Rumor Roundup: Kings must free up space for Williams, Jets search for blueline help

Justin Williams

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Los Angeles Kings last week opened contract talks with right wing Justin Williams, winner of the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy during the Kings’ march to the Stanley Cup last spring.

LeBrun reports the Kings really want to retain the 33-year-old Williams, who loves playing and living in Los Angeles. Williams’ agent, however, has informed management his client prefers not to negotiate during the season. If a deal isn’t reached soon, talks could be shelved until season’s end. Read more

Top 10 Calder Trophy candidates: Can anyone catch Filip Forsberg?

forsberg2

There’s been no shortage of great stories this season, but one of the most surprising things is the cast of rookies who have quickly made names for themselves in the league.

The thing with rookies is they’re one of the most difficult groups of players to accurately forecast. With little known about how well adjusted they’ll be to the NHL, they can either boom or bust, and in some cases an injury or unfavorable situation can send the early Calder Trophy favorite to the bottom of the ballot.

Take Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, for instance, who some people thought would run away with the award but doesn’t even appear on our list. Or John Gibson, the THN consensus pick for the Calder, who had a shot at leading the Ducks this season before injury derailed his season.

These are the top 10 Calder Candidates at this point in the season: Read more

Upper-body injury sidelines Jets’ Trouba until February

Jared Clinton
Jacob Trouba

Just as things were starting to look like they were going the Winnipeg Jets’ way, the team announced today they will be without Jacob Trouba until February with an upper-body injury.

The 20-year-old Trouba’s injury adds to what is already a thinned out blueline as the Jets are already missing top-four defensemen Zach Bogosian and Toby Enstrom, both of whom are out with lower-body injuries. Bogosian has been absent from the lineup since Dec. 4 and isn’t scheduled to return until at least the second week of January, while Enstrom’s injury dates back to Nov. 23 and he’s not expected to return this month. Read more

Team Canada hopeful Lawson Crouse leads off The Hot List

Kingston's Lawson Crouse (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

The world junior picture is beginning to clear up as the holiday classic nears. Sweden won’t get Andre Burakovsky from Washington and Canada won’t get Bo Horvat from Vancouver, but the biggest blow may be to the Russians. That’s because Nikita Zadorov has become too integral to the suddenly-hot Buffalo Sabres. The World Jr. A Challenge also has some great talent this year and it’s going on now, so let’s take a look at some of the young players we’re excited to see in the NHL one day.

Read more

Rumor Roundup: Stewart still available, Blues and Jets may look for deals before trade freeze

Patrik Berglund Blues featured

With the NHL holiday trade freeze slated for midnight on Dec. 19, there’s increasing focus on Buffalo Sabres right wing Chris Stewart in the rumor mill. SI.com’s Allan Muir reports Sabres GM Tim Murray is reportedly willing to move the 27-year-old winger for the right price but so far he hasn’t found any takers.

Muir claims the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators are said to have interest in Stewart. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson adds the Pittsburgh Penguins to that list, while the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claims the Calgary Flames are also among the interested parties. Read more

Jets’ Ladd and Avs’ Landeskog throw down in slugfest between captains

Jared Clinton
ladd

If this fight between Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd and Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is any indication, there may be a new rivalry budding in the Central Division.

During Thursday night’s contest, with the score tied at one apiece midway through the second period, you could see Landeskog and Ladd talking to each other a bit as they made their way to the faceoff circle to the left of Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard. As soon as the puck was dropped, the mitts were off, and the two leaders threw bombs trying to spark their respective teams: Read more

Stars’ Ryan Garbutt suspended three games for slew foot on Jets’ Byfuglien

Jared Clinton
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The NHL announced on Thursday that they have suspended Dallas Stars’ winger Ryan Garbutt for three games after a slew-footing incident on Tuesday night.

On the play he was suspended for, Garbutt, who has been under some scrutiny from coach Lindy Ruff for his lack of discipline, took down Winnipeg Jets winger Dustin Byfuglien, using both his legs and upper body to throw the bulky forward to the ice. In the suspension video from the Department of Player Safety, Director of Player Safety Patrick Burke outlines the reasons for the suspension: Read more

Dallas Stars troll Jets by failing to come up with list of 10 things to do in Winnipeg

Jared Clinton
Jamie Benn Stars Jets featured

Even before they returned as an NHL town, Winnipeg was the punch line to many jokes. On Tuesday night, as the Jets visited Dallas, the Stars game operations joined in, throwing a playful jab at the city.

The joke, a top 10 list that stopped well short of reaching 10 points, was well-received by some, while others, in what some would call typical Winnipeg fashion, got rather defensive about the joke. If there’s really anything to get up in arms about though it’s the misuse of “then” and “than.” Read more