32 post-deadline takes: Chychrun saga the latest embarrassment for Coyotes, NHL
Take a deep breath, everyone! The busiest NHL trade deadline in recent memory has concluded, the balance of power has firmly shifted to the Eastern Conference, and the league’s worst teams have accelerated their tanking efforts for Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson and the rest of the loaded 2023 NHL Draft Class.
We don’t want to bore you with a write-up that reads like Infinite Jest, so here’s a brief outlook on how every team’s approach to the deadline reflects their current state of affairs, both in a current and long-term sense.
Also, in case you missed it, here’s every trade that happened before the deadline.
Anaheim Ducks: Duck for cover. Sorry, but the NHL’s worst defensive team corroded even further with Dmitry Kulikov and John Klingberg (he was atrocious defensively this year, but the point remains) on the move to Pittsburgh and Minnesota, respectively. Anaheim is going to hemorrhage goals but it will all be worth it if the lottery balls fall in its favor, and they now have 12 picks spanning the first three rounds of the 2023 and 2024 drafts.
Arizona Coyotes: With over 57 percent of their contracts tied to dead cap space, this isn’t just a team tanking for Connor Bedard, it’s an outright embarrassment. People want to joke about Mullett Arena, but it’s a complete failure that the team couldn’t secure a rink with professional capacities. Compounding matters, the Coyotes received a top-five protected pick from the Senators in exchange for Jakob Chychrun — meaning the Senators will still get a super prospect if the pick falls within the top five, and the pick converts to the 2024 Draft, which is shaping up to be the weakest class in ages. Yiiiiiiikes.
Boston Bruins: Dmitry Orlov looks downright unstoppable next to Brandon Carlo, while Tyler Bertuzzi and Garnet Hathaway add secondary scoring and grit to the deepest forward group in the league. A team that may break the single-season points record got markedly better. God help us all.
Buffalo Sabres: A pretty neutral deadline for the NHL’s most exciting bubble team. In comes Jordan Greenway, a 6-foot-6 forward who needs to regain his scoring touch. Out goes Rasmus Asplund, who in a vacuum, is a slightly worse player than Greenway. Boring doesn’t make headlines, but the Sabres were wise to keep the status quo, as their young stars continue to develop.
Calgary Flames: The first-ever brother-for-brother deal is a cool piece of trivia, but we’re not sure how the Flames are materially better than they were a month ago. Calgary still boasts one of the best shot creation profiles in the league amid a disappointing season. Are they banking on a return to 2022 form during the final 20 games of the season?
Carolina Hurricanes: Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon promised his team would be aggressive at the deadline. It resulted in Jesse Puljujarvi and Shayne Gostisbhere, two quality players to be sure, but this wasn’t the home run swing we expected from a leading Stanley Cup contender. Dundon and his crew will have the last laugh if Jordan Staal is lifting the trophy in June.
Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago couldn’t even get a first-round pick in return for Patrick Kane, the best player in franchise history. Although Chicago had no real negotiation power, it’s somewhat unfathomable that it couldn’t improve its future prospects in any real way. It’s going to be bleak and if Chicago doesn’t win the lottery, it could be outright hopeless.
Colorado Avalanche: Can a championship hangover last until March? Colorado went about its business quietly, perhaps with a Gatorade in hand, picking up faceoff specialist Lars Eller from Washington in exchange for a 2025 second-rounder. Jack Johnson also returned, while Ryan Merkley is a low-risk, high-upside addition. Clean and efficient business, now someone please turn the lights off until the playoffs start, the Avalanche need to go back to bed.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Jonathan Quick was reportedly incensed about being moved to the Blue Jackets, so they did him a solid and moved him to the Golden Knights. This transaction was a pretty damning indictment of the Blue Jackets, who have nothing to play for but lottery odds.
