What every team should do at the 2021 NHL trade deadline

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With every NHL trade deadline projection comes the caveat that anything can happen before the deadline, trades can happen earlier to shake things up, and standings can change quickly.

Take into consideration how no one wants to take on money with the flat salary cap and the upcoming expansion and this might end up a boring NHL trade deadline. But, who knows.

Out of respect for the situation in Vancouver as over half the team recovers from a Covid variant, they’re not going to be included on here. It feels unfair to be speculating about their hockey future at the moment.

For the rest, here’s one move every team should make at the 2021 NHL trade deadline.

Boston Bruins: Get a legitimate scorer: The Bruins have more than one problem but some of that can’t be helped. If they’d kept Zdeno Chara in the offseason, some of their defensive woes wouldn’t exist. Some injury returns, such as Brandon Carlo, would stabilize things for now. They can’t learn how to score, though, and they — once again — desperately need five on five scoring.

Buffalo Sabres: Move Taylor Hall for a first: This largely depends on who wants to make a move, but if the Sabres do move on from Hall, they could get a terrific return. To trade a player like Taylor Hall — sure feels like deja vu, eh? — there’s going to have to be a good return because he’ll be in demand for any team willing to take on some of his salary. Make sure it’s the best price.

[15 forwards who could be traded]

Philadelphia Flyers: Get anyone who can play defense: There’s some issues with the goaltending for sure and there’s not much they can do in that department. But the defense in front of Carter Hart and co has not made life any easier. The Flyers defense has been decimated and it was already pretty weak. Adding the Blue Jackets’ David Savard could bring some life into the blue line group.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Add a depth scorer: This could have been to add a goalie, but Tristan Jarry seems close to a return. Kasperi Kapanen and Evgeni Malkin remain out, though, and the Pens could use more depth in their middle six. Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell feels like a strong fit.

New Jersey Devils: Trade Kyle PalmieriIt’s time to let Palmieri go. There’s going to be a lot of takers for him out there, even with the flat cap, so they’re going to want a haul in return. It probably starts with a first round pick. [UPDATE: They dealt Palmieri to the Islanders.]

NY Rangers: Trade Brendan SmithThe Rangers aren’t out of it for sure and don’t need to have a fire sale, but the best result is probably to add for the future. Brendan Smith might be their easiest player to move, especially to a team that loses out on Mattias Ekholm.

NY Islanders: Add a scorer. Any scorer: The Islanders one weakness is they go into stretches where they can’t buy a goal. Anders Lee being out for the rest of the season makes that real difficult, too. They have the cap space to do something; maybe Ryan Dzingel joins his former Ottawa teammate Jean-Gabriel Pageau. [UPDATE: Lou Lamoriello added Palmieri and Travis Zajac.]

Washington Capitals: Add a depth scorer: There’s not many flaws on the Capitals roster. Adding another top nine scorer can only help, though, for a team that already succeeds by bringing more depth than anyone else. Scott Laughton with the Flyers has a low cap hit.

[ProHockeyTalk’s 2020-21 NHL Trade Tracker]

Toronto Maple Leafs: Add Taylor Hall: Why not go all out? Everyone in Leafs Land thinks they have all the answers to the entire league anyways, so might as well. Toronto has mostly dominated the North, but it’ll be a different world when they have to play a team that employs a defense. Going all out and grabbing a scorer like Taylor Hall puts their offense into elite territory unlike anyone else.

Montreal Canadiens: Call up Cole Caufield: The Habs have no cap space and they’ve already made a lot of moves to this point, with their big offseason and then trading for Eric Staal two weeks ago. This is their team, just maybe bring up the top prospect before the playoffs.

Ottawa Senators: Move Mike ReillyThe one thing sellers have an advantage on in this market is defensemen, especially once the top few are moved — if that happens. If so, the Senators might get a team to overpay for the 27-year-old Mike Reilly. His cap hit is only $1.5 million, they might nab a good return.

Calgary Flames: Seek a return for Sam BennettThere’s a few things the Flames could do for a return here, such as move David Rittich or Johnny Gaudreau. Moving on from Sam Bennett, though, would give them the best progress. There haven’t been any takers yet but teams get more and more desperate closer to the NHL trade deadline.

