So maybe there's something to the Langenbrunner to Colorado speculation

jamielangenbrunner2.jpgOn Friday, we told you about idle speculation stirring out of Denver from The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater that in his wildest of pipe dreams, the Avalanche would look into Devils right wing Jamie Langenbrunner to help fill the hole left by concussion-ailed winger Peter Mueller. As it turns out, idle speculation can sometimes have some truth to it as Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice says that there is interest there from Colorado and New Jersey is willing to listen.

As we talked about on Friday, Langenbrunner for business purposes could make sense to move but logistically it doesn’t make sense as the Devils are a bit thin at right wing and Langenbrunner is the team captain. As for what the Avalanche might be willing to do in order to make a deal work with New Jersey, Dater starts theorizing on what the Avalanche could do to whet Devils GM Lou Lamoriello’s whistle.

The Devils and GM Lou Lamoriello are a notoriously difficult team to make trades with, however, and no doubt Lou wants as much value as he can get for a solid veteran like Langenbrunner. The Devils obviously can only take a draft pick or prospect in any deal right now, so the question becomes which of the Avs’ prospects does he want?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but if Lou wants somebody like Joey Hishon, the deal almost certainly would be a non-starter. Problem for Lou is, he has no leverage right now. He must move one or two guys to make room for the $6,666,666 man, Ilya Kovalchuk. He has no choice, barring some kind of chicanery like a sudden long-term “injury” or a minor-league demotion to one of his top guys (in the case of Rolston, however, that wouldn’t work, because he’s over 35 and his cap hit counts if they send him to the minors).

Maybe Lou would just settle for any marginal prospect and get on with life. We’ll see.

Langenbrunner, by the way, has a no-trade clause and would have to approve any trade.

Ah, the stickiest of wickets – the no-trade clause. That could be an issue. Then again, if Jacques Lemaire were still around, getting Langenbrunner to waive it might’ve been a sure thing. With John MacLean running the show in New Jersey, Langenbrunner could be eager to get a fresh start with him. Trade rumors around Langenbrunner started the moment that Ilya Kovalchuk was re-signed, so if he wants to completely get away from the situation, perhaps he’d be OK with moving on to Denver.

If Dater believes that Lamoriello will take a package of Hishon and other smaller parts, he’s fooling himself. Lou isn’t the best in the business at swinging a deal for nothing.

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    NHL On NBCSN: Blues look to slow down Blackhawks

    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 24: Jori Lehtera #12 of the St. Louis Blues controls the puck between Artem Anisimov #15 (L) and Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on January 24, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 2-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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    The second game on the NBC Networks today features a Central Division rivalry when the St. Louis Blues pay a visit to the Chicago Blackhawks.

    Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or on our Live Stream.

    It will also be the second Star Sunday broadcast of the day, with this one featuring Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko and Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews.

    From the minute he arrived in the NHL Tarasenko has been one of the league’s most electrifying players and is currently on pace for what would be his third consecutive season with at least 37 goals with an outside shot at his second consecutive 40-goal season.

    Toews, meanwhile, is doing his part to erase a miserable first half of the season offensively by completely taking over for the Blackhawks in recent weeks. Entering Sunday’s game Toews is on a scoring surge that has seen him record 23 points in the past 15 games. That is more offense than he created in his first 37 games of the season.

    As a team, the Blackhawks are simply crushing any opponent that gets in their way right now with wins in eight of their past nine games thanks to an offense that is scoring at least four goals every game during that stretch.

    It’s a big game for both teams when it comes to the playoff picture.

    For the Blues, winners of seven out of 10 under new coach Mike Yeo, they have a chance to put a little distance between themselves and the rest of the pack in Western Conference wild card race if they can pick up a win. They enter the game three points up on the Los Angeles Kings.

    The Blackhawks are still trying to keep pace with the Minnesota Wild for the top spot in the Central Division, entering the day three points back.

