Tag:New York Rangers
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:53 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 2:58 pm
 

Clarkson avoids suspension for flying elbow

By Brian Stubits

First to the news. David Clarkson of the Devils is not going to be suspended for his charging attempt on New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky on Monday night.

From the Newark Star-Ledger:

No league hearing has been scheduled today, although a call from Brendan Shanahan and/or a fine is possible.

The fact that Clarkson did not hit Dubinsky in the head will work in his favor. The incident took place at 19:27 of the second period with Clarkson getting a charging minor.

Dainius Zubrus did catch Carl Hagelin in the head during a second period roughing incident, but that won't come to much, either. Zubrus may also get a warning call from Shanahan.

Before going any further, here is the hit in question one more time.

I can't say I'm surprised there will be no suspension forthcoming for Clarkson. That's what I expected, honestly. But I'd lie if I said it doesn't upset me. I don't know why it actually angers me a little, I just know it does.

As the Ledger writes, "The fact that Clarkson did not hit Dubinsky in the head will work in his favor." Why is this so? Why should the result of the play have a bearing on this? Fact of the matter is that he tried to hit Dubinsky. What other explanation is there for his pole-vaulting technique that included a chicken wing. I don't think it was an attempt to fly.

This isn't an analogy I necessarily want to bring up but it is comparable in my mind -- on a basic level, nothing more. Imagine if somebody's attempt at murder doesn't go as planned. Would somebody get away with failing to execute their plan? Of course not. They would be locked up in jail. Just because they failed in doing so doesn't mean they didn't try to do so.

Again, I'm a bit loathe to make the comparison to murder. Change it to blackmail if you want, or any other crime that would fit. The point stands this is one of if not my biggest complaints about the punishment criteria right now. Brendan Shanahan has said that injuries don't factor into the decisions to suspend, just the sentencing, the length of the suspension. Well if the reason there was no suspension here is because there was no injury, then how can that be?

To be clear, for the most part I have objected very little to Shanahan's decisions this year and I have really appreciated the transparency. But this one bothers me.

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Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:55 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 12:31 am
 

Winners & Losers: Avs get big win, others miss

By Brian Stubits

There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.

Playoff Race

This isn't the trade deadline winners & losers (those are right here!) but from the winners & losers from the actual games that were played.

Winners

1. Colorado Avalanche

They are the one and only team that gets to land on the winner's side tonight. They were the only team who really needed it that scored a big win, taking down the Ducks in Colorado. And just in case there were any hopes left, probably ending Anaheim's playoff hopes in the process.

That deal that the Avs swung for Steve Downie has paid some nice dividends early. In the now four games he's played with his new team, Downie has himself two goals and five assists after notching two helpers on Monday night. Not so bad for a guy not exactly known for his scoring prowess.

With the win the Avs are back on the streaking side as they moved into a tie with the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They hold the ninth spot based on playing one more game than Dallas thus far, but with the rest of the West contenders for that last spot falling on Monday night, it's a very big two points.

[Related: Avalanche 4, Ducks 1]

Arnott's head dress. (Jeremy Rutherford)

2. Jason Arnott

The veteran Blues center had two goals to help the Blues take care of the the Flames in Calgary on Monday, arguably the top performer of the night.

With the win the Blues actually climbed back to .500 on the road this season. They've been very good at home and not near as much on the road, but they just rattled off their third road win in a row, perhaps taking care of one of the remaining questions about their ability to win in the postseason.

Perhaps more importantly is the fact that Arnott donned the Weenie Hat for his postgame interview with the media.

Like a lot of teams, the Blues have a postgame award that they hand out to the player of the game. The Rangers have the Broadway Hat, the Blackhawks have the championship belt, etc. The Blues did have a hard hat in exchange for the Weenie Hat.

NHL locker rooms really are fun places after wins.

3. Matt Duchene

The Avs already made the list on the winner side, but I had to include Duchene here.

Duchene gets the award for goal of the night by swatting in the bouncing puck saucered his way by Paul Stastny to give the Avs the insurance goal.

I'm going to take a guess and say Duchene played some baseball growing up. Great hand-eye coordination to finish that one off.

Losers

1. Viewers of Rangers and Devils

Oh sure, Henrik Lundqvist had another shutout and Martin Brodeur only gave up one goal. We could be lauding them for their fine performances. We would, if either had broken a sweat.

