Anaheim and Tampa Bay have both done phenomenal jobs using the AHL as a developmental league. Look at their respective rosters:
Kyle Palmieri, Nick Bonino, Matt Beleskey, Emerson Etem, Patrick Maroon, Peter Holland, and Brandon McMillan have all spent time (some more than others) in the AHL recently.
Cory Conacher, Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat, Richard Panik, Tyler Johnson, Radko Gudas, and Brett Connolly and JT Brown (among others) are on the way.
Justin Schultz has hit the rookie wall. What can Edmonton do about it?
After dealing with concussion issues for almost two years, Joey Hishon is suiting up tonight for the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado affiliate). Hishon was Colorado’s 2010 1st round draft pick. He’s a skilled center, and it will be interesting to see how long it takes him to shake off the immense rush.
Either way, it is great to see him able to return to action.
The Devils have returned winger Stefan Matteau to junior hockey (Blainville-Boisbriand of the QMJHL to be exact).
Martin Brodeur returned to practice today – he hasn’t played in almost a month because of a back injury. I’d be very closely watching his return if I owned him – a wonky bank on a 40-year-old goaltender is something to monitor.
Larry Brooks on the struggles of Marian Gaborik (who is doing his part to kill my fantasy team).
And now, the Blueshirts are seeking to move Gaborik again … this time out of town by the April 3 trade deadline. It's going to be a tough sale at $7.5 million on the cap through next season, even tougher because the Rangers need value in return for No. 10, who has provided management with a list of 10 teams to which he cannot be dealt under terms of his no-trade clause.
If Gaborik were put in position to fail — and has acted as co-conspirator in his own demise — the same essentially is true regarding Chris Kreider. But this is one you could see coming pretty much from last year's breakup day that followed elimination by the Devils.
Michael Amato has a great profile on Sam Gagner that will be posted later on this morning. We also have Chris Wassel’s look at the most productive lines in hockey to get you set for the next week.
Speaking of the Oilers – Jordan Eberle had his best game in a while last night (goal and an assist, but his overall play, too). I’ll have more recaps on the late game (Edmonton/Nashville) a bit later on.
The NCAA free agent dominos are starting to fall. Over the weekend, the Canucks inked Kellan Lain to a contract. Lain is a gritty 6-6 center with limited offensive upside – he has spent the past three years playing for Lae Superior State University.
He compares himself to David Steckel and Paul Gaustad. Again, not much offensive upside, but guys like him make work easier for those around him.
"Kellan is a big, strong center with pretty decent skills that skates good," said Jim Roque, who coached Lain for the last three seasons at Lake Superior State University in the NCAA.
"Obviously his role on my team will be different than what is asked of him at the pro level; on my team he was asked to score a little more and be an offensive guy, I think he has those traits, but I think he is more of a third line checking center, faceoff guy.
And Ottawa has signed