Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils

Trade Bait: Clarke MacArthur

The NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday, April 3. Following is a player that may be moved. For more “Trade Bait,” click here.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a difficult position. Clarke MacArthur is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer and could command a solid price in a market where teams have plenty of cap space, but there are few genuine sellers.

His production has slipped since his career-high of 62 points in 2010-11. However, he’s still a solid secondary scorer with seven goals and 17 points and slots in nicely as second or third line winger.

It’s not that simple though. You aren’t going to find many people that think the Maple Leafs are a genuine Stanley Cup contender, but they are still in a good position to at least make teh playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.

The city desperately wants to see a sign that the Maple Leafs’ rebuilding effort might have finally propelled the team to the next level. Trading away MacArthur now and hurting that playoff run would be a bold and likely unpopular move by new Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis.

For his part, Nonis recently downplayed the fact that MacArthur might be lost for nothing if he doesn’t act soon.

“I’ve never had a problem with a player who was going to be a UFA staying with the team after the trade deadline and then working something out at a later date,” Nonis said.

He also stated that MacArthur was unlikely to get an extension before the trade deadline.

The team already has $44,804,167 committed to 12 players, according to Cap Geek. Even still, they need to re-sign restricted free agents Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson, and Nazem Kadri this summer and then Jake Gardiner, James Reimer, Ben Scrivens, and Phil kessel in the summer of 2014. If Toronto intends to most of them, then that will account for a sizable portion of their cap going forward.

Those considerations might end up spelling the end of MacArthur’s tenure with the Maple Leafs, if not in the coming weeks, then perhaps this summer.

Report: 2017 NHL Draft will be held in Chicago

The NHL hockey draft board is complete at the end of the first round at Prudential Center, Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Associated Press
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It looks like the city of Chicago will be hosting the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The team and the league are expected to confirm the news during an official press conference later today.

The draft has never been held in the Windy City.

It may be a little early to project which team will pick first in 2017, but it certainly doesn’t look like it’ll be the ‘Hawks.

The last time they drafted first overall, they took this guy:

This also marks the first time since 2011 (Minnesota) that a Western Conference team will play host to the draft.

Last year’s draft was held in Sunrise, Florida while this year’s edition will be held in Buffalo.

Hockey reporters everywhere will be thrilled about an additional work assignment in Chicago.

Here’s what some of them are saying:

 

PHT Morning Skate: Jagr doesn’t understand why Peyton Manning would retire after winning the Super Bowl

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Jaromir Jagr doesn’t believe Peyton Manning should retire. (ESPN)

Victor Hedman wrote about “How We Play Hockey in Sweden” for The Players’ Tribune.

–Did the Senators make a smart move by acquiring Dion Phaneuf? (Sportsnet)

–And if you have a Maple Leafs jersey with Phaneuf’s name on the back, the Sens want to dispose of it:

–Watch the highlights from yesterday’s game between the Rangers and Penguins. (Top of the page)

–A Zoolander tribute to Coyotes center Martin Hanzal. (Puck Daddy)

Steven Stamkos had a run-in with the paparazzi in Montreal. (Bardown)

Sidney Crosby‘s confidence could be dangerous for the rest of the league:

Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms

at Pepsi Center on February 9, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.
Getty Images
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.

After beating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Canucks held on for the 2-1 victory in Arizona on Wednesday, despite being without Brandon Sutter (broken jaw), Alex Edler (broken fibula) and Derek Dorsett, who was scratched from the lineup due to illness, as per Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy.

It was only a few days ago, following a home loss to the Calgary Flames, that it felt like the Canucks’ playoff hopes were essentially dashed. They fielded their healthiest lineup in months and couldn’t score and couldn’t win.

Two quick wins later, they’re two points out of a Wild Card spot in the West, despite getting outshot in Arizona.

Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.

Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 9.02.42 PM
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A day after getting traded out of Toronto, Dion Phaneuf made his Ottawa Senators debut.

It ended with a 3-1 road loss for the Senators, and Phaneuf getting burned by Henrik Zetterberg on the eventual game winner early in the third period.

Zetterberg picked up the puck near the Ottawa blue line, beat Phaneuf to the outside, slipped the puck under the stick of the Sens’ newest blue liner and quickly roofed his shot on Craig Anderson.

“He made a real good play and you’ve got to give credit when credit is due,” Phaneuf told the Ottawa Sun.

“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”

Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.

Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.

DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.