Rumor Roundup: Goaltending questions for several teams as off-season nears

Antti Niemi (Francois Lacasse/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch lists the San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames “and possibly” the St. Louis Blues as teams that could seek goaltending this summer.

Free agency is one reason these clubs could be shopping for depth between the pipes. San Jose’s Antti Niemi, Buffalo’s Anders Lindback, Edmonton’s Viktor Fasth and Calgary’s Karri Ramo are eligible to become unrestricted free agents in July. If they test the market they’ll have to be replaced. Read more

Wild-card primer: who makes it and who misses in the East and West?

Loui Eriksson (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

When the NHL changed the playoff format to include wild-card teams last season, it’s unlikely even they could have imagined a scenario in which the races for the final playoff berths in each conference would be this tight.

With less than 10 games remaining on the schedules of all playoff hopefuls, only six points separate teams in the Western Conference, while a three-team race separated by five points in the Eastern Conference could come down to the final night.

What’s on the horizon for each of the teams, and who stands the best shot at making it in? Read more

Former NHLer Stephen Peat surrenders to police in B.C., charged with arson

Adam Proteau
Former Capitals right winger Stephen Peat. (Bruce Bennett via Getty Images)

Former NHL right winger Stephen Peat, who appeared in 130 games for the Washington Capitals from 2001-2005, surrendered to Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia last week and stands accused of arson in connection with an alleged attempt to burn down a Brookswood, B.C. home.

Originally from Princeton, B.C., Peat reported to the RCMP March 19 and has been in their custody since that time. The 35-year-old is charged with one count of arson with a disregard for human life, and one count of arson causing damage to property. He had a court appearance scheduled for the morning of March 23. Read more

NCAA Frozen Four: Players to watch from every team in the tournament

Minnesota State goalie Stephon Williams (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

College hockey’s Frozen Four kicks off this week with 16 teams gunning for a spot in Boston, where the semifinal and final will be held in April. Regionals spread the squads across four cities and there is a lot of firepower at this year’s installment. But who are the players to watch for? Here’s a primer for every school, with an admitted bias towards NHL prospects.

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ECHL goaltender sets league record, approaches hockey history

Jared Clinton
Jeff Jakaitis (via South Carolina Stingrays)

Jeff Jakaitis of the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays — the affiliate of the Washington Capitals — has already helped his team break the league record for consecutive victories, but he himself is on his way to accomplishing something much greater.

In Friday night’s game, Jakaitis stopped 35 shots en route to South Carolina’s 20th straight victory and his fourth consecutive shutout, both ECHL records. By turning aside every shot he faced, Jakaitis has now posted 319:32 consecutive minutes of shutout hockey, only 12:29 fewer than the modern day professional hockey record set by Brian Boucher in 2003-04. Read more

Justin Peters’ new mask turns Honest Abe into frightening dog

Jared Clinton
Justin Peters' newest mask (via DaveART/Facebook)

Justin Peters’ nickname, ‘Pete-Dawg,’ has made an appearance on his NHL masks in some way, shape or form since he made his NHL debut in 2009-10. Never has the “dawg” been so dapper, though.

For his newest mask, Peters teamed up with DaveArt’s David Gunnarsson to create a very ferocious yet presidential dog – one fitted with a top hat, bow tie and Abraham Lincoln’s famous facial hair. It’s not just a nod to one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, though. It actually pays tribute to what has become a Capitals tradition. After every victory, the players hand out an Honest Abe hat and beard to the player of the game. Read more

How Barry Trotz has made Braden Holtby a star for the Capitals

Jared Clinton
Ottawa Senators v Washington Capitals

Braden Holtby won’t win the Vezina Trophy this season. Plainly, barring some sort of catastrophic incident, the award is going to go to Montreal’s Carey Price. But earning the nod as a top contender might be enough to legitimize just how far Holtby has come under coach Barry Trotz.

Trotz, known leaguewide as a coach with an aptitude for defensive hockey and one who has made a career of it, brought his style with him to Washington this summer and over the course of 71 games has changed the fortunes of not only the Capitals, but his starting goaltender, as well. Read more

Prospect Hot List: Hunting for Hobey in Denver

Joey LaLeggia (Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The playoffs are almost upon us in major junior, while the NCAA conference tournaments are in full swing. Since some teams have already been eliminated, early signing season has begun too, with Brandon Montour leaving UMass for Anaheim and Ben Hutton ending his career in Maine to ink a deal with Vancouver. More are sure to come, but until then, here’s a look around the world of prospects.

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