Richard Wolowicz

Filip Forsberg is likely to spend next season in Sweden


Filip Forsberg is one of the most promising forwards in the upcoming 2012 NHL Entry Draft. NHL Central Scouting ranked him first among draft-eligible European skaters. Whoever takes him might end up with a gem. Just not next season.

“I would be surprised if he would be NHL-ready now,” Forsberg’s agent, Claus Elefalk said. “In two years, probably. He is two years younger than [New Jersey defenseman] Adam Larsson, and Larsson just came into play this year. He’s two years younger than [Colorado forward Gabriel] Landeskog.”

Forsberg added that he still has one year left on his contract with Leksand in Sweden.

If you’re not familiar with Forsberg, then in answer to your first question: no, he is not related to former NHL superstar Peter Forsberg. However, Elefalk said that he has Peter’s “competitive spirit.” Still, he has more of a “Markus Naslund-type” player in his agent’s eyes.

He also left an impression on NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb.

“Every game I watched him play, he always scored the big goals at the right moment,” Stubb said. “Whether it was in the middle of the game or in the final minute, he got it done. He’s big, strong and can skate.”

Stubb called Forsberg a leader by example and sees a little bit of Corey Perry in him.

“He’s a creative playmaker, good skater with fine straight-ahead speed,” Stubb added. “He’s a right-handed forward with an excellent shot and an effective two-way player with a great winning attitude.

“Filip’s a solid puck carrier with very good puck-handling skills, mature, good size and physically strong. On top of that, he’ll sacrifice himself to make the play.”

So, in summary, if your team drafts Forsberg, there are plenty of reasons to get excited. Just don’t expect immediate results.

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?