• Rumor Roundup: Would trading Nash open up Stamkos possibility for Rangers?

    Rick Nash (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Could the New York Rangers trade left winger Rick Nash this summer? Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests it’s possible. He thinks the Rangers have been asked about the 31-year-old forward, speculating they could move him under the right circumstances.

    Friedman points out Nash’s $7.8-million cap hit over the next two seasons and partial no-trade clause as potential stumbling blocks. He also notes the Blueshirts defended the struggling winger this season, who played through injury.

    This isn’t the first time Nash has surfaced up in the rumor mill this month. On May 1, the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard suggested the Rangers used the big winger as trade bait to pry defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk away from the St. Louis Blues. However, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks doubts the Blues will look at Nash as the missing piece to their championship puzzle. Read more

  • Former NHLer Laraque turns amateur crimefighter, helps detain suspect in attempted kidnapping

    Jared Clinton
    (Al Bello/Getty Images)

    During his NHL career, some would have said Georges Laraque’s job as an NHL enforcer was to police the ice, but this past Saturday, Laraque tried his hand at some amateur police work, if you will.

    According to CBC, The 39-year-old, who played more than 700 games in the NHL over his 12-year career, was taking part in a celebrity baseball game at Montreal’s Jeanne-Mance Park when a man allegedly grabbed a seven-year-old girl and attempted to walk away with her. After hearing screams, a group of the players from the baseball game ran over to help. Read more

  • Watch Alex Killorn jumpstart Lightning offense with perfect shot past Marc-Andre Fleury

    Jared Clinton
    Alex Killorn (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    Players from the Tampa Bay Lightning would have been the first to tell you that they started Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final flat. Late in the first period they surrendered the opening goal to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and midway through the first frame they trailed 2-0 in Sunday’s game.

    With less than seven minutes left, however, the Lightning found their first goal of the contest, and it came on an absolutely gorgeous shot by winger Alex Killorn on what appeared to be a nothing play.

    Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr won a board battle on the half wall of the Penguins’ zone and, with seemingly no offensive options, he simply played it in behind the Pittsburgh goal. His pass ricocheted off the back wall and around the left wing boards onto the tape of Killorn, who picked up the puck, took a look towards the goal and fired a seeing-eye shot that found the mere inches of daylight over the shoulder of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. It might be the most perfect shot of the post-season: Read more

  • Lightning take Game 5 in overtime and Penguins have big decision to make going forward

    Jared Clinton
    The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate their overtime-winning goal (Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

    After Penguins coach Mike Sullivan made one of the biggest decisions of the post-season in starting Marc-Andre Fleury over Matt Murray for Game 5, the Pittsburgh bench boss will have yet another major choice to make going forward. Because after Fleury allowed four goals on 25 shots, including an early overtime-winner to Tyler Johnson, the Penguins have questions once again in goal.

    It wasn’t that Fleury was entirely poor, though. Through the first 40 minutes of the contest, Fleury stopped all but two of the 13 shots he faced, and it’s not as if the first two goals he allowed could be blamed on him. First, it was Alex Killorn who found the sliver of daylight over Fleury’s shoulder. Then it was Nikita Kucherov scoring on a no-doubter little more than a minute later.

    However, the rebound that led to Kucherov’s second goal of the game on a wraparound with 3:16 left in the third period wasn’t pretty. Johnson threw a weak backhand on goal with next to no net-front pressure, and though Fleury blocked it away, the puck landed right on Kucherov’s stick to set up the wraparound tying goal.

    And even if it’s the poor rebound control that led to Kucherov’s tying goal, it’ll be game-winning goal that that leads Sullivan to question who starts Game 6. A simple shot from the left wing boards from Jason Garrison deflected off the back of Johnson for the game-winning tally, and though the puck changed direction in a big way, Fleury probably should have turned the shot aside. Instead, the Lightning took home a 4-3 overtime victory: Read more

  • Mikko Rantanen bound and determined to take on the big boys in the NHL next season

    Ryan Kennedy
    Mikko Rantanen. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

    Before Mikko Rantanen even got drafted, before he knew which players he would be competing against for a job, he maintained that his goal for 2015-16 was to play in the NHL. And after the powerful right winger was taken 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche, he did just that – for a handful of games, at least.

    Rantanen, the brightest prospect in Colorado’s system and Future Watch’s No. 5 prospect overall, made the Avalanche out of camp and played the first six games of the season. The strapping young Finn didn’t register a point and never eclipsed 11 minutes of ice time in any given game, but it’s tough to consider his assignment to the AHL as a disappointment, especially given how Rantanen has performed ever since. “It was an experience for him to dip his toe in the water,” said David Oliver, Colorado’s director of player development. “With ice time comes confidence, and for his development curve we wanted to get him to the AHL to play those big minutes.”

    Read more

  • Canada wins second-consecutive World Championship with shutout victory over Finland

    Jared Clinton
    Canada celebrates (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

    Canada has repeated as gold medalists at the World Championship with a 2-0 victory over Finland, and Canada becomes the first nation to repeat as tournament champions since the Russian team won consecutive golds in 2008 and 2009.

    In a game that saw no shortage of scoring chances for either side, both Canadian goaltender Cam Talbot and Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen were sharp for their respective sides, but it was Talbot who was able to shut the door the whole way through the gold medal game. Talbot stopped all 17 shots he faced in the contest, while Koskinen’s only mistake came when Connor McDavid was able to drive inside and pop one over the Finnish goaltender 11:24 into the first period.

    The goal was McDavid’s first of the tournament, and it couldn’t have come at a bigger moment. Canada had been shutout by the Finns during the round robin as Koskinen stopped all 21 shots he faced, but the Canadian squad peppered him in Sunday’s title game. All told, Canada put 32 shots on Koskinen and he only allowed the single goal. Read more

  • Penguins’ Daley has broken ankle, won’t return this post-season

    Jared Clinton
    Trevor Daley (via NHL.com)

    Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley fell to the ice in pain midway through Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final, crawled to the front of the net wincing and was unable to put any pressure on his left leg while leaving the ice. The optics of Daley’s injury had Penguins fans thinking the worst, and those fears were confirmed Sunday.

    When Penguins coach Mike Sullivan addressed the media Sunday, he announced that Daley, 32, will be out for Game 5 and is done for the post-season after suffering a broken ankle. In Daley’s place will be 21-year-old Olli Maatta, who has been a healthy scratch for the past three games of the post-season. Sullivan said he’s confident in the youngster, but acknowledged how tough Daley will be to replace.

    “He’s really made our team a better team,” Sullivan said. “(Daley’s) a mobile guy. He can move the puck. He’s got real good offensive instincts. He’s a real solid two-way defenseman, and it’s hard to replace those guys, but we’ve done it all year, and we’ll deal with it again.” Read more

  • Marc-Andre Fleury will get first start of playoffs in Game 5 of Eastern Conference final

    Jared Clinton
    Marc-Andre Fleury (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Matt Murray’s carriage didn’t exactly turn back into a pumpkin, but his four goals against in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final were enough to halt his Cinderella story run, at least momentarily.

    Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan announced Sunday that Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in Game 5 of the conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, ending what had been a run of 13-straight starts for Murray, the 21-year-old upstart who has been one of the best stories of the playoffs. Sullivan said the choice to go with the veteran Fleury wasn’t an easy one.

    “Lots of things went into the decision,” Sullivan said. “I’d rather not elaborate on the details of it, but certainly we had lengthy discussions. It’s an important decision for a hockey team. We’re trying to make the best decision that’s we can, that we think gives our team the best chance to win. And that’s the route, or the direction, that we chose to take for this game.” Read more