31 Thoughts: Breaking down major NHL Awards races

• Does Pettersson have Calder competition?• Panthers not done after Quenneville hire• Is Jack Hughes a lock for New Jersey at No. 1? Let’s start with the annual tradition of the NHL Awards ballot. The league frowns on everyone revealing their votes, preferring to leave some mystery for the night itself. Two of my winners […]

31 Thoughts: Can Maple Leafs’ marriage between coach and GM last?

• Babcock, Dubas on same page?• Chiasson, Oilers a good long-term fit• Mark Giordano having historic season On Monday, as the quotes trickled in and the tweet went out, the texts began to arrive. People from three different organizations asking, “What is going on in Toronto?” First, the on-ice picture. Tuesday’s 3–0 loss in Nashville was […]

31 Thoughts: Oilers GM search leaving no stone unturned

• Oilers have deep list of GM candidates• Grabner return comes at perfect moment• Voracek appeal challenges status quo Aidan Grabner’s seventh birthday — last March 31 — wasn’t perfect. He wanted his father, Michael — then in New Jersey — to get a goal. The Devils beat the New York Islanders 4-3, with Michael […]

31 Thoughts: Could a stealth suitor emerge for Matt Duchene?

• Could Flames, Isles storm Duchene sweepstakes?• Stars checking in on Panarin, Zuccarello• Oilers know Puljujarvi “very unhappy” I loathe the pre-deadline edition of the blog because things change incredibly quickly — making my work even less accurate than normal. So, no wordy top. Let’s get right to it. Mostly quick hitters this week. 31 […]

31 Thoughts: All eyes on Senators as trade deadline nears

• No shortage of likely suitors for Sens forwards• Boston looking to add at deadline• Could Kings make a play for Panarin? So here we are, 11 days until the deadline. The biggest question: What is Ottawa going to do? Matt Duchene, unrestricted Mark Stone, unrestricted. Ryan Dzingel, unrestricted. Cody Ceci, restricted, but one year away from […]

31 Thoughts: Auston Matthews extension a game changer for NHL

• Matthews deal a “massive tremor”• Panarin determined to be 2019 UFA• Canadiens hunting for forward depth Everyone in the NHL knew this was coming. Oh, teams hoped Toronto would somehow hold the line, stand up and say to its franchise player, “No, we’re not going to change the way business is done.” But when Auston Matthews […]

31 Thoughts: Three key decisions holding up NHL trade deadline dominos

• Duchene, Stone, Panarin decisions in spotlight• Leafs still looking at right-shot D-men• NHL All-Star skills comp needs new rlife There’s always hope one big trade creates aftershocks — that other teams look at Toronto acquiring Jake Muzzin and say, “Time for the counter-move!”you There are some teams who appear ready to manoeuvre. Pittsburgh is one, with […]

31 Thoughts: Buyers, sellers emerging ahead of NHL Trade Deadline

• Senators arena deal enters new phase• Edmonton ‘looking everywhere’ for forwards• Cogliano trade just a warning shot for Ducks? Let’s start this week’s edition with an update on Ottawa’s downtown arena. Monday night, Ottawa’s National Capital Corporation extended the deadline for Eugene Melnyk and John Ruddy to sort out their issues until Feb. 28. But […]