Max Pacioretty

Report: Flyers and Isles ‘taking serious runs’ at acquiring Pacioretty


Larry Brooks of the New York Post shares a rumor in his Sunday column that qualifies as curious.

Brooks says the Montreal Canadiens are getting calls on forward Max Pacioretty and both the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers are “taking serious runs at him.”

Pacioretty being mentioned at all in this light is fascinating because he’s on a cap-friendly deal that sees him get $4.5 million per season through 2018-19. Pacioretty also leads the Habs in goals scored with 15 and he’s missed nine games this season. He’s also led Montreal in scoring the past two seasons.

While all of those traits would make for great reasons why teams would want to pick him up, it doesn’t make a world of sense for Montreal to do it.

Ideally, Pacioretty is the kind of player Montreal GM Marc Bergevin would love to have around, but Brooks says coach Michel Therrien isn’t a big fan of his.

Teams will always call to find out about a player’s availability, but if there’s anything at all to this chatter, the reaction in Montreal won’t be positive.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.