Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche

Canucks looking to finally trade Luongo at the NHL Draft


For more than a full year now, Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis has been trying to move Roberto Luongo and the baggage of his 12-year, $64 million contract.

Could this be the weekend it finally happens?

The Canucks acquired Luongo at the 2006 NHL Draft, and the team will now try to deal him at this year’s draft, a little more than seven full years since he officially began what was a sometimes tumultuous but often successful time in Vancouver.

“We’re going to try and accomplish that goal,” Gillis told the Canadian Press this week. “We’ll see what happens.”

Luongo, now 34 years of age, first appeared destined to be traded when Cory Schneider took over the starting netminder job in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, which amounted to a first-round defeat for the Canucks at the hands of the L.A. Kings.

Instead, Luongo remained in Vancouver.

Gillis and the Canucks were unable to deal him during last year’s off-season, and again at training camp in January, then during the regular season and in the final minutes leading up to the NHL trade deadline.

This led the Olympic gold medal-winning goalie to unleash one of the best and most appropriate one-liners of the year during a trade deadline press conference: “My contract sucks.”

It became all but official that the Toronto Maple Leafs, after pursuing Luongo prior to the April 3 trade deadline, were out of the running when they acquired Jonathan Bernier from the Kings.

There still could be teams interested in Luongo, although, based on recent history, it’s a total guessing game as to where he may end up.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?