It feels like we’ve been hearing about a potential deal between the New Jersey Devils and the Calgary Flames for weeks now. Maybe it still happens before the NHL Trade Deadline, and maybe it doesn’t, but it sounds like the two teams were close to a deal pretty recently.
The Avalanche practiced in Florida before traveling to Washington on Monday, and Nathan MacKinnon wasn’t present. However, digging into the lines they practiced with, he should be good to go against the Capitals.
All that and more in this Tuesday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
Taking a look back at the players the Avalanche brought in over the summer and re-assessing them all with grades. Someone like Miles Wood has worked out perfectly. Someone like Ryan Johansen? Not as much. (+)
For access to pieces like this, you can get a subscription to CHN+ for $29.99 a year with the code “evan10″. In addition to the + content, everything will be ad-free, which might be the biggest perk.
MacKinnon Misses Practice
Here were the lines the Avalanche ran with at practice on Monday from my pal, Jesse Montano.
Avs lines at practice:
All defenseman and goalies were accounted for.
— Jesse Montano (@jessemontano_) February 12, 2024
A couple of interesting things here. One, Johansen is on the fourth line, which I don’t believe has happened yet this season. The big one? Oh, just one of the best players in the NHL missing.
Nathan MacKinnon did not practice, but according to Jared Bednar, he should be okay to play on Tuesday. The issues was less his face hitting the ice on Saturday, but more about him getting treatment for something else he “tweaked.” Something to keep an eye on. The fact that the Avalanche put MacDermid on the top line instead of fully switching up things likely means he’ll play, but you never know.
NHL Blockbuster Falls Apart
Everyone knows the Devils need a goaltender, and for weeks, they’ve been attached to Jacob Markstrom. According to Elliotte Friedman, a deal was close recently, but it sounds like it might have fallen apart for now. The reason? The Flames won’t retain any money.
Should they have to? Markstrom has been tremendous this season, and has two more years remaining. His numbers seem to fluctuate from year-to-year, but if you’re the Flames, why would you retain when he’s playing well and you know the Devils need a netminder?
The Flames continue to hang around that last Wild Card spot in the West, and have a number of players who could be in play prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. If they’re close, do they hold onto them or deal them away for assets? I know I’d probably deal them away, as that’s not a team I envision winning a Stanley Cup the way they’re built, but the Flames being content hanging around the middle of the pack wouldn’t be surprising. They love being in that “Calgary Zone.” Good enough to linger around a playoff spot, but not bad enough to get a super high draft pick.
National Hockey Now
The Penguins are still waiting for Erik Karlsson to make a difference.
The analytics behind Blackwood and Kahkonen‘s strong seasons. Interesting piece here for any CHN+ subscribers, and I do believe Kahkonen could be an intriguing pickup for the Avalanche as a backup. (+)
What are the Predators going to do with their goalie surplus?