Edmonton Oilers: Careful with the cap: The Oilers have to toe the line to bring in any money, but they sure could use some forward depth in their middle six. Luke Glendening might be the best bet.

Winnipeg Jets: Any defenseman possible: There’s a few options for the Jets and it depends on their cap space too but man they need any defense. Brandon Montour is available and the Sabres might even retain some of the salary, which would help.

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

Florida Panthers: Add a defenseman: Aaron Ekblad‘s absence is going to hurt and they’re not going to be able to replace him. Luckily for the Panthers, though, there’s a lot of available defensemen. The best fit for them, though, could be oft-speculated about Nashville defender Mattias Ekholm. 

Tampa Bay Lightning: Stand pat?: One of the most annoying things ever is when someone will say a player returning from injury is a team’s NHL trade deadline acquisition but Nikita Kucherov actually fits that description accurately.

Carolina Hurricanes: Get Kyle Palmieri: The Hurricanes are sneaky here. They have picks and prospects to trade, they have cap room, and they’re really good. They are also perhaps just a piece or two away from being downright scary, even in a division with the Lightning. Why not go out and get Kyle Palmieri? It might just put them over.

Nashville Predators: Make any move worth it: The Preds have snuck back into playoff contention so who knows if they’ll move Ekholm, but if they do, they should get as strong a package as possible. That sounds super obvious, but especially if the are contending, they don’t have to move anyone. They should get at least a top pick or prospect to consider moving the most desirable available defenseman in the league.

Detroit Red Wings: Get someone to overpay for Marc StaalThe Red Wings have a few avenues here, such as taking on some bad contracts in return for good rebuilding pieces. They could also probably get an above market return on Marc Staal for teams that get desperate on the defenseman market.

Chicago Blackhawks: Sell: They had a nice run but this team isn’t going anywhere this year. There’s not sense adding a piece, and they can clear some roster room and cap space. Moving someone like Carl Soderberg might be the best thing they can do to get a decent return.

Columbus: See what they can sell: The Blue Jackets don’t historically sell all too much but this is a year they may have to. They’re not going to make progress in that division, Patrik Laine hasn’t worked out, they keep benching guys. David Savard is their most valuable piece and they might get a decent enough return.

Dallas Stars: Be smart: There’s a few options here. Hypothetically they have Ben Bishop coming back which would change things in net. Jake Oettinger has been fantastic and is in their future plans. Might they get a return for Anton Khudobin?

[For NHL Trade Deadline approach, Blues should echo bold moves from past]

Minnesota Wild: Let’s get Wild: The Wild are legitimate contenders. This is such a weird NHL season, who says it can’t be their time to shine? They should go all out and try to add another elite forward. Kirill Kaprizov is leading a fun group that has a chance to do something, even in a tough division, so it depends how far do they want to go. They have two first round picks. Why not make a move on someone like Nick Foligno or Mikael Granlund?

Colorado Avalanche: Add a goalie: While the Avalanche could add another top six forward and make the mega desk version of a hockey team, they could use another goalie while Pavel Francouz is out and Philipp Grubauer gains experience. Calgary goalie David Rittich might be of interest.

Vegas Golden Knights: Who is to say, actually: Common sense says the Golden Knights don’t have to and won’t do anything. They’re a juggernaut and have like, no cap space. But, they always seem to find a way to do something so I guess nothing is off the table. Part of the Vegas charm is doing something out of left field though, so why ruin the fun with a guess?

Arizona Coyotes: Consider if moving Conor Garland is worth it: Garland’s emergence has been a positive in a rough year for the Coyotes on and off the ice. He’s going to get a raise in the offseason, so naturally the Coyotes could consider moving him. If they are ever going to move on, his stock is higher now than it ever has been.

St. Louis Blues: Add a cost effective forward: Snagging someone like Taylor Hall would put the Blues over the edge they need in a tough West playoff push, but, their salary cap won’t allow that. They need a scoring boost, and there aren’t many cheap options out there to make that happen, but someone like Detroit’s Bobby Ryan might fit that description well enough.

