Juuso Valimaki is the latest Calgary Flames first-rounder to make his homecoming appearance at the Saddledome. Elsewhere in the league, Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser might be a fit in Montreal, and people are ticked at Blues goalie Jordan Binnington and Rangers captain Jacob Trouba.
That and more in todays CHN Daily links:
A month ago, former Flames prospect Juuso Valimaki talked about how happy he is in the desert.
At one point, most thought that the first-round pick would pan out in Calgary. But injuries and COVID and a deep Flames blueline ultimately made that an impossible outcome. On Monday night, the one-time top prospect will join the ranks of former Flames first-rounders making a trip through town with their new teams. Matthew Tkachuk (and Sam Bennett) with the Florida Panthers. Sean Monahan with the Montreal Canadiens.
Valimaki is an important piece of the young Arizona Coyotes blueline now.
“All you can really ask, as a player, is for an opportunity,” Valimaki said a month ago on Sporstnet960 radio after being claimed on waivers. “I’m just really happy that I got to kind of start fresh again and just get an opportunity to play and be in every night and not just play 10 minutes.
“I’ve always said it, the more you play, the easier it is. When you play (more) minutes, it’s just kind of the easiest game for me, I think. So, to be able to do that now, it feels awesome.”
Averaging just over 17 minutes per game, the 24-year-old has a goal and six points in 18 contests this season. Four of those points have come on the powerplay.
It's nice to see prospects find an NHL home, even when it's not with the team that drafted them.
NHL Trade, News & National Hockey Now:
Montreal Hockey Now: If Brock Boeser is on the NHL trade block, the best fit and best available trade package looks like the Montreal Canadiens. Is it just me or are the Calgary Flames' recent partner in on everything lately?
San Jose: With a lot of noise regarding a potential Erik Karlsson trade, EK65 himself joked that it is all Elliotte Friedman's fault.
Sportsnet: Andreas Athanasiou didn’t hold anything back. Neither did Jacob Trouba, who came for his head at full speed and nearly succeeded. “If you can’t help the team, I guess you try to hurt guys on the other team,” Athanasiou said, targeting the Rangers headhunter.
Vegas Hockey Now: As the team gets set for the Boston Bruins on Monday, Bruce Cassidy states that Jack Eichel will be a game-time decision. Yes, Calgary Flames fans still dream of the alternate universe where he ended up with their franchise.
TSN: Analyst Marty Biron didn’t speak well of Jordan Binnginton’s run of dumb antics, including his meltdown against the Penguins, “What are you doing?” TSN video.
Toronto: Mitch Marner has set a new Toronto Maple Leafs record with points in 19 straight games.
NYI Hockey Now: If you’re wondering, Jean-Gabriel Pageau will probably kick your arse in ping pong. More from the New York Islanders champ.
Dallas Hockey Now: If you watched the Twitter feed of the reporters, the Dallas-Minnesota game was nuts. Within a few-minute stretch of the third period, each team filled the net with a few goals. The Dallas Stars mounted a furious comeback to net a shootout point.
Detroit Hockey Now: The stock index is all over the map in Detroit. Hot and cold. Up and down. They are learning what it takes to be competitive and stay in a playoff position. Check out the burgeoning Detroit Red Wings.
Washington Hockey Now: Tom Wilson should begin skating in a more official capacity within a couple of weeks. Beware, Metro Division, the Washington Capitals bruiser is on his way.