Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils - Game Five

Devils put Brian Rolston and his $5.062 million cap hit on waivers

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Another season in New Jersey is not going the way Brian Rolston would like it to. Last year, Rolston struggled terribly and now this year he’s been placed on waivers. With Rolston, the immediate thought is that he’s being waived in order to clear his monstrous salary from the books. Rolston’s cap hit this year and next year is $5.062 million and makes life difficult on the Devils with them being so tight to the cap. There’s a catch though as his contract is a 35+ deal, meaning that he signed it as he was 35 years-old or older and it stays on the salary cap regardless of what happens to him. Sending him to the minor leagues does no good.

So what’s the thinking here from Devils GM Lou Lamoriello? It’s possible that he’s thinking Rolston’s cap hit as it stands is too much for any team to bear, but if he brings him back on re-entry waivers a team might be willing to take him at half the cost. Any player claimed on re-entry waivers has the cost split between the team claiming him and the team putting him on waivers in the first place.

It’s a desperate move for Lamoriello to try and gain cap space in order to either move other players around or try to add help from the outside to try and get the Devils somehow back in the running for the playoffs. As it is, they’re the 14th place team in the Eastern Conference and a whopping 18 points out of eighth place. If nothing else, waiving Rolston could serve as a message to everyone that a job isn’t guaranteed so they’d better shape up or ship out.

For now, we’d like to think that Rolston’s future in New Jersey isn’t secure. He can still contribute to a team, just don’t bank on him being a 30-goal player anymore. He’s still got a big shot that’s useful on the power play and for all intents and purposes, he’s a third line player now. Paying $5 million for a third liner is absurd, but paying him $2.5 million to play that role makes a lot more business sense.

 

Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

The Islanders also have a game in hand.

Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.

 

Video: Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to career best seven games

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What is wrong with Sidney Crosby?

His slow start to the season has been well documented. But, um, he’s been on one heck of a roll offensively for some time and the points continue to pile up.

Crosby extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games on Monday, as he gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period.

That was goal No. 23 on the season for Crosby. He added No. 24 later in the game on a spectacular individual effort.

Oh, and here’s his second goal of the night. Not bad.

Turris: Public trade requests can be ‘very difficult’ to go through, as Drouin saga drags on

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When it comes to the pressures of trade requests that go public, Kyle Turris can relate to what Jonathan Drouin might be going through.

Of course, Drouin’s request to be dealt from Tampa Bay made its way into the public via his agent, Allan Walsh, earlier this season.

The talented 20-year-old forward and third overall pick in 2013 has since been suspended indefinitely without pay for failing to show up to an AHL game while down in the minors and hasn’t played since Jan. 18.

It’s been a while now, but Turris found himself in a similar situation when, in October of 2011, his agent Curt Overhardt confirmed that the now 26-year-old center wanted to be traded out of Arizona.

Back then, Turris, another third overall pick, was a restricted free agent and had been in contentious contract talks with the Coyotes. He eventually signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes and was acquired by Ottawa not long after.

He’s been there ever since, with two 20-plus goal seasons.

“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.

“It was very difficult to do. You’re getting a lot of heat from the media and people, and people within the organization. It was a tough, tough go.”

Speaking of heat from the media: In addition to the suspension, Drouin was ripped in a local newspaper column — He’s the kid who quit” was one particular line that stands outfor his request and the drama that ensued from that.

For now, the trade deadline (Feb. 29) approaches and Drouin’s request has yet to be granted.

The wait continues.