Troy Brouwer, Maxim Lapierre

Capitals ship their 2011 first round pick to Chicago for Troy Brouwer


The Washington Capitals are more interested in the present than in the future – at least when it comes to this year’s draft – so they decided to send their first round pick (26th overall) to the Chicago Blackhawks for rugged forward Troy Brouwer.

To some, their first round pick was a rather steep price for the Capitals to pay (especially since the Colorado Avalanche only received a second round pick for John Michael-Liles, an offensive defenseman is a considerably bigger impact player than Brouwer). Brouwer is also a restricted free agent this summer, so he might get nice a raise from his 2010-11 season salary of $1.025 million.

Then again, the Capitals are in win-now mode and Brouwer might help them improve in a subtle way. Brouwer was a solid contributor in Chicago, often providing a physical element to the team’s top line alongside stars such as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Brouwer doesn’t have world-beating skills but he’s a good enough finisher to compliment star players (he scored 22 goals in 09-10 and 17 last season).

It’s not that bad of a deal if Washington was unmoved by the field of prospects available. Chicago gets another first round pick out of the deal, so they were probably more than happy to oblige. The Blackhawks have compiled a nice array of high draft picks and must feel great about their future, especially with additional cap relief coming this summer.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.