Flames see ‘significant upside’ in Lazar


In trading for Curtis Lazar, the Calgary Flames made a commitment to a 22-year-old forward with just one assist in 33 NHL games this season.

But according to Flames GM Brad Treliving, it’s a commitment the team is excited to make.

“We’re not making this bet based on what he’s doing today. We think there is significant upside,” Treliving said, per the Calgary Herald. “He fits right in with our age group. He’s got a lot of work to do to get to the level we want him to and he’s committed to doing that.”

The Flames surrendered a second-round draft pick, as well as defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, to get Lazar out of Ottawa. The hope is that the former first-round pick can use the fresh start to get his career back on track.

“I’m looking forward to that chance where I can clear my conscience and play with some confidence again instead of just being in full-on survival mode,” said Lazar, who missed training camp due to mononucleosis and then saw his ice time under coach Guy Boucher fall to an average of 8:49.

Calgary already has a number of feisty forwards in Matthew Tkachuk, Troy Brouwer, Micheal Ferland, and Lance Bouma. And remember, when Treliving took the job in 2014, it was a goal of his to make the Flames bigger and tougher.

If Lazar pans out, they’ll become even harder to play against.

“He’s got some piss and vinegar to him,” said Treliving, “and I don’t think that’s bad to add to our group.”

Chiarelli puts faith in Brossoit down the stretch


Laurent Brossoit will play some games down the stretch.

He’ll have to after the Edmonton Oilers didn’t acquire a backup goalie for Cam Talbot at the trade deadline.

“We decided we’re going to go with the goalies that we have,” Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday, via Postmedia. “Part of our kind of overriding philosophy here, and I said this earlier in my press conference prior to this last road trip, was we wanted to give these guys a chance, the guys who got us here, and that includes (Brossoit).”

The 23-year-old Brossoit has only started two NHL games this season. He was recalled in January after Jonas Gustavsson, a bad signing by Chiarelli, cleared waivers and was sent to the AHL.

Brossoit, a rookie, is 1-1-0 with a .910 save percentage.

Talbot, meanwhile, has been the busiest goalie in the NHL. He’s been excellent — 32-18-7 with a .920 save percentage — but the Oilers, on the verge of booking their first playoff appearance in a decade, need him to stay fresh.

“We’ll have to [rest] Cam at certain points,” said Chiarelli. “And that’s been discussed between myself and the coaches. So we were not after a goalie today.”

In wake of Shattenkirk trade, an opportunity for Schmaltz


A first-round draft pick in 2012, Jordan Schmaltz has yet to play an NHL game for the St. Louis Blues.

But in the wake of the Kevin Shattenkirk trade, Schmaltz has been recalled from the AHL and could be in the Blues’ lineup soon.

“He is a puck-moving, right-shot defenseman that we are looking forward to seeing at this level,” GM Doug Armstrong said, per the Post-Dispatch.

Schmaltz — the older brother of Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz — has three goals and 22 assists in 42 games for the Chicago Wolves this season. It’s only his second professional season after spending three years at the University of North Dakota.

Read more: Have the Blackhawks finally found their first-line LW?

The Blues won’t expect Schmaltz to replace Shattenkirk, but holding down a spot on the third pairing behind fellow right shots Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko is a realistic goal.

The Blues kick off a three-game road trip tomorrow in Winnipeg. If Schmaltz does indeed make his NHL debut, he’ll likely replace 27-year-old Roberto Bortuzzo, also a right shot.

Related: With Blues in ‘precarious playoff spot,’ it was time for Shattenkirk to go

In return to Montreal, Subban has high praise for Laviolette


Saying he’s been “lucky enough” to have Jacques Martin, Randy Cunneyworth, and, yes, even Michel Therrien coach him in the NHL, P.K. Subban reserved his highest praise for his current head coach in Nashville, Peter Laviolette.

“Lavy has a really positive attitude,” Subban told a press conference in Montreal ahead of his much-anticipated return to Bell Centre tonight.

“The first thing he said to me when I came was: ‘P.K., I want you to be yourself. I don’t want you to change. We have 22 guys on this team and all 22 guys are different and we want you to be the player that you are and the person that you are,’ and that’s all I needed to hear. So it’s been really positive since I’ve been there.”

Subban’s personality was, of course, a divisive topic during his time with the Canadiens. Though he was lauded for all his charity work, some said he didn’t care enough about winning, that he was more concerned about building his personal brand.

Subban himself labeled his trade to Nashville a “personality trade.”

The more stoic Shea Weber — a “tremendous leader,” according to Habs GM Marc Bergevin — came to Montreal in the blockbuster deal. And when it went down, it was hard not to juxtapose the on-ice and off-ice styles of the two defensemen.

Read more: In talking about Weber, Bergevin said plenty about Subban

Both the Predators and Canadiens enter tonight’s action in a playoff spot. That being said, each team has had its issues. Nashville has battled consistency all season. Montreal started out great, but a stretch of poor play led to the firing of Therrien last month.

Suffice to say, it’s going to be an emotional night at Bell Centre.

Whenever’s Subban’s involved, it usually is.

Lombardi hopes the Kings get an invigorated Iginla


Dean Lombardi is hoping that Jarome Iginla will be reinvigorated by a chance to win.

The Kings’ general manager acquired the 39-year-old forward yesterday from the worst team in the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche.

“It’s really hard for top players who had great success at the end of their careers to play on teams that are struggling,” Lombardi said, per LA Kings Insider.

Iginla comes to the Kings with just eight goals in 61 games this season. He’s expected to debut on a line with Anze Kopitar, who’s having a pretty tough season himself.

“I think in terms of Jarome and the other guys who were available, the one thing about him is there’s no question about his competitiveness,” said Lombardi. “What you’re banking on is despite the age and everything else that that competitiveness can come through, and if it does, his dimension would we feel be a good fit for one of our two top centers.”

The Kings, one point back of a wild-card spot, host the Maple Leafs tonight.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to be in meaningful, competitive games,” said Iginla.

Related: Iginla excited and grateful for opportunity with Kings