In his strongest push yet to preserve the future of the Coyotes in Arizona, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman penned a sternly worded letter to state lawmakers Tuesday lobbying for a bill that would help secure a new arena for the franchise.
The Atlantic’s top two teams also bolstered their depth Monday in preparing for a grind-it-out final month of the regular season.
In first place, but barely, the Canadiens added defenseman Jordie Benn in a swap of blue-liners with the Stars, who received Greg Pateryn and a 2017 fourth-round pick.
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Hot on their tail, the Senators acquired veteran agitator Alexandre Burrows from the Canucks in exchange for 19-year-old forward prospect Jonathan Dahlen.
Benn, 29, is in the first season of a three-year, $3.3 million contract and should help to alleviate penalty-killing duties that burdened Shea Weber and Co. But he’s also on a career-high points pace with 15 in 58 games.
Like Boyle, Burrows, 35, was shopped as a UFA this summer and comes battle-tested, having been a key component to Vancouver’s deep playoff runs in his 12-year career. Burrows reportedly agreed to a two-year extension worth $5 million as part of the trade.
None figure to tilt the race in any one team’s favor single-handedly, but when the standings are this close, any little bit helps.
Game Youth Andrej Sustr Jersey Montreal and Ottawa were separated by two points at the time of their trades. Boston, suddenly in third thanks to a 6-1 run since firing Claude Julien, has stood pat thus far but always seems to have several kettles percolating on the hot stove. And Florida is alive as well, eight points behind the Canadiens with a game in hand.