Devils vs. Panthers Recap


By Sam Rabin

New Jersey Devils Writer

 

Devils head coach John Hynes hosted a very “old school” style of practice on Thursday in which he punished his players with 5 full laps around the ice for every penalty the team took during their scrimmage. Hynes did not like what he saw on Wednesday against the Islanders, in which his team committed 9 minor penalties en route to a 4-3 loss. Early reviews suggest that this harsh style of practice worked, as his team was largely able to stay out of the box against the Florida Panthers tonight at West Point. Unfortunately, that is one of the few positives to take from tonight as the Devils submitted a sloppy performance and had little to show for the extra 5 on 5 time their discipline granted.
The top line tonight was centred by rookie forward Pavel Zacha who was granted a chance to play with Taylor Hall and Devante Smith-Pelly due to Adam Henrique’s currently undisclosed illness. While both Zacha and Hall have looked promising in earlier pre season games, there was a noticeable lack of chemistry between the two as they both seemed to be fighting for the same areas of the ice. It can safely be assumed that Adam Henrique will be placed back on the top line upon his return. Another forward of note is 2015 3rd round draft pick Blake Speers, who has unexpectedly made it to the final round of cuts and has made a strong case for himself throughout the preseason. Though he remains pointless, he showed some great speed and hands as he attempted to set up his line mates tonight. There remains one more cut to be made and Hynes has said he hasent yet decided if it will be a forward or defensemen. Speers will likely be the final cut due to his eligibility to go back to his Jr team, but his extended time with the Devils likely puts him on the fast track to a permanent roster spot for next season.
On the defensive side, rookies Yohann Auvitu and Stephen Santini were given a final chance to impress the coaching staff before final cuts are made. While Santini was a favorite to make the team prior to the pre season, Auvitu has made a strong case for himself with 6 assists in 4 games while playing an effective quarterback role on the power play, something the Devils have missed since trading Marek Zidlicky back in the 2014-15 season. As this will be Santini’s first pro year after finishing his 3 years at Boston College, Auvitu(who has played the last 4 seasons in the Finnish Elite League) will likely start the season in the big club while Santini gains more experience in Albany.
The Devils started the game well as captain Andy Greene got the team on the board 4 minutes in by finishing a nice pass to the slot by Kyle Palmieri. Jaromir Jagr quickly tied the game by deflecting Johnathan Marcessault’s wrist shot on the power play. The Panthers went on to score 3 additional unanswered goals from Ekblad, Scievior and Trocheck before the end of the 2nd period, despite being outshot by the Devils for the majority of the game. Trochecks’s goal was the result of a mistake by Goaltender Cory Schneider as he turned the puck over to the Panthers forward while attempting to play the puck from behind the net. This continues a run of poor pre season form for Schneider which he insists will be corrected by the start of the regular season. Mike Cammilleri was able to get one back for the Devils on the power play midway through the third off of a pass from Auvitu, which ended up being the game’s final goal.
John Hynes will look to correct some of the mistakes made tonight and demand more of an effort from his team despite the games lack of importance. Defenseman Damon Severson was noticeablely hesitant to finish his checks which will hurt the team mid season. The Devils will look to avenge this loss at their regular season opener at the BB&T center on October 13th.

Passing the Torch – Life After Taylor Hall


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By Mike Meyer

Edmonton Oilers Writer

Dallas Stars Writer

St. Louis Blues Writer

 

What will life be like in Oil Country after the departure of Taylor Hall? That is a question that many figured would not have been asked for several years to come. Alas, here we are in 2016 asking the very question. Taylor Hall, the number one overall draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Since signing his first entry level contract with the Oilers, Hall has gone on to play in 381 games, netting 132 goals, and tallying a whopping 328 points. With Hall in the lineup, the Oilers have been able to grow accustomed to 0.86 points per game from just one skater each time he laced up those skates. The question now grows, who will take up the ice time and how will those points to accounted for with Hall gone?