[Taylor Hall trade would benefit everybody]

Anaheim Ducks: Hope for a reasonable return for Rakell: Rakell is an important piece for the whole league because there’s not many players available beyond being a rental, and he has a reasonable $3.7 cap hit. He was just put on injured reserve, though, so any team trading for him would be thinking beyond just this season. They likely won’t be able to move Ryan Getzlaf, so this is kind of it for the Ducks.

Los Angeles Kings: Try like crazy to move Jonathan QuickIt’s probably a pipe dream to remove his $5.8 million cap hit, but Cal Peterson is so clearly the guy for the Kings. If they retain some of the salary, this might be the best chance to move on from Quick if a team gets desperate for a goalie right now, and it leaves them someone to leave unprotected in the expansion draft, too.

San Jose Sharks: Load up on prospects: The Sharks are in a unique position where they can take on salary. With just over $6 million in cap space, they could take a bad contract off a team in desperate need to clear, and ask for a decent prospect or draft picks package in return. They should take advantage.

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Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

Rivals Crosby and Ovechkin relish being All-Star teammates

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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SUNRISE, Fla. – Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have played dozens of regular-season and playoff games against each other since breaking into the NHL together in 2005.

The longtime rivals and respective captains of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals have also shared the ice at All-Star Games before. But with each superstar in his mid-30s, they know this trip could be their last together.

They took advantage of it, with Ovechkin setting up Crosby for two goals Saturday in the lone game of the All-Star 3-on-3 tournament their Metropolitan Division team got to play.

“I think we have fun to play together, not against each other,” Ovechkin said, flashing his gap-toothed smile. “Right now, we was on the same team, and it was pretty special, pretty good moment.”

Crosby, who also had the secondary assist on Ovechkin’s goal, did not expect to get the puck back. That’s not unreasonable given Ovechkin has built a career on scoring and is only 82 goals back of Wayne Gretzky’s NHL career record.

“I was thinking I just did my job: gave it to him,” said Crosby, whose career numbers are so close to Ovechkin’s that he has just five more points overall. “I thought he was just going finish it, but he was kind enough to send me a couple back. We had some nice goals there.”

Not enough to win the 3-on-3 semifinal against the Atlantic, which beat the Central in the final. Ovechkin lamented not scoring more and took some jabs at his goalie teammates for a day: fellow Russians Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers and Ilya Sorokin of the Islanders.

“Obviously goalie could play better,” Ovechkin said.

Crosby and Ovechkin being together at All-Star weekend for the first time since 2018 was one of the themes of the weekend, given how they shared the stage as faces of the NHL for much of their careers. But they don’t want this to be a Sid and Ovi swan song and could do this again as soon as next year when the festivities are in Toronto.

“You try to go out there have fun and stay in the moment,” Crosby said. “Hopefully, it’s not our last one. That’s the best way to approach it.”

HOMETOWN HEROICS

The introductions for Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk were saved for last.

And of course, the two Florida Panthers stars, representing the Atlantic Division, delivered in their home arena.

“We play regular-season and playoff games here, but with this event, it’s even more special to be here representing the Florida Panthers,” Barkov said.

Tkachuk was clearly comfortable playing in the same arena where has amassed 66 points (sixth in the NHL) this season with the Panthers. He was named All-Star MVP after his seven points (four goals, three assists) Saturday, including a goal and an assist in the Atlantic Division’s 7-5 win over the Central Division to take the All-Star game title.

“To be honest, I really didn’t care about anything other than just representing my team,” Tkachuk said, “and it’s a big honor to be one of the representatives, along with Barky, to be the host city. Without everybody saying it, it kind of revolves around us a little bit with having the home crowd on our side and doing the big skills and starting the game having the fans basically just cheering for us.”

Tkachuk had a hat trick and a pair of assists in the Atlantic squad’s semifinal game against the Metropolitan division – tying a single-game points record for the 3-on-3 All-Star format. Two of those goals were assisted by his Panthers teammate to give their squad a win 10-6 and advance to face the Central division the final.

By the time Barkov and Tkachuk came out for the All-Star game final, “Let’s go Panthers!” cheers were being belted throughout FLA Live Arena.

