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Beyond the Headlines: NHL is struggling with the difficult All-Star choice

"Beyond Headlines" is a deeper dive in some stories – and even those that were not – discussed weekly at Hockey Night in the Canadian Headlines segment.

The NHL hockey operations department has a problem with the hands when we approach the point where the goals fall from the sky.

Classify it as one of those good problems, for sure – the league is full of players enjoying terrible years – but this does not change the fact that it will be a little consternation, because the selection of games in the star will be finalized in the coming week or so.

Pay attention to online indignation.

In Calgary, Toronto and Winnipeg, there will be loud affairs at least initially. It's inevitable. The same applies to Tampa and Colorado.

Parameters related to the always difficult selection process have been even more tight this year – with fans voting in the four division captains, as usual, but also the "last man" in each team.

Between them, the staff of the hockey league receives nine picks per division and strives to ensure that each of the following criteria is met:

• You have a representative from all 31 teams
• Include the best 10 to 15 league shooters at the time of selection
• Include as many "NHL" stars as possible on the market
• Make sure that the hosts, San Jose Sharks, are well represented

This puzzle, which inevitably shuffles around the injury and possible no-show or two (players must continue to play immediately before the break or after the break, if they decide not to come).

It is also a formula that does not allow Johnny & # 39; emu Gaudreau, Matthew Tkaczuk, Marc Giordan, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm to participate together, even though each Flames player has built a strong box.

Realistically, you look at two of this group. Three peaks.

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There will be no room for all Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, Morgan Rielly & # 39; and Freddie Andersen for a trip from Toronto.

You would have to think that both Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler are the best shooters in the league, but can you leave your teammate Winnipeg Jets Patrika Laine & # 39; at home?

The best line of hockey this season is undoubtedly Gabriel Landeskog-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen, but there is no guarantee that all three members of Colorado Avalanche will be invited to the three-in-three All-Star tournament. And what about the Tampa Bay Lightning leader? How many Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy can make room for?

Numeric game is not pretty.

Each division has six assailants, three defenders and two goalkeepers. This is 11 players aside with eight NHL teams needing a representative in three of the four divisions. When we entered the game on Sunday, six of the top 15 NHL shooters came from Central and five from the Atlantic.

The clamp is on.

Unless Christmas presents are released by hockey, a few Christmas additions will be found in several places on the list. In the final analysis, after the Christmas break, well-deserved candidates will stay at home.

Weekly deep diving in the biggest hockey news in the world with hosts Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Mark. New episodes every Thursday.


OK to the headers.

We saw an impressive Saturday, when colleague Elliotte Friedman managed to examine the three significant angles of the growing arena history in Ottawa, without realizing the urgency of the air.

This is a testimony not only to the complexity of the senators' situation, but also to Friedge's readiness to sink his reports on the deeply rooted in politics, real estate and large companies, not just the usual place in the corner of the sports sandpit.

One key thing for me: It's remarkable that Eugene Melnyk has recently received an offer for $ 400 million senators, even if he was thrown out of hand. They are constantly whispering about work behind the scenes to quietly assess the interest of potential ownership groups.

Hoping that the new arena in the city center will fall apart, and Melnyk got involved in serious lawsuits, there may not yet be a sale sign on the front lawn in Kanata. But there is certainly a chance that someone else will do something for the team.

Can the offer be too good for Melnyk to refuse?

We assure you that this will not be the last time we will get into the topic this season. Let's hope that Friedge is given an oxygen tank before the big news comes back.


Time was really low in this segment. Headlines – three planned topics have been dropped on the fly, maybe re-loaded in the queue for next Saturday – but Nick Kypreos managed to slide down in a juicy nugget just before the Hometown Hockey promotion.

Jonathan Quick is the target of trade at Philadelphia Flyers, Kyper said.

It's interesting on several levels. First, Flyers are looking for a goalkeeper who has already shown some progress in the way that 20-year-old Carter Hart started his NHL career this week, but you can understand the desire to find an experienced and talented mentor for him.

However, this particular resource is not readily available on the trade market, which means that Los Angeles Kings has a fairly large hand to play if it decides to make Quick available.

Even with a sequence of recent injuries, with age (32 years) and the remaining four years under contract, Quick still moves the needle. The AAV on his transaction is $ 5.8 million, but his actual salary drops from $ 3.5 million to $ 3 million to $ 2.5 million in the last three seasons.

Consider other options on the net: Scott Darling may have come from Carolina, but he fought powerfully and is currently in the American Hockey League; Cory Schneider has been in the routine since non-professional hip surgery and would have been an expensive bet if someone wanted to risk a deal with the devils; Keith Kinkaid is also awaiting UFA in New Jersey; and Jimmy Howard expires, but he has a strong desire to stay in Detroit and can only be hired if he is moved at all by 25 February.

There are not many "certain things" besides Sergei Bobrovsky, who will probably test the free agency on July 1. And even he had a lot of ups and downs in Columbus this season.


When I saw Jon Cooper this month, he was really excited about the upcoming holidays. Tampa Bay Lightning coach saw a five-acre episode as a potential barometer for his team's location, with a difficult trip through West Canada and the first direct encounter against Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary in this segment.

It is safe to say that Błyskawica has gone into flying colors.

They won 4-0-1, with the only loss that occurred against Jets in extra time last Sunday, which may be a game this year. Tampa is on track to score 128 points (!) After a ridiculous 28-7-2 start and still scores, just like the 80's Oilers.

It's quite understandable that Lightning has received a lot of respect in this process.

"It seems to me that Tampa is better than us, it looks like they're better than everyone in the league," said Leafs coach Mike Babcock this week. "I'm not saying they're deeper, I'm not saying they're more talented I'm not saying anything. But it seems that there is a level of maturity to play every night and find a way to win.

"They have gone through what many bands are going through many times, they were disappointed during the playoffs and they looked like they had battle scars and they were ready to take off."

This season we still have a lot of catwalks, but they are undoubtedly a team that must be defeated now. And thanks to the income cap that is going to break into this census in Tampa this summer, this is their great opportunity.


Making coaching decisions, Vol. 1: It's December 15 in Nashville and New Jersey lasts 1-0, and 2:25 remains in the third period. There is an exposed zone of attack.

Devils coach John Hynes decides to throw strikers Brian Boyle & Nico & # 39; emu Hischier, Marcus Johansson and Kyle & # 39; for Palmieri and defense board Will Butcher. After his team wins the tie and takes control of the record, Hynes throws the fifth striker – Jesper Bratt – to replace Kinkaid, his goalkeeper.

Guess what will happen next?

Bratt and Johansson perform a clean entrance to the zone directly in front of Boyle & and devils gain a valuable point in the classification.

The ingenuity is profitable.


The remaining three pluses and 12.6 million dollars under Patrik Berglund's agreement were resolved by the Buffalo Sabers this week and there was no news of an upcoming complaint to challenge the decision.

In fact, from the player or his camp, there was no word about why he missed the Saber team flight, or whether he intends to pursue a career in the NHL now that he is an officially unrestricted free agent.

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