Dustin L. Nelson The Hockey Writers
Iginla’s No-Trade, Girgensons Trade Calls & More News
Jarome Iginla would not waive his no-trade clause at the trade deadline last year, but he might be willing to this year. At least, that’s what Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday.
It’s the final season of Iginla’s three-year deal in Colorado and it could be the last of his career, making this his last chance to chase the Cup.
Over the course of his impressive career, he’s won the Memorial Cup, two WHL championships, World Junior gold, World Championship gold and two Olympic golds. But he’s still never won the Stanley Cup. Hoisting the Cup would send him into elite company as a member of the Triple Gold Club.
Though, he may need to hit another gear to wind up on the roster of a contender. Iginla has spent time playing on the Avs fourth line this season, registering just three goals and six points in 26 games so far.
Getting Calls on Girgensons
The Buffalo Sabres are getting calls on forward Zemgus Girgensons, but they aren’t interested in selling low on him, Friedman reports.
The Latvian forward has posted just two goals and five points this season and has seen his ice time move toward a vanishing point on the distant horizon. He played 10:07 in Friday’s game against the Capitals and that’s the only time he’s been above 10 minutes of ice time in the last seven games. He’s been north of the 14-minute mark just twice all season.
The International Schedule
In the same “Headlines” segment, Friedman outlined an ambitious international schedule the NHL is considering along with early CBA negotiations. The outlined schedule looks like this:
– World Cup in 2020 and 2024
– Olympics in 2018 and 2022
– Two “Ryder Cup” style events in 2019 and 2023
– Preseason games in China as soon as next year (at least two)
– Two regular season games in Europe as soon as next year
Nick Kypreos mentioned the players may be best served to leave escrow negotiations behind. He doesn’t believe it’s a battle they can win.
Iginla OK With Emelin Hit, More Or Less
With 3:28 left in Saturday’s 10-1 drubbing of the Avalanche, Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin threw a big hip check on Colorado’s Joe Colborne. With frustrations running high for the Avs, it turned into a bit of a melee. Iginla went after Emelin but the 30-year-old defender wasn’t going to entertain fisticuffs late in a game that had lost meaning for Montreal.
“At that point of the game when they’re beating us like that, it’s not really a matter of whether it’s clean or not,” Iginla, who was playing in his 1,500th game, told Mike Chambers of The Denver Post. “[I] just don’t think [it’s right]. If I’m going up-over like that with two minutes left and down 10-1, I’d hope guys are coming in [for me]. That’s the way I’ve played and I think that’s the way it should be played.
“They can do the hit if they want,” he continued. “It’s part of the game. But we are allowed to do what we do too. That’s what penalty minutes and stuff are for.”
Landeskog felt similarly, telling reports after the game “sometimes those [hits] go unpenalized and sometimes they get a penalty. I just don’t like how he doesn’t answer to it afterward when he comes over.”
About That Drubbing
The beatdown suffered by the Avs was painful. It’s exceedingly rare to lose by nine and the team knows it all too well.
After the game, Landeskog summed it up nicely: “We got our ass whooped tonight.”
“Obviously, they’re a good team. They’re a fast team and they came out and they played hard and took it to us,” Landeskog said, “but you’ve got to be able to withstand a little bit of pressure as well.”
Dallas defenseman Jamie Oleksiak will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday following a high hit on Philadelphia’s Chris VandeVelde.
The league announced the hearing Saturday after Oleksiak appeared to have caught VandeVelde in the head with an elbow in the third period of a 4-2 loss. It pretty clearly looks like the head is the initial point of contact, but Oleksiak is 6-foot-7 and towers above just about everyone in the league. Nonetheless, being tall doesn’t exempt players from having to control their own body.
Tippett Pleased With Crouse
Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett was pleased with the effort he got from rookie Lawson Crouse in a 4-1 win over the Predators on Saturday.
Crouse assisted on Alex Goligoski’s opening goal through sheer hustle and outmuscling Yannick Weber behind the net. He also put three shots on goal and dropped the gloves with P.K. Subban in 12:34 of ice time.
“He’s a real good player and is going to become a better player,” Tippett said. “But that was the best game he’s played in the NHL so far.”
Rookie Brendan Perlini scored his first NHL goal Saturday as well, with an assist from rookie Jakob Chychrun.
Rookie Laurent Dauphin also tallied a goal on the day he was recalled to the NHL. In all, Arizona rookies combined for five points in the team’s first game without Max Domi. “That’s we’re hoping for,” Tippett said. “We need to get these young players up and going, as well as have our veterans kind of lead the charge for us.”
Odds & Ends
– The NHL concussion spotters continue to do their job without regard for who the player in question is. Saturday, they pulled Sidney Crosby from a game against the Lightning after he was run into the boards by Tampa’s Luke Witkowski. He returned to the game after going through protocol.
Crosby finished the game with two goals and once again leads the league with 20 goals.
– The Toronto Maple Leafs have officially activated Josh Leivo and added him to the team’s 23-man roster, reports Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. He’s been designated a non-roster injured player for the entirety of the season so far.
– Additionally, Antoine Bibeau will get the start in net for the Leafs. It will be his NHL debut. In 13 starts with AHL Toronto, Bibeau has posted a .907 save percentage with a 6-5-3 record.
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