Florida Panthers

Caps’ Wilson the latest to be fined for diving


Washington forward Tom Wilson has been fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment, the NHL announced on Friday.

From the league:

Wilson was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 936 against Toronto on March 1. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident during NHL Game No. 1057 at Minnesota on March 19.

Wilson received a minor penalty for embellishment on the play, at 14:45 of the second period.

Video of the incident:

With that, Wilson becomes the eighth player to be fined for diving this season, joining Toronto’s Richard Panik, Islanders goalie Michal Neuvirth (fine occurred while with Buffalo), the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck, Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist, Florida’s Vincent Trocheck and Nashville’s James Neal and Montreal’s P.K. Subban, who has been fined twice.

PHT Morning Skate: Brandon Pirri loses his stick to a fan

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Florida Panthers forward Brandon Pirri scored twice in Thursday night’s 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pirri now has 16 goals in 22 games. However, he may have lost his lucky stick. During the third period Leafs forward Richard Panik flipped Pirri’s stick over the glass (see video below). Panik received a misconduct on the play. A lucky fan five rows up received a nice souvenir as a result.

“That was a weird play,” chuckled Pirri post-game. “It got pretty deep in the crowd.”

Want to have former New York Yankee Derek Jeter as a neighbor? Buy Vincent Lecavalier’s house. Lecavalier’s Florida home, which is a few doors down from Jeter, is currently on the market. (Tampa Bay Times)

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $20,000 league for Friday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts Friday at 8:00pm ET. Enter Now!

A young Boston Bruins fan received a hockey card Thursday night. Liam Fitzgerald, who was born with Down syndrome and beat a leukemia diagnosis, received the card from Upper Deck.

Connor McDavid had quite an impact on attendance in the Ontario Hockey League this season. Teams entertaining McDavid saw a 20 percent increase in attendance when the Erie Otters were in town. (NHLtoSeattle.com)

Darren Helm’s girlfriend gave birth to the couple’s daughter on a Michigan highway this week. (Detroit Red Wings)

Actor Matthew Perry was on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week and discussed his friendship with L.A. Kings’ forward Anze Kopitar.

Ken Campbell writes the Arizona Coyotes need to win the NHL Draft lottery more than the Buffalo Sabres. (The Hockey News)

Signing Day: After getting Baun, Chicago inks Paliotta


Nice little Thursday for the Blackhawks.

Just hours after beating out several NHL clubs in securing the rights to Colgate standout Kyle Baun, the ‘Hawks announced they signed Michael Paliotta — their third-round pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft — to a two-year deal.

Paliotta, 21, just wrapped a four-year career at Vermont in style, posting a career-high 36 points while being named to the Hockey East second-team. He’s got good size — 6-foot-4, 205 pounds — and ‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman is high on his ability, recently saying he’d like Paliotta to turn pro right now.

And so, Paliotta has.

This, along with the Baun deal, signifies a potential changing of the guard in Chicago. In recent years, the organization wasn’t the ideal landing spot for prospects; given Chicago’s wealth of talent at the NHL level, the likes of Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, Adam Clendening (drafted the same year as Paliotta) and Jeremy Morin failed to crack the roster and were dealt elsewhere while one prospect — ’10 first-rounder Kevin Hayes, Jimmy’s younger brother — balked on the ‘Hawks entirely, opting to hit free agency rather than sign an entry-level deal in Chicago, eventually inking with the Rangers.

Times appear to have have changed, though.

The ‘Hawks are facing a summer of upheaval, which could be why Baun and Paliotta — who, like Hayes, could’ve gone unrestricted this summer — decided to come on board. TSN’s Bob McKenzie said Patrick Sharp will be “gone, for sure” this summer and it’s expected the ‘Hawks will also have to part ways with veteran d-man Johnny Oduya, in part because of the $10M cap hit extensions for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, which kick in next year.

With other experienced players potentially leaving (Antoine Vermette and Brad Richards are also pending UFAs), Chicago might now be seen as an organization filled with opportunity, rather than roadblocks.

Report: Panthers ‘enthralled’ with Jagr’s performance, will look to re-sign


Looks as though Florida’s quite pleased with trade deadline pickup Jaromir Jagr, per ESPN:

Panthers management has been so enthralled with what they’ve seen from Jagr on and off the ice that it’s all but guaranteed they will approach his camp after the season to see if he wants to stay on. The pending UFA winger wouldn’t tip his hand Thursday, but he did mention that when he’s happy somewhere, he doesn’t look to leave.

At the end of the day, there’s a financial negotiation that needs to take place and that numbers have to work for each side. One thing’s for sure, though. Jagr sees a team that’s going to contend in years to come.

“To be honest with you guys, and maybe this will surprise a lot of people, but the talent we’ve got here, it’s a very, very talented team,” said Jagr, his new team clearly a revelation to him once he got there.

Jagr, 43, is on a one-year deal with a $3.5M cap hit and has been pretty strong in March, scoring two goals and eight points in 10 games as Florida continues to push for the playoffs — so it’s no real surprise the Panthers want to keep him around. The organization also appears keen on furthering the mentor-student dynamic, currently at play between 37-year-old Willie Mitchell and 19-year-old rookie Aaron Ekblad; Ekblad is currently living with Mitchell and his wife, a relationship that was recently covered by Grantland’s Katie Baker (which is definitely worth a read.)

Over the last few games, Jagr has played on the “kid line” with 21-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau and 19-year-old Aleksander Barkov.

“I know how important it is to give them advice,” Jagr told ESPN. “I know they’re going to find out on their own, but maybe a little bit later. If I give them something and they take the advice, it’s going to be good for them. Like I did.

“When I was younger, I had so many great players around me who tried to help me all the time. It helped my hockey career.’’

Goalie nods: Hackett goes for Sabres in McEichel Derby


All the latest from the blue paint…

No Lindback for Buffalo

The NHL’s two worst teams — standings-wise, anyway — will do battle tonight when the Sabres host the Coyotes in Buffalo, and Buffalo will start little-used Matthew Hackett in net ahead of Anders Lindback, who’s been quite solid of late.

Hackett, 25, is 0-3-0 this year with a .893 save percentage and 4.34 GAA. He’s spent the majority of the season AHL Rochester, but was summoned to the Sabres after Chad Johnson went down to injury almost immediately after being acquired via trade.

In hist last outing, a 3-0 loss to Nashville, Hackett allowed three goals on 43 shots, good for a .930 save percentage.

For the Coyotes, Mike Smith will get the start in goal. Smith’s turnaround after a dreadful start has been one of the few bright spots in Arizona this season, and is worth mentioning — the veteran has been very good in nine games this month, allowing just 21 goals on 326 shots for a .936 save percentage.


Anaheim at Boston: Frederik Andersen vs. Tuukka Rask (probable)

Kings at Isles: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. Jaroslav Halak

Devils at Caps: Cory Schneider vs. Braden Holtby

Pens at ‘Canes: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Cam Ward

Preds at Bolts: Pekka Rinne (probable) vs. Ben Bishop

Sharks at Wings: Antti Niemi vs. Jimmy Howard

Rangers at Sens: Cam Talbot vs. Andrew Hammond

Panthers at Leafs: Roberto Luongo vs. Jonathan Bernier

Habs at Jets: Dustin Tokarski vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Avs at Canucks: Semyon Varlamov vs. (No Vancouver starter yet.)