Nieuwendyk and Stars quiet at the deadline

ribeiro.jpgWith the rest of the Pacific division (not San Jose, they’re good to go) improving at the trade deadline, or least attempting to improve, the Dallas Stars stood by and remained quiet. Six teams didn’t make a move yesterday and two of those, Dallas and the New York Islanders, are not in a playoff spot. In fact Ottawa, San Jose and Chicago are all in the top three in their conference and one could argue that perhaps they didn’t need to make many moves. Ottawa added Andy Sutton earlier in the week, so maybe we could say that was their deadline move.

Yet the Stars are in a tough spot. They are attempting to play for this season (two points out of 8th place) while also trying to build for the future. The spoke in the wheel with this plan is an ownership situation that has GM Joe Nieuwendyk handcuffed financially.



Now the Stars did trade for Kari Lehtonen before the Olympic break and
were able to get Steve Ott signed, so it’s not as if they were
completely docile. But it had to be tough to just sit by idly while the
teams ahead of you in the division got better.

“We would have loved to get a few draft picks, and we were
certainly
listening to people, but there was nothing realistic that we could get
done,” [Joe Nieuwendyk] said. “So now we’re prepared to move forward
with what we
have. This is sort of how we went into it. We believed we made our deals
already with getting Kari Lehtonen and signing Steve Ott,
so we really didn’t expect much today.”

There were certainly a number of 2nd round draft picks being thrown
around, but I just don’t think the value was there this year to make
drastic moves worth it. You saw it a number of times (mainly from
Edmonton) but teams were trading away decent players and the most they
were getting in return was either a prospect or a draft pick.

The Stars have five players scheduled to be free agents this summer, and
none would be able to fetch anything resembling that high of a price.
So the Stars were basically forced to stay still. Perhaps the Steve Ott contract extension is crippling, but for those that were looking for a big Brenden Morrow or Mike Ribeiro trade..that wasn’t happening. It didn’t happen anywhere else in the NHL.

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    Avalanche say ankle injury ends Nikita Zadorov’s season

    DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 14: Nikita Zadorov #16 of the Colorado Avalanche congratulates Matt Duchene #9 after his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Pepsi Center on December 14, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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    As if the Colorado Avalanche needed another miserable element to 2016-17: Nikita Zadorov suffered a season-ending injury during the same practice that Erik Johnson returned.

    Zadorov injured his ankle after being tangled up with Mikko Rantanen during a Monday practice, according to the Denver Post.

    Update: The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers reports that it’s a fractured ankle. Yikes.

    Zadorov, 21, is a big defenseman with the pedigree that would inspire teams to imagine better things in the future (16th pick in 2013 by Buffalo). So far, that potential hasn’t really manifested itself in production, whether you judge a player by points, plus/minus or possession numbers.

    He may be able to put it together at some point – again, he’s young – so perhaps he’ll remember this as a low point before he turns things around.

    At the moment, it’s just another grim part of a bleak time for the Avs.

    Kings may just lean on Budaj as Quick progresses toward return

    LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 08:  Goaltender Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings stands on the ice during a preseason game against the Colorado Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena on October 8, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Colorado won 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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    LA Kings Insider provided a mostly positive update about Jonathan Quick‘s gradual recovery from what’s been a season-long injury. Still, it’s difficult to get a truly concrete idea about the team’s plans.

    Quick told Jon Rosen that “everything’s coming along really well,” but they didn’t give a hard date on when he may suit up again for Los Angeles.

    (NHL.com and Rosen’s report remind us that the general aim is for “the first half of March.”)

    The Kings were mulling over the possibility of recalling former Stars first-round pick Jack Campbell to attempt to ease the surprisingly large burden on journeyman goalie Peter Budaj, but Rosen reports that such discussions have been “tabled.”

    Jeff Zatkoff has been a mixture of inactive and ineffective for the Kings, so what about getting help elsewhere for Budaj? That part’s a little fuzzy, though it’s clear that Budaj – Zatkoff is the duo for the moment.

    Darryl Sutter backs that up, via Rosen:

    But, according to a source, Campbell’s recall has been tabled, as it appears as though Budaj and Zatkoff will be the duo until Quick is able to return, and that no cut-off will be necessary as Quick is “on that path” towards being game-ready, according to Sutter.

    None of this explicitly shuts down at least the thought of trading for goaltending help, though it doesn’t give you the impression that such a move is pressing for the Kings. They’re not laying out a deadline, whether it be a self-imposed one or the trade deadline itself.

    Some of this seems a little unclear, though it currently follows the pattern of this season: it falls on Budaj, at least until Quick is back. Whenever that may be.

    Trouba suspended two games for ‘high, forceful’ headshot on Stone

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    Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba has been suspended two games for his headshot on Ottawa forward Mark Stone, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced on Monday.

    “Trouba steps up and delivers a high, forceful blow that makes the head the main point of contact, on a hit where such head contact was avoidable,” the DoPS explained. “The onus here is on Trouba to deliver a full body hit through his opponent’s core. Instead, Trouba takes a poor angle of approach, picking Stone’s head.”

    The incident occurred in Winnipeg’s 3-2 win over Ottawa on Sunday. Trouba was given a two-minute minor on the play, much to the displeasure of Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher.

    Stone didn’t return to the game following the hit but, according to the DoPS, “suffered no apparent injury.”

    Trouba will now miss tomorrow’s game in Toronto, then Winnipeg’s next game following the bye week — on Feb. 28, against Minnesota. He’s eligible to return on Mar. 3, when the Jets host the Blues.

    Trouba will also forfeit $33,333.34 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

    Sens extend depth blueliner Claesson — one year, $650,000

    OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 5: Fredrik Claesson #49 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre on April 5, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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    Ottawa made a minor move on Monday, agreeing to terms with d-man Fredrik Claesson on a one-year extension worth $650,000.

    The deal is of the one-way variety.

    Claesson, 24, has appeared in 19 games for the Sens this year, scoring five points. He’s averaging just 10:27 per game but has been a more regular lineup fixture regularly, having played in five of Ottawa’s last six games.

    The Swedish rearguard has also appeared in nine games for AHL Binghamton. Since coming over from SHL outfit Djurgardens in 2013, Claesson has been up and down between Bingo and Ottawa frequently, though this latest deal would suggest he’s in line for a more permanent NHL gig.