Atlanta Thrashers v Florida Panthers

Rangers get their power play QB by trading for Bryan McCabe

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The New York Rangers finally acquired a defenseman who can help run their power play this afternoon, as Glen Sather acquired Bryan McCabe from the Florida Panthers in exchange for the team’s third round pick and prospect Tim Kennedy.

McCabe is in the final year of what was once a highly criticized contract during his days with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The offensive blueliner’s annual cap hit is $5.75 million, with about $1.32 million left during the remainder of this season. He scored five goals and 17 assists for 22 points in 48 games in 2010-11 and produced 43 and 39-point campaigns in the last two seasons.

While McCabe can be a little bit lax in his own end (bad turnovers and rough penalties), he brings a heavy shot and the ability to deliver some serious hits to the table. If handled properly, he could be a nice (if risky) addition to the Rangers defense. (Then again, they moved even riskier defenseman Michael Del Zotto down to the AHL to make room for McCabe, so they might benefit in their own end ever so slightly too.)

From Florida’s perspective, the biggest gain is at the bank, but they get a halfway decent draft pick and an OK prospect out of the deal. Kennedy is skilled, but his size will probably always be an issue at the NHL level. While Tomas Kaberle is a cheaper, more talented addition than McCabe, the Panthers were probably hoping to earn a haul closer to the one the Toronto Maple Leafs received. In fact, they should be a little disappointed in their side of the exchange.

Still, it’s obvious that McCabe wasn’t going to be a part of new GM Dale Tallon’s rebuilding process, so the team at least got something for their trouble. It looks like both teams will benefit from the swap, even if both sides were probably hoping for more.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).