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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 6:53 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Defensemen on the block at NHL Trade Deadline

Defensemen are in high demand with the NHL Trade Deadline of March 2 approaching, which makes them a hot-button topic according to Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek of NHL Live.

Hradek named Zbynek Michalek of the Arizona Coyotes as the defenseman most likely to get traded by March 2, citing the Coyotes' desire to move players and retool. Michalek, eighth among NHL defensemen with 130 blocked shots, can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and carries a $4 million NHL salary-cap charge.

"Expiring contract, right-shot defenseman, blocks a lot of shots, he's big," Hradek said. "He's not the most physical guy but he's big. He doesn't shy away. A guy like that I think has lot of value and I just think the Coyotes are definitely looking to move people out. The Coyotes are not going to be in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]. They need to move assets out to get some youthful prospects and picks in there."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 6:20 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Emelin out week, Subban likely to play for Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin is out with an upper-body injury, but P.K. Subban appears likely to play against the Florida Panthers at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Emelin will be sidelined at least for the next week after he was injured on his first shift in a 4-2 loss at the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Therrien brushed aside a report that the 28-year-old defenseman will be sidelined for six weeks.

"He's going to be re-evaluated next week to see if he is going to be able to play," Therrien said. "We're there right now."

Subban, who is averaging 26:03 of ice time per game, was hobbled after he blocked a Bobby Ryan slap shot late in the second period Wednesday. Subban returned for the third period and finished with 30:13 of ice time.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 4:35 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Flames ask Glencross for list of teams: report

Forward Curtis Glencross, who has a no-movement clause in his contract, was asked by the Calgary Flames for a list of teams to which he'd accept a trade, Glencross confirmed Thursday to the Calgary Sun.

Glencross, in his seventh season with the Flames, has eight goals and 26 points in 49 games this season, but said his current role isn't where he wants it to be.

"I'm disappointed in that circumstance," he said, according to the Calgary Herald. "I feel like I can give more to this team and I can be used more on this team."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 2:54 PM

By Steve Hunt - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Stars

DALLAS -- The San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars are currently on the wrong side of the cutoff line for the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture in the Western Conference, which makes the game between the former Pacific Division rivals at American Airlines Center on Thursday crucial.

San Jose (29-22-8) is 2-5-2 in its past nine games, including a 5-1 loss at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The Sharks are currently tied in points with the Los Angeles Kings, but L.A. holds the final wild-card spot in the West by virtue of having played two fewer games. San Jose's recent struggles led coach Todd McLellan to shuffle his lines at morning skate on Thursday.

"It could (help us defensively). We're hoping that," McLellan said. "We've won two of our last nine games with the same group, so it's time to shake things up. We'll see if that gives us an opportunity to be productive. If not, we can always go back."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 2:37 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- You can count Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant as another among his NHL brethren who believe Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is having a Hart Trophy caliber season.

Though voting for the League's Most Valuable Player award will be held by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, Gallant is the second NHL coach to put Price at the top of his list so far this season.

"He's been outstanding all year," Gallant said Thursday after Florida's morning skate at Bell Centre. "I mean, there's no doubt if you had to pick an MVP today, he's probably the guy. There's other guys, [Washington Capitals forward Alex] Ovechkin and them, having great seasons but what Carey Price has done for this team this year, and last year he had a great year but this year he's been outstanding, so I would think he's the MVP today."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:59 PM

By David Satriano - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Nashville Predators acquired forward Mike Santorelli and defenseman Cody Franson from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, but neither player has arrived.

Santorelli and Franson have been delayed because of weather-related issues but were expected to arrive on Long Island prior to the start of the Predators' game against the New York Islanders on Thursday.

"We don't know if they will be here or not," Predators coach Peter Laviolette, who coached the Islanders from 2001-03, said. "It's been a hard process to get them here just because of the weather. We'll be ready to go, regardless."

The Predators will likely use the same lineup that defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-1 on Tuesday. Goalie Pekka Rinne will start for Nashville. Rinne is 34-7-2 with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers had their nine-game point streak ended Tuesday. They believe the key to starting another streak is having short memories.

"You've got to shake it off as quick as possible," Flyers defenseman Mark Streit said. "At this time of the year you always want to win and every point is crucial. At the same time, you need a really short memory. A lot of key games, busy schedule. Things just happen. You don't want to lose, but it happens. You have to turn the page and move on and focus on the next one."

That comes Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres.

The Flyers' 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday was their first regulation loss since Jan. 19. Their 6-0-3 stretch got them within six points of the Boston Bruins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs; the Bruins' shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday leaves the Flyers seven points back with 25 games remaining.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:13 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Capitals

The Winnipeg Jets have dealt with their fair share of injuries this season, but the news regarding one key player is positive heading into their game Thursday against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

Forward Drew Stafford, acquired in a trade Feb. 11 that sent forward Evander Kane to the Buffalo Sabres, took part in the morning skate and will be in the lineup, coach Paul Maurice said. Stafford sustained an upper-body injury Monday in a 5-4 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers and was listed as day-to-day.

"I'm feeling good," Stafford said in video posted by the Jets. "I'm fully prepared to pick up where I left off."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:09 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Rangers

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault will lead you to believe that the game against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday is simply just another important regular-season match at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers are second in the Metropolitan Division with 34 wins and 73 points and trail the first-place New York Islanders by four points with three games in hand. The Canucks are third in the Pacific Division with 32 wins and 67 points, one point behind the second-place Calgary Flames and 10 behind the Anaheim Ducks.

Still, the memory bank will certainly be flooded when Vigneault leads his charges against the team for which he spent seven seasons as coach. From 2006-07 through 2012-13, Vigneault was Vancouver's all-time leader in games coached (540), wins (313), Stanley Cup Playoff wins (33) and playoff games coached (68), marks that will always have a place in his heart.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 1:00 PM

By Wes Crosby - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- One of the Columbus Blue Jackets' more lethal weapons could return against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Thursday.

Forward Nick Foligno, who did not play in a 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday with a lower-body injury, could suit up against Pittsburgh. Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said Foligno will take part in pregame warm-ups with the intention to play.

"I was a super fan watching the game [on Tuesday]," Foligno said. "So I'm not good watching. Hopefully I can get back in there tonight. … I feel a lot better today. I was pretty sore the past couple days, but I'm getting the swelling down and felt I could get my foot in the skates."

Foligno, who skated alongside forwards Marko Dano and Artem Anisimov on Thursday morning, is tied with forward Ryan Johansen for the team lead in points (52 each) and leads Columbus with 22 goals. Prior to his injury, he had at least one point in five consecutive games, scoring four goals during that stretch.

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Quote of the Day

I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday
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