Washington’s Verizon Center will become Capital One Arena


WASHINGTON (AP) The downtown home of the NBA’s Wizards and NHL’s Capitals is now called Capital One Arena.

Owner Ted Leonsis announced the change from Verizon Center on Wednesday, along with an investment of $40 million in the arena. Leonsis’ Monumental Sports & Entertainment is not disclosing the financial terms or length of the new naming-rights agreement.

It goes into effect immediately, with new signage expected by the fall.

The 20,500-seat arena located in Washington’s Chinatown neighborhood was built by late Wizards owner Abe Pollin and opened in in 1997. It was previously known as MCI Center before Verizon bought MCI in 2006.

Capital One founder, chairman and CEO Richard Fairbank is a minority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. A Monumental official said Fairbank recused himself from the negotiations.

Poll: Should the Panthers have re-signed Jaromir Jagr?


This post is part of Panthers Day on PHT…

A lot of the Florida Panthers’ off-season changes felt “old-school.”

Gone now are analytics/value-friendly forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. Jussi Jokinen was bought out. There have been a few murmurs about the Panthers at least wanting to trade Keith Yandle and/or Jason Demers, two pricey holdovers from that brief management change.

In the case of not bringing Jaromir Jagr back, it might not be as simple.

Now, it’s true that Jagr grades shockingly well in “fancy stats” for a 45-year-old. His possession numbers were pretty bonkers at times last season, to the point that it’s tough to merely chalk it up to linemates (especially since Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleskander Barkov dealt with injuries in 2016-17).

In all likelihood, Jagr’s age and specific desires ended up being too rich for the Panthers.

Florida – and other teams – likely feel that it is too risky to hand Jagr a salary in the neighborhood of $4 million, especially if he also wants a top role on the power play. There’s also the perception – fair or not – that a team has to bend its structure uncomfortably to “slow things down” for the aging legend.

That’s understandable, but Jagr still managed solid counting stats (16 goals, 46 points), played all 82 regular-season games, and is the sort of box office draw that a struggling team like the Panthers could use. He managed a 66-point campaign as recently as 2015-16.

There are some strong arguments why plenty of NHL teams should or should not sign Jaromir Jagr, but let’s focus on his most recent employers. In your opinion, did the Panthers make the right move in letting him go? Weigh in via the poll below.

Zibanejad looking for $5.35 million from Rangers in arbitration


The New York Rangers and restricted free agent forward Mika Zibanejad are scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Tuesday if they can not come to an agreement on a new contract before them.

On Sunday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the numbers both sides are looking at heading into that hearing and they don’t seem to be too far apart. According to Friedman, Zibanejad is seeking a $5.35 million salary while the Rangers have countered with an offer of $4.1 million. If the two sides were able to meet in the middle that would be in the neighborhood of around $4.7 million per season, which probably seems about right given Zibanejad’s performance and some of the contracts that have recently been signed by the likes of Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat (both will make a little more than $5 million per season, while both have been more productive).

Zibanejad, 24, is coming off of his first season with the Rangers after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators in the Derrick Brassard trade.

He was limited to just 56 games due to injury, scoring 14 goals to go with 23 assists. He scored at least 20 goals in each of the previous two seasons.

With Derek Stepan gone to Arizona Zibanejad figures to take on a bigger role this season for the Rangers.

The Rangers still have $8.4 million in salary cap space to work with, via CapFriendly.

Here’s the full 2017 NHL Draft order of selections


Here they are, all 217 selections from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft from the United Center in Chicago. For the entire Round 1 recap, complete with analysis, click here.

