Alberta swap: Oilers send Smid to Flames


The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers have pulled a rarity and joined forces to make a deal.

Edmonton has sent defenseman Ladislav Smid and goalie prospect Olivier Roy to Calgary in exchange for forward Roman Horak… and goalie prospect Laurent Brossoit, TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports.

Smid, 27, has two points in 17 games for the Oilers this season while averaging close to 18 minutes a night. Anaheim’s first-round pick at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, he’s spent his entire eight-year career in Edmonton and is in the first year of a four-year, $14 million extension signed last season.

Roy, 22, was a fifth-round pick in 2009 and has played sporadically for AHL Oklahoma City.

As for the pieces Calgary’s giving up…

Horak, 22, was acquired from New York in the Tim Erixon trade and has been up and down between Calgary and AHL Abbotsford for the last two seasons. He has 18 points in 82 NHL contests.

Brossoit, 20, is a Flames selection from the 2011 draft that was briefly in competition during camp for one of the club’s available goalie spots. He’s split time this year between Abbotsford and ECHL Alaska.

At first glance, this might seem like a salary dump as Edmonton’s returns on a potential top-four defenseman aren’t great. This makes even more sense when you consider TSN’s Darren Dreger speculated the Oilers might be freeing up cap space to sign Ilya Bryzgalov.

Oh yes, that’s right.

Edmonton has been plagued by poor goaltending all season long and, with just four wins in their first 17 games, the Oilers have been looking to shake things up. GM Craig MacTavish and team president Kevin Lowe have been spotted at a number of NHL rinks recently, and today reports surfaced that Philly was interested in acquiring Jordan Eberle.


Here’s more on Bryzgalov-to-Edmonton, from CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer

Johansen calls trade rumblings ‘weird,’ says relationship with Torts is ‘great’

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One day after reports surfaced of Ryan Johansen being at the center of trade talks, all parties involved from Columbus did what they’re supposed to do — downplay the situation.

You can read the denials in full over at the Dispatch, but here’s the gist:

— Johansen said the rumors were “weird” and that he’s “never seen it before.” He also said there were no issues between him and head coach John Tortorella, calling the relationship “great.”

— GM Jarmo Kekalainen wouldn’t address the report, nor would Johansen’s agent, Kurt Overhardt.

— Johansen added he hasn’t spoken to any of Columbus’ management about the trade rumblings.

So there’s that. What’s next?

At this stage of the game, it’s hard not to think about another Overhardt client, Kyle Turris.

Turris, you’ll recall, spent four (mostly) stormy years with the Coyotes before his trade out to Ottawa was orchestrated. Turris eventually told GM Don Maloney “this is not going to work out” with the club, and he was gone.

So, consider the similarities now:

— Turris was 22 at the time of the trade, with four years and 137 games under his belt.

— Johansen is 23, with five years and 291 games.

— Both had contentious contract holdouts with their respective clubs.

— Both are Overhardt guys.

— The Turris trade happened after the Coyotes went from Wayne Gretzky to Dave Tippett as head coach.

— Johansen is already on his third head coach (Scott Arniel, Todd Richards, Tortorella).

For now, these are all coincidences (or a forced narrative, depending what you think of the author).

And, of course, the one big — big — difference between the two is that, at the time of his trade, Turris wasn’t as good or established a player as Johansen currently is. Therefore, logic suggests any Johansen trade would be a lot more blockbuster-y and, therefore, probably more complex.

And as we know, complex deals aren’t easy to pull off.