Nikita Filatov

Minor deals: Blue Jackets send Nikita Filatov to Ottawa; Rangers trade Evgeny Grachev to St. Louis

A pair of minor deals went down today and one of them featured a former first round pick. Columbus dealt struggling 2008 first round pick Nikita Filatov to Ottawa for their third round pick in the draft, 66th overall. With that pick the Blue Jackets selected Notre Dame forward T.J. Tynan.

Filatov’s failure to live up to his potential in Columbus is one smothered in controversy. Filatov was ushered into the NHL at 19 years-old under former head coach Ken Hitchcock. With Hitchcock being a strict defensive minded coach and Filatov meant to be a pure offensive talent, the two did not blend well together. Filatov was allowed to go play in the KHL for a season last year and spent most of this season playing for the Jackets’ AHL affiliate in Springfield. Perhaps a change of scenery is the medicine he needs to find his game and become an NHL player. The Senators certainly hope that that’s the case.

The Rangers sent a struggling Russian prospect of their own in Evgeny Grachev to St. Louis for their third round pick, 72nd overall. With that pick, the Rangers picked Minnesota high school forward Steven Fogarty. Grachev couldn’t quite get things going at all in the Rangers organization and Rangers GM Glen Sather said he’d been trying to deal him for the past year.

Perhaps Grachev will get a chance to find his game in a new location in St. Louis. Other forwards have been able to do that there in guys like Matt D’Agostini. That’s not to say Grachev is on that level, but the opportunity is there to be had.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…