NHL Notebook: Stars surge into playoff spot
Let’s recap some of the major NHL headlines from on and off the ice over the last week.
The Dallas Stars are suddenly one of the hottest teams in hockey, having gone 9-3-1 since the All-Star break. They’ve leapt past the Oilers, Canucks, and Ducks – all of whom have played more games than Dallas – into the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
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Tampa Bay Lightning
Vegas Golden Knights
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
Oddsmakers have taken notice, knocking the Stars down from their +4000 at the All-Star break to +3000 to win the Stanley Cup.
Perhaps the most amazing part of the Stars’ recent run of success is the consecutive hat-tricks that Jason Robertson pulled off on Friday and Sunday. That hadn’t been done in the NHL since Alex Ovechkin accomplished the feat in 2017.
TWO HAT TRICKS IN TWO GAMES FOR JASON ROBERTSON. 😱 pic.twitter.com/SLSe3thzhM— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 7, 2022
Bruins “seriously in the chase” for Chychrun
With less than two weeks until the NHL trade deadline, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday night that the Boston Bruins are one of the “primary suitors” for Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
The talented Chychrun would command a massive haul, as he has multiple years to go on a team-friendly contract. But the Bruins appear to have the assets in the organization to make such a move possible.
McCann re-signs with Seattle
Jared McCann signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday, making him the first player to re-sign with the NHL’s newest club. He could have been a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.
KRAKEN LEAD! 🦑— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) February 3, 2022
Jared McCann finds the back of the net! pic.twitter.com/SthdpJRK8S
“That’s a lot of pressure off my shoulders,” he told NHL.com. “Now I can just focus on playing hockey. It’s a huge honor to get this deal and to be a part of the future.”
McCann currently leads all scorers in Seattle with a career-high 21 goals. He has 87 goals over parts of eight seasons with the Panthers, Canucks, Penguins, and Kraken.
NHL cuts off KHL
One week after suspending business relationships with Russia, including the termination of their broadcast agreement, the NHL suspended all dealings with the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League on Monday.
Per ESPN, “the NHL told its teams to cease contact with KHL counterparts and Russia-based agents as part of the suspension of the memorandum of understanding between the leagues.”
This move – yet another rebuke of the war in Ukraine – could make it harder for NHL teams to sign players from the KHL.