Mike Halford

Edmonton Oilers Teddy Purcell moves the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during first period NHL pre-season action in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Sunday, Sept 28, 2014.  Blackhawks won 5-0.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Liam Richards)
Getty Images

Trade candidate Purcell suggests Oilers could ‘get some prospects or a pick for me’


Teddy Purcell knows the deal.

He’s been traded a few times in his eight-year NHL career — including once at the deadline — and now, as a pending UFA, the Oilers winger realizes he could be dealt by Feb. 29.

“If we were closer to the playoffs, maybe I wouldn’t be worried about it as much,” Purcell said of the upcoming trade deadline, per the Edmonton Journal. “But as a piece who has some playoff experience (in Tampa), maybe they can get some prospects or a pick for me.”

Purcell, 30, does have plenty going for him. There’s the aforementioned playoff experience — 18 points in 22 career postseason contests — a reasonable cap hit ($4.5 million) and the fact that, having played with Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl a bunch this season, he’s been pretty productive with 11 goals and 31 points in 59 games.

Purcell also noted he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, saying “it’s not like I’d be submitting a list of teams [to go to].”

A former 24-goal scorer, Purcell could be picked up by a team looking to add offense in its top-six forward group.

Florida GM Dale Tallon has said he wants to acquire a goalscorer by the deadline, and the Journal suggests the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils could be in the mix for Purcell’s services.

All of which has Purcell a little nervous for the end of the month.

“Am I concerned about the trade deadline?” he asked. “If I said no, that would be a lie.”

Panthers recall prized d-man prospect Matheson

Frozen Fenway 2014: Notre Dame v Boston College
Getty Images

Florida is on the verge of giving another talented youngster his NHL debut.

On Friday, the Panthers announced that defenseman Michael Matheson — along with forward Kyle Rau — was recalled from AHL Portland.

Matheson, 21, got the call after posting 14 points in 43 games in his first full American League campaign. He joined the Pirates on the heels of a strong career at Boston College — last year, he finished tied for third on the team in scoring, with 25 points, and led the Eagles in assists, with 22.

The 23rd overall pick in 2012, Matheson is just one of the numerous young talents Florida has stockpiled through the draft, along with the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Aaron Ekblad.

Ekblad is a name worth mentioning in relation to Matheson. In the summer of 2014, the club got a glimpse of what its future blueline would look like as Matheson and Ekblad played together in the club’s prospect development camp.

Matheson has yet to make his NHL debut, but could on Saturday when the Panthers host the Jets.

Habs lose Desharnais (broken foot) for three weeks

David Desharnais
Getty Images

Not a strong team down the middle to begin with, the Habs suffered a blow on Friday as David Desharnais has been ruled out for the next three weeks with a broken foot.

Desharnais, fourth among all Habs forwards in assists this year, suffered the injury taking a Tom Gilbert shot to the foot in Monday’s 6-2 loss in Arizona.

The diminutive forward has been something of a lightning rod in Montreal this season, as he’s one of head coach Michel Therrien’s favorite forwards — but hardly a fan favorite. Desharnais averages over 16 minutes a night and is second on the club in faceoff duty, trailing only Tomas Plekanec.

With Desharnais out, the Habs will likely roll with Plekanec, Lars Eller, Jacob De La Rose and Torrey Mitchell as their centers moving forward.

After six-game absence, Spezza back for Stars tonight

Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars
Getty Images

Dallas will get one of its key forward pieces back tonight, as Jason Spezza returns to the lineup after missing the last six games with an upper-body injury.

Spezza, who was hurt on a Francois Beauchemin check against Colorado on Feb. 4, will center the Stars’ second line between Cody Eakin and Antoine Roussel. That’s not the only line shift for Lindy Ruff’s team as it takes on Arizona — Patrick Sharp is back playing the wing on the top line, taking Patrick Eaves‘ spot next to Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Eaves has dropped down to play on a line with Vernon Fiddler and Colton Sceviour.

Getting Spezza back adds more firepower to one of the NHL’s most dynamic offenses. He has 18 goals and 40 points in 52 games this season — to put that in perspective, 40 points would make him the highest-scoring forward on the Coyotes roster.

In Dallas, Spezza’s fourth behind Benn, Seguin and Sharp.

Goalie nods: Greiss get another start for the Isles

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Thomas Greiss #1 of the New York Islanders prepares to play against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Barclays Center on October 9, 2015 in Brooklyn borough of New York City. The game is the first for the Islanders in their new arena. The Blackhawks defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Two days ago, we passed along a New York Post piece suggesting there’s a brewing goalie controversy in Brooklyn between starter Jaroslav Halak and backup Thomas Greiss.

Well, the narrative continued today.

Isles head coach Jack Capuano said Greiss would make his second straight start — and fourth in the last six games — in tonight’s big clash against NHL-leading Washington. That decision comes after Greiss pushed his record to a sparking 16-6-2 on the year with Monday’s win over Detroit, and now boasts a .931 save percentage and 2.16 GAA.

Pretty good for a backup netminder making just $1.5 million this season.

Now, before we get too ahead of ourselves, a reminder to check the schedule. Tonight is the first of back-to-backs for the Isles — they play tomorrow in New Jersey — and it sounds as though Halak will be back in goal.

Of course, one could make the argument that Greiss getting the Caps while Halak gets the Devils is a statement on its own.

For the Caps, Braden Holtby starts.


Petr Mrazek will look to bounce back from a rare rough outing (five goals allowed against Boston on Sunday) to face the Pens. Pittsburgh counters with Marc-Andre Fleury.

— Another backup gets a second straight start in Florida, as Al Montoya‘s recent good play will keep Roberto Luongo on the pine. The visiting Sharks are rolling with their No. 1, Martin Jones.

Andrei Vasilevskiy gives Ben Bishop the night off in Tampa, while Ondrej Pavelec goes for the visiting Jets.

Eddie Lack will stay in the starter’s role for Carolina as the ‘Canes play in Ottawa. The Sens will stick with Craig Anderson.

Jonathan Bernier will be in goal for the Leafs tonight, but no word on a Rangers starter after Henrik Lundqvist faced the ‘Hawks on Wednesday evening.

— Tantalizing matchup in St. Louis, where the red-hot Brian Elliott and the Blues host Jonathan Quick and the Kings.

More: So, what happens in St. Louis when Jake Allen gets healthy?

Pekka Rinne is back in goal after the Preds gave Carter Hutton the start in a key game Monday against Dallas. Looks like Tuukka Rask will go for Boston.

Cam Talbot will start once again for the Oilers tonight, who are at home against the Wild. No word on a Minnesota starter yet, as Devan Dubnyk scored a victory over Calgary last night.

Louis Domingue, fresh off a win over Montreal, will go for the Coyotes. Looks like Antti Niemi for the Stars.

John Gibson returns to the net after Anaheim gave Frederik Andersen a string of starts over the last two weeks. Ryan Miller‘s in for the Canucks.