I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Poor Ondrej Palat



So, here’s a funny one, unless you are:

  • Ondrej Palat
  • Nikita Kucherov, though he does have license to rib Palat for … life?
  • A Tampa Bay Lightning fan without a sense of humor.

The rest of us? We’ll be giggling after watching a loop of Palat somehow missing the net altogether after a beautiful Kucherov pass. A goal would have tied Wednesday’s Carolina Hurricanes – Tampa Bay Lightning game, but alas, it was not to be.


Palat already has an assist in this one, so this obviously isn’t a knock on his overall game. Really, his general goodness just makes that clip funnier.

Unless you’re … well, go back to that list.

Landeskog, Duchene on staying with Avs; McKenzie explains lack of trade

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With Kevin Shattenkirk joining the Capitals, the trade deadline’s biggest targets were Colorado forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene. Once the deadline passed, both remained members of the Avalanche.

Both seemed relieved to get beyond the speculation … at least for now.

“I’m glad it’s over. It’s nice to be able to move on,” Duchene said. “I owe it to this team to be present, mind and body.”

It sounds like Landeskog is glad he can still be this team’s captain.

Of course, for some, the lack of movement merely means that the questions transition from the trade deadline to the off-season.

With Duchene at 26 and Landeskog at 24, it’s conceivable that the Avalanche may decide that they want those two forwards to remain core guys after months of reflection. It’s plausible to picture a rebuild working well with one or both of them still in the fold.

Even so, their ages and abilities make them desirable trade targets, and as insider Bob McKenzie discusses in the video above this post’s headline, the market is likely to be larger for each player during the summer.

So maybe neither guy should get too comfortable.

Flyers lose Raffl for six-to-eight weeks


The Philadelphia Flyers made a lot of news on Wednesday, and that’s not exclusive to the Valtteri FilppulaMark Streit trade.

GM Ron Hextall also re-signed Michal Neuvirth and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to two-year extensions, but there was also some bad injury news: Michael Raffl is out for six-to-eight weeks, as CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio reports.

Panaccio indicates that the lower-body injury could specifically be knee-related.

So, the bad news is that Raffl’s season looks just about over if the Flyers fail to make the playoffs. Not needing surgery is a bright spot, however.

This continues what’s been a rough year for Raffl, who generated 11 points in 52 games for the Flyers.

WATCH LIVE: Penguins at Blackhawks – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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The schedule is light as the smoke clears on the 2017 trade deadline, but one of Wednesday’s two games is especially enticing: the Pittsburgh Penguins at Chicago Blackhawks.

That matchup airs on NBCSN as the latest edition of “Wednesday Night Rivalry.”

The Penguins and Blackhawks were quiet – by their standards – during the deadline, but each team attempted to enhance their chances with some upgrades. It remains to be seen who will manage to actually suit up tonight, but these two teams never lack for star power regardless.

It all shapes up for an interesting matchup. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.

Vrbata is glad Coyotes didn’t trade him; Doan? Well …


The Arizona Coyotes earned at least one dope’s vote as winners for the Martin Hanzal trade, but on deadline day itself, they received plenty of criticism for failing to move Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata.

… At least Vrbata’s glad to stay.

“I’m happy,” Vrbata said. “There was a reason why I signed here, and I wanted to finish the season here. I’m glad nothing happened.”

Vrbata’s best numbers have come with the Coyotes, with the 2016-17 season being another nice campaign for him. It’s a good thing for his family and it must be noted that the structure of his contract likely factored into a lack of move.

Now, the Coyotes not moving Shane Doan? That’s a bit of a different story, maybe.


For some, that’s a letdown, especially since the Colorado Avalanche managed to find a home for Jarome Iginla.

Still, when you ponder teams staying idle with certain players, it’s tempting to dream up GMs being offered stacks of assets for such targets, only to do nothing. But, really, how much was on the table for Doan and others? Ultimately, Coyotes GM John Chayka decided that the answer was “not enough.”