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Posted On Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 12:25 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Dec. 10, 2014

Here is the Dec. 10 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Any more news out of Arizona on the trade front? -- @KylePineda2

All quiet for now as far as I can tell, but clearly at this point in the season general manager Don Maloney is in full evaluation mode, trying to identify who should stay, who could go and what he could get back in return. The issue is the Coyotes' sale to potential majority owner Andrew Barroway. That might be holding things up a bit in Arizona. Commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this week that the sale "is still tracking" but isn't done yet. If and when that becomes official the Coyotes could hit the market in a big way, perhaps to the point where they sell assets to try to get into the race for top 2015 NHL Draft prospects Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 11:27 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Kinkaid gives Devils a reason to keep him around

NEWARK, N.J. -- Goalie Keith Kinkaid admitted he was frustrated and disappointed after his last stint with the New Jersey Devils, one that yielded two relief appearances in seven games before he was sent back to Albany of the American Hockey League on Nov. 17.

Given the opportunity to show what he has Tuesday, Kinkaid gave coach Peter DeBoer and general manager Lou Lamoriello a reason to keep him around for another start or two, if not more.

Kinkaid made 37 saves in his first career NHL start hours after he was recalled from Albany. He didn't get a win; the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Devils 3-2 in a shootout. But he was hardly at fault for the loss.

"We know the goalie is not the problem," Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 5:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Chicago Blackhawks are playing so well that they can't even find room in their top-six group of forwards for a four-time 30-goal scorer who was good enough to be one of 14 forwards to play for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Patrick Sharp will return to Chicago's lineup Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center after missing the previous 14 games, but he'll be back as a third-line right wing. Sharp was a second-line left wing before he hurt his right knee in a 5-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 4.

Sharp had 78 points in 82 games last season and nine points in 13 games this season before the injury.

"I expect him to bring some pace, energy, [to] play his game," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He should get a normal workload and he should be ready."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 3:21 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Blackhawks' Richards gets comfortable by moving on

NEWARK, N.J. -- Brad Richards' toughest adjustment after losing in the Stanley Cup Final last season wasn't joining the Chicago Blackhawks, it was leaving the New York Rangers.

Richards was issued a compliance buyout by the Rangers. He had six years and $27 million left on a nine-year, $60 million contract he signed July 2, 2011.

"In New York, the way it ended two years ago and the way it ended last year, the whole buyout thing took on a life of its own," Richards said prior to playing the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday. "I had to forget about that and realize that I've still got lots of hockey left. If my salary was different no one would be talking about any of it. It's just part of the business.

"I wouldn't change it. I miss New York. I loved playing there. I wish it never had to come to that, but as soon as the lockout was lifted my fate was pretty much sealed there. I guess you've gotta deal with it, but I still had lots of confidence I could play and hopefully there's lots of hockey left."

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Posted On Monday, 12.08.2014 / 11:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Penguins' Crosby stuck in scoring rut

NEW YORK -- Sidney Crosby is in a scoring slump.

Those are seven words you don't write, read, say or hear together very often. But it's true. Crosby has no goals in seven consecutive games and in 17 of the past 19. He has two goals since opening the season with seven in his first eight games.

If you take it back to last season, Crosby has 10 goals in his past 44 games, including one in 13 games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Granted it's not all bad. Crosby has 19 assists in the past 19 games, he's tied for the League lead with 35 points, and the Pittsburgh Penguins lead the Metropolitan Division with 39 points.

But make no mistake, the lack of goal production bothers Crosby.

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Posted On Monday, 12.08.2014 / 1:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Rangers

NEW YORK -- Olli Maatta is the latest player to find his name on the Pittsburgh Penguins' growing injury report.

Maatta, the Penguins' 20-year-old defenseman, will not play Monday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The Penguins injury report already featured defenseman Kris Letang (groin) and forwards Patric Hornqvist (undisclosed), Chris Kunitz (foot fracture), Beau Bennett (lower body) and Pascal Dupuis (blood clot).

Maatta didn't make the trip to New York as coach Mike Johnston said he was kept home to get a still undisclosed injury re-evaluated. Johnston said the injury is not related to Maatta's surgery earlier this season to remove a cancerous tumor from his thyroid gland.

Robert Bortuzzo, who missed the past two games serving a suspension, will take Maatta's spot in the lineup.

"I know we've had some tough injuries but I think that's every team now, or most teams," Penguins center Brandon Sutter said. "For the first 20-something [games] we were 100 percent pretty much, and then a couple guys started going down. But that's the way it works. Nothing really new for this business."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.06.2014 / 7:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Jagr returns to Devils lineup vs. Capitals

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr returned to the lineup Saturday against the Washington Capitals after sitting out the game Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs with the flu. New Jersey won 5-3 in Toronto without Jagr.

Jagr started the game on a line with Dainius Zubrus and Patrik Elias, who is also back in the lineup after missing the game Thursday with a groin injury.


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Posted On Saturday, 12.06.2014 / 1:37 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils are getting at least one significant player back in their lineup Saturday with the potential for one more while the Washington Capitals are making one significant change that indicates the potential for a platoon down the road.

Devils forward Patrik Elias will play against Washington at Prudential Center after sitting out New Jersey's 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday with a groin injury. Elias was injured Tuesday during New Jersey's 1-0 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I felt pretty good in the morning and I'm going to go out there and try it," Elias said.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.06.2014 / 11:38 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Flames' offense from blue line is by design

The production the Calgary Flames are getting from their defensemen jump off the stats page to the point where you begin to wonder if Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell are actually playing forward.

Point in fact, at times they actually are playing forward, even if nobody is defining it that way.

Flames coach Bob Hartley encourages his defensemen to jump into the rush to create offense, but at the same time he coaches the forwards to understand that there will be times when they have to play the role of a defensemen.

It's happened a lot this season, particularly when Giordano and Brodie are on the ice.

"We laugh sometimes because we do video and early on this year we got a 2-on-1 and it's Gio and Brods who are on the 2-on-1 with our three forwards are behind them," Hartley said in a phone interview Friday. "Sometimes we get a 3-on-2 and it's Gio and Brods with another forward. On many teams you'd see one of them but that's the way we want them to play."

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Posted On Friday, 12.05.2014 / 8:21 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Parise discusses Wild's 'terrible' power play

It took less than a minute into the phone conversation Wednesday for Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise to bring up the elephant in the room. Or in this case the elephant on the line.

"Our power play is terrible," Parise said. "That's where your top guys need to get some points, get some goals and feeling good. That carries into 5-on-5. When the power play is not working that's frustrating and it can carry into the rest of the game."

The Wild entered Friday 29th in the NHL on the power play at 9.0 percent (7 for 78). They have scored a power-play goal in five of 24 games.

Parise is convinced, and it's hard to argue with him, that Minnesota's problematic power play is the main culprit for why some of the Wild's high-end offensive players have below-average offensive statistics to this point in the season.

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Quote of the Day

I'm here to develop a winning culture and a winning team. There is a bright future ahead of this team.  A lot of young, great hockey players here and on the way … a fan base that's passionate about the game of hockey.

— Dan Bylsma after being introduced as new coach of the Buffalo Sabres