The 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers and Round Robin tournament are almost underway, but this episode has almost nothing to do with that!
For a lot of Boston Bruins fans, the term “goalie controversy” often draws up images of people shouting at each other on Twitter about Tim Thomas vs. Tuukka Rask– yes, even to this day, despite the fact that 1) Thomas was traded to the New York Islanders in 2013 and 2) that he effectively retired after the 2013-14 season split between the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars (he never announced his retirement officially, anyway).
Both have a Stanley Cup ring to their names as they were members of the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Bruins roster, with Thomas leading the way to Boston’s first championship since 1972, while Rask was biding his time as the team’s backup before taking over as the full-time B’s starter since the 2012-13 season– racking up multiple franchise records in the process and two more Stanley Cup Final appearances in 2013 and 2019.
But this “goalie controversy” has nothing to do with the galaxy brain Thomas vs. Rask arguments on Twitter.
This is about the “controversial” debate that rages surrounding retiring No. 30 in Boston and the controversies that surround two of its most prominent Bruins to wear it.
When considering whether or not to retire a number in Bruins lore, first consider what other Original Six teams have done, since they’re the only comparable franchises with almost as many– if not more– years of history than Boston.
Then consider the fact that Boston has never retired a number for a goalie. For quick reference, retired numbers of goalies are in bold.
Boston Bruins retired numbers
- 2 Eddie Shore
- 3 Lionel Hitchman
- 4 Bobby Orr
- 5 “Dit” Clapper
- 7 Phil Esposito
- 8 Cam Neely
- 9 Johnny Bucyk
- 15 Milt Schmidt
- 16 Rick Middleton
- 24 Terry O’Reilly
- 77 Ray Bourque
Chicago Blackhawks retired numbers
- 1 Glenn Hall
- 3 Keith Magnuson/Pierre Pilote
- 9 Bobby Hull
- 18 Denis Savard
- 21 Stan Mikita
- 35 Tony Esposito
Detroit Red Wings retired numbers
- 1 Terry Sawchuk
- 4 Red Kelly
- 5 Nicklas Lidstrom
- 7 Ted Lindsay
- 9 Gordie Howe
- 10 Alex Delvecchio
- 12 Sid Abel
- 19 Steve Yzerman
Montreal Canadiens retired numbers
- 1 Jacques Plante
- 2 Doug Harvey
- 3 Emile Bouchard
- 4 Jean Beliveau
- 5 Bernie Geoffrion/Guy Lapointe
- 7 Howie Morenz
- 9 Maurice Richard
- 10 Guy Lafleur
- 12 Yvan Cournoyer/Dickie Moore
- 16 Henri Richard/Elmer Lach
- 18 Serge Savard
- 19 Larry Robinson
- 23 Bob Gainey
- 29 Ken Dryden
- 33 Patrick Roy
New York Rangers retired numbers
- 1 Eddie Giacomin
- 2 Brian Leetch
- 3 Harry Howell
- 7 Rod Gilbert
- 9 Andy Bathgate/Adam Graves
- 11 Vic Hadfield/Mark Messier
- 19 Jean Ratelle
- 35 Mike Ritcher
Toronto Maple Leafs retired numbers
- 1 Turk Broda/Johnny Bower
- 4 Hap Day/Red Kelly
- 5 Bill Barilko
- 6 Irvine “Ace” Bailey
- 7 King Clancy/Tim Horton
- 9 Ted Kennedy/Charlie Conacher
- 10 Syl Apps/George Armstrong
- 13 Mats Sundin
- 14 Dave Keon
- 17 Wendell Clark
- 21 Borje Salming
- 27 Frank Mahovlich/Darryl Sittler
- 93 Doug Gilmour
There’s not many retired goalie numbers among Original Six teams, let alone the rest of the NHL. Plus Boston hasn’t even retired No. 1 for Cecil “Tiny” Thompson and/or Frank Brimsek.
Next, think about Hockey Hall of Fame status, as well as career longevity (in Boston and outside of Boston).
Especially since there is no “Boston Bruins Hall of Fame” (which is a shame, really– they built The Hub on Causeway and they couldn’t dedicate more to team history/histories (if you include the NBA’s Boston Celtics) than just the entrance to the old Boston Garden standing inside of Banners Kitchen & Tap?).
Sure there’s The Sports Museum inside TD Garden, but the Montreal Canadiens have a Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame underneath Bell Centre. Your move, Mr. Jacobs.
Cam Neely– He didn’t play nearly enough games for his era due to Ulf Samuelsson, but Neely is a Hockey Hall of Fame member.
Rick Middleton– He played a lot, scored a ton, but Middleton isn’t a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Terry O’Reilly– He was like Milt Schmidt in that he did a lot for the Bruins organization (player and later coach), but O’Reilly isn’t a Hockey Hall of Fame member.
As with everything, there are exceptions to the rule and O’Reilly and Middleton are deservingly so in their own right.
Gerry Cheevers is a Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender. Tim Thomas is a U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender. He’s still eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame, but he hasn’t gotten in and there’s no guarantees that he’ll make it.
Interestingly enough, however, while Thomas might never be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Cheevers made it in 1985, but never won a Vezina (Thomas has two, 2008-09 and 2010-11) and was never named to an All-Star Team at season’s end (Thomas was named to two, 2008-09 and 2010-11).
Then think about how they left Boston.
In 1972, the World Hockey Association (WHA) came into fruition as a direct rival of the National Hockey League (NHL). The WHA promised better pay for players and the same– if not better– experience for fans.
It was created by a pair of American promoters who also made the American Basketball Association (ABA), which, if you’re a fan of basketball, you already know the ABA merger story with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA, 1976-present).