    Chicago will be without a pretty significant member of its defense on Sunday night when Niklas Hjalmarsson misses the game due to an upper body injury. He had to exit their game against Arizona on Thursday night in the first period. He is currently listed as day-to-day. With Hjalmarsson out Michal Rozsival will draw back in to the lineup after scoring his first goal of the season on Thursday.

    Flyers’ Brandon Manning has discipline hearing for Jake Guentzel hit

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-2 Stadium Series win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night turned into a pretty physical game. Things really started to escalate in the second period when Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning rocked Penguins rookie forward Jake Guentzel with the huge open ice hit shown in the video above.

    The biggest problem with the hit, of course, is that Guentzel not only did not have the puck when he was hit, but he never really had possession of the puck at all and was not eligible to be hit on the play.

    That is interference.

    Even though no interference penalty was called on the play, Manning is probably not going to escape discipline for the play. The NHL’s department of player safety announced on Sunday morning that Manning will have a hearing on Monday for the hit.

    Guentzel was not injured on the play and remained in the game, picking up an assist a few minutes later on a Nick Bonino power play goal. Guentzel finished the game with two assists and already has 14 points in his first 23 games in the NHL.

    NHL On NBC: Bruins look to stay hot against desperate Stars

    BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 10: Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars prepares to face off against Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden on February 10, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Stars defeat the Bruins 5-3. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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    The NBC networks are airing two games on Sunday, with the first one being a big matchup in Dallas featuring two teams desperately fighting for a playoff spot when the Stars host the Boston Bruins.

    It’s another Star Sunday on NBC with the focus for this game falling on Stars forward (and former Bruins) Tyler Seguin and Bruins forward David Pastrnak.

    Seguin has been one of the NHL’s elite offensive players since arriving in Dallas in a trade four years ago, while Pastrnak is having a breakout season in Boston that has already seen him score 26 goals in 54 games.

    Faceoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET, and all of the action can be seen on NBC or via our Live Stream.

    As for the game itself, it’s a pretty huge — as they all will be from now on — for both teams. The Bruins enter the game having won four of their first five games under new coach Bruce Cassidy as their offense continues its second half resurgence. They have already scored 23 goals in the five games under Cassidy, and have averaged more than 3.18 goals per game in their past 22 under both him and former coach Claude Julien. Now that Tuukka Rask has started to get back on track, wins are starting to come a little more frequently.

    The Bruins enter play on Sunday barely holding on to the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with 68 points, currently owning a tiebreaker over the New York Islanders and sitting two points ahead of the Florida Panthers. A win on Sunday would move them into a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with the Ottawa Senators.

    For the Stars, meanwhile, things are a little more dire.

    Even with wins in back-to-back games entering Sunday their playoff chances should probably be described as a complete long shot at this point, sitting nine points back of the St. Louis Blues for a wild card spot.

    They are looking to win three games in a row for just the third time this season.

    They get a little bit of help on the blue line on Sunday with the likely return of defenseman Johnny Oduya as he was activated from injured reserve Sunday morning.

    On Friday, they already started selling assets by trading Patrick Eaves to the Anaheim Ducks for a draft pick.

    Video: AHL’s Iowa Wild and Chicago Wolves brawl on … and off the ice

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    The AHL’s Iowa Wild and Chicago Wolves engaged in a brawl that eventually spilled out into a hallway at the Allstate Arena on Saturday — the same day the cult classic movie ‘Slap Shot’ apparently celebrated the 40th anniversary of its release.

    Talk about timing.

    A line brawl (4:15-mark of the video) broke out on the ice between the Wolves and Wild with less than three minutes remaining in the third period of Saturday’s game. But the fighting didn’t end there. Video highlights show several players, still in full gear, involved shortly after in an altercation off the ice.

    Video shows Vince Dunn of the Wolves and Kurtis Gabriel trading punches off the ice before Gabriel is knocked to the ground and more players — and staff in the arena — intervene.

    It looked like Dunn was on his way to the dressing room when Gabriel came over, leading to their off-ice bout.

    The incident is sure to result in supplementary discipline from the AHL.

    These teams, which combined for 70 penalty minutes Saturday, meet again Sunday. So, that could be interesting — to say the least.