The NHL awarded their weekly Three Stars again today, this time choosing Sergei Bobrovsky as the easy recipient of the top honors. After struggling early in the season, Bobrovsky is right back to being arguably the best goaltender in the league as he posted a 4-0-0 record last week that included two shutouts. The pending unrestricted free agent has stopped 179 of the last 186 shots he has faced and now carries a .913 save percentage on the year.
Second and third went to two Atlantic Division rivals, as Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning appeared on the list. The Toronto defender added to his scoring lead among all NHL defensemen with a nine-point week, while Kucherov continued to show why he is one of the most dangerous offensive players in the league with his own nine-point effort.
- According to the Associated Press, the NHL paid more than $35MM in transfer fees last season to sign players from around the world, as part of a continuing agreement with leagues in Sweden, Finland and other countries. The idea behind the transfer agreements is to funnel money back into the development programs all around the world, which in turn provides more diverse talent for the NHL. It has worked as planned in recent years as top talents like Rasmus Dahlin, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Miro Heiskanen and Patrik Laine have all been selected in the top three picks of the entry draft. The KHL and the Swiss NLA do not have transfer agreements with the NHL at this time, which also complicates the process of their talent coming over in the first place.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins think they have an answer to the physical play that rival Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals provides, and he’s already in their system. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette examines how Garrett Wilson could be brought back up after the holiday season in order to provide some leadership and toughness for the Penguins, who recently lost physical defenseman Jamie Oleksiak at the hands (or, perhaps hand) of Washington’s Wilson. Pittsburgh’s Wilson cleared waivers earlier this month and was sent down to the minor leagues a few days ago to make room for the activation of Dominik Simon.