Cam Tucker

Video: Tempers flare after Red Wings’ Ericsson levels Blackhawks’ Desjardins

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Andrew Desjardins took exception to a Jonathan Ericsson hit along the boards, sparking a brief skirmish during the second period of Wednesday’s game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.

Ericsson, the Red Wings’ defenseman, leveled Desjardins into the neutral zone boards from an awkward angle, prompting the Blackhawks forward to get up and challenge Ericsson to a fight. Both linesmen quickly intervened.

Desjardins, who went to the dressing room for a brief time after the hit, was given four minutes for roughing, while Ericsson received two minutes for roughing. There was no call for the initial hit.

Video: Capitals fans, players give recently traded Brooks Laich rousing ovation

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Just days after being traded from the Washington Capitals, the team Brooks Laich played more than 740 regular season games for, the veteran forward faced his former team as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Capitals fans and his former teammates gave the 32-year-old Laich a rousing ovation during a stoppage in play.

Having spent almost his entire career in Washington, playing alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, Laich admits he was left with an “empty feeling” following the trade.

After all the years with that franchise, he wanted to win a championship with the Capitals, who have risen to the top of the Eastern Conference and NHL overall standings, and emerged as one of the favorites to appear in this year’s Stanley Cup Final.

But instead, Laich will play the remainder of this season for the last-place Leafs, a team in the midst of a massive rebuild.

 

‘We want to put the best team out there,’ says Panthers GM after flurry of trades

attends the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.
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Dale Tallon admitted the Florida Panthers “dipped our toe in the water” when it came to the Andrew Ladd sweepstakes but ultimately the asking price was too high.

In the end, Ladd landed in Chicago.

That said, the Panthers general manager believes he made important additions to his team with a trio of trades Saturday, as Florida looks to solidify a playoff spot, acquiring forwards Jiri Hudler from Calgary and Teddy Purcell from Edmonton, and defenseman Jakub Kindl from Detroit.

The framework for these deals, said Tallon in a conference call, had been laid out a couple of days ago.

“We identified that … on the blue line, we needed a presence on the power play. We wanted experience. We wanted a good puck-moving defenseman,” Tallon said.

“We also felt we needed to give ourselves three really good scoring lines and Jiri — I’ve watched him closely in Detroit and Calgary — and he had a magnificent year last year. (Hudler and Purcell) are really good, smart, two-way hockey players that make other guys around them better. It gives us three wonderful scoring lines and a fourth line that will be invigorated and (have) an opportunity to play a real aggressive, forechecking style.

“So it gives us depth in all positions and it gives coaches an opportunity to have different looks on the power play and different looks for the other teams to match up against.”

The Panthers are atop the Atlantic Division, but they still have Quinton Howden, Jonathan Huberdeau, Brandon Pirri and defenseman Willie Mitchell all on the injured reserve list.

Tallon said the injuries up front didn’t force him to make those deals, but he did mention that adding depth on the blue line was important with Mitchell out.

He also heaped praise on Panthers ownership — Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu — for giving him the go-ahead to make this plethora of trades in order to improve Florida’s roster heading into the stretch.

“That makes it much more easy and more enjoyable and gives us that opportunity,” said Tallon.

“It shows their commitment and it makes easier to get deals done when you have that backing from ownership.”

As for Monday’s trade deadline, Tallon left the door open to the possibility of more moves.

“Who says we’re done?” he said.

“We want to win and we want to put the best team out there and we’ll see what goes on here in the next day and a half.”

Related:

Breaking: Panthers add some bite, acquire Hudler from Flames

Panthers add more depth by acquiring Purcell from Oilers, Kindl from Wings

Video: Mika Zibanejad made Senators history with natural hat trick in 2:38

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Three goals in the span of 2:38 is an achievement that cemented Mika Zibanejad‘s place in the Ottawa Senators record books.

Zibanejad recorded the natural hat trick — the first three-goal performance of his NHL career — in that amount of time in the third period of Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames, giving him the record for fastest hat trick in Senators history, as per Sportsnet Stats.

The Senators trailed 4-2 heading into the third period, before Zibanejad worked his magic, propelling his team to a come-from-behind 6-4 win.

Wideman ruling reportedly expected week of March 7

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Those hoping there will soon be a ruling on Dennis Wideman‘s final appeal of his 20-game suspension for cross-checking linesman Don Henderson could be kept waiting for at least another week.

According to a report from Pierre LeBrun on Saturday, the ruling from a neutral arbitrator isn’t expected until the week of March 7. If that is the case, Wideman will have by that time served almost the full length of his ban.

“I would say that the National Hockey League on both levels of the appeal had offered earlier dates than the players’ association was prepared to take,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, as per ESPN. “But that’s not to disparage anybody because the case is a little bit different than it was.”

The two-day hearing took place Thursday and Friday in New York.

From the Calgary Herald:

Wideman sat out for the 13th game of his 20-game suspension on Saturday night when the Flames played the Ottawa Senators.

And, when the week of March 7 rolls around, he could potentially reach Game 18 before a decision is announced.