After playing most of last season with Djugardens of the Swedish Elite League, Mika Zibanejad will spent 2012-13 in North America.
That’s the word from NHL.com as Ottawa assistant GM Tim Murray said Zibanejad — taken sixth overall at the 2011 draft — will either be with the Senators or their AHL affiliate in Binghamton next season.
“He’s staying no matter what,” Murray said. “Whether its Ottawa or Binghamton, we’re not sending him back. So he’s here.”
Zibanejad made the Senators out of training camp last season as an 18-year-old, only to be sent back to Djugardens in late October. Murray said the “loss of confidence” played a big role in returning Zibanejad to Sweden — confidence that quickly came back.
Upon his return, the talented center scored notched 13 points in 26 regular season games and scored the overtime goal in the championship game at the 2012 World Juniors.
Zibanejad will face a tough test cracking the Ottawa lineup this year. Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris seem entrenched as the No. 1 and 2 centers, meaning he’ll battle with Jim O’Brien, Peter Regin and Stephane Da Costa for a spot.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.