Barkov, the beloved Panther in his 10th season, has 14 goals this year and 33 assists. He has 234 career goals and 600 points.

BROTHERLY LOVE

Brothers Matthew Tkachuk and Brady Tkachuk have played against each other plenty over the years. But with both players starting for the Atlantic division, they got to experience playing together as the 11th set of brothers to be All-Star teammates.

The brothers each had a goal in Saturday’s semifinal game between the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions. And Brady assisted on his brother’s goal in the final against the Central division.

“We’ve always dreamt of playing with each other one way or the other,” Matthew Tkachuk said. “We thought that the best chance would be a Team USA thing at one point because I was in the West forever and he was in the Atlantic, so we never really thought this was a possibility.”

Matthew, drafted in 2016 by the Calgary Flames, is a two-time All-Star with 177 career goals and 448 points.

Brady, the younger Tkachuk sibling, was drafted in 2018 by the Ottawa Senators and has 110 career goals and 243 points.

Both were All-Stars back in 2020 in their hometown St. Louis. Brady represented the Atlantic division, while Matthew represented the Pacific squad.

WEATHER WOES

It was 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius) outside FLA Live Arena when the All-Star 3 on-3 tournament started – more than 50 degrees warmer than 2024 host Toronto. That doesn’t mean this year’s event didn’t have a weather issue.

The NHL All-Star Beach Festival – which had areas where fans could test their hockey skills, get a photo with the Stanley Cup and check out a Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit, among other things – couldn’t open on Saturday.

Rain in the morning delayed the opening on Fort Lauderdale Beach, and then 40 mph (64 kilometers per hour) wind gusts later in the day forced the NHL into keeping it closed and calling off a watch party for the All-Star Game.

It was open Thursday and Friday.

MVP Matthew Tkachuk lifts Atlantic to NHL All-Star Game win

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk was right at home at the NHL All-Star Game.

Again.

Detroit’s Dylan Larkin had a hat trick, Toronto’s Mitch Marner had three assists and the Atlantic Division topped the Central Division 7-5 in the All-Star Game final on Saturday.

All-Star Game MVP Matthew Tkachuk – playing alongside his brother Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators – had seven points on the day, after a five-point outburst in a semifinal win over the Metropolitan Division. Larkin had five goals in the Atlantic’s two games.

“We wanted to get a win for the home crowd, the fans,” Montreal’s Nick Suzuki said. “They did a good job of cheering on the Atlantic Division. We just wanted to put on a good show for them.”

And for the MVP, winning in front of Panthers fans meant more than just winning.

“It’s been an honor to play in front of them this whole year and it’s great that the other players in the league can see what a great place this is to play,” Matthew Tkachuk said. “I’m as happy as can be here.”

Arizona’s Clayton Keller, Dallas’ Jason Robertson, Colorado teammates Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen all had goals for the Central in the final. Makar also had two assists.

It was the first time the Atlantic won the All-Star Game, after six previous tries in the divisional format. The 11 players – nine skaters and two goalies – on the Atlantic roster split $1 million for the win.

“It was so much fun,” said Larkin, who had five goals in the two games. “I’m proud of how we won it. What a great group of guys … it was just a great weekend.”

Matthew Tkachuk has now been on the winning team in both of his All-Star appearances, and both times, he enjoyed the comforts of home. He helped the Pacific win the 2020 All-Star title in St. Louis, his hometown and one of the many spots that his father – Keith Tkachuk, who was in the crowd Saturday – played during his career.

“I’ve been very fortunate, the two that I’ve been in that I know the ins and the outs of everything that goes on away from the rink,” Matthew Tkachuk said. “It just made it so much more comfortable for me and extra special.”

And this one truly had home-ice advantage. Matthew Tkachuk – the former Calgary standout who picked Florida this past offseason, despite much speculation that he would be going to St. Louis – had three goals and two assists in the Atlantic’s 10-6 win over the Metropolitan in the second semifinal.

It was 3-0 Atlantic after the first half of the 20-minute final; all games under this All-Star format are 3-on-3, 20 minutes in length with a brief break after 10 minutes. The lead got to 4-0 early in the second half of the final, giving the Atlantic 10 consecutive goals; it trailed 6-4 in the semifinal before closing on a 6-0 run.

