HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information from the hockey world.
1. Traded players make immediate impacts with new clubs
Wojtek Wolski and Lee Stempniak made solid first impressions with their new team, the Phoenix Coyotes. Wolski scored the game winner against his old club, the Colorado Avalanche, a day after Colorado traded him, and Stempniak scored the Coyotes first goal in their 3-1 win. One of the players Wolski was exchanged for, Peter Mueller, has a goal and an assist in his first two games with Colorado.
Meanwhile, Scott Walker scored twice, including the game winner, in his debut for the Washington Capitals. Newcomer Clarke MacArthur also scored in his first game for the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, dealt by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, is expected to join Pittsburgh on Friday and will play for the Penguins against the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon.
2. Lehtonen pressed into early duty
Speaking of the Stars, their new goaltender Kari Lehtonen was supposed to play his first game for Dallas against the Penguins. But he was summoned from the bench on Thursday after Marty Turco surrendered four goals on 11 shots against the St. Louis Blues.
This wasn’t a good way for Turco to celebrate his 500th NHL game.
Lehtonen, acquired in a trade prior to the Olympic break, had not played since Apr. 11 after undergoing a pair of off-season back surgeries. He stopped 14 of 16 shots in the Blues 6-1 rout.
3. A devil of a deal for Kaberle?
According to the Newark Star Ledger, the buzz around the New Jersey Devils dressing room was that Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello tried hard to make a deal for Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle on Wednesday.
Kaberle has a no-trade clause in his contract and submitted a list of three teams that he would consider a trade to before the NHL trade deadline. Neither the Devils, Leafs nor Kaberle has revealed if New Jersey was one of the teams on his list. Toronto GM Brian Brian Burke did state that he explored deals to ship out Kaberle, but couldn’t find an exchange to his liking.
4. Legace beats ‘em all
When goalie Manny Legace earned a 4-1 win for the Carolina Hurricanes against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, he beat the only remaining team on his list. He now has victories against all 30 NHL clubs and extended Carolina’s win streak to seven in a row.
The 37-year-old Legace has played in 355 career NHL games. He has a 185-97-38 record with a decent 2.40 goals against average and .912 save percentage.
5. Will Eberle see action with the Oilers?
Canadian junior star Jordan Eberle has five more regular games remaining with his hometown Regina Pats. The Pats will not make the playoffs this season. So after their March 13 finale, the 19-year-old Eberle will likely join the Oilers farm club, the Springfield Falcons, as he did last season when he checked in with three goals and nine points in nine games. It remains to be seen if he later makes his NHL debut.
The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Eberle enters his final eight days in junior as the Western Hockey League’s leading scorer with a remarkable 46 goals and 97 points in 52 games. He will play his 250th career game for the Pats when they meet the Lethbridge Broncos on Friday.