Ducks trade Carl Hagelin to Penguins for David Perron and Adam Clendening, Canadiens and Coyotes swing a controversial deal and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Patrick Kane notched his first ever regular season hat trick as the Blackhawks won their tenth straight game. Kane now leads the NHL with 28 goals on the season.
Notable NHL Headlines.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: reports the Anaheim Ducks traded left wing Carl Hagelin to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for winger David Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a move by two clubs desperate to bolster their respective offenses. Hagelin, acquired from the New York Rangers last June for Emerson Etem (who was recently dealt by the Rangers to Vancouver), struggled in his first season with the Ducks. He’s under contract through 2018-19 at an annual cap hit of $4 million. The Pens are gambling he’ll regain the solid two-way form that he displayed during his years with the Rangers.
Perron, earning an annual cap hit of over $3.8 million,is eligible for UFA status this summer and obviously wasn’t going to be re-signed by the Penguins.With 16 points in 43 games this season, he’s not exactly tearing up the league, and his stats are only slightly better than Hagelin’s. Still, he’s got more of a nose for the net, which the Ducks are hoping he’ll rediscover. If not, he’s an affordable gamble for them, as they can just cut him loose at season’s end. The addition of Clendening gives them a depth piece to replace the recently called-up Shea Theodore on their farm team.
TSN: The Montreal Canadiens shipped little-used defenseman Jarred Tinordi and minor-league forward Stefan Fournier to the Arizona Coyotes for enforcer John Scott and defenseman Victor Bartley.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports the move gives the Canadiens a depth defenseman with NHL experience, additional cap space and roster flexibility. The trade immediately came under fire from Canadiens fans and pundits, who expected a better return for Tinordi. As Engels points out, however, the blueliner’s trade value was rock bottom.The Canadiens weren’t getting a much-needed scoring forward for him.
A bigger issue, however, is the inclusion of Scott, who will be demoted to the Habs AHL farm team. Selected by the fans as a captain for the upcoming NHL all-star game, this move now prevents him from attending the game. TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes this move was orchestrated by the league for that purpose, as Scott had intended on attending the game. If so, the league has itself to blame for this fiasco, creating this embarrassing situation.
NHL.com: Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane is leading the race for the Hart Trophy this season.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard (upper-body injury) could be sidelined for weeks.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Center Mike Richards could make his debut with the Capitals this weekend.
STLTODAY.COM: The NHL’s low-scoring woes could have more to do with accessibility to the goaltender than the size of goaltending equipment. In other words, players are finding scoring opportunities more difficult to come by.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I do think the size of goaltending equipment still plays a part. However, it’s apparent that defensive systems, which places considerable emphasis on shotblocking and clogging up scoring lanes, are the biggest factor in driving down scoring.