Ramblings: Trades! Also Hat-tricks for Zibanejad and Forsberg, plus a Rinne Shutout (Feb. 28)

by steve laidlaw on February 28, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Trades! Also Hat-tricks for Zibanejad and Forsberg, plus a Rinne Shutout (Feb. 28)

Ramblings: Trades! Also hat-tricks for Zibanejad and Forsberg, Malkin and Giroux returned, plus a Rinne shutout.

Did the NHL push the trade deadline to yesterday? Ian Gooding covered the Anders Nilsson trade and the James Reimer trade, while I covered the flurry of deals that Panthers made, plus the Penguins’ addition of Justin Schultz. Follow the links for the breakdowns of all those deals.

I’ll offer some quick further thoughts.

St. Louis

Nilsson is nice depth for the Blues but no threat to Jake Allen. The real story is how bad this season has been for prospect Jordan Binnington. At one point he was the Blues’ first call in the event of an injury. Recently, it has been Pheonix Copley as the injury filler. Copley even saw action yesterday after Allen got pulled in a Predators route. Now the Blues are acquiring a backup.

Binnington has fallen on hard times. He has a 0.900 save percentage in 27 AHL games this season. Still a small sample but he needs to do better if he’s ever to sniff the NHL again. Copley hasn’t been much better this season with a 0.907 save percentage in the AHL. He was lights out with a 0.925 save percentage last season with the Capitals’ farm club last season.

San Jose

My hot take is that James Reimer may in fact be better than Martin Jones after his off-season adjustments. Jones is “the guy” in San Jose, however and Reimer would have to crush to surpass him. Unlikely.

The Sharks have two back-to-backs remaining on the year. They’ve got one going today and tomorrow and then not again until the end of March. It’s plausible that Jones starts every game in between but my guess is they want Reimer to ease Jones’ load down the stretch. He has seen action in 51 of 60 games so far. His career high for appearances at any level is 56. Can’t imagine they want to stretch him beyond 65 appearances.


They sent out a bunch of picks in their shopping spree but it should be noted that they closed a deal for undrafted free agent Dryden Hunt who is second in the WHL in scoring this season as a 20-year-old. I’m not so impressed with his numbers given a 20-year-old should score a bunch at that level but this amounts to replacing a second or third round pick, which helps re-stock the coffers a bit.


On top of the trade they swung yesterday the Penguins also played giving the now tanking Jets a 4-1 spanking. Both Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino were back in the lineup. With those two back I expect the Penguins to roll into the playoffs on a hot streak, which is big news for Marc-Andre Fleury owners.

Malkin didn’t score yesterday but was back with Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin. Hagelin scored two goals. The return of Malkin will help him quite a bit. Matt Cullen, meanwhile was back on the third/fourth line:








I mean, you tell me which is the third line and which is the fourth.

Also of note, the Penguins lost Conor Sheary in this one. He hasn’t had much fantasy relevance but he’s been a solid contributor. No update on his status.

The Penguins are reportedly trying to trade Sergei Plotnikov for anything, even a bag of pucks, so count him out as a possible filler if Sheary misses time.

Last chunk of Penguin news: top goalie prospect Matt Murray has been recalled. The Penguins have two back-to-backs next week and play a full five games in seven days. I believe this is thanks to their makeup game against Washington from the one that got cancelled by the storm earlier this season.

The Penguins clearly do not trust Jeff Zatkoff to start in any of those situations so you may see Murray play twice this week and my suspicion is he’ll start the Monday affair against Arizona. Murray makes a sneaky addition for this week if you need goaltending help.

Also in play: the Penguins trading Zatkoff, which has been rumoured, however the two teams seeking goaltending (St. Louis and San Jose) have both added backups.


The Jets’ lines in the first game with Marko Dano:














Dano saw 14:41 on the third line. No points, minus-two. Not expecting much offense out of him. In fact, I’m not looking for offense out of any besides that top line and perhaps Mathieu Perreault.


Huge news for Claude Giroux owners that he made his return to the lineup yesterday. Scored a goal too. Good show. Hopefully he finishes the season strong.

Jakub Voracek did not play yesterday due to a lower-body injury. He was seen in a walking boot. We should know more on Monday. Because of Voracek’s absence we saw more of Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds on the top line.

We also saw Mark Streit back on the Flyers’ top power-play unit in Voracek’s spot. Two defensemen on that unit with Shayne Gostisbehere dialed in at the point. Three assists for Streit who sees a big boost in value if Voracek misses significant time.


There were some pretty heavy rumours about Scott Hartnell getting dealt to Nashville but they never materialized. Hartnell’s value is pretty stable no matter where he goes though so the bigger question is what might come back. Hartnell scored a goal and an assist in their shootout upset of the visiting Panthers.

That’s another win for Joonas Korpisalo who continues to be an under-the-radar goalie option for those in need.


Filip Forsberg scored his second hat-trick of the week in a four-point effort against the Blues. He is in the zone right now, which is big news for Craig Smith owners as Smith had a three-point night. There aren’t many of you out there but those who are stuck with Smith can benefit from this surge. Also with a three-point night: Mike Ribeiro. This line crushed.

Even bigger news might be the shutout win for Pekka Rinne. That’s five quality starts in a row. Imagine he plays like this for the H2H playoffs, how many leagues he’d flip on their asses. Or has he been so bad this year that everyone with Rinne misses the playoffs?


No Jori Lehtera for the Blues who took a puck to the face on Thursday. Still no real update other than that he’s out with an upper-body injury.

With that news the Blues’ lines were hucked into the blender. No continuity whatsoever but worse yet, no productivity.

Paul Stastny was brought in to be a #1 centerman and went minus-three last night. He has been fine but fine is a disappointment relative to their investment.


Mika Zibanejad had been struggling with five points in 12 games since the All-Star break and then the third period of last night’s game happened. He scored a natural hat-trick in under three minutes to propel the Senators to a big comeback.

The Senators nearly had their second straight disappointing loss on their Western road swing so this is a big deal if they are to continue their push for the playoffs. I don’t think they get there, but even if they do it won’t be pretty. That makes owning Craig Anderson a treacherous proposition. For one of my leagues, I think about swapping Anderson for Korpisalo just about every day.

Mark Stone had three assists to keep his hot streak going. The Senators’ line with Stone, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau is really putting in some work. Pageau has 14 points since the All-Star break and is one of the league’s top scorers this month.

Kyle Turris, meanwhile, hasn’t scored since the All-Star break. In fact, he hasn’t scored since January 9th. He may as well have a corncob pipe and a button nose he’s so cold.


For Calgary, they got another great performance at home out of Johnny Gaudreau but it wasn’t enough.

Joni Ortio got thoroughly ventilated. He just isn’t ready for this level and frankly, the way Jonas Hiller has played, he might not be up to it either. Look for the Flames to go hard after a goalie like Freddie Andersen this summer.

Check out the Flames’ lines with Jiri Hudler traded:














Why yes that is David Jones on the top line. I wonder if their intent is to keep him there or if this is just a showcase for a trade. In any case, it throws a wrench into my theory that this would help Micheal Ferland. There’s still time, of course.

Also of note: Joe Colborne was bumped up to the top power-play unit with Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Good spot for him. He even scored a power-play goal.


The Leafs lost potential trade candidate PA Parenteau to injury last night. No word on how serious just yet. There were murmurs that he wouldn’t be traded anyhow as the Leafs enjoyed what they were getting.

The Leaf bombshell that dropped was that William Nylander will get called up after the trade deadline. That could mean DIRECTLY after, in which he’d play Monday night against the Lightning or after, as in the next day, in which case we’ll see him in Washington on Wednesday. So he’ll get 21 or 22 games. That’s huge. Nylander has made mincemeat of the AHL so he should do some damage in the NHL. A line of Nylander, Leo Komarov and Nazem Kadri could be prolific if not at least respectable. I think 15 points in the final 22 is possible here. What do you think?

My one concern is the possibility of bad habits like how he had his head down in the World Juniors and got smoked costing him his tournament. Has he got that out of his game?

I also heard some writers (who will remain nameless!) talking about how it was questionable to burn a year off Nylander’s entry-level contract to give him 20 or so games to close out the season. Irrelevant. Just by playing in the AHL Nylander was burning a year off his entry-level deal. Calling him up may kick in some rules about when he exactly he becomes arbitration eligible and when may make unrestricted free agency possible sooner but that first year of the ELC was gone regardless so don’t waste time pondering the merits.


The Avalanche and Red Wings played an outdoor game. I think Niklas Kronwall even had a couple of assists. Not really sure. Pretty crappy time to have an outdoor game when all anyone really wants to talk is trades. Overshadowed entirely.


Word has come down that John Carlson will miss more time. He will miss the next 3-4 weeks following a procedure to help his injured ankle. That takes us right to the end of March, smack in the middle of H2H playoffs. If you are lucky, he gets back in time for your finals. If you have room on IR you should still stash him but if you are hanging onto a more valuable contributor who might be back sooner then perhaps you have to make a drop.

Matt Niskanen immediately becomes a highly sought after commodity. He is already owned in 70% of Yahoo! leagues so odds are you can’t get him for free but if you have him he’s going to be great for H2H playoffs.

The Capitals also placed Brooks Laich on waivers yesterday. No one is claiming Laich but the Caps will save a little under a million on the cap if they send him to the AHL. If that Capitals aren’t into Laich any longer, they’ll be battling with the Blackhawks to find a dumping ground for him as the Blackhawks are likely to be trying to dump Bryan Bickell.

With Carlson on IR and Laich to clear them some cap space we could see the Capitals with enough room to add another big piece. Stay tuned.


The Coyotes claimed Jiri Sekac off waivers yesterday. They are making quite the habit of picking up other teams’ table scraps. I approve. All it takes is for one of these waiver claims to pay off to make the habit worthwhile.

This is Sekac’s fourth team in two years. That doesn’t exactly reflect well on his abilities but the Coyotes appear set to have some openings up front with Mikkel Boedker likely to be dealt before the trade deadline. Could he finally find some chemistry on a line with Antoine Vermette and Tobias Rieder? Unlikely but it would behoove the Coyotes to spend the final 20 or so games finding out.


Word is that Dale Weise could miss a week due to green card issues so that further curbs his already diminishing fantasy value after his recent trade to Chicago. I never thought I’d need to know about immigration law for fantasy hockey but there you have it.


Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of DobberHockey. You can follow him @SteveLaidlaw.