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NHL

NHL Must Fully Investigate Blue Jackets Including Management

I’ve been writing about this team on what the kids used to call Twitter for a long time now going back to the Blue Jackets fan protest of Scott Howson. After posting about a variety of issues I had with the team on the morning of December 17, 2015, a direct message appeared from an account I was not expecting a message from–it was Jarmo Kekäläinen.

“Call me anytime to discuss,” and a cellphone number that the business card that followed showed to be his personal cellphone.

The phone call would occur a few days later. It was a bizarre moment–the guy who helped get his predecessor canned speaking to the incumbent general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets. I believe that call lasted about an hour. It was a fairly wide ranging call and there were points at which it was fairly heated–we’ll just say that I still don’t agree with Jarmo’s take on the acquisition of Nathan Horton.

One thing we did seem to agree on was a young player in Nashville by the name of Seth Jones. I had been adamant online that Jones should be a key piece of any trade of Ryan Johansen to Nashville–an idea which then-Predators GM, David Poile, tried to throw cold water on, but a trade which would come to fruition in less than a months time.

To be clear, I don’t think I gave Jarmo the idea to acquire Jones, but one of the things he said early on in our seven-plus years of discussions online was “Why don’t you send me solutions? We know the problems…As I said, I am always open for new information.”

What was made clear by each of us in those early discussions was that Jarmo would listen to ideas from a great many sources, including me, which wouldn’t always mean he’d buy off on them or implement them and from my part, I made it clear that I’d have a respectful dialogue, but that didn’t mean I was always going to agree with him and I’d make it known when I didn’t.

As the years went by, one area where we seemed to butt heads a lot was with respect to John Tortorella. It comes as no shock to anyone who has read my writing to know that I find John’s methods deplorable. Specifically, his public berating of younger players–and it’s almost always younger players–is a pointless, counterproductive and, let’s be honest, would be tolerated in absolutely no other line of work.

By Jarmo’s admission, in at least one instance, a matter that was supposed to be internal was made public by Torts and, also by Jarmo’s admission, he probably should have fired him at that point…but he didn’t.

My respect for Jarmo dimmed as a result of what I view as his less than honest portrayal in the public (and to me) regarding the departure of Pierre-Luc Dubois. From the time of Dubois’ trade until around the time Tortorella was let go by the Jackets, it had always been portrayed that the primary reasons for Dubois’ departure from Columbus was his relationship with his teammates.

It was only as Tortorella started to go to the press and say that the reason he was moving on was because he didn’t like the direction of the team that the truth came out from Jarmo–John Tortorella drove Pierre-Luc Dubois out of town and, to make matters worse, once Jarmo traded away Dubois, Tortorella had then mistreated Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic, the young men acquired in the trade.

This bothered me immensely and I’d say that it permanently changed my feelings about Jarmo Kekäläinen and his ability to manage the Columbus Blue Jackets. By that point, it was obvious to anyone that the team needed to rebuild, which meant bringing in even more young players to the franchise.

Yet, here was a GM who had already allowed one coach to have carte blanche to mistreat young players with impunity with the players being shipped off when they couldn’t handle his methods.

Even Jarmo would acknowledge that players that didn’t “fit the mold…William Karlsson, Anthony Duclair. Even Wennberg…many good players have le[f]t from here to be better elsewhere and that’s not good”.

Yet Kekäläinen protected Tortorella during this period IN SPITE OF THE TEAM’S ON-ICE FAILURES! It was as if a bargain were made with the devil and the devil didn’t even deliver on his part!

Prior to and during the hiring of Brad Larsen I was assured by Jarmo that he was a very different coach than Torts in the right ways and that he was the unanimous choice of the management team–a fact which is damning in retrospect. Additionally, the problems with the power play that Tortorella had always claimed to be Larsen’s domain were now laid at Tortorella’s door by Kekäläinen.

“I just find it so unfair that he gets blamed for PP when I see every day what is going on…when HC doesn’t want to practise (SP) it or gives PP time (for other reasons than right) to guys who really shouldn’t be in it…he should take the flame for it, not the assistant.”

The Jackets would go on to finish in the bottom 10 during Larsen’s two seasons with the team.

When it came time to replace Larsen, the rumors that started to come out were troubling. Patrick Roy, who’s coaching career includes sending players into a brawl in a junior game, was one of the initial hot rumors. Eventually, seemingly out of the blue, an even more troubling name emerged–Mike Babcock.

The list of players Babcock has been abusive towards includes Mike Commodore, Johan Franzen and Mitch Marner, but those are simply the three that we know about and the fact that those three come from three different eras suggests that Babcock probably has a number of other guys who he has victimized during his career.

Yet, if we believe Jarmo “I talked to people I know who are not only Hall of Fame hockey people but Hall of Fame people, with character. Those conversations are really important to me. They’re trustworthy people who I have a really good relationship with, and all of the feedback from people who have worked with Mike Babcock for years–a lot closer than I got to know him–were positive. Everybody says Mike’s a great coach, but more importantly they said he’s a really good person. That was basically unanimous.”

Are Mike Commodore, Johan Franzen and Mitch Marner not “trustworthy”? Because each of them paint a far different story that runs counter to the narrative Jarmo chose to accept about Mike Babcock.

In fact, two of those guys (Commodore and Franzen) have literally called Babcock the worst person in the world. That seems to undercut the unanimity of Jarmo’s poor sample size. And it begs so many questions that should be answered at today’s presser: (1) Who did you talk to? (2) Did you talk to any of his accusers? (3) In supposedly changing, did Mike Babcock ever accept responsibility and apologize to the players personally? (4) Exactly what due diligence was done in hiring Mike Babcock? And on and on.

But this isn’t the most troubling aspect to me. The most troubling aspect to me is that the General Manager who, by his own admission, allowed John Tortorella to run Pierre-Luc Dubois out of town, to mismanage other promising players like William Karlsson, Anthony Duclair and Alex Wennberg, was going to allow Mike Babcock to do something potentially even more harmful to another group of young men.

That he let a serial predator put out a press release to try and chill the testimony of his victims is damning. Bad enough that the due diligence was shoddy, but he was going to let the coach get away with it precisely by allowing him to bully his accusers. That’s unacceptable and if he had any decency left, Jarmo would resign.

Jarmo has brought immense embarrassment to this organization by his failure to do proper diligence over the past few months. That he was allowed to name another coach suggests an ownership group who cares more about tax breaks than any sort of organizational pride or basic human decency. They clearly cannot be trusted to investigate themselves, so the league needs to step in for the sake of another generation of players.

The press and fans have been lied to about these situations in the past. They both need to get answers now. For my part, I include screenshots of conversations. for confirmation.

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NHL Nick's Net

The Last Dance: If This Is Truly It

In 2018, the Boston Bruins had a 3-1 series lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then they lost Game 5. Then Game 6.

A then-first-year NHLer, Jake DeBrusk, put on one of his most clutch performances of his young career as the Bruins went on to win Game 7 on home ice, 7-4.

In 2023, Boston had a 3-1 series lead over the Florida Panthers. Then they lost Game 5. Then Game 6.

But this year it feels different. This year everything is on the line. This is the last dance.

Whether Patrice Bergeron and/or David Krejčí waltz into the sunset in the offseason or not— there’s too many expiring contracts and not enough salary cap space to retain the services of every single player that contributed to an NHL record-setting regular season in wins (65) and points (135).

The 2023-24 Boston Bruins won’t be engaging in a full-on rebuild, but they sure as hell won’t be anything near as dominant as they were this year.

David Pastrňák, Charlie McAvoy, Pavel Zacha, DeBrusk, Hampus Lindholm, Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman would be your new core moving forward for the time being (with respect to Brad Marchand as the bridge from the old core Bergeron and Krejčí Era to the post-Bergeron and Krejčí Era B’s and, no, there’s no goaltending controversy as long as Swayman is a restricted free agent that’s destined to take over the full-time starting role in the near future).

They could still amass good numbers as individuals next season and roll on as a team in a more competitive Atlantic Division than ever before as the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators are on the rise as designed by nature of league parity, the draft and talent development.

They could falter a bit— or a lot— and miss the playoffs entirely, which would undoubtedly set an NHL record for “most points lost from one season to the next”.

This year, blowing a 3-1 series lead is worse than blowing the 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010.

The demons of 2010, were exorcized by the triumphs of 2011.

And, sure, technically you could say Boston blew a 3-1 series lead in 2010, too, if you want to argue the semantics of what, exactly, constitutes “blowing a 3-1 series lead” (does it matter if it was 3-0 before Game 4, asking for a friend).

In 2010, Boston had last won the Cup in 1972.

38 years of history separated the 2009-10 roster from legends named Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk, Gerry Cheevers and more.

After being bumped by the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games courtesy of a game-winning overtime goal by Scott Walker in the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Bruins were looking to shed the notion that they weren’t serious Cup contenders.

Boston’s unexpected turnaround from missing the postseason in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons to making the playoffs for the first time since 2004, in the 2007-08 season— where they went on to take the Montréal Canadiens to seven games before losing, 5-0, at Bell Centre— culminated (up to that point in time before 2010-11) in a 116-point season in 2008-09— finishing first in the Eastern Conference, but one point shy of the 117-point Presidents’ Trophy-winning San Jose Sharks as the league’s best team overall heading into the playoffs.

The 2009-10 season featured Boston’s first glimpse of outdoor hockey and the magic atmosphere that Fenway Park brings for whatever game is held within its walls as the Bruins beat the Flyers, 2-1, in overtime thanks to Marco Sturm’s game-winning goal on a simple redirection of a shot pass from Bergeron.

If Game 6 against Montréal in 2008, resurrected Boston as a hockey town, the 2010 Winter Classic gave the creators behind Fever Pitch (2005) enough fodder for another romantic comedy centered on Boston sports lore.

January 1, 2010, was supposed to turnover a new leaf, but the month didn’t go the way the Bruins had hoped as they amassed a 3-9-2 record.

Then Boston began to surge on the coattails of a hot, young, goaltender in Tuukka Rask as the calendar flipped through February, March and the first couple of weeks of April before the playoffs start.

Bruins fans praised Šatan— that’s Miroslav Šatan, mind you— as his goal in double overtime in Game 4 capped off three-straight wins and gave Boston a 3-1 series lead over Buffalo before the B’s closed out the series on home ice in Game 6 with a, 4-3, win.

Marc Savard cemented his legacy in his return from a devastating concussion and scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 1 against Philadelphia to begin the next round.

Krejčí suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Game 3 and the rest is history.

The Bruins would seek to avenge their series loss by approaching the 2010-11 season with a scorched earth approach, though they would finish third in the Eastern Conference behind the Washington Capitals and, you guessed it, Philadelphia.

Tim Thomas put up his second Vezina Trophy-winning season, besting his 36-11-7 record in 54 games (54 starts) with a 2.10 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage and five shutouts in that span in 2008-09, with a 35-11-9 performance in 57 games (55 starts) to go with a 2.00 GAA, a .938 SV% and nine shutouts before the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs began.

The Bruins met their biggest rival in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, whereby Nathan Horton scored the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 7 on home ice to topple the Canadiens and punch Boston’s ticket to a rematch with the Flyers in the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

This time, the B’s made sure to finish the job and sweep Philadelphia despite the Flyers holding home ice advantage for the series.

Of course, Horton further cemented his legacy with the only goal in Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a penalty-free game of the century at TD Garden as both goaltenders, Thomas and Dwayne Roloson, put on a masterclass in the art of goaltending before the sellout crowd of 17,565 fans in attendance that night.

The Bruins fell behind 2-0 in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final to the heavily favored Vancouver Canucks and returned to home ice for Game 3 on the 67th anniversary of D-Day.

Boston routed Vancouver, 8-1, for their first victory in the Final and made their home arena hell on Earth for Roberto Luongo (and Cory Schneider) as the B’s took Games 3, 4 and 6 by a combined score of, 17-3.

