PHT’s Three Duds of the Week: Blue Jackets (again!), Hornqvist, Heatley

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Every Monday, we’ll highlight (or, lowlight) three of the NHL’s biggest duds from the past week.

1st Dud: Pick a Jacket, any Jacket. Again.

Key Stats: Columbus didn’t win a game last week, much like the week before. 

Making the Blue Jackets our 1st Dud for the second straight week might seem like a cop-out, but how can you justify choosing anyone else? The Jackets remain the NHL’s only winless team and have the league’s worst goal differential. They’re finding new, painful ways to lose hockey games and now face a week where they’ll play Detroit (5-1), Buffalo (5-2) and Chicago (4-1-2). Jeff Carter is out, Radek Martinek is out, Marc Methot is out, both backup goalies are out and their pets’ heads keep falling off. It’s a mess.

Eventually, we’ll spread the wealth around. But for the second consecutive week, Columbus is our No. 1 Dud — with a bullet.

2nd Dud: Patric Hornqvist, RW, Nashville Predators

Key Stats: 0G-0A-0PTS in three games played. Minus-3 rating.

Remember how Hornqvist finished last season? It’s fine if you forgot as Hornqvist would probably prefer it that way. To refresh: He scored three points in his first four playoff games, then went scoreless over his final eight. That included the second-round series against Vancouver where he played wearing Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility (nerd alert!)

Dating back to last season, Hornqvist’s now gone 14 consecutive games without registering a single point. Nashville just can’t have this. Hornqvist’s scored 51 goals over the last two years, which on a normal team is a pretty healthy total. For the Predators, it’s like half their offense.

3rd Dud: Dany Heatley, RW, Minnesota Wild

Key Stats: Sometimes, poor play can’t be quantified by numbers alone.

On Saturday, Heatley took a criminally dumb slashing penalty in in OT against Vancouver — ESPN’s Jess Myers called it “a strange swipe” while the Vancouver Sun’s Iain MacIntyre described it as “absurd” — which led to Sami Salo’s game-winning goal with 21 seconds to play.

The call capped off a rough week for Heatley. While he did manage to muster two points, he’s only recorded one goal in his last seven games — this despite averaging over 22 minutes a night, more than all but one of his Wild teammates (defenseman Marek Zidlicky).

If you’d like to weigh in with your duds of the week, add ‘em in the comments section below.

Caps re-sign Copley, who could be Holtby’s future backup

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Pheonix Copley, who returned to Washington this season as part of the Kevin Shattenkirk trade with St. Louis, has signed a two-year extension worth $1.3 million, the Caps announced on Wednesday.

The key wrinkle in the deal is that year one is of the two-way variety, while year two is of the one-way.

It’s worth mentioning because Philipp Grubauer — Washington’s current backup to starter Braden Holtby — is currently a restricted free agent, and believed to be have No. 1 potential.

The 25-year-old has capably served under Holtby for the last two years. He’s coming off an excellent campaign — 13-6-2, .926 save percentage, 2.05 GAA — and sounds like he’s ready to make the next step in his career.

“I would like to stay here; Washington is awesome and the whole organization’s been awesome the last couple of years,” Grubauer said, per the Post. “But I’m ready if the opportunity comes to make the next step and try to be a starting goalie somewhere.”

Grubauer was made available to Vegas at the expansion draft, but Golden Knights GM George McPhee opted to take blueliner Nate Schmidt instead. There are still rumblings that Washington might dangle Grubauer in trade talks.

Copley has a very small NHL resume — just two games, both with St. Louis — but fared very well with AHL Hershey last year. In 16 regular-season games he went 11-5-0 with a .931 save percentage and 2.15 GAA and, in the playoffs, went 5-4 with a .933 save percentage and 2.13 GAA.

Report: Ryan Miller may land in Anaheim

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The Anaheim Ducks might be getting a former Vezina Trophy winner as their backup.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, “there is a lot of expectation of Ryan Miller to Anaheim for approximately $1 million, although I’m not sure if bonuses will be added to that.”

Miller, an unrestricted free agent, has spent the last three years in Vancouver. The Canucks would like to keep him; however, his wife, Noureen DeWulf, is an actress, so Southern California has always been a potential landing spot.

Also, let’s face it, Miller would have a much better shot at winning the Stanley Cup with the Ducks, and that’s something the 36-year-old has never done.

As for the Ducks’ motivations, signing Miller would give them a viable starting option should John Gibson struggle or get hurt again. Recall that Anaheim’s last backup, Jonathan Bernier, had a tough time after he was forced into action in the Western Conference Final.

Related: What does the future hold for Ryan Miller?

Jets have contacted Mason about goalie gig

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Though most signs point to Brian Elliott in goal for Winnipeg next season — see here and here — there are other options out there.

Per the Winnipeg Sun, the Jets have reached out to ex-Flyers netminder Steve Mason during the free agent interview window.

Mason, 29, just wrapped the last of a three-year, $12.3 million deal with a $4.1M average annual cap hit. He’s spent the last four-plus seasons with the Flyers but, over the last two, had been part of a platoon with Michal Neuvirth.

Mason played 58 games to Neuvirth’s 28 this year, but didn’t fare especially well, finishing with a .908 save percentage.

We bring this up because whoever signs in Winnipeg will likely have to concede some starts to Connor Hellebuyck, the one-time goalie of the future that struggled mightily through ’16-17. Hellebuyck is still only 24 and the hope is that last year can be spun as a positive learning experience.

“We went through a growing period and the goaltenders were exactly like that,” head coach Paul Maurice said of Hellebuyck’s campaign, per the Free Press. “Put them back in the net after a tough night, yanked [Hellebuyck] early a bunch of times.”

The Sun reports that Winnipeg was “one of several teams that inquired about Mason,” which isn’t surprising. He’d make for a high-caliber backup and a likely upgrade in a number of markets.

 

Bruins re-sign Acciari — two years, $1.45 million

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Looks like Noel Acciari will be around Boston for the foreseeable future.

Acciari, who has spent most of his career shuttling between AHL Providence and the NHL, has signed a two-year, one-way deal worth $725,000, the B’s announced on Wednesday.

Acciari’s contract comes after he appeared in 29 games for the Bruins last year, scoring five points. He also appeared in four of the club’s opening-round playoff games against Ottawa, scoring once.

The former Providence standout, who went undrafted, caught on with Boston in ’15-16 and quickly worked his way into the mix at the NHL level.

There’s a pretty decent chance he’ll eclipse the 29 games played last year, especially if the club doesn’t return veteran forwards Dominic Moore and Drew Stafford, both of whom become unrestricted free agents on Saturday.