Mat Barzal, a last-minute addition to the All-Star Skills, showed that he belonged and should’ve been a participant from its inception.
He was in the top three through the final round, the obstacle course. And in fact, he was pacing well through the obstacle course, but then… the tiny nets.
The lone representative from the New York Islanders showed well, but he ended up finishing fifth. Still impressive though, especially for an injury replacement.
Meanwhile, back on the home front, Lou Lamoriello isn’t taking any breaks or giving his roster any. He and Patrick Roy were reportedly spotted in Bridgeport on Wednesday night, and then yesterday, the Islanders made a roster move.
- That roster move: Julien Gauthier was waived. [THN] A lot of people think he’ll get claimed with his league minimum salary, but he’s signed for another year after this, so I wouldn’t be so sure. The former first-round pick only carries weight for so long. What could Lou be up to? [THN]
- After finishing fifth yesterday, Barzal will compete as part of Team Matthews today during the 3-on-3 competition. [Islanders] Being at All-Star weekend is a “privilege,” he says. [Islanders]
- Nathan MacKinnon is a big fan of former Avs coach and current Islanders coach Patrick Roy. [Newsday]
- For Stan Fischler, living in Israel, hockey is a welcome distraction. [Reuters]
- Connor McDavid helped design the new competition, made it worth $1 million, and then won it. Basically, he convinced the league to give him extra cash. Alex Georgiev got the goalie prize of $100,000 for making the most saves in that round. [NHL]
- Quite a bit of league news yesterday too: Just a day after the deadline’s biggest fish got caught, the next one got reeled in, as the Winnipeg Jets acquired Sean Monahan. [NHL]
- For the Montreal Canadiens, they got a first-round pick from the Calgary Flames for taking on Monahan and now get another one for trading him away. As all the Canadian writers like to say: “tidy piece of business.” [Sportsnet]
- The Los Angeles Kings made the move, firing coach Todd McLellan and promoting old friend Jim Hiller to interim coach. [NHL]
- Takeaways from a recent Ottawa Senators press conference and what to expect the rest of the season. [The Athletic]
- The league announced the 4 Nation Faceoff next February [NHL] and the league is going to the Olympics in 2026 and 2030. [Sportsnet]
- Gary Bettman also said the league is going to wait for the legal process to play out before handing out official punishments to the five players charged with sexual assault. [Sportsnet]