2010 NHL Free Agency: Alexandre Picard signs one-year, two-way deal with Habs

picarddefense.jpgThe Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Alexandre Picard (not to be confused with the Phoenix Coyotes version*, who is a left winger) to a one-year, two-way contract, according to Brian LeBlanc.

* – Jeez, the two guys were born and drafted in the same year. I probably made identical “Star Trek” puns about them without even realizing it. This is worse than the Nicklas/Niklas Backstrom mess, I tell you.

Anyway, as usual, financial terms were not disclosed. Picard was traded to Carolina by Ottawa for a second round draft choice in the Matt Cullen deal during the trade deadline. Oddly enough, none of the elements of the deal remained with their original teams; Cullen departed Ottawa for Minnesota this off-season, Picard will be a Montreal Canadien and the second round pick ended up in Edmonton’s hands.

Picard scored 4 goals and added 11 assists for 15 points in 54 games for the Senators and Hurricanes last season. He’s a pretty big player at 6’3″, 215 lbs. so we’ll see if he can buck the trend of pint-sized players in Montreal.

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    Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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    Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

    The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

    (Check out video of the hit above.)

    The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

    Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

    Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

    Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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    There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

    Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

    The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

    Yikes:

    Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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    It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

    The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

    Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

    (If you’re into that kind of thing.)

    Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:

    WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Capitals – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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    Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.

    That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.

    It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

    Click here for the livestream.