Round 2

32. Colorado — Conor Timmins, D, OHL Sault Ste. Marie

33. Vancouver — Kole Lind, RW, WHL Kelowna

34. Vegas — Nicolas Hague, D, OHL Mississauga

35. Philadelphia (from Arizona) — Isaac Ratcliff, LW, OHL Guelph

36. New Jersey — Jesper Boqvist, C, SHL Brynas

37. Buffalo — Marcus Davidsson, C, SHL SJurgarden

38. Detroit — Gustav Lindstrom, D, SHL Almtuna

39. Dallas — Jason Robertson, LW, OHL Kingston

40. Florida — Aleksi Heponiemi, C, WHL Swift Current

41. L.A. — Jaret Anderson-Dolan, C, WHL Spokane

42. Carolina — Eetu Luostarinen, C, SM-liiga Kalpa

43. Winnipeg — Dylan Samberg, D, Hermantown (Minnesota HS)

44. Arizona (from Philadelphia) — Filip Westerlund, D, SHL Frolunda

45. Columbus (from Tampa-Vegas) — Alexander Texier, C, France

46. New York Islanders — Robin Salo, D, SM-liiga Sport

47. Ottawa (from Calgary) — Alex Formenton, LW, OHL London

48. Tampa Bay (from Toronto) — Alexander Volkov, RW, KHL SKA St. Petersburg

49. San Jose (Boston-New Jersey) — Mario Ferraro, D, USHL Des Moines

50. Anaheim (San Jose-Toronto) — Maxime Comtois, LW, QMJHL Victoriaville

51. Pittsburgh (St. Louis) — Zachary Lauzon, D, WMJHL Rouyn-Noranda

52. Carolina (New York Rangers) — Luke Martin, D, NCAA Michigan

53. Boston (Edmonton) — Jack Studnicka, C, OHL Oshawa

54. Buffalo (Minnesota) — Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, G, SM-liiga HPK

55. Vancouver (Columbus) — Jonah Gadjovich, LW, OHL Owen Sound

56. Montreal — Josh Brook, D, WHL Moose Jaw

57. Chicago — Ian Mitchell, D, AJHL Spruce Grove

58. Montreal (Washington) — Joni Ikonen, C, SHL Frolunda

59. Toronto (Ottawa) — Eemeli Rasanen, D, OHL Kingston

60. Anaheim — Antoine Morand, C, QMJHL Acadie-Bathurst

61. Nashville — Grant Mismash, LW, US U-18 NTDP

62. Vegas (Pittsburgh-Carolina) — Jake Leschyshyn, C, WHL Regina

Round 3

63. New Jersey (Colorado) — Fabian Zetterlund, LW, SHL Farjestad

64. Vancouver — Michael DiPietro, G, OHL Windsor

65. Vegas — Jonas Rondbjerg, RW, SHL Vaxjo

66. Florida (Arizona) — Maxwell Gildon, D, USA U-18 NTDP

67. Carolina (New Jersey) — Morgan Geekie, C, WHL Tri-City

68. Montreal (Buffalo) — Scott Walford, D, WHL Victoria

69. Arizona (Detroit-San Jose) — MacKenzie Entwistle, RW, OHL Hamilton

70. Chicago (Dallas) — Andrei Altybarmakyan, RW, KHL Lvy St. Petersburg

71. Detroit (Florida) — Kasper Kotkansalo, D, USHL Sioux Falls

72. L.A. Matt Villalta, G, OHL Sault Ste. Marie

73. Carolina — Stelio Mattheos, RW, WHL Brandon

74. Winnipeg — Jonathan Kovacevic, D, NCAA Merrimack

75. Arizona (Philadelphia) — Nate Scharr, C, OHL Guelph

76. Tampa Bay — Alexei Lipanov, C, KHL Balashikha

77. New York Islanders — Benjamin Mirageas, D, USHL Chicago

78. Edmonton (Calgary-Arizona) — Stuart Skinner, G, WHL Lethbridge

79. Detroit (Toronto) — Lane Zablocki, RW, WHL Red Deer

80. Philadelphia (Boston) — Kirill Utimenko, G, KHL Dynamo St. Petersburg

81. New Jersey (San Jose) — Reilly Walsh, D, Proctor Academy (New Hampshire HS)

82. Arizona (St. Louis-Edmonton) — Cameron Crotty, D, CCHL Brockville

83. Detroit (New York Rangers) — Zach Gallant, C, OHL Peterborough

84. Edmonton — Dmitri Samorukov, D, OHL Guelph

85. Minnesota — Ivan Lodina, RW, OHL Erie

86. Columbus — Daniil Tarasov, G, KHL Ufa

87. Montreal — Cale Fleury, D, WHL Kootenay

88. Detroit (Chicago-Carolina-Chicago) — Keith Petruzzelli, G, USHL Muskegon

89. Buffalo (Washington) — Oskari Laaksonen, D, SM-liiga Ilves

90. Chicago (Ottawa-Carolina) — Evar Barratt, C, US U-18 NTDP

91. Anaheim — Jack Badini, C, USHL Chicago

92. Nashville — David Farrance, D, US U-18 NTDP

93. Pittsburgh — Clayton Phillyips, D, USHL Fargo

Round 4

94. Colorado — Nick Henry, RW, WHL Regina

95. Vancouver — Jack Rathbone, D, Dexter School (Massachusetts HS)

96. Vegas — Maksim Zhukov, G, USHL Green Bay

97. Minnesota (Arizona) Mason Shaw, C, WHL Medicine Hat

98. New Jersey — Nikita Popugaev, LW, WHL Prince George

99. Buffalo — Jacob Bryson, D, NCAA Providence

100. Detroit — Malte Setkov, D, SHL Malmo

101. Dallas — Liam Hawel, C, OHL Guelph

102. San Jose (Florida-New York Rangers) — Scott Reedy, C, US U-18 NTDP

103. L.A. — Michael Anderson, D, USHL Waterloo

104. Carolina — Eetu Makiniemi, G, KHL Jokerit

105. Winnipeg — Santeri Virtanen, C, SM-liiga TPS

106. Philadelphia — Matthew Strome, LW, OHL Hamilton

107. Philadelphia (Tampa Bay) — Maskim Sushko, RW, OHL Owen Sound

108. Arizona (New York Islanders-Philadelphia) — Noel Hoefenmayer, D, OHL Ottawa

109. Calgary — Adam Ruzicka, C, OHL Sarnia

110. Toronto — Ian Scott, G, WHL Prince Albert

111. Boston — Jeremy Swayman, G, USHL Sioux Falls

112. Chicago (San Jose-Vancouver) — Tom Siderlund, C, SHL Skelleftea

113. St. Louis — Alexey Toropchenko, RW, KHL Balashikha

114. Colorado (New York Rangers) — Petr Kvaca, G, Czech League Budejovice

115. Edmonton — Ostap Safin, RW, Czech League Sparta

116. Minnesota — Bryce Misley, C, OJHL Oakville

117. Columbus — Emil Bemstrom, C, SHL Leksand

118. L.A. (Montreal-Dallas) — Markus Phillips, D, OHL Owen Sound

119. Chicago — Roope Laavainen, D, KHL Jokerit

120. Washington — Tobias Geisser, D, Swiss League Zug

121. Ottawa — Drake Batherson, C, QMJHL Cape Breton

122. Anaheim — Kyle Olson, RW, WHL Tri-City

123. New York Rangers (Nashville-New Jersey-San Jose) — Brandon Crawley, D, OHL London

124. Toronto (Pittsburgh) — Vladislav Kara, LW, KHL Ak Bars Kazan

Round 5

125. Colorado — Igor Shvyrev, D, KHL Magnitogorsk

126. Arizona (Vancouver-Edmonton) — Michael Karow, D, USHL Youngstown

127. Vegas — Lukas Elvenes, RW, SHL Rogle

128. Arizona — Tyler Steenbergen, C, WHL Swift Current

129. New Jersey — Gilles Senn, G, Swiss League Davos

130. St. Louis (Buffalo) — David Noel, D, QMJHL Val-D’Or

131. Detroit — Cole Fraser, D, OHL Peterborough

132. Dallas — Jacob Peterson, C, SHL Frolunda

133. Florida — Tyler Inamoto, D, US U-18 NTDP

134. L.A. — Cole Hults, D, USHL Madison

135. Vancouver (Carolina-Chicago) — Kristoffer Gunnarsson, D, SHL Frolunda

136. Winnipeg — Leon Gawanke, D, QMHJL Cape Breton

137. Philadelphia — Noah Cates, LW, Stillwater (Minnesota HS)

138. L.A. (Tampa Bay) — Drake Rymsha, C, OHL Sarnia

139. New York Islanders — Sebastian Aho, D, SHL Skelleftea

140. Calgary — Zach Fischer, RW, WHL Medicine Hat

141. Toronto — Fedor Gordeev, D, OHL Flint

142. Vegas (Boston-Carolina) — Jonathan Dugan, LW, Northwood School (New York HS)

143. New Jersey (San Jose) — Marian Studenic, RW, OHL Hamilton

144. Chicago (St. Louis) — Parker Foo, LW, AJHL Brooks

145. New York Rangers — Calle Sjalin, D, SHL Ostersund

146. Edmonton — Kirill Maksimov, RW, OHL Niagara

