Mike Halford

Jim Nill

Dallas has prospects ‘everybody wants,’ but Nill isn’t ‘giving them up’

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At first glance, the Stars have the look of a deadline buyer — second in the Central Division, second in the Western Conference, trailing only defending champ Chicago in both.

But according to GM Jim Nill, the club might not be all that active by Feb. 29.

Why?

Because he’s loathe to part with the prospects his competitors want.

“We’ve got four young defensemen, five or six young forwards,” Nill said, per NHL.com. “We’ve got three or four guys in the top-20 scoring [Travis Morin, Brendan Ranford, Jason Dickinson] and another guy who’s out for the season in Devin Shore who was leading the league in scoring.

“When I talk about trades, when we got to make trades, that’s who everyone wants and I’m not giving them up. That’s too big a part of our future.”

It’s no secret both Nill and owner Tom Gaglardi are bullish on the club’s prospect pool. Last summer, Gaglardi raved about the club’s blueline depth, saying “we’ve got the deepest bench of defense prospects in the league quite honestly.”

As such, it wasn’t surprising to read this in Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts column:

In preparing for “Headlines” last weekend, I asked which teams were most insistent about adding pieces. When it came to forwards, the teams mentioned most often were Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles and the Islanders…

…On defence, it was Los Angeles, Montreal, Pittsburgh, San Jose and Tampa Bay. No Dallas was interesting, especially since I linked Dan Hamhuis to them last week, so you wonder about your intel. But they didn’t get as many mentions.

All that said, Nill has been aggressive at past deadlines. Last year, he sent veteran winger Erik Cole to Detroit and, the year prior, traded Stephane Robidas to Anaheim and acquired Tim Thomas from Florida.

Goalie nods: After ripping ‘unacceptable’ officiating last night, Domingue goes back-to-back

Louis Domingue
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Last night, Arizona’s Louis Domingue sounded like a frustrated goalie following a 3-2 loss in Washington.

“I’m expecting that they treat every guy the same way, and I felt like because I don’t have many games in this league, I’m being treated differently,” Domingue said per Fox Sports, venting that officials didn’t blow play dead when Tom Wilson jostled away the puck from his glove, which led to a Mike Richards goal. “And I think that if [Braden] Holtby would’ve covered the puck this way, they would’ve [blown] the whistle right away. All game it was the same thing.

“I didn’t have the whistle. It’s just unacceptable that they don’t treat us the same way.”

Today, Domingue admitted he was a frustrated goalie.

“I know they have a tough job,” Domingue said, per AZ Central. “They do a good job at it. Sometimes after games, you get emotional. There’s stuff that you say, but I still think I had possession of the puck. I understand that they had a tough job, and it’s a fast game. I make mistakes.”

Later tonight, Domingue will try to right the ship.

The rookie netminder is back in goal in the second of a back-to-back as the Coyotes take on the Bolts in Tampa Bay. After winning January’s rookie of the month award, the 23-year-old has struggled through a rough February — he’s 3-5-1 and has allowed 29 goals on 272 shots over the nine-game stretch… for a save percentage of .893.

So maybe that’s part of the frustration, too.

For the Bolts, Andrei Vasilevskiy gets the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

— Both the Rangers and Devils are expected to go with their No. 1s in a rivalry game at Prudential: Henrik Lundqvist versus Cory Schneider.

Michal Neuvirth, who replaced Steve Mason against Toronto over the weekend, is back in goal for the Flyers. Cam Ward goes for the ‘Canes.

James Reimer goes for the host Maple Leafs tonight, while the Preds are likely to counter with Carter Hutton.

Petr Mrazek takes back the starter’s net when Detroit hosts Columbus. No word yet on a Blue Jackets starter (Joonas Korpisalo has started 12 straight, though).

Jaroslav Halak takes on Devan Dubnyk as the Isles play in Minnesota.

Ondrej Pavelec will make his fourth start since returning from injury when the Jets host the Stars. Antti Niemi is in goal for Dallas.

— The red-hot Craig Anderson (1.51 GAA, .951 save percentage over last three starts) goes for Ottawa in Edmonton. Cam Talbot starts for the Oilers.