The Bruins won Game 7 at Rogers Arena, 4-0, and with that, Zdeno Chára, raised the Cup higher than it had ever been before due to his 6-foot-9 stature as the team’s captain knocked his own “2011 Stanley Cup champions” official hat off his head with the 35-pound rose bowl— cementing his legacy in pictures that would be plastered all over newspapers across New England the next morning.

The Capitals bounced Boston out in seven games with a, 2-1, overtime defeat— this time at the hands of Joel Ward— in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

In 2013, Boston experienced a miracle less than a month after the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Bergeron scored a pair of goals— tying Game 7 against Toronto in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and winning it, 5-4, in overtime on home ice as the Bruins capped a comeback after trailing, 4-1, with less than 11 minutes left in the third period.

As if winning one Stanley Cup wasn’t enough, Bergeron further cemented his legacy as one of the all-time Bruins greats in the process.

Boston rode the momentum of their historic victory over the Maple Leafs with a five-game series win against the New York Rangers in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and a four-game sweep against the heavily favored— and Jarome Iginla wielding— Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final.

Just as they had done in 2011, the series clinching game in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final required just one goal— this time by defender, Adam McQuaid, cementing No. 54’s legacy in the spoked-B.

Then Boston lost to Chicago in a grueling six-game series in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

The 2013-14 season brought the Bruins their second Presidents’ Trophy title since the award began in 1986, but Boston couldn’t beat Montréal in the 2014 Second Round— losing Game 7 on home ice and further signifying the end of one era of hockey and the start of another as the game shifted from that where the role of the enforcer played a significance on your fourth line to that of the contemporary “roll four lines of speed and skill” era of hockey.

The “Merlot Line” of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille would be slowly broken up— first as Thornton left for the Panthers in the 2014 offseason before Campbell and Paille would leave via free agency as well in 2015, after Boston missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

In 2017, the Bruins returned to postseason form with a First Round series against the Ottawa Senators after barely beating Toronto for the third spot in the Atlantic Division with 95 points and three more regulation plus overtime wins (42) than the Maple Leafs (39).

Boston was ousted in six games on home ice as Pastrňák and McAvoy experienced their first taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in part, due to numerous injuries.

In 2018, the B’s beat the Leafs, but lost in the Second Round in five games on the road in Tampa.

An aging core of Chára, Bergeron, Krejčí and Rask were left to wonder if they’d ever truly see one more Stanley Cup Final appearance in a Bruins uniform.

Then the run in 2019, happened.

Boston beat Toronto again in seven games in the First Round after forcing a Game 7 having trailed in the series 3-2 entering Game 6.

They beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games in the Second Round and swept the Hurricanes in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final— clinching both series on the road— before hosting the St. Louis Blues— the team Orr scored against with his famous “flying goal” to win the Cup in 1970, that’s immortalized in bronze outside TD Garden.

A broken jaw wouldn’t stop Chára from playing in Game 5 on home ice before a standing ovation as the players were introduced for television. His legacy was only further cemented as a result.

Then Noel Acciari was tripped.

Then Boston won Game 6 in St. Louis and forced the first Game 7 on home ice in the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history. The Bruins lost, 4-1.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic cut the 2019-20 regular season short— handing the Bruins their third Presidents’ Trophy title in the process, but delivering a five-month waiting period before the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs would be held in Toronto and Edmonton as the world dealt with immense sickness and grief.

The B’s beat Carolina in five games, then lost to Tampa in five games in the 2020 Second Round— closing Chára’s chapter as captain as the defender left via free agency before the 2020-21 season.

After playing a 56-game regular season solely against temporarily realigned divisional opponents, Boston faced Washington in the 2021 First Round and beat the Capitals in five games with four-straight wins after losing Game 1, 3-2, in overtime on the road.

Then the Bruins couldn’t get past the New York Islanders in a six-game series loss in the 2021 Second Round as the net began to transition from Rask to Swayman and whoever would come next.

In 2022, Ullmark and Swayman backstopped Boston to the first wild card in the Eastern Conference while Rask made a brief appearance in January before retiring in February due to the limitations that injuries imposed on his body.

The Hurricanes got their revenge for 2019 and 2020, by virtue of a seven-game series victory at PNC Arena in the 2022 First Round.

19 years ago this month, Bergeron scored his first career Stanley Cup Playoffs goal in a, 2-1, overtime win against Montréal in Game 2 of their 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup as an 18-year-old first-year NHLer.

Krejčí was later drafted that summer.

The pinnacle of the Bergeron-Krejčí Era Bruins was not reached in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

The legacy that No. 37 and No. 46 will eventually leave behind was built over the 2,326 regular season games and more than 300 postseason appearances that they made and the accomplishments that they earned as a team.

Legendary Bruins like Eddie Shore, Milt Schmidt, Esposito, Bucyk and Orr won two Stanley Cup rings as players with Boston. Lionel Hitchman won one (his other was with the original Ottawa Senators in 1923). Dit Clapper won three.

Ray Bourque never won any— his ring came courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

Cam Neely, Rick Middleton, Willie O’Ree and Terry O’Reilly never won in their playing days in Boston either, but their jersey numbers still hang from the rafters.

Ullmark’s 2022-23 regular season was the kind of year not seen since the days of Thomas, but he did something Thomas didn’t do— nor any Bruins goaltender, for that matter— Ullmark scored a goal. The first goalie goal in franchise history. That’s etched in stone as he contributed 40 wins in the team’s 65-win season.

Swayman had 24 wins of his own and— combined with Ullmark— joined the likes of Reggie Lemelin, Andy Moog, Thomas, Manny Fernandez, Rask and Jaroslav Halák as the only Bruins goaltenders to win the William M. Jennings Trophy in club history before the centennial season begins next year.

Whether it’s Ullmark or Swayman in net for Game 7, this team will cement their legacy as one.

The views expressed above are not indicative of my employer(s). I’m simply just writing some hockey historian stuff these days.

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NHL Nick's Net

No quiet offseason in the “C of Red”

Well, you wanted a rebuild.

The Calgary Flames restructured their core this offseason after a disappointing Second Round series loss to the Edmonton Oilers in five games left General Manager, Brad Treliving, with a few options— stay the course, blow things up or swing for the fences.

Stanley Cup contenders aren’t built in a day, but they are improved upon over the course of an offseason or an entire year.

No General Manager in the National Hockey League walks into their office on their first day with the organization looking at the roster assembled before them saying “yep, this team is going to win it all this season”.

There was a reason why the last GM was fired or not extended, after all.

Even Julien BriseBois didn’t walk into his role as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sept. 11, 2018, completely convinced the team he inherited from Steve Yzerman could get it done after Yzerman resigned.

BriseBois made two acquisitions during the 2018-19 season with a minor move involving the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 18th in which the Lightning gave the Ducks future considerations for a minor league prospect that never made it to the NHL, then a somewhat major tweak to the eventual 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup champion Bolts rosters by sending Slater Koekkoek and a 2019 5th round pick (151st overall, later flipped to Arizona via Pittsburgh) to Chicago for defender, Jan Rutta, and a 2019 7th round pick (198th overall, Mikhail Shalagin) on Jan. 11th.

After the Columbus Blue Jackets shocked the hockey world and swept the regular season record tying 62-win, Presidents’ Trophy clinching Lightning in the 2019 First Round, BriseBois sent goaltending prospect, Connor Ingram, to the Nashville Predators for a 2021 7th round pick (211st overall, Robert Flinton) on June 14th and later acquired Marek Mazanec, a 2019 3rd round pick (71st overall, Hugo Alnefelt) and a conditional 2020 1st round pick (20th overall) from the Vancouver Canucks for J.T. Miller on June 22nd.

Vancouver’s 2020 1st round pick came in handy when Tampa later added leading up to the 2020 trade deadline by flipping the pick as well as left wing, Nolan Foote, to the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 16th for Blake Coleman.

At the 2020 trade deadline itself on Feb. 24th, BriseBois sent the San Jose Sharks Tampa’s own 2020 1st round pick (31st overall, Ozzy Wiesblatt) and Anthony Greco for Barclay Goodrow and a 2020 3rd round pick (originally belonging to Philadelphia, 85th overall, Maxim Groshev).

And thus, the 2020 Stanley Cup champion Lightning were fully assembled.

The following season, BriseBois kept most of the band together— trading Braydon Coburn, Cédric Paquette and a 2022 2nd round pick (64th overall, Filip Nordberg) to the Ottawa Senators to clear cap space by acquiring the contracts of Marián Gáborik and Anders Nilsson that were destined for the long term injured reserve upon training camp.

BriseBois’ biggest move occurred in the buildup to the 2021 trade deadline on April 10th, when the Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings helped piece together a three-team trade that saw Columbus acquire a 2021 1st round pick (32nd overall, later flipped to Chicago) and a 2022 3rd round pick (96th overall, Jordan Dumais) from the Lightning, while the Red Wings brokered even more salary cap retention on David Savard’s contract and added a 2021 4th round pick (128th overall, later flipped to Vegas).

Tampa, meanwhile, acquired Savard and Brian Lashoff from Detroit in the deal.

Savard was a pending-unrestricted free agent with a significant cap hit that was made manageable for the Lightning to add after the Blue Jackets retained 50% of Savard’s salary in the deal with Detroit before the Red Wings retained an additional 50% of Savard’s new cap hit with Detroit before sending him to Tampa.

In simple terms Savard had a $4.250 million cap hit with Columbus, which became a $2.125 million cap hit with Detroit and finally landed on a $1.0625 million cap hit for the Lightning.

And thus, the 2021 Stanley Cup champion roster for Tampa was fully assembled.

Prior to the 2021-22 season, BriseBois lost Coleman via free agency to the Flames, traded the rights to Goodrow to the New York Rangers for a 2022 7th round pick (223rd overall, Dyllan Gill), flipped Tyler Johnson to Chicago with a 2023 2nd round pick for Brent Seabrook’s LTIR-destined contract, sent Mitchell Stephens to the Red Wings for a 2022 6th round pick (169th overall, later flipped to Los Angeles) and more to keep the Lightning cap compliant and able to re-sign Brayden Point to a massive eight-year contract extension worth $9.500 million per season— thereby continuing Tampa’s Cup-winning core into the future.

As it is, Erik Cernak, Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev all received eight-year extensions this summer that don’t even go into effect until next season (2023-24).

Of course, the Lightning went on to the 2022 Stanley Cup Final where they lost in six games to the Colorado Avalanche after acquiring Brandon Hagel from Chicago on March 18, 2022, for Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, a conditional 2023 1st round pick and a conditional 2024 1st round pick and adding Nick Paul from the Ottawa Senators two days later for Mathieu Joseph and a 2024 4th round pick.

BriseBois also acquired Riley Nash from the Arizona Coyotes for future considerations and made one more minor move at the 2022 trade deadline itself on March 21st.

The Lightning have made the Stanley Cup Final in the last three seasons, while the Avalanche are the current defending Stanley Cup champions.

The NHL is a copycat league and if you don’t think other playoff teams are clamoring for pieces of the Tampa and Colorado rosters from 2020-present or equivalent players then you must be part of a rebuilding organization that’s focusing on other endeavors like tanking for Connor Bedard right now.

We haven’t even touched on what BriseBois added in free agency during Tampa’s recent success and we aren’t even talking about the masterclass Joe Sakic put on as General Manager of the Avs prior to winning it all this year and being promoted to President of Hockey Operations, while Chris MacFarland takes the reins as General Manager.

But in way more words that you probably wanted to read, Treliving is well aware of how to make a playoff team turn into a Cup contender.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Treliving signed Coleman to a six-year deal worth $4.900 million per season and Trevor Lewis to a one-year, $800,000 on July 28, 2021— the same day he acquired the rights to Nikita Zadorov from Chicago for a 2022 3rd round pick (originally belonging to Toronto, 90th overall, Aidan Thompson) and Dan Vladar from the Boston Bruins for a 2022 3rd round pick (91st overall, later flipped to Seattle).

Coleman is quite literally one of the former pieces to Tampa’s back-to-back Cups in 2020 and 2021, while Lewis brought his two-time Stanley Cup champion winning experience with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014, to Calgary’s bottom-six forwards.