147. Minnesota — Jacob Golden, D, OHL London

148. Columbus — Kale Howarth, LW, BCHL Trail

149. Montreal — Jarret Tyszka, D, WHL Seattle

150. Chicago — Jakub Galvas, D, Czech League Olomouc

151. Washington — Sebastian Walfridsson, D, SHL Modo

152. Pittsburgh (Ottawa) — Jan Drozg, LW, SHL Leksand

153. Anaheim — Olle Eriksson Ek, G, SHL Farjestad

154. Nashville — Tomas Vomacka, G, NAHL Corpus Christi

155. Pittsburgh — Linus Olund, C, SHL Brynas

Round 6

156. Colorado (Colorado-San Jose) — Denis Smirnov, RW, NCAA Penn State

157. New York Rangers (Vancouver) — Dominik Lakatos, C, Czech League Liberec

158. Vegas — Nick Campoli, C, OJHL North York

159. San Jose (Arizona) — Jacob McGrew, RW, WHL Spokane

160. New Jersey — Aarne Talvitie, C, SM-liiga Blues

161. Vegas (Buffalo) — Jiri Patera, G, Czech League Budejovice

162. Detroit — John Adams, RW, USHL Fargo

163. Dallas — Brett Davis, RW, WHL Kootenay

164. Detroit (Florida) — Reilly Webb, D, OHL Hamilton

165. New York Islanders (L.A.) — Arnaud Durandeau, LW, QMJHL Halifax

166. Carolina — Brendan De Jong, D, WHL Portland

167. Winnipeg — Arvid Holm, G, SHL Karlskrona

168. Philadelphia — Olle Lycksell, RW, SHL Linkoping

169. Tampa Bay — Nicklaus Perbix, D, Elk River (Minnesota HS)

170. Columbus (New York Rangers-Chicago) — Jonathan Davidsson, RW, SHL Djurgarden

171. Calgary — D’Artagnan Joly, RW, QMJHL Baie-Comeau

172. Toronto — Ryan McGregor, C, OHL Sarnia

173. Boston — Cedric Pare, C, QMJHL Saint John

174. New York Rangers (San Jose) — Morgan Barron, C, St. Andrews College (Ontario HS)

175. St. Louis — Trenton Bourque, D, OHL Owen Sound

176. Nashville (New York Rangers) — Pavel Koltygin, C, QMJHL Drummondville

177. Edmonton — Skyler Brind’Amour, C, U18 Selects Academy (USMAAE)

178. Minnesota — Andrei Svetlakov, C, KHL CSKA

179. Columbus — Carson Meyer, RW, NCAA Miami (OH)

180. Tampa Bay (Montreal) — Cole Guttman, C, USHL Dubuque

181. Vancouver (Chicago) Petrus Palmu, RW, OHL Owen Sound

182. Washington — Benton Maass, D, Elk River (Minnesota HS)

183. Ottawa — Jordan Hollett, G, WHL Regina

184. Florida (Anaheim) — Sebastian Repo, RW, SM-liiga Tappara

185. San Jose (Nashville-New Jersey Devils) Alexander Chmelevski, C, OHL Ottawa

186. Pittsburgh — Antti Palojarvi, D, SM-liiga Luuko

Round 7

187. Colorado — Nick Leivermann, D, Eden Prairie (Minnesota HS)

188. Vancouver — Matt Brassard, D, OHL Oshawa

189. Vegas — Ben Jones, C, OHL Niagara

190. Arizona — Erik Walli Walterholm, RW, SHL Djugarden

191. New Jersey — Jocktan Chainey, D, QMJHL Halifax

192. Buffalo — Linus Weissbach, LW, USHL Tri-City

193. Detroit — Brady Gilmour, C, OHL Saginaw

194. Dallas — Dylan Ferguson, G, WHL Kamloops

195. Boston (Florida) — Victor Berglund, D, SHL Modo

196. Philadelphia (LA-Tampa Bay) — Wyatt Kalynuk, D, USHL Bloomginton

197. Carolina — Eemeli Rasanen, D, SM-liiga Jokipojat

198. Winnipeg — Skyler McKenzie, LW, WHL Portland

199. Montreal (Philadelphia) — Cayden Primeau, G, USHL Lincoln

200. Tampa Bay — Samuel Walker, C, Edina (Minnesota HS)

201. New York Islanders — Logan Cockerill, LW, US U-18 NTDP

202. Calgary — Filip Sveningsson, LW, SHL HV 71

203. Toronto — Roan O’Connell, D, St. Andrew’s College (Ontario HS)

204. Boston — Daniel Bukac, D, WHL Brandon

205. New Jersey (San Jose) — Yegor Zaitsev, D, KHL Balashikha

