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Eastern Conference

Panthers’ Owen Tippett: ‘I have the upside of Phil Kessel’

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When the Florida Panthers selected Owen Tippett in the 1st round of this year’s NHL draft, they believed they were getting a player with a ton of upside.

After all, the winger scored 75 points in 60 games, 44 goals, with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads last season.

“Owen is a natural goal scorer with a bright future and he already possesses NHL-ready size and speed,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said back in July, via The Score.

“We’re looking forward to watching him compete for a spot on our NHL roster at training camp this fall.”

Tippett has a chance to fast track his way to the NHL and his confidence certainly make sit seem he believes he will be hitting the NHL ice sooner rather than later.

“I have the upside of Phil Kessel – the speed, the shot, the way he can make plays,” Tippett said in an interview with Luke Fox of Sportsnet.

“I also have some things I need to work on to be a 200-foot player.”

“I feel I can fight for a spot in Florida,” Tippett said.

“But at the end of the day, if I’m back in Mississauga, I’ll look at it as a chance to develop my game and get stronger and faster.”

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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