NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 18, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Senators 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Spezza to the Blues?


We only ask, because according to Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest, the St. Louis Blues are high on Jason Spezza’s list of allowable trade destinations.

Per CapGeek, Spezza has a modified no-trade clause where he can submit to the Senators a list of teams to which he’s willing to be dealt. The 30-year-old center has one season remaining on his front-loaded contract — with a cap hit of $7 million, but a salary of just $4 million in 2014-15 — before he can become an unrestricted free agent.

The Blues do make sense as a potential trade partner, given their offensive struggles against the Blackhawks in the playoffs, plus the fact play-making center Derek Roy is a pending UFA and didn’t seem to be a great fit in St. Louis anyway.

That said, general manager Doug Armstrong made it clear after his team’s disappointing first-round exit that he wasn’t keen on “robbing Peter to pay Paul” in a trade, and that he didn’t think there was “a 31-year-old or 32-year-old veteran player that’s going to come in here and reinvent the wheel for the St. Louis Blues.”

Which doesn’t sound like a GM that’s ready to give up a ton for a veteran like Spezza, and that’s without even mentioning Spezza’s lengthy injury history.

PS — If you’re wondering where all this Spezza trade speculation came from…

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…