Jason Brough

Wild prospect suspended after hallway fight on Saturday

4 Comments

The AHL announced today that Iowa Wild forward Kurtis Gabriel has been suspended six games as “a consequence of his actions in a game at Chicago on Feb. 25.”

As you can see in the video, Gabriel had an on-ice and off-ice fight with Wolves defenseman Vince Dunn on Saturday.

The video shows that it was Gabriel who approached Dunn in the hallway, and it was Gabriel who initiated the altercation.

In the end, it was also Gabriel who got the worst of the skirmish, with a six-game suspension to boot.

From the press release:

Gabriel was suspended under the provisions of AHL Rule 28.1 (supplementary discipline). He has already served one game of the suspension; he will also miss Iowa’s games Saturday (Mar. 4) at Rockford; Mar.10 and Mar. 11 at Texas; Mar. 17 at Milwaukee; and Mar. 18 vs. Milwaukee.

Habs acquire Jordie Benn from Stars

Getty
6 Comments

The Montreal Canadians have acquired defenseman Jordie Benn from the Dallas Stars in return for d-man Greg Pateryn and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

The Habs had been shopping the 26-year-old Pateryn. He has one goal and five assists in 24 games this season. He’s signed through next season for a cap hit of $800,000.

In Benn, the Canadiens get a 29-year-old defensive defenseman who’s signed through 2018-19 for a cap hit of $1.1 million.

Benn, of course, is also the brother of Stars captain Jamie Benn.

Pre-game reading: Another year, another Coyotes selloff

— Up top, the Los Angeles Kings surprised a lot of people with their acquisition of Ben Bishop from Tampa Bay. Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones try to make sense of the trade.

— The Arizona Coyotes got a pretty good haul for Martin Hanzal, a 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent. That being said, another first-round draft pick isn’t going to help the Coyotes in the near future, and Ken Campbell of The Hockey News wonders how the team can sell hope to its fans when established players keep leaving. (The Hockey News)

— Speaking of Arizona, the Buffalo Sabres were there Sunday, and it did not go well for the visitors. The Sabres blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 in regulation after the Coyotes pumped three third-period goals past Anders Nilsson. Even worse? The day before, the Sabres lost 5-3 to Colorado, the worst team in the league. “Forget about any playoff race,” writes Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. “The Buffalo Sabres are toast after one of the most egregious weekends in recent franchise history.” (Buffalo News)

Read more: Sabres preaching the process, but major roster holes remain

Gabriel Landeskog doesn’t want to be traded by Colorado. “I want to be here. I want to be an Avalanche for a long time. I hope it remains that way.” Granted, he’s said that before and it hasn’t stopped his name from popping up in rumors. The way things have gone for the Avs this season, it’s pretty obvious that something has to give. Even if it won’t be easy for GM Joe Sakic to fix the roster through trades alone. (Denver Post)

— Postmedia’s Ed Willes argues that the Vancouver Canucks need to start selling a different story to their fans. Writes Willes: “The only way out for the Canucks, in fact, is by drafting and developing, and the organization has made some gains in those areas. The extent of those gains will be revealed over the coming seasons, but, at the minimum, this is a far better story to tell, especially when juxtaposed against the ‘we’re a playoff-team’ howler.” (National Post)

— An article on why it’s important that the Montreal Canadiens’ head coach speaks French. The Habs have got that again in Claude Julien, which is partly why they were so quick to pounce after he was fired by the Boston Bruins. (New York Times)

Enjoy the games!

Leafs acquire Brian Boyle from Lightning

Getty
9 Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs are buyers.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Leafs are in the process of acquiring forward Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Update: The deal is official. In return, the Lightning get 25-year-old forward Byron Froese and a 2017 conditional second-round pick.

From the press release:

The conditional pick in 2017 will be the highest second-round choice between the Maple Leafs’ own or previously acquired selections from either San Jose or Ottawa.

Boyle, 32, is a pending unrestricted free agent. Given the Lightning are fairly well back of a playoff spot and have a number of young pending RFAs — including Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Jonathan Drouin — it makes sense for GM Steve Yzerman to trade Boyle now, a la Ben Bishop.

Boyle has 13 goals and nine assists in 54 games this season. He also has a ton of experience, having appeared in 100 postseason games for the Rangers and Lightning.

The Leafs are not assured of a playoff spot quite yet. Barely clinging to the second wild-card spot in the East, they kick off a three-game California trip tomorrow in San Jose.

Another Canadian team, the Edmonton Oilers, was also reportedly interested in Boyle.

Shattenkirk has to look out for himself

Getty
8 Comments

If the St. Louis Blues can’t turn Kevin Shattenkirk into something significant, don’t expect a warm reception whenever he returns to Scottrade Center as a member of a different team.

The 28-year-old defenseman is a pending unrestricted free agent who’s not expected to re-sign with the Blues. He may be traded prior to Wednesday’s deadline. If not, he’ll likely walk away for nothing this offseason.

Given the above, Shattenkirk understands why many Blues fans were upset that he nixed a trade with Tampa Bay by turning down the Bolts’ contract offer.

That being said, this is a big decision for the high-scoring d-man. He’s in line for a huge payday, and he wants to make the right call for the sake of his future.

“It’s not trying to hold things up or hold anything back from these guys,” Shattenirk told the Post-Dispatch, “but that’s where the tough part of this decision comes, doing what’s best for yourself and what could be your only chance with this opportunity in your entire career.”

The Blues, of course, lost two players to free agency this past summer when David Backes signed with Boston and Troy Brouwer with Calgary.

Earlier this month, after Ken Hitchcock was fired as head coach, GM Doug Armstrong said he felt the Blues had turned into a group of “independent contractors.”

“One of the things I’ve learned about being around St. Louis is the Cardinals,” Armstrong said. “They don’t have independent contractors. When they do, they get rid of them.”

It’s hard now not to see a relation between that comment and Shattenkirk’s situation, given the nixing of the trade with the Lightning apparently came a couple of weeks before Armstrong made the remark.