The Rat Trick: Morning Links 2/4/14

Chicago Blackhawks

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to game day! The Florida Panthers take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, but before we get into that later today – here are your links from around the league.

I am a big Pittsburgh Penguins fan, but even if you weren’t you have to appreciate the huge save made by Marc-Andre Fleury last night. It could very well be the save of the year. The fact he caught that so clean shows again Fleury is one of the most athletic goaltenders in the league. [NHL.com]

Some of the biggest news of the day, Thomas Vanek reportedly turned down a huge contract from the New York Islanders. The folks over at Eyes on Isles break down the situation and what the possibilities are now. [Eyes on Isles]

Minor (sort of) trade took place between the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens as they swapped Dale Weise for Raphael Diaz. I say sort of because how many can it be when an Olympian is involved? Diaz is set to dress for team Switzerland. Hey, hey, that still counts. [A Winning Habit]

A good story on Causeway Crowd on Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins calling in a favor with Boston Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara. Eakins was hoping Chara could take Oilers’ defenseman Martin Marincin under his wing during the upcoming Olympics. Both are playing for team Slovakia. [Causeway Crowd]

Great news for team Canada and the Tampa Bay Lightning, as world class sniper Steven Stamkos appears ready to make his return to the lineup this Saturday. [Bolts By The Bay]

A non hockey story here. I am an avid boxing fan, as the ‘sweet science’ has captured my attention since a young age. So any time news like this comes out its hard to hear. At just 23 (younger than me), Oscar Gonzalez past away from injuries sustained in a fight over the weekend. Boxing is brutal enough, and anyone who fights for any extended period of time will have to deal with the sad aftermath but to see someone taken this early is awful. [ESPN]

I remember losing my Grandfather – I had zero or little focus on anything I did for quite some time. So what Patrick Kane did last night was just amazing. After learning his Grandfather past away, Kane scored two goals and an assist in the Chicago Blackhawks’ victory over the Los Angeles Kings. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Patrick. [ESPN]

One last thing, speaking of my Grandfather – today is Cancer awareness day. I lost my Grandfather to Leukemia, a blood cancer. He was a very big inspiration to me when it comes to many things, not just my love of sports. But I give him a lot of credit to where I have gotten in my writing career. Even if it’s just one dollar, donate it. Let’s find a cure so the next generation do not have to go through what we have .

Anthony Murphy is the Editor at The Rat Trick. You can contact me by email [email protected] or follow me on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.

Topics: Around The League, Florida Panthers, NHL News

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