Preseason quick recaps: September 23rd

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Earlier tonight, we touched on the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you need a Cliff’s Notes version of that recap, here it is: Taylor Hall was good, Magnus Paajarvi was even better and the Lightning … well, they had some Dan Ellis Problems.

Anyway, in case you want to know about the six other games that took place tonight, you’ve come to the right place. Keep in mind that it’s foolish to put too much stock into any preseason results.

Florida Panthers 3, Boston Bruins 2

Plus: David Booth scored two goals and Michael Frolik notched two assists while Tomas Vokoun and Tyler Plante only allowed one goal each for the Florida Panthers tonight. It’s great to see Booth back after some serious concussion problems last season.

Minus: The Florida Panthers won’t be able to carry this win over to the regular season, something they never seem to begin with much gusto lately. Then again, the Panthers don’t often dominate the “with much gusto” category, anyway.

New York Rangers 4, New Jersey Devils 3 (OT)

Plus: It was a star-driven game tonight. Marian Gaborik scored two goals including the overtime-winner while this year’s big Rangers addition Alex Frolov earned the No. 1 star with a one-goal, two-assist performance. All three Devils goals were scored by their probable first line, as Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac scored one goal each.

Minus: The Rangers are still crazy to pin their offensive hopes on Gaborik, a player so injury-prone he might as well be called the Slovakian Forsberg. The Devils no-longer-vaunted defense allowed 37 shots on goal in this one.

Toronto Maple Leafs 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (OT)

Plus: Colby Armstrong can briefly forget about the completely wooden acting performance he made in local Pittsburgh commercials a few years ago with a shootout winner. Both teams enjoyed some good goaltending, all things considered.

Minus: They might not have the same tie-breaking power, but 10-plus round shootouts clearly aren’t going extinct this season. Blimey.

Carolina Hurricanes 3, Nashville Predators 1

Plus: For at least one night, Patrick O’Sullivan justified his existence with a goal. He could be an underrated steal for Carolina – a noted place for cast-offs such as Jussi Jokinen and Sergei Samsonov (who also scored tonight) – if he can put it together this season. Eric Staal produced two assists.

Minus: This game is too unremarkable for their to being any true blemishes. It’s the nougat of hockey games.

Phoenix vs. LA part 1: Phoenix wins 2-1 in OT

Plus: Any sign of a pulse from Alex Ponikarovsky (one goal) must be a promising sign for the forward-poor Kings. Kyle Wellwood scored to the delight of anyone clamoring to make fat jokes. Solid human Shane Doan scored the OT GWG and assisted on Wellwood’s tally, both on the PP.

Minus: The Kings were out-shot 16-7 in the third period and 4-0 in overtime. Less than 6,000 people attended this game.

Phoenix vs. LA part 2:  Phoenix wins 3-1

Plus: The Coyotes took both of these split-team games, but I’m pretty sure neither contest including a matchup of “shirts and skins.” The attendance numbers of this one was quite a bit better, with 10,000+ in attendance (allegedly).

Minus: These split-team scrimmages are kind of obnoxious.

Bolts avoid arbitration with Namestnikov — two years, $3.875M

Vladislav Namestnikov
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Tampa Bay has avoided Friday’s scheduled arbitration hearing with forward Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing to a two-year, $3.875M deal on Tuesday evening, per ESPN.

Namestnikov, 23, had a breakout campaign last year, scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 80 games — all career highs. The former first-round pick also appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bolts, scoring a goal and three points while helping the club to the Eastern Conference Final.

Coming off a one-year deal in which he made $874,125, the diminutive Russian gets a nice pay bump with this latest contract, and a bit of security with the two-year term. He should play a fairly integral role next season, coming off a year in which he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals, with Tyler Johnson.

But while tonight may be about Namestnikov, it’s another Russian forward in Tampa Bay that everybody now has their eyes on — Nikita Kucherov, the playoff scoring sensation that declined to file for arbitration, but still requires a new deal.

Given some of the big-money contracts GM Steve Yzerman has handed out this summer — namely those to Steve Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn — the Kucherov negotiations are definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Talks ongoing between Wild and Dumba, meeting expected soon

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There’s just one piece of business left for Minnesota this summer — a new contract for RFA defenseman Matt Dumba.