From the onset, the ABA was poised to one day merge with the NBA in its efforts for success a la the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) merger prior to the 1970 NFL season.
The WHA was all about what the NHL wasn’t about.
They wanted to capitalize on markets where hockey could flourish, but were otherwise overlooked by the NHL, as well as attract the best players in the game by paying more than what NHL teams would– especially attracting European talent whereas the NHL was stuck as a “North American” game at the time.
Free agency was a new concept for professional sports in the 1970s and it reigned supreme in the emerging shift towards player’s rights and the evolution of players’ associations.
The NHL’s reserve clause at the time meant players couldn’t become the equivalent of today’s unrestricted free agent until they were 31-years-old. These days, there’s restricted free agency, unrestricted free agency, as well as one-way and two-way contracts to worry about, but that’s another topic for another day.
Cheevers left the Bruins for the WHA, which was deplorable in the eyes of the NHL back then as much as it is now.
Though fans might have loved seeing the Cleveland Crusaders jerseys, NHL owners hated them.
Though players loved making more money at a time when all the other major professional sports were seeing significant raises, NHL owners hated them.
Though WHA franchises thought they’d be on the fast track to continuing operations in the NHL after the WHA ceased to exist, the NHL went all out to slash and burn the remnants of the WHA.
Seriously though, when the WHA initiated discussions for a merger in 1977, NHL owners voted down a plan to merge six WHA teams into the NHL.
The Edmonton Oilers, New England Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, Cincinnati Stingers, Houston Aeros and Winnipeg Jets wanted out of a league that was hemorrhaging money and into the safe arms of the NHL and its tradition.
By 1976, there were 32 major professional hockey teams between the NHL and WHA, which diluted the talent pool of a sport that was nowhere near the numbers of popularity and youth through junior league development as it is today.
When it came time to re-negotiate a merger in 1978, Houston was no longer in the plan, since the Aeros ended up having to fold.
The Indianapolis Racers folded in the middle of December 1978, which set the final nail in the merger. Cincinnati and the Birmingham Bulls would each be compensated to disband elsewhere, while Edmonton, New England, Quebec and Winnipeg would join the NHL at the WHA’s insistence.
Except it wasn’t that easy for the Oilers, Whalers, Nordiques and Jets.
Each team would be stripped of its history– rendering them as NHL expansion teams for the start of the 1979-80 season, subject to expansion fees, an expansion draft and penalizing them by allowing NHL teams to reclaim players that jumped ship to the WHA.
Additionally, the Bruins petitioned the “New England Whalers” moniker, resulting in the Whalers having to drop “New England” in favor of “Hartford” since Boston didn’t want any confusion that the Whalers were playing on their turf (despite Massachusetts and Connecticut both being part of New England).
The Bruins owned New England.
That only strengthened the underdog status of the Whalers and the hatred between the two clubs in their Adams Division rivalry after realignment for the 1981-82 season (Hartford kicked things off in their NHL tenure in the Norris Division from 1979-81).
Anyway, back to Cheevers and his departure from the Hub.
After winning his second Cup with Boston in 1972, Cheevers jumped at the opportunity Cleveland created to make a lot more money than what the Bruins were offering their two-time Stanley Cup winning goaltender.
Cheevers lasted parts of three seasons as a Crusader from 1972-73 to 1975-76, when a financial dispute with Cleveland’s management resulted in Cheevers jumping back into the NHL fold with Boston in the middle of the 1975-76 season.
Since becoming a starting goaltender in the 1967-68 season through Boston’s 1971-72 Cup winning season, Cheevers amassed a 126-52-40 record in 221 games with a 2.72 goals against average and a .915 save percentage in that span, as well as 15 shutouts.
Prior to his departure from the Bruins for Cleveland, he had a career best 2.50 GAA and .920 SV% in 41 games in the 1971-72 season alone as a 31-year-old goaltender (he wouldn’t turn 32 until Dec. 7, 1972).
Though Cheevers returned in 1975-76, things never were really the same.
His WHA tenure racked up a 99-78-9 record in 191 career games for the Crusaders from 1972 through part of the 1975-76 season– with a 3.12 GAA and 14 shutouts in that span.
On Jan. 27, 1976, he returned to Boston as a free agent after being released by Cleveland– two days after the Crusaders suspended him for not showing up and refusing to play.
By that point, Cheevers was 35-years-old and finished off the 1975-76 NHL season with an 8-2-5 record, as well as a 2.74 GAA and a .900 SV% in 15 games played for the Bruins.
In his full seasons for Boston that followed from 1976-77 to his retirement after the 1979-80 season, Cheevers went 87-35-24 in 151 games, with a 2.96 GAA, an .878 SV% and nine shutouts in that span.
Though the emergence of Wayne Gretzky to the NHL scene may have shifted the offensive output across the league since 1979, Cheevers’ NHL playing days only coincided with Gretzky in Gretzky’s rookie season (1979-80).
Though Cheevers had a .524 winning percentage in his first NHL stint with Toronto (two games) and Boston (250 games) from 1961-72 and a .572 winning percentage after his WHA days in 166 games with Boston from 1976-80, his goals against average and save percentage suffered dramatically from a 2.85 GAA and a .911 SV% in 1961-72 to a 2.94 GAA and an .880 SV% from 1976-80.
Of course, age and the inevitable “wall” that players hit at the twilight of their prime is likely a factor here.
Still, the fact remains the same.
Despite leading the Bruins as a head coach after his retirement as a player from 1980-85, his defection from the NHL to the WHA crushed his immediate chances at being honored for his work on the ice in a sweater with the spoked-B on the front and the No. 30 on the back.
And all these years later, he might still be paying for it.
Thomas, on the other hand, chose to sit out the 2012-13 season, citing a need for more connection to his faith, family and friends.
Though it’s certainly understandable these days, given the presumptive hell he must have gone through with all of his concussions and finding the love for the game again– albeit watching as a fan these days– since his retirement from the NHL after the 2013-14 season, Thomas’ 2012-13 plans weren’t the first time he angered the Bruins fanbase, let alone, Boston’s front office.
After winning the Cup in 2011, he skipped out on the team’s White House invitation— citing (to paraphrase) that both major political parties are at fault for the federal government’s overbearance on its citizens.
Other than that, there’s his staunch– if not, outlandish at times– political views that cannot be overlooked (his support for Chick-fil-A amidst the company’s anti-equal marriage stance) in a day and age where Hockey Is (supposed to be) For Everyone.
Like the rest of us, however, Thomas is human– complex, contradicting, well-defined and unique as an individual. We all struggle through our own cognitive dissonance through life.
For some, his on-ice performance can be separated from what his private off-ice personal life ensues.
For others, he might not be as high on the pedestal of Boston sports lore due to his complicated nature– one that contradicts research and the science behind traumatic brain injuries, therapy and experimental treatments with conspiracy theories related to climate change, among other things.
All of this begs the question “should there be a character component to retiring numbers,” which could lead to further discussion surrounding whether or not teams should permanently unretire numbers when legendary players don’t live up to being role models off the ice (see, Bobby Hull and the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes).
Likewise, the same argument could be applied to hall of fame inductions, but both are discussions for another time.
But Thomas’ decision to sit out the 2012-13 season with one-year remaining on his contract and a $5.000 million cap hit in a time when Boston was built for contending for another Cup run while spending $8.500 million combined between Thomas and Tuukka Rask in the crease as the team sat uncomfortably below the salary cap at about $68.868 million out of the $70.200 million ceiling, struck a nerve with then General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, and Co.
Oh and to further add to the uncertainty, the league hit a lockout prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, which saw the usual 82-game schedule reduced to 48 games that season once play resumed in January.
On Feb. 7, 2013, the Bruins traded Thomas to the New York Islanders to free up much needed cap space in an attempt to re-sign Rask, Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference, Anton Khudobin, Jaromir Jagr and others in the 2013 offseason after losing in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
Only Rask remained as Ference’s free agent status priced himself out of Boston, Jagr was deemed “too old” (joke’s on them!) and Horton left for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a shroud of “word on the street” rumors. Khudobin, meanwhile, went to the Carolina Hurricanes on a one-year, $800,000 deal after Boston signed Chad Johnson for $200,000 less to be Rask’s backup for the 2013-14 season.
Thomas returned to the NHL for the 2013-14 season with the Florida Panthers after signing a one-year deal on Sept. 26, 2013, before later being traded to the Dallas Stars on March 5, 2014– one day after Florida re-acquired Roberto Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks.
His comeback season didn’t go well (posting a 16-20-3 record, a 2.87 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in 40 games with the Panthers, as well as a 2-4-1 record, a 2.97 GAA and a .902 SV% in eight games with the Stars) and Thomas rode off into the sunset after Dallas was eliminated in six games in the 2014 First Round by the Anaheim Ducks.
The Bruins may let bygones be bygones and welcome Thomas with open arms for a “Tim Thomas Night” or special ceremony one day in the future, but it likely won’t be before Rask retires.
As it is, Thomas isn’t planning on traveling much outside of his Washington, D.C. appearance for his induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Dec. 2019.
So, what goaltender could have their number retired by Boston?
If there’s one Bruins goaltender that will have his number retired sooner rather than later, it’s Rask.
There’s three probable options for Rask when all is said and done in 2021;
1) to sign a short term deal and remain with Boston for his entire NHL career,
2) to sign a contract elsewhere or
3) to retire– finishing his career as one of the greatest goaltenders in Bruins history as he currently ranks 1st in wins (291– Tiny Thompson is 2nd with 252), 1st in games played (536– Thompson is 2nd with 468), 1st in saves (13,711– Eddie Johnston is 2nd with 12,375), 1st in save percentage among goalies with a minimum of 100 games played as a Bruin (.922– Thomas is 2nd with a .921), 1st in goals against average among goalies with a minimum of 100 games played for Boston (2.26– Byron Dafoe is 2nd with a 2.30), 2nd in shutouts among goalies with a minimum 100 games played for Boston (50– Thompson leads with 74) and– as a bonus– Rask leads with the most points by a goaltender with the Bruins (15, all assists– Cheevers is 2nd with 11, also all assists).
That’s no slouch and not just a result of suiting up in a bunch of games for one team without any real success whatsoever.
That same 2011 Stanley Cup championship year for the Bruins?
Rask was part of that.
Doesn’t matter if you’re the starter or the backup when your name goes on the Cup for a job well done as one of the best goaltending tandems that season. Besides, in today’s NHL, there’s an ever increasing importance for a 1A/1B solution in the crease.
Rask also backstopped the team to two more Stanley Cup Final appearances since then in 2013 and 2019.
He also won the Vezina Trophy in 2014 and was likely on track to pick up his second Vezina this season– number of games played compared to his peers, like Andrei Vasilevskiy, be damned– at its pause due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a 2.12 GAA and a .929 SV%, as well as a 26-8-6 record in 41 games played.
No. 40 in black and gold led the NHL in goals against average this season and was second in save percentage, while sharing second place in shutouts with five.
