It was a shooting gallery of a second period, but I get the feeling that this is the style of game the Chicago Blackhawks prefer. Each team scored two goals, making it a 5-2 game going into the third period.
If you’re a fan of defensive hockey, this isn’t the game for you. It also hasn’t been a great night for Chris Pronger so far, as Brent Seabrook’s PP goal went off his skate during the first period and he took the penalty that allowed Dustin Byfuglien to score a PP goal to boot. In fact, Pronger was on the ice for Chicago’s first four goals. Byfuglien is making an impact on this game so far, with one goal and two assists plus some nice hits through two periods.
Both teams are taking advantage of some defensive lapses. Scott Hartnell scored a goal on a rebound that was left alone for a disturbing amount of time in Chicago’s crease. Kimmo Timonen’s tally came on a broken play as the offensively talented defenseman was left all alone with plenty of net to shoot at.
Byfuglien’s goal was a thing of beauty, though, as the Blackhawks powerplay moved the puck around brilliantly to set him up for a nice one-timer. People in the live chat astutely pointed out that it was easier for Byfuglien to get in front of the net and make that play happen because Pronger was in the penalty box, but it was still a pretty one.
So, the Hawks hold a three goal lead going into the third. That’s a big mountain to climb for Philly. Can they do it? Stay tuned with out chat and the game, live on NBC right now.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t require arbitration with forward Peter Holland. They’ve signed the 25-year-old to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.3 million.
Holland had a hearing scheduled for today. Last week, the Leafs sent a message by putting him on waivers, which he cleared.
Holland had nine goals and 18 assists in 65 games last season. With him signed, the Leafs have only defensemen Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin as restricted free agents. Corrado has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow; Marincin’s is next Tuesday.
Related: Corrado and Leafs aren’t that far apart
This is an important week in the Detroit Red Wings’ offseason, with Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Danny DeKeyser‘s for Thursday.
GM Ken Holland would prefer to avoid the hearings, which can sometimes result in hurt feelings.
“I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement,” Holland told MLive.com. “Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody’s not going to be happy.”
That being said, in Mrazek’s case, the two sides still have a ways to go. Remember that the 24-year-old netminder was excellent for most of 2015-16, but in Holland’s words, “the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February.”
Hence, the divide:
DeKeyser, meanwhile, is more of a proven NHL commodity. He’s had three full seasons in the league. In the 26-year-old defenseman, the Red Wings pretty much know what they’ve got.
“There’s way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser‘s case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place,” said Holland. “That’s certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek’s situation.”
Holland’s work will not be finished once Mrazek and DeKeyser are signed. He still wants to add another defenseman, and he’s got a surplus of forwards to work with.
Related: Holland makes argument to keep Jimmy Howard
The Flyers won’t require today’s scheduled arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn. They’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old forward on a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.125 million.
Schenn had a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists in 2015-16. His 59 points were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Claude Giroux‘s 67 and Wayne Simmonds‘ 60.
The Schenn signing leaves the Flyers with just over $1 million in cap space for 2016-17, but no major free agents remaining. RFA defenseman Brandon Manning still needs a contract, but that’s it, per General Fanager. Manning has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.
Related: Coyotes sign Luke Schenn
Ben Scrivens is off to Belarus. The 29-year-old goalie has reportedly signed with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.
Scrivens made 14 starts for the Montreal Canadiens in 2015-16, failing to really take advantage of his opportunity with the Habs and finishing 5-8-0 with a .906 save percentage.
In total, Scrivens made 144 appearances (130 starts) in NHL games, his best season coming in 2013-14, which he split between Los Angeles and Edmonton. The Oilers gave up a third-round draft pick to get him. They eventually acquired Zack Kassian when they dealt him away.
Related: Maple Leafs reportedly close to signing Jhonas Enroth