Both Lewis and Zadorov were re-signed this summer with Lewis signing up for another season and Zadorov earning a two-year deal (both players were signed at the same cap hit they had in 2021-22).

Last season, Treliving added a major component to his roster well in advance of the 2022 trade deadline when he acquired Tyler Toffoli from the Montréal Canadiens in exchange for Tyler Pitlick, Emil Heineman, a conditional 2022 1st round pick (26th overall, Filip Mesar), a 2023 5th round pick and a conditional 2024 4th round pick (the condition was not met).

For added depth, Calgary acquired Calle Järnkrok from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a 2022 2nd round pick (originally belonging to Florida, 61st overall, David Goyette), a 2023 3rd round pick and a 2024 7th round pick on March 16th and added Ryan Carpenter from Chicago for a 2024 5th round pick at the deadline on March 21st.

Järnkrok and Carpenter were rental pieces that were not re-signed this offseason with the former ending up in Toronto and the latter joining the New York Rangers.

The additions of Coleman (2020 and 2021 with Tampa), Lewis (2012 and 2014 with Los Angeles) and Toffoli (2014 with Los Angeles) brought in more of a Cup-winning pedigree to the Flames locker room while Milan Lucic (2011 with Boston) and head coach, Darryl Sutter (2012 and 2014 with Los Angeles), already have experience in what it takes to win it all and can provide a touch of wisdom for the rest of the team.

Sometimes it takes a shift in the faces of the franchise to stabilize the foundation of a legitimate Cup contender.

Flames fans have been through it all this offseason with the departure of Johnny Gaudreau in free agency to the Blue Jackets and subsequent aftermath in the NHL’s first ever sign and trade event whereby Matthew Tkachuk inked an eight-year extension with Calgary before immediately being dealt to the Florida Panthers.

Gaudreau left on a seven-year deal with the Blue Jackets worth less than what Calgary was offering— agreeing to a $9.750 million cap hit with Columbus through 2028-29.

Erik Gudbranson would leave the Flames for the Blue Jackets via free agency as well on a four-year contract worth $4.000 million per season— well above the cool $1.950 million cap hit he carried with Calgary last season and matching his career-high $4.000 million cap hit that he once had on a three-year extension that he originally signed with the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 20, 2018.

Tkachuk, meanwhile, was packaged with a conditional 2025 4th round pick to Florida in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt and a conditional 2025 1st round pick.

Losing Gaudreau after a career season in goals (40), assists (75) and points (115) hurts, but replacing him with Huberdeau— who also set career-highs in assists (85) and points (115) while matching his previous high in goals (30)— certainly takes the sting of watching a fan favorite leave for nothing.

Adding Weegar on the heels of a career-year in goals (eight), assists (36) and points (44) as a bonus for trading Tkachuk to the Panthers is the icing on the cake (with the conditional 2025 1st round pick being like its own “baker’s dozen” bonus 13th doughnut from Tim Horton’s or something).

Gudbranson, who, despite reaching highs in all three scoring categories with 6-11—17 totals had *checks notes* 27 points fewer than the versatile Weegar.

As for Tkachuk, the 24-year-old broke into the league in 2016-17 with 48 points (13 goals, 35 assists) in 76 games with the Flames after being drafted 6th overall in 2016.

Injuries kept him to 49 points in 68 games in 2017-18, and if it weren’t for Mark Giordano’s existence, Brian Burke, then President of Hockey Operations for Calgary (who would leave upon season’s end) while Treliving was in his fourth full season as General Manager, was ready to name Tkachuk captain based on his work ethic alone.

In 2018-19, he had 77 points in 80 games, then he dipped to 61 points in 69 games followed by 43 points in 56 games in 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively. Both seasons were altered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Last season, he exploded for career-highs in goals (42), assists (62) and points (104) in 82 games, but will he hit it off with Aleksander Barkov like how Florida’s captain used to play with Huberdeau?

There’s no question Tkachuk will be a prominent NHL player, but he didn’t want to stay in Calgary forever and that’s fine.

Treliving maximized the return— and then some— in what he got for Tkachuk like how the Bruins fleeced Burke for a 2010 1st round pick (2nd overall, Tyler Seguin), a 2010 2nd round pick (32nd overall, Jared Knight) and a 2011 1st round pick (9th overall, Dougie Hamilton) in the Phil Kessel trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs back on Sept. 18, 2009.

It pays to learn lessons from Mr. Burke.

Don’t ask what Boston did with all three players afterwards. They still won the Cup (with Seguin) in 2011, at least.

But that’s not all that Treliving got done this summer as he notably signed Huberdeau to an eight-year extension already worth $10.500 million per season that’ll begin in 2023-24, making Huberdeau the highest paid player in Flames history in the salary cap era in the process.

Gaudreau could’ve been a member of Calgary for most (if not all) of his career and at 29-years-old he had every right to seek a change of scenery and make it easier on him and the family that he is planning for to hop on a flight back to New Jersey or invite his friends and relatives out to Columbus to see a game.

Huberdeau is also 29, so there’s no loss in maximizing the potential considering both players are already within their prime years.

In 671 career games with the Panthers, Huberdeau had 198-415—613 totals or about .914 points per game, while Gaudreau recorded 210-399—609 totals (1.01 points per game) in 602 games with the Flames.

There’s a slight offensive advantage for Gaudreau, but Huberdeau has been more of a two-way player in his career and could receive more Selke Trophy attention in the years to come as five-time Selke winner, Patrice Bergeron, enters the twilight years of his storied NHL career with the Bruins.

Huberdeau’s playing style could benefit Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane if Sutter wanted to create a “super” line to overpower his opponent in a particular shift.

Though Gaudreau had ten more goals than Huberdeau last season, Huberdeau had ten more assists than Gaudreau and you know that either type of point (a goal or an assist) counts as a goal for someone on your team, right?

Huberdeau’s playmaking ability might keep Lindholm’s 42 goals in 2021-22 from being a one-off fluke and Mangiapane’s 35 goals last season as just the beginning.

Lindholm is 27, while Mangiapane is 26. Both players are part of the core moving forward with the former under contract through 2023-24, and the latter signed through 2024-25. They should each remain a priority long-term.

If Treliving stopped there, he would’ve made his point clear— that the Flames aren’t going to rebuild anytime soon under his watch— but then he signed Nazem Kadri to a seven-year, $49 million ($7.000 million per season) deal on Thursday.

Kadri brings one more Cup ring to the dressing room, having won with Colorado in June.

In 739 career NHL games with the Maple Leafs and Avalanche, he has 219-293—512 totals as a two-time 30-goal scorer and one of the better second line centers in the league.

He solidifies Calgary’s lineup down the middle, had a career-high 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) last season and adds a significant chunk to the Flames’ payroll since he’ll carry the highest cap hit on the roster for 2022-23, but at 31-years-old, he’s in his prime and will help beg the question that remains to be answered— can you win another one?

To afford Kadri, Treliving made what is perhaps his only bad trade of the summer by sending Sean Monahan and a conditional 2025 1st round pick to the Canadiens on Thursday.

Injuries limited Monahan to 8-15—23 totals in 65 games last season after recording 28 points in 50 games in the 56-game 2020-21 season, as well as 48 points in 70 games in the pandemic shortened 2019-20 season.

His production peaked in 2018-19, when he set career-highs in all scoring categories including goals (34), assists (48) and points (82) in 78 games, but now at 27-years-old there’s a chance his ceiling potential has been lowered despite being healthy for the first time in a while.

With one-year remaining on his current contract and a $6.375 million cap hit, Monahan gets the chance to have a fresh start in Montréal and can either stick around for the emergence of something new and exciting within the Canadiens organization or skip out on a rebuild.

In any case, he’ll get his best chance to prove himself given Montréal had an opening for a second line center.

At worst, he’ll be the next Mike Cammalleri and spend parts of a few seasons in a Canadiens jersey while sputtering out into a bottom-six/third line forward role.

The addition of Kadri and subtraction of Monahan leaves the Flames with about $2.137 million in cap space that they’ll surely want to try to add a little more wiggle room to.

Despite Lucic’s veteran presence and experience having won a Cup before 11 years ago, his $5.250 million cap hit on an expiring contract at season’s end could be used to bait a team in taking him while upgrading Calgary’s fourth line.

Perhaps this is where a reunion with the Bruins comes into play if the Flames are a destination on, say, Nick Foligno’s modified no-trade clause?

Lucic’s size would bolster Boston’s fourth line with some added size and bring more to the table than Foligno’s offensive output last season (Lucic had 10-11—21 totals in 82 games to Foligno’s 2-11—13 totals in 64 games).

Of course, Lucic would have to approve of a trade in compliance with his modified no-trade clause as well, but it’s well known that he still has a place in his heart for Boston.

Both players are 34-years-old and Lucic— though he may want to win another Cup— has already won it before. He wouldn’t be going back to the Bruins just for a reunion with fellow 2011 Stanley Cup champions in Bergeron, David Krejčí and Brad Marchand, but he would join a team that’s in a fight of their own to reclaim some former glory.

Lucic has also evolved since the days of his, at times, undisciplined style.

Foligno, on the other hand, has yet to even appear in a Stanley Cup Final since making his league debut in the 2007-08 season.

Every good Cup contender has that one veteran that has never sniffed an appearance in the Final and Foligno could be very well be someone to rally around in the “C of Red”.

So, after a few years of staying the course while developing along the way and experiencing crushing heartbreak after heartbreak from one season to the next, Treliving made a choice.

He’s going all in and his actions are clear to his players— are you ready and willing to go all in too?

Calgary’s average age might be nearing 30, but many veterans on the roster have already won at least one Cup ring. What would you be willing to do to win another?

Entering the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Flames were one of the hottest teams in the NHL all season long (both in name and given their stature as not only the regular season Pacific Division winners, but the leaders of the entire Western Conference with a 50-25-7 record and 107 points on the season).

Calgary thumped Colorado in a, 4-0, shutout on home ice for Game 1 of their 2019 First Round matchup.

Then the Flames lost four straight games and were handed an embarrassing five-game series exit.

They took the lessons they learned and made it through the Qualifying Round in 2020, defeating the Winnipeg Jets in a best-of-five series 3-1 before losing to the Dallas Stars in the 2020 First Round in six games.

After missing the playoffs in 2020-21, the Flames and Stars had a rematch in the 2022 First Round— only this time, Gaudreau sent Calgary onto the Second Round where they were crushed by their Alberta rival, the Edmonton Oilers in five soul-sucking games.

They have not been back to the Western Conference Final since 2004— the same year they went on to the Stanley Cup Final and lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.

Currently, only Lewis and Lucic were alive the last time Calgary won the Cup in 1989. Lewis was 2, while Lucic was 1.

Surely the Avalanche are going to be as dominant as they were on their way to the Cup. They’ll likely have to face the Flames at one point or another in the 2023 postseason.

What better chance to go for it all then to sign the guy that was playing center on the second line of the defending champions (Kadri) that once made a mockery of your rise to power in the Western Conference (2019) than by throwing them off the top of the mountain in the process?

Categories
Free Agency NHL Nick's Net

2022 NHL Free Agency Signings Quick Recap

If you went to bed at a decent hour Tuesday night, you were likely under the impression that 35-year-old National Hockey League superstar, Evgeni Malkin, and 28-year-old large adult son (as some on hockey Twitter have referred to him), Johnny Gaudreau, were destined to become unrestricted free agents by the time the NHL’s free agency period began Wednesday at 12:01 p.m. ET.

You probably thought that between Malkin, Gaudreau, Nazem Kadri, Claude Giroux, Ondrej Palat, Vincent Trocheck, John Klingberg, Ben Chiarot, Nikita Zadorov and other skaters in addition to goaltenders like Jack Campbell and Darcy Kuemper– surely at least one of them would be overpaid on Wednesday by some general manager in the NHL.

If you went to bed early Tuesday, you missed out on Malkin’s late-night extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins on a new four-year deal worth $6.100 million per season.

Pittsburgh’s going to ride or die with Sidney Crosby, Malkin and Kris Letang until the end of time.

If you’ve been under a rock for the last few days– at least– you’d also be surprised to learn that Campbell is likely heading to the Edmonton Oilers on a five-year contract with a $5.000 million cap hit (as reported early Wednesday morning by ESPN‘s Kevin Weekes) and Kuemper is likely the next starting goaltender with the Washington Capitals– despite the fact that the league got rid of the talking period prior to the official start of free agency just a few seasons ago after toying with the idea.

But no, there’s no tampering or anything.

Toronto Maple Leafs fans may once again be irked by Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland, seemingly poaching another player from the Leafs’ roster before free agency technically begins for the second year in a row.

At the very least, Toronto’s General Manager, Kyle Dubas, has secured at least one new goaltender for the 2022-23 season, having acquired Matt Murray from the Ottawa Senators on Monday, but today isn’t about trades.

It’s all about free agents of the unrestricted and restricted variety and we’re here to help you keep track of all of the July 13th signings at a quick glance.

Maybe we’ll even throw in a few words of analysis for free!

Reported free agent signings

These are reported agreements in place that are yet to be confirmed and/or announced by a playing club.

Announced free agent signings

These are confirmed/announced signings by playing clubs.

F Robert Thomas signed an eight-year extension worth $8.125 million per season with the St. Louis Blues that begins next season (2023-24).

F Nicolas Aubé-Kubel signed a one-year, $1.000 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The St. Louis Blues signed D Nick Leddy to a four-year extension worth $4.000 million per season.

F Ilya Mikheyev signed a four-year contract worth $4.750 million per season with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Arizona Coyotes signed F Nick Bjugstad to a one-year contract worth $900,000.

F Vladislav Namestnikov signed a one-year deal worth $2.500 million with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed F Adam Gaudette to a one-year contract worth $750,000.

D Mikhail Sergachev signed an eight-year extension worth $8.500 million per season with the Tampa Bay Lightning that goes into effect next season (2023-24).

G Dustin Tokarski signed a one-year contract worth $775,000 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

F Andrew Copp signed a five-year deal worth $5.625 million per season with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Florida Panthers signed D Nathan Staios to a three-year, entry-level contract with a $950,000 cap hit.

F Anthony Cirelli signed an eight-year extension worth $6.250 million per season with the Tampa Bay Lightning that goes into effect next season (2023-24).

D Erik Cernak signed an eight-year extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning that goes into effect next season (2023-24) and carries a $5.200 million cap hit.

D Josh Brown has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes worth $1.275 million per season.

G Jack Campbell agreed to a five-year contract worth $5.000 million per season with the Edmonton Oilers.

F Claude Giroux agreed to a three-year deal worth $6.500 million per season with the Ottawa Senators.

The Los Angeles Kings re-signed F Brendan Lemieux on a one-year deal worth $1.350 million.

D Troy Stecher came to terms on a one-year contract worth $1.200 million with the Arizona Coyotes.

The New Jersey Devils signed D Brendan Smith to a two-year contract worth $1.100 million per season.

G Darcy Kuemper has agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth $5.250 million per season with the Washington Capitals.

D Dennis Gilbert signed a two-year, $1.525 million ($762,500 cap hit) deal with the Calgary Flames.

The Vancouver Canucks signed F Dakota Joshua to a two-year deal worth $825,000 per season.

F Charles Hudon signed a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Colorado Avalanche.

D Wyatt Kalnyuk signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Vancouver Canucks worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

D Andreas Englund signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Colorado Avalanche worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

G Charlie Lindgren signed a three-year deal worth $1.100 million per season with the Washington Capitals.

D Ian Cole signed a one-year, $3.000 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

F Marco Kasper signed a three-year entry-level deal worth $950,000 per season with the Detroit Red Wings.

G Eric Comrie signed a two-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres carrying a $1.800 million cap hit.

The St. Louis Blues signed G Thomas Greiss to a one-year deal worth $1.250 million.

F Noel Acciari signed a one-year, $1.250 million contract with the St. Louis Blues.

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed F Félix Robert to a two-year, entry-level contract.

G Louis Domingue signed a two-year contract worth $775,000 per season with the New York Rangers.

D Jan Rutta signed a three-year contract worth $8.250 million ($2.750 million cap hit) with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Vancouver Canucks signed G Collin Delia to a one-year deal.

2022 1st overall pick, F Juraj Slafkovsky signed his three-year entry-level contract with the Montréal Canadiens.

F Oskar Lindblom signed a two-year contract with the San Jose Sharks with a $2.500 million cap hit.

2022 4th overall pick, F Shane Wright, signed a three-year entry-level contract carrying a cap hit of $950,000 per season with the Seattle Kraken.

F Artturi Lehkonen signed a five-year extension worth $4.500 million per season with the Colorado Avalanche.

The Winnipeg Jets signed G David Rittich to a one-year, $900,000 contract.

F Dominik Kubalik signed a two-year contract worth $2.500 million per season with the Detroit Red Wings.

F David Perron signed a two-year deal worth $4.750 million per season with the Detroit Red Wings.

D Marc Staal signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with the Florida Panthers.

Florida also signed F Eric Staal to a player training operative (PTO)/professional tryout agreement.

F Greg McKegg signed a two-year, two-way contract ($762,500 cap hit at the NHL level) with the Edmonton Oilers.

D Justin Braun signed a one-year, $1.750 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers.

F Nicolas Deslauriers agreed to a four-year deal worth $1.750 million per season with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Vegas Golden Knights signed F Sakari Manninen to a contract.

D Ben Chiarot agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $4.750 million per season with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Seattle Kraken signed F Andre Burakovsky to a five-year contract with a $5.500 million cap hit.

D Josh Manson signed a four-year extension worth $4.500 million with the Colorado Avalanche.

The Colorado Avalanche signed F Darren Helm to a one-year, $1.250 million extension.

F Victor Olofsson signed a two-year extension with the Buffalo Sabres worth $4.750 million per season.

The Seattle Kraken signed G Martin Jones to a one-year, $2.000 million contract.

G Ilya Samsonov signed a one-year, $1.800 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

D Justin Schultz signed a two-year deal worth $3.000 million per season with the Seattle Kraken.

F Andrei Kuzmenko signed a one-year, entry-level deal worth $950,000 with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed their 2022 1st round picks, D David Jiricek and D Denton Mateychuk to matching three-year, entry-level contracts– each carrying $950,000 cap hits.

F Curtis Lazar has agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $1.000 million per season with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Calgary Flames signed F Kevin Rooney to a two-year deal worth $1.300 million per season.

D Xavier Ouellet signed a two-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

F Laurent Dauphin signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Arizona Coyotes worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

The New York Rangers signed F Vincent Trocheck to a seven-year contract worth $5.625 million per season.

Chicago signed F Andreas Athanasiou to a one-year deal worth $3.000 million.

F Max Domi agreed to a one-year, $3.000 million contract with Chicago.

The Buffalo Sabres signed D Ilya Lyubushkin to a two-year contract worth $2.750 million per season.

The Detroit Red Wings signed D Olli Määttä to a one-year deal worth $2.250 million.

F Colin White signed a one-year, $1.200 million contract with the Florida Panthers.

The Boston Bruins signed F A.J. Greer to a two-year deal worth $762,500 per season.

G Jaroslav Halák is reportedly signing a one-year, $1.550 million deal with the New York Rangers.

D Nicolas Meloche reportedly signed a one-year, $950,000 a contract with the Calgary Flames.

F Frank Vatrano signed a three-year deal worth $3.650 million per season with the Anaheim Ducks.

D Brett Kulak re-signed with the Edmonton Oilers, agreeing to a four-year contract with a $2.750 million cap hit.

D Tobie Paquette-Bisson signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

F Mason Marchment signed a four-year contract with the Dallas Stars carrying a $4.500 million cap hit.

The San Jose Sharks signed F Andrew Aggozino to a contract.

D Erik Gudbranson signed a four-year deal carrying a $4.000 million cap hit with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

F Colin Blackwell signed a two-year contract with Chicago that carries a $1.200 million cap hit.

The Montréal Canadiens signed F Anthony Richard to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

F Nick Cousins signed a two-year deal with the Florida Panthers that carries a $1.100 million cap hit.

Chicago signed G Alex Stalock to a one-year, $750,000 contract.

The Seattle Kraken and F Andrew Poturalski agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $762,500 per season.

The Montréal Canadiens signed D Madison Bowey to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

D Erik Gustafsson agreed to terms on a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Washington Capitals.

F Will Bitten signed a two-year, two-way contract worth $762,500 per season with the St. Louis Blues.

G Jonas Johansson and the Colorado Avalanche agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

G Pheonix Copley signed a one-year deal worth $825,000 with the Los Angeles Kings.

D Anthony Bitetto signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Florida Panthers.

F Steven Fogarty signed a two-year, two-way contract worth $762,500 per season with the Minnesota Wild.

The Minnesota Wild also signed D Andrej Sustr and F Brandon Baddock to matching one-year, two-way contracts worth $750,000 each.

F Nic Petan joined the Minnesota Wild on a two-year, two-way deal worth $1.525 million ($762,500 cap hit).

F Vinni Lettieri signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Boston Bruins.

Chicago signed F Brett Seney and F Luke Philip to one-year, two-way deals worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

G Calvin Pickard reached an agreement with the Edmonton Oilers on a two-year, two-way contract worth $762,500 at the NHL level.

G Magnus Hellberg, D Brogan Rafferty, and F Jesper Frödén signed one-year, two-way contracts worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Seattle Kraken.

G Oscar Dansk signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 with the Calgary Flames.

The Ottawa Senators came to terms with F Scott Sabourin, F Jacob Lucchini and D Kristians Rubins on one-year, two-way contracts worth $750,000 each at the NHL level.

D Jeremy Davies signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Buffalo Sabres.

F Kevin Stenlund and the Winnipeg Jets came to terms on a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

The Calgary Flames signed F Trevor Lewis to a one-year, $800,000 extension.

Calgary also signed F Clark Bishop and D Colton Poolman to matching one-year, two-way contracts worth $750,000 at the NHL level and D Nick DeSimone to a two-year, two-way deal worth $762,500 per season at the NHL level.

The Dallas Stars signed D Colin Miller to a two-year contract worth $1.850 million per season.

F Josh Archibald agreed to a one-year, $900,000 deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

G Alex Lyon signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Florida Panthers.

F Nico Sturm and the San Jose Sharks reached an agreement on a three-year contract worth $2.000 million per season.

F Ondřej Kaše signed a one-year deal worth $1.500 million with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Detroit Red Wings signed F Matt Luff to a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level and F Austin Czarnik to a two-year, two-way contract worth $762,500 at the NHL level.

F Bokondji Imama signed a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Arizona Coyotes.

F Mitchell Stephens agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Montréal Canadiens.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed G Troy Grosenick and D Louis Belpedio to a one-year, one-way and a one-year, two-way contract, respectively, each worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

Philadelphia also signed D Kevin Connauton, F Cooper Marody, and F Adam Brooks to two-year, two-way deals worth $762,500 at the NHL level.

The Vancouver Canucks signed F Philip Di Giuseppe to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

G Jon Gillies agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Arizona Coyotes.

G Michael Hutchinson signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Washington Capitals re-signed F Marcus Johansson to a one-year, $1.000 million contract.

The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed F Brett Howden to a one-year, $1.500 million contract.

F Ryan Winterton signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Seattle Kraken worth $846,667 per season.

D Connor Carrick and G Keith Kinkaid signed one-year, two-way contracts with the Boston Bruins worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

Boston also signed D Dan Renouf to a two-year, two-way contract worth $762,500 per season at the NHL level.

The Buffalo Sabres signed D Kale Clague and D Chase Priskie to one-year, two-way contracts worth $750,000 and $800,000 at the NHL level, respectively.

F Jacob Melanson signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Seattle Kraken with an $843,333 cap hit.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed G Dennis Hildeby to a three-year, entry-level contract with an $843,333 cap hit.

D Andy Welinski signed a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the New York Rangers.

F Denis Malgin signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

F Spencer Smallman signed a two-year, two-way contract worth $762,500 per season with the Colorado Avalanche at the NHL level.

The Avalanche also signed D Josh Jacobs to a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

F Jonas Røndbjerg signed a three-year, two-way contract worth $766,667 at the NHL level with the Vegas Golden Knights.

F Drake Caggiula signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Vegas also signed F Byron Froese and F Sheldon Rempal to matching two-year, two-way contracts worth $762,500 at the NHL level.

D Tyler Wotherspoon agreed to terms on a two-year, two-way contract worth $762,500 at the NHL level with the New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey also signed F Brian Pinho to a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

F Joël Teasdale signed a one-year, two-way, $750,000 contract at the NHL level with the Montréal Canadiens.

The Canadiens also signed F Nathan Schnarr and F Alex Belzile to matching one-year, two-way contracts worth $750,000 at the NHL level.

F Johnny Gaudreau signed a seven-year contract worth $9.750 million per season with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

F Reilly Smith signed a three-year extension worth $5.000 million per season with the Vegas Golden Knights.

F Ryan Strome agreed to a five-year, $25 million ($5.000 million cap hit) deal with the Anaheim Ducks.

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed D Haydn Fleury to a two-year contract with a $762,500 cap hit.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

2022 NHL Entry Draft Round 1 Recap

Round 1 of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft was held Thursday night at Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec marking the first time since the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver that the selections were made in person in front of a live audience as the 2020 and 2021 editions of the draft were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coverage of this year’s first round began Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and streaming on ESPN+ in the United States, as well as on SN and TVAS in Canada.

Rounds 2-7 will be televised on NHL Network and ESPN+ in the U.S., while viewers in Canada can tune to SN or TVAS starting at 11 a.m. ET Friday morning.

Here’s a quick recap of the First Round in case you had other things going on Thursday night.

2022 NHL Entry Draft Round 1

  1. Montréal Canadiens – LW Juraj Slafkovsky, TPS (Liiga)
  2. New Jersey Devils – D Simon Nemec, Nitra (Slovakia)
  3. Arizona Coyotes – C Logan Cooley, USA U-18 (USHL)
  4. Seattle Kraken – C Shane Wright, Kingston (OHL)
  5. Philadelphia Flyers – C/LW Cutter Gauthier, USA U-18 (USHL)
  6. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago) – D David Jiricek, Plzen (Extraliga)
  7. Chicago (from Ottawa Senators) – D Kevin Korchinski, Seattle (WHL)
  8. Detroit Red Wings – C Marco Kasper, Rögle BK (SHL)
  9. Buffalo Sabres – C Matthew Savoie, Winnipeg (WHL)
  10. Anaheim Ducks – D Pavel Mintyukov, Saginaw (OHL)
  11. Arizona Coyotes (from San Jose Sharks) – C Conor Geekie, Winnipeg (WHL)
  12. Columbus Blue Jackets – D Denton Mateychuk, Moose Jaw (WHL)
  13. Chicago (from New York Islanders via Montréal Canadiens) – C Frank Nazar, USA-U18 (USHL)
  14. Winnipeg Jets – RW Rutger McGroarty, USA U-18 (USHL)
  15. Vancouver Canucks – RW Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
  16. Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas Golden Knights) – C Noah Ostlund, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
  17. Nashville Predators – RW Joakim Kemell, JYP (Liiga)
  18. Dallas Stars – D Lian Bichsel, Leksands IF (SHL)
  19. Minnesota Wild (from Los Angeles Kings) – LW Liam Ohgren, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
  20. Washington Capitals – RW Ivan Miroshnichenko, Omsk Krylia (Russia)
  21. Pittsburgh Penguins – D Owen Pickering, Swift Current (WHL)
  22. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins) – C Nathan Gaucher, Québec (QMJHL)
  23. St. Louis Blues – RW Jimmy Snuggerud, USA U-18 (USHL)
  24. Minnesota Wild – RW Danila Yurov, Magnitogorsk (Russia)
  25. Chicago (from Toronto Maple Leafs) – D Sam Rinzel, Chaska (High School- Minnesota)
  26. Montréal Canadiens (from Calgary Flames) – RW Filip Mesar, Poprad (Slovakia)
  27. San Jose Sharks (from Carolina Hurricanes via Montréal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes) – C Filip Bystedt, Linköping HC (SHL)
  28. Buffalo Sabres (from Florida Panthers) – C Jiri Kulich, Karlovy Vary (Extraliga)
  29. Arizona Coyotes (from Edmonton Oilers) – D Maveric Lamoureux, Drummondville (QMJHL)
  30. Winnipeg Jets (from New York Rangers) – C Brad Lambert, Pelicans (Liiga)
  31. Tampa Bay Lightning – LW Isaac Howard, USA U-18 (USHL)
  32. Edmonton Oilers (from Colorado Avalanche via Arizona Coyotes) – LW Reid Schaefer, Seattle (WHL)

Trades made during the first round of the draft:

  • The Montréal Canadiens trade D Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to the New York Islanders for a 2022 1st round pick (13th overall).
  • Montréal traded a 2022 1st round pick (13th overall, originally belonging to the New York Islanders) and a 2022 3rd round pick (66th overall) Chicago for D Kirby Dach.
  • The San Jose Sharks traded a 2022 1st round pick (11th overall) to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2022 1st round pick (27th overall), a 2022 2nd round pick (34th overall) and a 2022 2nd round pick (45th overall).
  • Chicago acquired G Petr Mrázek and a 2022 1st round pick (25th overall) from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2022 2nd round pick (38th overall).
  • The Arizona Coyotes acquired F Zack Kassian, a 2022 1st round pick (29th overall), a 2024 3rd round pick and a 2025 2nd round pick from the Edmonton Oilers for a 2022 1st round pick (32nd overall).

Trades made earlier in the day prior to the first round of the draft:

  • The Colorado Avalanche acquired G Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2022 3rd round pick, a 2022 5th round pick and a 2023 3rd round pick.
  • The Ottawa Senators traded a 2022 1st round pick (7th overall), a 2022 2nd round pick (39th overall) and a 2024 3rd round pick to Chicago for F Alex DeBrincat.
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Hurricanes advance to Second Round in Game 7 victory over Boston

19,513 fans watched the Carolina Hurricanes advance to the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating the Boston Bruins, 3-2, in Game 7 of their First Round series at PNC Arena Saturday afternoon.

Max Domi scored a pair of goals in the win as the Hurricanes entertained their largest crowd in franchise history, surpassing that of their 2019 Second Round series sweep of the New York Islanders in Game 4.

Carolina awaits the winner of the New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins series (Game 7 is Sunday with the series tied 3-3).

Meanwhile, Boston heads into a long offseason filled with decisions to make on their own amid a waiting game regarding the playing future of captain, Patrice Bergeron, as the 36-year-old is wrapping up his 18th National Hockey League season and is a pending-unrestricted free agent this summer.

Bergeron indicated before the 2021-22 season began that he wouldn’t negotiate a new contract in season and is likely to begin signing one-year deals as he enters the twilight of his career, though opting to retire altogether remains an option.

After 400 goals and 582 assists (982 points) in 1,216 career regular season games, as well as 49 goals and 78 assists (127 points) in 167 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Bergeron has certainly had quite the career.

He won a Stanley Cup ring in 2011 (scoring the game-winning goal in a, 4-0, win in Game 7 in Vancouver), could very well take home an NHL record fifth Frank J. Selke Trophy this season, is a member of the Triple Gold Club– and even more elusive Quadruple Gold Club and/or Quintuple Gold Club, depending on how you take into account World Junior Championships and World Cup of Hockey titles– and most importantly, is a loving husband and father to his wife and three children.

After Saturday’s loss, Bergeron gave no indication as to whether he would play next season or retire as it’s much too soon to rush to any decision.

Antti Raanta (3-2, 2.37 goals-against average, .926 save percentage in five games played) delivered a 27-save performance on 29 shots faced in the win for the Hurricanes, while Jeremy Swayman (3-2, 2.64 goals-against average, .911 save percentage in five games played) made 28 saves on 31 shots against in the loss for the Bruins.

B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, fell to 36-37 in 73 Stanley Cup Playoff games behind the bench with Boston as head coach since taking over in Feb. 2017, as well as 38-41 in 79 postseason games all time with Boston (2017-present) and Washington (2003).

The B’s went 3-0 on home ice in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs and failed to record a win in four road games this postseason.

Saturday also marked the 13th career Game 7 for Bergeron, moving him to a tie for the second-most Game 7 appearances by a player in their NHL career with Patrick Roy and Scott Stevens.

Bergeron, Roy and Stevens trail Zdeno Chara for the overall record (14).

Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) remained out of the lineup for Boston due to injuries, while Cassidy made no changes to his lineup from Game 6’s, 5-2, victory in Boston to Game 7 in Raleigh.

The B’s had a long list of healthy scratches and expanded playoff roster components on Saturday, including Chris Wagner, Jack Studnicka, Marc McLaughlin, Steven Fogarty, Troy Grosenick, Josh Brown, Joona Koppanen, Matt Grzelcyk, Cameron Hughes, Jack Ahcan, Tyler Lewington, Oskar Steen, Nick Wolff, Anton Blidh, Kyle Keyser and Jakub Lauko.

Early in the opening frame, Craig Smith made a high hit on Anthony DeAngelo and was assessed a roughing infraction as a result, but rather than presenting Carolina with their first power play opportunity of the afternoon, Vincent Trocheck got in Smith’s face and also picked up a roughing minor.

The two teams skated at 4-on-4 as a result at 4:42 of the first period.

A few minutes later, however, Derek Forbort, was penalized for holding and yielded the first power play of the game to the Hurricanes at 7:41 of the first period.

Carolina failed to convert on the ensuing skater advantage, though.

Midway through the first, Connor Clifton tripped Andrei Svechnikov and Brett Pesce caught Taylor Hall with a high stick on the delayed call.

As a result, Clifton and Pesce each went to the box at 10:48 and yielded another pair of minutes at 4-on-4 for both clubs.

Late in the period, Domi shoveled a shot pass to Teuvo Teräväinen (2) in the slot for the redirection to make it, 1-0, Carolina– giving the Hurricanes the first goal in six out of seven games in the series.

Domi (3) and Jaccob Slavin (5) had the assists on Teräväinen’s goal at 18:36 of the first period.

Less than a minute later, DeAngelo took a high stick from Hall and drew blood, resulting in a four-minute double-minor infraction on the Bruins forward and a lengthy power play for the Canes at 19:02.

Entering the first intermission, the Hurricanes led, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite trailing the Bruins, 11-10, in shots on goal.

Carolina held the advantage in blocked shots (5-3), takeaways (6-3) and hits (12-10), while Boston led in giveaways (6-3).

Both teams went, 50-50, in faceoff win percentage after one period, while only the Hurricanes had seen any time on the power play and were 0-for-2 heading into the middle frame.

The Canes had about 3:03 remaining on the skater advantage to begin the second period, however.

Boston somehow managed to kill off Hall’s double-minor, then promptly gave up a goal in the vulnerable minute after special teams play as a shot from Jordan Staal bounced off of Hampus Lindholm’s leg right to where Domi (1) was heading before guiding the loose puck into the twine behind Swayman.

Staal (3) and Brady Skjei (1) tallied the assists as a result and the Hurricanes took a, 2-0, lead at 3:14 of the second period.

Less than a couple minutes later, Carolina won a faceoff in their own zone but couldn’t get through the neutral zone as Charlie McAvoy made a play to steal the puck and move it up to Bergeron as the Bruins re-entered the attacking zone.

Bergeron spun and flung a pass intended for McAvoy as the B’s defender pinched in from the point, but the puck was just a touch too hot to handle as McAvoy instead deflected it towards the high slot where Jake DeBrusk (2) gathered a quick shot over Raanta’s glove side– cutting Carolina’s lead in half in the process.

