The perfect holiday gift for every NHL team

NHL Gift Ideas
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We have seen more than a quarter of the NHL season and have started to get a sense for every team’s strengths and weaknesses heading into the holiday break. So what better time to put together a last minute shopping list to give every team in the league the one thing it needs the most for the remainder of the season and the new year ahead.

What does your team need more than anything else?

Let’s explore it!

Anaheim Ducks. Some shooting luck for Jakob Silfverberg. One goal on 59 shots this season defies logic for such a skilled player.

Arizona Coyotes. A draft lottery win. This season was always going to be miserable given the roster moves made in the summer, and the only thing that can salvage it from a fans perspective is winning the top pick in the draft (something the Coyotes have never had since moving to Arizona). They need a franchise-changing player. That is their best chance to get it.

Boston Bruins. A second-line center. Scoring depth is again a big problem for the Bruins this season and losing David Krejci has been significant.

Buffalo Sabres. A healthy and productive Alex Tuch. The Sabres need everything if we are being honest, but Tuch making his debut and helping to salvage the Jack Eichel chapter would be a positive development.

Calgary Flames. A new contract for Johnny Gaudreau. He is still a star player with productive years ahead of him and you do not want to lose that for nothing.

Carolina Hurricanes. Keeping Frederik Andersen healthy. That was always going to be a big question for him this season, and given how well he has played, they need him to stay in the lineup.

Chicago Blackhawks. A breakout season for Kirby Dach. Anything having to do with the team’s offense would be a great gift, but if they are going to build anything in the future Dach is going to have to be one of the players to help get them there.

Colorado Avalanche. Better goaltending. They are still one of the best teams in the league (and hottest teams in the league) despite the fact their goalies have provided a sub-.900 save percentage this season. Darcy Kuemper has been okay, but he can be better.

Columbus Blue Jackets. The return of Patrik Laine. It has been a tough year for Laine on the ice (injuries) and off the ice. He is still the highest ceiling player the Blue Jackets have, and when he has played this season has looked really good. He can be a game-changer. This team needs a game-changer.

Dallas Stars. More offense. The return of a healthy Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov was supposed to be significant this season. It has not quite worked out that way for a Stars team that is 20th in the league in goals per game and near the bottom during 5-on-5 play.

Detroit Red Wings. A Calder Trophy for one of their standout rookies. If this team gets into the playoffs (not out of the question) Lucas Raymond or Moritz Seider should be the runaway rookie of the year favorites.

Edmonton Oilers. An entirely new bottom-six. The numbers are what they are. When Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are not on the ice during 5-on-5 play the Oilers have been outscored 16-34 this season. They have the worst supporting cast in the NHL.

[Related: Which teams have built around their stars the best (and worst)]

Florida Panthers. Improved special teams. If they have a weakness it is on the power play (20th) and penalty kill (17th). Not a dealbreaker for a contender, but something that could be improved.

Los Angeles Kings. Their farm system to pan out. They are hanging in the playoff race with the current roster, but the real hope is with players like Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte, and Arthur Kaliyev. Their impact has not yet been felt.

Minnesota Wild. Good news on Joel Eriksson Ek. The Wild are an outstanding team that does not need much. But what they do need is for Eriksson Ek’s injury to not be too severe or keep him out for too long. He is a major part of their roster.

Montreal Canadiens. A general manager with a plan. Let’s just go with the obvious here. There is nothing on the ice in the short-term that is going to salvage this lost season, so let’s just give their fans something to look forward to in the future.

Nashville Predators. A new contract for Filip Forsberg. Similar to the Flames with Gaudreau. Not a player you want to lose for nothing, and not a player you want to trade when you have a chance to make the playoffs. Still an impact player.

New Jersey Devils. Better power play. They have a lot of problems and flaws, but a better power play could at least help fix some things.

New York Islanders. Offense. A lot of it. This has always been the Islanders’ weakness, but it has reached an entirely new level this year. There are a lot of factors at play here (the COVID situation that paused their season; injuries; just a general lack of depth) but they need more impact players than just Mathew Barzal.

New York Rangers. Breakouts from Alexis Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko. The Rangers’ rebuild got a huge boost with two straight years of draft lottery luck, but so far they have not become impact players. The fact the Rangers are as good as they are right now should be encouraging. Imagine what they could be capable of if those two become stars.

Ottawa Senators. A resurgence from Matt Murray. He started his career with two Stanley Cup championships as a rookie, regressed a little, but still got a big contract from the Senators. So far, it has not worked out. They need it to work out.

Philadelphia Flyers. A healthy Ryan Ellis. The Flyers defense needed a ton of work this offseason and they made some major changes to address it. Ellis was supposed to be the key to that. He has been limited to just four games.

Pittsburgh Penguins. Better power play. That has been the one major weakness for this team this season. Maybe the return of Evgeni Malkin helps fix that.

