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LeBrun: Inside the NHL’s deadline-week defense carousel — how the big trades went down, and why some didn’t



It took 18 months, but Jakob Chychrun finally got traded — and arguably to a team that needs him more than any other team in the NHL.

It’s yet another big domino falling in what has been a wild couple of weeks as the trade market for defensemen plays itself out.

Let’s walk through it all again.

The Bruins are believed to have shown interest in Chychrun about three or four weeks ago, but when it didn’t look like there was a path to a deal given the price, the B’s shifted gears toward Vladislav Gavrikov in Columbus. The Blue Jackets thought they pretty much had a deal with the Bruins around two weeks ago, but the Bruins told the Jackets they needed more time, presumably to shed cap space.


The Athletic has live coverage of the NHL trade deadline with the latest news, deals and analysis. 

In the interim, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan sent a note to his colleagues around Feb. 19, saying he was ready to listen on pending unrestricted free agent Dmitry Orlov and, well, that obviously changed everything. The B’s pivoted to what they felt was a better option and got a deal done on Feb. 23. Great pickup for Boston.

That left Columbus fuming. And scrambling. There are only so many first-round picks available.

The Jackets last Friday began re-establishing trade talks with previous suitors on Gavrikov, reaching out to the likes of Edmonton, Los Angeles and Toronto.

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, were already engaged by then with Chicago on defenseman Jake McCabe, although that deal didn’t come together until this past Monday.

The Oilers showed some interest in Gavrikov, but it was clear to Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen that Edmonton viewed Gavrikov as Plan B or Plan C. Turns out, it was certainly Plan C.

That’s because the Oilers had been engaged in on-again, off-again conversations with Arizona on Chychrun for a two-week period leading up to Tuesday. Talks really heated up between the Oilers and Coyotes on Sunday and Monday, and at one point, both sides felt they were pretty close to something. But that deal fell apart, in large part because the Coyotes simply didn’t want to take money back in the form of a player contract. Even after moving Jesse Puljujarvi to Carolina on Tuesday morning, the Oilers couldn’t make a Chychrun deal work without sending at least one player contract back.

My sense is that Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong was willing to keep working at it with the Oilers, but Edmonton GM Ken Holland decided he couldn’t risk waiting until too close to Friday’s deadline and miss out on the other defenseman he was having conversations on.

That would be Mattias Ekholm. Holland phoned Predators GM David Poile on Feb. 23 to get the ball rolling on that one. In that conversation, Poile informed Holland that the price for Ekholm would have to include at least a first-round pick this year (with Nashville hosting the draft, that was important), plus prospect Reid Schaefer, drafted at No. 32 last summer. The Oilers weren’t enamored with having Schaefer part of things, but they kept the conversation going with the Predators while also having parallel conversations going with Arizona on Chychrun over the past week.

Once Holland informed Armstrong on Tuesday that, once and for all, he was out on Chychrun, he closed the deal on Ekholm with Poile. Having to include Tyson Barrie in that trade for cap reasons was not an easy decision, either. Barrie was a key member of the Oilers’ power play and a popular teammate. But the overall price tag was worth it for Holland, to get a veteran top-four defenseman like Ekholm, who the Oilers hope will help stabilize their five-on-five game defensively.

Tuesday was also the last time the Coyotes and Kings spoke on Chychrun. I would love to know how many times those two front offices chatted over the past 12-plus months on the defenseman, who always seemed destined for L.A., with the Kings’ glaring need on the left side. But it never happened. A Kings source told me Wednesday night that there certainly had been many discussions with Arizona about Chychrun, but it never felt like they were that close on a trade.

And, of course, the reason that Tuesday was the Kings’ last conversation with Arizona on Chychrun is that Los Angeles was looking to cement its deal with Columbus for Gavrikov (and goalie Joonas Korpisalo) late Tuesday night.

The two clubs had actually been talking on and off for quite a while, but things got more serious Monday and Tuesday when the idea of having both the defenseman and the goalie in the deal got introduced. Good job by Kekalainen, in the end, getting his first-round pick, albeit a conditional one, given the circumstances around his failed deal with Boston. He scrambled pretty well.

