Erik Johnson, Kyle Wellwood

New faces making first impressions

Since Friday, we’ve seen a flurry of action on the trade front. Accordingly, a fair amount of players are making their debuts in their new jerseys—some going well, some not so much. Here’s a quick recap of all the players who have been traded since Friday and how they’ve made their first impressions.

It’s worth noting that only the Lightning, Bruins, and Senators are playing over .500 hockey since making their respective trades. Take that for what it’s worth, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

February 18

The Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche swapped goaltenders as Craig Anderson joined the Sens and Brian Elliott was shipped to Colorado.

Since trade:
Craig Anderson: 2-0, .988 save percentage, .48 GAA, 1 shutout
Brian Elliott: Has not appeared in a game for the Avs.

In separate trades on Friday, Boston acquired Tomas Kaberle, Rich Peverley, and Boris Valabik. In exchange, they shipped Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Atlanta Thrashers; while also shipping draft picks and prospect Joe Colborne to the Maple Leafs.

Since trade:
Tomas Kaberle: Has not scored, 0 rating (Bruins: 2-0)
Rich Peverley: 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, 0 rating (Bruins 2-0)
Boris Valabik: Has not appeared in a game for the Bruins.
Blake Wheeler: 1 assist, 0 rating (Thrashers: 0-2)
Mark Stuart: 0 points, -1 rating, 2 fights (Thrashers: 0-2)

The Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks had a couple of trades that resulted in Ian White heading to San Jose in exchange for Derek Joslin and a 2nd round pick in next year’s draft.

Since trade:
Derek Joslin: 0 points (Hurricanes: 0-1)
Ian White: 1 assist, +1 rating (Sharks: 3-0)

Tampa Bay addressed their need on defense by acquiring former Blues captain Eric Brewer in exchange for prospect Brock Beukeboom and a 3rd round pick.

Since trade:
Eric Brewer: 0 points, +3 rating (Lightning: 1-0-1)

February 19

In the middle of the night, the Avalanche and Blues put together the blockbuster of the season (thus far). Former 1st overall pick Erik Johnson and Jay McClement (plus a first rounder) went to Colorado in exchange for power-forward Chris Stewart, young defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, and a conditional 2nd rounder.

Since trade:
Erik Johnson: 1 goal, -1 rating (Avs: 1-1)
Jay McClement: 0 points, -1 rating (Avs: 1-1)
Kevin Shattenkirk: 2 assists, 0 rating (Blues: 1-2)
Chris Stewart: 4 goals, -2 rating (Blues: 1-2)

February 21

After a day of rest for the 30 NHL teams, the Stars and Pens got the trading ball rolling again with puck-moving Alex Goligoski being sent to Dallas for James Neal and Matt Niskanen.

Since trade:
James Neal: +1 rating (Pens: 0-0-1)
Matt Niskanen: 0 points, 2 PIM (Pens: 0-0-1)
Alex Goligoski: 0 points, 4 PIM (Stars: 0-1)

Therrien refutes report that Price is likely done for the season

3 Comments

Contrary to a report by La Presse newspaper, Montreal head coach Michel Therrien says that Canadiens goalie Carey Price could still play again this season.

“We know what’s going on with Carey,” Therrien told reporters today. “It takes more time, obviously, than we were expecting. Like I said, he’s working extremely hard and he’s put in a lot of hours to make sure that he’s going to make that comeback. The fact that he’s working extremely hard is not to make sure that he’s going to look good this summer on the beach; he wants to come back and play for the Montreal Canadiens.”

That being said, Price does not appear close to a return. He’s yet to practice with teammates. He’s yet to even skate in goalie gear.

The Habs have 27 games left to get back into a playoff spot. They close out the regular season on April 9, less than two months from today.

Related: With Price possibly done for the season, Scrivens has Dubnyk-like opportunity

With trade deadline approaching, Canucks announce Edler out 6 weeks, Sutter 6-8 weeks

Washington Capitals v Vancouver Canucks
5 Comments

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that they’ll be without defenseman Alex Edler (fractured fibula) for six weeks and center Brandon Sutter (broken jaw that required surgery) for six to eight weeks.

So basically those two are gone for the remainder of regular season, save for possibly a few games at the tail end of the schedule.

For a bubble team that doesn’t boast a ton of depth, the injuries are significant. Edler leads the Canucks in ice time, averaging almost 25 minutes per game. Sutter, arguably their best defensive center, already missed a big chunk of games earlier in the season following sports-hernia surgery.

But GM Jim Benning still isn’t giving up on the playoffs. Yesterday, he went on Vancouver radio and suggested the Canucks could actually be buyers at the trade deadline.

Benning only has a couple of weeks to decide what to do with pending unrestricted free agents defenseman Dan Hamhuis and winger Radim Vrbata. The trade deadline is Feb. 29.

The Canucks, currently just two points back of Nashville for the final wild-card spot, have a pair of winnable games coming up. They host Toronto Saturday and Minnesota Monday.

Related: Preds entering key (and tough) stretch before trade deadline

Jets activate Pavelec from IR, send Hellebuyck back to minors

Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Winnipeg’s goalie of the future is off to continue his development in the AHL.

On Friday, the Jets activated veteran netminder Ondrej Pavelec from injured reserve and, in a subsequent move, sent rookie netminder Connor Hellebuyck back to their affiliate in Manitoba.

Hellebuyck, 22, arrived in Winnipeg with great fanfare, having starred for Team USA at the 2015 Worlds while being named an AHL All-Star as well.

This was his first-ever stint with the Jets, and it went OK — Hellebuyck posted an 13-11-1 record, .918 save percentage and 2.34 GAA — but he did struggle of late, getting hooked in two of his last three outings.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Pavelec.

His numbers prior to getting hurt weren’t any better than Hellebuyck’s — .906 save percentage, 2.82 GAA — and there will be considerable rust to knock off, given he’s been out since late November with a knee issue.

There’s also the long-term implication.

Pavelec, a lightning rod for criticism over the last few seasons, has one year left on his five-year, $19.5 million extension, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July of ’17.

It could be his last season in Winnipeg (assuming he’s not bought out of the final year of his deal), which makes one wonder what GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has in store.

It’s also worth noting there’s a third goalie in this equation: Michael Hutchinson, who’s a pending RFA.

Kuznetsov passed concussion test, expected to play Saturday

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, from Russia, celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Washington. The Capitals won 5-3. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP
2 Comments

Feel free to breath a sigh of relief, Capitals fans — Evgeny Kuznetsov is okay.

“During the end of the third period, Evgeny underwent and passed all tests pertaining to the league’s concussion protocol evaluation,” the Caps said today in a statement. “We expect him to take the morning skate tomorrow and play against the Stars later that night.”

Kuznetsov left last night’s game versus the Wild in the third period after appearing to take the butt-end of Mikael Granlund’s stick to the face.

Kuznetsov leads the Caps with 54 points.