The Roundup

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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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Can the Maple Leafs get a similar return to last year for Roman Polak at the trade deadline?

Evan Presement
February 23 2017 02:24PM

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© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Who is Roman Polak, the hockey player? 

To some, he’s one-half of, arguably, the worst regular defensive pairing in hockey. To others, he’s actually a half-decent defenceman, and one with oodles of ‘character’, ‘grit’, ‘veteran presence’, and the like. 

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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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What's wrong with the Stockton Heat?

christian tiberi
February 23 2017 10:00AM


There's a minor problem with the Flames' minor prospects. The Stockton Heat just aren't winning games (although they did last night by a big margin, after this article was written). 

That's putting it lightly, because they've only scored 15 goals in their last 10 games. That doesn't sound too bad, but 11 of those goals happened in only three of those games. They've been shut out four times in 2017 alone. The team that scored four or more goals in 12 games from October to December has only done that four times in January and February. They're below .500, near the bottom of their division despite an awesome start, and are probably not going to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. They stink.

The Flames have had a not great AHL team for a while now. The last time their AHL affiliate made the playoffs, it was 2013-14. This year is surprising however, as the team has not had major injury problems and the big team hasn't had to gut them for players. There's nothing to say except that they're bad.

It all raises an important question: why do they suck?

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Carolina Hurricanes Trade Ron Hainsey to the Pittsburgh Penguins

Jonathan Willis
February 23 2017 09:44AM

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(Photo credit: James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

On Thursday the Pittsburgh Penguins moved to shore up their blue line in preparation for another run at the Stanley Cup, cashing in a second-round pick for 35-year-old left-shot rearguard Ron Hainsey

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