Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars

Columnist throws fuel on “trade Brenden Morrow” fire

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Following up on a rumor that TSN’s Bob McKenzie broke from the NHL All-Star Game, Mac Engel of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram is asking the question: Could Brenden Morrow’s time with the Dallas Stars be over?

Morrow, 33, has served as Dallas’ captain since 2006-07 and is arguably the face of the franchise. But Engel notes that — with the Stars in ninth place and just 10 games left before the trade deadline — GM Joe Nieuwendyk doesn’t have much time left to figure out if he’ll be a buyer or a seller.

More, from the Star-Telegram:

With a new owner who has no real relationships yet with this team, you would have to think everybody is available. Owner Tom Gaglardi sounds like a man who is committed to a long-term look for this franchise, and is not going to make a trade just for the sake of doing it.

If the Stars and GM Joe Nieuwendyk elect to tank it and move their veterans to a contender, they have a number of solid players who should net some prospects. There is no greater asset than Morrow.

Given that Dallas’ (apparent) future lies with the 26-and-under core of Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Alex Goligoski and prospects Scott Glennie and Jack Campbell, Morrow could be flipped for young talent and/or draft picks. Remember, Dallas didn’t have first-round picks in 2007 or 2008.

Trading Morrow would also complete the overhaul. What overhaul, you ask? Well…the one that’s been happening steadily and slowly over the last four seasons. Morrow is the only holdover left from the 1999-2000 Stars team that lost in the Stanley Cup finals; several other keystones of the Dallas organization — Mike Modano, Marty Turco, Jere Lehtinen, Sergei Zubov — have all been jettisoned in recent years.

Also, do consider that the trade market’s dwindling and if Carolina does re-sign Tuomo Ruutu, there’ll be a genuine lack of impact players available. Morrow’s value could be sky-high come Feb. 27.

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.

 

Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching

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One day after getting benched for showing up late for practice — following an “epic” Super Bowl party, per Sportsnet — Calgary forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma apologized for their actions.

“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”

“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”

More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.

Afterward, Hartley downplayed the incident, saying “it’s not like they robbed a bank,” before adding “they’re great kids.”

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Penguins on Rivalry Night

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
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Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)

You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s tilt:

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week