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Trading Grabner before the expansion draft might be necessary

Bobby Bevilacqua


Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.


Out of all of the new additions the Rangers added to their team this offseason, Michael Grabner has blown expectations out of the water. Along with defenseman Nick Holden, these two have helped provide offense and consistent two-way play on cheap, cap-friendly contracts.

When Grabner was signed to a two-year deal, it seemed like he would wind up being a fourth line player who is great at killing penalties and could chip in with some offense. The stories about how he scored 34 goals in his rookie season, 20 goals another year and then 16 goals in the 2012-13 lockout season popped up, as did the ones about how he was fast but couldn’t score on breakaways or finish his chances.

Fast forward to today, and Michael Grabner leads the team with 19 goals after being awarded a hat trick in the Jan. 7 win over the Blue Jackets. That was his second hat trick of the year, and he now has more goals than Evgeni Malkin, Joe Pavelski, Connor McDavid, James Neal, Phil Kessel and more. Read the rest of this entry

Around the League: Overtime changed, coach’s challenge, Schedule released, expansion?

Bobby Bevilacqua

rick nash skating 5-13

The NHL announced the move to 3-on-3 overtime hockey for the 2015-16 season, which means that guys like Rick Nash will have plenty of room to work with. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

With the NHL draft looming, and the end-of-season meeting taking place between the league’s GMs, the NHL made some changes to the overtime rules in the regular season, and discussed some other potential changes as well.

The first change will begin at the start of next season, with the overtime rules being changed in an effort to make the shootout less frequent. The NHL will feature 3-on-3 overtime play in hopes that more space on the ice and less players will lead to more scoring chances, more odd man rushes, and more goals.

The format that will be used in the NHL next season is different than what was seen in the AHL this year. In the AHL, they played 4-on-4 hockey for three minutes, and then switched to 3-on-3 for the final four minutes. The NHL will have just one five minute overtime period, with 3-on-3 played for the entire time. Read the rest of this entry