Larkin scored with 1:06 left to make it 6-2, the first of five goals in a frantic finish.

“It’s been a blast,” said Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who scored for the Atlantic with 36 seconds left to make it 7-3. “I met a lot of great people.”

NOTES: The NHL gets right back to play on Monday with six games, including a home game for Florida – meaning it’ll be a quick turnaround for the arena. … The Central Division is now the only one yet to win an All-Star Game in this format. The Pacific has three wins, the Metropolitan has three wins and now the Atlantic has one. … Florida was supposed to host this game in 2021, only to have it canceled by the pandemic. The Panthers hosted All-Star weekend in 2023. … Attendance was a sellout, 19,250.

SEMIFINAL 1: CENTRAL 6, PACIFIC 4

Keller had two goals and an assist, MacKinnon scored twice and the Central moved into the title matchup. St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and three assists for the Central. Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson had two goals, while San Jose’s Erik Karlsson and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid also scored for the Pacific.

SEMIFINAL 2: ATLANTIC 10, METROPOLITAN 6

The teams combined for a record-tying – in the 3-on-3 era, anyway – 16 goals. Matthew Tkachuk had three goals and two assists, tying a single-game record for the format. Larkin scored twice and Brady Tkachuk had a goal and three assists for the Atlantic. Columbus’ Johnny Gaudreau had three goals for the Metropolitan. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby had two goals and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin had the other.

UP NEXT

The next NHL All-Star weekend is Feb. 2-3, 2024 in Toronto.

Panthers offer Sarah Nurse deal to lead girls hockey program

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers are trying to sign a high-scoring forward who has an Olympic gold medal and two world championships, with hopes of getting the deal done in the coming days.

If it happens, she won’t be playing for the Panthers.

Sarah Nurse, the Canadian forward who had a highlight-reel goal against the New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin during the NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition, has the chance to run the Panthers’ new program designed to get more girls playing hockey.

Florida president Matthew Caldwell offered the job to Nurse publicly – very publicly, at a lectern, with a microphone, before a crowd of onlookers. And he was serious.

“I’m going to embarrass you, but we’re going to offer you a job today,” Caldwell told Nurse, who was seated in the crowd. “We want you to be the face of our girls program at the War Memorial. So, are you in? On the spot? We don’t deal with agents, OK. I’m a tough negotiator.”

The idea to hire Nurse was first floated to Caldwell by Melissa Fitzgerald. She’s the general manager for the War Memorial, which is the two-rink facility being refurbished by the team and will become its practice headquarters.

“We’ve been talking about it for a few weeks,” Caldwell told The Associated Press. “Our youth hockey team kind of brought it up as a joke to me, but I said, `Let’s think big. We’re building this huge facility. Let’s put our money where our mouth is.”‘

The only part Caldwell was less than serious about with Nurse was how the Panthers don’t deal with agents. He spoke with Nurse’s representative, Thomas Houlton, after the event.

Houlton did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He and Caldwell spoke for about 15 minutes after the event, which was attended by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Panthers stars Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk, and dozens of kids who got to play ball hockey afterward.

Nurse played for Canada’s world-champion teams in 2021 and 2022, along with Canada’s Olympic gold winners at the Beijing Games last year.

She was one of five women’s players from USA Hockey and Team Canada – the two most dominant women’s national teams in the world – who were part of the skills events. She wore custom skates highlighting Black History month and the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit focused on getting more Black girls and women into the sport.

She used a move made famous by Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg when he helped Sweden win gold at the 1994 Olympics against Shesterkin, a Vezina Trophy-winning goalie.

U.S. star Hilary Knight didn’t think Nurse’s goal should have surprised anyone, saying, “she’s a top scorer.”

Ovechkin, and Ovi Jr., take the ice at All-Star skills night

ovechkin all star
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SUNRISE, Fla. — When you’ve got the second-most goals in NHL history, you’re evidently permitted to bring a guest onto the ice for the All-Star Skills competition.

That’s why there were two No. 8 Washington jerseys out there.

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin took the ice with his Metropolitan Division teammates – and his oldest child, 4-year-old Sergei.