 

The obvious answer right now that comes to mind would of course be Connor McJesus …err McDavid. With his rookie season looking at 48 points in 45 games (limited due to a broken clavicle) the Oilers hope that McDavid can produce even remotely to his 1.067 points per game consistently (so does his agent and future contract extension). Even if he dips below the point per game pace, as a sophomore, I think he will be more than making up for several players point production for seasons to come. Is it too much to expect for 80+ points from McDavid? 90? 100? Right now, the sky is the limit, and the NHL is his for the taking. *queue ‘Jump Around’ in 3…2…1…*

 

But that’s the easy way out. Let’s dig a little deeper. Who else is going to be looked at under the microscope just a little bit tougher now that Hall is out of the picture? Who else is going to feel the weight on their shoulders? I would first assume that, at the very least, 3 players who have a combined salary of $18 million per season will be on the first line. The likes of Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and newcomer Milan Lucic are going to be added to this short list and held accountable each night by head coach, Todd McLellan, GM Peter Chiarelli and the rest of Oilers management. Now, by removing Hall and bringing in Lucic, the team has finally added an extra bit of grit to their squad. Something this team has desperately needed in their Top 6 for the last several years. But even this is still not deep enough. If your top guys can’t score, who else is going to win you the games? We’ve all seen it before. Kane can’t always be counted on to score each night. Tarasenko won’t always score that game winning goal. And certainly you can’t always hope that point production trends will stay the same season after season. Right Duchene? Winning is going to take a full team effort from this squad. Scoring from every line and from each of these guys will help project this team to the next level and in to the playoffs. So who else do you look to call on throughout this season?

 

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Patrick Maroon

The magic man for the Anaheim Ducks during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs certainly made his name known after registering 11 points in 16 games. However, Patrick only managed 13 points in 56 games to follow up his playoff performance, and certainly signaled for his inevitable trade. After his ice time was decreased and he was demoted to fourth line minutes at times, Maroon would be traded to the Oilers. He seemed once again to find his scoring touch as he managed 14 points in 16 games to finish out the season. It’s unlikely that he will be able to manage 0.875 points per game consistently throughout the 2016-17 season, but hey, that would certainly be welcomed. Oilers fans would rejoice if he kept up a 70+ point pace throughout this upcoming season.

 

Leon Draisaitl

Draisaitl was in all sense and purposes connected to the hip with Hall this past season. Leon first joined the team in 2014 seeing 37 NHL games. However, he only managed only 2 goals and 9 points during that timeframe. The team elected to send him back to the WHL to play for the Kelowna Rockets and to get more training and seasoning under his belt. There he would make a much larger impact scoring 19 goals and 53 points in 32 games. After certainly cementing his spot on the lineup after his AHL call up this past season, Draisaitl scored 19 goals and 51 points throughout 72 games. All of Edmonton must wonder now, will he continue to grow and shine with Taylor Hall out of the picture? Or will he struggle and repeat his 0.28 point per game pace from 2014-15? With the roster makeup currently, he is looking like the 3rd best center on the squad, behind McDavid and Nuge. He may not get the chance to shine automatically and will likely have to earn his ice time via the power play or force Nugent-Hopkins down or even out of the lineup entirely.

 

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Nail Yakupov

What more is there left to say about Nail Yakupov? Why am I even wasting time writing on this guy? Oilers fans are already showing that they’re ready to sell him for a few pucks and call it a win for removing his $2.5 million cap hit off the books. Figured at least then they might have better luck at scoring goals if they shot the puck themselves. For those who need a little bit of background on Nail and why we’re so harsh on this guy, let’s take a moment and we can try and figure out what went wrong.

 

Nail hails from Nizhnekamsk, Russia. To help fast track his journey to the NHL, Nail joined the OHL in the 2010 Import Draft and was selected by the Sarnia Sting, second overall. Yakupov would go on to play 107 games between 2010-2012 for Sarnia, registering 80 goals and 170 total points. Quick math breakdown, that’s a 1.59 points per game pace. Quick comparison time… from 2012-2015, McDavid registered 188 points in 167 games, for a 1.13 point per game pace in the very same OHL while playing with the Erie Otters. Okay, back to Yakupov. In 2012 he was drafted first overall by the Oilers. He returned to Russia to play in the KHL during the lockout recording 18 points in 22 games. Once the lockout ended, Yakupov returned and scored 31 points in 48 games. All was good in the world. Great rookie season for this kid and now it’s time to see what he can do with more training and a full NHL season under his belt. This guy is going places. *Buzzer* WRONG! But thanks for playing. Nail has gone on to play 204 more games since that rookie season with the Edmonton Oilers. 204 games in three seasons, and an underwhelming 80 points have been registered with his name attached to them. Even if Yakupov had not grown as a player, leveled off and maintained his point pace, he should still have at this time 131.75 registered points. So what happened? Certainly switching coaches can have an impact on a player, let alone having four different coaches since 2012. That can mess with a guy. But wait, that didn’t seem to slow down Hall or any other player to the degree that it has for Nail. So it must be something else. His shooting percentages have certainly decreased, despite his shot attempts projecting up each season before decreasing this past season.

