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.

Rangers get good news on McDonagh, bad news on Nash

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Some good news/bad news for the Rangers.

Exactly one week after suffering a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the ice with his teammates this morning.

The Rangers captain was wearing a non-contract jersey, but “looked good” according to coach Alain Vigneault.

McDonagh was hurt after taking a punch to the head from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (above).

The 26-year-old has missed each of his team’s last three games since suffering the injury.

McDonagh hasn’t been cleared for contact, but that could happen in the next few days according to Vigneault.

The news wasn’t as good for forward Rick Nash, who’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his leg.

Nash has missed each of New York last eight game’s and Vigneault admitted that he’s no longer considered day-to-day.

He’ll miss at least another week.

Video: Blandisi scores great between-the-legs goal vs. Flyers

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What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.

The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.

It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.

Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.

He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).

That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.

Some Twitter reaction to the goal:

Bruins’ Bergeron ruled out for Saturday’s game against Wild

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The Boston Bruins will be without center Patrice Bergeron in Saturday afternoon’s matinee against the Minnesota Wild.

It’s unclear how Bergeron suffered the undisclosed injury, but there’s reason to believe it occurred after he dropped the gloves with Jets forward Blake Wheeler (above).

He’s considered day-to-day at this point.

Losing him for an extended period of time would be devastating for Boston.

“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and that stuff happens and at one point a player says, ‘Enough is enough and I’m going to stand up for myself,’” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after the game, as per the Boston Herald.

“From what I gathered there was a lot of slashes behind the legs behind the play and stuff like that. He took things upon himself. As much as you don’t like it, you can’t tell him he’s not allowed. He’s a big boy and he can certainly make some decisions on the ice. And it’s not the first time that he’s fought. But I like the fact that he doesn’t fight much.”

After this incident, there’s no doubt that the Bruins will tell Bergeron to keep his gloves on from now on.

Jets will take one more crack at re-signing Andrew Ladd

Winnipeg Jets' Andrew Ladd (16) and Blake Wheeler (26) celebrate Ladd's goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)
Associated Press
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Jets captain Andrew Ladd still doesn’t have a contract for next season and with the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaching, something’s gonna have to give.

According to TSN’s Gary Lawless, the Winnipeg Jets will make one last push to sign the forward before making him available on the trade market.

Ladd doesn’t want to leave and the team wants to keep him, but after Dustin Byfgulien got an extension earlier this month, there may not be enough money to go around.

At one point, the Jets reportedly made Ladd a six-year offer worth $6 million per year, which he obviously didn’t accept.

Can they top that? Time will tell.

Waiting to trade Ladd is probably the smartest decision.

Keeping the captain around would be great, but if the two sides can’t agree to a new contract, there’ll be no shortage of suitors for Ladd’s services.

Lawless mentions the Penguins, Panthers and Blackhawks as potential landing spots for the 30-year-old.

The Kings have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Ladd.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have to make some crucial decisions over the next few weeks.