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All-Star farce and what we learned the past week in the NHL

All-Star farce and what we learned the past week in the NHL

Coyotes enforcer John Scott, left, punches the Blue Jackets’ Jared Boll (40) during a fight on Dec. 17, 2015.

(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

What we learned from the past week in the NHL

+ Talented forward Jonathan Drouin, whose development has been slowed by injuries since Tampa Bay drafted him No. 3 in 2013, wants to be traded. His request became public last week in a statement from his agent, Los Angeles-based Allan Walsh of Octagon Hockey, after the Lightning assigned Drouin to its Syracuse farm team.

Drouin wasn’t used in a top-six role last season and played in only six of 26 playoff games last spring. Does he merely need to round out his game, or is Coach Jon Cooper stifling his creativity? General Manager Steve Yzerman will find many takers if he decides to trade the dynamic 20-year-old.

+ Extensions were a theme for the Florida Panthers. They stretched their franchise-record winning streak to nine and extended the contracts of General Manager Dale Tallon and Coach Gerard Gallant through 2018-19. Tallon has done a good job building through the draft, and Gallant has maximized those resources.

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And Tallon’s acquisition of forward Jaromir Jagr from New Jersey last February for two draft picks continues to pay off: Jagr, who will be 44 next month, leads Florida in scoring with 13 goals and 28 points in 36 games. He ranks fourth on the NHL career goals list with 735, six from tying Brett Hull for third.

+ Fans wanted enforcer John Scott of Arizona to play in the All-Star game Jan. 31 at Nashville and got their wish when balloting results were announced last week. If they thought it was a joke to pick Scott to stand alongside fellow division captains Jagr, Patrick Kane and Alexander Ovechkin, it’s fitting because the NHL has treated the game like a joke by constantly changing formats and skipping it in Olympic years.

This year’s version will feature a division-based three-on-three tournament. Jagr had urged fans not to vote for him because three-on-three play is strenuous. “They want to see me dead,” he joked.

Scott said he will participate though his lack of skills has excluded him from playing three-on-three. “Just to get a little recognition, it’s fun,” he told reporters. The NHL and players’ association should find a format that approximates hockey or otherwise grows the game or drop the All-Star Game altogether.

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