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Parenteau says Avs didn’t have a plan for him

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One of the more intriguing trades of the offseason saw somewhat-underrated forward P.A. Parenteau get traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Montreal Canadiens for “clutch” but often-criticized forward Daniel Briere.

To a decent number of stats-leaning types (not meaning those who lean toward playoff scoring stats), it seemed like a landslide victory for the Canadiens.

Sometimes the numbers involved in a trade can obscure the human element. Like, say, when a head coach and a player simply don’t see eye-to-eye.

It seems like Parenteau and Patrick Roy got off on the wrong foot and never really recovered, according to what the 31-year-old forward told Le Journal de Montreal. To avoid browser translator headaches, the basic vibe was this: Parenteau felt like he was never really part of the plan in Colorado and saw a trade coming a mile away.

OK, full disclosure: it’s tough not to linger on the on-paper disparity between Parenteau and Briere a little bit. This post’s main image is perfect: Roy hovering unhappily over an equally or even more unhappy Parenteau (seen to the right of Nathan MacKinnon) all the way back in a preseason game.

Break things down from most perspectives and the advantage seems heavy for Parenteau; his possession stats are basically universally more promising and he scored more points (Parenteau collected 33 in 55 games) than Briere did in fewere opportunities (Briere scored 25 points in 69 games).

Of course, Briere’s playoff numbers give at least some credence to the belief that he might be a “big-game player” even as his overall game seems to wane at age 36.

One way or another, the Avalanche seem to be doing things their way. It remains to be seen if hindsight will prove that to be a wise direction.

(H/T to The Score)

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.