The NHL has released the Three Stars for last week, and to no one’s surprise Elvis Merzlikins has received the top honor. The Columbus Blue Jackets’ goaltender went nearly 180 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, posting two shutouts and a minuscule 0.67 goals against average. The 25-year old rookie now has a .930 save percentage on the season.
Second and third place go to more familiar faces, as Kyle Connor and Andrei Vasilevskiy take home the honors. The Winnipeg Jets forward had eight points last week and now is just two goals away from his third consecutive 30-goal season. Tampa Bay meanwhile has been on fire with the reigning Vezina Trophy winner showing exactly why he should never be counted out. Vasilevskiy now leads the league in wins with 29 after a slow start to the season and is all the way back up to a .918 save percentage.
- After being fired by the Minnesota Wild just 14 months into his tenure as general manager, Paul Fenton has found a new home. The long-time Nashville Predators assistant GM is working his way through the turn of the century expansion clubs, now taking a job with the Columbus Blue Jackets’ scouting department according to Michael Russo of The Athletic. Fenton has always been known as a strong judge of talent, but things quickly went south when he was put in charge of the Wild.
- Travis Hamonic has left the Flames and returned to Calgary for further testing according to Wes Gilberton of Postmedia. The defenseman left Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, complicating the upcoming trade deadline even further for the Flames’ front office. Hamonic was one of several defensemen that are on expiring contracts and could have been moved, but with captain Mark Giordano already out it will be hard to subtract from the Flames’ blue line at this point. The team has recalled Alexander Yelesin from the minor leagues.