Trevor Linden

Linden meets with Neely to talk about…stuff


From Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province:

Trevor Linden met with Boston Bruins president Cam Neely on Thursday which means, naturally, he sought permission to talk to Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning about the vacant GM’s job in Vancouver.

But he didn’t. Or maybe he did but he didn’t make the request through official diplomatic channels. It’s hard to know.

As you might have guessed by reading that excerpt, the Canucks’ new president of hockey of operations didn’t share many specifics from his trip to Boston. In meeting with Neely, it’s possible Linden was mostly curious to learn how the Bruins run their operation, one former player in charge of a team he used to star for to another.

As guarded as Linden was in his comments, he did seem to suggest that the hiring of Benning, or any other candidate currently with another organization (like, say, Ron Hextall in Philadelphia), wouldn’t necessarily have to wait until that particular organization was no longer participating in the playoffs.

“The one thing I’ll say is I spoke to several GMs and I haven’t got any push back on timing, whether they’re playing or not,” he said.

Time is a concern for Linden, who still has to decide on the future of head coach John Tortorella. Unless, of course, Linden chooses to leave the coaching decision to the new GM, in which case Tortorella may have to twist in the wind a bit longer.

“I know from the outside people are wondering what’s going on,” said Linden. “But this isn’t a two-week project. The ripple effect of each decision is significant. I have to understand things in the full situation. not just a sliver here or a sliver there.”

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
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If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.