Toronto Maple Leafs v Phoenix Coyotes

J.S. Giguere is willing to waive his no-trade clause … but who would even want him?

Much like he did last season when the Anaheim Ducks traded him to his current team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jean-Sebastien Giguere told Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star that he might be willing to waive his no-trade clause if Leafs GM Brian Burke asked him.

Giguere certainly has name recognition on his side, with a Conn Smythe during one magical run to the 2003 Stanley Cup finals and a ring from the 2006-07 championship.

But the bottom line is that the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent’s value might just be at an all-time low. He’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistent play over the last few years as Jonas Hiller and Jonas Gustavsson usurped him in Anaheim and Toronto.

That’s not the worst part of it, though, as Giguere’s boasts a big salary this season ($7 million) and a large cap hit ($6 million). That makes the prospects of him being traded much bleaker, especially considering the fact that Tomas Vokoun brings a similar expiring contract to the table ($6.3 million salary, $5.7 million cap hit) while he’s playing better hockey.

Yet that’s really the only one way the Leafs could sell a Giguere trade: the fact that he possesses an expiring contract. Perhaps a team will want to move a troubling long-term contract (maybe Brian Campbell’s $7.1 million albatross in Chicago or Sheldon Souray’s $5.4 million cap hit in Edmonton’s system, for instance?) and also give Giguere a chance to redeem himself in the playoffs or at the end of the season.

Of course, the flip side of that is Burke would need to be comfortable with the return. Sadly, the pattern of big, desperate (and expensive) moves would indicate that such a deal might be a ridiculous possibility, but the Leafs would be better off allowing Giguere’s $6 million cap hit turn into space they can use to shoot for unrestricted free agents. I hear there’s this Brad Richards fellow who is supposed to be pretty good at hockey, after all …

PHT Morning Skate: Nick Foligno pulled off an awesome prank on Cam Atkinson

Leave a comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

John Tavares and Steven Stamkos once played on the same youth team. That team went 49-0-1. (Newsday)

–Which team deserves to win the NHL Draft lottery? (Winnipeg Sun)

–Rick DiPietro wasn’t happy about something Mike Francesca said. (BarDown)

–Watch the highlights from last night’s game between the Capitals and Penguins. (Top)

Nick Foligno pretended to be a season ticket holder and pranked Cam Atkinson. Funny stuff.

–Prior to Game 1 between the Penguins and Capitals, T.J. Oshie‘s daughter was filmed kicking a Penguins poster. Maybe she should do it more often because her father scored a hat trick just a few hours later. (Instagram)

–Brett Hull says “goals don’t matter” when you play for Ken Hitchcock. (Sportsnet)

Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT

19 Comments

What a start.

This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.

This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.

What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:

This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.

There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.

Twice:

If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.

NOTES:

Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy accounted for the Penguins’ other markers.

— Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored the game’s opening goal. It was his first marker of the 2016 playoffs.

— Washington outshot Pittsburgh 15-9 in the first period, but Pittsburgh ended up with a 45-35 edge.

— This is the first time in the 2016 playoffs that Braden Holtby has allowed more than two goals. He surrendered just five goals in six games to Philadelphia.

— Matt Murray suffered his first career postseason loss after winning three straight contests against the New York Rangers.

Video: Wilson delivers late, knee-on-knee hit to Sheary

Wilson hit
28 Comments

Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.

You can see that incident below:

Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.

Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.

This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.

In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.

Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints

Video: Penguins, Caps combine for three goals in 90 seconds

Oshie goal
7 Comments

For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.

Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.

In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:

After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.