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Report: ‘Canes pull out of Nash bidding after Howson demands Skinner

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It’s understood Columbus GM Scott Howson expects big returns for Rick Nash.

But are those expectations getting too big?

That appears the case for at least one team as TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Carolina has pulled out of Nash bidding — after Howson asked for Jeff Skinner in return.

“Hurricanes are no longer persuing [sic] Rick Nash,” Dreger wrote. “Cost way too high. CBJ believed to be after Jeff Skinner. Non-starter.”

Skinner, 20, won the 2011 Calder Trophy after scoring 31G-23A-63 points as an 18-year-old rookie — that same year, he became the youngest player to ever participate in an NHL All-Star game. The former Kitchener Ranger had 44 points in 64 games last year after his season was interrupted by a concussion.

In short, he’s one of the best young talents in hockey.

He’s also a player that Carolina was never going to part with, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer.

“If Skinner had to be included in any Nash deal, it was never going to happen,” Alexander tweeted. “That point was made clear weeks ago.

“[‘Canes GM Jim] Rutherford won’t comment on Nash situation. Said ‘Canes could could have interest in Doan, Semin. Reading between the lines: Canes are moving on.”

If true, Howson’s demands follow what Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported earlier this week — the asking price for Nash is sky high:

The Rangers have made it clear they will not include Ryan McDonagh, Chris Kreider or DerekStepan in a deal to bring the 28-year-old Nash to Broadway.

Nevertheless, Howson continues to demand that one — and perhaps two — of the three be part of the package in return for Nash, who has a no-move clause and has provided the Blue Jackets with a short list of teams to which he will accept a trade.

While Howson seems firm in his “I’ll be patient/I want what I want” stance, one wonders if he’s got an accurate gauge on the market. Nash’s no-trade clause and select list of approved teams means Howson’s only dealing with a handful of teams as opposed to all 30 NHL clubs.

That said, Nash could end up increasing the number of approved teams if/once he realizes Howson’s playing hardball.

Stars end Capitals’ winning streak, pass Blackhawks for West lead

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For two periods, the Dallas Stars seemed to say, “Are you sure the Washington Capitals are the best team in the NHL?”

They chased Braden Holtby and built a 4-0 lead through those first 40 minutes, and that was enough … but barely. The Stars beat the Capitals 4-3 on Saturday, which accomplished the following:

  • Dallas ended Washington’s winning streak at five games. The Stars have now won three straight.
  • This win slides the Stars ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the highly competitive Central Division. While both teams sit at 77 standings points, Dallas holds three games in hand.
  • By passing Chicago, the Stars now lead the Western Conference as a whole.

Impressive stuff. Some might even call it a statement game, although others may hold that nail-biting ending against them (possibly arguing that the Stars’ flaws may come back to haunt them in the playoffs).

Dallas’ biggest concern likely has little to do with doubters. Instead, they must monitor the statuses of forwards Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin.

Long story short, the Stars are red-hot, yet bigger challenges likely lie ahead.

Blackhawks fall to Ducks in OT, lose Hossa to injury

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The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

You can see that moment in the video above, while My Regular Face’s GIF also captures that troubling moment:

It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

Update: Joel Quenneville seems optimistic about Hossa, broadly speaking:

Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime game-winner as the Ducks won 3-2 (OT).

Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.