— Joni Ortio gets a rare start as the Flames take on the Kings in L.A. Jonathan Quick will be in the other goal.

 

Ladd: ‘Kind of sad’ tonight could be last game in Winnipeg

Andrew Ladd
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Following tonight’s home date against the Stars, the Jets will set out on a pair of road games and won’t be back until Mar. 1.

Mar. 1, of course, being the day after the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

And you know what that means in Winnipeg — it means that, this evening, captain Andrew Ladd could very well be playing his last game in front the MTS Centre faithful.

As a Jet, that is.

“We haven’t been told that. But I guess I can kind of see the writing on the wall,” Ladd said on Tuesday, per the Sun. “I obviously hope it’s not. But I realize it has the potential of being my last.

“And it’s kind of sad to think about.”

By now you’re all probably familiar with the Ladd situation, but a quick refresher:

Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff had two key UFAs to sign this season in Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. Money, logic and cap space suggested it might have to be one or the other, not both — and earlier this month, after Byfuglien signed a monster five-year, $38 million extension, Ladd’s writing appeared to be on the wall.

Ladd, of course, had a fairly big ask of his own: a six-year extension “with an average annual value north of $6 million,” per TSN senior correspondent Gary Lawless.

Contract talks between Winnipeg and the 30-year-old reportedly broke off in late January. Today, Ladd said he hasn’t received a new contract offer this week, adding he didn’t think there had been much in the way of negotiations since Christmas.

So, attention turned to Ladd as a potential trade deadline rental.

Several teams are reportedly in the mix, with Florida emerging as one that covets Ladd immensely. And it stands to reason that Cheveldayoff almost has to deal Ladd, primarily to avoid losing him for nothing in free agency — something that happened last year with Michael Frolik.

But despite all this writing on the wall, Ladd and his Jets teammates are still finding it difficult to fathom that, come Monday, the captain might be gone.

“It’s crazy to think we got to this point,” Blake Wheeler said, per the Sun. “I never imagined in a million years we’d be sitting here.”

Related: Coach Q thinks the ‘Hawks could use another forward or two

Reaves to have disciplinary hearing after boarding Tennyson

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St. Louis forward Ryan Reaves has been called to the carpet by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

Today, the DoPS announced Reaves would have a Wednesday hearing after boarding San Jose’s Matt Tennyson on Monday night.

Per an NHL spokesman, the hearing will be of the phone variety, meaning any supplemental discipline will be a suspension of five games or less.

Reaves was given a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct for the hit, which occurred midway through the first period.

Tennyson left the game and didn’t return — per CSN Bay Area, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said the defenseman was likely concussed on the play.

 

Gelinas hasn’t asked Devils for trade, but admits this is ‘the worst it’s been’

Mike Cammalleri, Eric Gelinas
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Things aren’t going well for Eric Gelinas in New Jersey.

The 24-year-old blueliner — who scored a career-high seven goals and 29 points two years ago — has been a healthy scratch 24 times this season, including a current stretch of six straight games in the press box.

“The worst it’s been,” Gelinas said Monday, per NorthJersey.com.

The situation has, not surprisingly, led to discussions about a potential deal to get Gelinas out of Newark.

More:

The Devils definitely have some depth on their blue line and, with the trade deadline coming up at 3 p.m. next Monday, Gelinas could end up being expendable if GM Ray Shero is able to get something back to help the team now or in the future.

“It’s not really in my control, but I know it is coming,” Gelinas said of the trade deadline. “I don’t know what the team’s plans are or anything. I guess we’ll see in six or seven days.”

Gelinas said he has not asked for a trade.

“It’s in their hands, really,” he said. “If they still want me, we’ll see.”

Gelinas is in the first of a two-year, $3.15 million deal, one that carries a $1.575M cap hit. The contract was one of the first negotiated by Shero after his hire last May, but it appears there’s a disconnect between how the previous regime (of Lou Lamoriello/Peter DeBoer) sees Gelinas compared to the current one, comprised of Shero and first-year coach John Hynes.

All told, Gelinas has just one goal and six points in 34 games this year. But given his past offensive exploits and size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), one has to think there would be some interested teams at the trade deadline.