Trotz: Habs inking Radulov was ‘maybe the best signing of the year’
Pro Hockey Talk
Feb 6
Barry Trotz is certainly familiar with the development of Alexander Radulov.

The two worked together in Nashville when Radulov was just starting out in the NHL, showing all the signs of a young, talented breakout player for the Predators.

But there were rocky moments in the working relationship, most notably during the 2012 post-season when Trotz benched Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn in the midst of a series for breaking curfew. To make a long story short, Radulov signed with CSKA Moscow in the KHL the following season.

That was a long time ago. The two have since gone their separate ways.

Trotz is coaching the Washington Capitals, who most recently shut out the L.A. Kings on Sunday and should be a strong contender for the Stanley Cup a few months from now. Radulov signed a one-year, $5.75 million deal last summer with Montreal, where he is enjoying an impressive comeback season.

Blues’ Fabbri out for season with torn knee ligament

Dec 11, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; St Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri (15) skates after the puck in the first period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Feb 5
Blues forward Robby Fabbri has a torn left anterior cruciate ligament and is out for the season.

The Blues have recalled Kenny Agostino and Magnus Paajarvi from Chicago.

The Blues said Fabbri is expected to be ready to play by the start of training camp next season.

Fabbri, among the team leaders in scoring, was hurt when he was checked into the boards in front of the Blues’ bench with 11:18 to go in the first period on Saturday by Pittsburgh’s Carter Rowney. Fabbri was skating up ice and had just let go of the puck when hit, and made contact with the left side of his body. He went to ground, briefly reaching around his knee as he fell on his back before rolling over on to his knees and staying there.

He did not get up quickly and when he did, he put no pressure on his left leg as he left the ice and was helped down the hallway.

Putin invited as Russia gets a rematch with Flyers
USA Today
Feb 5
For the last 10 months, ex-Flyers defenseman Joe Watson has been trying to go to Russia.

It was kind of just on a whim.

He had played against the Russians in European tournaments and always promised he’d visit their country with a full team in tow. He’ll make good on that next week when he takes a few Flyers alumni to play a series, including an outdoor game on Moscow’s Red Square.

One Russian in particular wants to play the Flyers: Vladimir Putin.

Yes, that Vladimir Putin.

His hockey stats are actually impressive. In an exhibition in 2015 he had eight goals in an 18-6 win against a team of retired NHLers. Russia’s defense minister had a hat trick, too, with assists coming from Hall of Famer Pavel Bure and Stanley Cup champion Valeri Kamensky.

Will he get a royal treatment from the Flyers, too?

“I don’t know about that,” Watson said. “He’ll have to earn it from us as far as we’re concerned. We may be stuck in Siberia, but what the hell? We’ll have a good time.

“They never release Putin’s schedule until 24 hours before because of security reasons, so Putin, if he’s around, he wants to play the game against us.”

Watson had trouble putting a roster together because many alumni feared the current political landscape between the U.S. and Russia. Only nine actual former Flyers are making the trip from New York to Moscow on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the roster filled out with Watson’s nephews and a few former Flyers who live in Russia anyway.

Hartford makes arena pitch to New York Islanders
USA Today
Feb 4
The Hartford Islanders?

It could happen if the governor of Connecticut and mayor of Hartford have their wish granted.

The pair of officials — Governor Dannel Malloy and Mayor Luke Bronin — sent a joint letter addressed to New York Islanders ownership Friday inviting the NHL club to play at Hartford’s XL Center. The message comes in the wake of a Bloomberg report that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will no longer play host to the Islanders following the 2018-19 season.

“This is a ready market anxious for an NHL team, eager to fill seats, buy merchandise, and support your team,” Malloy and Bronin wrote to Islanders owners Jon Ledecky, Scott Malkin and Charles Wang (who owns a minority stake). “Your AHL affiliate is in nearby Bridgeport, allowing quick and easy access to your minor-league players, and represents a footing in Connecticut of the Islander franchise.

” … The building has had some fan amenities and new team facilities upgraded over the last several years, and we have a program in place to undertake more work,” Malloy wrote. “Hartford offers an NHL market with more Fortune 500 companies than many NHL cities including Columbus, Raleigh, Buffalo, and Nashville, with a substantial number of second-stage growth companies.”

Connecticut’s lone major pro sports franchise, the NHL’s Hartford Whalers, departed the state for Raleigh, N.C., in 1997 to become the Carolina Hurricanes.