Best of the Nation: 2.17.13

Jonathan Willis
February 17 2013 11:15AM

After the jump: the single-biggest story in the NHL last week, a mess of trades, injuries, and trade rumours, how bloggers are once again undermining Western society, and Graphic Comments. Also - and this is important - the Winnipeg Jets' all-time greatest moustaches.

Probably the single-biggest story in the NHL last week: did Mikhail Grabovski bite Max Pacioretty? It’s a great story, featuring grainy and inconclusive video, a potentially villainous Belarusian (casting an actual Russian would be too cliché), an American named ‘Max’ and of course the centre of the universe. [Leafs Nation]

Dustin Penner once again seems to be available free cheap to a good any home. [Oilers Nation]

The Winnipeg Jets pull off a trade for… Eric Tangradi. This fits with general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff’s master plan of dominating the world by lulling it softly to sleep. [Jets Nation]

A blizzard of moves –recapping a whole mess of depth, and some not so depth, transactions. [NHL Numbers]

Why are there so many ridiculous Vancouver goalie rumours? According to the G.M., thanks to “some guy in his mother’s basement.” [Canucks Army]

Unrelated to that last point: you’d be surprised at the number of teams inquiring about Vancouver’s goalies, says Vancouver’s G.M. [Canucks Army]

Lots of moves in Calgary – the organization added Detroit goalie Joey MacDonald via waivers, then waived centre Blair Jones and demoted Leland Irving in favour of Danny Taylor. [Flames Nation/Flames Nation]

James Reimer will be out for at least a week with a “mild” groin strain. Also, Wesley is only “mostly” dead. [Leafs Nation]

Also injured for at least a week is Toronto’s best shooter, Matt Frattin. [Leafs Nation]

The Winnipeg Jets’ all-moustache team. [Jets Nation]

Manny Malhotra will not play again this season; may never play again. An extremely difficult situation for the organization, and an awful one for the player. [Canucks Army/Canucks Army]

Ah, yes, Ryan O’Reilly. Why the Flames must and the Oilers mustn’t make a play for his services. Also fun is how Colorado is trying to torpedo the guy on his way out of town. [Flames Nation/Oilers Nation/Flames Nation]

How do the Canucks decide which goalie to start? Alain Vigneault flips a coin. [Canucks Army]

How Claude Noel has used his players in Winnipeg. [Jets Nation/Jets Nation]

Nation Gear! The secret to success at work, at home and in love! A chunk of the proceeds go to charity! We’re all sold out now, but stay tuned for more in the future. [Oilers Nation]

Is Al Montoya part of the long-term solution in Winnipeg? [Jets Nation]

Is Joe Colborne on the comeback trail? Or is he just on a modest hot streak in this, his fourth (largely disappointing) AHL season? [Leafs Nation]

PDO Numbers by NHL team. [NHL Numbers]

And finally, Graphic Comments:

Check out the full Graphic Comments at Canucks Army.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Talbot17
February 17 2013, 11:25AM
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SQUEEE

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#2 Chris Fairfield
February 17 2013, 11:39AM
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In every sense, every argument against, signing ROR makes sense for Calgary, but, with the current crew in charge, it won't happen. Backlund (center) goes down and we bring up Ben Street (center), with no results, Ben Street gets sent down and we bring Byron (center), he gets injured in the 1st period against Dallas, Horak (center), you're up! and we actually get smaller! and then yesterday Blair Jones (capable center), gets waived and unclaimed and then Hartley says that Comeau is centering Iggy and GlenX and we need centers, why, if you needed centers do you waive Jones? ROR is worth the gamble and there must be some wheeling and dealing in the minds of Feaster and Co., doesn't there? ROR= young center, skilled power forward with speed that would address every need, with the exception of goaltending. Please do the right thing!

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#3 Rama Lama
February 17 2013, 12:03PM
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Blair Jones amy turn out to be a solid forth line, third line player.........could turn out to be a good replacement for losing Curtis Glencross to the Lames!

We should have gone after him.

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#4 RKD
February 17 2013, 12:29PM
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The teams that can stay fairly healthy are the ones who will make the playoffs and potentially make deep runs.

The Flames had injury issues last season and have already had a slew of injuries in the early going.

I would be pretty shocked if the Flames got O'Reilly, every suggestion which sounds sensible to us has been some other Feaster move out of the blue.

Apparently, Colorado and NYR were working on deal for O'Reilly plus one Avs d-man for Del Zotto plus some other mix of player/prospect(s)coming back. The asking price for O'Reilly is very high: 2 prospects and 2 picks or 2 roster players, just some combination of 2+2 is insane. NYR has sinced backed off.

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#5 Rama Lama
February 17 2013, 12:53PM
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RKD wrote:

The teams that can stay fairly healthy are the ones who will make the playoffs and potentially make deep runs.

The Flames had injury issues last season and have already had a slew of injuries in the early going.

I would be pretty shocked if the Flames got O'Reilly, every suggestion which sounds sensible to us has been some other Feaster move out of the blue.

Apparently, Colorado and NYR were working on deal for O'Reilly plus one Avs d-man for Del Zotto plus some other mix of player/prospect(s)coming back. The asking price for O'Reilly is very high: 2 prospects and 2 picks or 2 roster players, just some combination of 2+2 is insane. NYR has sinced backed off.

Anyone going after O'Rielly is going to get absolutely fleeced. One good season and all of a sudden he thinks he is the second coming of MM? Fool he is.

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#6 Q
February 17 2013, 01:01PM
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I like bob Hartley's up tempo game but are you kidding me? Comeau on the top line? He is garbage. We shouldn't even have re-signed him!!!!! Waaaaay to much line juggling! I do like tanguay with hudler and cervenka however! There is no top line essentially. All of them are inconsistent and getting old!!!! I thought they misused sven from the get go! He should be getting 15-20 min a night. Jones is way better than comeau. Fast doesnt mean good bob! Lombardi is a Good example too. Very fast but bricks for hands! I will give jay this though, the players he acquired have been good. I like hudler and wides. Cervenka looks ok but I believe there's a major language barrier. Maybe having horak on that line would help? Iggy just needs to ask for a trade and it would be done and we have assets finally. Contrary to popular belief we actually have a bright future in net with Ramo, brossoit, and gillies. Even better on D with ramage, sieloff, culkin kulak, and currently Brodie. Time to move on iggy!!!

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#7 Chris Fairfield
February 17 2013, 01:25PM
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I noticed a drop in play right after Backlund went down. He seemed to be developing some chemistry with Hudler and Cervenka, most notable during the Columbus game, and then the injury. It seemed as if Backlund could be plugged into any of the top 3 lines and not miss a beat. At the time of his injury, I had a strong gut feeling that it would immediately impact Calgary over the next few games.

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#8 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 02:56PM
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@Chris Fairfield

He was the Flames best forward in terms of possession by a bunch during those first few weeks. Also, one of the few actual centers on the roster.

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#9 Kent Wilson
February 17 2013, 02:57PM
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@Q

Comeau on the top line?

In terms of usage and minutes, the Iginla/Glencross unit is Calgary's third line.

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#10 StHenriOilBomb
February 17 2013, 03:51PM
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Any word on whether Nation Radio will be making a return?

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#11 Spartacus
February 17 2013, 09:31PM
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I'd suggest that Karlsson getting his achilles tendon sliced open was the biggest story of the past week.

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