Not done yet: Predators trade Jason Arnott to the New Jersey Devils

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Arnott1.jpgThis afternoon has suddenly turned busy. Just hours after trading the
negotiating rights for Dan Hamhuis to the Philadelphia Flyers, the
Nashville Predators have traded their Jason Arnott to the New Jersey
Devils. From the team’s press release:

Nashville
Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile
announced today that the club has sent captain Jason Arnott to the New
Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Matt Halischuk and New Jersey’s
second-round selection in the 2011 Entry Draft.

Halischuk, 22 (6/1/88), split the 2009-10 season between New Jersey and
Albany (AHL), posting a pair of points (1g-1a) in 20 NHL games and 22
points (11g-11a) in 32 AHL contests. In his rookie professional season
of 2008-09 the Toronto, Ont., native amassed 29 points (14g-15a) in 47
games for Lowell, and also made his NHL debut with the Devils, notching
one assist.

Arnott, who is now the former captain of
the Predators, heads back to New Jersey where he experienced the most
team success of his career. As part of one of the most dangerous top
lines we’ve ever seen in the NHL with Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias,
Arnott scored the Cup-clinching goal for the Devils in 2000 with he
knocked in a one-timer 8:20 into double overtime against the Dallas
Stars in game six.

He was later traded to Dallas as part of the
deal that sent Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner to New Jersey,
perhaps the most unpopular trade in Dallas sports history, and now heads
back to the Devils to join Langenbrunner as a teammate.

Arnott is
entering the final year of his contract and is slated to make $4.5
million next season, according to
CapGeek.com
, and the trade suddenly gives the Nashville Predators an
insane amount of cap space with 17 players under contract for next
season. It seems that the Predators are gearing up to make a big splash
in free agency, as they have now traded away two of the top players on
their team (although Hamhuis was highly unlikely to stay in Nashville).

For
the Devils, you have to think that acquiring Arnott might mean the
likelihood of signing Kovalchuk to an extension is now extremely low.
They get back a player who enjoyed success as a Devil and who —
although he’s near the end of his career — can certainly provide some
needed offensive punch.

Crosby: Penguins ‘probably deserved better’ vs. Senators in Game 6

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If you didn’t know that the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be awfully cruel, then the last week or so of action should make it pretty clear.

The Nashville Predators lost top center Ryan Johansen to a scary ailment few would have seen coming. The Anaheim Ducks fell in both games to the Johansen-less Predators, even after dominating significant chunks of Game 6. At least one Ducks player wondered if the better team won.

Much like in life, “fair” and “deserve” only matter so much. Sports have a scoreboard to serve as the ultimate deciding factor.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have similar thoughts after falling 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators tonight, extending the Eastern Conference Final to a decisive Game 7. You can nitpick questionable penalties and missed chances, but really, how negative can you be after Craig Anderson puts forth a blazing 45-save performance (with no overtime)?

Mike Sullivan and others echoed such thoughts.

” … Obviously, we’re disappointed in the result, but I don’t think we can get discouraged by that,” Sullivan said. “I think we’ve got to take the positives from it, and we’ve got to build on it, and we’ve got to become a more determined team for Game 7.

That’s not the sort of take that’s going to make the Senators angry in Game 7. The tone of the Senators’ discussions was likely very different after they lost Game 5 by a 7-0 score, yet maybe there was similar self belief.

Anderson puzzles Penguins as Senators force Game 7

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Who could blame fans for chanting “Andy” tonight?

The Ottawa Senators said they would choose to fight in Game 6, and Craig Anderson truly battled in this one, refusing to allow this unlikely run to an end on Tuesday. They wouldn’t roll over, even after a 7-0 humiliation in Game 5.

The underrated goalie continued his memorable (and emotional) 2016-17 season with a brilliant performance, making 45 saves to help Ottawa manage a gutsy 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that, hockey fans get a true treat: the Eastern Conference will go to a Game 7 on Thursday.

The Senators opted for a “bend but don’t break” strategy for much of the contest, possibly to Guy Boucher’s preference. Even so, the Penguins managed to grind their way to a 1-0 win thanks to another hard-work goal from Evgeni Malkin.

Mistakes would come back to haunt the Penguins, however, as Bobby Ryan broke Ottawa’s lengthy power-play drought to tie things up on a 5-on-3.

With their season in question thanks to a 1-1 tie in the third period, Mike Hoffman sent a booming shot by Matt Murray, and that ended up being all the Senators needed to tie the series 3-3.

Anderson was the standout, but Erik Karlsson was a hero in the way his detractors might not expect.

You can watch Game 7 on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. The game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports App.

Report: Avalanche get permission to speak with Leafs assistant GM Dubas

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Could one of the most hapless possession teams of this more analytics-leaning era nab arguably the most promising analytics-leaning executive in the NHL?

It’s a reasonable question, as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Colorado Avalanche asked for and received permission to speak to Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas.

Current GM Joe Sakic recently got a vote of confidence and also cleaned out some of the coaching staff around Jared Bednar, so this is certainly a time of change for the Avalanche.

It will be interesting to see what kind of role Dubas would receive if he did join the fold in Colorado. Would he still be considered an assistant GM, only with more sway with what would likely be a smaller group of decision-makers? Could we see Sakic move up and give Dubas the full GM title (or eventually transition that role to the young upstart)? Might there be some other factor that would qualify as a more “outside the box” idea?

One thing seems clear: the Avalanche might want to be decisive, as demand could be significant for Dubas if he’s even somewhat on the market.

This could be interesting, especially if you’re a nerd for team-building storylines.

Video: Senators score twice to take 2-1 lead in Game 6

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The Ottawa Senators have defied odds during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they’ve done so with what’s often been an ice-cold power play.

They finally struck gold on the man advantage on Tuesday, and at a key moment. The Pittsburgh Penguins were dominating much of the game and pressing for an even bigger edge after Evgeni Malkin made it 1-0.

Maybe the Penguins got overzealous, or maybe officials … finally started making some calls. Either way, the Senators ended up with a 5-on-3 advantage for almost a minute-and-a-half. With that opportunity, Bobby Ryan scored a huge goal for Ottawa on a shot that was both oddly and perfectly placed.

Moments later, Kyle Turris narrowly missed a golden opportunity, so the contest remained tied 1-1.

Despite a late push by the Penguins to finish the second, Game 6 will enter the third period with a 1-1 score.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAME 6

Update: Mike Hoffman‘s booming shot gave the Senators a 2-1 lead in the third. We’ll see if Pittsburgh can tie it up.