There are a couple of reasons for that. One of them is that the smart GMs are getting their business done well in advance of deadline day now. The most significant deals were completed on the weekend, which indicates that GMs are getting smarter. They don’t want to cram for the final exam. GMs are much more savvy than they’ve ever been. Generally speaking, they don’t make panic moves anymore and as long as a guy like Stan Bowman is the standard-bearer for trades, there won’t be too many more of them made.

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NHL trade deadline 2016: trade tracker and analysis

The Hockey News

Welcome to NHL trade deadline day 2016.

Stay tuned to for up-to-minute analysis of every trade, as it happens. Our team of experts will break down every trade, and you can have your say on who won each deal.

Several NHL teams got an early start on the trade front this year. Click here for a recap of a busy weekend of trading that saw the likes of Eric Staal, Dale Weise, and James Reimer on the move. You can also check out a list of every trade made all season in the Trade Log.



TO NASHVILLE: D Corey Potter

TO ARIZONA: Future Considerations



TO PITTSBURGH: D James Melindy; LW Dan O’Donoghue; C Dustin Jeffrey

TO PHOENIX: C Matia Marcantuoni




TO CHICAGO: D Tim Jackman; 7th round pick in 2017

TO ANAHEIM: RW Corey Tropp


TO EDMONTON: LW Patrick Maroon

TO ANAHEIM: D Martin Gernat, 4th round pick in 2016

THN’s Take: With Anaheim’s earlier acquisition of Jamie McGinn, the Ducks didn’t really have a spot for Maroon anymore, so off he goes to Edmonton in exchange for prospect Martin Gernat and a fourth-rounder. Gernat is a big, defensive defenseman in the AHL with little upside at this point. The big upshot for Anaheim, other than recouping future assets, is that Maroon still had two more years on his deal, albeit at a not-bank-breaking rate of $2 million per. Now they’re clear of that commitment. On the other side of the ledger, Edmonton gets a burly forward who can score a bit and will definitely fight. Given how much finesse the Oilers have up front right now, a little snarl is not a bad commodity. And the fact Maroon is signed for a couple more seasons is nice insurance for Edmonton, which still hasn’t become a free agent destination. So the Oilers get something for very little loss.-Ryan Kennedy



TO MINNESOTA: RW Scott Sabourin

THN’s Take: The minor-league deals are coming in and this one has a hook to it, as Sutter will now be playing for father Darryl’s organization in Los Angeles. Whether Darryl will actually get to coach Brett in a Kings jersey remains to be seen, as the younger Sutter is an energy guy who doesn’t score much even at the AHL level. In Sabourin, Minnesota (or, more accurately, AHL Iowa) gets a big dude who can fight, but also one who has spent some games in the ECHL this season. –Ryan Kennedy

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TO BUFFALO: Conditional 3rd round pick

THN’s Take: This was a nice all-around trade for both teams involved. The Ducks are a “heavy” team that just got heavier with McGinn, a hard-working two-way player who can also chip in on the offensive end. Considering how good Anaheim’s forward corps was already, this is the icing on the cake for a team that has been on fire lately and trending in the right way with the post-season on the horizon. For Buffalo, the return on McGinn was nice. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and although it was a nice fit for both the Sabres franchise and the player, who knows what would have happened when the open market called? Instead, the Sabres get a high-ish pick to add to their already-stacked arsenal of selections in the next two drafts. The condition on the pick is that the third becomes a second if Anaheim wins two playoff rounds and McGinn suits up for half those games. That’s definitely plausible. It’s going to be a fun time for Sabres brass, especially since Buffalo hosts the draft this summer.Ryan Kennedy

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