McAvoy (4) and Bergeron (4) had the assists on DeBrusk’s goal and Boston trailed, 2-1, at 5:04 of the second period as a result.

Midway through the middle frame, however, the Hurricanes answered and re-extended their lead to two-goals.

After Trent Frederic rang the iron in the other end, the Canes worked the puck deep into their attacking zone before Teräväinen worked a pass to Domi (2) for a one-timer goal.

Teräväinen (5) and Slavin (6) notched the assists on Domi’s second goal of the game and the Hurricanes took a, 3-1, lead at 10:33 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of action, Carolina led, 3-1, and was in control with a, 21-18, advantage in shots on goal, including an, 11-7, advantage in the second period alone.

The Hurricanes also led in blocked shots (13-4), takeaways (11-4) and faceoff win% (51-49), while the Bruins led in giveaways (14-6) and hits (27-24).

Carolina was 0-for-3 on the power play, while Boston had yet to see time on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.

Brendan Smith sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play for an automatic delay of game minor at 13:33 of the third period.

The Bruins promptly went 6-for-29 on the power play this postseason as they failed to convert on skater advantage while Smith was in the box.

With 2:55 remaining in the action, Carolina thought they scored though the call on the ice was “no goal” and video review was inconclusive, thereby rendering the call on the ice as canon.

With 2:41 left in the game, Cassidy pulled Swayman for an extra attacker.

Boston tried and tried, but they couldn’t establish zone time for long enough until a pass that was almost intercepted shattered the stick blade of a Hurricanes defender and bounced off the far boards.

Hall worked the puck to McAvoy before McAvoy setup David Pastrnak (3) for the one-timer blast on Raanta’s blocker side to bring the Bruins to within one with 21.7 seconds remaining.

McAvoy (5) and Hall (2) had the assists on Pastrnak’s goal as Boston trailed, 3-2, and used their timeout at 19:39 of the third period.

They didn’t have enough to muster an improbable tie to end regulation, however, despite several attempts in the dying seconds.

At the final horn, the Hurricanes had won, 3-2, and clinched the series in seven games, 4-3.

Carolina left their own ice leading in shots on goal, 31-29, despite Boston outshooting the Canes, 11-10, in the third period alone.

The Hurricanes finished Saturday’s effort leading in blocked shots (16-14) and faceoff win% (52-48), while the Bruins left PNC Arena leading in giveaways (18-11) and hits (40-35).

Neither team managed to score a power-play goal in Game 7 as the Hurricanes went 0-for-3 and the Bruins went 0-for-1 on the skater advantage.

Boston fell to 2-27 when trailing a best-of-seven series 2-0.

The B’s also fell to 15-14 in 29 Game 7 appearances, as well as 1-5 in six Game 7 appearances on the road.

The Canes, meanwhile, improved to 6-3 in nine Game 7 appearances overall, as well as 3-0 in three Game 7 matchups on home ice and 6-0 in a Game 7 since relocating from Hartford.

The Hurricanes advanced to the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs after eliminating the Bruins in seven games.

This will be Carolina’s second appearance in the Second Round in as many years which is a first in franchise history— dating back to their time as the Hartford Whalers from 1979-97.

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Bruins force Game 7 with commanding, 5-2, victory at home

For the 29th time in franchise history (a National Hockey League leading postseason stat), the Boston Bruins are going to a Game 7 in a best-of-seven series after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2, Thursday night at TD Garden.

Whereas recent memory conjures images of Boston’s 2019 Stanley Cup Final Game 7 loss on home ice to the visiting St. Louis Blues, this time around the Bruins will look to be a spoiler on the road in Raleigh, North Carolina and become the first wild card team since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 2014, to usurp a division winner in their non-traditional division.

See, the B’s belong to the league’s Atlantic Division, while the Canes exist in the Metropolitan Division.

Carolina, meanwhile, will have home ice in their first Game 7 against Boston since the Hurricanes upset the Bruins in the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinal.

It will also be Carolina’s first Game 7 appearance since they beat the Washington Capitals on the road in their 2019 First Round matchup.

The last Game 7 victory on home ice for the Hurricanes was, of course, the 2006 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers.

Jeremy Swayman (3-1, 2.51 goals-against average, .913 save percentage in four games played) made 23 saves on 25 shots against in the win for Boston Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Hurricanes goaltender, Antti Raanta (2-2, 2.46 goals-against average, .926 save percentage in five games played), turned aside 29 out of 33 shots faced in the loss.

Once more, the Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) Thursday night, while Hampus Lindholm returned to the lineup after missing the last few games with an upper body injury.

Down 3-2 in the series entering Thursday and with Lindholm’s return to action, Boston’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, restructured his lines and defensive pairings to a more familiar look around the trade deadline when the B’s were surging in the regular season.

Jake DeBrusk went back to the first line right wing with Patrice Bergeron at center and Brad Marchand on left wing, while David Pastrnak was reunited with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula on the second line.

Trent Frederic returned to the lineup on the third line with Charlie Coyle at center– flanked by Frederic and Craig Smith on his wings.

Meanwhile, Nick Foligno, Tomáš Nosek and Curtis Lazar returned to their usual roles on the fourth line with Chris Wagner joining the short list of healthy scratches in the press box at TD Garden for Game 6.

On defense, Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy were reunited, while Mike Reilly suited up alongside Brandon Carlo and Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton’s third pairing went unchanged.

Wagner and Matt Grzelcyk joined Jack Studnicka, Marc McLaughlin, Steven Fogarty, Troy Grosenick, Josh Brown, Joona Koppanen, Cameron Hughes, Jack Ahcan, Tyler Lewington, Oskar Steen, Nick Wolff, Anton Blidh, Kyle Keyser and Jakub Lauko as Boston’s healthy scratches on Thursday.

Sebastian Aho kicked things off with a hooking infraction at 12:44 of the first period, but the Bruins couldn’t muster anything on the skater advantage.

Neither team could score, nor did either club score a goal in the opening frame, rendering it, 0-0, entering the first intermission despite Carolina holding an, 11-8, advantage in shots on goal.

Boston led in blocked shots (6-3), giveaways (4-0) and faceoff win percentage (62-39), while the Hurricanes held the advantage in hits (22-11).

Both teams had three takeaways each and had yet to see time on the power play entering the middle frame.

It didn’t take long for the B’s to jump out ahead first as Marchand (4) received a pass and entered the attacking zone along his off wing before sending a wrist shot high on the short side over Raanta’s glove and under the bar to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead 46 seconds into the second period.

Clifton (1) and Coyle (4) notched the assists as Boston scored the game’s first goal for the first time in the series.

Less than a few minutes later, however, Clifton kicked off a string of penalties for the Bruins when he was assessed a holding minor at 3:23, but Boston made the kill.

Carolina got a second chance on the power play at 9:08, however, when Frederic tripped Brett Pesce and even had 54 seconds on a 5-on-3 advantage when McAvoy cut a rut to the sin bin hooking Vincent Trocheck at 10:15 of the second period.

The Canes, however, failed to convert on the two power plays.

Haula caught Jesperi Kotkaniemi with a high stick at 13:36 of the second period and presented another power play opportunity that went by the wayside for Carolina.

At 16:58, Pesce was assessed a holding minor and yielded Boston their second power play of the night.

Late in the ensuing skater advantage, the B’s worked the puck around the zone enough before Marchand dished a pass back to Pastrnak for a shot attempt from the point that was blocked by a Hurricane before rebounding to Coyle (2) in the slot for the doorstep goal on the forehand.

Pastrnak (3) and Marchand (7) tallied the assists on Coyle’s power-play goal at 18:04 of the second period and the Bruins had a, 2-0, lead as a result.

Through 40 minutes of play, the B’s held a two-goal lead going into the second intermission and led, 19-17, in shots on goal, including an, 11-6, advantage in shots in the middle frame alone.

Boston also dominated in blocked shots (15-9), takeaways (6-3) and faceoff win% (53-47), while Carolina led in giveaways (5-4) and hits (27-21).

The Hurricanes were 0-for-4 and the Bruins were 1-for-2 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Carolina struck first in the final frame as Seth Jarvis setup Andrei Svechnikov (2) for a catch and release goal high on the short side past Swayman’s blocker to cut Boston’s lead in half, 2-1.

Jarvis (2) had the only assist on Svechnikov’s first goal of the game at 3:24 of the third period.

Less than four minutes later, however, the Bruins responded and re-extended their lead to two-goals after Haula (1) redirected a shot pass into the far corner of the net behind Raanta for a, 3-1, lead at 7:08 of the third period.

McAvoy (3) had the only assist on Haula’s first goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Midway through the third period, Forbort (1) flung a shot from the point with eyes that may have tipped off of a Canes skaters’ stick under Raanta’s blocker side while the Carolina netminder was temporarily without a stick– having dropped it seconds prior.

Nosek (1) had the only assist on Forbort’s first goal– regular season or playoffs– since Nov. 20th and the Bruins had a, 4-1, lead as a result at 10:43.

Jaccob Slavin sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play at 12:01, but the B’s failed to capitalize on their last power play opportunity of the night.

With 4:33 remaining in the action, Hurricanes head coach, Rod Brind’Amour, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker, but it wasn’t long before Lazar (1) floated a shot from the red line into the empty twine to give Boston a, 5-1, advantage.

Foligno (1) and Nosek (2) tallied the assists on Lazar’s empty net goal at 15:43 of the third period.

Less than a minute later, Marchand was assessed a four-minute double-minor penalty for spearing Kotkaniemi while skating past the Carolina forward at 16:20.

The Hurricanes made relatively quick work of the first power play as Slavin sent the puck to Martin Nečas, who fed Svechnikov (3) for another one-timer goal– this time cutting the deficit from four goals to three.

Nečas (3) and Slavin (4) had the assists on Svechnikov’s power-play goal– his second goal of the game– at 17:30 of the third period.

The Bruins killed off the rest of Marchand’s penalty and went on to win, 5-2, at the final horn.

At the end of the night, Boston left their own ice leading in shots on goal, 34-25, including a, 15-8, advantage in the third period alone, while Carolina dominated in everything else, including blocked shots (18-12), giveaways (10-5), hits (42-34) and faceoff win% (52-48).

The Hurricanes finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1-for-3 on the skater advantage.

The B’s are now 13-14 all time in a Game 6 when trailing in a series 3-2 and are looking to win a best-of-seven series for just the third time in 29 instances of at one point trailing 2-0 in the series heading into Game 3.

Game 7 is back at PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET with the winner clinching the series 4-3 and advancing to the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Viewers in the United States can tune to ESPN, while those in Canada can catch the action on SN360, SNE, SNW, SNP and TVAS.

Local markets can also watch the game on their corresponding regional networks if so desired.

Boston will be making their 29th appearance in a Game 7 and enters Saturday with a 15-13 record in 28 prior Game 7 efforts, having most recently lost in a Game 7 on home ice to the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.

The Bruins lead in Game 7 appearances (28) and are tied with the Montréal Canadiens for the most wins (15), as well as with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the most losses (13).

Carolina is entering their eighth appearance in a Game 7 Saturday afternoon with a 5-3 record in seven prior instances of a Game 7, having most recently beaten the Washington Capitals on the road in Game 7 of their 2019 First Round series in double overtime.

The Hurricanes last hosted a Game 7 on home ice in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final when they defeated the Edmonton Oilers to clinch the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship.

The Canes are 5-0 in a Game 7 since relocating from Hartford and previously defeated the Bruins on the road in Game 7 of their 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinal series in overtime.

Coincidentally, that game was also held on May 14th.

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Hurricanes can eliminate Bruins on the road in Game 6

The Carolina Hurricanes scored four unanswered goals before the Boston Bruins could even get on the board prior to pocketing an empty net goal to seal the deal on a, 5-1, victory in front of their home crowd at PNC Arena Tuesday night in Game 5 of their 2022 First Round matchup.

As a result, the Bruins face elimination on their own ice back at TD Garden in Game 6 on Thursday.

