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Coyotes bring back Moss, after all

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David Moss won’t be leaving the Arizona Coyotes for Switzerland, after all. What looked like a two-year overseas deal had a one-week NHL out clause, which apparently expedited the process to get him re-signed with the Coyotes, who locked him up for the 2014-15 season.

The Coyotes didn’t disclose his financial terms, but his last deal with the team was for two years and $4.2 million. Update: the deal might be a significant pay cut down to $800K, according to the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan. If so, that’s a nice value for Arizona.

While he doesn’t exactly inspire a ton of excitement, Coyotes blog Five for Howling details why the 32-year-old is fairly useful and could be primed for a slight boost in production next season:

Was Moss not productive, or was he simply unlucky? The advanced stats actually like Moss’ game, as he has been a positive player in both Corsi for and Fenwick for in both of seasons in the Valley. In both of his seasons as a Coyote, the team was more likely to score when he was on the ice than not, although for 2014 it was only a .3% difference, so it was almost negligible. He also has had some trouble finishing as he had a shooting percentage of 6.1% last year and a staggeringly bad 5.3% this season. How bad is 5.3%? Only 12 other NHL forwards had at least 100 shots on goal this season and had a worse success rate than Moss, and of those 12 only 1, Thomas Fleischmann of Florida, attempted more shots than Moss’ 151 (188). That’s really tough, and one shouldn’t expect another dismal season like that again, right? Not so fast, as Moss’ PDO was actually 100.5, and the league normal rate is 100. So he wasn’t incredibly unlucky in a statistical sense.

So, long story short, Moss is probably best described as “solid if easily replaceable.” Considering all the turnover this offseason, it might be nice to keep what seems like a solid depth guy around, though.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.