All apologies to Ryan O’Marra and Bryan Rodney, but the first major trade of the day just went down: Philadelphia has sent a second-round pick in 2012 and a third-round pick in 2013 to Dallas in exchange for defenseman Nicklas Grossman.
Grossman — 6-foot-4, 226-pounds — has been with the Stars organization since the lockout and emerged as one of Dallas’ most physical players. He was third among all defensemen with 96 hits this season and led the team in blocked shots, with 100. He was averaging just under 19 minutes of ice time per game.
The 27-year-old rearguard has represented Sweden in various international tournaments and captained the national team at the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Some might see the move as Dallas waiving a white towel on the season and kickstarting a fire sale, but that’s not necessarily the case. The Stars still have a solid top-six in Trevor Daley, Stephane Robidas, Sheldon Souray, Alex Goligoski, Mark Fistric and Philip Larsen with Adam Pardy and Jordie Benn in reserve.
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.