Flames to keep rookie Monahan for season

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The Calgary Flames had a big decision on their hands regarding the future of star freshman Sean Monahan.

On Wednesday, they made it.

The Flames announced they’re keeping the 19-year-old center for the remainder of the season, rather than returning him to his junior club in Ottawa.

Monahan, who sits third among all rookie skaters with nine points in nine games, has been the focus of much conversation in recent weeks. While he’s been an important contributor in Calgary (t-2nd in points) and deserving of his spot in the NHL, arguments have been made suggesting the Flames — not considered to be a playoff contender — should return him to junior and save a year of his entry-level contract in the process.

But, according to Flames GM Jay Feaster, the organization just couldn’t hold the sixth overall pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft back.

“We feel good about [Monahan],” Feaster told the team website. “We feel good about the decision we’ve made.

“I think he’s a unique individual… in his determination. He’s a 19-year-old going on 29 years old.”

The argument about keeping Monahan up will likely continue, but it’s important to remember one thing — the Flames made it clear from the onset of training camp that playing time and positions on the team would have to be earned. Telling a player that, then having him earn his spot, then taking it away could send a mixed message, and possibly affect the relationship between organization and prospect.

It’s worth noting, however, that Feaster didn’t rule out the possibility of Monahan representing Canada at the 2014 World Juniors.

“We’re a big believer in the [World Juniors] and what they do for players,” he said.

The ’14 tournament runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: