Arvidsson, Suzuki and Gustavsson Named NHL ‘Three Stars’ of the Week

NEW YORK, NY – Los Angeles Kings right wing Viktor Arvidsson, Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki and Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavssonhave been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending March 26.


Arvidsson scored and registered multiple points in all three of his appearances, leading the NHL with five total goals (5-2—7) as well as 2-2—4 on the power play to propel the Kings(43-20-10, 96 points) to a perfect week as they extended their point streak to a franchise-record 12 games dating to Feb. 28 (10-0-2). He notched 1-1—2, both on the man-advantage, in an 8-2 victory against the Calgary Flames March 20 to reach the 20-goal milestone for the fifth time (and second time in as many seasons with Los Angeles). Arvidsson then scored twice in a 4-1 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets March 25. He capped the week with 2-1—3, his fourth multi-goal and fifth three-point performance of 2022-23, in a 7-6 win versus the St. Louis Blues March 26. The 29-year-old Arvidsson has played in 68 total contests this season, placing among the top Kings players in goals (3rd; 24), assists (t-5th; 29) and points (4th; 53) as well as power-play goals (t-1st; 9), power-play assists (5th; 12) and power-play points (3rd; 21).



Suzuki paced the NHL with 2-6—8 in three contests to guide the Canadiens (29-38-6, 64 points) to a pair of victories. He collected two assists in a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning March 21. Suzuki (1-1—2) then factored on both Montreal goals in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins March 23. He closed the week with 1-3—4, his first career four-point outing (282 GP), in an 8-2 triumph against the Columbus Blue Jackets March 25 to extend his streak of multi-point performances to four games (2-8—10 dating to March 18) – the longest such run by a Canadiens player since Alex Kovalev achieved the feat nearly 14 years ago (March 28 – April 4, 2009: 4-7—11 in 4 GP). The 23-year-old Suzuki has skated in 73 total contests this season, leading Montreal in assists (38; 13 more than the next-closest player) and points (61; 23 more than the next-closest player) while ranking second in goals (23) behind only Cole Caufield (26).



Gustavsson stopped 69 of the 71 shots he faced across two starts, going 2-0-0 with a 0.96 goals-against average and .972 save percentage to lift the Wild (42-22-9, 93 points) into first place in the Central Division on the strength of a 2-0-1 week. Gustavsson made a career-high 47 saves, including a combined 25 in the third period and overtime, in a 2-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils March 23. He then turned aside 22 shots in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks March 25. The 24-year-old Gustavsson has appeared in 34 total games this season, ranking second in the NHL with a 2.01 goals-against average and .932 save percentage to go along with a 19-9-5 record and three shutouts. He has earned points in 12 of his past 13 outings (all starts) dating to Feb. 11, compiling an 8-1-4 record, 1.62 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and two shutouts during that timeframe.

Bellemare playing with a heavy heart after his mother’s passing

TAMPA BAY, FL – When a young Pierre-Edouard Bellemare started playing ice hockey, he didn’t have a bag filled with brand new equipment. He wasn’t shooting pucks with the latest, state of the art stick. For much of his childhood, he grew up playing the game with a third-string pair of skates that were so small his feet would curl up inside the boots.

But without those skates, Bellemare probably wouldn’t be playing in the NHL. And without the relentless hard work and dedication from his single mother, Frederique, he probably never would have had those skates to begin with.

“My mom’s involvement was huge,” said Bellemare. “We started playing hockey right around the time my father decided he wasn’t going to show up anymore. Once we decided to start skating, it became really clear that, because of our financial situation, we didn’t have the money for it. But my mom always found solutions.”

Bellemare started playing hockey when he was six and a half years old, along with his brother Geoffroy-Alexis, who was 10 at the time. Their mother did whatever was necessary to allow her two sons to play hockey, even while raising three daughters as well. But it wasn’t about the money for Frederique. She just wanted her boys to obey one life lesson both on and off the ice – always give 110%.

Arizona Acquires Connor Mackey, Brett Ritchie from Calgary Flames

TEMPE, AZ – The Arizona Coyotes made a last-minute move during the NHL deadline on Friday.

They sent defenseman Troy Stecher and forward Nick Ritchie to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Connor Mackey and forward Brett Ritchie.

