Rick Nash

Just to add to the Rick Nash trade speculation…


This morning we linked to Bruce Garrioch’s weekly NHL gossip column that always entertains in an “imagine if this is actually true” kind of way.

Well, one of the names Garrioch mentioned was Columbus captain Rick Nash.

Confirm or deny: The cellar-dwelling Blue Jackets may finally be ready to accept reality and they could be willing to deal captain Rick Nash. If that’s the case, they’re going to want a big return: A top young player, a prospect and a first-round pick. The Rangers and Kings are interested.

Considering the source, we took it with a grain of salt – just Garrioch being Garrioch.

But then we read what Sportsnet reporter John Shannon wrote today:

I have received a couple of calls from friends of Nash, who claim that Rick is very unhappy with the way the franchise is going and realizes it will take five more years to rebuild, again. Nash is now telling people close to him that he would entertain being moved, but still will not be the one who asks for a trade.

Now, it should be noted:

1. Get out of town! Nash is unhappy with the way the franchise is going? Come on, really? We thought he’d be thrilled.

2. Nash already said a month ago he wouldn’t stand in the way of a trade.

So what Shannon reported shouldn’t really surprise anyone, but it does make you wonder – will it ever come to the point where Nash asks out?

Put yourself in his shoes. You’re 27 years old. You’re a former first overall pick. You’ve scored 276 career goals. You’re good enough to make Team Canada and win Olympic gold. Aaaaaand you’ve played a grand total of four playoff games in the NHL.

Now imagine your team’s last overall, the organization’s a laughing stock, the fans are staging protests, and you have to suffer* through another rebuild.

* As much as someone can suffer making $7.8 million a year.

Alexei Emelin was ejected for this hit on Matt Calvert

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Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.

The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.

So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.

You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.

Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.

Injuries continue to dog Lupul as Leafs place him on IR

Joffrey Lupul
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Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.

The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.

This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.

From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.

“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”

Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.

At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.

WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks

Scott Darling, Charlie Coyle
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Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?

We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.

Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.

Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks


Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks


Bolland back in, Bjugstad out with injury for Panthers

Evgeny Medvedev, Nick Bjugstad
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Message sent or not via healthy scratches or not, Dave Bolland returns to the Florida Panthers mix on Tuesday.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, it’s maybe not under the most ideal circumstances, as part of the explanation for his return is Nick Bjugstad‘s absence.

The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that Bjugstad is out tonight against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury that he suffered during a Monday practice.

In fact, as you can see in the tweet above, the young forward was sent home because of the injury.

This forces some shuffling, with Vincent Trocheck moving up to the second line while Bolland centers the third combo as usual.

The Panthers are currently on a two-game winning streak and visit St. Louis as the second date in a five-game road trip.

This is also the early part of a span in which they play nine of 10 games on the road (counting Sunday’s away win), so a prolonged absence from Bjugstad could sting that much more.