And there you have it. The Kings, Oilers and Bruins — all potential Chychrun destinations — one by one went by the wayside as options for Arizona as they filled their defensive needs.

That being the case, it’s no surprise that over the past 24 to 48 hours, things heated up between Arizona and Ottawa.

There were other teams that talked to Arizona over the past week, as well, including Washington, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Columbus.

But the great appeal in the end for Arizona in gaining traction with the Senators was two-fold. First, Ottawa didn’t need to send money back in a player contract. That was huge for Arizona. And second, the Coyotes felt Ottawa’s first-round pick, while top-five protected, was more appealing than any other pick offered. That pick could end up anywhere from No. 6 to No. 16 — unless, of course, Ottawa makes the playoffs, which, well, is possible.

As others have reported, the Coyotes had a potential trade with Columbus involving Chychrun fall apart at the draft in Montreal last summer, which included the Jackets’ No. 12 pick in the first round. So in the end, the Coyotes end up probably with a similar first-round pick from Ottawa. But they don’t end up with two first-round picks, which was part of the Coyotes’ ask in a Chychrun trade for well over a year.

From a Senators’ perspective, the price certainly softened from earlier conversations with Arizona, in which the names of prospects like Ridly Greig and Tyler Kleven were part of the Coyotes’ ask, on top of the rest of the draft-pick package. It was deemed way too high a price by the Senators, which is why the organization thought it was out of the Chychrun sweepstakes as late as last week. Out, well, until the price dropped.

And, obviously, it did. Sens GM Pierre Dorion showed good patience, and he ends up filling a glaring hole on his blue line at a price he can live with. And while it’s a boost in the short term to a team that’s been playing great hockey, the real impact of the deal for the Senators will be felt over the next few years.

What a wild two weeks on the defenseman trade market, and that’s not even delving into the surprising trade of Filip Hronek to Vancouver from Detroit on Wednesday, or Shayne Gostisbehere ending up in Carolina; or Luke Schenn, Jake McCabe and Erik Gustafsson going to Toronto; or Jack Johnson heading back to Colorado.

And we’re probably not done.

But imagine for a moment how differently the past two weeks could have gone.

Gavrikov was nearly a Bruin. And where would that have left Orlov? And Chychrun easily could have ended up in Edmonton or L.A. What would that have meant for Gavrikov and Ekholm?

So many overlapping trade conversations around a small group of blueliners. Let’s see how it pans out come playoff time.

(Top photo of Jakob Chychrun: Zac BonDurant / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors Live Score and Stats – March 26, 2023 Gametracker – CBS Sports



TORONTO (AP) O.G. Anunoby scored 29 points, Fred VanVleet had 28 and the Toronto Raptors never trailed in a 114-104 win over Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Pascal Siakam had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Anunoby had 11 made baskets, two shy of his career-high. All four of his 3-pointers came in the first quarter.


“O.G. obviously had it going tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Ninth-place Toronto clinched the three-game season series with the Wizards and maintained a three-game lead over 11th-place Washington in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams have seven games remaining.

Toronto and Atlanta have identical 37-38 records, but the Hawks won two of three against the Raptors this season to clinch the tiebreaker.

Scottie Barnes scored 13 points in his return to the starting lineup after missing two games because of a sore left wrist as the Raptors won for the ninth time in 10 home games.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 26 points and Corey Kispert had 19 for the Wizards, who have lost eight of 10.

Washington made 18 turnovers, leading to 25 points for Toronto, and was outscored 27-11 in second-chance points.

“Our ball security wasn’t where it should be,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “Obviously they thrive in that area. We allowed their strengths to beat us.”

Deni Avdija and Johnny Davis each scored 15 points for Washington and Daniel Gafford had 10.

The short-handed Wizards played without guard Bradley Beal (left knee) for the third straight game, while forward Kyle Kuzma (right ankle) sat for the fourth straight game. Washington was also without guard Monte Morris (left groin).

“Right now, those guys are a level higher,” Porzingis said of Toronto. “ Us without our main guys, it’s a difficult task.”

Anunoby almost single-handedly outscored the Wizards with a career-high 18 points in the first quarter as Toronto led 37-21 after one. Anunoby shot 7 for 10 in the first, making 4 of 6 from long range.

“He got hot,” Porzingis said. “He was hitting 3’s, he was hitting some post-up shots. He was hitting everything else.”

Held scoreless in the opening quarter, Siakam scored 11 points in the second to give the Raptors a 63-46 halftime lead.

Porzingis scored 12 points in the third as Washington outscored Toronto 38-24. The Wizards closed to within a point, 80-79, on a 3 by Davis with 2:16 left in the quarter, but were unable to take the lead. Toronto took an 87-84 lead to the fourth.

Anunoby scored five points as the Raptors opened the fourth with a 13-3 run to restore their double-digit lead.


Wizards: Shot 1 for 8 from 3-point range in the first quarter, but went 15 for 28 over the final three quarters. Washington shot 8 for 12 from long range in the third. … Former Raptor Delon Wright shot 2 for 9 and scored five points. Wright had eight assists and seven rebounds. … Lost their fourth straight road game. … Avdija had nine rebounds and seven assists.

Raptors: F Precious Achiuwa also returned after missing two games because of a sore right hamstring. … G Gary Trent Jr. (right elbow) sat for the third straight game. … G Will Barton left in the first quarter because of a sprained left ankle and did not return.


Barnes forced a steal and finished with a 360-degree dunk for his first basket of the game.

“I thought it was great,” Anunoby said.


Toronto has won or tied the past 12 season series with Washington. The Raptors lost three of four to the Wizards in 2007-08.


The Raptors won without trailing for the fifth time. They also did it Dec. 7 against the Lakers, Jan. 12 against Charlotte, Jan. 28 at Portland, and March 14 against Denver.


Wizards: Host Boston on Tuesday.

Raptors: Host Miami on Tuesday. —

AP NBA: and

Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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Maple Leafs @ Predators 3/26 | NHL Highlights 2023 – NHL



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Switzerland win LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023



Defending champions Switzerland beat Norway by 6-3 in Sunday afternoon’s gold medal final at the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023.

This was a fourth successive world title for skip Silvana Tirinzoni, fourth player Alina Paetz and second Carole Howald. For Paetz and Howald it is a sixth world women’s championship title.

After blanking the first end, Switzerland’s fourth player Alina Paetz opened the scoring with a single point in the second end when she played a raise take-out.

Team Norway © WCF / Jeffrey Au

The Swiss still led by 1-0 in the fourth end when Norway’s fourth player Kristin Skaslien had a complete miss on an attempt to blank the end and gave up a steal of one point to double Switzerland’s lead to 2-0.


In the fifth end, Skaslien made amends with a draw to put two points on the board for Norway, that levelled the score at 2-2.

After another blank end in the sixth, Switzerland took the lead again in the seventh end when Paetz brought her last stone draw inside three Norwegian stones to score one (3-2).

Norway levelled again at 3-3, in the eighth end when Skaslien played a hit to promote one of her own stones into scoring position.

In the ninth end, Switzerland’s Paetz played her final draw precisely onto the button and inside three Norwegian stones, to score one and nudge her team into a 4-3 lead.

In the tenth end, Norway’s Skaslien had a draw to tie the game and force an extra end, but her shot came up short to hand Switzerland a steal of two points and a 6-3 win.

Swiss celebration after the final © WCF / Jeffrey Au

The gold medal winning Swiss team are: skip and third player Silvana Tirinzoni, fourth Alina Paetz, second Carole Howald and lead Briar Schwaller-Huerlimann, supported by their coach Pierre Charette.

The silver medal winning Norwegian team are: skip Marianne Roervik, fourth Kristin Skaslien, second Mille Haslev Nordbye, lead Martine Roenning and alternate Maia Ramsfjell, supported by their coach Rune Steen Hansen.

Gold medal game result

Norway-Switzerland: 3-6

Engage with the World Curling Federation about the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2023 on TwitterInstagramFacebook and Weibo and be searching the hashtags #WWCC2023 #curling


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