Mackey appears to be the most meaningful piece coming to town in this deal, having potted two goals and an assist in 10 games thus far. Mackey was a college free agent signing of Calgary’s back in after tearing it up for Minnesota State. Despite not spending much time with the NHL club since turning pro, Mackey has performed quite well in the AHL and even earned an AHL all-star game nod in 2021.

Oilers land Mattias Ekholm from Predators for Barrie, Schaefer, 1st-round pick

EDMONTON, AB – The Nashville Predators traded defenseman Mattias Ekholm and a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Edmonton Oilers for blue-liner Tyson Barrie, forward prospect Reid Schaefer, a 2023 first-round pick, and a 2024 fourth-round pick, the teams announced.

The 6-foot-4 Ekholm recorded 18 points in 57 games this season for the Predators, where he’s spent his entire 12-year career. He’s posted excellent underlying defensive numbers.

Cal Foote Traded to Predators for Tanner Jeannot

NASHVILLE, TN – The Nashville Predators are continuing their fire sale, as they have traded Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Cal Foote, a 2025 first-round pick (top-10 protected), a 2024 second-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, a 2023 fourth-round pick, and a 2023 fifth-round pick.

Craig Smith Traded to Capitals for Orlov, Hathaway

BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, February 23, that the team has acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Craig Smith , a 2023 first-round draft pick, a 2025 second-round draft pick and a 2024 third-round draft pick. Washington will retain 50 percent of Orlov’s salary.

The Minnesota Wild will also send the rights to forward Andrei Svetlakov to Boston and retain 25 percent of Orlov’s salary in exchange for the Bruins’ 2023 fifth-round draft pick.

Smith, 33, has skated in 42 games with Boston in 2022-23, tallying four goals and six assists for 10 points. The 6-foot, 204-pound forward has appeared in 831 career NHL games with Boston and Nashville, totaling 195 goals and 213 assists for 408 points. The Madison, Wisconsin native was originally selected by Nashville in the fourth round (98th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Orlov, 31, has appeared in 43 games with the Capitals in 2022-23, recording three goals and 16 assists for 19 points with a plus-two rating. The 5-foot-11, 214-pound defenseman has skated in 686 career NHL games all with the Capitals, totaling 60 goals and 196 assists for 256 points. The Novokuznetsk, Russia native was originally selected by Washington in the second round (55th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Hathaway, 31, has appeared in 59 games with the Capitals in 2022-23, posting nine goals and seven assists for 16 points with 52 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating. The 6-foot-3, 208-pound forward has appeared in 432 career NHL games with Washington and Calgary, totaling 54 goals and 62 assists for 116 points with 473 penalty minutes. The Kennebunkport, Maine native played collegiately at Brown University from 2010-14.


‘He has eyes on the back of his head’: Cole Perfetti is thriving with the Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG, MB – If all went to plan, Cole Perfetti wouldn’t be in the Calder Trophy conversation right now.

And, frankly, he’s not going to win it this year anyways. That’s up to Matty Beniers and Logan Thompson to fight it out. But Perfetti’s development was abruptly halted after an upper-body injury took him out of the second half of 2021-22 – just weeks after becoming a full-time NHLer. Perfetti was limited to just 18 games in the NHL and 17 in the AHL in what was supposed to be his first proper season of pro hockey.

Missing half a season for any player is tough. And that’s amplified when you’re a young guy just looking to get your groove at 20 years old.

Gruden Family Comes From All Over For Jonathan’s NHL Debut

PITTSBURGH, PA – On Saturday afternoon, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Jonathan Gruden scored for the fifth time in three games during a road game against the Charlotte Checkers. Just a day later, he was en route to Pittsburgh after the Penguins recalled him.

“Pretty crazy,” he said. “I found out (Sunday) morning in Charlotte, and then flew to Wilkes and drove here (Sunday) night.”

Gruden made his NHL debut on Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks at PPG Paints Arena. He logged 7:02 of ice time in the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime victory, even having an attempt ring off the post in the first period.

“I thought Grudes played well. I thought he was making good decisions, I thought he played with confidence,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “I would have liked to have gotten him a little bit more ice time, but the way the game evolved with some of the power plays and special teams, it just didn’t give me the opportunity to use the bench the way I had intended going in and the way I wanted to. But I thought for his first game, I thought he played a real solid game.”