Jason Brough

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, right, stops a shot as teammate Christian Ehrhoff, of Germany, and Columbus Blue Jackets' Scott Hartnell watch during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in Los Angeles. The Blue Jackets won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Blackhawks and Kings reportedly working on Scuderi-for-Ehrhoff trade


The Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly in the process of acquiring veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff from the Los Angeles Kings in return for veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi.

One might actually call this an AHL trade, since both Ehrhoff and Scuderi cleared waivers earlier this month and were sent to the minors.

Assuming the transaction goes through, it’s not clear what either club has planned for its respective new blue-liner. Will he be called up? Will he stay buried? We don’t know yet.

Scuderi, of course, won a Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012.

For the Blackhawks, the move does have the potential to clear some cap space for next season:

But according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, we’ll have to wait on all the details:

So…we’ll wait.

Related: Blackhawks waive Scuderi; will Bowman try to add a d-man?

Armstrong won’t keep Steen, Elliott on LTIR for cap space

Martin Brodeur Retirement Press Conference

Blues GM Doug Armstrong has no plans to keep Alex Steen and Brian Elliott on long-term injured reserve until the end of the regular season, even though doing that could free up cap space to add players prior to Monday’s trade deadline.

“We want to get them back as quick as possible,” Armstrong told reporters yesterday (video). “I want to get Steen playing — and he wants to play — so if and when we make the playoffs he’s going to be up to form.

“Same with Elliott. He’s probably the best goaltender, statistically, over the last two months. We don’t want his first game back to be a playoff game, with six or seven weeks off.”

Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks kept Patrick Kane on LTIR until the postseason. He broke his clavicle Feb. 24; his first game back was Game 1 of the first round against Nashville on Apr. 15. In between, the ‘Hawks were able to add Kimmo Timonen, Antoine Vermette and Andrew Desjardins.

Chicago, of course, went on the win the Stanley Cup.

Armstrong was asked if he thought the Blues — if they don’t add at the deadline, but if they can get healthy by the playoffs — were a contender.

His reply was cautiously optimistic.

“The reality is you get to the playoffs and you need health, and you need your good players to play well,” he said. “But you have to go through a murderers’ row here in the Central, that’s just the reality of it.”

St. Louis has lost three straight years in the first round, so Armstrong is quite familiar with that reality.

Related: ‘Let’s live to fight another day’

Jets recall Dano, who’s excited for a ‘chance to play’

Jonathan Quick, Marko Dano

Marko Dano is back in the NHL. The Winnipeg Jets recalled him today, the day after acquiring him in a big trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dano has already played 48 games in the NHL — 35 with Columbus, the team that drafted him 27th overall in 2013; 13 with Chicago, the team that acquired him from Columbus in another big trade.

The 21-year-old has nine goals and 14 assists in those 48 games. This season with AHL Rockford, he had four goals and 19 assists in 34 games.

Yesterday, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff called Dano a “young player that fits the direction” the club wants to go.

“He’s excited about being a part of our organization and getting a chance to play,” Cheveldayoff said (audio). “Obviously, Chicago’s a deep organization.”

Dano will join the Jets in Pittsburgh ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Penguins.

It’s getting close to decision time for the Carolina Hurricanes

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) makes a pad save against Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Carolina Hurricanes’ slim playoff hopes got even slimmer last night with a 3-1 loss in Toronto.

According to Sports Club Stats, their postseason chances have fallen to just 14.0 percent. They still have two games left before Monday’s trade deadline — tonight against the Bruins and Sunday versus the Blues — but losing to the lowly Leafs was a tough one to take.

“It doesn’t matter where they are in the standings,” defenseman John-Michael Liles told reporters. “We got outplayed pretty well in the first period and we didn’t get our legs under us until probably the second and it ended up costing us.”

Captain Eric Staal tops the list of Carolina trade candidates, but there’s also Liles and forward Kris Versteeg on expiring contracts.

“It’s obviously a tough time for Eric,” Eric’s brother/teammate, Jordan, told the Globe and Mail prior to last night’s loss. “It is part of the business, but we want to make the playoffs. We’re trying to push for that. That’s been my goal.”

Versteeg and Eric Staal are fifth and sixth in Hurricanes scoring with 33 and 32 points, respectively. If they’re traded, the club’s chances of making the playoffs would fall to just above nil.

Granted, in the long run, that may be for the best. The ‘Canes have some fine prospects to go with 23-year-old Justin Faulk, whose 15 goals are tied for third among all NHL d-men. Another good draft this summer and they could really set up a winning future. Remember, they already have two first-round picks — theirs and, thanks to last year’s Andrej Sekera trade, the Kings’ as well. 

Related: Staal won’t be ‘crushed’ if he’s traded

The Dallas Stars might have a goaltending problem

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

For a combined cap hit of $10.4 million, Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen are hardly providing the Dallas Stars with top-notch goaltending these days.

Consider: of the 33 NHL netminders with at least 25 starts, Niemi’s .904 save percentage is higher than only one — Toronto’s Jonathan Bernier (.898). Lehtonen’s .906 save percentage isn’t much better, ranking 30th.

And that’s a problem, because no team in the entire NHL has committed as much cap space to goaltending as the Stars have for this season. The hope in bringing Niemi aboard was to have two capable starters. It’s hard to say they’ve even got one right now.

Last night at American Airlines Center, Niemi allowed three goals on Winnipeg’s first eight shots. He was pulled after 20 minutes and replaced by Lehtonen, who allowed three goals on 20 shots. The Stars lost, 6-3.

“I thought our defense had a tough night with some breakdowns,” coach Lindy Ruff told reporters. “I thought our goaltending had a tough night.”

Which is always the debate when it comes to the Stars and their goals-against average — is it team defense, or is it goaltending?

Can’t it be both? As a team, Dallas has surrendered 22 goals in it last four games (1-3-0).

The bottom line for the Stars is they’ve dropped to 23rd in GAA (2.84), and you can see the company they’re keeping:


So much for being back on track.

Related: Are the Stars contenders or pretenders?