Dallas Stars: Dallas could surely benefit from additional scoring and picked up Max Domi, who was leading Chicago with 18 goals and 49 points prior to the deadline. Will Domi’s defensive liabilities become a problem in the Stars’ defense-first system? A second-round pick is a relatively cheap acquisition cost but we’re curious to see if Domi is a stylistic fit.
Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin signed a eight-year extension worth $69.8 million, then cried days later when Tyler Bertuzzi was dealt to the Bruins. Oskar Sundqvist, Jakub Vrana and Filip Hronek are also leaving the Motor City. It’s going to be pretty lonely for Larkin, Mo Seider, Lucas Raymond and the rest of Detroit’s core.
Edmonton Oilers: We worried the Oilers were going to sit by and do nothing, but they traded a 2023 first-round pick for Mattias Ekholm. Ekholm is a solid defender who can be used in all situations, but he’s not exactly Erik Karlsson. If Connor McDavid and company can’t get to the Cup final, general manager Ken Holland will draw criticism for not maximizing the prime of the world’s best player.
Florida Panthers: Florida did nothin’ at the deadline, so here’s a fitting musical interlude from N.O.R.E.
Los Angeles Kings: We really like this deadline for the Kings. General manager Rob Blake came under fire for trading Jonathan Quick, but it’s a cold business and he got a better goaltender in Joonas Korpisalo. Vladislav Gavrikov eats minutes and improves the bottom pair, while Los Angeles didn’t give up any of its top prospects or young players, remaining flexible within two timelines.
Montreal Canadiens: Remember when Denis Gurianov went off during the 2020 playoffs? Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes apparently remembers too. It was a quiet deadline otherwise for a bad Canadiens team that remained committed to the tank without giving up good players in the process.
Minnesota Wild: It’s not altogether a bad deadline for the Wild, only that John Klingberg, who has been one of the NHL’s worst defensive defenseman this season, is now joining a team that plays a defense-first system. Klingberg isn’t nearly the same offensive threat that he used to be and the Wild are likely betting that the Ducks were merely a toxic environment. Oskar Sundqvist and Gustav Nyquist at minimal cost to improve the team’s offense — now, that’s some clever work from general manager Bill Guerin.
Nashville Predators: Nashville traded Mattias Ekholm and Mikael Granlund, and Tanner Jeannot for a boatload of picks. It may have been two years too late, but the Predators have realized the dream is over.
New Jersey Devils: The most fun team in the NHL went after the best trade target available, and now Timo Meier joins a fast and explosive forwards corps in New Jersey. More impressive, the Devils didn’t have to trade any of their top prospects — including Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec — or any of their younger roster players like Dawson Mercer, who is on a scoring binge. Massive win, but not to be outdone by their rival across the Hudson.
New York Rangers: Big names, bright lights, welcome to New Yoooooooork. Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko are both part of the revamped Rangers, but are they somewhat redundant? Both players are past their prime, and both are highly gifted offensive talents that are completely negligent defensively. However, both players have won Stanley Cups — three in Kane’s case. Will their playoff pedigree and scoring output outweigh their clear defensive flaws?
New York Islanders: If you recall, the Islanders started the frenzy by trading for Bo Horvat on Jan. 30. Horvat’s scoring pace has tailed off a bit since joining the Isles and it remains a questionable move especially if the Sabres, with four games in hand, leapfrog the Islanders for a wild-card spot. We’re all for the aggressiveness, but attaching a 2023 conditional first-round pick for Horvat seems to be a shaky decision.
Ottawa Senators: By acquiring Jakob Chychrun, while adding top-five protections to the 2023 first-round pick sent to the Coyotes, the Senators acquired another stellar player who fits into their timeline. The Atlantic powers won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but Ottawa may have the best under-26 core in the NHL and could still bottom out for Bedard. They’re one of the major winners of the deadline.
