James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Video: Filip Forsberg’s first career hat trick is a natural


The Nashville Predators are finding ways to win lately, but it also doesn’t hurt that Filip Forsberg is on a roll.

One of three major forward additions via trade over the last few years (along with James Neal and Ryan Johansen), Forsberg’s been justifying his first-round hype ever since he landed in Nashville in 2014-15.

Even so, he accomplished a first on Tuesday, collecting his first career hat trick. To make it even better, it was a natural hat trick to boot.

Watch the trio of tallies in the video above … unless you’re James Reimer. If you’re Reimer, maybe skip it.

Update: That ended up being a very necessary hat trick, as Nashville won 3-2.

Video: Cory Schneider’s sick stick save


J.T. Miller has been red-hot lately, yet during at least one play, he wasn’t hot enough to beat Cory Schneider.

Yes, the New Jersey Devils are stumbling a bit, but Schneider continues to cement his status as one of the NHL’s legitimate franchise goalies.

While his overall numbers say a lot, highlight reel saves make that argument in a more entertaining way (for most of us). His stick save in the video above ranks as one of his best of 2015-16.

Update: The Rangers were unable to score against Schneider again on Tuesday, as the Devils ended their three-game winning streak via a 5-2 victory.

Dennis Wideman, NHLPA’s appeal to neutral party begins Thursday


It’s now official: the NHLPA will appeal to a neutral arbitrator on Dennis Wideman‘s behalf regarding his 20-game suspension. This comes a little less than a week after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman decided to uphold the league’s decision.

(For the ins and outs of that situation, click here.)

The union announced that the case will be heard on Thursday and Friday.

They didn’t provide additional information beyond that in this official tweet:

If Wideman sits out that full 20 games, he’d be eligible to return during a March 14 home game against the St. Louis Blues.


Brian Burke was not happy about the timing of the ruling

NHLPA wasn’t happy that it was upheld

Habs sign Paul Byron to reported three-year, $3.5M extension


The Montreal Canadiens seem primed to be trade deadline sellers, but they’re not pawning off depth forward Paul Byron.

(This is something ESPN/TSN’s Pierre LeBrun hinted at earlier.)

Instead, the Canadiens signed Byron to a three-year contract extension. Multiple reports indicate that the cap hit is $1.167 million (rounded up), which puts the total damage at about $3.5 million overall.

That’s a slight premium to pay for a depth forward, though it’s not outrageous if the club likes what it sees from the 26-year-old.

We’ll see how many of his current teammates join him in 2016-17.

WATCH LIVE: Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings


No doubt about it: the Columbus Blue Jackets have been a huge letdown; they might just be the most disappointing NHL team of 2015-16.

The Red Wings shouldn’t allow that to lull them into a false sense of security, however, as Columbus also stands as a dangerous spoiler.

The Boston Bruins know that all to well, as the Blue Jackets edged them 6-4 on Monday. Columbus also has wins over the Ducks, Flames and Canucks in February.

This is a great opportunity for the Red Wings to build a little cushion for themselves, but that doesn’t mean it’s a guaranteed cakewalk.

Enjoy the action on NBCSN and stream it via the link below.