Dale Tallon

Florida GM Tallon on trade deadline: “We’re not sellers”

For the last three years, the NHL trade deadline usually meant it was time for Florida’s annual fire sale. (Cheap veterans available! All UFAs must go! Yes, we do rentals!)

Players shipped out during that time included Chris Higgins, Bryan Allen, Radek Dvorak, Jordan Leopold, Dominic Moore, Dennis Seidenberg, Dennis Wideman, Bryan McCabe and Cory Stillman, to name a few.

(Okay, to name a lot.)

But there will be no fire sale this year, according to Panthers GM Dale Tallon — far from it. Tallon is hell-bent on Florida making the playoffs for the first time in 11 years and to prove it, he showed the South Florida Sun-Sentinel a list of roughly a dozen crossed-off names of GMs that he’d called.

You know, just to show he meant business.

“We’re not sellers,” Tallon told the Sun-Sentinel. “We got five games before the deadline, so we’ll know better. We got a good team, so it’s a matter of adding pieces. We’re moving forward from here; we’re not subtracting.”

The Panthers hold a four-point lead over Washington for top spot in the Southeast Division but clearly want to add some offense. They rank 21st in goals and 26th in even-strength goals and have struggled to find secondary scoring beyond the top line of Kris Versteeg (22G), Tomas Fleischmann (18G) and Stephen Weiss (13G).

“The easier we can score goals, the better it is on your stomach,” Tallon said. “[But] the phones are really quiet. A lot of teams are still looking to see if they’re buying or selling, so they’re all kicking the tires.”

It sounds like Tallon is trying to add pieces up front, while leaving his blueline as is. Injured defensemen Ed Jovanovski and Jason Garrison are expected to return before the Feb. 27 deadline, meaning the Cats will have adequate depth in that department.

Ducks likely to recall Khudobin after Gibson injury

Chicago Blackhawks' Richard Panik (14), of Slovakia, collides with Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Chicago. Anaheim won 3-2 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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“Costly victories” may have been one of the themes of Saturday night, as some teams paired impressive wins with worrisome injuries.

The good news is that, in each case, it appears that the early word is optimistic about those players (Tyler Seguin got stitched up in the Stars’ win, for example).

The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly readying to recall Anton Khudobin on Sunday after John Gibson suffered an upper-body injury during a collision with Chicago Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.

Again, so far the hope/expectation is that this might not be a major issue:

The pessimistic take would be to wonder “Uh oh, is the Ducks goalie carousel starting again?”

Frederik Andersen has seen some runs as Anaheim’s No. 1 guy, so maybe this issue is a reminder that the Ducks may be better off keeping both Gibson and Andersen around … at least while they can.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.