Jaromir Jagr

Rutherford wants to add a goal-scorer, in case Crosby and Malkin ‘get shut down’


Penguins GM Jim Rutherford would like to add a bottom-six goal-scorer to Pittsburgh’s forward group.

“If it’s a guy who’s capable of scoring a goal or a big goal, I would like to get that guy because if [Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin] get shut down, we need to be able to win games with our third and fourth lines,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this morning.

“That’s what teams try to do to us. They try to shut those guys down. If they shut those guys down, and you don’t have enough balance on your third and fourth line where you can score periodically, then you can’t win.”

(See: the 2013 Eastern Conference Final versus Boston.)

The challenge for Rutherford is to find “that guy,” and to find him for a reasonable price.

Some have suggested the Penguins go out and get Jaromir Jagr. But according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, that’s “highly, highly unlikely.”

Chris Stewart is another candidate, we suppose. (Is he a good candidate? That’s debatable.)

Maybe Antoine Vermette? He’s not likely to come cheap though.

Suffice to say, the pickings are rather slim.

Remember also the salary-cap uncertainty that may end up defining the 2015 trade deadline, with GMs hesitant to add players with term on their contracts, and Rutherford has his work cut out.

Video: Should teams be interested in Jagr?


In light of Jaromir Jagr’s recent remarks about his future in New Jersey — you know, when he openly asked “what’s the reason to keep me?” — Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick discussed if teams should be interested in acquiring the 43-year-old at this year’s trade deadline:

It’s no secret that Jagr would like to join a Cup contender, preferably one in the Eastern Conference, and he does have some experience in this area. He joined the Bruins at the ’13 deadline and helped them advance to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.

NHL on NBCSN: Someone will break their slump as Devils face Sabres


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign as New Jersey Devils host the Buffalo Sabres at the Prudential Center at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

The New Jersey Devils’ playoff chances are slim right now. To elaborate, Sports Club Stats gives them a .2 chance of making it.

If the Devils want to make a big push, that will need to really kick off starting on Tuesday, and not just because they’re hosting the cellar-dwelling Buffalo Sabres.

After losing four games in a row – all in regulation – the Devils begin a six-game homestand tonight. Not only that, they also play nine of their next 10 games in Newark.

Here’s what their schedule looks like:

Tonight: vs. Buffalo
Friday: vs. Vancouver
Saturday: vs. Carolina
Feb. 23: vs. Arizona
Feb. 25: vs. Calgary
Feb. 27: vs. Boston
Feb. 28: at Columbus
March 3: vs. Nashville
March 6: vs. Columbus
March 8: vs. Philadelphia

Seems like a nice chance to at least make things interesting, right?

After a somewhat decent start to February, the Sabres look as vulnerable as ever.

Buffalo has dropped three straight games in regulation, all at home. About the best thing one can say about them is that their goaltending has kept them in games and at least helped Buffalo avoid getting embarrassed.

With Jhonas Enroth shipped out of town, the net largely goes to Michal Neuvirth, who has been playing fairly well recently. He’s likely to have competition at the other end, as Cory Schneider remains one of the bright spots for New Jersey.

There isn’t a ton of firepower, but considering the looming trade deadline, there may not be that many more opportunities to see Jaromir Jagr in a Devils jersey.

Fans of contending teams might want a glimpse at Jagr as he stands to be a desirable trade target, too.

‘Not a chance’ Clowe plays for Devils this season, says Lamoriello


Ryane Clowe will join the Devils for their upcoming two-game road swing through Chicago and Nashville, but GM Lou Lamoriello was quick to shoot down any suggestion this is a step in Clowe’s return to game action:

Though unsurprising — Clowe’s missed 80 games over the last two years while dealing with concussion issues — it’s a sobering update with regards to the 32-year-old’s future in New Jersey. Clowe is only in the second of a five-year, $24.25 million deal with a $4.85M cap hit and while the club could seek financial relief through long-term injured reserve, Clowe has become the poster boy for Lamoriello’s penchant of gambling large on veteran players in free agency.

Sometimes, the strategy has paid off — Mike Cammalleri and Jaromir Jagr are two of the club’s three leading scorers this season, for example. But in other cases, leaning on veteran UFAs has backfired; 34-year-old Michael Ryder, a repeated healthy scratch this season, is making $3.5 million annually and 33-year-old Martin Havlat — who, admittedly, came relatively cheap at $1.5M — has been a virtual non-factor, scoring just nine points in 36 games.

Based on today’s update, it’s fair to wonder if Clowe’s career is in jeopardy. And if that’s the case, it’ll be an inglorious end to his time in New Jersey; since signing with the club in the summer of ’13, he’s only made 56 appearances in a Devils uniform.

PHT Morning Skate: Gronkowski plays on-ice dodgeball, Mayweather buys Vegas season tickets


New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski played some on-ice dodgeball during an intermission in the ECHL Florida Everblades’s game against the Fort Wayne Komets.

You can see that below:

This comes after Gronkowski spiked the ceremonial puck during a Bruins’ game.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $75,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Thursday night’s NHL games. It’s just $25 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

The list of people that have pledged to buy season tickets for the possible Las Vegas hockey NHL include UFC president Dana White and Floyd Mayweather. (Chris Johnston)

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (hand) is upbeat about his recovery. He also is pleasantly surprised by his bowling ability:

Just because the rival Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets made some significant changes on Wednesday courtesy of separate trades with the Buffalo Sabres doesn’t mean that Flames GM Brad Treliving is rushing to make a move. (Calgary Sun)

Here are the highlights from Washington’s 5-4 overtime win against San Jose:

The ECHL Ontario Reign, which will move up to the AHL next season, have unveiled their new logo. (AHL.com)

Whatever happens this season, Jaromir Jagr wants to continue his NHL career in 2015-16. (The Bergen Record)

Here are the highlights from the Penguins’ 4-1 victory over the Red Wings: