NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – February 25, 2020

Zach Parise was nearly traded to the Islanders, plus a post-trade deadline look at the Leafs and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

PARISE TO ISLANDERS DEAL FELL THROUGH

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild were working on a trade before yesterday’s deadline that would’ve sent winger Zach Parise to the New York Islanders. It was a complicated deal that also would’ve seen Islanders winger Andrew Ladd head to the Wild. Wild general manager Bill Guerin declined to discuss the details.

A deal that would sent Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise to the NY Islanders fell through before the trade deadline (Photo via NHL Images).

Parise and Ladd both agreed to waive their no-movement clauses to allow the deal to happen. It’s unclear what caused it to fall through, but it may have been tied to the players’ contracts. Parise is signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of over $7.5 million, while Ladd has three years remaining at $5.5-million.

Russo cited sources claiming a Parise-to-the-Islanders trade was discussed last summer with then-Wild GM Paul Fenton, but Fenton didn’t want to take back Ladd in the deal. Guerin said he has a good relationship with Parise and is happy the winger is still with the Wild.

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports Guerin said there’s a chance the Wild and Islanders could revisit trade talks this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the Wild and Islanders circle back to these discussions in June. They’ll have more time to hammer out a possible deal and more salary-cap space to work with. Perhaps the Islanders wanted the Wild to retain a portion of Parise’s salary. That might explain why the talks fell through.

LEAFS UNLIKELY TO RE-SIGN BARRIE

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas declined to say whether he’ll re-sign pending free-agent defenseman Tyson Barrie. He said he’d use the remaining time to see if there’s a fit, but noted it wouldn’t be easy given their current salary-cap situation.

TSN: Bob McKenzie said the Leafs were seeking a first-round pick and a prospect for Barrie leading up to yesterday’s NHL trade deadline. “They want to try to do a deal like St Louis did with Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals three years ago. Or they want to do a deal like Andrej Sekera to the LA Kings from Carolina five years ago,” said McKenzie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barrie’s a goner this summer. I expect the Leafs will attempt to shop his rights for a draft pick before July 1.

LATEST ON THE JETS

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said sidelined defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has no interest in playing this season. His $7.6-million salary-cap hit for this season is off their books and they’ll attempt to trade him at some point. Byfuglien has one season remaining on his contract.

THE ATHLETIC: Ken Wiebe suggests how things shake out for the Jets down the stretch could determine what the roster looks like next season. If they don’t make some noise, Wiebe feels Cheveldayoff could have little choice but to make a bolder move involving one of his core players.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike McIntyre observes Cheveldayoff will have the salary-cap flexibility this summer to land a prized free agent or swing a major trade. The groundwork for an off-season player-for-player swap may have been laid based on discussions he’d had leading up to yesterday’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Byfuglien decides to retire, the remaining year of his contract comes off the Jets’ books. If he still wants to play, interested parties will want assurances he’s fully recovered from his ankle injury.

As for the off-season, we’ll have to wait and see how things shake out for the Jets over the remainder of the current schedule. If they fail to reach the playoffs or make an early post-season exit, they will be the subject of considerable summer trade conjecture.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 20, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – February 20, 2020

The Jets are reportedly trying to trade Dustin Byfuglien, plus the latest on the Avalanche, Blackhawks, and Flyers in today’s NHL rumor mill.

JETS TRYING TO TRADE BYFUGLIEN

TSN: Frank Seravalli cites sources claiming trade talks involving Dustin Byfuglien have increased in recent days. The big defenseman has been suspended without pay by the Winnipeg Jets since the start of the season. He has yet to resume skating after undergoing ankle surgery in late-October. There’s no guarantee he’ll be traded as his return to action this season remains a long shot.

Winnipeg Jets trying to trade Dustin Byfuglien before the upcoming trade deadline (Photo via NHL Images).

Those close to Byfuglien wonders if he might be rejuvenated by reuniting with his old Chicago coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Dale Tallon with the Florida Panthers. Or perhaps the Minnesota native might consider the Wild an attractive destination. Byfuglien must be on a team’s reserved list by the Feb. 24 trade deadline to be eligible for the post-season.

Byfuglien is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $7.6 million. He had filed a grievance against the Jets with the NHLPA, but Seravalli said that became moot once the blueliner declined to continue the on-ice portion of his rehab in January. The Jets can still terminate Byfuglien’s contract after the trade deadline if unable to move him before then.

