National Hockey League News & Notes

February 18, 2020

Photo: Alex Ovechkin | Patrick McDermott | NHLI via Getty Images

Two goals, that’s all that separates Alex Ovechkin from becoming the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 goals. But as luck would have it, Ovechkin finds himself in his longest goal drought of the season and Washington is having its own problems putting the biscuit in the basket.

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson announced today that the club has acquired a 2020 second-round draft selection (Colorado’s, previously acquired by Washington) and a third-round draft selection in either 2020 or 2021 from the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenseman Brenden Dillon.

The last time a potential Joe Thornton trade was even conceivable was back in 2014. The San Jose Sharks had finished second in the Pacific Division and met the rival Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs. San Jose dominated the early part of the series, winning the first three games and outscoring the eventual champs 17-8 in that stretch.

Evander Kane didn’t hold back on the Department of Player Safety after receiving a three-game suspension, and the Sharks winger is right. The system for on-ice discipline in the NHL is broken.

Evander Kane absolutely deserved a three-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Neal Pionk Friday night. As the suspension video aptly pointed out, “Kane raises his arm, extends his elbow and drives it with force into Pionk’s head, knocking Pionk to the ice. This is elbowing.” It’s also a headshot, which has become a scourge on the game. Good call there.

The Montreal Canadiens traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the St. Louis Blues for a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 conditional fourth-round pick, the team announced Tuesday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning shipped 2019 first-rounder Nolan Foote and a 2020 first-round pick to New Jersey Devils for winger Blake Coleman. It’s an overpayment. No question. But it’s what the spend says about the Lightning that matters.

While the New York Rangers remain in negotiation to keep winger Chris Kreider, but the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins appear to have emerged as front-runners for his services on the trade market.

The Avalanche were in on Kreider well before right wing Mikko Rantanen went down with a reported collarbone injury in Monday night’s game against Tampa Bay. That injury may have only heightened the urgency to make it happen.

In his first major moves as Devils interim GM, Tom Fitzgerald netted a top prospect, minor-league asset and first- and second-round picks in exchange for Andy Greene and Blake Coleman. They’re moves made with the future in mind and a sign Fitzgerald has the acumen necessary to keep the gig.

The Winnipeg Jets made their first trade of the season as they announce they have acquired right shot defenceman Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators for a third-round pick in the upcoming 2020 draft.  In 49 games with Ottawa he has 10 assists.

The Vancouver Canucks may have already made their 2020 trade-deadline play, making one of the first big splashes by acquiring longtime King Tyler Toffoli.

In exchange for the three-time 20-goal scorer (and one-time 30-goal man), the Canucks relinquished Tim Schaller, a second-round pick and prospect Tyler Madden L.A. will also acquire an additional late pick in 2022 if Toffoli re-signs with the Canucks.

Following the Zucker trade and Boudreau’s firing, all eyes are on the Minnesota Wild entering the deadline. Meanwhile, the Canucks could seek a replacement for Ferland and the Panthers could dangle a defender in the trade market.

When the Ottawa Senators placed winger Mike Hoffman on the trade block two seasons ago, I figured the Edmonton Oilers would be the first team they called. Edmonton, in need of a serious speed and talent upgrade on the wings, appeared to be a logical landing spot.

The trade never materialized perhaps in part because Edmonton (who finished with just 78 points that season) wasn’t a buyer at the deadline as a team in transition. Ottawa kept Hoffman through the trade deadline and moved him out when off-ice pressure mounted.

The Calder Trophy’s front runner is Colorado’s Cale Makar is a heavy favorite to be named the NHL’s best rookie this season, but the season isn’t over yet. Here are the top 20 NHL freshmen in 2019-20.

Jay Bouwmeester back in St. Louis after his cardiac episode on the Blues bench and commented, I would sincerely like to thank all of the trainers from both the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks, as well as all of the first responders, the Anaheim medical staff and the team at the UCI Medical Center for their quick actions on Feb. 11.

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