I was almost 100 percent sure that [Stars GM] Jim Nill would find a way to move Sergei Gonchar before the summer was over, but it looks like that could be more difficult than I imagined.
Even with the team willing to eat half of his $5 million salary (the maximum allowed under the new CBA), the Stars could not find a trade partner for the 40-year-old defenseman.
Gonchar was one of Nill’s first big acquisitions in Dallas, yet has proven to be (arguably) the least successful. The Russian rearguard had just 22 points in 76 games last year — after scoring 27 in 45 during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — and averaged 17:37 TOI per game, one of the lowest marks among Stars d-men.
In the playoffs, that TOI dropped even more, to 13:24, and Gonchar went pointless with a minus-3 rating.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger