Brenden Morrow began the season a member of the Dallas Stars. He’s now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins following a recent trade.
Same for Jaromir Jagr, who was traded to Boston, and Derek Roy, dealt to the Vancouver Canucks.
Three big names gone in the days leading up to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline. The Stars, as of Wednesday night, currently sit 13th in the Western Conference but only three points out of the final playoff spot.
Following the deadline, Stars’ president James R. Lites wrote a letter to the fans on the team’s website, explaining the recent trades.
Here’s an excerpt:
Dear Dallas Stars Fans,
We are sure everyone is spinning with the trades the franchise made this week. Tom Gaglardi, Joe Nieuwendyk, and I want to give you our insight into the process we’ve just come through and what it means to the near and long term prospects of our franchise.
First, one of the most difficult things hockey teams have to do at this time of the year is weigh their chances of competing for the Stanley Cup against the existing market place for veteran players, particularly veteran unrestricted free agents. In our case, Brenden Morrow, Jaromir Jagr, and Derek Roy were all unrestricted free agents after this season. That meant that we may only have been able to keep them for 12 or so more regular season games. Faced with that prospect, over the course of the last week, each player was purchased from us for solid, young prospects and/or draft picks. Believe me, we did our best to maximize the value for each player and did the best we could for the future of the Dallas Stars.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.