The Calgary Flames finally admitted that they’re in rebuild mode on Friday. Apparently they viewed Step 1 as “draft Seth Jones at all costs.”*
The CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Calgary offered its three first-round draft picks to Colorado for the Avalanche’s No. 1 overall choice in the 2013 NHL Draft. (H/T to Lyle Richardson)
Instead, this is how things stand:
Colorado keeps the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Calgary retains its own first-rounder (No. 6 overall), the St. Louis Blues’ first-rounder thanks to the Jay Bouwmeester trade (No. 22 overall) and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ selection via the Jarome Iginla deal (No. 28 overall).
Both franchises suffered through turbulent 2013 seasons, which might explain the thought processes (though the context might make the situation worse if you disagree with one or even both of the general managers).
The Avalanche might just want to keep it simple and grab the guy they view as the best player in the draft, especially with serious front office turnover and all the bad memories of Ryan O’Reilly’s contract negotiations.
Meanwhile, Flames GM Jay Feaster might be feeling the heat to make a splashy move considering the organization’s reluctance to acknowledge a rebuilding phase and today’s news about flirtations with Brendan Shanahan.
It’s not quite the New York Islanders essentially offering their 2012 draft crop to move up and take the Columbus Blue Jackets’ second pick, but fans of the two teams might play the “what if?” game with this rejected offer for years to come.
* – Or Nathan MacKinnon, if that’s who they really wanted.
The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.
(Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)
Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)
Video isn’t yet available, but My Regular Face’s GIF captures that troubling moment:
It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.
If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.
You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.
The pain goes beyond that … literally so.
For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.
(Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)
The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.
Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.
It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.
The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).
The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.
One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
As many expected, the Minnesota Wild will make John Torchetti their interim head coach, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.
(He’s not the only one to report as much, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie also stated that he’s likely to take the job.)
The team itself hasn’t made an official announcement about Torchetti, and the reasoning is probably simple enough: he’s coaching their AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.
Torchetti is no stranger to the NHL, although he’ll probably be frustrated if this opportunity doesn’t turn into a full-time gig. He was also an interim head coach for the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.
As of this writing, the Wild are in a three-way tie for the first spot outside of the West’s wild card mix, although they could sink a bit depending upon how Arizona and Vancouver handle the one game they have in hand on the Wild.
More importantly, Minnesota’s currently three points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot.
That’s not an impossible goal for Torchetti. For whatever it’s worth, Sports Club Stats gives Minnesota a 34.7 percent chance to make the playoffs.
(Note: photo via the Iowa Wild.)