Keaton Ellerby #5 of the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center on April 9, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.
(April 8, 2013 - Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

Kings pass on qualifying Ellerby, two others


24-year-old Keaton Ellerby played in 38 games in 2013, but he won’t be back with the Los Angeles Kings next season. The team has decided against sending a qualifying offer to Ellerby, Stefan Legein, or David Kolomatis, according to Los Angeles Times writer Lisa Dillman.

Ellerby started last season with the Florida Panthers, but they sent him to the Kings in early February in exchange for a fifth round draft pick. At the time, the Kings were without blueliners Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene.

Mitchell never ended up returning and his availability for 2013-14 is still unknown, but Ellerby still fell in the depth charts to the point where he participated in just five of the Kings’ 18 postseason games.

Although Ellerby is now eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, blueliners Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin are restricted free agents. Meanwhile, defenseman Rob Scuderi, 34, will be able to test the UFA waters on July 5, but the Kings have been trying to re-sign him, according to LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen.

Passing on Ellerby would free up a spot for Scuderi. As it is, the Kings have five defenseman inked to one-way deals.

Forward Legein and defenseman Kolomatis are both 24 years old and weren’t able to make their respective NHL debuts with the Kings.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.