Archive for the ‘NHL’ Category

Roberto Luongo gave a powerful speech before Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals, the first Florida Panthers home game since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in nearby Parkland, Fla.

Luongo began by emphasizing his deep ties to Parkland, where he’s lived for the last 12 years, and said he wants to spend the rest of his life there when his hockey career ends.

He then issued a call to the community to act.

“Last week, it was Valentine’s Day, I was in Vancouver, and obviously, we all know what happened,” he said. “It was hard for me to be on the West Coast and not be able to get back home and protect my family, so no child should ever have to go through that. It’s terrible. It’s time for us as a community to take action. It’s enough. Enough is enough. We’ve gotta take action.”

The veteran goaltender addressed the families of the victims, saying the players’ hearts are broken for them, and that they’ve been in their thoughts since the tragedy.

He referred to the teachers at the school as heroes, particularly the ones who died protecting the students, and then said he’s “very, very proud” of how the students have rallied and demanded action themselves.

Seventeen people died in the shooting last Wednesday.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins reportedly traded for Derick Brassard on Friday, landing the centerman from the Ottawa Senators, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Heading Ottawa’s way in the deal are defenseman Ian Cole, goaltending prospect Filip Gustavsson, and a first-round pick in 2018.

Brassard is an experienced centerman with legit goal-scoring ability. His playoff point production – 55 points in 78 games – and toughness will be a solid addition up the middle for the Penguins. Through 58 games this campaign, he’s notched 18 goals and 20 assists.

As for Cole, the 29-year-old Michigan native is a 2007 first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues who has three goals and 10 assists in 17:37 of ice time per night this season.

However, don’t expect him to remain with the Senators long, as TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting the team intends to flip Cole before Monday’s trade deadline.

The New Jersey Devils acquired forward Michael Grabner from the New York Rangers on Thursday in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick and defenseman Yegor Rykov, the Rangers announced.

The deal comes after Grabner and Rick Nash were both held out of the Rangers’ lineup Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens as trade talks involving the two players intensified.

In Grabner, the Devils add a forward with 25 goals and 31 points in 59 games this season. He also comes with a team-friendly cap hit of just $1.65 million.

In Rykov, the Rangers get a 20-year-old defenseman who was drafted in the fifth round in 2016 by the Devils. In 51 games with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL, Rykov has two goals and 14 points.

The deal marks the first-ever trade between the Devils and Rangers and the first between the two franchises since the Rangers and Colorado Rockies completed a six-player deal in 1979, according to The Athletic’s Seth Rorabaugh.

Hockey fans in the Northwest will soon be able to secure a chance to witness an inaugural season in Seattle.

The group leading the charge to bring an expansion franchise to the city will begin taking deposits on season tickets March 1, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday.

Prices range from $500 to $1,000, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

After receiving approval from the NHL Board of Governors in December, the Oak View Group, who spearheaded plans to redevelop KeyArena, officially submitted an expansion bid that included a $10-million down payment earlier this month.

There has yet to be a verdict on the application.

The NHL has responded after Saturday’s incident in Chicago, when Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly was the victim of racist taunts from fans.

The league released the following statement Sunday:

“Last night in Chicago, individuals directed racial taunts and abuse at Washington Capitals player Devante Smith-Pelly,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “The National Hockey League condemns this unacceptable and reprehensible behavior. The League fully supports the actions taken by the United Center and the Blackhawks to eject the offenders and would expect the same response to any similarly unacceptable behavior at any of our arenas.

“While this incident was isolated in nature, no player, coach, official or fan should ever have to endure such abuse at one of our games. The League will take steps to have our clubs remind all stakeholders that they are entitled to enjoy a positive environment – free from unacceptable, inappropriate, disruptive, inconsiderate or unruly behaviors or actions and may not engage in conduct deemed detrimental to that experience.”

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz and the Blackhawks also addressed the situation following the game.

February is “Hockey is for Everyone” month, a movement to help provide social change and offer more inclusiveness across the NHL.

The St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators are engaged in “serious” trade discussions regarding Ottawa forwards Mike Hoffman and Derick BrassardNHL.com’s Lou Korac reports, citing a source on his personal blog “In the Slot.”

However, if a deal were to take place, it would involve only one player, rather than both in a package deal, according to Korac.

Korac mentions Patrik BerglundVladimir Sobotka, and Robby Fabbri as Blues that could possibly be made available before the deadline.

With St. Louis looking to bolster its offense ahead of the postseason and Ottawa trending toward a firesale, there could be a match, as both players would help solidify the top end of the Blues’ attack.

Hoffman, 28, has 16 goals and 23 assists in 56 games this season, and has two more years on his current contract at $5.187 million per. Brassard, meanwhile, would add flexibility to the Blues’ options down the middle. The 30-year-old has notched 32 points so far in 2017-18, and carries a cap hit of $5 million next season.

St. Louis has already been active in the trade market, sending the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2019 fourth-round draft pick in exchange for winger Nikita Soshnikov on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings are engaged in “ongoing discussions” regarding goaltender Petr Mrazek, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Flyers’ starting goalie Brian Elliott has been injured for more than a week, and isn’t expected back for at least another month following core muscle surgery. To make matters worse, backup netminder Michal Neuvirth left Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury.

After the Elliott injury, the Red Wings reportedly offered Mrazek to the Flyers for a third-round pick, which was declined, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Whether that offer still stands is unclear.

Mrazek will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He’s gone 8-7-3 this season with a 2.89 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. He’s played his best hockey of late, though, posting a .935 save percentage in his last 10 games.

Mrazek just turned 26 and has shown flashes of brilliance in his young career, so it’s possible he could be more than just a temporary fix for the Flyers.

The Flyers are holding onto third place in the Metropolitan Division with 70 points. They’re not in the clear yet, though, as the Devils (70 points), Islanders(64), Hurricanes (64), and Blue Jackets (63), are all battling for what appears to be three Eastern Conference postseason spots.