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Trade: Canucks send Hansen to Sharks for Goldobin, pick

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Just days after sending veteran winger Alex Burrows to Ottawa, Vancouver has shipped out another long-serving forward.

Hours after Jannik Hansen was made a late scratch for tonight’s game against Detroit, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Canucks were closing in on a deal to send Hansen to San Jose.

Per TSN, the Sharks are believed to be sending winger Nikolay Goldobin — the club’s first-round pick (27th overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — and a conditional fourth-round pick to Vancouver.

Update: It’s official.

“Jannik is a versatile, gritty player who plays with speed and is talented on both sides of the puck,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. “We think he is a perfect fit for the style of our team, which has earned the right for us to make this move and add to our NHL roster as we push towards the playoffs.”

Hansen, 30, has been a coveted asset heading into tomorrow’s trade deadline. A versatile speedster that can score — 22 goals last year, 16 the year prior — he has one year remaining on a deal with a relatively modest $2.5 million cap hit.

Hansen, who has spent his entire nine-year career in Vancouver, had a partial no-trade clause, which called for an eight-team list to be submitted. Earlier, he confirmed that 6-7 teams on said list were playoff-bound clubs, with one being of the “personal” variety.

The Danish winger should be a really nice addition for the Sharks. He can play up and down the lineup, and will make the team even faster — something that’s of vital importance. San Jose head coach Peter DeBoer has mentioned on several occasions that he thought the team was fast last year… until it faced (and lost to) Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Final.

Hansen’s campaign has been derailed by injury, limiting him to just 28 games, but he’s since returned to health and was playing regularly prior to tonight.

Because this is the trade deadline, the price to acquire Hansen was steep. Goldobin has been a terrific scorer with the AHL Barracuda this year, with 15 goals and 41 points in 46 games.

“Nikolay is a gifted offensive player with good hands and good release on his shot,” Benning said. “His play away from the puck has improved this year in the American League and we believe with his skillset and continued development, he has the ability to become a valuable member of our team.”

As for the conditions on that fourth-round pick?

 

Into the fire: Halak, recalled yesterday, starts for Isles in Pittsburgh

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A little scene setting for you.

New York heads into tonight’s massive game in Pittsburgh sitting two points back of Boston for the final wild card in the Eastern Conference. The Isles have two games in hand on the B’s — who are idle tonight — so a win could move them into a playoff spot.

As such, the Isles will start a goalie that hasn’t played in the NHL in 85 days.

Against the league’s highest-scoring offense.

The goalie in question is Jaroslav Halak, who’s spent the last three months playing for the Isles’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. Recalled yesterday, Halak will now face big league competition for the first time since Dec. 29, when he allowed four goals on 24 shots in a loss to Minnesota.

(Afterward, then-head coach Jack Capuano ripped Halak, saying he gave up “some soft goals to start” and “wasn’t sharp at all.”)

But Halak’s been really good in Bridgeport.

He’s posted a 17-7-1 record with a 2.15 GAA and .925 save percentage, and a pair of shutouts. And given how spotty Berube’s play has been as Greiss’ backup, the Isles really had no other choice than to recall Halak.

The club is in the midst of a compacted part of the schedule. Greiss was excellent in Wednesday’s win over the Rangers — stopping 34 of 36 shots in a 3-2 victory — but he was also busy.

The Isles are in Pittsburgh tonight, then host the Bruins on Saturday — another massive game — then host the Preds on Monday. It’s a compact part of the schedule, and Berube’s struggles have rendered him virtually unplayable, given how meaningful the games are (and, to borrow a timeless cliche, how vital points are at this time of the year.)

So it’s Halak tonight, and possibly more down the stretch.

For Tuukka Rask and the Bruins, a ‘bad goal’ at the worst possible time

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The growing ranks of Tuukka Rask detractors gained some serious ammunition during last night’s loss to Tampa Bay.

The deciding goal in the 6-3 defeat was a “bad one,” according to Rask and most anyone else who was watching.

It may have been a hard shot by Jonathan Drouin, unleashed at the top of the circle, but it still should’ve been stopped.

After the game, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters that Rask “needed to be better tonight.”

In fact, Rask hasn’t been very good the past few months. Since Jan. 1, his save percentage is just .888. But with nobody trustworthy behind him, he’s had to just play through his struggles.

It’s impossible to say if Rask’s numbers would be better if the Bruins had a more capable backup. He’d be more rested, though. And when he was struggling, the coach would at least have another option to consider. With an .897 save percentage on the season, Anton Khudobin simply hasn’t been reliable enough to garner that consideration.

Don’t expect Rask to get the next game off. Saturday in Brooklyn, the Bruins — losers of four straight in regulation, and suddenly on the verge of falling out of the playoff picture — face the Islanders in arguably the biggest game of both teams’ seasons.

Bolts recall Koekkoek, putting Garrison’s status into doubt

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The Tampa Bay Lightning, after earning a big win last night in Boston, may not have defenseman Jason Garrison tonight in Detroit.

The Bolts recalled d-man Slater Koekkoek from AHL Syracuse this morning — a move that would seem to put Garrison’s status into doubt against the Red Wings.

Garrison was forced to leave the Bruins game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

Koekkoek has played 29 games for the Lightning this season, recording no goals and four assists.

Melnyk blasts ‘whiner’ Crosby, who won’t face hearing for Methot slash

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Sidney Crosby won’t face a disciplinary hearing for his slash on Ottawa d-man Marc Methot, an NHL spokesman confirmed — news that won’t be welcomed by Sens owner Eugene Melnyk.

The incident occurred during Ottawa’s 2-1 win on Thursday night, and forced Methot from the game with a bloodied, lacerated finger. The club later announced that Methot would be “out for weeks” with the injury.

Crosby’s slash came two nights after he speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt. It should be noted that neither the O’Reilly spear or Methot slash resulted in penalty calls, and neither was subjected to supplementary discipline.

One individual that’s guaranteed to be upset with today’s news is Melynk. He appeared on TSN 1200 radio this morning and seemed to suggest the league was looking into the Crosby-Methot incident.

He also had a few choice words for No. 87: