Author: Mike Halford

Dallas Stars v Nashville Predators

Poile: Preds hoped Franson trade ‘would work out better’


GM David Poile met with reporters today in the wake of Nashville’s first-round playoff elimination to Chicago and, in doing so, admitted his big trade deadline move — acquiring Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from Toronto — simply didn’t work out.

Franson, a pending UFA, was a major disappointment for the Preds (partially because they surrendered a first-round pick and prospect Brendan Leipsic to acquire him). The 27-year-old had six goals and 32 points in 55 games at the time of the trade and was averaging more than 21 TOI per night — upon pulling the trigger, Poile called Franson “a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations,” adding he’d “seamlessly fit into our team.”

But that didn’t happen.

Franson saw his ice time slowly dwindle after making his Nashville debut on Feb. 21, to the point where he was a virtual non-factor by April.

Franson then missed Game 1 of the Chicago series and, while he drew back in for the final five contests and recorded a pair of assists, his ice time still hovered between a mere 14-15 minutes per night — and that was after Shea Weber exited the series in Game 2.

Looking ahead, it seems as though Franson’s second go-round with the Preds is over. The club sounds unlikely to offer him a new contract, which means that — despite this poor spell in Music City — he’ll still be one of the more coveted free agent defenseman hitting the market on July 1.

Malkin, Tarasenko to play for Russia at Worlds

Evgeni Malkin

Russia has significantly bolstered its lineup for the upcoming World Hockey Championships.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin and Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko were both locked in to represent their country when the tourney gets underway in the Czech Republic on May 1:

These are pretty significant adds for a Russian team looking to win back-to-back gold medals for the first time since 2008 and ’09. The Russians captured last year’s tournament on the strength of three KHL-based players — Viktor Tihkonov, Danis Zaripov and Sergei Plotnikov — but will be loaded with NHL talent this year; in addition to Malkin and Tarasenko, Team Russia will also feature the likes of Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Khudobin, Nail Yakupov and, reportedly, Nikolai Kulemin.

More Jets injuries revealed as Enstrom, Pardy undergo shoulder surgery

Dallas Stars v Winnipeg Jets

After getting eliminated by Anaheim, Jets head coach Paul Maurice said as many as eight of his players were dealing with “significant injuries” and on Tuesday, we found out two of ’em.

Defensemen Adam Pardy and Tobias Enstrom have both undergone successful shoulder surgery, per the club. Both will rehab throughout the summer and are expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp.

Prior to the Pardy and Enstrom news, it was learned defenseman Jacob Trouba suffered a broken hand late in the regular season, which will also require surgery and sideline him for 6-8 weeks. Captain Andrew Ladd was playing with a sports hernia, Bryan Little and Dustin Byfuglien had dislocated ribs and Mathieu Perreault had an ankle sprain and tore ligaments in his right hand during the Ducks series.

As the Winnipeg Sun points out, that’s seven of the eight injuries Maurice alluded to.