Morning Skate: Here's hoping NHL has seen last of Rinaldo


Morning Skate: Here's hoping NHL has seen last of Rinaldo

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while more than halfway through the holiday week.

*There is plenty of opinions out there that the NHL went light on “useless goon” Zac Rinaldo with a six-game suspension for attacking a player who wasn’t prepared to defend himself. Given the track record of Rinaldo and his utter inability to do anything positive as a hockey player on the ice, I’d say this is a reasonable take. But does it really make a difference whether it’s six games or 10 games for Rinaldo? 

The actual act in question wasn’t quite egregious enough to suspend him for a half-season or something truly punitive. It didn’t result in some kind of major injury to the “victim” in this case. It was simply a stupid, punk move from a punk player that has no real code that he lives by when he’s on the ice and is simply trying to hurt people in most instances with his own form of on-ice anarchy. The real hope here is that Arizona smartens up and tells Rinaldo to go take a hike in the minor leagues and he isn’t heard from again in the NHL. That was the hope a couple of years ago as well when the Bruins buried him in the minor leagues. The next redeeming quality he shows on the ice for any NHL team he plays for will be the first one.  

*It’s getting kind of uncomfortable to see just how good and impactful Mathew Barzal has been this season for the New York Islanders while David Krejci sits on the sidelines for the Bruins.

*Five memorable US/Canada moments in the World Junior tournament as it begins winding up to full tilt in Buffalo.

*St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong is rewarded with a four-year contract extension after overseeing a challenging roster reload over the last couple of seasons with the Blues.

*Sean Leahy has New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider out indefinitely after a blood clot problem in his arm. You may remember Adam McQuaid had this same problem a few years ago and missed months while dealing with the blood thinner medication.

*For something completely different: Sights and sounds from the Patriots Week 16 win over the Buffalo Bills? Yes, please.


Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

File photo

Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

Former Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, a Bruins trade target who they once tried to trade up to get in the 2015 draft, has been traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Calgary Flames in a deal that includes former B's defenseman Dougie Hamilton going to Carolina.

The 'Canes sent center Eric Lindholm and Hanifin, both restricted free agents who rejected Carolina's most recent contract offers, to Calgary for Hamilton, winger Micheal Ferland and prospect defenseman Adam Fox, who was a third-round pick in 2016 now playing at Harvard,

The Bruins have a longstanding interest in Hanifin that goes back to their efforts to trade up for him in when he was the fifth overall pick three years ago. The Canes likely sought Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk in the hefty package they were seeking for Hanifin. 




Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

DALLAS – On the second day, the Bruins finally got involved in the NHL draft at the American Airlines Center and made a few picks. The day started in the second round (57th overall) with the B’s selecting young Swedish defenseman Axel Andersson from Djugardens, a 6-foot, 183-pounder from the Swedish junior leagues who's put up pretty good offensive numbers with what’s said to be pretty good skating ability.

"It meant a lot to me and my family," Anderson said. "My mom is in tears right now, and we just hugged each other. It was a big day for me."

In the third round (77th overall), the Bruins took Czech center/left wing Jakub Lauko, who played for Team Czech in the World Junior tournament this past season. Lauko, 18, is 6-foot, 179 pounds and is a speedy, tenacious forward from the assorted scouting reports on him. Lauko was expected to be drafted higher than the third round and certainly didn’t lack for confidence in saying he’s one of the fastest skaters in the draft.

“My speed is my biggest strength. I think I’m one of the fastest players in the draft, so I want to use my speed to help a team like Boston,” said Lauko, who said he only spoke with the Bruins scouts at the NHL combine earlier this month in Buffalo. “[Detroit Red Wings'] Dylan Larkin is the same like me. He’s a really fast guy that likes the breakaways. I think in this way we are the same.”

Lauko compared himself to Larkin and the speed game is certainly one that the Bruins are continually interested in with their prospects.

There was a very funny moment when the Czech-born Lauko was asked what his parents do (for a living), and he misunderstood the question and answered: “I don’t know? Maybe they will drink tonight.”

In the fourth round (119th overall), the Bruins took big center Curtis Hall, a 6-foot-3, 191-pounder who's committed to Yale next season and who scored 13 goals and 31 points in 54 games last season for the USHL Youngstown Phantoms.  

In the sixth round with the 181st pick, the Bruins selected 6-2, 188-pound defenseman Dustyn McFaul out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. McFaul is considered a strong two-way D-men with good size and skating ability and is committed to play at Clarkson University. 

With their final pick (seventh round, No. 212), the Bruins selected forward Pavel Shen, 18, from Russia. The 6-1, 183-pounder got into 29 KHL games last season with 12 goals and 14 assists, which is impressive considering his age.