 

 

Despite his shooting percentage decreasing each season, the percentage of shots making it to the net is actually steadily increasing from 50% his rookie season to just over 57% last year. Can it be that Nail is just a creature of habit and goalies are getting used to where he shoots and he is being nullified on his attempts? Is his accuracy decreasing so he’s not hitting his mark? He might not be converting right now in Edmonton but it certainly draws the question that with perhaps new coaching and a new environment, could he get back to his point pace that he set up from his rookie season or even better? Nail has a lot to prove this upcoming season. With Hall out of this lineup, it just might mean an extra chance to prove he still has got what it takes to earn a spot in the lineup. Even if it means shooting less and starting to pass more, Yakupov has got to figure it out for 2016.

 

Zack Kassian

The power forward style playing, substance abusing, right winger. Kassian has struggled to declare himself a consistent NHL player since making his first appearance in the NHL back in 2011. In 6 seasons since then, he has only managed to play in 234 games. Now, Kassian will not be able to take over Hall’s points. That much is obvious. However, Kassian can at the very least declare himself a consistent NHL player. Being able to go out each shift and helping defend against the opposition, limit down on the dumb penalties and making a name for himself along the boards will certainly help his cause. Who’s to say the Oilers can’t use the 6’3″ 213 pound forward to lay a few more shots on net to have someone ready for the rebound, or even be the rebound guy? He can take a note from Ryan Reaves who has certainly taken away his style of a grinder / fighter, has become a bit more tame in his attempts to help offensively for the Blues and earn a spot in the lineup each night. This goes along with the whole mindset of all rolling four lines and forcing the head coach to give him ice time. Kassian can be an anchor on the fourth line and lead by the example says everyone in this lineup should be held accountable every shift.

 

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Jesse Puljujarvi*

Ah the Wild Card choice. There’s always one. So why is Jesse even in this conversation to take over for Taylor when he hasn’t even made his NHL debut yet? I’m glad you asked. When Puljujarvi was taken fourth overall at this year’s draft over defenseman and fellow Finland countryman Olli Joulevi, Chiarelli made a unspoken statement to this group. He believes Jesse can be an upgrade to this group of forwards more than what is already there. The choice would not add to his defensive core that many expected him to go toward, but would ultimately force Hall out of the picture to New Jersey in order to get the upgrade to his defense via Adam Larsson. The big question is, will Puljujarvi be able to live up to the hype of a fourth overall draft choice? Will he mirror the 39 points in 71 regular season games he has played in Liiga or will he mirror the 36 in 27 international games played?

Caps Smartly Opt Not to Fix What Isn’t Broke


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By Jeffrey Otto

Washington Capitals Writer

Detroit Red Wings Writer

When a team can add a President’s Trophy and a Vezina Trophy to the the trophy case at the end of the season, they’re obviously doing something right; probably a lot of things.  And if you lose in the second round of the playoffs in six games to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact, there are over twenty other teams wishing that their season had been that successful.  Imagine how many coaches would still have their jobs from last season if their team had made it to the second round of the playoffs.

Heading into free agency, the Washington Capitals anticipated a quiet July 1st, the day free agency opened up (and boy, did it ever!).  GM Brian MacLellan was in the enviable position of having only one priority this off season:  adding secondary scoring by creating a more offensively reliable third line.  The Caps addressed that on June 24 when they acquired forward Lars Eller in a trade with the Canadiens for a second-round draft pick in the 2017 and 2018 NHL Drafts.

