Trade: Bruins get Kase from Ducks for Backes, prospect, and draft pick

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It’s been assumed for weeks now that the Boston Bruins were in the market for a winger before the NHL trade deadline.

On Friday, they made it happen. It just wasn’t the winger most people were expecting.

The Bruins acquired forward Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for David Backes, the Bruins’ 2020 first-round draft pick, and defense prospect Axel Andersson.

The Bruins had previously been connected to wingers like New York’s Chris Kreider and New Jersey’s Kyle Palmieri.

Kase obviously takes them in a very different direction.

He is still only 24 years old, signed through next season at a salary cap hit of just $2.4 million, and will still only be a restricted free agent once that contract expires. In other words, he is not a rental, and is instead a player that could be a significant part of the Bruins’ lineup for the foreseeable future.

Now the question shifts to what he can provide them. The big question mark with Kase has always been health. Injuries have severely limited him throughout the first four years of his career (including this season) as he has managed to play in just 198 games (out of a potential 306) since the start of the 2016-17 season.

When he is healthy, though, he has shown the ability to be a top-six winger with 20-25 goal ability while also being an excellent possession driver. He has done all of that while playing on one of the most inept offensive teams in the league. He seems like the type of young player that could be on the verge of a breakout if you put him on a good team with good players around him. That opportunity will be there for him in Boston.

The other key to the deal for Boston is shedding the rest of Backes’ contract. He still has one more year remaining on a deal that pays him $6 million per season. The Bruins are retaining 25 percent of that salary. That also creates some additional salary cap space this season for another potential trade before Monday. The Bruins already have the league’s best record with 88 points as of Friday, holding a three-point lead over the surging Tampa Bay Lightning.

Whether or not Backes has any real long-term role in Anaheim remains to be seen. They could do what Carolina did with Patrick Marleau over the summer and buy him out, while netting a first-round pick and a prospect. It is still a risky trade from the Ducks’ perspective because they did not need to trade Kase, while he still has the potential to blossom into the player they originally thought he could be. If that happens in Boston, they are going to have to hope they hit on that first-round pick and that Andersson is an NHL player to make it worth it.

Andersson was selected by the Bruins in the second-round (No. 57 overall) of the 2018 NHL draft. He is currently playing for the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL where he has two goals and 20 assists in 41 games played this season.

MORE: PHT’s 2020 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

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.

Notable playoff performances on NBCSN: Kane’s hat trick tops Kings

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Hockey Week in America continues Friday with some big-time individual playoff performances.

The Western Conference foes dueled to a Game 7 that went into double overtime. Dallas relied on St. Louis native Ben Bishop and his 52 saves, the 5th-most saves in a Game 7 in history, to nearly defeat the Blues, but St. Louis prevailed 2-1, on the way to their historic 2019 Stanley Cup run.

Kenny Albert, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire called the action from Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo.

You can catch Kane’s Game 5 hat trick Friday on NBCSN beginning at 12 a.m. ET or watch the stream here.

FRIDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE:
• Kane’s hat trick: Kings vs. Blackhawks (2013 Western Conference Final) – 12 a.m. ET

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Notable playoff performances on NBCSN: Bishop, Maroon shine in Game 7

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Hockey Week in America continues Friday with some big-time individual playoff performances.

In a double-overtime thriller between these two Western Conference contenders, Patrick Kane and his series-clinching hat trick propelled Chicago to a 4-3 victory. In the Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks defeated the Bruins to capture the 2013 championship.

The late, great Dave Strader, Darren Pang, and Brian Engblom had the call from United Center in Chicago, Ill.

You can catch Bishop’s 52-save performance and other memorable individual playoff memories Friday on NBCSN beginning at 10 p.m. ET.

FRIDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE:
• Bishop’s 52-save effort: Stars vs. Blues (Round 2, Game 7, 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs) – 10 p.m. ET
• Kane’s hat trick: Kings vs. Blackhawks (2013 Western Conference Final) – 12 a.m. ET

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Notable playoff performances on NBCSN: Tavares leads Isles into Round 2

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Hockey Week in America continues Friday with some big-time individual playoff performances.

Trailing by one with less than a minute remaining in regulation with the extra attacker on the ice, Islanders captain John Tavares scored to tie the game at one to force overtime. In the second overtime period, Tavares scored the game-winner, leading the Islanders to a playoff series win in 2016 for the first time in 23 years.

Chris Cuthbert and Ray Ferraro called the matchup from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

You can catch Tavares’ two-goal night and other memorable individual playoff performances Friday on NBCSN beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

FRIDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE:
• Tavares’ big night: Panthers vs. Islanders (Round 1, Game 6, 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs) – 8 p.m. ET
• Bishop’s 52-save effort: Stars vs. Blues (Round 2, Game 7, 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs) – 10 p.m. ET
• Kane’s hat trick: Kings vs. Blackhawks (2013 Western Conference Final) – 12 a.m. ET

More information about NBC Sports’ Hockey Week in America can be found here.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Blues broadcaster ‘symptom free’ after self-quarantine

Longtime St. Louis Blues broadcaster John Kelly, jr. during the St. Louis Blues victory parade
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The quarantine strategy medical professionals have urged society to use have proved effective once again.

John Kelly, a broadcaster for the St. Louis Blues, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and is now symptom free after being self-quarantined for 14 days.

The St. Louis Blues released the following statement earlier Friday.

The St. Louis Blues are confirming that play-by-play announcer John Kelly has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

John has been in self-quarantine since March 13. We are thrilled to report that John is now feeling strong and symptom free.

The health and safety of the entire Blues family remains our core focus during these unprecedented times. We wish John well as he continues his recovery at home.

Follow this NBC News live update thread for more on the coronavirus pandemic.


Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.