Chances are you wouldn’t expect the news of the Minnesota Wild signing free agent forward Jake Dowell to a two-year deal to land on anyone’s radar. When you look a little deeper, there could be a bit more going on here.
Dowell is a former University of Wisconsin standout and was teammates for one season with none other than prized free agent Ryan Suter. Suter also came up through the hockey ranks with Dowell at the USNTDP, as Nathan Eide at Hockey Wilderness points out. The two players are also very good friends and share the same agent (Neil Sheehy).
To add to that, the Wild also already have former Badgers in Tom Gilbert and Dany Heatley. Shrewd signing by the Wild or just a total coincidence that they signed Ryan Suter’s best friend? With reports swirling that a decision from Suter (and Zach Parise) could be coming today, getting an edge any way you can never hurts.
Of course, if the Wild strike out on landing Suter they’ll be left hanging by signing a handful of third/fourth line players in Dowell, Torrey Mitchell, and Zenon Konopka.
Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.
Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching
“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”
“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”
More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.
Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”
“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”
The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.
Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)
You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.