It is also the case that MacLellan didn’t have much salary cap room to go shopping anyway.  Two years ago they made acquisitions to shore-up the blue line, and last year they made moves to address offensive needs (and got goalie Braden Holtby signed to a new five year contract).  What salary cap space there is available right now is earmarked for trying to re-sign restricted free agents Dmitry Orlov and Marcus Johansson.  The latter avoided arbitration at the last minute and signed a new, 3-year contract, making Orlov the lone hold-out as far as re-signings go.

Although most will agree that Washington will no doubt compete for the Cup again this coming season, some insist that the sand is quickly pouring through the hour glass.  Last season many pundits gave the Caps a two season window to make the most of their current roster.  The loss of left winger Jason Chimera to the New York Islanders less than one hour into free agency will no doubt be felt this coming season.  Chimera takes not only veteran leadership from the locker room, but a gritty, go-to-the-dirty-spots style of play that not many players have.  T. J. Oshie’s current contract will expire next summer and it’s unlikely the Caps will be able to offer him the money and term he’ll be seeking.  Recently acquired center Lars Eller is only on the hook for two more years.

On the positive side, Ovechkin, Holtby, Backstrom and Niskanen–all vital elements to the Caps’ game–are inked for several years to come.  But there are other players–those who lack gaudy stats but provide solid, consistent play–who could potentially begin trickling away after the coming season.  And it goes without saying that those four stars mentioned above aren’t going to get any younger.

It’s true that sports teams have their ebbs and flows; we could not speak of dynasties were it not for the droughts in between.  Trading future draft picks for current players can be risky, but so far no one is accusing the Capitals of ransoming the future for the present.  They’ve got some good prospects in the pipeline–their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears competed in the Calder Cup Championship this past season–but nobody like an Auston Matthews or Jesse Puljujarvi.

So if we can agree that the Caps have all the necessary personnel pieces in place to win the Cup and that they’ll be as competitive this season as they were last, what needs to change to get them past the second round of the playoffs?  At the end of last season, T. J. Oshie attributed the end of their playoff run to a reliance on bad habits:  playing lazy offense in front of Vezina Trophy winning goalie Braden Holtby.  I imagine that if we assembled ten Caps fans we’d hear at least five different reasons for their inability to translate the President’s Trophy into the Stanley Cup.  One easy answer is that they were simply bested by a better team.  The Pens’ numbers for out-shooting their opponents in every round of the playoffs were simply obscene; nobody could keep up.
In a similar vein, the word often heard coming from the mouths of fans, coaches and players alike is “execution.”  Simply put, the Caps had what it takes to win the Stanley Cup, they simply didn’t play up to their potential.  They played the Penguins the hardest of all four teams the Pens faced in the playoffs:  five of the six games were decided by a single point, and two went to OT.  So although the Caps lost in the end, it was by about as thin a margin as there could be.  So the fact that the Caps haven’t done much in the way of trades or acquisitions in the off-season is a good thing:  she ain’t broke, she just needs to run better next time.

BREAKING: Senators Acquire Brassard for Zibanejad


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By Bobby Bauders

Senior Writer/Editor

 

The Ottawa Senators have acquired Derick Brassard from the New York Rangers for Mika Zibanejad and a 2018 2nd Round Pick.

 

Brassard, 28-years-old, scored 27 goals and 58 points in 80 games last season. Brassard was one of the Rangers leading scorers. New York has been cap pinched, so basically anyone was on the table for a trade.

 

Zibanejad, 23-years-old, scored 21 goals and 51 points in 81 games last season. New York traded one of their best scorers for someone younger, and someone who can put up similar numbers. They also got a 2nd Round Pick out of it, and high draft picks are something the Rangers have been lacking lately.

 

The Rangers may not be done, this trade opens up some cap to re-sign Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, but they’re still going to need some cap relief. Zibanejad’s contract expires next summer, and he’s going to want a raise, depending on this year’s performance will determine how much. Expect the Rick Nash rumors to continue to swirl.

 

Brassard has a cap hit of $5M for 3 more years, Zibanejad has a hit of $2.625M.

Metro Division Draft Day: Team Needs


By Bobby Bauders

Senior Writer/Editor

 

We’ll have four team needs stories highlighting the draft needs of the teams in every division. Written on June 23rd, any trades that happened after this story was written will not be mentioned in this story, therefore some draft spots may be outdated.

 

Our Updated Mock Draft

 

Carolina Hurricanes:

1st Round Picks: 2

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 9

Carolina currently needs offensive prospects in my opinion. All of their  offensive prospects are average excluding Victor Rask and Teuvo Teravainen. Their defensive crops are excellent with Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin, and Ryan Murphy.

 

At 13th, Carolina has a wide variety of offensive players to choose from. If they’re available of course, those include Tyson Jost, Kieffer Bellows, Max Jones, Luke Kunin, and Michael McLeod. All of which would greatly improve Carolina’s prospect pool.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 5

With the acquisition of Seth Jones, Columbus looks set on defense. Selecting Jesse Puljujarvi and Tage Thompson in the 2nd Round could help that.

Unless Columbus trades the 3rd overall pick, which they have gotten impressive offers for, they’ll be selecting Puljujarvi.

 

New Jersey Devils:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 9

 

New Jersey is in the same boat as Carolina. They have a fairly young, productive defense. They just need that high end scoring forward to get their offense rolling.

 

Sitting at number 11 they have a lot of control. Lots of forwards everywhere at this point in the draft. Their goal will be to get either Clayton Keller, Logan Brown, or Kieffer Bellows.

 

New York Islanders:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 5

The New York Islanders are set down the middle, and they have a decent, young defense. They should look at wingers in the draft.

 

With the 19th overall pick, The Isles should hope that Riley Tufte, Max Jones, or Julien Gauthier are available because they’d be fantastic in Brooklyn.

 

New York Rangers:

1st Round Picks: 0

2dn Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 6

What a mess the Rangers have become. Can’t really say much about the Rangers because they’ve traded their 1st and 2nd Round Picks.

 

What they need is a new General Manager. Jeff Gorton has been proving he’s not fit to be running a front office. They acquired Keith Yandle from the Coyotes, and one of the assets moved in that trade was this year’s 1st Round Pick. Well, Yandle is no longer on the team and Arizona hasn’t even used the pick yet. Rangers management has been downright embarrassing for at least 4 straight years.

 

Philadelphia Flyers:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 2

Total Draft Picks: 10

The Flyers have a fairly young offensive core. Other than Shayne Gostisbehere, their defense needs help.

 

Expect Philly to select Dante Fabbro. He’s a defenseman with amazing offensive ability, like that of Gostisbehere. He once out up 78 points in 58 games. Incredible. Any team would be lucky to have that talent.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins:

1st Round Picks: 0

2nd Round Picks: 2

Total Draft Picks: 5

Pittsburgh just won the Stanley Cup, so they’re needs aren’t exactly dire. Although, an extra defensive prospect or 2 never hurts.

 

Currently sitting at the 55th and 61st picks, Pittsburgh may be able to draft Ryan Lindgren. This would be a decent pickup for Pittsburgh. He’s a defenseman that knows how to put up points, at one point posting 88 in Bantam.

 

Washington Capitals:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 6

Washington has needed an in your face scorer since they lost Joel Ward and Eric Fehr.They could get that at the 26th pick.

 

If the Caps are lucky enough, they could land German Rubstov. He’s in your face and let’s you know he’s on the ice, and he scores points, earning 26 points in 28 games with the U-18 Team Russia. He’ll have to work on his size to fill his role, but that shouldn’t be a problem in development. Tage Thomposon would also be excellent, standing at 6’5”.

 

Rick Nash Moving to Cali?


By Bobby Bauders
Senior Writer/Editor

Just like everyone else, I have no idea what’s going on in Jeff Gorton’s head. He’s made some pretty questionable decisions, like past Ranger management. But one has the assume the New York Rangers will be shopping Rick Nash who just hasn’t produced as they would like. The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks are rumored to be front runners in the Nash sweepstakes. Also, keep in mind Nash’s modified No Trade Clause, which states he can accept a trade to 12 teams he lists. That lowers the number of suitors.

 

If Nash is traded, he’s going to need replaced. And in free agency I just don’t see how it can be done. It’s rumored that the Rangers are looking at Stamkos, but I just don’t see that happening with their cap and the fact that Buffalo is rumored to be offering $12M.

