As proposed by the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman earlier this week, the Buffalo Sabres did indeed broker a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for forward Linus Omark. The 26-year-old forward cost the Sabres all of a 2014 conditional sixth-round draft pick. Omark – stuck in the AHL with the Oilers’ organization – should get a solid shot at securing a role with a struggling Buffalo club. The diminutive winger can score, and the Sabres have had some trouble in that department.
While we're on the subject of non-scoring Sabres, forward Ville Leino (zero goals) is one of several top buyout candidates, according to ESPN Insider Neil Greenberg. Other Insider content from Thursday features a piece on possible locations for NHL expansion by Craig Custance.
Apparently making silly “we-won-the-Stanley-Cup” gestures isn’t enough to get you traded out of Boston. Seems reasonable enough. Despite feeling annoyed with his pesky winger, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli says he has zero intention of moving Brad Marchand. “Let me be clear on Marchy,” Chiarelli said Thursday. “I’m not trading Marchy. He’s a good player. I like the way he plays.”
There’s word the Columbus Blue Jackets could’ve acquired Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers in addition to Jeff Carter, back in June, 2011. “You want ’em both?” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren allegedly asked then-Columbus GM Scott Howson at the time of the trade.
For those keeping track of who’s backing up backup Antti Raanta while Corey Crawford recuperates from a suspected groin injury, veteran Jason LaBarbera is in for the Chicago Blackhawks and Kent Simpson is out.
The Los Angeles Kings aren’t the least bit interested in rushing Jonathan Quick (groin injury) back to action. An affordable luxury, when one’s projected backup (Ben Scrivens) is playing well and one’s No. 3 netminder (Martin Jones) is nearly perfect (seven wins in seven tries, .971 save percentage, 0.85 goals-against average).
The St. Louis Blues and Alexander Steen hammered out the forward’s fresh three-year, $17.4-million extension in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. If all deals were cobbled together this quickly/easily, we’d have a lot less drama to address.
Goalie Ondrej Pavelec apparently remains “The Man” for the Winnipeg Jets even though backup Al Montoya is performing so much better these days. While Pavelec has allowed 19 goals in his last five starts, including one dismal two-period affair, Montoya has been stellar in four appearances since mid-November. But the 26-year-old Czech netminder is earning nearly $4-million/season until 2017, and the 28-year-old American’s one-year, $601,000 deal expires in July.
Rookie Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks is hurt. The early Calder Trophy candidate was forced from Thursday’s game with the Kings after sustaining a knee injury. Playing on a top line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, Hertl has 15 goals and 10 assists on the season. We’ll know more about the severity of the injury later Friday, but coach Todd McLellan is “very concerned”.
In other injury news, Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier (back spasms) is progressing well and hopes to beat the projected two-week timeline for return … After missing more than a month with a groin injury, defenseman Zach Bogosian is due back for the Jets Friday … the Washington Capitals expect to have forward Mikhail Grabovski (flu) back in the lineup Friday … Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton is expected to miss “weeks” with an ankle injury … goalie Tim Thomas is oh-so-close to returning for the Florida Panthers … New Jersey Devils forward Ryane Clowe (concussion) is a solid “maybe” to return before Christmas …