Philadelphia Flyers: In the most confusing development of deadline day, the Flyers didn’t end up sending James van Riemsdyk to the Red Wings after all. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said they didn’t receive a firm offer for the veteran forward. At least they went out and got penalty merchant Brendan Lemieux? Not a great month for a team that is tanking, no matter what their embattled head coach may say.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. Jeff Petry, Dmitry Kulikov and Nick Bonino — who won back-to-back cups with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017 — are heading back to Pittsburgh, in the hopes that the team can catch fire from a wild-card spot and knock off either Boston or Carolina in the opening round. Mikael Granlund’s blazing speed is an asset too, and this team is notably better than it was two weeks ago, but Ron Hextall has destroyed the team’s salary cap. The future doesn’t matter when your team is full of guys that can vividly remember the 1990s.
San Jose Sharks: Sharks general manager Mike Grier botched it during his first trade deadline. Timo Meier was the best player widely available, and while Fabian Zetterlund was playing well for New Jersey, it was a ridiculously underwhelming return for a 26-year-old star in his prime. Erik Karlsson doesn’t seem thrilled about playing on a hopeless San Jose squad. It’s a steep learning curve.
Seattle Kraken: Seattle is quietly confident and made two solid depth moves without subtracting from its roster, adding third-pair defender Jayson Megna from San Jose and forward Oliver Bjorkstrand from Columbus — who has hit the 20-goal mark three times in his career. Solid, analytically-driven moves from a team that leads the NHL in 5-on-5 goals.
St. Louis Blues: One step forward, two steps back. They’re arguably the most confusing team to figure out. St. Louis let Ivan Barbashev for an underwhelming prospect in Zach Dean, they received a first-round pick in exchange for captain Ryan O’Reilly and fourth-line dynamo Noel Acciari, Vladimir Tarasenko went to New York for a package centering a conditional 2023 first-round pick and Sammy Blais. St. Louis also went and acquired Jakub Vrana, who can score in bunches when healthy. They have three first-rounders in this year’s draft but aren’t bad enough to tank. I guess they get points for remaining flexible and 2019 was a long time ago.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Tanner Jeannot’s scoring has fallen off a cliff, but the Lightning have been historically correct about all their deadline acquisitions under Julien BriseBois’s watch, so they get a conditional pass based on their impeccable resume.
Toronto Maple Leafs: If the Maple Leafs fail to get past the opening round, you can’t fault Kyle Dubas for a lack of effort. Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari provide much needed flexibility and defensive awareness, Sam Lafferty is a speed demon, while Jake McCabe, Erik Gustafsson and Luke Schenn provide the team with a ton of depth on the blue line. Dubas approached the deadline like his future was depending on it, and hell, maybe it is.
Vancouver Canucks: We’ll let Tame Impala handle this one.
Vegas Golden Knights: Ivan Barbashev and Teddy Blueger add to the Golden Knights’ scoring depth, while a briefly irate Jonathan Quick joins his previous rival, with all three players joining the team at minimal cost. Vegas didn’t swing for the fences — if they fail to make a deep playoff run, we can question Kelly McCrimmon’s relatively conservative outlook.
Washington Capitals: It appears the Capitals are trying to become younger, while avoiding tanking. Rasmus Sandin should blossom in the nation’s capital — he was playing some excellent hockey before suffering an injury in December. Lars Eller and Marcus Johansson are on their way out. Will the Capitals accelerate a rebuild with Alexander Ovechkin’s consent this summer?
Winnipeg Jets: Nino Niederreiter and Vladimir Namestnikov for second and fourth-round picks, respectively? Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff made his team marginally better for relatively light acquisition costs, and though we’ve ripped into the Western Conference powers for not taking major swings, the Jets are indeed better than they were two weeks ago. Will it be enough for a deep playoff run, though?
Emotional Bianca Andreescu leaves court in wheelchair after injury at Miami Open – Yahoo Canada Sports
Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu was forced to leave the court in a wheelchair after suffering an injury during Monday’s match against Ekaterina Alexandrova in the Round of 16 at the Miami Open.
