Our take: Adams is a rookie GM in a tough spot. The team unraveled, forcing the organization to fire yet another head coach. Adams doesn't have as much support on the hockey operations staff as other teams do. Franchise center Jack Eichel has been out for weeks, and the team just announced he'll miss the rest of the season. The market just wasn't as attractive as it usually is for players on expiring contracts -- of which the Sabres had many-- not to mention the additional restrictions for Hall. So he got what he could.
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"We wouldn't call [this season] a step back," Kekalainen said. "We can do the reload and decide the pace of it with the moves we make in the offseason, and we'll be better for it."
The first-round pick will be a low one, but Columbus could use more young players; drafting and developing has been the model Kekalainen prefers best.
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There was a time, however, when Armstrong had the thought of selling. That 2-8-4 run that began in March led to the GM planning out return requests for some of his players. The phones went quiet and the Blues won three in a row and the Coyotes went on a losing streak. That brought back the belief that playoff hockey could be a reality this season.
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NHL suspends Predators’ McCarron two games for hit on Lightning’s Gourde originally appeared on NBCSports.com
"He's a very skilled defenseman," Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said after a 4-1 loss to the Stars on Saturday. "He can help us with the puck and the offensive game, holds the puck really well. Good addition and looking forward to seeing him soon.''