THE SCORE: Josh Gold-Smith lists the Panthers, Wild, and Toronto Maple Leafs as possible trade destinations for Byfuglien.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is setting a high asking price for Byfuglien. He’ll want to get that cap hit off his books as soon as possible and use the savings to bolster his roster.

As Seravalli points out, if Cheveldayoff can’t find a trade partner, he can still use the cap savings from Byfuglien’s suspension before the trade deadline and terminate his contract afterward without incurring a penalty. Byfuglien was suspended for refusing to report to camp and underwent ankle surgery without consulting team doctors. That’s sufficient grounds for the Jets to terminate his contract.

The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck suggests Minnesota’s Matt Dumba, Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Ottawa’s Vaclav Namestnikov, and Buffalo’s Conor Sheary as trade options for the Jets, but we don’t know if Cheveldayoff is targeting those players. Namestnikov and Sheary would be more affordable in terms of salary and return than Dumba and Manson. Billeck also suggested New Jersey’s P.K. Subban, but I don’t see that move happening.

LATEST ON THE AVALANCHE

THE ATHLETIC: Ryan S. Clark took note of the presence of Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin at two recent Colorado Avalanche games and the speculation linking the injury-plagued Avs to Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar. Looking at what the Tampa Bay Lightning paid for Blake Coleman and the Vancouver Canucks for Tyler Toffoli, the asking price for Tatar could be costly. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said the recent rash of injuries won’t change the club’s trade-deadline plans, adding he might look for a depth goaltender.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater reports Sakic also indicated there are certain players his club has been eyeing that would be impact players in the dressing room. He also said top prospects Bo Byram, Connor Timmins, Martin Kaut, and Alex Newhook aren’t going anywhere.

Dater believes Sakic seeks a player-for-player deal. He also suggested New York Rangers backup Alexandar Georgiev, Chicago’s Robin Lehner, Anaheim’s Ryan Miller, or Ottawa’s Craig Anderson as goalie trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin’s presence in Denver has certainly stoked speculation he and Sakic could be cooking up a deal. If Tatar is available, I’d assume Bergevin would want a good young player as part of the return.

Nikita Zadorov and Ryan Graves have been floated on the internet as trade candidates, but I don’t see Sakic weakening his defense by moving either guy. Tyson Jost also surfaced in the rumor mill, but the 21-year-old forward is seeing fourth-line duty as he struggles to play up to expectations as a former first-round (10th overall) draft pick. Sakic should have an easier time finding a decent backup goalie.

UPDATE ON THE BLACKHAWKS

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus report the Chicago Blackhawks have set high asking prices (first-round picks, prospects) for potential rentals like goaltender Robin Lehner and defenseman Erik Gustafsson. So far, no one’s biting. Any club interested in Dominik Kubalik, Alex Nylander, Ian Mitchell could find the asking price too overwhelming.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Jesse Granger suggested Gustafsson as a good fit for the Vegas Golden Knights. He believes the Blackhawks blueliner could be had for a reasonable price. That’s assuming the Hawks end up lowering their prices if their rental players haven’t moved when deadline day dawns.

NO PAGEAU FOR THE FLYERS?

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall doubts the Philadelphia Flyers will be able to acquire center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He doubts the Senators will retain any of Pageau’s salary, and their asking price (first- or second-round pick, plus a prospect) would be too expensive for a rental player.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2020

The effect of a potential mutual contract termination between the Jets and Dustin Byfuglien, some possible goalie trade targets for the Leafs, and the latest on Josh Anderson in today’s NHL rumor mill.

MUTUAL CONTRACT TERMINATION FOR BYFUGLIEN AND THE JET?

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck cited a report by TSN’s Frank Seravalli claiming the Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien’s representatives are working toward a mutual contract termination. It would also address the grievance filed by the Byfuglien camp in November over his suspension without pay. The 34-year-old defenseman didn’t report to training camp and subsequently underwent ankle surgery.

The Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien are reportedly working toward a mutual contract termination (Photo via NHL Images).

The agreement would make Byfuglien an unrestricted free agent after clearing unconditional waivers. He would also forfeit the $8 million in salary he’s owed for this season and $6 million he’s owed for 2020-21, the final season of his contract. It would clear his $7.6-million annual average value from the Jets’ salary-cap payroll this season and next.

Regarding questions over why the Jets didn’t trade Byfuglien, Billeck points out the big blueliner’s ankle surgery make his trade value nil for this season. Uncertainty over his status would also make him difficult to move him in the offseason.

The Jets are reportedly in the market for a top-four defenseman. Freeing up Byfuglien’s cap hit would provide them additional flexibility to make that move before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet reports Byfuglien could be placed on waivers as early as today. If Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is shopping around for a top-four defenseman, the sooner this happens, the better.

Based on comments made by coach Paul Maurice, I don’t think they’re in the market for a rental player. They’ll likely pursue one with term remaining on his contract.

GOALTENDING TRADE TARGETS FOR THE LEAFS

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox believes the Toronto Maple Leafs should pursue goaltending depth before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Last night’s injury to starter Frederik Andersen and backup Michael Hutchinson’s inconsistency should serve to hasten GM Kyle Dubas’ efforts.

Fox suggests Los Angeles’ Jack Campbell, Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith, the Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev, San Jose’s Aaron Dell, Chicago’s Corey Crawford or Robin Lehner, Ottawa’s Craig Anderson, and Anaheim’s Ryan Miller as trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Campbell’s availability could depend upon whether Kings’ management believes Cal Petersen is ready to become Jonathan Quick’s full-time understudy. Landing DeSmith or Georgiev could cost the Leafs a good, young winger. Dell’s had his issues with consistency over the last couple of seasons.

With the Blackhawks in playoff contention, Crawford and Lehner aren’t going anywhere. Anderson could be a viable option, provide the Leafs aren’t on his 10-team no-trade list. Remember, the Leafs and Senators have a recent trade history. While Miller’s career is winding down, I doubt he’s keen to leave his family behind in Anaheim for a final shot at pursuing the Stanley Cup.

BRUINS, CANADIENS INTERESTED IN ANDERSON?

TVA SPORTS: cites BostonHockeyNow’s Jimmy Murphy reporting sources claiming the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are among a long list of teams interested in Columbus’ Josh Anderson. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is said to be willing to entertain offers for the 6’3″, 222-pound Anderson.

The 25-year-old winger is in the final season of a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $1.85 million. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

Anderson’s trade value has been affected this season by his low production and injuries. Murphy said it’s believed the Jackets’ asking price could be a prospect and a second-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Jackets jockeying for a playoff spot, Kekalainen could be reluctant to ship Anderson to a potential postseason opponent like the Bruins. The Canadiens, on the other hand, are all but out of the playoff chase. They possess an additional second-round pick in this year’s draft, which could give them an edge if they are bidding to land Anderson.

Bear in mind Kekalainen isn’t under pressure to move Anderson now. He could hang onto him for the playoffs and consider moving him in the days leading up to the draft in June.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 2, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – February 2, 2020

Is Dustin Byfuglien done for the season? Should the Bruins trade David Krejci? What’s the latest on Kaspari Kapanen, Mikael Granlund, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Andreas Athanasiou? Find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

BYFUGLIEN DONE FOR THE SEASON?

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Dustin Byfuglien could be out for the remainder of the season. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman has missed the entire campaign to date, first after being suspended for failing to report to training camp and then following ankle surgery. Friedman said he’s yet to resume skating.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien could be done for the season (Photo via NHL Images).

If the 34-year-old Byfuglien doesn’t return, it could provide the Jets with much-needed salary-cap flexibility. They’ve had to hold his $7.6-million annual average salary until his situation was sorted out. Friedman also said Byfuglien’s future could be revisited during the summer.

WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck weighed in on Friedman’s report, pointing out the Jets were said to be in the market for a top-four defenseman. If Byfuglien’s out of the season, that will free up cap room before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman and Billeck indicate, the Jets have been handcuffed cap-wise by uncertainty over Byfuglien’s status. If he’s done for the season, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff can either keep him suspended without pay or place him on LTIR. That would give Cheveldayoff considerably more room to work with before the trade deadline.

SHOULD THE BRUINS TRADE KREJCI?

BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont suggests the Bruins should consider trading center David Krejci. He points out Krejci’s line has been inconsistent this season. The veteran center is 33 and has a year left on his contract with an annual average salary of $7.25 million. Nevertheless, Dupont thinks Krejci could be one of the Bruins’ most tradeable assets. He has a 15-team trade list, which could put him in play if GM Don Sweeney wants him there.

Moving Krejci would also free up salary-cap space to re-sign defenseman Torey Krug. Dupont believes Charlie Coyle could take over the second-line center role, with either Par Lindholm or Jack Studnicka taking over the third-line center position.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Krejci before the deadline would be a bold move by Sweeney, but I doubt he’ll do it. Krejci’s playoff experience will be invaluable to their pursuit of the Stanley Cup this spring. Perhaps that move happens in the off-season.

UPDATE ON KAPANEN

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said winger Kaspari Kapanen was a healthy scratch from Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators for “internal accountability.” Keefe said it was a one-time issue and the winger would address it on Monday. Kapanen has surfaced in recent trade rumors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to find out what this “internal accountability” stems from. Perhaps Keefe is unhappy over Kapanen’s overall performance. The 23-year-old winger is on pace for a 45-point performance but was held pointless in his last five contests.

There’s speculation Kapanen could be used as trade bait to add a top-four defenseman. This incident could dampen his trade value a little.

LATEST ON GRANLUND, KOVALCHUK, AND ATHANASIOU

THE ATHLETIC: Adam Vingan reported winger Mikael Granlund’s offense has improved since John Hynes took over last month as head coach of the Nashville Predators. Granlund will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Vingan wondered if the Predators will retain him to push for a playoff spot, or shop him before the trade deadline if they know they can’t re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the deadline just over three weeks away, Predators GM David Poile could take the next couple of weeks to evaluate Granlund’s performance and that of his club before reaching a decision. If he keeps playing well and the Predators get back into the playoff chase, he could keep the winger as an own rental. Otherwise, Granlund could be playing for another club by Feb. 24.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2019

The Penguins beat the Senators but lose Jake Guentzel to injury, the 2020 All-Star Game rosters revealed, stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin scored two goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Nick Paul scored both Senators’ goals. Malkin has 24 points in his last 13 games. Teammate Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists before leaving the game after crashing headfirst into the boards when he was knocked down by Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot. Guentzel left the ice under his own power but seemed to favor his right side. There was no immediate update as to his condition.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel was injured during a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel’s on pace for a career year, tallying his 20th goal of the season and being selected for the 2020 All-Star Game.

The NHL revealed its rosters for the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis on Jan. 25. Ryan O’Reilly, Alex Pietrangelo, and Jordan Binnington of the host Blues were named to the Central Division roster.

Atlantic Division (All-Star appearance)

F Tyler Bertuzzi, DET (1st)

F Anthony Duclair, OTT (1st)

F Jack Eichel, BUF (3rd)

F Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (1st)

F Auston Matthews, TOR (4th)

F David Pastrnak, BOS (2nd)*

D Victor Hedman, TBL (3rd)

D Shea Weber, MTL (7th)

G Frederik Andersen, TOR (1st)

G Tuukka Rask, BOS (2nd)

Metropolitan Division (All-Star appearance)

F Mathew Barzal, NYI (2nd)

F Jake Guentzel, PIT (1st)

F Kyle Palmieri, NJD (2nd)

F Artemi Panarin, NYR (1st)

F Travis Konecny, PHI (1st)

D John Carlson, WSH (2nd)

D Dougie Hamilton, CAR (1st)

D Seth Jones, CBJ (3rd)

G Braden Holtby, WSH (5th)

G Joonas Korpisalo, CBJ (1st)

Central Division (All-Star appearance)

F Patrick Kane, CHI (9th)

F Nathan MacKinnon, COL (4th)*

F Ryan O’Reilly, STL (3rd)

F Mark Scheifele, WPG (2nd)

F Tyler Seguin, DAL (6th)

F Eric Staal, MIN (6th)

D Roman Josi, NSH (3rd)

D Alex Pietrangelo, STL (2nd)

G Jordan Binnington, STL (1st)

G Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (2nd)

Pacific Division (All-Star appearance)

F Logan Couture, SJS (2nd)

F Leon Draisaitl, EDM (2nd)

F Anze Kopitar, LAK (5th)

F Connor McDavid, EDM (4th)*

F Elias Pettersson, VAN (2nd)

F Jakob Silfverberg, ANA (1st)

F Matthew Tkachuk, CGY (1st)

D Marc Giordano, CGY (3rd)

G Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (5th)

G Darcy Kuemper, ARI (1st)

* Fan-elected captain

The league also released its All-Star Game “Last Men In” ballot, allowing fans to select up to four players to (one per division) to be added to the rosters.