Lundqvist pitched a shutout, but the Devils only managed a measly 13 shots. In the entire game. The Rangers meanwhile only had 15. And one of those came on Ryan Callahan's empty-net goal.

Not even the hatred between the two teams could really make up for the general lack of excitement with the game itself being played. Things were just a little clogged up. Not that I blame either team for the way they play, it's just when their two styles come together it doesn't make for incredibly exciting hockey. This game had twice as many goals as their previous meeting.

[Related: Rangers 2, Devils 0 | Video: Clarkson's charge on Dubinsky]

2. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are in the middle of a long homestand that has allowed them to get back in the Southeast Division race. They've been great on home ice all season in front of their rabid fan base.

That's why it hurts so much to lose to the Edmonton Oilers at home. Having played more games than anybody in the NHL, that's a perfect example of the game they have to win if they want to make the playoffs. Instead, they gave up four consecutive goals to Edmonton in the third period, the second worst team in the NHL record wise.

As a result, they remain two points back of Florida in the Southeast despite having played four more games than the Panthers. They do hold on to the eighth spot in the East but that too is very tenuous.

[Related: Oilers 5, Jets 3]

3. Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames

Each team is on the outside looking in for the last playoff spot in the West and both came up empty on Monday night.

Granted, each was playing one of the monsters of the Central Division, but the end result is the failure to get points out of the games.

It's particularly painful for Calgary, which lost another game at home, falling to the Blues. General manager Jay Feaster guaranteed to TSN earlier this week that his team will make the playoffs. Well if they're going to do that they need to win these games at home, of which they have a lot down the stretch run.

The Kings meanwhile were only able to muster one goal, and it came in the closing minutes. It's been the story for them all season, one which the acquisition of Jeff Carter is supposed to take care of, or at least help. But again, we'll grant them the stiff competition in the Predators and particularly Pekka Rinne. He's been pretty good lately.

[Related: Predators 2, Kings 1 | Blues 3, Flames 1]

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:35 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 10:28 am
 

Video: Clarkson soars into Dubinsky for charging

By Brian Stubits

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils game on Monday was exactly what you thought it would be. It was physical, "chippy" and low scoring. That chippiness was particularly evident.

One of the fights in the game, a quick tilt between David Clarkson of the Devils and Brandon Dubinsky of the Rangers was set off by Clarkson's charge into Dubinski.

Well, technically it was a charge but it was more like a leaping elbow. Perhaps Clarkson was trying to audition for next year's dunk contest with this one, the NBA could use a fresh take.

Now I haven't been right on very many of these lately, I admit I'm beginning to get lost on what's OK and what's not, but this one has to be deserving of a review from the league, doesn't it?

This is a classic case of intent vs. result. It might not draw a whole lot of attention because it didn't harm Dubinsky on the play. There was very little actual contact. But man oh man it would be nearly impossible to believe that there was no intention from Clarkson.

I've never been comfortable in the process of punishing guys based on what they say their intent is. But sometimes it's so obvious what the intent is that it can't be ignored. He leaped about a foot off the ice and came with an elbow flying high. What else could he be trying to do there?

I fear this doesn't get a second look from the league because of the lack of injury. But there's no place for that, I don't care if he connected or not. Clarkson obviously tried.

What do you think, will Clarkson's hit be reviewed by the league? Should it? Those are obviously not the same question.

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Posted on: February 27, 2012 3:34 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 8:22 pm
 

Nash stays put; Howson says Nash requested move

Columbus did exactly that, keeping No. 61. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The deadline has come and gone and Rick Nash remained with the Columbus Blue Jackets. That's going to make for an awkward end to what has been a very miserable season in Columbus.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson didn't help it become less awkward when he told the media at his post deadline news conference that it was Nash who approached the team about a trade, not the other way around.

"With respect to Rick Nash. He approached us and asked us to consider a trade. We agreed to accomodate his request as long as we could get a deal that would provide us with cornerstone pieces to help us compete for a Stanley Cup championship in the coming years," Howson said. "It did not happen by 3 o'clock today. This is too important to our franchise and our fans to do a deal that is not in our best interest. We pursued a number of options, but none provided the value back that we could justify trading a player of Rick's caliber.

"It doesn't really matter how close we were because it didn't happen. We had significant discussions today, but it didn't happen."

For the last two weeks the ebbs and flows of the Nash story were as constant as the ocean tides. The biggest name on the trade block by a long ways, the deals being discussed were more than blockbusters. They would have been franchise definers.

But much like the rest of the 2012 trade deadline, it didn't get done. Really, it exemplifies the entire deadline. It was a dull a trade deadline as we've seen in a long, long time. We thought last year was quiet with only 16 deals on deadline day. This year beat that by one deal.

All along the Jackets were demanding a very high price for Nash, and rightfully so. Scott Howson absolutely had to get a huge return for Nash and was dead set on getting it.

"The price was high and I don't apologize for that," Howson said. "It had to be high."

The Rangers, long viewed as the front-runners, were reportedly out on Sunday night of the Nash hunt. But they ramped it back up according to reports. A lot.

In fact, Darren Dreger of TSN said they made a very serious final push in the waning hours.

That mammoth offer? According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, this is what it looked like:

Columbus GM Scott Howson rejected what is believed a Rangers' final offer of Dubinsky, 21-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon, 2011 first-rounder J.T. Miller, 2010 second-rounder Christian Thomas and a first-round selection in this June's Entry Draft.

That didn't fit Howson's high price and I can't blame him too much. He wanted one of four guys (Michael Del Zotto, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh). The addition from previous reported offers was Christian Thomas, but it still wasn't enough.

Now all this means is that the talks will be put on hold. It really seems like this whole thing spun out of control so much that there is no way Nash can return to the Blue Jackets next season. The activity will pick up again in the summer time and you're likely going to see the same teams mentioned in the chase: The Rangers as well as the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Nash's agent said his list of teams he'll accept a trade to won't expand in the summer, so there likely won't be many surprise contenders, but you never know.

"He's a member of our team right now, he's our captain," Howson said. "That's not going to change, nothing's going to change. Obviously we are going to look at all of our options as we move forward. We'll see what happens once we get around the draft and this summer."

Howson essentially backed the bus up over his captain today. In no way did he really help this situation with his comments. Admitting that Nash came to him wasn't a great start to rehabbing the image, nor is it good in his pursuit of getting a great return. It became even more clear after this that Nash can't remain in Columbus now. He actively wants out and now everybody knows that. That strengthens the suitors' resolve in not caving to Howson's demands. Eventually if anyone caves you have to think it is Howson.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:16 am
Edited on: February 27, 2012 9:20 am
 

Morning Skate: close to a must win for Ducks, Avs

Ducks

By: Adam Gretz


The Morning Skate is back. Every morning for the rest of the season we're going to take a look at the games that have the greatest significance in the push for the postseason for you to digest while you drink your java. We'll throw in some miscellany for the fun of it.

Playoff Race

DucksAvalanche9 PM, Anaheim vs. Colorado

All eyes will be on the NHL trade deadline on Monday, but it's also a huge day in the NHL playoff race.

It's hard to say a game at this point in the season is a "must win" for any team, but if the Anaheim Ducks are going to find a way to pull off this miraculous comeback (and that's really what it would be) to make the playoffs they're going to have to win games like this, against one of the many teams they're still chasing. Preferably in regulation. The Ducks enter Monday's game in Colorado four points behind the Avalanche in the standings, and still six points behind Dallas for the No. 8 (and final) playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Anaheim is coming off yet another win on Sunday night, knocking off the Blackhawks by a 3-1 margin, and have won seven of its past 10 games. Despite all of the Ducks wins over the past month-and-a-half it's been difficult for them to gain any significant ground or move up in the standings. With a win on Monday the Ducks can jump ahead of the Minnesota Wild to move into 12th place in the West.

It's still going to take a ton of work, and Monday's game is one of the big ones.

It's also a big game for the Avs, who also remain in the jumbled mess that is the bottom of the Western Conference playoff race, and a win could move them into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot.

PredatorsKings8 PM, Los Angeles vs. Nashville

Another team that could move into a tie on Monday night? The Los Angeles Kings, fresh off their 4-0 win on Saturday night in what was Jeff Carter's debut with the club. He didn't make an impact on the scoreboard, but Dustin Brown stepped up after his name was mentioned in trade rumors, recording a hat trick and a four-point game.

