The biggest name available at the trade deadline was, without a doubt, Columbus captain Rick Nash. The team that went the hardest after him was the New York Rangers. With the Rangers hurting for offense all throughout the playoffs, thoughts are turning to whether or not Nash’s presence in the lineup would’ve made a difference.
ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside mentions Nash in his thoughts on how Marian Gaborik hasn’t been much of a difference maker in these playoffs or in any playoffs in the past and he’s been especially ineffective on the power play. Burnside also notes in 47 career playoff games Gaborik has just 17 goals. While Gaborik has one huge goal, his triple-overtime game-winner, he’s been notably absent.
The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons weighs in saying the Rangers are a small team up front thanks to guys like Gaborik and speedster Carl Hagelin (who has zero points) and a guy with Nash’s size could’ve made a huge difference.
In their three losses in this series, they have scored all of four goals. With Rick Nash in Ranger colours, there would be no seventh game. This series would already be over.
That’s quite the declaration and considering how tough the Capitals defense has played, virtually no one has been able to park in front of the net to make a play. Nash could’ve been a factor, but the price the Rangers would’ve paid to get him may have affected the sort of team they could ice.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.