Erik Karlsson

Ottawa owner: Karlsson’s contract demands must be “reasonable”


Let the posturing begin.

That was the message out of Ottawa on Monday when Senators owner Eugene Melnyk addressed the media in his year-end conference call.

As the conversation turned to Erik Karlsson — Ottawa’s high-scoring, Norris-nominated defenseman — Melnyk made it clear he wasn’t going to break the bank for the impending RFA.

“From our perspective everyone has to be reasonable,” he said. “All we can offer is opportunity, and that is to be part of a great organization with a shot. If you want to be part of that, our doors are open.

“We can pay you, but it has to be within a reasonable budget.”

Ottawa’s idea of “reasonable” might differ from Karlsson’s. It’s fair to think that, coming off a 78-point campaign and a Norris nomination, the 21-year-old Swede could be looking for money comparable to Drew Doughty ($7 million annually) or Tyler Myers ($5.5 million). Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen figures Melnyk and GM Bryan Murray will need to “open the vault to re-sign Karlsson,” possibly to the tune of $6 million per season.

But is Ottawa willing to do that? The team operated at nearly $13 million under the cap this season and, in addition to Karlsson, has a number of free agents to deal with: RFAs Nick Foligno, Peter Regin, Jim O’Brien, Kaspars Daugavins and UFAs Jesse Winchester, Zenon Konopka, Filip Kuba, Matt Gilroy and Matt Carkner.

Melnyk told reporters the same thing Murray said in his exit interview — he’s not worried about negotiations and figures they’ll get a deal with Karlsson done.

Which begs the question: Does Karlsson think the same?

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’


Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.