 

In 60 games played this season, Nash scored 15 goals and 36 points. In the 5 games the Rangers played in the playoffs against the Stanley Cup Champion, Pittsburgh Penguins, Nash scored 2 goals and 2 assists.

 

Anaheim Ducks:

The Ducks are clearly interested in another forward. Rick Nash would be an interesting addition given his power forward style of play, which fits Anaheim’s style of play. But one has to wonder, with a new coach (sort of) and failures with the previous system, shouldn’t they go a different route?

 

The rumored price would be Cam Fowler. Straight up that makes sense for the Rangers. Not for the Ducks though. Fowler is pretty young and is still growing, and giving him up for an aging Nash who hasn’t produced, doesn’t seem likely. Maybe they could throw in a 3rd Round Pick. Although Gorton probably isn’t keen on that idea considering the Rangers have no 1st or 2nd Round Picks.

 

Hampus Lindholm’s name has come up as well. With the signing of Sami Vatanen to a 4-year $19.5M deal, that pretty much leaves Lindholm as the odd man out as an RFA against Anaheim’s struggling cap. That’s why Fowler is the most logical solution in a trade. Although, Lindholm’s rights could be traded away soon as a deal doesn’t seem very possible unless Anaheim decides to give up on forwards such as David Perron and Chris Stewart.

 

San Jose Sharks:

The Sharks are another team rumored to be interested. The defending Western Conference Champion is disappointed to say the least they couldn’t bring Lord Stanley to Northern California, and will be making changes to try and bring it home next year. Could this change also involve Nash? San Jose has a similar power forward system as Anaheim, only it seems to be working finally in San Jose. So they’ll be expected to stick with it.

 

The only player I can see San Jose wanting to trade is Paul Martin. He’s 35-years-old and has a cap hit of $4.85M. Not that he’s a bad player, but his cap hit is a little extreme. Plus, New York is looking for defense.

 

The other assets we should point most of our focus towards in San Jose’s 2nd Round Pick this year, and their 1st Round Pick next year. As stated previously, New York has no 1st or 2nd Round Picks this year. That means they may be looking for one. Maybe next year’s 1st plus Paul Martin for Rick Nash? Some might say that’s a bit pricey given Nash’s performance. They might also throw in this year’s 2nd if New York is willing to give up a 3rd. But then that leaves San Jose without 1st or 2nd Round Picks this year, which is something General Manager Doug Wilson would not want to do.

 

I don’t see any Nash trade happening very easily. I see Gorton wanting to shop him, but his value has gone down significantly, don’t expect the best return Ranger fans.

“Blackhawks Kicking Tires on Evgeni Malkin” That’s BS


 

By Bobby Bauders

Senior Writer/Editor

 

According to multiple reports, the Chicago Blackhawks are trying to acquire center Evgeni Malkin from the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. To put it bluntly, that’s complete BS.

 

The Chicago Blackhawks are venturing into cap hell. Yes General Manager Stan Bowman is a cap wizard, but there’s no spell he can use to swing Malkin.

 

The Hawks currently sit with $5M of cap room left BEFORE re-signing major players such as Andrew Shaw.

 

The only way I can see a Malkin trade happening is if one of the following players are involved: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, or Brent Seabrook. I can’t see Bowman trading any one of these players. Maybe, and that’s a huge maybe, Brent Seabrook, but still unlikely.

 

A rumored deal I saw was Marian Hossa and Niklas Hjalmarsson for Malkin. While I’m sure the Pens would love to acquire Hjalmarsson, no way they take back Hossa. Hossa’s days are numbered, they’d be trading Malkin for a player with 1 or 2 years left. That makes no sense.

 

Not to mention Malkin wants to stay in Pittsburgh and has a No Movement Clause that he would have to waive. It’s not even a limited NMC. Why would he want to leave? He just had a kid and will be getting married soon.

 

Oh, and he just won the Stanley Cup! Why would you win the Stanley Cup and then promptly leave the team, who by the way looks good enough to make a repeat. It makes no sense.

 

This rumor was probably started by an “insider” who wants more followers. Evgeni Malkin is not leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins.