JS Giguere Whalers

J.S. Giguere, the last remaining Whaler, says Hartford will “always be special to me”

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Though he’s not the NHL’s oldest goalie (that goes to Martin Brodeur) or even the oldest guy on his team (that goes to Milan Hejduk), Colorado’s Jean-Sebastian Giguere does have one historic mark nobody can claim to:

He’s the only active NHLer to have played for the Hartford Whalers.

“My first team,” Giguere told Adrian Dater of the Denver Post. “I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but it’ll always be special to me, the team and the organization.”

Hartford took Giguere 13th overall at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He was the first goaltender off the board — Martin Biron went at No. 16 to Buffalo — and has become the one of the most successful guys in a netminding class filled with great depth: Brian Boucher, Marc Denis, Jean-Sebastian Aubin, Vesa Toskala, Chris Mason, Brent Johnson and, of course, Miikka Kiprusoff.

Giguere returned to QMHJL Halifax following his draft year, but debuted for the Whalers as a 19-year-old in 1996-97, playing in eight games.

That ’96-97 team featured a number of talented players, several of whom have moved onto the next chapter of their hockey careers. Kevin Dineen is the head coach in Florida, Sean Burke is the Assistant to the General Manger in Phoenix, Nelson Emerson works in LA’s player development department and Brendan Shanahan is the NHL’s discipline czar.

(Andrew Cassels is an assistant coach with ECHL Cincinnati, in case you were curious.)

Yet of all these players, only one — Giguere — continues to play at the NHL level.

And while there have been rumblings about Connecticut wanting the Whalers back, it doesn’t seem as though he’ll get a chance to close out his career with a final appearance in Hartford.

“It was too bad the team had to move, because they had a lot of great fans,” Giguere said. “But those things happen sometimes.”

Update: As pointed out in the comments section, Chris Pronger — who played two seasons in Hartford — is still technically an active NHLer, because he’s on LTIR and therefore on Philly’s roster.

Of course, Pronger hasn’t played an NHL game in 14 months.

Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

(If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:

WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Capitals – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.

That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.

It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.

Rangers mostly dodge a bullet: Nash only expected to miss a week

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Rick Nash #61 of the New York Rangers moves the puck along the boards during the second period against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on December 6, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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No one wants to hear “It could be worse” when injuries are really piling up, but … uh, it could be worse for the New York Rangers.

At least, it could have been worse for Rick Nash. The team announced that he’s only expected to miss about a week after undergoing an MRI related to a groin injury.

It’s been a redemptive season for Nash, so it’s nice to see that it isn’t getting totally derailed. Granted, injuries like these can linger even if a guy returns to the lineup, so we’ll need to see if he gets back to 100 percent.

The Rangers certainly aren’t at full-strength right now. Their laundry list of injured forwards is quite daunting, even for a team with vaunted depth at that position:

(It sounds like Pavel Buchnevich is still quite a ways from returning, sadly.)

Alain Vigneault sells the biggest benefit of these issues: opportunities for other players – including Oscar Lindberg – to step up.

“I just think this is part of the NHL and it is what it is. It’s there and you deal with it,” Vigneault said . “You get a lot of players at different times that wish that they can get more ice time to prove that they can have a bigger role and that they can do more. Well, no better time than the present for us right now.”

Double whammy to Habs centers: Galchenyuk, Desharnais out 6-8 weeks

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 08:  Alex Galchenyuk #27 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the warmup prior to the NHL game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on November 8, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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Thanks to two knee injuries, the Montreal Canadiens suddenly seem pretty slim at center.

The team announced two unfortunate and strangely similar timelines for important centers: both Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais are expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with their knee issues.

It will be a challenge for Michel Therrien to make everything work, to the point where you wonder if maybe he’ll move a player from the wing to center (hey, Max Pacioretty DOES want an elevated role, if you believe the rumors about discontent).

Tomas Plekanec becomes that much more important to the Canadiens, and one might assume that Andrew Shaw may go back to the middle. LNH.com’s Arpon Basu listed some options, in case you’re more of a visual learner:

Yeah, not ideal.

The road ahead

It isn’t all bad news when you look at Montreal’s overall situation.

For one thing, they gave themselves a nice cushion, as they currently lead the Atlantic Division by five points. With four games in a row and six of seven at home, they may be able to manage these tough losses pretty well in the short-term.

The real challenges might come late in December and early in January. They play seven road games in a row – though with a break around New Year’s – and nine of 10 away from Montreal from Dec. 23 – Jan. 12.

While they’ve suffered some minor bumps in the road so far, this is their truest test of 2016-17. It should be interesting to see how they handle this.