James O'Brien

Montreal Canadiens left wing Daniel Carr (43) celebrates scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP

Habs recall Carr with Byron placed on IR

The Montreal Canadiens are a mess right now, but maybe an injury could actually open the door for a small boost?

With Paul Byron placed on IR according to their official roster, the Canadiens decided to recall Daniel Carr on Thursday.

That’s probably not a game-changer, yet Carr has had his moments. He scored two points in his first three games and is producing very nicely at the AHL level so far in 2015-16.

It’s not as big of a deal as GM Marc Bergevin addressing the media about Montreal’s struggles, mind you, although Carr gets to play.

Montreal’s next game is against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Extension talks begin between Bruins, Eriksson (who may be pricey)

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The good news is that Loui Eriksson has finally been the quality forward the Boston Bruins were hoping for when they traded for him in that Tyler Seguin deal.

The bad news for the Bruins is that Eriksson’s pulling off this strong work in the final year of his current contract.

Eriksson and the Bruins have begun early contract extension negotiations, according to reporters including ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun and TSN’s Darren Dreger.

If Dreger’s sources are correct, Eriksson’s initial asking price is pretty steep: a five or six-year contract in the neighborhood of $6 million per season (so $30 million or $36 million overall).

Eriksson turns 31 in July, so that term could be risky, and that cap price could make it awfully tough to re-sign Torey Krug (contract expires after this season) and the likes of Brad Marchand (his expires following the 2016-17 campaign).

Granted, opening contract requests are designed to be at the extremes for both sides, so this wouldn’t be the absolute asking price … although Eriksson could likely command a pretty penny in unrestricted free agency.

Actually, that’s another concern for Boston. They may need to figure out if they can re-sign him; if not, they may opt to move him during the trade deadline to avoid losing Eriksson for nothing.

LeBrun discussed as much:

Very preliminary contract discussions have begun between the Bruins and pending unrestricted free agent winger Loui Eriksson. The 30-year-old is enjoying a fine season and is second on the Boston Bruins in scoring. But whether or not the Bruins and his agent J.P. Barry find common ground on an extension before the Feb. 29 trade deadline remains to be seen.

Long story short, the Bruins have some big choices to make when it comes to Eriksson.

PHT Morning Skate: McGrattan knocked unconscious in frightening fight

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Want to partake in Toronto’s rooftop rink? There’s still a chance, but it will cost you. (The Hockey News)

Yes, John Scott believes he was put in a “tough spot” regarding the 2016 All-Star Game. (Sportsnet)

The Sharks shared their 25 anniversary team on Tuesday. (Sharks)

Former NHL enforcer Brian McGrattan was knocked unconscious in a scary AHL fight on Tuesday night. You can watch that bout in the video above this post’s headline.

The good news is that the San Diego Gulls updated that he was alert, conscious and showing full movement later on in the evening.

Check out Spike Lee’s “30 for 30” short on NHL trailblazer Willie O’Ree.

Bettman: ‘There was never any doubt’ about Scott being in All-Star Game

John Scott, Brandon Davidson
AP
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Ah, the power of spin.

It seemed like fan outrage forced John Scott back into the 2016 NHL All-Star Game after the traded enforcer was very much in doubt about it happening.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told CSNBayArea.com that involving Scott was always part of the plan.

“The fans spoke in large numbers for the process and he’s going to be joining us in Nashville. There was never any doubt about that,” Bettman said.

“Obviously the fans decided it was important to vote for him, and we respect that. Whether or not we need to make adjustments into the future and ensure that truly All-Star players are there is something we’ll worry about after we go to Nashville.”

When you think about it, this is pretty fitting; one must ready a grain of salt for Bettman’s assessment of a situation in which a mountain was made out of a molehill.

Click here for more.

Blackhawks pillage Predators for (team-record) 12th consecutive win

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The Chicago Blackhawks are playing so well, we might run out of ways to praise them.

Here’s a crack at it, though: the Blackhawks are as hot as Pekka Rinne is cold.

Chicago beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Tuesday to win their 12th consecutive game, a new franchise record.

It was difficult not to fixate on those dueling stories: the Blackhawks being so, so good and Rinne struggling so, so much.

Sure, there are moments when Nashville’s defense lets Rinne down (maybe on Patrick Kane’s 30th goal?). The larger body of work has to be troubling, even if GM David Poile seems more interested in boosting Nashville’s offense.

Maybe more specifically, Kane and Rinne may be going in exactly opposite directions.

Let’s not forget about the goalie at the other end of the rink.

It’s not as though the Predators didn’t compete tonight. They generated 39 shots on goal, an impressive total even if you factor in Nashville being in catch-up mode for much of the contest.

When you’re losing like this, it’s a combination of factors, and one undeniable issue tonight was “facing the buzz-saw that is the Blackhawks.”

Next up for Chicago: a 2015 Stanley Cup Final rematch that’s also a clash between two red-hot teams, as the Tampa Bay Lightning won their sixth in a row tonight.