It was only the fourth time in their past 17 games that the Kings, the lowest-scoring team in the league, scored more than three goals in a single game. So that was a bit of a rarity, and perhaps a sign that the addition of Carter, a top goal-scorer in the NHL over the past few years, can open some things up for other players on the team. If nothing else, it was a nice start.

It's going to get a bit tougher on Monday night as they head into Nashville to face Pekka Rinne and the always stout Predators defense, and a team that's still fighting for potential home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

This is also the first of three meetings for these teams over the next three weeks. So they better get familiar with one another.

BluesFlames9 PM, St. Louis at Calgary

After losing four of their past five, including a shootout loss against Philadelphia on Saturday, a game that saw them blow a 3-0 lead, the Calgary Flames could really use a win on Monday night when the St. Louis Blues come to town. And while a matchup with the Blues, one of the top teams in the West, doesn't seem like a favorable matchup to get back in the W column, the Blues have done most of their damage this season on home ice.

On the road, where they will be on Monday to continue what is a four-game road trip, they've been a losing team this season and carry a 12-13-3 record into Calgary, which is the second worst road record (behind only Chicago) among the current playoff teams in the West.

Others worth watching

7:30 ET, New York Rangers vs. New Jersey: It's always fun when the Rangers and Devils get together and they continue their rivalry on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. The Devils have won two of the first three meetings this season.

8:30 ET, Winnipeg vs. Edmonton: With a win against Edmonton the Winnipeg Jets can, once again, take over first place in the back-and-forth crazy world that is the NHL's Souteast Division.

Your promised miscellany
Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 11:03 pm
 

Reports: Rangers no longer in Rick Nash chase

Columbus fans might get their wish ... for the remainder of this season at least. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

It looks like those fans at Madison Square Garden last weeks changint "We don't want you!" to Rick Nash are going to get their wish. At least for now, they aren't.

Multiple outlets reported on Sunday that the Rangers, long seen as the favorite to swing a deal for Nash if he were dealt before the trade deadline on Monday afternoon, are out of the race. They just weren't willing to bend to the Blue Jackets' insistent asking price.

Here's more from Katie Strang of ESPN New York.

Barring a drastic change, a deal to bring the prized winger to New York does looks unlikely, a source told ESPNNewYork.com

The Rangers were believed to be the front-runners for the former No. 1 pick whose availability has dominated trade talks in the days leading up to the deadline, but New York does not appear to be willing to concede to Columbus' demands.

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson's asking price for the franchise player is reportedly significant; according to multiple reports he is asking for a roster player, top prospect and a first-round pick, if not more.

All along the rumors had it that the Jackets wanted either Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh or Derek Stepan and the Rangers weren't going to surrender any of those players. It was a stalemate and neither was willing to cave.

The asking price for Nash has always been high in this saga. Not that you can blame Columbus GM Scott Howson for staying so demanding in it all, mind you. But to make it a bit laughable, Darren Dreger of TSN says that that high price has actually gone up.

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This Nash saga has gone back and forth a lot. When his agent spoke up for the first time about the rumors, it sounded like the urgency was being put on the Jackets to get a deal done sooner rather than later. Then a contender falls by the wayside and the cost reportedly goes up.

It would appear to leave the Maple Leafs and possibly the San Jose Sharks in the conversation. There is also the possibility of dark horses in the Predators and maybe even the Flyers. But really it doesn't seem like the Jackets are going to find a deal that's amenable to them and Nash to where he'll be dealt on Monday.

Then again, who knows? We'll just have to wait and see by 3 ET on Monday.

More from Eye on Hockey

Nash: "I'm a Blue Jacket today"
Nash's agent speaks, Preds trying to get in

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:05 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 1:06 pm
 

Nash watch: Agent speaks, Preds trying to get in

Will Nash have a new jersey on Monday afternoon? (US Presswire)

By Brian Stubits

In the last day or so I went from being not so optimistic that Rick Nash would be traded before Monday's deadline to being at the point of a coin flip. That's what one little statement from an agent can do.

For the first time since the Nash trade talk picked up a few weeks back, his agent Joe Resnick shared his thoughts on the situation. And they put a little pressure on Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson.

"We're hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Blue Jackets," Resnick told TSN. "However, if a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date."

So much for the idea of summer opening up the market.

It already seemed like a good idea to get a deal done before the deadline passes for Columbus. You knew once the word spread they were willing to listen to offers his days in Columbus were done. There was just no backtracking from how far things had gone. Especially now. It's to the point where Nash's camp is "hopeful" for a trade before the deadline? Talk about a lame duck if he sticks around.

The question then becomes who backs down for a deal to get done? Scott Howson has maintained his high asking price while teams like the Rangers and Maple Leafs haven't backed off their insistence to not include certain players (see: Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh and Jake Gardiner).

All the while, the Rangers remain the favorite if Nash is to go in the next 26 hours. Here's the latest from Larry Brooks of the New York Post:

One informed source told The Post that Sather has held firm in his refusal to send 2009 first-rounder Chris Kreider, the Boston College winger who is regarded as a can’t-miss prospect, to the Blue Jackets for Nash. Neither will the general manager agree to move young blue-line chips Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto.

A second source told The Post that Sather has agreed to include 21-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon in the package that would go to Columbus in exchange for Nash, who has indicated a willingness to waive his no-move clause for a deal to a select number of big-market teams.

It is unclear whether Sather is willing include 2012 first-rounder J.T. Miller in the package for Nash that would include Brandon Dubinsky, a future first-rounder, and likely at least another well-regarded prospect.

But there is another team at least trying to enter the conversation. The Nashville Predators are as big of buyers right now as they ever have been. They are trying to prove to their defensive Stars Ryan Suter and Shea Weber that they are committed to winning it all in Nashville so they'll re-sign.

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And they have reportedly put forth a pretty good looking offer for the Jackets to consider. They apparently have a standing offer on the table for the Jackets and Nash and Predators beat writer David Boclair speculates it would likely include Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis or Jonathon Blum, a first-round pick and maybe a little more.

Keep in mind that Nash has a no-trade clause and at no point have the Predators been rumored to be on that list. If you are to gauge based on the teams that are thought to be on it -- Rangers and Leafs for starters -- Nashville doesn't seem to fit that bill, either. Oh, and the Predators play in the same division as the Blue Jackets. So there's that.

The odds of getting a deal done with Nashville seem so remote from two fronts. But still, Section 303 points out that perhaps it could all be too much for either the Jackets or Nash to say no.

The Predators are willing to give up a Stepan-type (Wilson), a young blueliner with the same offensive upside (if not moreso) as Del Zotto and McDonagh (Ellis), a little insurance in Laakso and a first round draft choice for the same player that those other GM’s are saying no to.

If you’re Columbus, this is the best deal on the table right now by far. This is when the motivated parties come together and do what’s best for everyone involved and make the deal.

Howson goes to Nash’s camp and says “Look, you want out by Monday. This is your chance. Nashville has offered far and away the best deal. Take it or stick around until the summer.” At that point, Nash and his agent have a decision to make. Accept the trade to Music City where Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne and future Norris Trophy winners Weber and Suter await or stay in the Buckeye State with the likes of Steve Mason between the pipes and an overpaid mediocre defense corps.

Wishful thinking to be sure, but there is some soundness to the conversation. I just can't see Howson dealing within the division even if Nash agreed to a move to Nashville.

So this all sets up for a very interesting final day of the Nash trade deadline sweepstakes. The heat is on Howson to move now, nobody likes a lame duck. It becomes a question now of who blinks first. Or if anybody will blink.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: February 25, 2012 1:13 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:27 pm
 

Wojtek Wolski traded to Panthers

PanthersBy: Adam Gretz

For the second day in a row the Florida Panthers added to their roster, this time by acquiring veteran forward Wojtek Wolski from the New York Rangers in exchange for a third-round draft pick and Michael Vernace according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Wolksi has appeared in just nine games this season scoring no goals and recording three assists for the Rangers. He scored 12 goals during the 2010-11 season which he split between the Rangers and Phoenix Coyotes.

For the Rangers, the biggest value they may get from this deal, along with getting any sort of a return for Wolksi given how little he's played this season, is the simple fact that they were able to clear some salary cap space in advance of Monday's trade deadline (where the Rangers are rumored to be interested in adding Columbus' Rick Nash) dumping the remaining portion of Wolksi's $3.8 million cap hit for the season.

He's eligible for restricted free agency after this season.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com