Andreescu officially retired at 6-7, 2-0, winning 75 percent of her points on first serve. With tears in her eyes, she left the court to a standing ovation. Alexandrova, who will face Petra Kvitova in the next round, came over to console a devastated Andreescu as her team prepared for her exit.
“I’ve never felt this kind of pain before,” Andreescu said in agony while the medical team approached.
The 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., suffered the injury during the third game of the second set while tracking down a shot.
Andreescu was off to an excellent start to the tournament, defeating Emma Raducanu 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the Round of 128, before proceeding to knock off No. 7 Maria Sakkari 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, then defeating Sofia Kenin in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
This is a potentially devastating injury for Andreescu, who was rounding into form with the summer schedule on the horizon. Andreescu had previously advanced to the Round of 32 in the Indian Wells Masters before losing in straight sets to No. 1 Iga Swiatek in a tightly contested match.
Andreescu has a lengthy history with long-term injuries, suffering a torn meniscus in October 2019, shortly after winning the U.S. Open against childhood hero Serena Williams. Andreescu did not play the entire 2020 season in large part due to the complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, then struggled through the 2021 season. Andreescu missed the opening three months of the 2022 season and struggled with a back injury towards the end of the year.
Andreescu said in a recent interview that she actually contemplated retiring from tennis in 2021.
“That was, honestly, about me wanting to figure out if I really wanted to continue playing tennis,” Andreescu told reporters on Sunday, per The Telegraph. “I was literally about to drop my rackets and say, ‘Screw this.’ I wasn’t happy at all and I wasn’t happy basically for the full year of 2021. I thought, if I continue like this, it’s just going to get worse.”
Those hardships from the past few years have helped Andreescu grow as both a player and a person.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot,” Andreescu told Sportsnet’s Vivek Jacob earlier this month. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot even in the past two months about myself, which is such a great thing about life, you’re constantly growing, you’re constantly learning. The main thing is I want to be able to feel good in my own skin whether I win a match or lose a match.”
Player grades: Edmonton Oilers survive scrambly affair in Arizona, pull out 5-4 win – Edmonton Journal
Edmonton Oilers travel regimen on Monday night: take the two points and get the heck out of Dodge.
It was a scrambly affair in cramped Mullett Arena, where a clear majority of the 4,600 spectators seemed to be rooting for the visiting team. For the second time in the last week, the Oilers were in tough to shake the pesky Coyotes. This time they managed to get the job done in regulation, but not without a few nervous moments down the stretch as Arizona pressed but failed to overcome Edmonton’s 5-4 lead.
The Oilers had seemed fully in control with a 4-2 lead after a dominant second period, but that went away in the first 5 minutes of the third. The Oilers managed just a single Grade A shot in that final frame, but Ryan Nugent-Hopkins buried that shot on the powerplay to put them back in front by the enventual winning margin.
If the stats are to be believed, this was a stolen win by the Oilers, who were outshot 33-29 and on the short end of Grade A shots by a 19-13 margin, including 10-6 in 5-alarm shots (running count). In each player’s comment we’ll record his individual contributions to Grade A shots (GAS) at both ends of the sheet.
#2 Evan Bouchard, 7. Strong on the attack. Scored the 2-2 goal at even strength on an excellent shot, later set up the game winner on the powerplay with a one-timer that created a dangerous rebound. Perhaps his best play was a lovely delayed stretch pass that sent his partner Ekholm in on a breakaway. Not your standard D-to-D pass. Did have a couple of adventures on defence, wandering way out of position and getting burned for a breakaway that Campbell stopped, later losing a battle in the low slot that resulted in the 4-4. Now has 12 points in 13 games since the big trade on Feb 28. GAS: +3/-4.
#5 Cody Ceci, 4. His lost battle was a key element on the second Arizona tally. Otherwise largely held his own. GAS: +0/-1.
