The Nation Notebook: NHL/Flames meet to talk officiating, Is there a market for Lazar? and what it's like to be a GM on deadline day,

Zach Laing
February 24 2017 07:00AM

Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

(Photo Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern - USA TODAY Sports)

In today's Nation Notebook, we look at the latest news around the league.

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
February 24 2017 05:00AM

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Is Kris Russell an opportunity or a trap, Leafs considering a Mike Richards comeback, Brandon Sutter is way overpaid in Van, what do the Flames do with Sam Bennett, Oilers are making the playoffs, remembering Mike Ilitch, loads of trade talk, NHL power rankings, Jonathon Toews and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.

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Would Boeser and Gaudette be Better Served by Going to the Comets This Year?

Jeremy Davis
February 23 2017 01:06PM

Just under a year ago, with the regular season winding down, Michigan Wolverines defenceman Zach Werenski had a choice to make. It was clear that he wouldn't be returning to college hockey the following season, and it was just as clear that he would instead be playing with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The choice was this: should he jump to the NHL for a game or two at the end of the year and burn an year off his entry level contract, or should he go to the American League instead, for a fraction of the money, to a team that was at least going to make the playoffs?

Werenski chose the latter option, and ended up being a dynamic force on a Lake Erie Monsters team that ended up winning the Calder Cup championship.

A similar decision looms for two Canucks prospects that could turn pro at the end of the season. While the Comets aren't nearly as strong as the Monsters were last year, they’ve at least got a better chance of making the playoffs in their respective league than their parent club does - which could mean more games for the duo.

So what are the pros and cons of each option, and which are they better suited to choosing?

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How Teams are Impacted by the NHL Bye Week

Ryan Biech
February 23 2017 01:06PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

The NHL added a new wrinkle to the schedule this season with the league mandated bye week. Each team gets one, granting the players respite from the rigours of an 82 game season if ever so briefly. The NHLPA secured the vacation time in exchange for agreeing to the three-on-three format in the NHL All-Star Game.

With five teams coming off their bye week this past weekend, the combined record is now 4-12-4. Teams playing in the first game out of their bye week are outscored 39-68 in their first game back.

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Sekeres: "Jannik Hansen Trade Interest in Minnesota and Anaheim"

J.D. Burke
February 23 2017 01:05PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks have the quintessential trade deadline add on their roster in Jannik Hansen. He's a cost-certain right winger that can move up and down the lineup and contribute on the penalty kill for a song. And they almost have to trade him. The sharks are circling.

According to this report from TSN 1040 AM's Matt Sekeres, two such teams have emerged in these earliest proceedings. The Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild have some level of 'trade interest' in Hansen. That's not terribly striking given both clubs status among the best in the West. If they're serious about making a Stanley Cup run -- and why wouldn't they be? -- Hansen should be firmly in their crosshairs.

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