Tukka Rask, Scottie Upshall

Desperate Panthers over-spend on Ed Jovanovski and Scottie Upshall’s four-year deals

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Look, I understand that Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon needs to get his team to the salary cap floor of $48 million. With a team that has such a limited group of talent and is suffering from such a long playoff drought, it makes sense that the former Chicago Blackhawks general manager will need to overpay people to bring them to Sunrise, Florida.

That being said, couldn’t he have signed these bad contracts for one year rather than giving people stupid money for longer periods of time? Tomas Kopecky probably received $1 million too much per year to come to Florida with a four-year, $12 million deal, the team took on Brian Campbell’s ridiculous contract and now they gave Scottie Upshall a top-line forward deal of four years, $14 million.

Update: things have gotten even worse, apparently. Tallon brought Ed Jovanovski back to Florida with a ridiculous four-year, $16.5 million deal. There’s a neat nostalgic element to this signing because the Panthers made Jovanovski the first overall pick of the 1994 draft and he went on to help them make their one magical run to the 1996 Stanley Cup finals. That was a long time ago, though; Jovanovski has been an extremely injury-prone defenseman since he left Florida. He only played 50 games in 2010-11 and 66 in 09-10. While he showed some signs of health with Phoenix before that (82 games in 08-09 and 80 in 07-08) but six of his last eight seasons have been wrecked by injuries.

Upshall’s $3.5 million salary cap hit, Jose Theodore’s $1.5 million and Jovanovski’s $4.13 million will lift the Panthers’ number to about $47.4 million, leaving them less than one million short of that $48 million floor. All it cost them was a coherent roster and long-term plan to get there.

In case you wanted some re-emphasis, Upshall’s deal is not a very good deal at all, either. Both the term and the annual salary are out of whack for what can be reasonably expected of Upshall. He’s scored 22 goals once in his career (in 2010-11); other than that he’s been a guy whose speed hasn’t really produced much as far as results. (At least for $3.5 million per year.)

Again, we understand that the Panthers are in a bind, but these deals might put the team in a bad position once their prospects start to mature. In other words, this team could be in a similar (if less promising) situation as Tallon’s last team – the Chicago Blackhawks. That team saw simultaneous breakthroughs of prospects soon after he saddled the club with ugly contracts like those of Campbell and jettisoned goalie Cristobal Huet.

Upshall, Jovanovski and the rest of the Panthers might prove us wrong in the long run, but from the looks of things, they’re not spending their money very wisely.

Just about everything happened in second period of Capitals – Penguins

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Let’s just take a second to step back and rub our eyes in disbelief at this Washington Capitals – Pittsburgh Penguins game, particularly the just-passed second period.

Basically everything is happening.

Evgeni Malkin is now at 21 goals on the season as he generated a hat trick in the middle frame. That third goal will be highly – and understandably – contested thanks to possible goalie interference by Patric Hornqvist.

At his best, Hornqvist is in the thick of things, and that was certainly the case on Monday. Granted, this hit on T.J. Oshie was questionable:

Braden Holtby was chased from the Capitals net after the Penguins reeled off five goals in 8:09, which you can view here:

The Capitals brought a 2-0 lead into the second period and fattened it to 3-0. After that, the Penguins built a 5-3 lead with the flurry from above.

Brett Connolly made it 5-4 just 30 seconds after Malkin’s second goal, while Lars Eller tied it up at 5-5 about two minutes later.

That tie lasted … less than 30 seconds, as Malkin’s third tally made it 6-5 for the Penguins.

There’s a bunch of other stuff that happened, too, probably.

/catches breath

You can watch the rest of the game on NBCSN, online or via the NBC Sports App. Here’s the livestream link.

Enjoy goalie blunders? Tonight is your night (Video)

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A national holiday made for some funky start times, at least for a Monday. Perhaps that explains why we enjoyed a pretty hearty helping of goalie gaffes today, then?

Whatever the case may be, if you’re in the mood for a little whimsy, you came to the right place.

Today’s 5-2 win for the San Jose Sharks over the struggling Winnipeg Jets provided a double shot of moments netminders would like to forget, as you can see from the video above.

Michael Hutchinson‘s probably in less of a laughing mood about his bad bounce, while Martin Jones tried to score an empty-netter … and instead allowed Mark Scheifele to grab a “gimme” instead.

Finally, the Tampa Bay Lightning can laugh this one off a bit since they ultimately nabbed a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings, but this would be an example fans use when they beg Ben Bishop to handle the puck a little less often:

Hey, at least two out of three goalies eventually got wins out of the deal. Sorry, Hutch.

Video: Oshie’s sweet dish sets up a nice Backstrom goal for Capitals

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There’s time for the Pittsburgh Penguins to flip the scrip, but so far on Monday, it looks like the patterns continue to go the Washington Capitals’ way.

The Caps are aiming for a 10th straight win (and Pittsburgh’s fourth consecutive loss) after taking a 2-0 lead through the first period.

The strong play of Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie stands as one of the reasons why Washington has been blazing such an impressive path, and they combined for a really nice goal to give their team that added cushion. Both Oshie’s pass and Backstrom’s goal are impressive in the clip above.

Also, here’s the Andre Burakovsky goal that began the scoring:

And, just for the heck of it:

Shane Doan isn’t asking to be traded by Coyotes, but isn’t saying no either

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 15:  Shane Doan #19 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 15, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Coyotes defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Imagine, for a second, Shane Doan wearing another team’s jersey. Apparently it’s not out of the question.

During the weekend, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Doan would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for the right situation. Despite his 1,500+ games with the Jets/Coyotes, Doan responded mostly in the affirmative to NHL.com, although the rugged forward notes that it would take a “perfect” scenario to make everything work.

(He said that he hasn’t been asked to waive his no-trade clause … but he might be open to suggestion.)

“I’d talk about it with my family and make a decision on that if it was to come up but it would have to be so perfect and so right that it’s pretty hard for it to all line up perfectly,” Doan said. “It would have to be exactly perfect and that just doesn’t happen too often in our sport.”

The 40-year-old interestingly notes that the discussion has come up before, only word hasn’t surfaced in reports. He even said that there were times when he gave his approval, although in most cases, his answer was “No.”

What is perfect?

What’s the perfect situation? That’s where things are fuzzier, as Doan explains that picking a “contender” can be a little trickier when you consider where, say, the Penguins and Sharks were around this time last year.

Doan says family matters, yet he also seems somewhat flexible in that area. After all, it might just be for a few months as a “rental.”

Measuring his value

On the other end, of course, you must also wonder who will want him.

The pluses are easy to see: he’s big, physical and checks off a ton of the “intangibles” boxes. Chances are, a perspective team would weigh his 28 goals from 2015-16 more heavily than his mere 12 points in 42 games this season.

That said, at his age, and considering his numbers this season, there’s the obvious question regarding how much he has left in the tank.

Then again, if the price is reasonable – and the Coyotes certainly are looking to sell off expiring contracts – then it could make for an interesting situation.

If anything happens at all.