Mike Halford

Report: Wild in on Drouin, Lightning want Dumba


From the Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo, on his weekly podcast:

“To get Drouin, it would probably cost Matt Dumba. That’s what I’m being told. That is who the Lightning want — and the Wild, if they haven’t already agreed to that being the price, [are] definitely considering that.

“The problem is you don’t know what everybody else is offering. They Wild thought they had a great chance at [Ryan] Johansen, but then all of a sudden, the second Seth Jones was the name that swooped in, Columbus was making that move.

“It’s very clear right now that [Wild GM] Chuck Fletcher is trying to give this team a shot in the arm. They’re bland on the ice.”

Some notes:

— Russo later confirmed what Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wrote in his latest 30 Thoughts: Minnesota did dangle Jonas Brodin to Columbus for a possible Johansen deal.

— Russo went on to add that, given the Wild’s depth on defense (Brodin, Dumba, Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, Mike Reilly, Louie Belpedio), Fletcher is able to trade from a position of strength, which is why Dumba’s on the table.

— Dumba checks all the boxes for what Bolts GM Steve Yzerman reportedly wants. The seventh overall pick in 2012, he’s a talented, offensively capable, right-handed defenseman (much like St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk, who’s also been linked to Drouin).

— But the big difference between Shattenkirk and Dumba is that Dumba, 21, is younger and still on his entry-level deal, which means Tampa Bay would have more control over his contract situation.

From 30 Thoughts:

Here’s what I understand Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is looking for: a young player who is under team control for some time. He has enough contractual concerns over the next few years that he doesn’t need any more.

He can’t take on money without sending it back. (Some other execs speculated he might try to package Matt Carle with Drouin.) That’s why, as good as Kevin Shattenkirk is, it’s not an easy fit for Tampa, because he’s going to get paid big-time in 2017 and you can’t extend him until July 1 at the earliest, assuming he is even willing to sign.

— Dumba’s in the last of his three-year ELC with an average annual cap hit of $894,166. It’s basically on par with Drouin’s financials, though Drouin has one year left on his contract.

NHL on NBCSN: Streaking Flyers ready for ‘huge game’ against Boston


Coming off impressive wins over the Canadiens, Wild and Islanders, the Flyers will look to win four straight for just the second time this season when they host the B’s in Philadelphia.

You can catch the game on TV on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.


Philly’s current streak has punctuated an impressive six-week stretch, in which the club has gone 11-5-2 with a plus-9 goal differential. The Flyers have also won five straight at Wells Fargo and, with another tonight, will go just two points back of the Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

On the injury front, no rookie sensation Shayne Gostisbehere once again for Philly tonight. “Ghost” has been dealing with a lower-body ailment and while it’s not believed to be serious, it did keep him out of Saturday’s defeat of the Isles and could force him to miss Saturday’s big tilt against the Rangers, too.

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Bruins will be without Krejci, McQuaid for at least two more games

Kevan Miller is not the problem for the Bruins, but he does illustrate the problem

Denis Potvin isn’t done talking about Daniel Sedin


Less than 24 hours after calling Daniel Sedin a “lowlife,” Florida Panthers color commentator and Hockey Hall of Famer Denis Potvin had some more words for the Vancouver winger.

“It ended badly because of Sedin’s actions,” Potvin told Sirius XM the morning after Vancouver’s 3-2 OT win, in which Sedin scored the winner, then gestured towards the Florida bench.

“I mean, if in any game in any era, in any decade, a guy turns around and starts goading the team after scoring the winning goal — can you imagine?

“Can you imagine doing that in Philly, or Boston, or Long Island after a winning streak, or let’s make it a Stanley Cup championship? What you do normally — normally — after you’re the team that beats the team on the streak, is you just talk about incredible respect for what they were able to accomplish.”

Henrik Sedin said his brother’s actions were in response to something a Florida player said during the course of Friday’s game. Neither brother would identify the Panther in question, nor repeat what was said.

But it was clear someone really got under the skin of the 35-year-old veteran, enough for him to kick off the postgame melee.

Sportsnet reported the comments were made by Shawn Thornton, who has history with Vancouver from his time with the Bruins.

Potvin, who also said “I see the Sedins are pointing fingers now,” and “normally they only use those fingers to lick the peanut butter off of their bread” during last night’s broadcast, remained shocked at Sedin’s antics.

“The Florida Panthers gained a tremendous amount of respect over the last couple of months,” he said. “The streak goes on, the longest in the NHL for this season, and getting really close to historical times.

“Instead of that, you have a player that scores a winning goal to stop the streak, and he goes over and goads the other bench. Well, that was just beyond belief.”

Goalie nods: With Lehner return looming, is this Ullmark’s last stand?

Mark Pysyk, Jakub Voracek, Linus Ullmark

There could be a bit of symbolism in Dan Bylsma’s decision to give Linus Ullmark the start tonight in Minnesota.

It’ll be a second consecutive start for Ullmark, coming on the heels of a 42-save win over Winnipeg over the weekend. Bylsma is breaking with current tradition by giving Ullmark back-to-backs — he and Chad Johnson have been rotating starts lately — and it could be a send-off, as Ullmark projects to be on his way to AHL Rochester now that Robin Lehner is close to being ready for action.

Lehner, hurt during the first game of the year with a high ankle sprain, is primed to wrap his conditioning stint with the Amerks and resume duties as Buffalo’s No. 1 netminder.

If this is Ullmark’s last start with the big club, he’s certainly shown well.

The 22-year-old went just 6-10-2 during Lehner’s absence, but posted a fairly respectable save percentage (.914) and GAA (2.62). Given this was his first extended look at NHL action and the team in front of him isn’t great, Ullmark and the Sabres have to be happy with how things went.

For the Wild, Devan Dubnyk gets the start in goal.


— Battle of the backups in Brooklyn tonight (well, to be accurate, it’s a third-stringer for the Jackets): Columbus goes with Anton Forsberg, the Isles with Thomas Greiss.

Marc-Andre Fleury, fresh off a 34-save win over Montreal this weekend, will go for Pittsburgh while the ‘Canes counter with Cam Ward.

Keith Kinkaid gives Cory Schneider the night off as the Devils take on the Blues. St. Louis will be going with Brian Elliott, the club’s No. 1 for the foreseeable future with Jake Allen out injured.

— The in-form Connor Hellebucyk (just four goals allowed on his last 52 shots) stays in net for Winnipeg, as the Jets host the Sharks. No word yet on who goes for San Jose, as Martin Jones got last night’s game in Calgary.

— Interesting dynamic at play in Chicago tonight: Corey Crawford, who many expected to make the All-Star Game, goes for the ‘Hawks. The Preds look like they’ll counter with Pekka Rinne, who’s going to the ASG despite having a down year.

— Good matchup brewing in Colorado, where Semyon Varlamov‘s in for the Avs, while the Bolts look like they’ll start Ben Bishop.

Louis Domingue, who’s been a pleasant surprise for the Coyotes this year, starts as Arizona hosts Edmonton. Anders Nilsson goes for the Oilers.

After recovering from broken leg, Flames’ Bouma (lower body) out for ‘quite a bit of time’

Mark Giordano, Nate Thompson, Francois Beauchemin

The 2015-16 campaign is one Lance Bouma will probably want to forget.

Calgary’s hard-nosed energy guy, Bouma — who’s already missed two months this season with a broken leg — will now be sidelined for “a few weeks” with a lower-body injury, per Flames head coach Bob Hartley.

Bouma, 25, is coming off a solid ’14-15 campaign in which he posted career-highs in goals (16), assists (18) and points (34), earning himself a three-year, $6.6 million contract extension in July.

Year one of that extension was derailed before it ever got started, though.

Bouma’s leg was broken on a Ryan Reaves hit in mid-October, an injury that kept him out of the Calgary lineup until Dec. 22. He managed to play in eight games before getting hurt again, scoring his first goal of the year in a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay last week.

As mentioned above, Bouma is a valuable grinder for the Flames. He’s firmly entrenched as a top-nine forward and finished seventh in the NHL in hits last year, with 264.