Two days after demotion, Rangers recall Buchnevich


After a three-point night in the AHL, Pavel Buchnevich is on his way back to the NHL.

The New York Rangers recalled Buchnevich this morning, the day after the 21-year-old forward had two goals and one assist in a Hartford Wolfpack win over Springfield.

Buchnevich was only assigned to the AHL two days ago, after the Rangers acquired Brendan Smith from Detroit.

“In order to make the deal we needed to make a move,” GM Jeff Gorton said, per the Daily News. “Another thing, Pavel needs to play. If he’s not going to play tonight (against Washington) I think we need to get him down to Hartford and play some games.”

Buchnevich has just one assist in his last 12 games for the Rangers.

Lazar welcomes trade to Flames


The Calgary Flames are gambling that Curtis Lazar isn’t a first-round bust.

The Flames acquired the 22-year-old forward from Ottawa today, along with AHL defenseman Mike Kostka. In return, the Ottawa Senators received a second-round draft pick and defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka.

Lazar has just one assist in 33 games for the Sens this season, which started with a bout with mononucleosis.

“I never really got the chance to catch my stride,” Lazar told TSN. “I’ve kind of been playing catch-up all season.”

Looking even further back, the fact Lazar made the Sens as a 19-year-old may have hurt his long-term development.

“I held my own in my first season, but I wasn’t really able to take off,” he said. “It’s kind of been stop and go my two and a half years in Ottawa. 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.”

Lazar, by the way, is no longer exempt from waivers.

Related: Welcome Curtis Lazar to the trade rumor mill 

Hansen adds more speed to Sharks, who were already faster

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The San Jose Sharks couldn’t handle the Pittsburgh Penguins’ speed.

And so, after losing the Stanley Cup Final in six games, the Sharks decided they had to get faster.

First came the signing of winger Mikkel Boedker, whose “tremendous speed is his best attribute,” said GM Doug Wilson on July 1.

The Sharks also signed defenseman David Schlemko, who brought “puck-movement speed” to the third pairing, in the words of head coach Pete DeBoer. 

Then, when the season started, there was a quasi-youth movement, as players like Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier received opportunities with the big club.

And finally, last night, the Sharks acquired right winger Jannik Hansen in a trade that sent Nikolay Goldobin to Vancouver.

“Jannik is a versatile, gritty player who plays with speed and is talented on both sides of the puck,” said Wilson. “We think he is a perfect fit for the style of our team, which has earned the right for us to make this move and add to our NHL roster as we push towards the playoffs.”

Wilson probably undersold Hansen’s speed a touch. Even at 30 years old, Hansen is still very fast.

Where DeBoer puts his newest player remains to be seen. On the third line with Tomas Hertl is one possibility. That could bump Joel Ward down to the fourth line, which may be a better spot for the 36-year-old who’s struggled offensively this season.

The thing about Hansen is that he’s versatile enough to play up and down the lineup. In Vancouver, he started out as a checker. Eventually, he was skating with the Sedins on the top scoring line.

The Sharks’ next game is tomorrow at home against, of all teams, the Vancouver Canucks.

Related: The Penguins played great defense their own way

Iginla excited and grateful for opportunity with Kings


At 39 years old, Jarome Iginla is thankful for what could be one last shot at winning a Stanley Cup.

Iginla was traded by the Colorado Avalanche today. With 619 career goals but no championship ring, he’s excited to join the Los Angeles Kings — even though his new team is currently just outside the playoff picture.

“The Kings are such a hard team to play against,” Iginla told TSN. “They get into the playoffs and they’re such a determined, competitive group that they excel. … I really appreciate the opportunity to be in meaningful, competitive games.”

It remains to be seen where Iginla will play in the Kings’ lineup. It’s possible it could be with Anze Kopitar, who could certainly use a scorer on his wing.

That being said, Iginla’s production this season — just eight goals in 61 games — leaves doubts about his ability to become the top-six winger the Kings so desperately need.

“I believe I can still produce,” said Iginla. “I hope to go there and help out, but also be a pleasant surprise. I know there’s questions and stuff about whether I can or not. I believe I can.”

A pending unrestricted free agent, Iginla couldn’t say whether retirement was looming. At the moment, he said it’s “probably 50-50” that this would be his last year. Among NHL forwards, only Jaromir Jagr, Shane Doan and Matt Cullen are older.

“It’s honestly just get ready for now and this playoff push,” said Iginla. “Hopefully a long playoff run and a championship. That’s where the focus is. I honestly don’t know what the future holds after that.”

It’s going to be a very different draft for the Red Wings


If the Detroit Red Wings finally miss the playoffs this year — and it’s a near certainty they will — their general manager, Ken Holland, will work hard this summer to make sure it doesn’t become a habit.

“We don’t want to miss two years in a row,” Holland told TSN today.

That being said, the GM is excited he’ll be going to the draft with so many selections. In the past few days, the Wings have acquired three third-round picks by selling off Brendan Smith, Thomas Vanek, and Tomas Jurco.

“Somebody told me it’s the most picks we’ve had in a draft since 2002,” said Holland. “Usually we go into these drafts with five or six picks, (because) we’ve traded picks away.”

The Wings may also draft in the top 10 for the first time since — amazingly — 1991. That was the year they took Martin Lapointe, who’s long since retired.

In spite of the losing season, Holland has been encouraged by a number of youngsters who’ve taken steps in their development, referencing Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Petr Mrazek, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Evgeny Svechnikov.

The GM didn’t have to mention Dylan Larkin, who’s still only 20. Larkin’s endured a tough sophomore season, but still has great promise.

The key for the Wings will be to add more and more young talent — especially down the middle and on the back end, which was once a great strength but is now a significant weakness.

“These moves that we made for these draft picks will allow us to pick more players,” said Holland, “and hopefully some of them will end up as Red Wings down the road.”

Related: Don’t expect a full-scale rebuild in Detroit