The Hurricanes have a 3-2 series lead and can advance to the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a win in Boston and go on to face the winner of the New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins series (Game 5 is Wednesday night with the Penguins leading the series 3-1).

For Boston, it’s win and force a Game 7 back in Raleigh Saturday night or go home empty handed with an early postseason exit Thursday.

In any case, the home team has yet to lose in this series.

Antti Raanta (2-1, 1.96 goals-against average, .942 save percentage in four games played) made 33 saves on 34 shots against in the win for Carolina.

B’s netminder, Jeremy Swayman (2-1, 2.68 goals-against average, .911 save percentage in three games played), stopped 33 out of 37 shots faced in the loss.

The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Jesper Frödén (lower body) and Hampus Lindholm (upper body) on Tuesday, while Charlie McAvoy returned from COVID-19 protocol and was cleared to play in Game 5 after missing Game 4.

Boston’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made a few lineup changes as a result of McAvoy’s return.

On defense, Cassidy reunited Matt Grzelcyk with Brandon Carlo on the second pairing, while Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton were relegated to the third pairing.

McAvoy slotted back into his regular role on the right side of the first pairing with Mike Reilly as his partner for the night while Lindholm remains out due to injury.

Among the forwards, Cassidy promoted Craig Smith to the second line right wing with Taylor Hall on the opposite wing and Erik Haula at center, while Jake DeBrusk took to the left side of Charlie Coyle on the third line with Tomáš Nosek playing right wing.

Josh Brown joined Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh and Kyle Keyser on Boston’s list of healthy scratches Tuesday night in Raleigh.

After pinching and winning a battle in the attacking zone, Jaccob Slavin (1) threw a shot on net that caught a piece of Swayman’s leg pad before trickling over the goal line while the Bruins netminder swatted at the rubber biscuit in desperation.

Carolina led, 1-0, at 6:11 of the first period as a result, while Tony DeAngelo (6) and Sebastian Aho (2) tallied the assists on Slavin’s goal.

For the fifth time in as many games this series, the Hurricanes struck first on the scoreboard.

A couple minutes later, Grzelcyk hooked Max Domi and cut a rut to the penalty box as a result. Carolina went on the power play at 8:30, but failed to convert on their first skater advantage of the night.

Shortly after killing Grzelcyk’s minor, Forbort was assessed a roughing infraction at 11:21– yielding another power play for the Canes as a result.

While on the penalty kill, Nosek failed to clear the puck and the B’s quickly became trapped in their own zone.

Vincent Trocheck worked the puck to Teuvo Teräväinen before Teräväinen setup DeAngelo (1) for a one-timer power-play goal to give Carolina a, 2-0, lead at 12:17 of the first period.

Entering the first intermission, the Hurricanes held that lead and held the advantage in shots, 12-8, as well.

The Canes also dominated in blocked shots (12-4), takeaways (6-2) and giveaways (5-3), while the Bruins led in hits (21-18) and faceoff win percentage (63-38).

Boston had yet to see time on the skater advantage, while Carolina was 1-for-2 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Grzelcyk cut a rut back to the penalty box for catching Jesperi Kotkaniemi with a high stick at 2:53 of the second period, but the Hurricanes weren’t able to convert on the resulting skater advantage.

About ten minutes later, Kotkaniemi returned the favor with a high stick on Grzelcyk at 12:03.

Boston’s ensuing power play was cut short when McAvoy was penalized on a routine neutral zone battle for interference at 13:50.

After 14 seconds of 4-on-4 action, the Canes went on an abbreviated power play that the Bruins managed to kill off.

However, Carolina didn’t take long to catch the B’s in the vulnerable minute after special teams action.

No, the Canes didn’t waste much time at all as Seth Jarvis (2) benefited from sheer puck luck after Carlo failed to clear the puck out of his own zone– deflecting it off his own teammate in DeBrusk before watching the rubber biscuit float over Swayman’s shoulder and into the far side of the net.

Aho (3) and Teräväinen (3) notched the assists on Jarvis’ first goal of the game at 15:52 of the second period and the Hurricanes led, 3-0.

Entering the second intermission, Carolina maintained their three-goal advantage, 3-0, and led in shots on goal, 27-19, including a, 15-11, advantage in the second period alone.

The Hurricanes also led in blocked shots (19-12), takeaways (14-7) and giveaways (13-5), while the Bruins led in hits (32-28).

The two clubs split faceoff win%, 50-50, while the Canes went 1-for-4 on the power play and the B’s went 0-for-1 heading into the final frame.

Nino Niederreiter kicked off the third period 26 seconds into the final frame with a slashing infraction against Brad Marchand, but once more Boston’s advantage would be cut short.

This time, Hall slashed Martin Nečas and yielded 36 seconds of 4-on-4 action before an abbreviated power play for Carolina at 1:51 of the third period.

Shortly after Niederreiter was freed from the box, the Canes struck with another power-play goal– this time by Jarvis (3) for his second goal of the night– collecting the garbage on a redirected shot from point blank to make it, 4-0, Hurrianes.

Trocheck (4) and DeAngelo (7) collected the assists on Jarvis’ power-play goal at 3:31 of the third period as the Bruins fell to 23-for-27 on the penalty kill.

Midway through the third, Clifton (1) waltzed from end-to-end and drove to the net– scoring on Raanta’s five-hole with ease to get Boston on the scoreboard and cut Carolina’s lead to three-goals.

Haula (2) and Hall (1) tallied the assists on Clifton’s goal and the Bruins trained, 4-1, at 10:09 of the third period.

About a minute later, DeAngelo went to the box for holding at 11:36.

The B’s let the resulting power play go by the wayside and couldn’t muster a desperation effort.

With 4:52 remaining in the action, Cassidy pulled Swayman for an extra attacker.

By 16:20 of the third period, Trocheck (3) hit the back of the twine on an empty net goal in a third time’s the charm opportunity for the Hurricanes.

Nečas (2) and Teräväinen (4) had the assists as Carolina sealed the deal on a Game 5 victory with a, 5-1, lead.

At the final horn, the Hurricanes left their own ice leading in shots on goal, 38-34, despite Boston’s, 15-11, advantage in the third period alone.

Carolina finished Tuesday night’s action leading in giveaways (17-11), while the Bruins left PNC Arena leading in blocked shots (21-20), hits (45-34) and faceoff win% (54-46).

The Canes went 2-for-5 on the power play in Game 5, while the B’s went 0-for-3 on the skater advantage in the loss.

Carolina takes a 3-2 series lead as a result of the, 5-1, win heading into Game 6 Thursday night in Boston where the Hurricanes will have a chance to eliminate the Bruins and advance to the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs with another victory.

Puck drop at TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET and viewers outside of the local markets can catch the action on TNT in the United States, as well as SN360 and TVAS in Canada.

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Marchand notches five points in, 5-2, victory in Game 4

For the 34th time since making his postseason debut in 2011, Brad Marchand had a multi-point Stanley Cup Playoff game as he amassed 2-3–5 totals in a, 5-2, win for the Boston Bruins over the Carolina Hurricanes Sunday afternoon in Game 4 at TD Garden.

Among active players, only Tampa Bay Lightning forward, Nikita Kucherov, has more multi-point postseason games in that span with 37.

Jeremy Swayman (2-0, 2.00 goals-against average, .925 save percentage in two games played) made 24 saves on 26 shots against in the win for Boston.

Carolina netminder, Antti Raanta (1-1, 2.40 goals-against average, .928 save percentage in three games played), stopped 23 out of 27 shots faced in the loss.

As a result of Sunday’s win in Game 4, the Bruins tied the series 2-2 heading back to PNC Arena Tuesday night for Game 5.

With a five-point effort– including a pair of goals– for Marchand and three points (one goal, two assists) for Patrice Bergeron on Sunday, the Boston duo continued to climb the ranks of Bruins franchise postseason records.

Bergeron is second in club goals in Stanley Cup Playoff history with 49, while Marchand usurped Phil Esposito for sole possession of the third-most with 48.

Bergeron now has 77 postseason assists– good enough for the third-most in team history– while Marchand jumped Bobby Orr for the fourth-most with 68 to Orr’s 66.

Bergeron (126) also surpassed David Krejci (124) for the second-most postseason points in Boston’s franchise history trailing only Ray Bourque (161) for the most overall.

The B’s were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Jesper Frödén (lower body), Hampus Lindholm (upper body) and Charlie McAvoy (COVID-19 protocol) in the, 5-2, win against the Canes– prompting head coach, Bruce Cassidy, to make a few changes among his defensive pairings due to McAvoy’s late removal from the lineup.

Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo were promoted to the first pairing with Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton filling out the rest of the top-four defenders.

Mike Reilly suited up alongside Josh Brown on the third defensive pairing as a result with Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh and Kyle Keyser comprising the short list of healthy scratches for Boston in Game 4.

Reilly caught Max Domi with a high stick and presented the afternoon’s first power play to the Hurricanes as a result at 2:24 of the first period.

The Bruins made the kill on the ensuing special teams play, however.

Midway through the opening frame, Curtis Lazar was penalized for interference at 11:44, but once more Carolina failed to convert on the resulting skater advantage.

The Canes caught Boston in the vulnerable minute after special teams action, though, as Jordan Staal sent a pass to Brett Pesce (1) in the slot as the Carolina defender pinched in from the point and buried the rubber biscuit on Swayman’s five-hole.

Staal (2) and Domi (1) had the assists on Pesce’s goal and the Hurricanes jumped out to a, 1-0, lead at 14:06.

Carolina’s scored first in every game so far this series, but Boston answered back in a hurry about a couple minutes later when Bergeron (3) snuck a shot through Raanta’s five-hole from the doorstep to tie the game, 1-1, at 16:09.

David Pastrnak (2) and Marchand (4) tallied the assists on the goal as the Bruins evened things up 2:03 after Pesce’s goal.

About a minute later, Staal cut a rut to the sin bin for hooking and presented Boston with another power play at 17:25.

The B’s time on the skater advantage was cut short, however, when Taylor Hall tripped Vincent Trocheck at 17:48 of the first period resulting in 1:38 of 4-on-4 action before an abbreviated power play for Carolina in the remainder.

Entering the first intermission, though, the Bruins and Hurricanes were tied, 1-1, on the scoreboard with the Canes leading in shots on goal, 10-6, after 20 minutes.

Carolina also led in blocked shots (4-2), giveaways (4-2), hits (13-12) and faceoff win percentage (62-38), while both teams managed two takeaways aside.

The Hurricanes were 0-for-3 and the Bruins were 0-for-1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

The Canes wrapped the puck around the attacking zone quickly in the middle frame before Nino Niederreiter found Staal (1) for a one-timer goal from the slot to give Carolina a, 2-1, lead 33 seconds into the second period.

Niederreiter (1) and Tony DeAngelo (5) had the assists on the goal.

Less than a minute later, Andrei Svechnikov was given an interference infraction at 59 seconds of the second period and the Bruins went on the power play.

Boston’s 5-on-4 quickly became a 5-on-3 skater advantage when Trocheck sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play at 1:37 of the second period, yielding an abbreviated two-skater advantage to Boston for a span of 1:23.

The Bruins, however, did not convert on the power play opportunity.

Teuvo Teräväinen hooked Pastrnak at 13:40, but Carolina’s penalty kill managed to get their job done without issue.

Late in the period, however, Niederreiter tripped Craig Smith at 17:35 and presented the B’s with another skater advantage.

This time, Raanta made a save on a shot by Marchand before the puck dropped to the ice and sat in the crease at the Hurricanes netminder’s feet prior to Jake DeBrusk (1) burying it on the far side with one quick swoop.

Carolina’s head coach, Rod Brind’Amour, challenged the call on the ice on the basis that he believed DeBrusk made enough contact with his stick on Raanta prior to the goal to overturn the call, however the official review deemed DeBrusk’s play to be concurrent with the rulebook in terms of how a player is allowed to go after a loose puck in the crease.

The call on the ice stood. Good goal.

Boston tied it, 2-2, while Marchand (5) and Bergeron (2) tallied the assists on DeBrusk’s power-play goal at 18:44 of the second period.

As a result of the unsuccessful challenge, the Hurricanes were assessed a bench minor and Niederreiter went back to the sin bin to serve the infraction at 18:44.

The Bruins wound up with another 5-on-3 advantage after Sebastian Aho caught Bergeron with a high stick near the Boston captain’s eye and drew blood.

Aho was charged with a four-minute double minor for high sticking at 19:35 of the second period and the B’s went on the 5-on-3 advantage for the next 68 seconds– spilling over into the final frame as a result.

Through 40 minutes of action, Boston and Carolina were tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard despite the Bruins leading in shots on goal, 19-16, including a, 13-6, advantage in shots on net in the second period alone.

The Canes held the advantage in blocked shots (8-6), giveaways (5-4) and faceoff win% (57-43), while the B’s led in takeaways (4-3).

Both teams had 24 hits aside heading into the second intermission.

Entering the final frame, the Hurricanes were 0-for-3 and the Bruins were 1-for-7 on the power play.

Cassidy sent out five forwards to start the third period as the Bruins had time remaining on the power play with Aho in the box for Carolina.

It didn’t take Boston long to pull ahead of the Hurricanes.

Charlie Coyle found Marchand in the high slot by the top of the right circle where Marchand (2) riffled a shot over Raanta’s glove side to give the Bruins their first lead of the afternoon, 3-2, 44 seconds into the third period.

Coyle (2) and DeBrusk (2) notched the assists on Marchand’s power-play goal.

A couple minutes later, Grzelcyk caught Brady Skjei with a high stick and yielded 52 seconds of 4-on-4 action at 2:46 of the third period as a result before an abbreviated power play for Carolina would commence.

The Bruins managed to kill off Grzelcyk’s minor without issue.

Early in the final frame, Bergeron won an attacking zone faceoff over to Marchand before Marchand setup Pastrnak (2) for the catch and release goal from point blank on the low glove side while Raanta dove across the crease.

Marchand (6) and Bergeron (3) tallied the assists on Pastrnak’s goal as the Bruins extended their lead to two-goals, 4-2, at 5:41 of the third period.

DeAngelo cross checked Lazar in the face at the midpoint of the final frame and presented Boston with another power play at 10:00, but the Bruins failed to convert on the advantage while the Carolina defender was in the box.

With 3:48 remaining in the action, Brind’Amour used his timeout and pulled Raanta for an extra attacker.

Shortly thereafter, Marchand (3) buried the puck in the empty net to secure a, 5-2, win for Boston at 19:25 of the third period.

Coyle (3) and Carlo (1) had the assists on the goal as the B’s extended their lead to three-goals.

In the dying seconds of the action, Nick Foligno flipped the puck over the glass for an automatic delay of game minor at 19:57.

The Hurricanes did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage as the final horn sounded on a resounding victory for the Bruins in Game 4– tying the series 2-2 in the process.

Boston left their own ice leading in shots on goal, 28-26, despite trailing Carolina, 10-9, in shots on net in the third period alone.

The B’s also led in hits (37-29), while the Canes left TD Garden leading in blocked shots (15-6) and faceoff win% (54-46).

Both teams had six giveaways aside and the Hurricanes were 0-for-5, while the Bruins were 2-for-9 on the power play on Sunday.

Boston improved to 2-1 when tied after the first period and 1-0 when tied after the second period this postseason, while Carolina fell to 1-2 when tied after one and 0-1 when tied after two in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Bruins tied the series 2-2 as a result of their win in Game 4, which means a 3-2 series lead is up for grabs for either team Tuesday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh in Game 5.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET and viewers outside of the local markets can catch the action on ESPN in the United States, as well as SN360 and TVAS in Canada.

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NHL Nick's Net

Boston takes Game 3 with, 4-2, victory on home ice

Four different players scored for the Boston Bruins in their, 4-2, win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of their 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round matchup Friday night at TD Garden.

Charlie Coyle, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall each had a goal for Boston in their first victory against Carolina since Dec. 3, 2019 (regular season and postseason).

Jeremy Swayman (1-0, 2.00 goals-against average, .926 save percentage in one game played) made his first postseason start and picked up the win with a 25-save effort on 27 shots faced.

Swayman became the fourth Bruins rookie goaltender to make their first career playoff start on home ice and win, joining Tiny Thompson (Game 1 of the 1929 Semifinal against Montréal), Mike Moffat (Game 1 of the 1982 Adams Division Semifinal against Buffalo) and Andrew Raycroft (Game 1 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against Montréal) in the process.

Hurricanes goaltender, Pyotr Kochetkov (1-1, 3.30 goals-against average, .900 save percentage in two games played), made 24 saves on 28 shots against in the loss.

The Bruins trail in the series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Sunday afternoon in Boston.

The B’s were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Jesper Frödén (lower body) and Hampus Lindholm (upper body) on Friday, while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made several changes to his lineup.

First, Cassidy reunited Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Pastrnak on the first line, while moving Jake DeBrusk to the second line right wing with Hall at left wing and Erik Haula at center.

Tomáš Nosek was promoted to the third line left wing with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith in their usual roles, while Nick Foligno, Curtis Lazar and Chris Wagner made up the fourth line.

On defense, Mike Reilly went in for Lindholm alongside Charlie McAvoy while Lindholm was out due to injury.

Trent Frederic joined Josh Brown, Anton Blidh and Kyle Keyser among Boston’s healthy scratches for Game 3.

Jordan Martinook caught Hall with a high stick at 4:47 of the first period, but the Bruins weren’t able to convert on their first power play of the night.

Less than five minutes later, Brendan Smith kept the puck in the attacking zone and threw a shot towards the net before Vincent Trocheck (2) corralled the puck and wrapped it around Swayman with a change of pace.

Smith (1) had the only assist on Trocheck’s goal and the Hurricanes took a, 1-0, lead at 9:17 of the first period as a result.

Moments later, Martinook cut a rut back to the sin bin for hooking Lazar at 13:10.

Once more, however, Boston wasn’t able to muster anything on the ensuing skater advantage.

Instead, the B’s presented Carolina with their first power play of the night at 16:07 of the first period after Haula hauled down Jesper Fast with a trip.

The Canes didn’t convert on the power play and, worse, gave up a shorthanded goal against in the process.

DeBrusk broke into the attacking zone and connected with Coyle (1) on a tape-to-tape pass that Coyle batted out of mid-air to beat Kochetkov to tie the game, 1-1, at 17:16.

DeBrusk (1) had the only assist on Coyle’s shorthanded goal.

Late in the period, Marchand slashed the Tony DeAngelo’s stick out of his hands and took a trip to the sin bin as a result at 19:25.

Boston’s penalty kill would spill over into the middle frame unscathed, however.

The score was tied, 1-1, after 20 minutes of action, with the Hurricanes leading the Bruins in shots on goal, 11-8.

Carolina also dominated in blocked shots (7-3) and takeaways (7-0), while the B’s led in giveaways (3-2), hits (13-12) and faceoff win percentage (52-48).

Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Marchand (1) cut to the slot reminiscent of a prominent scoring move in EA Sports’ NHL 94, settled the puck and buried the rubber biscuit in the back of the twine to give Boston their first lead against Carolina all year (regular season and postseason combined) at 5:41 of the second period.

Bergeron (1) had the only assist on Marchand’s tally as the Bruins took a, 2-1, lead on the scoreboard.

About a minute later, Connor Clifton cross checked Martinook and presented the Canes with a power play at 6:48, but Carolina couldn’t muster a goal on the resulting skater advantage.

Less than a minute later, DeAngelo and Marchand exchanged pleasantries by the benches and received roughing and interference infractions, respectively, at 7:44.

Shortly thereafter, Martinook tried to hit Hall in the neutral zone and ended up taking the worst of it– colliding and landing awkwardly, while sustaining a lower body injury in the process.

Moments later, Ian Cole interfered with Lazar and yielded another power play to Boston at 12:36.

It quickly became a two-skater advantage at 13:05, when Trocheck hooked Marchand and presented the Bruins with a 5-on-3 power play as a result for about 1:31.

The Hurricanes killed Cole’s minor, but couldn’t keep Boston’s power play off the board as Pastrnak (1) snapped a shot from the right dot past Kochetkov’s short side to extend the lead to two-goals.

Marchand (2) and Coyle (1) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal and the B’s led, 3-1, at 14:53 of the second period.

While the 17,850 in attendance celebrated the goal, however, a pane of glass came crashing down on timeout coordinator, Joe Foley, in Boston’s penalty box requiring medical assistance from both trainers and in-arena staff.

Foley was stretchered off the ice and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for observation and should be fine, NHL spokesperson, John Dellapina, told The Associated Press.

After a seven-minute delay, play resumed and Clifton cut a rut to the box shortly thereafter for roughing, which was briefly reviewed by the on-ice officials as Brendan Smith’s visor cut the Hurricanes defender and drew blood at 15:41.

The Bruins made the kill on Clifton’s infraction.

Entering the second intermission, Boston led, 3-1, on the scoreboard and, 21-19, in shots on goal.

The B’s had a, 13-8, advantage in shots on net in the second period alone and led in hits (21-19), blocked shots (19-8), as well as faceoff win% (56-44) after 40 minutes of play.

Carolina held the advantage in takeaways (7-3) and giveaways (9-6), while the Hurricanes went 0-for-4 on the power play through two periods.

Boston was 1-for-4 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.

Prior to the third period, the Canes tweeted that Martinook would not return to the night’s action with a lower body injury and head coach, Rod Brind’Amour, told reporters after the game that Martinook’s prognosis didn’t look good.

Meanwhile, Trocheck tripped Nosek at 3:49 of the third period and yielded another power play to Boston.

The Bruins made quick work of the resulting skater advantage with Hall (2) dishing a pass across the slot to Pastrnak before receiving a setup in return for a one-timer goal from the doorstep of the crease as Kochetkov fell behind going from right to left.

Pastrnak (1) and Marchand (3) had the assists on Hall’s power-play goal and the B’s had a, 4-1, lead at 4:08 of the third period.

Less than a minute later, Foligno was penalized for cross checking at 4:48, but Carolina couldn’t muster a power-play goal.

Midway through the third, however, Jaccob Slavin (1) lobbed a shot from the point with eyes past Swayman on the glove side to make it a two-goal deficit.

Slavin’s goal was unassisted as the Hurricanes trailed, 4-2, at 11:30 of the third period.

With 2:42 remaining in regulation, Brind’Amour pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker.

He later used his timeout after a stoppage with 1:36 left on the clock, but Boston stood tall and continued to block shots to the very end of the night with Derek Forbort tying a team-record for most blocked shots in a single postseason game (9), done twice before by Dennis Seidenberg in 2013, and the late Steve Montador in 2009.

At the final horn, the Bruins had taken Game 3 by a final score of, 4-2, and cut the series lead down to 2-1 in favor of the Hurricanes.

Boston left their own ice leading in shots on goal, 28-27, despite Carolina outshooting the Bruins, 8-7, in the third period alone.

The B’s also wrapped up Friday night’s action leading in blocked shots (29-12) and faceoff win% (57-43), while the Canes left TD Garden leading in giveaways (12-7) and hits (40-33) after Game 3.

The Hurricanes went 0-for-5 on the skater advantage, while Boston went 2-for-5 on the power play on Friday.

The Bruins improved to 14-15 all time in Game 3s when trailing 2-0 in a best-of-seven series, as well as 1-1 when tied after the first period and 1-0 when leading after the second period this postseason.

Carolina, meanwhile, fell to 1-1 when tied after one and 0-1 when trailing through two periods in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the loss in Game 3, the Hurricanes now lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Puck drop in Boston is set for 12:30 p.m. ET and viewers outside of the local markets can catch the action on ESPN in the United States, as well as SN and TVAS in Canada.

Carolina can take a commanding 3-1 series lead heading back to Raleigh for Game 5 while the B’s could even the series 2-2 with another win in Game 4.