Daniel Sedin, Jonas Hiller and Jose Theodore named NHL’s three stars of the week

Each week, the NHL chooses the three players whose play stood out the most. Sometimes the league’s most talented skaters make the list; other times some unexpected names pop up.

This week’s winners were Vancouver Canucks winger Daniel Sedin, Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller and Minnesota Wild backup Jose Theodore. Let’s take a look at the weeks experienced by the three players, with a combination of our observations plus tidbits from the league’s press release.

First star: Daniel Sedin

Watching the Sedin twins play together is a true treat for connoisseurs of the game, unless they’re working their bewildering cycle against your team. Then it’s an unnerving process of inevitable doom that is reminiscent of the feeling you get watching a character in a horror movie who decides to investigate a loud noise.

Sedin led all players in goals (five) and points (seven) last week, helping the Canucks post a 3-0-1 record and claim first place in the NHL overall standings. Sedin recorded goals in all four starts, beginning with a one goal, one assist performance in a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks Jan. 3.


Daniel has notched points in 18 of his past 21 games with a +16 rating in that span, during which the Canucks have posted a 17-1-3 record.

Second star: Hiller

People unfamiliar with the Swiss goalie received an example of what he’s now doing for the Anaheim Ducks during the 2010 Olympics, as Hiller kept the over-matched team in hockey games against the U.S. and Canadian teams. The impressive franchise goalie makes a lot of starts and faces a lot of shots thanks to the Ducks’ rebuilding defensive corps, so he’ll need to keep producing great netminding for Anaheim to make the playoffs.

Hiller posted a 2-1-0 record, 0.67 goals-against average and .977 save percentage in three starts, concluding the week with consecutive shutouts and an active scoreless streak of 154:50.


Hiller also tops all NHL goaltenders in saves (1,156), is tied for second in victories, ranks third in save percentage and is tied for fourth in shutouts (four). He is the first Ducks goaltender to post back-to-back shutouts since J.S. Giguere had three straight from Dec. 8-15, 2002.

Third star: Theodore

There’s been some speculation that Wild franchise goalie Niklas Backstrom might be in danger of missing significant time, so Theodore might need to justify his expensive-for-a-backup salary of $1 million. It’s early, obviously, but so far so good. He looked solid even when he allowed four goals in a loss against the Dallas Stars last night.

Theodore posted a 3-1-0 record with a 1.50 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in four starts last week as the Wild swept a three-game east coast road trip.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.