San Jose Sharks. A strong return for Tomas Hertl. Not sure the Sharks are going to hang around in the playoff race enough to get him to re-sign, and the Sharks are not going to let him walk for nothing. Cash in on his big season and get a haul.

Seattle Kraken. Better goaltending. Or perhaps an expansion draft re-do? They left some talent on the board for sure, but goaltending has been the single biggest issue this season.

St. Louis Blues. Vladimir Tarasenko wanting to stick around. Not trading him this offseason and Seattle not taking him in the expansion draft has been a season-changer for the Blues.

Tampa Bay Lightning. A backup goalie. What do you get for the team that has everything? That can still be one of the best teams in the league without its two best players for most of the season? Maybe a backup goalie upgrade to give Andrei Vasilevskiy a little bit of a break. Even that is not a huge need.

[Related: Lightning looking like team capable of three-peat]

Toronto Maple Leafs. Playoff success. Yeah, that is low-hanging fruit. But low-hanging fruit is still juicy and that is the only thing Toronto fans want.

Vancouver Canucks. Christmas came early with the arrival of Bruce Boudreau (but if you want to be greedy, fix the league worst penalty killing unit).

Vegas Golden Knights. A healthy Jack Eichel. Whenever he makes his debut, him being healthy and ready to make an impact would give them the dynamic, top-line center they have been lacking in their Stanley Cup quest.

Washington Capitals. A full roster. Seems simple enough. They have been without so many key players this season for extended periods of time. Let’s see what they can do when they are all there.

Winnipeg Jets. Better penalty killing unit. The Jets are at 70.6% for the season, ahead of only Vancouver and Winnipeg. Not an area you want to struggle in come playoff time.

Coyotes minority owner suspended by NHL following arrest

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NEW YORK — Arizona Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Friday following his arrest for domestic violence in Colorado.

Online court records show Barroway was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of second-degree assault strangulation, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He appeared in court Friday to be advised of the possible charges he is facing and is scheduled to back in court on April 3.

Barroway spent Thursday night in Pitkin County Jail after police arrested him at an Aspen hotel, according to a police report obtained by the Aspen Daily News.

“The National Hockey League is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes’ minority owner Andrew Barroway,” the NHL said in a statement. “Pending further information, he has been suspended indefinitely.”

The 57-year-old Barroway was arrested after a verbal altercation with his wife turned physical, according to the police report. He is prohibited from having contact with his wife, except when it involves their children, and can’t consume alcohol under a court order.

A prominent hedge fund manager, Barroway owns 5% of the Coyotes.

“We are aware of the allegation regarding Mr. Barroway and we are working with the League to gather more information,” the Coyotes said in a statement. “When we have enough information, we will have an appropriate response. Until the investigation is complete, we will have no further comment.”

Blue Jackets’ Patrik Laine out 2-4 weeks with triceps injury

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is out 2-4 weeks after straining a triceps muscle in practice, yet another blow to the last-place team in the NHL that has been hampered by injuries all season.

The Blue Jackets announced Laine’s absence before their home game against the New York Islanders.

They already have 454 man-games lost to injury, one of the highest numbers in the league, and have a record of 22-41-7.

Laine missed two separate stints with elbow and ankle injuries in the fall. The 24-year-old Finn is the team’s second-leading scorer with 52 points in 55 games.

Columbus has been top defenseman Zach Werenski since November because of a torn labrum and separated shoulder. Forward Sean Kuraly recently went on injured reserve with a strained left oblique muscle but is set to return Friday.

Tortorella earns 700th career win, Flyers top Wild 5-4

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PHILADELPHIA — John Tortorella needed one word to sum up if 700 career wins meant anything to the Flyers coach.


OK, then. Good thing the brusque Stanley Cup winner isn’t paid by the word.

James van Riemsdyk scored the only goal in a shootout, and Philadelphia beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on Thursday night for Tortorella’s 700th victory.

Tortorella is 700-573-181 in 1,454 games as an NHL head coach. His 700 wins rank 12th in NHL history and his career games rank ninth in NHL history. He led Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004. In his first season coaching the Flyers, Tortorella joined Peter Laviolette as the second American-born coach to win 700 games.

“I think the culture’s kind of changed around here,” Flyers forward Joel Farabee said. “I think he’s done a really good job of keeping the group together.”

Farabee, Scott Laughton, Rasmus Ristolainen and Tyson Foerster scored for Philadelphia. The Flyers have two straight games for the first time since Jan. 9-14 when they won three straight. Yeah, it’s been that kind of season.

“Farabee’s starting to pop, he’s looking real good. Tyson is looking real good,” Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo said. “This is all about laying the foundation for next year but we get a lot of money to do this job. It’s something we love, so we’re gonna go out and give it our best every night.”

Matt Boldy had two goals for the Wild, and Oskar Sundqvist and Marcus Foligno also scored.

