The NHL has released their Three Stars for last week, headlined by Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau who takes home the top spot. Gaudreau put up four goals and seven points in four games last week, including two game-winning tallies. After a strong bounce-back campaign in 2020-21, the diminutive forward has upped his game once again and now has 22 points in 19 contests this season.
Second and third go to Ilya Samsonov and Cale Makar respectively, with each young player putting up a pair of outstanding performances. Samsonov didn’t allow a single goal in his two starts for the Washington Capitals, posting a pair of shutouts and raising his save percentage to .924 on the season. Makar meanwhile had five points in two games for the Colorado Avalanche, something that has become relatively routine for the young defenseman. Through 113 career games, Makar now has 107 points.
- When Kevin Fiala and the Minnesota Wild settled on a one-year contract just a day ahead of his arbitration hearing this offseason, it raised some questions about his long-term future with the team. Other key forwards like Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek were being locked up well into the future, while the 25-year-old Fiala was now scheduled to be a free agent once again in 2022 after this $5.1MM contract expired. That’s when the Wild have some huge buyout penalties hitting the cap, making it challenging to go through the uncertainty of an arbitration process again with a player like Fiala. Yesterday, Michael Russo of The Athletic wrote about Fiala’s future with the team, suggesting it is “hard to see Fiala being long for this organization.” Today, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discuss it on Sportsnet’s 32 Thoughts podcast, and note that though there is some smoke, Wild GM Bill Guerin has never been one into a decision.
- It’s been several days since Adam Brooks was claimed off waivers by the Vegas Golden Knights, but he had not yet made his debut for the club due to some immigration issues that needed to be resolved. Resolved they’ve now been, and Brooks will be in the lineup for the Golden Knights this evening, head coach Pete DeBoer told reporters including David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Max Pacioretty, who is nearing a return, is on the trip but not yet quite ready to play tonight.