If anything else, last night proved that even in a light night of action that anything can happen. Four more games hit the schedule tonight so let’s just hope that if anyone is hitting someone else that it all happens on the ice so we can avoid anything more unseemly to discuss further. As always, all times listed are Eastern because we’re trying to not even go near the same time zone Rick Rypien is in.
Buffalo @ Atlanta
The Sabres are trying to shake the dust off of their miserable start to the season and facing Atlanta won’t make things any easier. The Thrashers are doing well to start the year and goalie Chris Mason gets the start once again. Evander Kane and Anthony Stewart are leading the way right now. Stewart has four goals while Kane is rocking it with three goals so far this year. Fun fact: Neither has an assist yet. Fill the net, guys.
Buffalo will look to try and keep Atlanta off the board as the Sabres, even with Ryan Miller doing well, are still having a hard time keeping opponents off the board as they’re in the bottom third in the NHL in goals against.
Anaheim @ Columbus
The Jackets are in a bit of a tough way, but if they’ve got reason to perk up, having Anaheim come to town should help them out. While the Ducks have done well of late, those wins have come at home. On the road, they’ve played miserable thus far. This game could shape up into a war of attrition. Well, one with a lot of goals anyhow.
Vancouver @ Chicago
Say, perhaps you heard about this Vancouver team here today. After getting trashed by Minnesota on and off the ice last night, the Canucks try to improve on things. Roberto Luongo gets to start once again and because he’s not facing Minnesota he should do better right? Hopefully no one tells him that it’s a playoff game against Chicago or else things might get really ugly. Chicago, meanwhile, is playing some pretty good hockey as Marian Hossa is on fire of late.
Carolina @ Los Angeles
Speaking of teams on fire, the Carolina Hurricanes bring their traveling road show to L.A. to face Jon Quick Jonathan Bernier and the Kings. While the Canes are playing inspired hockey, the Kings are no slouches themselves off to a 3-1-0 start thanks to the play of Quick, Ryan Smyth, and Dustin Brown. How Jonathan Bernier bounces back after his rocky first start will be interesting. Carolina, meanwhile, kicked the Sharks around to the tune of 5-2 last night getting a stellar star from Cam Ward making 41 saves. Justin Peters gets the call in goal tonight in his first action of the season.
Bolts avoid arbitration with Namestnikov — two years, $3.875M
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
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).
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.
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.