What they’re saying about the Rick Nash trade

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The early verdicts are in on the deal that has Rick Nash going to the Rangers in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and a 2014 first round pick — and they’re not favorable for Columbus GM Scott Howson.

Here’s a sampling of what folks are tweeting….

Mike Harrington, Buffalo News: “So how exactly does Scott Howson still have a job after this fiasco?”

Frank Seravalli, Philadelphia Daily News: “You would almost think Scott Howson was trying to blow up the Blue Jackets. Better off playing with disgruntled captain than that trade.”

Bruce Garrioch, Ottawa Sun: “The Jackets needed to a hit a home run with this deal. This is not a home run. They had better offers at the trade deadline.”

Steve Zipay, Newsday: “Rangers are sending Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, 1st rounder to Columbus for Rick Nash. Not as much as trade deadline offer.”

Tom Gulitti, NorthJersey.com: “Howson was in a tough spot, but it looks like he caved just to trade Nash rather than hold out for value.”

James Cybulski, TSN: “How does it take Carolina and Pitt 24 hours to make a fair Staal deal, and yet the Nash trade takes 5 months to agree on that package?”

Jason Brough, ProHockeyTalk: “‘Fine. Screw it. WHATEVER!’ — Scott Howson to Glen Sather”

Damien Cox, Toronto Star: “And, after months of dithering, Blue Jackets make a crap deal for Nash. Go for volume rather than quality. Dumb.”

Sean Gentile, Sporting News: “Look at the vitriol for Howson. That’s why you don’t make insane demands for months on end. Now he gets killed for an appropriate return.”

Seth Rorabaugh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Car dealers in Central Ohio are suddenly preparing mass mailings for Scott Howson’s home address…”

Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun: “Columbus didn’t get a Top 6 forward or a defenceman for Rick Nash. Please explain, Scott Howson?

Bobby Holik: “Scott Howson finally earned contract extension. #sarcasm”

And finally, what might be the most telling tweet of them all…

Doug MacLean, Sportsnet (and former Columbus GM!): “If these names are right this is a disaster for cbj.”

Auston Matthews keeps goal streak alive, gives Leafs 1-0 lead in third

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These are the moments Toronto Maple Leafs fans were dreaming about when they drafted Auston Matthews. At least those bold enough to picture such great things, so soon in his career.

Speaking of so soon … that’s not how you’d describe a 1-0 goal happening in the third period of a game in this Leafs – Washington Capitals series, but it took that long to break the ice in Game 6.

It took a very lucky bounce for the puck to find its way to Matthews … but the finish was pure skill. With that, the remarkable rookie now has a goal in four straight games (with an assist thrown in for good measure).

Video will be added to give you better context for the goal, but until then, check out this GIF of the key moments:

If nothing else, Frederik Andersen looks confident:

Things could get awfully nervous for Toronto as they try to force a decisive Game 7 in Washington, but that was a huge goal by Matthews either way.

Clarke MacArthur, Craig Anderson made Sens win that much more emotional

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It could have been over for Clarke MacArthur plenty of times during his turbulent NHL career. Scratch that, his turbulent hockey career.

His team walked away from his salary arbitration award. MacArthur’s seen plenty of people give up on him. And then, when he finally found a home with the Ottawa Senators, concussion issues threatened to end his playing days.

Yet, there he was on Sunday … drawing a penalty in overtime and then scoring on the ensuing power play to help the Senators advance beyond the Boston Bruins.

He didn’t deny that he imagined very different possibilities during his darker moments.

And, as uplifting as his story was – seriously, just watch this interview and try not to root for the guy – it wasn’t the only emotionally charged moment from Game 6.

Nicholle Anderson was on hand to cheer on Craig Anderson in this one, and the two were able to embrace after the contest:

As violent and intense as the playoffs can often be, MacArthur and Anderson reminded us of the gentler human side of it all.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins?

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.