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Flames insert Zadorov, Eichel talk lingers

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The Calgary Flames made one tweak in their morning skate lineup ahead of Saturday’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers, putting in towering defenceman Nikita Zadorov in favour of Juuso Valimaki. Calgary fans are already grinding their teeth wondering why the change after the sweep on the road. Meanwhile, the Jack Eichel buzz continues, and the Blackhawks scandal has no shortage of people to blame for a decade of silence.

As for Zadorov, who has quickly become a polarizing figure in Calgary, I look at the six/seven spot as a bit of a rotation to keep all of them game ready in case of emergency. You can put Michael Stone, Valimaki or Zadorov in there once in a while when all eight Calgary Flames blueliners are healthy. Zadorov versus third and fourth lines at home where the Flames control the matchup is much better than Zadorov against top players in a pairing with Chris Tanev.

And, hey, at least it’s not Oliver Kylington sitting.

No changes to the forward lines.

NHL News and Trade Rumours

Vegas: It’s snowing in Calgary but are things heating up in Vegas? The temperature of talks seems to vary by the minute but are the Vegas Golden Knights the odds-on favourite for Jack Eichel?

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings are searching for depth right-defensemen. Drew Doughty is out for six to eight weeks, and Sean Walker is out for the season. The Kings are on the hunt for the right trade. 

AP: That didn’t take long. Rocky Wirtz, the Chicago Blackhawks owner, sent a letter to Calgary Flames legend Lanny McDonald, who happens to be the Hall of Fame chairman, requesting Brad Aldrich be removed from the 2010 Stanley Cup. McDonald agreed immediately, and a marking over the name with Xs is likely how the Hall of Fame will alter the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup ring.

TSN journalist Rick Westhead is mowing through the list of people who could have stopped Brad Aldrich. Next up: Donald Fehr and the NHLPA. Kyle Beach’s agent personally warned Fehr that Aldrich was a predator, and Fehr was to pass that warning to Team USA, where Aldrich was working the U-18 Women’s World Championship. Fehr allegedly never did…

Share all the stories, Rick. Let’s not forget that burying what happened to Kyle Beach ultimately to at least one more person, a high school hockey player, becoming an Aldrich victim. The lesson needs to be learned here.

National Hockey Now

Pittsburgh: The Calgary Flames didn’t have to deal with him on Thursday but Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is back … oh, and so is Jeff Carter.

Washington: Ovechkin is ON FIRE. Dude is bombing away like he’s trying to catch Gretzky tomorrow, and the Capitals keep winning. 

NYI: The New York Islanders had to reshuffle their defense pairings. It’s working…for now. 

Detroit: A cool story on the anniversary and the story of why Gordie Howe took No. 9 – he didn’t initially. 

Florida: You can’t stop the Florida Panthers. 8-0. The Panthers survived Detroit on Friday despite any distractions over Joel Quenneville’s departure. 

Montreal: No Shea Weber or Carey Price. But Mitch Gallo says NO to tanking … even though others advocate it.

Hate to end on a sad note, but …

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Steve Carlson – one of the legendary Slap Shot Hanson Brothers – was diagnosed with cancer this month. But being a Hanson isn’t the lucrative dream job you may expect. Carlson, 66, has had to set up a GoFundMe page to help with extreme medical expenses. 

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