Ducks ‘pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,’ says Ducks d-man


We’ve talked plenty about Anaheim’s desire to add a defenseman — see here and here and here — and now, following a stretch in which the Ducks have surrendered 30 goals in seven games, it seems those talks have trickled down to the players.

Like defenseman Cam Fowler, for example.

“[GM Bob Murray] has been pretty adamant about trying to add another d-man,” Fowler told the L.A. (which stands for Los Angeles) Times this week. “We feel comfortable with the group we have, but if there’s somebody who can be brought in to help us, that’s always good too.”

Murray’s been in search of defensive fixes for a while now, and has done some previous patchwork: Eric Brewer was acquired from Tampa Bay in November, and Stephane Robidas was acquired at last year’s deadline.

That said, both of those deals were of the low-risk, low-cost variety. Robidas, 37, came on board for the price of a fourth-round pick and played just 17 games (14 regular season, three playoff) before leaving in free agency. Brewer, 35, could end up much the same; he’s a UFA at season’s end and has only appeared in six games after breaking his foot shortly after being acquired.

But neither Robidas nor Brewer moved the needle much. One would think Murray wants to make a bigger splash this time around.

Whether or not he can make one, though, remains to be seen. Tyler Myers is off the board following Wednesday’s blockbuster move to Winnipeg and, as we’ve often seen come deadline day, there are more teams interested in capable defensemen than there are capable defensemen.

The Ducks could be in on Marc Methot. They could be in on Cody Franson. They could be in on Mike Green — assuming the playoff-bound Caps decide to move him — but Anaheim won’t be alone in any of these pursuits. Which begs two questions: 1) How much does Murray believe in a blueline featuring a top-four of Fowler, Francois Beauchemin, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen? And 2) If he doesn’t believe in it enough, how much is he willing to spend on a legitimate upgrade?

Trade out of Ottawa ‘obviously real at this point,’ says Methot


After spending this season embroiled in contract negotiations — ones that often stalled — Marc Methot knows his time in Ottawa might be coming to an end.

And soon.

“I hope it settles quick,” Methot said, per the Ottawa Citizen. “And I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t thinking about it every single day. This kind of stuff is hard to ignore, the potential of being moved is obviously real at this point. It’s no secret that I want to stay here. At this point, I’m leaving it all to my agent and the team to settle it.

“All I can do right now is play.”

Methot, 29, will reportedly have one final shot at an agreement with Ottawa later this week, when agent Mike Liut meets with Bryan Murray to try and hammer out a new deal. The meeting comes with Methot now fully recovered from a back injury that sidelined him for most of the season; the veteran rearguard has looked good since returning on Jan. 8, playing in 13 games while averaging over 21 minutes per night.

As is often the case with stalled negotiations, money and term are at the center of the Methot situation. Earlier this year, reports surfaced that he was looking for a five-year deal with an average annual salary of $5 million; the Sens, a fiscally tight team with an internal salary cap, want to lock him in for less and could see greater value in trading Methot than re-signing him.

And there have been rumblings of interested suitors. The likes of Detroit and Anaheim were reported to be in the mix, and it stands to reason more teams could join them — Methot is a big-bodied, experienced guy than can chip in offensively; last year, he recorded career highs in goals (six) and points (23) while averaging nearly 22 minutes per game.

Goalie nods: Mason out 2-3 weeks, Howard backs up tomorrow


All the latest from the crease…

Flyers lose Mason, again

Steve Mason will be out 2-3 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, per the Courier-Post. News of the timetable comes just two days after Mason exited Sunday’s win over Washington following a setback with his knee, which has caused the 26-year-old problems all season long.

With Mason out, Ray Emery will assume starting duties with 21-year-old Anthony Stolarz backs up. Stolarz is with the team because Rob Zepp, who’s appeared in six games for the Flyers this season, is currently hurt with AHL Lehigh Valley.

Jimmy’s back

On the other end of the injured goalie spectrum, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard will dress for the first time in over a month when the Wings take on the Penguins tomorrow.

Howard, who hurt his groin on Jan. 10 against Washington, will serve as Petr Mrazek’s backup and could return to the crease in Detroit’s following game on Saturday against Winnipeg.

The 30-year-old’s return will be a welcome one. Howard was playing extremely well at the time of his injury, going 16-7-7 with a 2.11 GAA and .920 save percentage, with two shutouts.


Stars at Bruins: Niklas Svedberg for Boston, Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas.

Ottawa at Buffalo: Robin Lehner vs. Jhonas Enroth

Oilers at Isles: Viktor Fasth vs. Jaroslav Halak

Flyers at Habs: Ray Emery vs. Carey Price

Ducks at Panthers: Ilya Bryzgalov vs. Roberto Luongo

Coyotes at Blues: Mike Smith vs. Jake Allen

Bolts at Preds: Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Pekka Rinne

Wild at Jets: Michael Hutchinson for Winnipeg, no word on a Minnesota starter.

Leading goalscorer Hoffman unsure about long-term deal with Sens


This has been a pretty good year for Mike Hoffman, Ottawa’s 25-year-old rookie that leads the team in goals (17) and earned himself a spot at All-Star weekend in Columbus.

But with that success comes questions — specifically, ones about his future and a possible long-term deal with the Sens.

“Depends how long,” Hoffman said, per the Ottawa Sun. “Three years, yeah, no problem. But five and six … it would all depend on the numbers, right?”

A late-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Hoffman made his NHL debut in 2011-12 and spent the last few seasons working his way to the NHL level. This year, he’s providing great production on the cheap — a one-year deal at $750,00 — and, perhaps most impressively, has done all his damage at even strength (he sits 10th in the NHL in ESG, with 17, one back of Alex Ovechkin.)

As such, Hoffman expects to garner a significant raise on his new deal, and there’s one contract length the pending RFA has already ruled out.

“I know it’s not going to be a two-year (deal),” he explained. “That’s the only thing I know, because that would put me to UFA after that.

“That’s already been discussed. But other than that, not too much.”

Goalie Nods: Dubnyk gets ninth straight start


All the latest from the blue paint…

Dubnyk looks for a fifth straight win

Devan Dubnyk will make his ninth consecutive start Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Minnesota. Dubnyk posted a 24 save shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. The 28-year-old has won four straight while posting a 0.75 G.A.A. and a .974 save percentage.

Semyon Varlamov gets the start for the Colorado Avalanche.


Kings at Lightning: Jonathan Quick vs. Ben Bishop

Blue Jackets at Senators: Curtis McElhinney vs. Robin Lehner

Devils at Canadiens: Keith Kinkaid vs. Carey Price

Oilers at Leafs: Viktor Fasth vs. James Reimer

Stars at Sabres: Anders Lindback vs. Jhonas Enroth

Islanders at Bruins: Chad Johnson vs. Tuukka Rask

Red Wings at Coyotes: Petr Mrazek vs. Mike Smith

Penguins at Canucks: Thomas Greiss, vs. Ryan Miller

Hurricanes at Sharks: Cam Ward  vs. Antti Niemi