Whether he wins this season’s Vezina Trophy or not, he’ll still have a consolation prize shared with his backup, Jaroslav Halak, as the duo won the William M. Jennings Trophy for the 2019-20 season as the goaltender(s) that have played a minimum of 25 games in a season for the team(s) with the fewest goals scored against it.
Rask and Halak allowed 174 goals this season in 70 games played, whereas Ben Bishop and Khudobin allowed 177 goals against for the Stars in 69 games.
This season’s hardware is Rask’s first Jennings Trophy win and Halak’s second career Jennings honors after previously sharing the title with Brian Elliott in the 2011-12 season with the Blues.
As for Rask’s jersey retirement case, it helps that he is tied for the best save percentage in league history (.922) with Dominik Hasek and 11th overall in the NHL’s all-time goals against averages with a 2.26 in his career.
Oh and the B’s have won the Presidents’ Trophy twice with Rask in the crease (2013-14 and 2019-20), something Thomas never did in his tenure with Boston and Cheevers could never do, since the award wasn’t presented for the first time until the 1985-86 season.
It’s possible the Bruins retire No. 40 before they make up for lost time and retire No. 30 for two players, like how the Toronto Maple Leafs retired No. 1 twice (Turk Broda and Johnny Bower).
After all, if you’re worried about running out of numbers that are typically used by a goaltender, Nos. 1, 29, 31, 35, 45 and any other number that isn’t already or won’t be retired by the time Boston gets around to retiring a goaltender’s jersey number (assuming the B’s retire No. 33 for Zdeno Chara, No. 37 for Patrice Bergeron, No. 46 for David Krejci and perhaps No. 63 and No. 88 by that time) will still be available.
One of the moves Edmonton Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland, made on Monday’s trade deadline was a small deal with the Ottawa Senators that saw the Oilers acquire Tyler Ennis from the Senators in exchange for a 2021 5th round pick.
Edmonton loaded up for the stretch run in a tightly compact Pacific Division, where the Vegas Golden Knights led the division standings with 76 points– a mere six-point advantage over the two wild card teams in the Western Conference– and the Oilers sit 2nd in the Pacific with 73 points on the season entering Monday.
Ennis, 30, had 14 goals and 19 assists (33 points) in 61 games with Ottawa prior to the trade and is a pending-unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
The 5-foot-9, 161-pound, Edmonton, Alberta native was originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round (26th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and has 131-178–309 totals in 604 career NHL games with the Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs and Senators.
He also has three goals and seven assists in 19 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
As a result of the trade, the Senators now have 22 selections in the next two NHL Entry Drafts, including seven picks in the first two rounds of the 2020 NHL Draft and three second round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Below is a quick recap of all the trades that officially occurred on Monday prior to the National Hockey League’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
The Edmonton Oilers kicked things off early Monday morning by sending F Kyle Brodziak and a conditional 2020 4th round pick to the Detroit Red Wings for D Mike Green.
Edmonton surrenders their 4th round pick in the deal unless the Oilers advance to the Western Conference Final with Green playing in 50 percent of the playoff games in the first two rounds combined, in which case, Detroit would then receive Edmonton’s 2021 3rd round pick.
Detroit retained 50% of Green’s salary in the transaction. MORE
F Jean-Gabriel Pageau was traded by the Ottawa Senators to the New York Islanders for a conditional 2020 1st round pick, a 2020 2nd round pick and a conditional 2022 3rd round pick.
If the 2020 1st round pick is in the top-3 overall selections, then Ottawa receives the Islanders’ 2021 1st round pick. If New York wins this Stanley Cup this year, then Ottawa receives the Islanders’ 2022 3rd round pick. MORE
The Carolina Hurricanes traded F Erik Haula, F Lucas Wallmark, F Eetu Luostarinen and D Chase Priskie to the Florida Panthers for F Vincent Trocheck. MORE
F Nate Thompson was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2021 5th round pick. MORE
The San Jose Sharks traded F Patrick Marleau to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional 2021 3rd round pick.
If Pittsburgh wins the Cup, then San Jose receives a 2021 2nd round pick instead. MORE
D Calle Rosen was traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Toronto Maple Leafs for G Michael Hutchinson. MORE
The Philadelphia Flyers acquired Derek Grant from the Anaheim Ducks for Kyle Criscuolo and a 4th round pick. MORE
F Wayne Simmonds was traded by the New Jersey Devils to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2021 5th round pick. The Devils retained 50% of Simmonds’ salary ($2.500 million) in the trade. MORE
F Danton Heinen was traded by the Boston Bruins to the Anaheim Ducks for F Nick Ritchie. MORE
The Montreal Canadiens traded F Matthew Peca to the Ottawa Senators for F Aaron Luchuk and a 2020 7th round pick.
The Detroit Red Wings traded F Andreas Athanasiou and F Ryan Kuffner to the Edmonton Oilers for F Sam Gagner, a 2020 2nd round pick and a 2021 2nd round pick.
F Tyler Ennis was traded by the Ottawa Senators to the Edmonton Oilers for a 2021 5th round pick. MORE
The Calgary Flames acquired D Derek Forbort from the Los Angeles Kings for a conditional 2021 4th round pick.
F Evan Rodrigues and F Conor Sheary were traded by the Buffalo Sabres to the Pittsburgh Penguins for F Dominik Kahun.
The Dallas Stars traded D Emil Djuse to the Florida Panthers for a 2020 6th round pick (originally belonging to the Buffalo Sabres).
D Sami Vatanen was traded by the New Jersey Devils to the Carolina Hurricanes for F Janne Kuokkanen, D Fredrik Claesson and a conditional 2020 4nd round pick.
If Vatanen plays a certain number of games, then the pick can become a 3rd round pick.
G Robin Lehner was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs by the Chicago Blackhawks, then was flipped to the Vegas Golden Knights in a three-team trade.
Toronto acquired a 2020 5th round pick from Vegas, while retaining a portion of Lehner’s salary to complete the trade.
Chicago acquired G Malcolm Subban, D Slava Demin and a 2020 2nd round pick (originally belonging to Pittsburgh) from Vegas.
Vegas acquired Lehner and and F Martins Dzierkals.
The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired F Devin Shore from the Anaheim Ducks for F Sonny Milano.
The Carolina Hurricanes acquired D Brady Skjei from the New York Rangers for a 2020 1st round pick.
D Erik Gustafsson was traded by the Chicago Blackhawks to the Calgary Flames for a 2020 3rd round pick.
F Barclay Goodrow and a 2020 3rd round pick (originally acquired from Philadelphia) were traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2020 1st round pick and F Anthony Greco.
The New Jersey Devils traded G Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks for G Zane McIntyre.
D Brandon Davidson was traded by the Calgary Flames to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations.
The Anaheim Ducks traded D Korbinian Holzer to the Nashville Predators for D Matt Irwin and a 2022 6th round pick.
D Christian Djoos was traded by the Washington Capitals to the Anaheim Ducks for F Daniel Sprong.
F Nick Cousins was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Vegas Golden Knights for a 2021 4th round pick.
The Chicago Blackhawks traded D T.J. Brennan to the Chicago Blackhawks for F Nathan Noel.
In a minor trade, the New York Islanders sent F Matt Lorito to the Toronto Maple Leafs for D Jordan Schmaltz.
The Columbus Blue Jackets traded F Markus Hannikainen to the Arizona Coyotes for a conditional 2020 7th round pick.
G Angus Redmond and a conditional 2022 7th round pick were traded by the Anaheim Ducks to the Edmonton Oilers for D Joel Persson.
Early Monday morning, the Edmonton Oilers jumpstarted the 2020 NHL trade deadline by acquiring Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings while most fans on the East Coast were likely sleeping.
The Red Wings acquired Kyle Brodziak and a conditional 2020 4th round pick in return.
If the Oilers make the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, advance to the Western Conference Final and Green plays in 50 percent of the playoff games in the first two rounds, then Detroit receives Edmonton’s 2021 3rd round pick instead of their 2020 4th round pick.
Detroit retained 50% ($2.688 million) of Green’s salary in the trade.
Green, 34, has three goals and eight assists (11 points) in 48 games with Detroit this season and was third on the team in blocked shots (63) at the time of the trade.
A Calgary, Alberta native, Green was originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in the first round (29th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
He has 10-27–37 totals in 76 career Stanley Cup Playoff games and 150-351–501 totals in 878 career regular season games for the Red Wings and Capitals.
Oilers General Manager, Ken Holland, addressed a need for a durable extra body in Edmonton’s own end with Oscar Klefbom out two-to-three weeks with a shoulder injury sustained in Feb. 19th’s, 2-1, overtime loss against the Boston Bruins.
Green is a pending-unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Brodziak, 35, has not played this season due to a back injury and will remain on the long-term injured reserve for Detroit.
He is in the final year of his current contract ($1.150 million cap hit) and will be a pending-UFA at season’s end and has 129-167–296 totals in 917 career NHL games with the Oilers, St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild.
David Pastrnak lifted the Boston Bruins over the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, in overtime with his game-winning breakaway goal about a minute into the extra frame at Rogers Place on Wednesday night.
Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask (23-5-6 record, 2.04 goals against average, .932 save percentage in 35 games played) made 28 saves on 29 shots against for a .966 SV% in the win.
Oilers goaltender, Mike Smith (16-10-5 record, 2.89 GAA, .905 SV% in 33 games played), stopped 32 shots out of 34 shots faced for a .941 SV% in the overtime loss.
Boston improved to 38-11-12 (88 points) on the season and maintained their dominance atop the Atlantic Division, while Edmonton fell to 32-21-7 (71 points), but remained in command of the Pacific Division.
With the win, the Bruins have now won 11 out of their last 13 games (including ten out of their last 11 games) and improved to 17-9-3 on the road this season.
Boston was without the services of Kevan Miller (knee) and Connor Clifton (upper body/AHL conditioning loan) on Wednesday, while Par Lindholm, John Moore and Anton Blidh served as healthy scratches for the B’s.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his lineup from Sunday afternoon’s, 3-1, victory in New York against the Rangers.
Almost midway through the opening frame, Pastrnak worked the puck to Brad Marchand as the veteran winger brought the rubber biscuit into the attacking zone along the boards.
Marchand flipped a quick pass to Patrice Bergeron (27) in the slot, whereby Bergeron deked and got a forehand shot around Smith to give Boston the game’s first lead, 1-0, at 8:28 of the first period.
Bergeron’s goal was assisted by Marchand (52) and Pastrnak (41) as No. 37 in black and gold amassed his fifth goal in his last six games.
About 90 seconds later, Ethan Bear slashed Marchand and was assessed a minor infraction, yielding the game’s first power play to the Bruins at 10:56.
Boston did not score on the ensuing power play opportunity.
A few minutes after the Oilers killed off Bear’s minor, Joakim Nordstrom tripped up Gaetan Haas and presented Edmonton with their first power play of the night at 15:12, but the Oilers’ skater advantage was short lived.
Kailer Yamamoto caught Charlie Coyle with a high stick at 16:07 of the first period and drew some blood– resulting in a four-minute double minor infraction assessed to Yamamoto and 4-on-4 action for a span of 1:05 before Boston had an abbreviated extended power play.
After 20 minutes of action in Edmonton, the Bruins were leading the Oilers, 1-0, on the scoreboard and, 10-2, in shots on goal.
Edmonton held the advantage in blocked shots (10-4), giveaways (6-5) and faceoff win percentage (67-33), while Boston led in takeaways (5-4) and hits (9-7).
The Oilers were 0/1 on the skater advantage and the Bruins were 0/3 on the power play entering the first intermission.
Early in the middle frame, Adam Larsson slashed Marchand and was sent to the sin bin at 3:37 of the second period.
Boston did not score on the ensuing power play– a trend which lasted the entire night for the Bruins.
Moments later, Torey Krug tripped up Haas and cut a rut to the penalty box at 6:49, but Edmonton didn’t capitalize on the resulting power play.
Just past the midpoint of Wednesday night’s action, Bergeron was called for hooking Bear at 10:56 as Boston was forced to kill off back-to-back penalties.
While on the power play, Oilers forward, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was penalized for holding the stick while tying up Coyle from entering the neutral zone and assessed a minor penalty at 12:15– resulting in 41 seconds of 4-on-4 action before the Bruins had an abbreviated power play.
Through two periods of play at Rogers Place, Boston still held a, 1-0, lead over Edmonton, despite trailing the Oilers, 20-19, in shots on goal heading into the second intermission.
Edmonton actually held an, 18-9, advantage in shots on goal in the second period alone, while also leading in blocked shots (16-9), takeaways (5-4) and faceoff win% (64-36) after 40 minutes of action.
Boston held the advantage in giveaways (10-9) and hits (18-15) as neither team had mustered a power play goal– with the Oilers operating at 0/3 and the B’s at 0/5 on the skater advantage.
Karson Kuhlman tripped Caleb Jones at 1:59 of the third period and presented Edmonton with a power play early in the final frame.
This time the Oilers took advantage of their skater advantage as Bear wired a shot from the point that Sam Gagner (5) deflected over Rask’s glove from in front of the net.
Bear (14) and Nugent-Hopkins (30) were credited with the primary and secondary assists as the Oilers tied the game, 1-1, with Gagner’s power play goal at 3:42 of the third period.
Less than a couple minutes later, Edmonton had too many skaters on the ice at what was supposed to be regular 5-on-5 action. As a result, the Oilers were charged with a bench minor for too many men at 5:25 and Yamamoto was elected to serve the infraction.
Moments later, after failing to capitalize on their legal skater advantage, the Bruins found themselves shorthanded once again as Nordstrom was dealt a roughing minor at 9:34 after a fracas developed behind the Boston net.
Edmonton didn’t score on the resulting power play and, in fact, cut short their own skater advantage when Darnell Nurse slashed Coyle to breakup a shorthanded breakaway for the Bruins center.
Nurse was sent to the box at 11:10 and the two teams skated 4-on-4 once more for 24 seconds before Boston went on an abbreviated power play.
Late in the period, Pastrnak tripped up William Lagesson and was sent to the box at 17:30, but the Oilers weren’t able to score on their last power play of the night.
At the end of regulation, the game was tied, 1-1, despite the Bruins holding the advantage in shots on goal, 33-29.
Edmonton led in blocked shots (17-12), takeaways (8-7) and faceoff win% (62-28), while both teams had 15 giveaways and 22 hits aside.
As there were no penalties called in the overtime period, the Oilers finished 1/6 and the Bruins finished 0/7 on the power play.
Cassidy started Coyle, Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy in overtime, while Oilers head coach, Dave Tippett, opted for Leon Draisaitl, Yamamoto and Bear.
A little over a minute into the extra action, David Krejci sent Pastrnak on a breakaway into the attacking zone with a lead pass through the neutral zone.
Pastrnak (43) deked and sent a backhand shot through Smith’s five-hole– clinching the game-winning overtime goal in the process– and lifting the Bruins over the Oilers, 2-1, in overtime.
Krejci (27) and Krug (32) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 1:14 of the overtime period.
Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal (34-29), while Edmonton wrapped up Wednesday night with the advantage in blocked shots (19-12), giveaways (16-15) and faceoff win% (62-38).
Both teams finished the night with 22 hits each, while the Oilers fell to 3-5 in overtime this season.
Boston, in the meantime, improved to 5-5 in overtime this season, while Pastrnak recorded his 25th multi-point game this season with a goal and an assist in Wednesday night’s effort.
The Bruins improved to 23-7-8 when scoring the game’s first goal, 22-5-3 when leading after the first period and 23-1-6 when leading after two periods this season.
The B’s also improved to 5-5 in overtime this season and 5-12 past regulation overall.
Boston continues their four-game road trip (2-0-0) with stops against the Calgary Flames on Friday and Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
The Bruins return home for a two-game homestand on Feb. 25th and Feb. 27th for meetings with the Flames and Dallas Stars, respectively, before wrapping up the month of February with a road game against the New York Islanders on Feb. 29th.
The Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon and swept their regular season series (3-0-0) against New York for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Jaroslav Halak (15-6-6 record, 2.31 goals against average, .922 save percentage in 27 games played) stopped 25 out of 26 shots faced for a .962 SV% in the win for the Bruins.
Rangers goaltender, Alexandar Georgiev (14-12-1, 2.98 GAA, .912 SV% in 28 games played) made 31 saves on 33 shots against for a .939 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 37-11-12 (86 points) on the season and remained in command of the Atlantic Division, while New York fell to 30-24-4 (64 points) and in 7th place in the Metropolitan Division.
The B’s also improved to 16-9-3 on the road this season and have won ten out of their last 12 games.
Boston was without the services of Kevan Miller (knee) on Sunday as the Bruins defender has yet to make his season debut due to lingering issues from his knee injury last season and subsequent re-injuries since then.
Connor Clifton (upper body), while listed as “day-to-day” since being injured against the Buffalo Sabres on Dec. 29th, was reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) ahead of Sunday’s contest as part of a conditioning stint and is likely to return to full health with Boston in the near future.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his lineup from Saturday’s, 4-1, win against the Detroit Red Wings, while Halak was back in the net for the first time since Feb. 5th (a, 2-1, overtime win in Chicago).
Par Lindholm, John Moore and Anton Blidh served as Boston’s healthy scratches on Sunday.
Midway through the opening frame, Ryan Lindgren checked Brad Marchand along the wall at the benches and got into a bit of an exchange that resulted in only the Rangers defender heading to the penalty box with a minor infraction for roughing at 11:31 of the first period.
Boston didn’t convert on the ensuing power play.
In the final minute of the first period, Charlie McAvoy (3) ripped a shot from the point that appeared to have redirected off a New York skater prior to the puck floating in the air and over Geogiev’s shoulder for the game’s first goal at 19:18.
McAvoy’s goal– his third in the last six games for the B’s– was unassisted with 41.7 seconds left in the period.
The Bruins led, 1-0, on the scoreboard entering the first intermission and, 11-9, in shots on goal.
Boston also held the advantage in giveaways (4-3), while New York led in blocked shots (6-4), hits (11-6) and faceoff win percentage (52-48). Both teams had one takeaway aside.
The Rangers had yet to see time on the skater advantage and the Bruins were 0/1 on the power play heading into the second period.
Early in the middle frame, David Krejci caught Lindgren with a high stick on a follow through while both players went after a bouncing puck.
Krejci’s high stick drew blood and resulted in a four-minute double minor penalty at 5:06 of the second period. The Rangers failed to capitalize on the lengthy power play.
Late in the period, Marchand cross checked Lindgren after the Rangers defender shoved Bruins forward, Patrice Bergeron, after a stoppage in play in front of the New York net.
Marchand was assessed a minor infraction at 17:14 and the Rangers went on the power play.
While on the ensuing penalty kill, Charlie Coyle (14) stole the puck from New York defender, Jacob Trouba, and created his own breakaway before elevating the puck over Georgiev’s glove side to give Boston a two-goal lead.
Coyle’s short handed goal was unassisted and gave the Bruins a, 2-0, lead at 18:42 of the second period.
Less than a minute later, after killing off Marchand’s minor, Boston went on the power play after Mika Zibanejad tripped up Marchand in Boston’s own zone at 19:33.
The B’s did not score on the resulting power play.
After two periods of play, the Bruins led, 2-0, on the scoreboard and in shots on goal, 24-17.
The B’s also held the advantage in takeaways (5-4), hits (18-17) and faceoff win% (56-44), while the Rangers led in blocked shots (10-8) and giveaways (14-8).
New York was 0/3 on the power play and Boston was 0/2 on the skater advantage heading into the third period.
Karson Kuhlman kicked off the final frame with an interference minor infraction against Marc Staal at 4:23 of the third period. The Rangers did not score on the resulting power play, but got another chance almost midway through the final frame.
Torey Krug tripped up Zibanejad at 9:05 and presented New York with their fifth power play opportunity of the afternoon.
Less than a minute into the ensuing skater advantage, Zibanejad (25) rocketed a shot from the point that ricocheted off a Bruins player’s stick and into the twine behind Halak– cutting Boston’s lead in half, 2-1.
Artemi Panarin (49) and Ryan Strome (36) tallied the assists on Zibanejad’s goal at 9:52 of the third period and New York surged in momentum.
Boston was able to withstand the Rangers’ rally as New York’s head coach, David Quinn, pulled Georgiev for an extra attacker with 90 seconds remaining in regulation.
After the Bruins iced the puck with 35.5 seconds left in the game, the Rangers used their timeout to draw up one last plan in effort to tie the game, but it was to no avail as the B’s worked the puck out of their own zone upon the ensuing faceoff.
Marchand found Bergeron (26) in the dying seconds of the game for the empty net goal that assured Boston of the, 3-1, victory.
Bergeron’s goal was assisted by Marchand (51) at 19:47 of the third period and sealed the deal for the Bruins as the final horn sounded 12.2 seconds later.
Boston finished the afternoon with a “W” in the win column and the lead in shots on goal (34-26) and faceoff win% (55-45), while New York finished the game with the advantage in blocked shots (16-12), giveaways (20-12) and hits (29-25).
The Rangers finished Sunday’s effort 1/5 on the power play, while the Bruins went 0/2 on the skater advantage.
The Bruins improved to 22-7-8 when scoring the game’s first goal, 21-5-3 when leading after the first period and 22-1-6 when leading after two periods this season.
New York, on the other hand, fell to 10-16-1 when they allow the game’s first goal, 5-14-2 when trailing after the first period and 2-18-0 when trailing after two periods this season.
Boston continues their four-game road trip (1-0-0) with stops against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (Feb. 19th), Calgary Flames on Friday (Feb. 21st) and Vancouver Canucks next Saturday (Feb. 22nd).
The B’s return home for a two-game homestand on Feb. 25th and Feb. 27th for meetings with the Flames and Dallas Stars, respectively, before wrapping up the month of February with a road game against the New York Islanders on Feb. 29th.
The Boston Bruins defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon– marking their first win against the the Red Wings in their last six regular season meetings.
Tuukka Rask (22-5-6 record, 2.08 goals against average, .931 save percentage in 34 games played) made 25 saves on 26 shots against for a .962 SV% in the win for the B’s.
Red Wings goaltender, Jonathan Bernier (12-17-2, 2.90 GAA, .908 SV% in 35 games played), stopped 37 out of 41 shots faced for a .902 SV% in the loss.
Boston improved to 36-11-12 (84 points) and remained in command of the Atlantic Division, while Detroit fell to 14-42-4 (32 points) and remained stuck in last place in the Atlantic.
The Bruins also improved to 21-2-9 at home this season, while Bruce Cassidy picked up his 200th career win as an NHL head coach. He is 153-63-34 in 250 games as Boston’s head coach.
Also of note, David Krejci suited up in his 900th career NHL game on Saturday and became the 7th Bruin in franchise history to play in 900 games or more.
Boston was without the services of Kevan Miller (knee) and Connor Clifton (upper body) on Saturday, while Par Lindholm, John Moore and Anton Blidh served as the only healthy scratches for the B’s.
Cassidy made one change to his lineup, replacing Moore on the blue line with Jeremy Lauzon– back from his two-game suspension and fresh off a two-year extension that goes into effect next season worth $850,000 per season.
Gustav Lindstrom kicked things off with a holding minor 2:25 into the first period, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on their first power play opportunity of the afternoon.
In fact, while on the skater advantage, Boston allowed a short handed goal against as Darren Helm (9) poked in a rebound that Rask tried to clear, but fumbled at 3:12.
Helm’s goal was unassisted and gave Detroit a, 1-0, lead as the opponent scored the game’s first goal for the 16th time this season at TD Garden.
Late in the opening frame, Adam Erne cross checked Chris Wagner and was sent to the penalty box at 18:28, but the Bruins didn’t convert on the ensuing power play– even as it extended into the second period.
After one period of play, the Red Wings led, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite the fact that the B’s led in shots on goal, 18-6.
Detroit held the advantage in blocked shots (5-0), takeaways (4-2) and hits (12-10), while Boston led in giveaways (2-1) and faceoff win percentage (63-37).
The Red Wings had yet to see any time on the skater advantage, while the Bruins were 0/2 on the power play entering the first intermission.
Midway through the middle frame, Charlie McAvoy (2) scooped up a rebound that rolled all the way to the point and worked his way into the slot before snapping a shot below Bernier’s blocker– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.
McAvoy’s goal was unassisted at 8:01 of the second period and kicked off a run of three goals in a 4:29 span for Boston.
Krejci hooked Andreas Athanasiou at 8:25 and presented Detroit with their first power play of the game, but the Red Wings were powerless on the power play and allowed a short handed goal against instead.
While short handed, Brad Marchand worked the puck deep into the attacking zone before dropping a pass back to Patrice Bergeron (25) while No. 37 in black and gold broke into the slot, deked and scored a backhand goal while Bernier dropped to a hybrid stance.
Marchand (49) had the only assist on Bergeron’s goal and the Bruins led for the first time of the afternoon, 2-1, at 9:40 of the second period with a pair of goals in a 1:39 span.
Almost a few minutes later, McAvoy ripped a shot from the point that Charlie Coyle (13) tipped in from the slot to give Boston a two-goal lead.
McAvoy (21) and Danton Heinen (15) notched the assists on the goal and the Bruins led, 3-1, at 12:30.
Less than a minute after Coyle’s goal, Lauzon was called for interference against Christoffer Ehn at 13:10 and yielded a power play to Detroit, but once more the Red Wings power play couldn’t put it together.
Late in the period, McAvoy was sent to the box for holding against Robby Fabbri at 18:12. Detroit did not score on the resulting power play.
Through 40 minutes of action on Saturday, the Bruins led, 3-1, on the scoreboard and, 30-14, in shots on goal. Boston also held the advantage in giveaways (4-3) and faceoff win% (60-40), while Detroit led in hits (21-20).
Both teams had five blocked shots and five takeaways aside, while the Red Wings were 0/3 and the B’s were 0/2 on the power play heading into the final frame.
Midway through the third period, Marchand dangled around Athanasiou while entering the attacking zone and sent a pass to David Pastrnak (42) for a one-timer that beat Bernier and extended Boston’s lead to three-goals.
Marchand (50) amassed his 50th assist of the season on Pastrnak’s goal, which established a new career-high in points (82) for Pastrnak and the third consecutive season of 50 or more assists for Marchand.
Pastrnak’s goal made it, 4-1, for the Bruins at 13:03 of the third period.
A few minutes later, while battling in the corner in Boston’s own zone, Athanasiou delivered a quick shove to Wagner’s face, which led to Wagner dropping the gloves and engaging Athanasiou in a fight at 16:39.
Both players received five-minute majors for fighting and an early exit from the game as a result.
At the final horn, the Bruins defeated the Red Wings, 4-1, and emerged victorious with the advantage in shots on goal (41-26), blocked shots (10-6) and faceoff win% (64-36).
Detroit finished the afternoon leading in hits (30-27), while both teams amassed five giveaways aside.
The Red Wings finished the game 0/3 on the power play, while the B’s went 0/2.
Rask improved to 14-0-6 at TD Garden this season, which is the best point streak at home to start a season in Bruins franchise history and tied Tiny Thompson’s franchise record for the longest home point streak overall.
Thompson had a 20-0-0 span in the 1929-30 season for Boston.
The Bruins improved to 6-4-3 when trailing after one period and 21-1-6 when leading after two periods this season with the win.
Boston begins a four-game road trip with stops against the New York Rangers on Sunday, Edmonton Oilers next Wednesday (Feb. 19th), Calgary Flames next Friday (Feb. 21st) and Vancouver Canucks next Saturday (Feb. 22nd).