SPORTSNET: Malkin, Boston’s Brad Marchand, Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, Colorado’s Cale Makar, and Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes are among the most egregious all-star “snubs”.

 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think you can also apply that to the other so-called “snubs”.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, St Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, and Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 29.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said his club would welcome back defenseman Dustin Byfuglien if the fit was right. Byfuglien’s been suspended since September for failing to report to training camp and is currently recovering from recent ankle surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The right fit being a healthy Byfuglien keen to return to the Jets’ lineup. 

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was blunt when talking about his current slump. “I can’t speak for them (teammates), I can only talk for myself, and obviously I know I’ve been pretty shit lately,” he told reporters on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair assessment of the Oilers as a whole of late.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed defenseman Charlie McAvoy (lower body) on injured reserve.

THE SCORE: Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo is listed as week-to-week with a knee injury suffered during their shootout loss to Chicago on Sunday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2019

Evgeni Malkin reaches a career milestone, Taylor Hall collects his first point as a Coyote, Ilya Kovalchuk becomes a free agent, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin tallied his 400th career goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1. He’s the fourth player in Penguins history to reach that milestone. Tristan Jarry made 33 saves as the Penguins picked up their third straight victory. Kris Letang and Bryan Rust also netted two points.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored his 400th career NHL goal on Tuesday. (Photo via NHL Images)

Taylor Hall picked up his first point with the Arizona Coyotes in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Hall picked up a well-earned assist on Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s game-winning goal.

Anze Kopitar’s overtime goal lifted the Los Angeles Kings over the Boston Bruins 4-3. The Bruins have dropped six of their last seven games. Earlier in the day, Kings winger Ilya Kovalchuk became an unrestricted free agent after clearing unconditional waivers, allowing the Kings to terminate his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Kovalchuk’s struggles with the Kings, there’s plenty of speculation suggesting the 36-year-old winger could end up with another NHL club. I’ll have more this morning in the Rumors section.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their second straight win by downing the Winnipeg Jets 6-3. Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal each scored twice, Dougie Hamilton collected three assists, and Andrei Svechnikov tallied his second lacrosse-style goal of the season. Meanwhile, the estranged relationship between the Jets and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien took a step toward improvement as the blueliner is rehabbing his injured ankle in consultation with the club. He remains under suspension for failing to report to training camp.

Seven unanswered goals powered the Nashville Predators to an 8-3 drubbing of the New York Islanders. Calle Jarnkork and Craig Smith each had three-point performances for the Predators. Meanwhile, Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang will report to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport after a two-month absence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang was told not to report to Bridgeport by Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello as the latter attempted to honor the winger’s trade request. Ho-Sang needs to play to drum up any interest from rival clubs.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice as his club held off the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Sabres captain Jack Eichel extended his points streak to 17 games with a goal and an assist.

The Columbus Blue Jackets swept their back-to-back series against the Detroit Red Wings with a 5-3 victory. Former Wing Gustav Nyquist picked up two points. Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski returned to action for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury on Nov. 30. Jackets blueliner Ryan Murray is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser is expected to miss the remainder of the season following back surgery on Tuesday. Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard (groin injury) was sent to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made 40 stops in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who got a boost from Travis Konecny’s return to the lineup following a three-game absence recovering from a concussion. Ducks winger Troy Terry left the game with a knee injury in the second period.

The Tampa Bay Lightning blew a 3-1 lead but went on to edge the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on a brilliant overtime goal by Anthony Cirelli. Earlier in the day, the Senators placed defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (lower body) on injured reserve.

Carey Price kicked out 38 shots backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Tomas Tatar and Shea Weber each scored power-play goals. The Habs have won four of their last five and sit one point behind the Sabres for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Wild announced winger Jason Zucker is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SCORE: Former NHLer and Colorado Eagles player Akim Aliu has accepted “a heartfelt and emotional apology” from Eagles equipment manager Tony Deynzer, who attended a team Halloween party in 2011 in blackface dressed as Aliu. Deynzer will keep his job with the club.

TWINCITIES.COM: Former NHL defenseman Scot Kleinendorst died yesterday of injuries he suffered while on the job at a paper mill in Grand Rapids. He was 59. Kleinendorst spent eight seasons in the NHL from 1982-83 to 1989-90 with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, and Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Kleinendorst’s family, friends, and former teammates.