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Lace 'em up. Time for the Morning Skate.
BIG BUFF IS OFF THE BOARD
With just three weeks left until the trade deadline, the Winnipeg Jets just removed one of the biggest targets from the market. On Monday, the Jets re-signed top defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year, $38 million contract. That's about $7.6 million AAV, making him one of the highest-paid defensemen in the league.
The signing has major ramifications for the league and the Jets. On one hand, it means the Jets probably won't re-sign captain Andrew Ladd. Hard to argue with that decision; in the grand scheme of things, Byfuglien is a game-changing player while Ladd is certainly more replaceable. On the other, it means teams in need of a defenseman at the deadline (Minnesota, Dallas, Florida, Washington) will have to scrounge around elsewhere in a thin market.
Buckle up. This should be interesting.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT:
- The Penguins can't be stopped. More specifically, their captain is untouchable. Sidney Crosby factored on four of the Penguins' six goals against the Ducks on Monday, extending his scoring streak to seven straight games. Life is better in Pittsburgh when Sid is being Sid.
- Don't overlook Kris Letang, though. He's on quite a tear as well.
- The New York Rangers played one of their most dominating games of the season against the Devils on Monday. They're peaking at the right time, maintaining a four-point cushion over the charging Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.
- Sure, the Senators put six goals up on the Leafs over the weekend. That didn't mean they were turning things around. But after surprising the Lightning in a 5-1 win, maybe they are?
- After a few weeks of resurgent hockey, that loss to Ottawa was quite the step back for Tampa Bay.
- Pavel Datsyuk's still got it. The offensive wizard led the way for the Red Wings in a 3-0 shutout of the Panthers on Monday. His sniped goal was just ridiculous.
- That win ended Florida's points streak. RIP.
- The Panthers lost their best forward when Detroit's Justin Abdelkader leveled Aleksander Barkov with a high hit. He's day-to-day, and the Panthers are not happy about it.
- The Devils honored Martin Brodeur last night with a retired number and a statue. All About The Jersey wonders how Brodeur stacks up against the greatest goalies in hockey history.
- Byfuglien is off the table, but the Stars still need defensive help. Defending Big D says they should turn their attention to the likes of Travis Hamonic, Keith Yandle and Dion Phaneuf.
- Something's rotten about the Tampa Bay Lightning's farm system.
- Milan Lucic returns to Boston tonight for the first time since his offseason trade. In advance, he penned a letter to Bruins fans to thank them for their support.
- Meanwhile, the Bruins desperately need a player like Erik Karlsson.
- Should the Maple Leafs trade or keep James Reimer?