206. St. Louis — Lias Andersson, D, SHL Lulea

207. New York Rangers — Patrik Virta, C, SM-liiga TPS

208. Edmonton — Philip Kemp, D, US U-18 NTDP

209. Minnesota — Nick Swaney, RW, USHL Waterloo

210. Columbus — Robbie Stucker, D, St. Thomas (Minnesota HS)

211. Winnipeg (Montreal) — Croix Evingson, D, NAHL Shreveport

212. San Jose (Chicago) — Ivan Chekhovich, LW, QMJHL Baie-Comeau

213. Washington — Kristian Roykas Marthinsen, LW, SHL Almtuna

214. New Jersey (Ottawa-San Jose) — Matthew Hellickson, D, USHL Sioux City

215. Chicago (Anaheim) — Joshua Ess, D, Lakeville South (Minnesota HS)

216. Nashville — Jacob Paqutte, D, OHL Kingston

271. Pittsburgh — William Reilly, D, NCAA RPI

Let’s talk about why the Penguins traded for Ryan Reaves


From a big picture perspective the Pittsburgh Penguins acquisition of Ryan Reaves on Friday night isn’t really a major deal. Normally teams swapping fourth-liners and 20 draft spots wouldn’t be the type of move that would move the needle or send any sort of a ripple through the NHL.

This one is a little different.

This is the Pittsburgh Penguins — the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions — ever so slightly deviating from the path that made them the best team in hockey the past two seasons.

As general manager Jim Rutherford put it on Friday night after the trade, “We’re getting a little bit tired of getting beat up game after game.”

Rutherford was critical of the way superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were treated during the postseason and talked about how his team would pretty much have to add one or two players to take care of it since the league does not seem to protect its stars.

Commissioner Gary Bettman quickly dismissed that criticism upon hearing it.

On Friday, Rutherford added that guy and the discussion quickly turned toward the element Reaves brings and what it might mean for the Penguins.

Coach Mike Sullivan talked about how opponents played the Penguins “harder” this past season and that they expect it to continue again this upcoming season, and that Reaves can help with “a little pushback” and how teams “take notice” when he is in the lineup.

Reaves himself talked about what he can provide for the Penguins’ stars.

Here he is, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“It’s more just making sure everybody on the ice knows I’m coming every night. You go run one of my guys, you’ve got 230 pounds coming right back at you. Sometimes that makes guys think twice. When you’re 190 pounds soaking wet and you’re going after somebody on my team, and you’ve got somebody that’s 230 coming after you, sometimes it’s a deterrent, sometimes it’s not. But I think that’s kind of how I’ve established myself over the last year.”

This isn’t the first time the Penguins have been inspired to go down this path due to the treatment of their superstars.

During the 2013-14 playoffs New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi and Marc Staal made a habit out of using the back of Crosby’s head and neck for cross-checking target practice in front of the net.

The response from Pittsburgh was outrage that nobody responded and for the team to add some sort of muscle to help take care of that.

Then this happened the following summer.

