The second period of Friday’s Dallas Stars-Vancouver Canucks game had a little bit of everything.
First, Henrik Sedin set up an Alexander Burrows goal for his second assist of the night, making him the Canucks’ all-time leading points scorer. His 757 points eclipsed Markus Naslund’s 756; here’s a list of the team’s highest point scorers:
Henrik Sedin – 757
Markus Naslund – 756
Trevor Linden – 733
Daniel Sedin – 730
Stan Smyl – 673
This represents the 905th game of Henrik’s career. In case you’re wondering, his brother Daniel’s 730 points have come in 872 contests. Both are just 32, so it wouldn’t be shocking if the twins both end up atop that list – with a substantial cushion.
Here’s video of that goal:
While that moment was a testament to Sedin’s skills, the two teams threw a little brawn into the mix. In a three-second span, three fights happened, with each coming on successive faceoffs.
Arron Volpatti started things off with Ryan Garbutt, Maxim Lapierre followed against Vernon Fiddler and then Dale Weise capped things off at the 15:12 mark with Eric Nystrom. Here’s the collection of fisticuffs:
Stars announcer Daryl Reaugh passes along word that’s the quickest three fights have happened. He also called it a “trilogy of truculence.”
Earlier in the game, Kari Lehtonen got injured, so we’ll see if the third period generates even more news and bruises.
Oilers to sign Russell to reported four-year, $16 million extension
When the Edmonton Oilers traded Jordan Eberle over the weekend part of the reasoning was so they could clear salary cap space, presumably to help re-sign veteran defenseman Kris Russell.
On Friday, they completed that series of transactions.
According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, the Oilers will announce a four-year contract for Russell later on Friday that will pay him a total of $16 million.
That comes out to a salary cap hit of $4 million per season. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug adds that the deal could also include a modified no-trade clause.
Russell has become an extremely polarizing player in the NHL over the past few years so this deal is sure to receive equal amounts of praise and criticism depending on what exactly you’re looking for from a defenseman.
He has never been a strong possession player and doesn’t have a lot of offensive ability — two things teams seem to be looking for on their blue lines right now — which leads to criticism from the analytics side of the sport. But because he is one of the NHL’s most fearless shot-blockers and consistently among the league leaders in that category he is loved as an old-school, defensive-defenseman. That ability was a big talking point for much of the 2016-17 season as the Oilers had their best season in more than a decade (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Cam Talbot played a pretty significant role, too).
Another part of the justification for the Eberle trade was the fact the Oilers needed some additional salary cap space because of the need to re-sign both McDavid and Draisaitl to long-term contract extensions.
Eberle on his own was going to account for $6 million in salary cap space this season.
Ryan Strome (the player acquired for Eberle) and Russell will account for $6.5 million.
Are the Oilers better off with Strome and Russell than they would have been had they simply let Russell walk and kept Eberle? That remains to be seen, but obviously the Oilers think they are.
It’s pretty obvious what sits atop Philly’s shopping list this weekend at the NHL Draft in Chicago:
“We’re going to look for the best option, and we’ll act on it,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall said, per CSN Philly. “The option is figuring out the timing and who is available.”
Currently, the Flyers only have two goalies under contract — Michal Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz. The former will be in Philly’s mix next year, but the latter’s situation is more complex. Stolarz is coming off major knee surgery and, at 23, lacks experience at the NHL level. He looked good in a seven-game cameo last season (4-2-1, 2.07 GAA, .928 save percentage), but that’s still a pretty small sample size.
So not surprising to hear the following, from CSN Philly:
Hextall would prefer to get a jump on free agency this weekend by making a deal to obtain a veteran goaltender that has two years or less on his contract and is not looking to break the bank.
Former Islanders head coach Jack Capuano had been waiting to get behind the bench of another NHL team, and on Friday he was able to get his wish.
That is when the Florida Panthers announced that Capuano has been added to their coaching staff as associate coach.
He becomes new head coach Bob Boughner’s first big hire.
“I am thrilled to welcome Jack to our coaching staff,” said Boughner in a team statement. “He is a knowledgeable and experienced voice to have behind our bench that will work well with our young players.”
Capuano had spoken to the Golden Knights about their head coaching vacancy before they hired Gerard Gallant and earlier this week there was talk of him joining the Sabres as an assistant to Phil Housley.
The 50-year-old was fired by the Islanders in January after he led them to a 17-17-8 record. During his seven seasons behind the bench with the Isles, he had a 227-192-64 record. They made the playoffs three times during his tenure.