Blue Jackets down the Lightning, Stars best players struggling, Red Wings playoff streak in jeopardy, Panthers to host 2015 NHL Draft, Martin Brodeur talks about his future, NHL finally settles with Wayne Gretzky and more.

Blue Jackets celebrate their game-winning goal against the Lightning.

Blue Jackets celebrate their game-winning goal against the Lightning.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Nathan Horton scored his 200th career goal as the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets are surging in the Eastern Conference standings, sitting only two points out of a wild card berth. Horton’s return to action is a significant contributing factor to their recent success.

NOTE: Games involving Canadian NHL teams are recapped in “Canadian Corner”.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The combined slump of Stars forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Been coincides with the club’s current six-game losing streak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Seguin and Benn go, so go the Stars this season. It could prompt management to shop around for help.

DETROIT NEWS: A combination of injuries and several under-performing players are contributing to put the Red Wings consecutive playoff appearance streak in jeopardy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coach Mike Babcock said not to bet against his club. I certainly won’t. We saw this movie two years ago and they rallied down the stretch to make the playoffs. If they can get healthier over the next three months, they should be fine.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur isn’t ruling out playing next season, though he acknowledged if he does it could be with another team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand why Brodeur wants to keep playing. He loves it. However, there comes a time when every player has to hang ’em up. I hope Brodeur won’t sully his career by hanging around too long.

SUNSENTINEL.COM: Sources claim the Florida Panthers will host the 2015 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Finally, an excuse for a trip to Florida.

CBS SPORTS: cited a report from Sports Business Journal which claimed the 2014 Winter Classic generated a $20 million profit for the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And now you know why annual outdoor games are here to stay.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: The NHL has finally reached a settlement with Wayne Gretzky regarding nearly $8 million he was owed by former Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes as a result of the club’s bankruptcy hearings in 2009.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gretzky has quietly but firmly held the NHL at arm’s length until this issue was settled.  This could clear the path for “The Great One” to perhaps get involved in the NHL again in some capacity, perhaps as a team executive.

NBC SPORTS: Former New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovlachuk is happy playing hockey in Russia.

ESPN.COM: Former NHLer Jonathan Cheechoo is loving life in Croatia playing for the KHL.