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.
Evander Kane would probably be the first to tell you 2014-15 hasn’t gone quite to plan.
After an injury took him out of the season opener, the Winnipeg Jets winger was sidelined for several games. When he returned from injury, the Kane struggled to score. Now, 20 games into his campaign, he may be looking at a few games on the sideline thanks to a hit from behind on Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner on Sunday: Read more
The Winnipeg Jets shelled the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 at the MTS Centre Friday night, led by a franchise record-setting performance from a former Atlanta Thrasher.
The Edmonton Oilers lost their 11th consecutive game in painful fashion – although they’re all probably very painful at this point – to the Winnipeg Jets Wednesday. They held the lead until 16:54 of the third period, then were scored on just 17 seconds into overtime to drop to 6-15-5. The season is all but lost for them already, and their fans are long past their wits’ end. Here are the four worst things about being an Oilers fan these days.
1. They’re teased with bouts of competence. For much of their game against the Jets, the Oilers played decently enough and were just three minutes away from their first victory since Nov. 9 against the Rangers, but they fell apart when crunch time arrived. Even GM Craig MacTavish looked shellshocked by the collapse – and when the architect of your blueprint for winning looks that way, it’s never a good sign for what’s to come. For too many years, this team has shown just enough to make you think they’re capable of great things, only to crumple in the end. If management stubbornly insists on keeping the core together, this is almost certainly going to continue.
2. Even if they went out tomorrow and made the significant changes they desperately require, they’re still years away from being a true Stanley Cup contender. Let me tell you a quick personal story: In 1992, some friends and I drove to Montreal to attend the NHL entry draft. We had fun, patronized many a bar, and were in rough shape by the time we checked out of the hotel. About 90 minutes into our drive home, I woke up from a nap and began to notice the unfamiliarity of the highway; once I asked our bleary-eyed driver if he’d seen a sign telling us how long until we hit Toronto, he admitted he hadn’t been paying much attention. The next sign we saw told us we were a little more than halfway to Quebec City. As a result, we had to drive nearly three hours just to get back to our original point of departure. Needless to say, it was a very tense drive the rest of the way. This is my Oilers analogy. You figure out the rest from here. I’m pissed off again having remembered it. Read more
Evander Kane is one of the most entertaining players in hockey. He’s fast, physical, and he’s certainly not boring away from the rink, which is why it’s no surprise to see the Winnipeg Jets winger doing pushups with stacks of money on his back.
The photo, which comes from Kane’s Instagram feed, shows the 23-year-old in what appears to be his home looking out over the balcony and getting in a quick workout: Read more
Nearly from the moment the Jets returned to Winnipeg, the questions about whether Ondrej Pavelec was the goaltender of the future began. Now, three seasons later, it appears his time may be up.
It’s a tricky situation in Winnipeg, though. Finally it appears Winnipeg has a goaltender, Michael Hutchinson, who is ready to take the reins from Pavelec. Issue is, Pavelec really hasn’t played poorly enough to warrant losing his spot as the starter. So, over the course of the past six games, the two netminders have split time.
Pavelec dropped games to Detroit and St. Louis before adding a win against the Buffalo Sabres. Hutchinson won both of his first two outings against the Devils and Blue Jackets, but fell in overtime to the Boston Bruins on Friday. But maybe, just maybe, it’s time that Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice gives Hutchinson some consecutive starts to see what his young goaltender can do. Read more
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
Around the time Jonathan Cheechoo’s career started taking a step back, a new young gun arrived for the San Jose Sharks. It was part of what you can call the Joe Thornton effect, if you’d like. Now, just six seasons after a 31-goal year, Devin Setoguchi is without a place in the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Calgary Flames waived the 27-year-old Setoguchi. On Thursday, he cleared waivers and was officially demoted to the American League’s Adirondack Flames. It’s his first time back in the AHL since 2007-08 and when he’ll be back in the NHL, it’s hard to say. Read more