Vinny Prospal

Filling a need: Blue Jackets sign Vinny Prospal to one-year, $1.75 million deal

The Blue Jackets were heading into next season without the help of Kristian Huselius while he’s out for 4-6 months after torn pectoral surgery. With that kind of hole in their top six forward unit and free agency pickings being slim, they had to find a way to fill their needs.

Thankfully for Jackets GM Scott Howson, there was one experienced veteran out there to sign and get things taken care of. Howson announced via Twitter that the Jackets signed former Rangers forward Vinny Prospal to a one-year contract and take Huselius’ spot in the top six. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports that the deal is worth $1.75 million for the year.

Prospal will take Huselius’ spot working on either the first or second line alongside the likes of Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, R.J. Umberger, and Derick Brassard. Huselius was a guy that did well as a playmaker for Columbus last year before running into injury problems. By bringing in Prospal, the Jackets will be bringing in a guy coming off his own injury problems last season as Prospal had knee troubles that limited him to 29 games last year.

In that time, Prospal had nine goals and 14 assists. Two seasons ago, however, Prospal had 20 goals and 38 assists and was one of the Rangers’ better offensive producers. When he’s healthy, he’s a great contributor and that’s what the Jackets are counting on as they’re in desperate need of better offense especially on the power play.

If Prospal can plug in seamlessly into coach Scott Arniel’s system and jell with his new teammates, things are looking up in Columbus offensively. They could still use another experienced defenseman to help make their summer a great one, but for now, their offense is shaping up nicely.

Of course: Ryan Suter wins it for Wild vs. ‘Hawks after those wild quotes

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You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”

Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.

Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.

Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?

As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).

Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.

Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.

It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.

Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

Sean Couturier
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When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

Joy abounded.

Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.

This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career

Dougie Hamilton
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Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.

(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)

You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …

… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.

Senators lose Michalek, Zibanejad to injuries vs. Flyers

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It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.

The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.

Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.

Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.

Update: Michalek’s issue could be significant.

The Flyers ended up beating the Senators 4-2, so a tough night for Ottawa.