More on the Boston-Columbus trade rumor

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Our story yesterday on the rumored trade proposal between Columbus and
Boston caused a bit of stir and if nothing else left people scratching
their heads a bit. Before writing up the story, I double checked with my
source on the information he was giving me and then posted the proposed
trade that would leave Boston with the 2nd and 4th pick in next week’s
draft. This morning I followed up, and was assured that this was a
proposal that “has been discussed” by Boston and Columbus.

It’s
important to note one thing: not once have we reported this trade as a
done deal or anything other than a rumor. At this point, it’s something
that’s been discussed between the two teams and there’s a number of
factors that could change if this trade does indeed go down.

The
first and biggest issue with this trade (as it’s been proposed) is the
no-trade clause in Marc Savard’s contract. There was some discussion
last night over whether he currently has a NTC in place; his contract
extension doesn’t take effect until July 1st, but as far as we can
determine he still has a NTC in place with the contract he’s under right
now. When Savard signed his extension mid-season, he made it clear that
Boston was where he wanted to finish his career.

Here is what
Savard had to say in December:

“With all the incredible sports teams they have here and the fans’
knowledge about all the events, it’s incredible,” Savard said. “Since
day one, I look back at the playoffs and to see what could be really
excites me, too, especially when we play the Canadiens in the playoffs
and the way fans react. It’s something that we’d like to try to finish
here.”

“When I signed a seven-year deal, obviously it was to play the whole
seven years,” Savard said. “So that’s how I look at it right now and I
think that’s what I’m going to be true to right now. I really haven’t
thought about anything else.”

It was obvious that Savard at the time made it clear he wanted to
finish his career in Boston, but who knows what’s happened since then.
It’s also possible that the Bruins have discussed a possible trade
involving Savard, since he could be the center the Blue Jackets are
looking for, while thinking there’s a chance he waives the NTC.

With this just being a discussion between the two teams, it’s likely
the parts will certainly change. If Savard isn’t willing to waive his
NTC, then you wonder if the Bruins have the parts that the Blue Jackets
would want in order to give up the 4th pick.

As of now, we’re nowhere near reporting this as a done deal. It’s
likely not close either, especially as I learned this morning that this
trade was still in just the discussion phase.

I understand some of the responses I’ve seen on here and on Twitter,
especially when a trade rumor of this magnitude seemingly comes out of
nowhere. I can guarantee that this is not a “total fabrication” and that
this comes from a reliable source. Is it being reported as fact? Not
even close.

[Thanks to Greg Wyshynski for
pointing us to the Savard quotes]

After 11-game absence, Savard (oblique) back for Columbus

David Savard
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These are pretty decent times for the Blue Jackets.

The team is 7-3-2 in its last 12, recently re-upped with Ryan Murray on a two-year deal and, on Friday, announced that blueliner David Savard has been activated from IR after missing the last 11 games to an oblique strain.

Savard, 25, was a pretty integral part of John Tortorella’s defense when healthy. He averaged over 24 minutes per night and had 15 points through 39 games prior to being sidelined by the ailment.

He’ll presumably draw back into the lineup when the Jackets take on Ottawa on Saturday. No word yet on a corresponding roster move.

Who’s got the best/worst combined special teams?

The Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, (8), of Russia, leaps in the air in celebration after scoring his 500th career NHL goal during the second period of a hockey game against the Ottawa Senators in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Recently, the Washington Capitals went five whole games without scoring a power-play goal.

It was a real nightmare for those guys.

Despite the fact Washington went 3-1-1 over those five games, one headline called it a “troubling power-play drought” — which tells you how few “troubling” things the Caps have had to deal with this season.

Overall, special teams have been a boon for Washington, which ranks first on the power play and fifth on the penalty kill.

Compare that to, say, Calgary, which ranks 29th and 29th, respectively. Now that’s troubling.

Anyway, here’s how all 30 teams rank when their special teams are combined:

Rankings

Not surprisingly, there’s a strong correlation between good special teams and winning hockey games.

In the left column, 12 of the 15 teams are currently in a playoff spot. New Jersey, Buffalo, and Montreal are the exceptions.

On the right, only four teams — Colorado, Detroit, Nashville and the Rangers — are in a playoff spot.

John Scott to return to Habs’ AHL team this weekend

Pacific Division forward John Scott (28) is lifted up by teammates Mark Giordano (5), of the Calgary Flames, Joe Pavelski (8), and Brent Burns (88), of the San Jose Sharks after they defeated the Atlantic Division team 1-0 at an NHL hockey All-Star championship game, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. The Pacific Division won 1-0. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
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John Scott’s had enough time off following his All-Star Game MVP award.

Now, he wants to get back to work.

Scott, who made major headlines at the end of January thanks to his unforgettable All-Star performance in Nashville, will return to Montreal’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s this weekend, as the IceCaps play a pair of games against the Toronto Marlies.

“It’ll be nice to [be] back playing hockey and doing my thing. I’m actually really excited for it,” Scott said, per ESPN. “This has been the longest break I’ve had, ever. But I play like 7-8 minutes, I won’t be too out of shape, I’ll be able to keep up.”

Scott, 33, hasn’t played since his Pacific Division team won the annual ASG 3-on-3 tournament on Jan. 31. Following that whirlwind weekend, the Montreal organization allowed him to take a leave to be with his wife, Danielle, who gave birth to twin girls on Feb. 5.

Scott only appeared in four games for St. John’s prior to the All-Star Game, going pointless with six penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating.

Related:

The John Scott story, coming to a theater near you?

Therrien on Habs recalling Scott: ‘You never know’

 

Goalie nods: Budaj set to make Kings debut

during a preseason game at Staples Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
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Journeyman Peter Budaj looks as though he’ll make his first regular-season NHL appearance since April of 2014, when the Kings take on the Rangers at MSG.

Recalled from AHL Ontario due to an injury to Jonathan Quick, Budaj gets the nod tonight after Quick’s backup, Jhonas Enroth, was beat for four goals on 29 shots in last night’s loss to the Islanders.

Budaj, 33, has certainly earned another crack at the big leagues. After catching on with the Kings through a PTO in training camp, he’s been terrific in Ontario, going 26-9-3 with a 1.58 GAA and .935 save percentage. The Slovakian netminder also has eight shutouts this year.

For the Rangers, Antti Raanta gets the start in goal, giving Henrik Lundqvist a night off.

Elsewhere…

Ben Scrivens, who appears to be the new No. 1 in Montreal, will go for his fourth straight win when the Habs visit Buffalo. Chad Johnson is in goal for the Sabres, who’ve really struggled of late.

Marc-Andre Fleury goes for the Penguins, while it looks like Cam Ward is in for Carolina.

— Really good matchup in Detroit as Semyon Varlamov goes up against Petr Mrazek who, according to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, has “crashed Braden Holtby’s Vezina party.”

— Battle of All-Star netminders in Tampa Bay, as Ben Bishop goes for the Bolts while Pekka Rinne starts for Nashville.

The red-hot Brian Elliott will continue to roll as St. Louis’ No. 1 in Florida. The Panthers will go with their old reliable, Roberto Luongo.

Now that Karri Ramo’s on IR, it’s Jonas Hiller time for the Flames. He’ll start tonight in Arizona, against Louis Domingue.