And it sounds like that piece of business will soon be attended to.

From the Star-Tribune:

There have been ongoing talks between Wild assistant GM Brent Flahr and [Dumba’s] agent Craig Oster.

The two are expected to meet face to face in Calgary at the Hockey Canada camp.

Dumba, the former No. 7 overall pick, just wrapped his entry-level deal, coming off a campaign in which he set career highs in games played (81), goals (10) and points (26).

He also notched a pair of assists in the Wild’s six-game loss to Dallas in the playoffs.

Dumba, 22, did see his name surface in trade talks this season. There was a report in late January that he was the return piece in a potential swap for Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin, and he’s been tied to teams looking for a blueline upgrade.

A good puck mover with offensive skills — and a right-handed shot — Dumba is definitely a commodity. What’s more, logic suggests the Wild could opt to move him, given the long-term financial commitments to fellow defensemen Ryan Suter (signed through 2025 at $7.53 million), Jonas Brodin (2021 at $4.16M), Jared Spurgeon (2020, $5.18M) and Marco Scandella (2020, $4M).

Minnesota has some other young defensive prospects in the system, too.

There’s former Gophers standout Mike Reilly, Miami of Ohio product Louis Belpedio and Gustav Olofsson, the 46th overall pick in ’13 that’s been honing his game in AHL Iowa (and made his NHL debut last season).

The Wild are in control of the Dumba situation and can slow play negotiations, possibly while re-exploring trade scenarios. Don’t forget the Bruins are still in search of the “transitional” defenseman they desperately want.

But should things go the expected way and Dumba re-signs in Minnesota, the Star-Tribune said a bridge deal is the “likeliest” outcome.

Journeyman enforcer Rosehill signs with Scottish team

Paul Bissonnette, Jay Rosehill
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Noted pugilist Jay Rosehill has followed in the footsteps of his fellow tough guys, and will try his hand overseas.

Specifically, in the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, the EIHL’s Scottish-based outfit in Braehead — the Clan — announced it had signed Rosehill for the upcoming campaign. The move comes after the 31-year-old spent each of the last two seasons with Philly’s AHL affiliate in Lehigh Valley.

Though he’s slowed down in recent years, Rosehill has long been known as an extremely active fighter. At no time was this more evident than during the ’08-09 campaign, when he fought a staggering 33 times (yeah, thirty-three) while playing for AHL Norfolk.

Rosehill last played in the NHL during the ’13-14 campaign, scoring two goals in 34 games for the Flyers — while racking up 90 PIM.

Here’s an example of some of his most famous handiwork:

As mentioned above, the EIHL has landed a few notable ex-NHL fighters. Cam Janssen, Kevin Westgarth, Paul Bissonnette and Tom Sestito have all played there.

 

 

Veteran d-man Foster retires, moves into coaching

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Kurtis Foster #26 of the Minnesota Wild looks on during their NHL game against the New York Islanders on December 13, 2005 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  The Wild defeated the Islanders 4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Kurtis Foster, who appeared in over 400 games during a 10-year NHL career, is hanging up his skates to enter the next phase of his hockey life — coaching.

Foster, 34, has rejoined his former junior team in OHL Peterborough as an assistant coach, per the Examiner. The decision comes after Foster spent the last three years playing overseas in the KHL and, most recently, in the German League.

The 40th overall pick in 2000, Foster is often remembered for a horrific leg break while playing for Minnesota during the 2007-08 campaign, in which his femur was shattered by Torrey Mitchell after Mitchell tried to prevent an icing call.

The severity of the collision and Foster’s injury — he underwent emergency surgery, nearly bled out and almost lost his leg — prompted an immediate rule tweak from the NHL, and has since been viewed as a catalyst for the league’s adoption of no-touch icing.

Impressively, Foster recovered from the broken femur to post a career-high 42 points in 74 games with the Lightning in ’09-10.

In addition to the Wild and Bolts, Foster spent time with the Thrashers, Oilers, Ducks, Devils and Flyers.