“We weren’t very good. They were good,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We knew they were playing well, they played well tonight. We were loose. We were not firm, turnovers, it didn’t look like our hockey club.”

The Flyers and Wild were tied 1-all at the end of the first period, 3-3 at the end of the second and 4-4 headed into OT.

The rebuilding Flyers have been plucky of late. They had won two of three coming into the game, with the lone loss in overtime. They showed some of that grit in the final two periods, scoring late tying goals.

“It’s a credit to their group, to their coaching staff, that they’ve got them playing the right way,” Evason said.

Boldy poked a backhander past Carter Hart with 6:28 left for a 4-3 lead. The Flyers, playing more for the No. 1 pick and for pride, tied the game on Foerster’s second goal of the season.

Farabee tipped in Cam York’s shot early in the second for a 2-1 lead.

The Wild got going when Boldy ripped one top shelf past Hart for his 24th goal of the season that tied the game 2-all. Foligno scored his seventh goal for the 3-2 lead.

Ristolainen buried a hard slapper from the blue line on the power play for the tying goal with 23 seconds left in the second.

“I think it’s good to try to lay this foundation, kind of get ready for next year. You see guys getting confidence,” DeAngelo said.

The Flyers only played ahead in the first period.

Laughton scored off the rush for his 17th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. Sundqvist celebrated his birthday with a deflection for the tying goal with 3:24 left in the period.

The Flyers had been one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL until the start of this seven-game homestand (3-2 so far). They have scored at least three goals in every game and at least four in the last four.

“We have definitely gotten to the net better,” Tortorella said. “We have spent a lot of time on the ice and with tape as far as getting to that area.”


Wild: Host Chicago on Saturday.

Flyers: Host Detroit on Saturday.

Crosby reaches 30-goal mark, Penguins knock off Avalanche 5-2

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DENVER – Sidney Crosby wasn’t even aware of reaching yet another milestone. He’s simply locked in on helping the Pittsburgh Penguins make a 17th straight postseason appearance.

Jeff Carter had a pair of goals, Crosby scored on a nifty backhand shot in the second period to reach the 30-goal mark for an 11th season and the Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.

Crosby moved into a tie with Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history. Another milestone reached – it came as news to him.

“I think the most important thing for me is just try to be consistent and if that reflects that great,” said Crosby, who turns 36 in August.

Even more, Crosby’s the first player in league history to post a 30-goal campaign at 18 years old and again when he was 35-plus, according to NHL Stats.

“It means I’ve been in the league for a while,” Crosby cracked. “That’s been the thing that’s driven me since since I got into the league – in your first year, you want to prove that you belong. Even at 35, I still think you want to prove you belong, because it is a younger league.”

Jake Guentzel also scored and Bryan Rust added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who snapped a four-game slide and moved back into a wild-card spot in the East.

“It’s definitely a big one for us, for sure,” Guentzel said. “Defending champs, coming to their building, you know how good they are. Top to bottom, we defended hard and that’s what we have to do at this time of the year.”

Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots in improving to 11-4 this season against teams from the Western Conference.

J.T. Compher and Devon Toews had goals for the Avalanche, whose six-game winning streak was halted. Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his home points streak to 18 games.

It was a missed opportunity for Colorado, which could’ve pulled into a three-way tie with Dallas and Minnesota in the Central Division with a victory.

“We knew they were going to play with urgency,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “But I didn’t feel like there was any reason why we couldn’t, either. … We didn’t get it done. Hopefully we get another one.”

Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves, including several critical ones in a second period controlled by the Penguins, who outshot the Avalanche by a 21-9 margin. It could’ve been more than a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period.

Toews’ power-play goal made it 3-2 with 9:32 remaining. But Carter wrapped up the win with his first multigoal game in the regular season since Jan. 11, 2022.

“I’m thrilled for him. We’re all thrilled,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Carter. “He cares about the Penguins. He wants to win, and he wants to contribute in helping us win so we couldn’t be happier for him.”


Bednar was appreciative of the three-year extension he signed Tuesday that goes through the 2026-27 season. In his seventh season, he’s the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (March 2013) and Sullivan (December 2015).

“It’s not a forgiving league or sport, for the most part, but obviously that’s part of the reason why I’m so grateful and thankful,” Bednar said. “Because there were times over my tenure that got a little hairy and management could have made another decision. But obviously they didn’t.”


Avalanche D Cale Makar missed a second straight game with a lower body injury. “I still have him as day-to-day,” Bednar said. … F Darren Helm returned after missing 64 of 69 games this season with a lower-body injury. … Penguins D Jeff Petry (upper body) skated in the morning but sat out his third straight game. … The Penguins are 11-1 against the Central Division this season. … Penguins standout Evgeni Malkin assisted on Guentzel’s goal to reach the 50-assist mark for a seventh time in his career.


Penguins: At Dallas on Thursday night.

Avalanche: Host Arizona on Friday night.