March 21 — Happy 2022 Trade Deadline Day!

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

LEAFS ARE RUSTLING: It was a busy Sunday for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as GM Kyle Dubas made several moves to keep pace with their improving division rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. Toronto acquired veteran defenseman Mark Giordano and forward Colin Blackwell from the Seattle Kraken, sent Travis Dermott to the Vancouver Canucks, and placed struggling goaltender Petr Mrázek on waivers before signing Harri Säteri.

SENATORS MAKING DEALS: Toronto wasn’t the only Ontario-based NHL club to get active ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. The Ottawa Senators shipped Nick Paul to the Lightning in exchange for Mathieu Joseph and a 2024 fourth-round pick before adding veteran blueliner Travis Hamonic from Vancouver for the Canucks’ third-round selection in this summer’s draft.

FORSBERG BREAKS FRANCHISE RECORD: Filip Forsberg is now the Nashville Predators’ franchise goal record leader. Passing David Legwand, Forsberg scored his 211th goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bridgestone Arena. Forsberg is currently playing in his 10th NHL season and has 58 points in 49 games. 

OVECHKIN TIES GRETZKY: Speaking of records, Alex Ovechkin tied Wayne Gretzky for most 40-goal seasons in NHL history with 12. Beating Jake Oettinger with a one-timer on the power play, Ovechkin now sits 31 goals behind Gordie Howe and 125 from passing Gretzky for most all-time. If Ovie hits 40 goals over the next three years, he will overtake the Great One in the 2024-25 season. 

TAMPA LOOKING TO THREE-PEAT: In a surprise move, the Chicago Blackhawks traded 23-year-old Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh, and a first-round pick in 2023 and 2024. The youngster has 37 points in 58 games this season and made his debut on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers. This move is reminiscent of when the Lightning traded for Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.

MARCH MADNESS: No, not the basketball variety, but the multiple NCAA hockey tournament games over the weekend. First, Middlebury College became the first NCAA Division III women’s team to finish a season unblemished en route to their fourth national championship, but not before Gustavus Adolphus scored with 0.01 seconds left to force overtime. Then, the overtime heard around the hockey world took place. Minnesota State scored the game-winner to win the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) tournament championship, only to have the goal waved off after the trophy presentation. After returning to the ice more than an hour later, the Mavericks scored again to make it official. Finally, the Ohio State Buckeyes women’s team won their first NCAA championship, defeating Minnesota Duluth in a 3-2 thriller.  

WHO’S CUTTING ONIONS?!: What’s the worst part of the NHL Trade Deadline? When fans lose their favorite players, especially beloved veterans. The same can be said for mascots, as Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty posted a heartfelt goodbye after his best friend, Claude Giroux, got traded to the Florida Panthers. Keep up with all of today’s deadline deals here

By the Numbers: NCAA Men’s Conference Tournaments

This past weekend was a big one in NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey, as conference tournaments wrapped up on Saturday night and the NCAA Tournament selection took place on Sunday evening. We’ll preview the national tourney, which starts on Thursday, in tomorrow’s newsletter, but today, let’s look back at some notable numbers from the weekend.

Seattle Kraken prospect Matthew Beniers helped lead Michigan to its second Big Ten Tournament title on Saturday night (Photo Credit Michigan Photography)

6 – Conferences in NCAA D-I men’s hockey, all of which had tournaments that produced automatic qualifiers in the NCAA Tournament. The conference tournament winners were American International of the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA), Michigan of the Big Ten, Minnesota State of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), Harvard of ECAC Hockey, Massachusetts of the Hockey East Association, and Minnesota Duluth of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

3 – Tournament finals that required overtime to determine a winner. UMass beat Uconn 2-1 in OT to win the Hockey East, Harvard beat Quinnipiac 3-2 in OT to win the ECAC Hockey, and Minnesota State beat Bemidji State 2-1 in OT to win the CCHA (more on that later).

35 – Wins by Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McCay after the Mavericks’ victory in the CCHA Tournament final Saturday night, a record for NCAA D-I.

4 – Conference champions that have won at least one national championship, led by Michigan with nine. The only two that haven’t are Minnesota State, which won a D-III title in 1980 but has yet to win in D-I, and American International, which has appeared in three NCAA Tournaments in its history (2019, 2021, and 2022).

1 Hour, 14 Minutes – Time passed between when Minnesota State was awarded a game-winning overtime goal against Bemidji State until the two teams retook the ice after multiple angles showed that the apparent game-winner did not go in the net. After play resumed, it only took 2:09 for Minnesota State to score again (this time for real) and clinch the conference title.

Trade Deadline Primer: Pacific Division Wild Cards

It is officially deadline day, which means we’ve reached the end of our primer series. Today, we finish with the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks, two Pacific Division “wild cards” that have diverged in opposite directions in recent months.

Imagine the shock if you had told someone back on New Year’s Eve that the Golden Knights’ and Canucks’ fates would be so intertwined. At that point, Vegas held sole possession of first in the Pacific, while Vancouver was still floundering, just one spot shy of the division basement, and attempting to recover from the Jim Benning/Travis Green era. Since then, the Golden Knights have dropped from division favorite to sitting outside the playoff picture, while the Canucks have made upward progress under Bruce Boudreau.

Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas brass (L to R, George McPhee, Bill Foley, Kelly McCrimmon) is unaccustomed to uncertain trade deadline status. (Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images)

How did we reach a point where the division’s surest bet to be a buyer at the deadline is facing all kinds of questions regarding their current path? Well, injuries, for one. Few teams could lose Mark Stone, Robin Lehner, Max Pacioretty, Jack Eichel, and Alec Martinez for extended periods and still tread water. Still, the more significant consequence of Vegas’ nightmare 2022 to date is how vulnerable they’ve been in light of their present cap situation. Perhaps management waves the white flag on this season in pursuit of easing a cap crunch that won’t be going away any time soon?

Vancouver Canucks

J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Speculated trade bait on most teams typically centers around free agents that contending teams view as viable short-term depth options. However, in light of the Canucks’ disastrous first half, players like J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, and Conor Garland, who seemed to be organizational building blocks, were discussed. Now, that’s all in flux thanks to a Vancouver team that suddenly finds itself just four points out of a playoff spot. The new Jim Rutherford—and Patrik Allvin—led front office has decisions to make today.

Player Spotlight — Cale Makar

Cale Makar is one of the best defensemen in the NHL. At 23 years old, he has already won the Calder Trophy and finished in the top 10 for the Norris Trophy in the last two seasons. Makar currently has 69 points in 58 games, which is second among all blueliners in the league. Fans know plenty about what he brings to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.

Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Guilty Pleasure TV Show?:

The Office

Dream Road Trip Partner?:

My Parents

What Band or Artist You’d Most Want to See Play?:


Favorite Road City?:


Which Celebrity Would You Be Most Starstruck By?:

Ryan Reynolds

How Do You Feel in the Penalty Box?:

A little angry

Who is the NHL’s Most Underrated Player?:

I used to Say Mark Giordano before he won the Norris Trophy

NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule