Reports: Canucks eyeball Ott, might settle for McLeod


Claude Lemieux never played for the Vancouver Canucks, but the team might as well use a turtling Lemieux as their third jersey logo at this point.

It appears that Canucks GM Mike Gillis must believe that his current corps of creeps isn’t sufficient because Nick Kypreos reports that they’re eye-balling Dallas Stars pest Steve Ott. In other news, Adrian Dater identifies Cody McLeod as a Plan B if Ott doesn’t work out.


As much as the team is defined by the Sedins twins’ brilliance, the Canucks also employ some of the NHL’s most irritating figures. Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre are about as grating as hockey players can get. Aaron Rome bends and breaks the rules. Even less direct offenders like Roberto Luongo and Kevin Bieksa generate significant scorn.

Adding Ott would make this team so despicable in many hockey minds that pun-lovers would need to work overtime. (My submission: Villaincover.)

The Canadian city has been breathlessly described as a northwest treasure, much like Portland or Seattle. Hockey seems to be the one area where things get ugly, though, as the team’s perceived evils keep getting upstaged by their most regrettable fans.*

Added value

Both Ott and McLeod would make the Canucks a tougher team to play against (McLeod already has 154 PIM this season).

Ott would fit in nicely with Burrows in the sense that for all his shenanigans, he’s a heck of a talent. While he lacks Burrows’ finishing touch, Ott’s offensive skills often get overshadowed. Beyond that, he’s notably versatile; as his appearance in HBO 24/7 might remind you, Ott’s a strong faceoff asset.

Kypreos reports that Dallas wants a significant piece for him, though, so we’ll have to see if the Canucks will get another huge injection of obnoxiousness – or a smaller one with McLeod.

* – To be fair, Vancouverites have done a great job of showing that the vast lot are upstanding folks.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?