Author: James O'Brien

Zdeno Chara, Anders Lee

Anders Lee named rookie of the month


The NHL named New York Islanders forward Anders Lee the rookie of the month for February.

He topped all rookies with 15 points in 15 February games, finishing comfortably ahead of the likes of Ottawa Senators forwards Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone (who generated 12 points apiece).

Lee, 24, has really taken advantage of his opportunity to play as one of John Tavares’ wingers, as he’s found some nice chemistry alongside Josh Bailey. As of this moment, his six game-winning goals is the most of any rookie this season.

Considering his status as a sixth-rounder (152nd overall in 2009), this is quite the accomplishment, especially on a team as loaded with young talent as the Islanders.

Check out some stats from his breakout month:

Date Opponent G A PTS Result
Feb. 3 FLORIDA 2 0 2 4-2 loss
Feb. 5 at Philadelphia 0 0 0 3-2 win (SO)
Feb. 7 at Boston 0 0 0 2-1 loss
Feb. 8 at Buffalo 1 0 1 3-2 win
Feb. 10 EDMONTON 0 1 1 3-2 win
Feb. 12 TORONTO 2 0 2 3-2 win
Feb. 14 COLUMBUS 0 4 4 6-3 win
Feb. 16 NY RANGERS 0 0 0 6-5 loss
Feb. 17 at Carolina 1 0 1 4-1 win
Feb. 19 NASHVILLE 0 1 1 5-2 win
Feb. 21 at Washington 0 1 1 3-2 loss (SO)
Feb. 22 VANCOUVER 0 0 0 4-0 loss
Feb. 24 ARIZONA 1 0 1 5-1 win
Feb. 27 CALGARY 0 0 0 2-1 win
Feb. 28 CAROLINA 0 1 1 5-3 loss
Total 7 8 15 9-5-1

Trade: Capitals land Glencross, Flames get two picks

Curtis Glencross

The Washington Capitals acquired forward Curtis Glencross from the Calgary Flames on Sunday, according to various reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Update: Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that the Flames received a second and third-round pick (both Capitals’ picks* in 2015) for Glencross. No salary was retained in the trade, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Glencross, 28, is in the final year of a contract that carries a modest $2.55 million cap hit.

He has nine goals and 28 points in 53 games so far in 2014-15. His best work came a few seasons ago, particularly when he generated 26 goals and 48 points in 67 games during the 2011-12 season with Calgary.

One could see Capitals head coach Barry Trotz deploying Glencross in a number of ways. The most tantalizing idea is that he could finally give Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom a stable linemate, as they’ve seen a parade of wingers on their line in 2014-15. Glencross could also ease some of the pressure on that duo by bolstering Washington’s scoring depth.

Quick note: TSN’s Bob McKenzie points out that the official call hasn’t happened yet:

* – Washington has a third-rounder from Buffalo, but Calgary was unable to pry that one loose.

Jets activate Wheeler from injured reserve

Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames

With a big Sunday game against the Los Angeles Kings coming up, the Winnipeg Jets regain a key reinforcement as Blake Wheeler was activated from IR.

The 28-year-old last played on Feb. 21 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s been a big part of Winnipeg’s most dangerous line alongside Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little, generating 16 goals and 44 points in 61 games.

While the Jets and Kings are separated by divisional and wild card brackets at this very moment, Los Angeles is essentially a bubble opponent for Winnipeg, so today’s game serves as a key matchup. Winnipeg has to be delighted to get one of its key forwards back as they strive to put a little distance between themselves and the pack (especially since a team like the Kings holds two games in hand, making a three-game standings deficit quite deceptive).

The Jets demoted Carl Klingberg to the AHL to make room for the American winger.

Flames place Giordano on IR

Winnipeg Jets v Calgary Flames

Familiarity isn’t the only justification for the Calgary Flames picking up Dave Schlemko: it looks like they did so in part because they also placed Mark Giordano on injured reserve Sunday.

Giordano, 31, managed to warm up before a Feb. 27 contest against the New York Islanders but ultimately opted against playing. The would-be Norris Trophy candidate was injured late in a Feb. 25 game against the New Jersey Devils, so one would expect this IR move to be retroactive to that date.

If it’s indeed retroactive to Feb. 25 and Giordano’s issue isn’t long-term, the Flames could see their captain back in action relatively soon:

Obviously, losing such a key component would be a huge blow to a Flames team that is unexpectedly fighting for a playoff spot.

On the bright side, at least this injury cropped up before the trade deadline. If Calgary wants to bolster its blueline for a postseason push, they have that option.

An IR stint doesn’t necessarily mean that Giordano will miss a ton of time, yet it’s obviously not a great sign, either. We’ll see if this presses Calgary into a deadline deal or if they stay put and hope that this scrappy bunch will keep finding ways to win.

Leafs claim Erixon, Ducks waive Bourque

Chicago Blackhawks v Colorado Avalanche

With the 2015 trade deadline rapidly approaching, it’s no surprise that NHL teams are using waivers to open up space (and occasionally grab low-risk players). Let’s take a quick look at recent announcements in that regard.

Claimed: The Toronto Maple Leafs claimed defenseman Tim Erixon (pictured) off of waivers. The Calgary Flames grabbed Dave Schlemko.

A little more on Erixon:

Here’s some added perspective on why the Flames made their move:

Cleared: Philadelphia Flyers goalie Rob Zepp, Washington Capitals tough guy Aaron Volpatti and Brandon McMillan of the Vancouver Canucks all cleared waivers.

Waived: Anaheim Ducks forward Rene Bourque headlines the latest batch of players who’ve been waived. Also on the list: Craig Cunningham (Boston Bruins), Keith Aulie (Edmonton Oilers), Paul Carey (Colorado Avalanche) and Tye McGinn (San Jose Sharks).

HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman lays out a few roster details after the trade deadline: