Leafs and Blackhawks make a trade, Stars starting to stumble, Sidney Crosby finding his scoring touch and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr scores one of his two goals against the Wild.

Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr scores one of his two goals against the Wild.

Check out the highlights of last night’s action at NHL.com, including Jaromir Jagr leading the Panthers to their ninth straight win and Corey Crawford backstopping the Blackhawks to a shutout win over the Senators.

Notable NHL Headlines

TORONTO SUN/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt left winger Richard Panik to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Jeremy Morin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This one’s a swap of two players who could use a fresh start. Both failed to stick at the NHL level with their current teams. Considering Leafs prospect William Nylander suffered a concussion at the WJCs, Morin could be used to fill in for Nylander if the latter is sidelined from the Marlies roster for a lengthy period. 

TSN.CA: Speaking of the Blackhawks, they’ve loaned defenseman David Rundblad to the ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League A for the remainder of the season.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: At the midpoint of the season, the high-flying Dallas Stars are starting to struggle. Cracks in their defensive game, poor play on the road and undisciplined penalties are largely to blame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These issues also plagued the Stars over the last two seasons. It’ll be interesting to see if they now have the maturity and experience to overcome the problems. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: After struggling through the opening two months of this season, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has regained his scoring touch. He’s tallied nine goals and 11 assists in his last 19 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poor offensive production was among the factors behind the Penguins struggles this season. If Crosby maintain his recent scoring pace, it should help the Penguins secure a playoff berth. 

NEW YORK POST: Leadership has apparently been lacking this season from Rangers alternate captain Derek Stepan.

STLTODAY.COM: Billy Plager, one of three Plager brothers to play for the St. Louis Blues, died Sunday at age 70. He played parts of five seasons with the Blues during his nine-season NHL career between 1967-68 to 1975-76. He also skated with the Minnesota North Stars and Atlanta Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to his family and friends. 

Injury Update

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Dale Wiese (upper-body injury) will miss the next two-to-three weeks.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Canucks winger Brandon Prust is out with a left-leg injury.