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Trending the net: McDavid and Gostisbehere shine, falls flat

The Wild have a new head coach and Dion Phaneuf is no longer a Maple Leaf!

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is too vast of a league to keep up with everything all at once. Hockey's landscape changes from week to week, and while it's impossible to watch every game unfold in its entirety over the course of a week, you can certainly read the most important narratives all in one place.

These are not your typical power rankings, but more of a trend of who's rising and who's falling, from players and teams to storylines and statistics. To get you ready for the week ahead, we'll catch you up on the week prior.

Trending Up

The second coming of Connor McDavid

Since returning from a collar bone injury earlier this month, McDavid has been all the Canadian media can talk about. Considering they might not ice a team in the playoffs this season, makes sense they're fixating on one of the only good things to come out of the 2015-16 season for the country.

McDavid mania has swept the league once again, and it's not hard to see why. Since returning, McDavid has put up 12 points in seven games, including five against Toronto earlier last week. When the No. 1 overall pick is putting up goals like these with just 20 games of NHL experience, of course people are going to break out The Great One comparisons.

Despite missing more than half the season so far, McDavid still has a chance to snag the tight Calder Trophy race. Yes, McDavid is scoring at that high a clip that he could surpass the likes of Dylan Larkin and Artemi Panarin, who have been big all season long. One can only fantasize what this kid would have done had he not missed 37 games this season due to injury.

Toronto clears the decks after Dion Phaneuf trade
What a world we live in where the Toronto Maple Leafs are making sound decisions for the future of their franchise. Dion Phaneuf is now an Ottawa Senator for basically nothing in return outside of Toronto ridding themselves from a terrible contract. Despite having a bad debut with Ottawa last Wednesday, Phaneuf is a great pickup for the Senators in the short term. Now away from the pressures of being a No. 1 defenseman, Phaneuf solidifies a solid Ottawa blue line while giving Toronto the space to go full rebuild.

Over the last two years, the new Maple Leafs front office team has fixed many of the missteps of former GMs Brian Burke and Dave Nonis. All of David Clarkson, Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf have been moved from the team, signaling the newest era of the Maple Leafs is in full swing. A full rebuild of the club has been needed for years now, and Phaneuf is the last big piece of the old guard to be removed.

Phaneuf has never gotten a fair shake with the Leafs thanks to being horribly miscast as the team's top defenseman along with the seven-year, $49 million contract signed just two years prior. Why this deal works so well is that it's a trade that works for both sides, as Toronto and Phaneuf each get a chance at a clean slate.

The legend of Shayne Gostisbehere grows

If Shayne Gostisbehere is just the first of Philadelphia's defensive prospects to make the NHL, I worry for the rest of the NHL if the others even come close to their expectations. The rookie defenseman has taken the Flyers, and the league, by storm with 30 points in 36 games this season, putting his hat into the ring for the Calder race.

Even if he doesn't win, Gostisbehere now has something Panarin or McDavid won't be able to touch: the NHL's record for most consecutive games with a point by a rookie defenseman. Gostisbehere hit the 11-game mark Saturday against the Devils, and has continued to roll since with an assist in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers.

Despite the Flyers latest downturn -- as they've lost five of their last six -- there seems to be no stopping Gostisbehere as the rookie carves out a name for himself among the NHL's best.

Trending Down

Nazem Kadri earns fine, and some strange press thanks to gesture

Hockey players are emotional beings on the ice. We've heard about times players cross the line in their verbal jabs, but this time Nazem Kadri was dinged with a fine after implying something of a much more dangerous nature. Kadri, after being roughed up by the Flames earlier last week, wasn't happy with the rough stuff from captain Mark Giordano and made a throat slashing gesture that cost him the maximum fine of $5,000 under the league's CBA.

Kadri apologized and accepted the penalty, but the gesture gained some press that put this into one of the hottest takes of this century.

Straight up fire.

Mike Yeo's time comes to an end in Minnesota

We won't be finding out how Wild head coach Mike Yeo gets himself out of a jam this time. The firing of Minnesota's head coach comes on the heels of the Wild losing 13 of their last 14 while sliding themselves out of playoff position. In each of Yeo's seasons with the Wild, the team has suffered some sort of slump. While in the past the team were able to dig themselves out of a hole without resorting to personnel changes, a change was most definitely needed this time.

Over the last month, the Wild were trending even lower than the Montreal Canadiens, who surely are at the rock bottom of the league in terms of performance. Yeo was never able to utilize the talent on the Wild roster to their full potential, something interim head coach John Torchetti from Minnesota's AHL club will have to do to get the team back into playoff position.

Gary Bettman's comments on redesign sparks new river of hate

It's no secret that many hate the new redesign. And for good reason, because it's quite a bad product that in fact may have been rushed because of pressure from higher-ups. has taken steps back on multiple fronts: information delivery, design, functionality. You name it, it's probably been screwed around with in the redesign. Commissioner Gary Bettman fought back on the criticism to try and stop the bleeding, but it may have made matters worse in the long run.

Sadly, no matter how many times we "play with it," Bettman, the problems many have aren't going to fix themselves.