Trades: Oilers add two defenders, including McDavid nemesis Brandon Manning

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After hiring Ken Hitchcock earlier this season the Edmonton Oilers went on a brief, Connor McDavid-driven hot streak that made it look like they might be turning their season around.

Now that they have followed that up by losing six games in a row, and seven out of their past eight, they are once again on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture and looking like another season of McDavid’s prime is on the verge of being completely wasted.

In response, general manager Peter Chiarelli has attempted to go into job-saving mode and spent Sunday frantically rearranging the deck chairs on his sinking ship by making a pair of trades to address his team’s horrendous blue line.

First, he sent Chris Wideman and a 2019 third-round draft pick to the Florida Panthers for Alex Petrovic. From an Oilers perspective, it’s not likely to move the needle in any meaningful direction. It’s probably more noteworthy from a Panthers perspective only because Petrovic was one of the four defenders they felt the need to protect in the expansion draft a year ago when they lost Jonathan Marchesseault and Reilly Smith to the Vegas Golden Knights.

But that was just the opening act for the trade that would really raise some eyebrows.

Later in the day the Oilers announced that they acquired Brandon Manning and Robin Norell from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Drake Caggiula and Jason Garrison.

Yes. That Brandon Manning.

The Brandon Manning that ended Connor McDavid’s rookie season on a play that resulted in the two players developing some pretty significant beef with one another, including McDavid calling Manning “classless” a year later.

Just a quick refresher on all of that here…

Now they are on the same team. As an added layer to the absurdity McDavid, TSN’s Ryan Rishaug noted on Twitter that McDavid and Caggiula (the player that was just traded for a player that broke McDavid’s collarbone and that McDavid called classless) were really close.

Just a remarkable day all the way around.

In the end, all the Oilers got out of it was a couple of players that might — might — be an upgrade on their third defense pairing. It is nobody that is going to make a meaningful difference for this team in its current position. That is what makes it so absolutely incredible that one of the players they happened to trade for is one that their franchise player has a history with on — and off — the ice. Even if that issue is in the past the optics of it all are incredibly bad. It’s like the roster transaction version of whatever it was that happened in Dallas this past week, where management does something to purposely anger its best player.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.