NHL News & Notes: Canucks Trade, Ovechkin & More

In today’s News & Notes, the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators have made a trade, Alex Ovechkin has decided to forego attending the All-Star Game and Frederik Andersen is still out with an injury.

Canucks and Senators Make a Trade

The Canucks have traded goaltender Anders Nilsson and forward Darren Archibald to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for goaltender Mike McKenna, Tom Pyatt and a sixth-round pick in 2019. Interestingly enough, the Canucks play on the road against the Senators on Wednesday night.

Anders Nilsson Canucks
Anders Nilsson, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

McKenna has compiled a 1-4-1 record with a 3.96 goals-against average and .897 save percentage with the Senators this season. In 37 games this season, Pyatt has recorded two assists. The 31-year-old has scored 43 goals and 101 points in 445 career games in the NHL.

For the Senators, they’re acquiring Nilsson who has gone 3-8-1 this season with a 3.09 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage. The 28-year-old previously played in the Atlantic Division in 2016-17 when he went 10-10-4 with the Buffalo Sabres in 2016-17 and compiled a 2.67 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Darren Archibald Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks forward Darren Archibald (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Additionally, they’re acquiring Archibald who has only played in nine games this season with the Canucks, scoring one goal and two points. He’s also recorded 11 goals and 16 points in 23 games with the Utica Comets in the AHL this season. In 52 career games at the NHL level, Archibald has scored six goals and 14 points in 52 games.

Ovechkin to Miss All-Star Game

When the NHL holds their upcoming All-Star festivities, one of the NHL’s best players will be missing from action. Though he’s healthy and capable to play in the game and take part in the skills competitions, Ovechkin has decided to forego the event despite being voted as the captain of the Metropolitan Division.

Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

“First of all, thanks for all the fans who voted for me,” Ovechkin said of his decision. “I know it’s a tough decision, obviously. I like to be part of all the events, but right now I think that time of the year and my age we decide to take a one-week break. It’s hard but it’s better for me, I think, at this point.”

Ovechkin has been very supportive of league-wide events in the past and his decision to skip out on this contest does make sense given what he’s put his body through in the last year alone, including a long playoff run that resulted in his first Stanley Cup victory last June.

Alex Ovechkin
Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin (8), shoots and scores while Carolina Hurricanes’ Calvin de Haan (44) and Justin Faulk (27) defend at left during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

“It’s been a long year the last year and that’s why (he’s skipping the game),” Ovechkin said. “We want to do the same exact thing like last year. I like to be involved, I like to be in those kind of games when there’s all the best players out there, but I think my body needs a little rest and I want to take a week off and get ready (for the rest of the season).”

Due to this decision, Ovechkin must miss either the game immediately preceding or following the All-Star weekend. In 38 games this season, Ovechkin has scored a very impressive 29 goals and 45 points in 38 games and is having one of the best seasons of his entire career.

Andersen Still Day to Day

Despite taking to the ice ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ official practice session on Wednesday, Andersen remains day-to-day with a groin injury. The veteran netminder has been out of action since Dec. 22 with this ailment.

Toronto Maple Leafs Frekerik Andersen New York Rangers' Jimmy Vesey
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen makes a save on New York Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

In Andersen’s place will be Garret Sparks who will make his fourth consecutive start Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.

In 30 games this season, Andersen has gone 20-9-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average and is currently matching his career-best .923 save percentage, a mark he hasn’t finished a season with since his rookie year in 2013-14 with the Anaheim Ducks.