#10 Derek Ryan, 5. Quiet night with 0 shots and just 1/6=17% on the dot. Decent on the penalty kill. GAS: +0/-1.
#14 Mattias Ekholm, 7. Played a team-high 24:56 on what was the club’s most effective pairing. Unlucky that the second Arizona goal caromed in off him. Burned on another ‘yotes chance when his hard clearing pass hit a sign on the boards and just died, one of many funky bounces in the old barn Arizona now calls home. Won more than his share of battles, including a couple that set up McDavid’s 2 best chances of the game, both in the first period. Robbed on a breakaway of his own on a full stretch stop by Karel Vejmelka. Also robbed of an assist on Draisaitl’s goal when his pass was deflected from its intended recipient directly to the goal scorer, without possession ever being achieved. Played 24:58 to lead both teams, including 23:01 at even strength. Excellent shot shares. GAS: +4/-4.
#18 Zach Hyman, 6. His biggest contribution was finishing off a 5-way passing play just 6 seconds into Edmonton’s first powerplay to tie the game 1-1. Another great chance off a Nurse feed, but couldn’t bury. A couple of issues in defensive coverage. GAS: +2/-3.
#19 Devin Shore, 4. Scoreless in almost 10 minutes, not a bad outcome. Not his best night handling the puck, though. GAS: +0/-0
#21 Klim Kostin, 6. A decent shot on net, a couple of shot blocks, a couple of hits, and a positive influence overall. GAS: +1/-0.
#25 Darnell Nurse, 6. His big moment was scoring the shorthanded goal that gave the Oilers their first lead, joining the rush as a trailer, taking Yamamoto’s drop pass, and overpowering Vejmelka with a wrist shot. Made a great pass to Hyman for another 5-alarm shot. Allowed an outside shot on the sequence that resulted in Arizona’s third goal, and was a better door than window in screening Campbell on a couple of other shots (both stopped). 4 shots, 2 blocks. GAS: +2/-4.
#26 Mattias Janmark, 6. Started the game on the McDavid line, but soon moved down to a bottom-6 trio with Bjugstad and Foegele which was highly effective. Did get burned on a bad pinch on the first Arizona goal, but made up for it with a strong charge to the net front as a decoy on Nurse’s shorty. GAS: +2/-1.
#27 Brett Kulak, 5. His pairing with Desharnais had its struggles at even strength and were badly outshot (+3/-10 in Kulak’s 14 minutes at 5v5), and were dominated in Grade A shots. Managed to saw off 0-0 where it mattered most. Kulak mustered a couple of shots, a hit and a takeaway. GAS: +0/-4.
#29 Leon Draisaitl, 7. Entered the game tied with McDavid and Kane, each with 299 goals. Won the race to 300 when he scored on his only official shot of the game, surprising Vejmelka with a quick-release outside shot through traffic. This after finding iron on a great look from the slot on his previous shift. Set up the game winner by teeing up Bouchard’s one-timer in the third. Also won the powerplay faceoff that led directly to Oilers’ first goal, whough no point awarded on that one. Now up to 46-68-114 on the season, 26 points behind McDavid but 12 clear of third-place Nikita Kucherov. Led the Oilers with 2 blocked shots and with 13/23=57% on the faceoff dot. GAS: +5/-6.
#36 Jack Campbell, 5. Another frenetic night that saw him allow at least 4 goals in his seventh straight start. On the bright side, his teammates have scored at least 4 in his last sixteen starts, and once again on this night scored 1 more than they gave up. Campbell was beaten by a pair of first-period deflections, both of which found a hole between his arm and body. His bigger problem was rebound control, with numerous pucks trampolining off of him back into the slot or in unexpected directions that left him scrambling. This proved especially costly on the third Arizona goal, and arguably the fourth as well. Did face 19 Grade A shots (4 of them off his own bad rebounds) and came up with a number of good stops. Stiffened down the stretch and managed to contain the puck for a couple of key stoppages in the late going. 33 shots, 29 saves, .879 save percentage.
