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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Douglas Murray
RALEIGH, N.C. | NHL teams got a jump-start on their trade deadline action Tuesday, as a few prominent players changed places and the Washington Capitals reshaped their blue line while making a couple of minor deals.Amid a career renaissance, ex-Caps right wing Jaromir Jagr, whose uninspiring stint in Washington exemplified a stretch of futility for the franchise, was sent to the Boston Bruins from the Dallas Stars for a draft pick and two prospects.
A few prominent players including Jaromir Jagr changed places and the Capitals re-shaped their blue line while also making a couple of minor deals ahead of Wednesday's deadline.
Amid a 48-game season in which perhaps only three to five teams are out of playoff contention, Wednesday might not be as active a trading environment. It also doesn't help that a few big names are already gone.
Pittsburgh acquired Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray to bolster its Stanley Cup hopes, but could adding veteran players to an established group create problems? Recent history in Washington suggests loading up at the trade deadline isn't a fool-proof plan.
Pittsburgh acquiring Iginla from the Flames, left wing Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Stars and defenseman Douglas Murray from the San Jose Sharks seemed like an embarrassingly strong haul for a team already atop the East and riding a winning streak.
Talks between the NHL and the union are back under way for the first time in nearly a week as the sides again search for a deal to save the hockey season.
When talking about the best defensive defensemen in the NHL, players such as the New York Rangers' Dan Girardi and San Jose Sharks' Douglas Murray dominate the conversation.
Few players in the NHL hit like San Jose Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray. In open ice, he can hammer opponents with the precision and power that's hard to measure.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome broke his hand and minor league forward Steven Pinizzotto dislocated his shoulder during a 4-3 preseason loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.
The San Jose Sharks signed captain Joe Thornton to a $21 million, three-year contract extension Saturday, locking up another key player before he could leave for free agency.
"People always think that you aim for certain guys more, but you don't," he said. "If the opportunity's there, you take it. When I was younger, maybe I was running around trying to hit guys more. Now, it kind of comes to me more than anything. You would never target a guy that has a concussion. These days I hope to not put them on the ice while they still have a problem with their head. I would never do that."
"I've changed my hitting a little bit with the new rules, as well," Murray said. "I'm the first to admit, if you look back at some of my hits from a couple years ago, I probably would have got a blindside — like when the guy's not looking your way and you're hitting him."