Mattias Ohlund

Ohlund’s injury status has Tampa Bay in a bind

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Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund hasn’t played since the end of the 2010-2011 season. A terrible knee injury has put his career in doubt and the team has him under contract until 2015-2016.

Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times says Ohlund’s inability to play is going to wind up costing the team a lot of money one way or another. Ohlund, meanwhile, says there’s not much more he can do to get healthier.

“From a surgery standpoint, there is nothing more that I can do,” he said. “Everybody has been absolutely wonderful, management, coaches and everybody with the Lightning. As for how it’s going to play out, I’m not completely sure.”

With three more years left on his deal, the Lightning would normally likely use a compliance buyout on Ohlund. His injury status makes that impossible to do as injured players cannot be bought out.

While the team can get cap relief, if needed, by putting him on long-term injured reserve they’ll still have to pay up the final $6.75 million he’s owed. Ohlund could also retire, but it’s highly unlikely he’d be eager to give up the money to do it. Somehow GM Steve Yzerman is going to have to make his $3.6 million cap hit not be an issue.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: