Well, wow, Lou Lamoriello.
From a real-life perspective, the Toronto Maple Leafs managed an amazing deal in getting Dion Phaneuf off of their salary cap. The Steven Stamkos jokes may indeed reflect the reality of the situation, but really, Toronto needs the money either way. Milan Michalek may get a shot, as may Jared Cowen, yet neither are guys you should be running to the waiver wire for.
Fantasy-wise, this is an awfully interesting situation for the Senators and Phaneuf.
If Ottawa can protect a guy who’s been cast as something he’s not - a superstar, rather than the useful if flawed player he is - then he can be interesting.
The early word is that Phaneuf will pair up with Cody Ceci, but I’m most intrigued to see how many power play reps the hard-hitting defenseman gets. Is he going to have a premium spot alongside Erik Karlsson?
Phaneuf’s mix of hits, PIMs and respectable offense could be interesting. He’s currently owned in 76 percent of yahoo leagues.
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KINGS 9, BRUINS 2
-- What a blowout, yet the amusing thing is how evenly spread the offense was. No one scored more than two points, yet Jordan Nolan was the only Kings forward who failed to get any points at all.
-- Milan Lucic was welcomed back warmly to Boston, and he responded with a one-goal, one-assist game. Lucic also generated four SOG and four hits.
-- It really was a complete win for the Kings: 57-37 SOG, 3-for-3 on the power play.
-- Somewhat amusingly, the Bruins actually began with a 1-0 lead, as Brad Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season.
Marchand has five goals during a four-game point streak. He also has 10 goals in as many contests and 11 points in his past 11 games.
Marchand already has one more goal than he scored last season and is only three away from tying his career-high of 28. He could also set a new peak in points; he currently has 37 with 55 as his current high mark.
PANTHERS 7, SABRES 4
-- Evander Kane had quite the unusual game, "winning" three fights against Alex Petrovic while also scoring a goal, three SOG, two hits and one blocked shot. The fallout of that "hat trick" of bouts: 29 PIM.
Petrovic also generated 29 PIM, and had an even better all-around night: goal, assist, +4 rating in just 14:@9 TOI.
He now has 17 goals and 38 points in 51 games this season.
DUCKS 4, FLYERS 1
-- The Anaheim Ducks have now won seven of their last eight games, only falling to the equally hot Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers are fading a bit losing three in a row.
-- Rickard Rakell had a rough game (-4 rating) in that loss to Pittsburgh, but he responded with the first two goals of the game, which means he indeed grabbed the game-winner.
-- Chris Stewart scored his eighth goal of the season on a penalty shot.
FLAMES 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3
Another reminder that, if you can, you should always keep an eye out for possible surprise scratches, especially since we're in that part of the season where people are grinding down.
(Honestly, I'm kind of surprised this stuff doesn't happen more often. It's a brutally long season.)
-- Really, you can't beat up on the Maple Leafs for lacking effort on many nights. They generated a 36-22 SOG advantage in this one.
-- Nice game for Dougie Hamilton, who scored his eighth goal and 15th assist of the season.
After a disturbingly slow start, Hamilton now has 18 points in his past 28 games.
-- If Maple Leafs fans want a bright side to look on beyond CAP SPACE, then just watch Jake Gardiner’s goal in a loop. Wow.
ISLANDERS 3, BLUE JACKETS 2 (SO)
-- Joonas Korpisalo didn't grab the win, but he's the main reason the Blue Jackets were even in the game, stopping 44 out of 46 shots.
The 21-year-old was on a two-game winning streak and had won three of four before this defeat. While his 7-6-3 record isn't that great overall, his .923 save percentage shows some promise, and maybe argues that he deserves to be Columbus' backup next season instead of filler No. 2 Curtis McElhinney.
-- Seth Jones has been a bit quiet lately, generating just one assist in his last four games. His ceiling remains high, especially if the Blue Jackets improve in 2016-17.
-- Jaroslav Halak broke a three-game skid in this one, stopping 29 out of 31 shots. You have to wonder if Thomas Greiss is passing him by: Halak is 13-11-4 with a solid .918 save percentage, but Greiss has been even better during multiple spans of 2015-16.
CANADIENS 4, LIGHTNING 2
-- Montreal is suddenly showing some signs of life, as this marks the Habs' third consecutive win. You have to go all the way back to late November to find another string of wins, which almost seems impossible.
Montreal isn't in great shape right now, but the playoffs still aren't THAT far-fetched of an idea.
-- If you need goaltending help, you could do worse than to give Ben Scrivens a shot.
He's been in net for Montreal's three-game winning streak, only allowing four goals combined.
While he's had a bumpy career, there have been signs of him being a decent option in net, especially from 2012-2013, when he put up nice backup numbers. Don't keep your expectations too high, but with Carey Price possibly out all season Scrivens is worth the roll of the dice.
Plekanec has caught fire recently, generating eight points in his past four games.
JETS 2, BLUES 1 (SO)
-- Dustin Byfuglien in his first game following that Byfuglien-sized extension: one assist (on a pretty funny goal), two SOG and four hits in 28:20 TOI, including 6:27 on the power play.
-- Winnipeg didn't really reap the rewards of all that PP time, as they went 0-for-5 on the man advantage while St. Louis scored its only goal of the night (1-for-3).
-- Colton Parayko scored his first goal in ages on Tuesday. The towering defenseman looked like he might be a frontrunner for the Calder, but that faded long ago. I wonder how much of his dip in production relates to taking a backseat to Kevin Shattenkirk.
Either way, they need to get that big guy taking more SOG, as his shot is really dangerous.
CAPITALS 5, PREDATORS 3
-- In some ways, Peter Laviolette reminds me of Bill Parcells.
In his first season with a new team, the franchise seems to enjoy this big rush of competence. A lot of times, you'll see significant gains early on, often in the first season.
Things tend to come down a few pegs after that initial rush, though teams are usually better with those guys than without them. I wonder if Laviolette is anywhere near as big a jerk as Parcells allegedly was?
-- Despite the fairly high score, this was a low-event game, with Nashville narrowly winning the shot battle at 26-23.
I know people are pointing out other flaws for the Preds, but how can we ignore the elephant in the room that is Pekka Rinne's disastrous season?
-- Marcus Johansson's long felt like a guy who should be producing at an even higher level than his decent stats suggest.
He's on quite the run lately, however, with 33 points in 45 games and a surprising seven GWG. The Swede has seven points in his past five games and 11 in his last 10. Injuries obviously limit his quantity production, however.
-- Alex Ovechkin scored his 31st goal of the season on an ENG.
Only Patrick Kane has more goals with 32, and he's played in 57 games versus Ovechkin's 50.
STARS 4, WILD 3 (OT)
-- This really wasn't a bad effort by Minnesota, who dropped a sixth straight loss and only has one win in the past month. They generated a 40-30 SOG advantage against a good (if slightly struggling) Stars team.
Still, I wonder how many chances Mike Yeo is going to get. This isn't to say he's a bad coach, but when your team keeps selling off assets and making expensive signings, don't you eventually need to move the needle?
-- Simply put, Dallas' stars were just too good.
John Klingberg scored his four OT goal for Dallas, his ninth tally overall.
When you can get scoring this regular, you're going to come out on top of a lot of these coin-flip games. Minnesota has some nice players, but sometimes it's tough to reconcile that they're just a step or two behind the truly elite.
-- Patrick Eaves is one of those guys who seems like he can be better than his production says. He has the sort of shot that could work with Benn and Seguin, yet I doubt he stays there long-term ... or even medium-term.
SHARKS 2, BLACKHAWKS 0
-- Martin Jones earned his fifth shutout of 2015-16 by stopping all 33 of Chicago's shots.
He's been especially impressive the last two months, generating a .923 save percentage in January and a .921 mark so far in February.
-- San Jose seems comfortably trending toward the playoffs, very likely headed for an intriguing Battle of California with the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks remain a team that's tough to place despite it all ... considering the age of most of their key players, I wonder if they should make a run at a rental player.
Who knows how many more cracks they have at this thing?
Since Dec. 15, Jumbo Joe has scored at least a point in all but two games.
CANUCKS 3, AVALANCHE 1
-- Colorado may look back at this one with some regrets, especially if the Avs narrowly miss the playoffs. They dominated faceoffs (66 percent, to the point where that often excessively mentioned stat at least deserves some attention) and going 0-for-4 on the PP.
-- What do the Canucks have to lose in going all-in on Jacob Markstrom?
He's now on a four-game winning streak, allowing seven goals in that span. That improves his record to 17-9-5 with a very nice .925 save percentage.
We've almost grown accustomed to goalies sort of blossoming out of nowhere, and Markstrom isn't that far removed from being a much-hyped prospect.
Either the Canucks should see what he can do, or shop him at the deadline if they're self-aware of their very limited status.
DEVILS 2, OILERS 1
-- New Jersey celebrated "Marty Party" by producing the sort of low-event evening that Martin Brodeur feasted upon during his record-breaking career. The Devils generated 26 SOG versus Edmonton's 20.
-- Give credit where it's due, though: the Devils take advantage of their chances. They went 2-for-5 on the power play here.
-- The Devils just keep getting that little bit of offense they need from a small cast of characters. Adam Henrique stood out on Tuesday, generating his 18th goal and 18th assist of the season.
-- After stopping 19 out of 20 shots (and probably winking at Brodeur), Cory Schneider is now 24-16-6 with a sparkling .930 save percentage.