#37 Warren Foegele, 7. Another strong game with dominant shot shares (+13/-3 in shot attempts, +7/-1 in actual shots) on a strong trio with Bjugstad and Janmark. His fine pass to Bouchard was buried for the 2-2. Now had 13 points in his last 19 games. 3 shots on net, the best a quick wraparound that nearly cashed. GAS: +3/-0.
#56 Kailer Yamamoto, 5. Quiet game with 0 shots and 0 hits. Whiffed entirely on his best look, wasting a nice set up by Ekholm. Did find a way to contribute with a nice rush and pass to Nurse on the penalty kill that resulted in the 3-2 goal. GAS: +2/-0.
#72 Nick Bjugstad, 7. Became one of the first NHLers to experience Mullett Arena as both a home and away player. Certainly looked right at home with a very strong effort. Skated extremely well. Earned a secondary assist on the Bouchard goal. Fired 3 shots of his own (6 attempts) and also landed 3 hits, with a takeaway and a block and 5/10=50% on the dot. GAS: +2/-2.
#73 Vincent Desharnais, 4. Had his struggles in this one. Managed to saw off 0-0 at evens, despite being penned in his own end for much of his 12 even strength minutes. Was in the box for the Arizona powerplay goal, albeit for something of a ticky-tack holding penalty. GAS: +0/-5.
#91 Evander Kane, 4. Skated better, producing 5 shot attempts (2 on net). Involved in the physical aspect, landing a team-high 4 hits. But all too frequently, the play died on his stick. Directly caused a too-many-men penalty when he chose to play the puck right at the player’s gate, even as his replacement had already taken the ice. Screened his own goalie and very likely deflected in the second Arizona goal. No points and -2 on the night. Now a dismal dash-9 on the season, the only current Oiler in red figures. GAS: +2/-3.
#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 7. Scored 1-1-2, doing all of that damage on the powerplay. His fine cross-seam pass to McDavid set the stage for the 1-1, while he took care of business himself cashing the 5-4 from the edge of the crease. That stood up as the game-winner. A couple of hiccups in the defensive zone but nothing costly. GAS: +4/-1.
#97 Connor McDavid, 5. A couple of early chances, and a great pass to Hyman on the PP for the 1-1, his 140th (!!!) point of the season. Gradually had less impact as the game went on. Beaten on the 4-3 when he wasn’t quite able to cut out the shot. Did land a couple of heavy hits and held his own on the dot at 7/13=54%. GAS: +3/-2.
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FTB: The Maple Leafs clinch – Pension Plan Puppets
It’s always fun when your team clinches without doing anything. The Maple Leafs were at home last night when the news broke that because some other team won or lost, they were officially in the playoffs.
So now that’s out of the way, the Leafs play the waiting game, oh and also eight more regular season games, one of which is against the Lightning, which will be the most interesting to watch, while for the others we simply hope no one is injured.
The next game is tomorrow against the Panthers here in Toronto.
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Hockey Canada rules 2018 junior players ineligible for international competition pending investigation – CBC
The statement comes hours after a parliamentary committee unanimously passed a motion ordering Hockey Canada to hand over a report from an investigation into the 2018 allegations.
Who are the top candidates for NHL coach, GM jobs? – ESPN
[SPECIES: ESPN reports that Maple Leafs assistant coach Craig Carberry is a hot commodity in the NHL coaching market.]
Voit’s playmaking skills put him in Sting’s record book – Observer
Ty Voit is so crafty with the puck, he keeps his own teammates guessing what he’s about to do.
[SPECIES: OK I cannot resist the pun on the Sarnia Sting and that headline so here we go:
[music] Every single day
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching Voit]
Now to be extra sure I have a 1980’s Sting song stuck in your head all day… here you go! Have a nice Tuesday.
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