Phoenix Coyotes v Nashville Predators

Canucks land winger Vrbata for two years, $10M

26 Comments

The Vancouver Canucks landed winger Radim Vrbata with a two-year contract reportedly worth $10 million overall on Wednesday.

Here are a few extra contract details regarding the 33-year-old winger’s deal:

Vrbata is far from a household name, yet he’s developed into a nice scoring winger during his days with the then-Phoenix Coyotes.

He tends to hover around the 20-27 goal area, although he peaked with the Coyotes back in the 2011-12 season when he set career-highs in goals (35) and points (62). Some like to joke that h e just plays better in the desert because he sandwiched an unsuccessful run with the Tampa Bay Lightning between successful first (2007-08) and second seasons with the Coyotes.

FINISHING THE CYCLE

The most exciting prospect is to imagine how he might fit in with the Sedin twins. With all due respect to the players he skated with in Glendale, none can get him the biscuit like Henrik and Daniel Sedin can, especially if last season’s struggles were an aberration.

With the possible exception of Alex Burrows, Vrbata is likely the best finisher the Sedins could skate with on regular even-strength shifts. The fact that Vrbata boasts a right-handed shot can’t hurt matters for the two left-handed twins, either.

TROUBLE FOR ARIZONA?

With the buyout of Mike Ribeiro and departure of Vrbata in mind, the Arizona Coyotes might struggle to score goals next season. Still, in this case, the demands were just too rich for the Coyotes’ blood:

The Canucks are primed to be a very different team in 2014-15, but this could very well help them to find a nice bit of balance on offense.

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

Leave a comment

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)
AP
16 Comments

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

16 Comments

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

Leave a comment

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: