Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Thre is some talk that it may be better for new Maple Leaf coach Mike Babcock to work with Phil Kessel this season rather than trade him before the campaign starts.

Damian Cox of the Toronto Star quite rightly points out that Kessel's trade value is at an all-time low. He also reminds us that Babcock has had some success with challenging and/or quirky-type players in the past. If Babcock can get the best out of Kessel, which could be considerable, then it might be better for the Buds to keep their inconsistent star until his value increases for trade or he is actually able to help the club as a better two-way player.
May 23 - 10:30 AM

Dan Bylsma is allegedly a frontrunner to fill the Sabres' vacant head coaching position.

Word on the street is that the Penguins were asked for, and granted, permission to the Sabres to talk to Bylsma about being Buffalo's bench boss next season. Permission was needed as Bylsma, who was fired last summer by the Penguins, is still under contract with Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.
May 23 - 8:52 AM

There is a very good chance Matt Bartkowski will not be back in Boston next season.

The 26-year-old defenseman is an unrestricted free agent and did not have a stellar season with the Bruins in 2014-15. Bartkowski was often a healthy scratch and fell well short of Boston management's expectations. Look for him to find employment somewhere else in the NHL this upcoming campaign.
May 23 - 8:42 AM

Chris Kreider picked up the winner on Friday in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay.

The winger scored his seventh of the post-season and now is on a four game points streak. Kreider has nine points in the playoffs and will try to improve on that when the Rangers host the Lightning for Game 5 Sunday.
Source: NY Post
May 23 - 7:25 AM

Kevin Hayes has five points in his last five games.

Hayes helped his own cause with a couple of assists on Friday as he set up both of Rick Nash's goals as the duo seem to be clicking at this time. Hayes now has seven points in the playoffs and kudos to you if you took him late in your playoff pool.
Source: NY Post
May 23 - 7:23 AM

Kevin Klein had two assists on Friday.

That gives the defenseman three helpers in his last two games and four assists in 11 playoff contests to date. Klein suffered a broken arm on March 11 and finally returned to the Rangers lineup in time for Game 1 of the divisional final against Washington three weeks ago.
Source: NY Post
May 23 - 7:20 AM

Keith Yandle scored once and added a couple of assists for the Rangers in their 5-1 win Friday over Tampa Bay.

The defenseman was acquired from Arizona close to the trade deadline for his offensive talent and he did not disappoint in Game 4. It was his first goal in the playoffs this season and the blueliner now has nine points in 16 games including five in his last two games.
May 23 - 7:15 AM

Martin St. Louis scored his first goal of the playoffs on Friday.

It was a power play effort for the 39-year-old veteran who now has seven points in 16 post-season games this year. It has been a disappointing performance offensively for St. Louis who is definitely on the down side of his NHL career and should be drafted in the middle to late rounds of pools next season.
May 23 - 7:12 AM

Karl Alzner started to score more in the 2014-15 season.

Alzner had five goals in the regular season which equaled the total of his previous three seasons combined and then followed it up with a two goal and four point performance in 14 playoff games. The fifth overall pick in the 2007 Draft is a solid blueliner and any offense he gives the Capitals is just a bonus. That being said, we would not suggest drafting him in pools next season.
May 23 - 6:47 AM

Eric Fehr, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, wants to remain with the Washington Capitals.

The oft-injured winger is looking for a four year deal but the Capitals may come in with only three at best. "I really enjoy playing here," Fehr said. "Obviously, I have a lot of friends here and I’ve been here a lot of years. I think this is a special group. Obviously, I’d love to be back here, but looking at the amount of guys we have unsigned right now you just don’t know what’s going to happen." Fehr missed 10 of the Capitals 14 post-season games with a shoulder injury.
May 23 - 6:43 AM

The Columbus Blue Jackets have until August 15 to sign winger Seth Ambroz to a contract.

If both sides fail to agree on a deal, Ambroz will become an unrestricted free agent. The fifth round pick in 2011 played four seasons for the University of Minnesota before signing an amateur tryout with Springfield of the AHL in late March. He had 23 points in each of his last two seasons with the Golden Gophers and was pointless in four games with the AHL Falcons.
May 23 - 6:28 AM

Second round pick Hunter Smith is enjoying his playoff run with the OHL's Oshawa Generals.

Smith's Generals are in the Memorial Cup after defeating the Connor McDavid led Erie Otters in the OHL final. Smith, at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, was a big part of shutting down McDavid as he played on a line with Cole Cassels and Brad Latour which held McDavid pointless in three of the five games. "I’ve never really won anything in hockey in my life ... never really made it deep into the playoffs," Smith said. "You never really understood that mental grind that it takes to really push yourself ... and how beat down your body gets (with) the travel, the bus trips, having to play every other night for two months straight. It was a huge learning curve for me. It gives you a taste of how hard it could be at the next level." Smith will turn 20 just before the start of training camp and will likely spend another year in junior before beginning his professional career.
May 23 - 6:20 AM

Look for Frederik Andersen to get the start in goal for Anaheim on Saturday.

The Ducks enter Game 4 up 2-1 in the series with Andersen playing stellar hockey between the pipes. He is currently 10-2 in the post-season with a 1.75 GAA and a .935 save percentage.
May 23 - 6:10 AM

Simon Despres has been a pleasant surprise on the Ducks blueline since his trade from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline.

Despres had the winner on Thursday but his solid play since the March 2 trade has impressed his teammates. "When you don’t expect much from a guy because you didn’t know the guy, it was a great surprise for everybody," fellow defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "He was the steal of the deadline, that’s for sure. In the last few years I don’t know if there’s a guy that was traded at the deadline that’s made such a big impact on a team as he did. It was just a great move by Murph (GM Bob Murray)."
May 23 - 6:06 AM

Defenseman James Wisniewski has yet to play in the 2015 playoffs.

The Ducks acquired the offensive defenseman at the trade deadline and the thought at the time was that Wisniewski would be a third pairing defenseman. But the Ducks defensive corps of Hampus Lindholm, Francois Beauchemin, Cam Fowler, Simon Despres, Sami Vatanen and Clayton Stoner has been stellar in the post-season and Wisniewski waits patiently to get into the lineup as he may need an injury to someone on the top-six for that to happen.
May 23 - 6:01 AM



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