Sergei, named for Ovechkin’s late brother, was wearing an Ovi Jr. jersey. The kid has built a bit of a following in recent weeks, after scoring a goal at a Caps practice in December and playing a role in helping the Washington crowd celebrate his dad’s 800th goal.

It was Ovi Jr.’s first chance at being part of an All-Star weekend. His father hasn’t participated at All-Star since 2018, either because of COVID-19 or injuries. The last time his dad played in an All-Star event, Sergei hadn’t been born.

Alex Ovechkin has 812 goals. He only trails Wayne Gretzky’s 894 in NHL history.

And later in the night, Ovi Jr. got to center a line alongside his dad and Pittsburgh great Sidney Crosby. They each got an assist on a goal that Sergei scored – beating Roberto Luongo, the Florida great who came out of retirement for All-Star weekend.

Said Ovechkin after his son scored: “I think he’s really enjoying it.”

WELCOME HOME, LU

Luongo got to be part of one more All-Star competition.

In a building where a banner bearing his No. 1 jersey hangs – he’s the only former Panthers player to have that distinction – Luongo was a celebrity goaltender during the Breakaway Challenge during the Skills Competition on Friday night.

He stopped his lone shot in the breakaway, off the stick of Toronto’s Mitch Marner. On one hand, Marner is the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer this season. On the other hand, he was also wearing a white suit, sunglasses and a light blue T-shirt to keep with a “Miami Vice” theme.

Luongo, who was regaled by “Luuuuu” chants from the Florida fans all night, was up to the challenge. Marner tried to beat him to the glove side, but Luongo got enough of it to make the save – then flopped forward to cover up the rebound, the smile clearly seen through his mask.

“You got too close,” Luongo told Marner.

Later, Luongo told ESPN during the telecast of the event that “this is my house. This is my home right here. The crease is my home.”

Luongo’s pads paid tribute to his career – the design depicted his time both as a member of the Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks. They were a gift from CCM for his making the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“I’d never put the pads on since I retired,” Luongo said. “First time I put them on was this week. Felt pretty good.”

He also took part, and scored a goal, in a Florida alumni game on Wednesday night. But if there’s more alumni games, Luongo suggested he might jump back into the net.

“It back some good memories tonight to be in the blue paint, hearing the chants,” Luongo said. “Maybe one day we’ll hear them again.”

REMEMBERING JIMMY

Sergei Ovechkin – who knocked a shot into an open net during a stoppage of the skills events – wasn’t the only child who got a great view of the night.

Philadelphia forward Kevin Hayes has his 3-year-old nephew Beau with him for All-Star weekend. Beau’s father was Jimmy Hayes, Kevin Hayes’ brother.

Jimmy Hayes was 31 when he died in 2021 with fentanyl and cocaine in his system. He played for four NHL teams, including Florida.

Kevin Hayes is part of an All-Star weekend for the first time.

ANTHEM POISE

“The Star-Spangled Banner” was performed by the South Florida Gay Men’s Chorus, and group crushed it – never minding that the crowd, representing several different fan bases, was going to shout some term specific to their team at various points in the lyrics.

Florida fans shout along with “red” and “Knight,” one a nod to one of the team’s primary colors, the other for goaltender Spencer Knight. There also were some shouts from other fan bases; some St. Louis fans, for example, could be heard singing “home of the Blues” instead of “home of the brave” to close the song.

And “O Canada” performer Hannah Walpole had some shouting as she sang as well, particularly when she reached the “true North” portion of those lyrics – something typically heard at Winnipeg games.

SLAP SHOTS

Cale Makar, the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner from the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, was the first participant in the Fastest Skater event – the opening competition of the night. He fell coming around the second turn. … Tampa Bay’s Pat Maroon, one of the broadcasters on the event, reported that he was “freezing” by working at ice level. “I’m used to the gear,” said Maroon, who was in a blazer and open shirt Friday night. … A big hit for those used to the regular colors of FLA Live Arena – and basically all other hockey arenas – was the ocean-water-shade of blue used for the blue lines and the creases. The faceoff dots at the circles on either end of the ice aren’t the standard solid red this weekend, but depict an image of the sun instead.