That guarantee went unfulfilled.

Liberties were still taken against not only Crosby and Malkin, but also against the Penguins’ other superstar, defenseman Kris Letang. He was on the receiving end of two brutal hits that injured him during the year. One resulting in a lengthy suspension to Zac Rinaldo, and another from Shane Doan that knocked Letang out of the lineup for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.

They also tried it with Tom Sestito when they brought him in on a pro tryout contract. He ended up playing 17 games in two years with the Penguins. He was ejected from two of them.

Here he is at the time of his initial tryout talking about what he wanted to provide.

“When you play other teams and they have somebody who not only can play but can run their other guys, you see them holding off,” Sestito said. “They’re not going to be running other guys. Their third- and fourth-line guys aren’t going to run your guys.”

The names change. The idea remains the same.

Deter. Make them hesitate. Make them think about it. Answer back.

Still, the abuse continues.

All of this is a little unfair to Reaves because to his credit he has worked hard to improve his game as a hockey player and to be a little more than just hired muscle. He has worked to adapt his style to the faster NHL and to improve his play defensively. There was evidence of that this past season when he set career highs in goals and points.

If the focus on this acquisition were on that, or on his ability to forecheck, this would simply be a trade involving a couple of fourth-liners and we wouldn’t be talking about it right now.

But we keep going back to the presence, and the element, and pushback, and protection, and deterrence, mainly because that’s what the Penguins seemed to be after with this trade. Or at least what they seem to be selling.

So will any of that work? Can Reaves actually provide that sort of protection?

There is no doubt he will be willing to respond after the fact, because even though his fight totals have decreased in recent years he is still a willing heavyweight.

The issue is whether or not he can stop even a little bit of the abuse toward his teammates by making opponents like Washington’s Tom Wilson or Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky (two of the biggest thorns in the Penguins’ side) take notice.

The easiest way to answer that now is to look at what sort of abuse the Blues — Reaves’ former team — took in recent years.

It was a lot.

Over the past four seasons the St. Louis Blues — Reaves’ former team — were on the receiving end of eight incidents that resulted in supplemental discipline from the NHL (suspension or fine), typically reserved for the dirtiest plays. The only team that was on the receiving end of more during that stretch was the Boston Bruins (10 –and keep in mind, this was a team that had Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic for most of those years).

During one nine-day stretch in 2014 the Blues lost T.J. Oshie and David Backes to head shots. The two hits resulted in seven games in suspensions while Oshie and Backes both missed playoff games. Reaves was in the lineup both nights.

The next season Minnesota’s Marco Scandella was fined for an illegal hit to the head on Oshie. Last year New Jersey’s Bobby Farnham was hit with a four-game ban for taking a late, cheap run at Dmitri Jaskin while Reaves was on the ice. There are also several other borderline hits that did not result in supplemental discipline (like this, and this, and this).

This isn’t to suggest that Reaves is bad at his job or that he is somehow responsible for those plays.

It is to point out that dirty stuff is still going to happen to star players whether he — or any player like him — is there or not.

Players like Tom Wilson, and Brandon Dubinsky, and Bobby Farnham are paid a lot of money to rattle the cages of players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. That is what they do. That is their role and they are going to do it whether there is a physical element in the other team’s lineup or not.

The only thing that can stop it is a significant crackdown from the league to hand out harsher punishments when it happens.

It is very possible that Reaves can be a useful fourth-liner for the Penguins. He will play physical, he will be aggressive on the forecheck, he might chip in a few goals. Is he better than whatever alternative options they could have had for that spot? Or what they had in that spot a year ago? That remains to be seen.

The cost to acquire him really isn’t that high. Oskar Sundqvist seems to have limited upside and the difference between the No. 31 and 51 picks is typically insignificant, especially in what is thought to be a weaker class.

But if the Penguins are hoping for Reaves’ presence to stop opposing players from taking liberties against their stars they are probably setting themselves up for disappointment.

All it might do is get them the occasional pound of flesh in return after the fact and whatever satisfaction that brings them.

Maybe that is all they are looking for. Maybe it is a message to the league itself.

Whatever the reason, it is something they did not need on their way to consecutive championships.