For almost two years, the Arizona Coyotes tried to trade Anthony Duclair. Now, the Chicago Blackhawks hope he’s the right fit for them. The Blackhawks acquired the talented but inconsistent 22-year-old winger from the Coyotes in a four-player trade Wednesday. Chicago also got them defenceman Adam Clendening and sent winger Richard Panik and minor league forward Laurent Dauphin to Arizona. Duclair has nine goals and six assists in 33 games this season, scoring in each of his last two games after reports surfaced that he had asked for a trade. Coyotes GM John Chayka said: “It’s gone back for a few years now where the team wasn’t particularly happy with the player and the player wasn’t particularly happy with the team and we worked through some things, tried a lot of different approaches in a lot of different ways. I hope he has success in Chicago and does good things”. Acquiring Duclair is another step for Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman to try to shake up a perennial contender fighting to maintain a playoff position. They put defenceman Cody Franson on waivers Monday and sent him to the minors and have shuffled around their roster in recent weeks. Chicago is the third NHL organization for Duclair, whom the Coyotes acquired from New York in 2015 in the deal that sent Keith Yandle to the Rangers. Duclair had 20 goals and 24 assists in 81 games in 2015-16, then had only five goals and 10 assists in 58 games last season. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville announced before his team’s game against the Minnesota Wild that Panik was out of the lineup and had been traded for Duclair. Panik, 26, has six goals and 10 assists in 37 games after signing a $5.6 million, two-year contract. His goal Tuesday night in an 8-2 victory at Ottawa was his first since Oct. 21, ending a 27-game drought. By trading Panik and his $2.8 million hit for Duclair’s $1.2 million and pending restricted free agency, the Blackhawks clear valuable salary-cap space this season and next.
The Hurricanes sale to billionaire Thomas Dundon could be finalized later this week, and once he takes over the franchise, the team could be in for an overhaul – and that’s a good thing. Everything is up in the air – the team’s logo and colours, in-game experience, marketing, player and family experience, team travel conditions, ticket sales, hockey operations, merchandise, and more. Once the sale to Dundon is official, for the first time in the club’s history since moving to Raleigh, a new vision will be behind every aspect of the organization. Dundon’s close relationship with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, of the NBA, may result in some similar behind-the-scenes changes, such as upgrading the team’s locker room and guest facilities, but any facility changes would need to be approved by Centennial Authority, who overseas PNC Arena. The News & Observer reports any changes Dundon wants to make, and pay for, as it relates to the Hurricanes’ areas in the arena are likely to be easily signed off on. With respect to hockey operations, there aren’t any expected changes to the roles of GM Ron Francis or head coach Bill Peters, and both will be given the opportunity to build their own relationships with Dundon. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes may be in the running to host a future NHL Draft, while the News & Observer reports the club may even participate in games in Finland next season.
The Rangers may not make any significant additions to their roster by the time the Feb. 26 trade deadline passes, as the focus may be on improving their roster for next season.The Rangers are “a bubble team” and his belief is the team may be better suited trading pending unrestricted free agent left wing Rick Nash than bolster its lineup for a Stanley Cup run. The team may look to add a piece or two “to compensate for the loss of Chris Kreider,” who may be done for the season, but owner Jim Dolan may prefer to “reboot” the team and generate more long-term success. With the Rangers near the bottom of the NHL in shot attempts against and shots-on-goal against, the club’s current 22-15-5 record isn’t strong as it looks. Nash isn’t expected to be back with the Rangers next season, “under even a hometown discount”. Nash, 33, is in the final year of his eight-year, $62.4 million contract. While his annual salary cap hit is $7.8 million, he’s earning $8.2 million in actual salary this season.
Forwards: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning*; Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins; Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres; Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers; Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning; Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs.
Defensemen: Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings; Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators; Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Goaltenders: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens; Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Forwards: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals*; Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
Josh Bailey, New York Islanders; John Tavares, New York Islanders; Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Defensemen: Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes; Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Goaltenders: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals.
Forwards: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers*; Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames; Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings; Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks; James Neal, Vegas Golden Knights; Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks.
Defensemen: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Goaltenders: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights
Forwards: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche; Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars; Eric Staal, Minnesota Wild; Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues; Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets.
Defensemen: P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators*; John Klingberg, Dallas Stars
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues.
Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators; Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets.