Curtis Lazar


The Buzzer: Ups and downs for Islanders

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Players of the Night:

Do you go with the guy who collected a hat trick with the overtime game-winner, or the rookie who generated five assists for yet another five-point night?

Nelson’s the fellow who generated the hat trick, and he’s been hot lately. Maybe 24 points on the season is a little disappointing for Nelson, but he’s really heating up, collecting four goals and three assists for seven points during a four-game run. Impressive.

Mathew Barzal collected five assists, giving him 58 points in 56 games in 2017-18. It’s already his third five-point night of his rookie campaign.

He probably gets the nod if you can only choose one player of the night, as he’s achieved something that hasn’t been reached in 100 years:

  • Three helpers: Jamie Benn and Derek Forbort aren’t players you’d picture in the same breath, yet here they were, generating three assists tonight. Remarkably, it’s Forbort that is the player who was a first-rounder (15th overall in 2010), while Benn went 129th(!) in 2007.


Curtis Lazar‘s struggled to score at the NHL level more than the hype suggested, but at least this was a cool one:

Wait, there’s a turbo button in this game? Apparently Carl Hagelin can still fly.

Alexander Radulov + Tyler Seguin + Jamie Benn = glorious.


C’mon, it has to be Islanders related, right?

The not-so-good side of the Isles:

Leon Draisaitl is quietly heating up:


Islanders 7, Red Wings 6 (OT)
Rangers 4, Flames 3
Capitals 4, Blue Jackets 2
Kings 3, Panthers 1
Hurricanes 4, Canucks 1
Blues 5, Jets 2
Stars 4, Penguins 3 (SO)
Ducks 3, Oilers 2

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Jaromir Jagr’s Flames debut will have to wait another day


Calgary Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said on Friday that it will be entirely up to Jaromir Jagr to decide when he is ready to make his debut for the team.

It seems he is not quite ready as Gulutzan confirmed on Saturday morning that Jagr will not be in the lineup when the team plays its home opener against the Winnipeg Jets.

Gulutzan announced on Saturday morning that Jagr will not play on Saturday night and that Curtis Lazar will join the lineup, playing alongside Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg.

Jagr, who turns 46 later this season, remained unsigned as a free agent until the week before the start of the regular season until finally signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Flames.

Jagr played in all 82 games for the Panthers last season, finishing with 16 goals and 30 assists. While his production was still good enough for a top-six player in the NHL he did show some signs significantly slowing down and wasn’t always as dominant as he was even in recent seasons. But he can still work on the power play and he can still be impossible to get the puck away from. It probably would serve him — and the Flames — well to pace him a bit this season, limiting his regular season minutes and perhaps even giving him some strategic nights off to save him for the playoffs. Whether or not Jagr would be open to that is another question entirely.

The Flames lost their season opener on Thursday night, 3-0, to the Edmonton Oilers. The Jets are looking to rebound following a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Flames give Curtis Lazar two-year extension


The Calgary Flames have taken care of another restricted free agent.

The day after coming to terms with Micheal Ferland, the Flames announced today that 22-year-old forward Curtis Lazar has signed a two-year extension with a cap hit of $950,000.

Calgary acquired Lazar from Ottawa at the trade deadline. For the Flames, it was a calculated gamble on a young player whose development had stalled.

“We’re not making this bet based on what he’s doing today. We think there is significant upside,” GM Brad Treliving said. “He fits right in with our age group. He’s got a lot of work to do to get to the level we want him to and he’s committed to doing that.”

Lazar responded with one goal and two assists in four games for the Flames: however, he was a healthy scratch for three of Calgary’s four playoff games.

The Flames still have one RFA to sign in forward Sam Bennett.

Reports: Flames, Ferland close to two-year, $3.5M deal


The Calgary Flames are on the verge of signing Micheal Ferland to a two-year deal worth about $3.5 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

(Fan 960’s Pat Steinberg and others back up Friedman’s report.)

If this is accurate, Ferland would carry a thrifty $1.75 million cap hit through two seasons. This would allow the two sides to avoid salary arbitration. One perk for Ferland: he’ll be a UFA when this deal ends, and this doesn’t buy any of those years.

Ferland himself confirmed a two-year deal, though not the terms.

Still, it seems like a pretty good deal for the Flames in the short term. The sizable forward checks off some boxes from an analytics standpoint, so you get the impression that this could provide some very nice value for Calgary.

The Flames still have some situations to sort out, as RFAs Sam Bennett and Curtis Lazar need deals. Even so, it’s been a very productive off-season for Calgary.

Flames agree to terms with Stone — three years, $10.5 million


The Calgary Flames were able to prevent defenseman Michael Stone from hitting the free agent market on Friday afternoon by agreeing to terms on a three-year contract that will pay him $3.5 million per season, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Stone, acquired by the Flames before the 2017 trade deadline, appeared in 19 games with the team last season, scoring two goals and adding four assists. Prior to his time with the Flames he had spent all of his career with the Arizona Coyotes.

By re-signing Stone the Flames will also have to surrender their fifth-round draft pick in 2018 to Arizona. That pick was a conditional pick as part of the trade and would only be sent to Arizona if Stone remained in Calgary.

With Calgary’s top-four on defense completely set following the addition of Travis Hamonic from the New York Islanders, Stone will likely only be at best the No. 5 defenseman on its roster, which is probably the sort of role he is best suited for. Still, that is an expensive price tag for a third-pairing defenseman especially as the Flames work to fill out the remainder of their roster. According to CapFriendly, they have just under $10 million in cap space remaining with 17 players under contract for this season. Forwards Curtis Lazar, Sam Bennett and Michael Ferland remained unsigned as restricted free agents.

But along with Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Dougie Hamilton and Hamonic the Flames have pieced together a blue line that should be among the best in the Western Conference. A lot of their success will be dependent on how well their newly formed goaltending duo of Mike Smith and Eddie Lack can perform in net.