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The Daily: Mantha-for-Boeser Talk; Bruins Can’t Let Pastrnak Be Xander Bogaerts



Anthony Mantha, Washington Capitals

The Christmas season is for merriment, family and discussion of Anthony Mantha trade possibilities. That happened when he played in Detroit. And now it’s occurring in Washington.

Sportsnet’s Insider Elliotte Friedman added more fuel to the Mantha fire when he wondered aloud whether a Brock Boeser-for-Mantha deal might make sense. The Canucks seem to be heading to possible trades of Boeser and Bo Horvat.

As Friedman points out, the Capitals can’t do much until they know if, or when, injured Nicklas Backstrom is coming back to the lineup. The Capitals have their own salary cap concerns.

But Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber points out that the Capitals haven’t seen Mantha reach his potential. He’s been inconsistent at best, she writes.

“He should be a big part of our offense,” Washington general manager Brian MacLellan said last week. “He’s a big, strong forward. You can see it. When his game’s on, he dominates the game with size and skill. There are periods where it hasn’t been there. Our team is different when he’s on.”

Here’s Silber’s dive into the Mantha saga.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

Bob Duff writes that coach Derek Lalonde may have made his first gaffe this season with his lineup decision against the Florida Panthers.

The Red Wings‘ loss to the Florida Panthers is yet another reminder how much work they still need to do to be among the better NHL teams.

Nate Brown wrote that Jonatan Berggren‘s strong offensive play sets him up to say with the Red Wings. Elmer Soderblom was sent to Grand Rapids Friday morning.

 Red Wings’ Next Game

The Red Wings (13-8-5)  play the Dallas Stars  (15-7-5) Saturday (2 p.m., ET) in the final game of four-game road trip. The Red Wings are 2-1, with wins over Columbus and Tampa Bay and a loss to Florida.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: The Red Sox miscalculated the market and let shortstop Xander Bogaerts bolt via free agency. As Joe Haggerty writes, the Bruins can’t make the same mistake with David Pastrnak. Boston Bruins. 

Florida: Sasha Barkov is back from illness and the Panthers spanked the Detroit Red Wings’ 5-1. The Panthers had different perspective on this game than Detroit fans. Florida Panthers.

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Montreal: With teams still struggling to stay under the salary cap ceiling, the rebuilding Canadiens have plenty of interest in the waiver wire.  Montreal Canadiens.

New York:  With defenseman Adam Pelech out day-to-day, Robin Salo has to step up his game.  New York Islanders.

Philadelphia: The Flyers brought up defenseman Cam York to accompany them on their road trip. Philadelphia Flyers. 

Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby’s numbers would be even higher if the Penguins power play wasn’t struggling. Pittsburgh Penguins.

San Jose:  Sheng Peng writes that the Sharks have developed some bad habits since Joe Pavelski left. San Jose Sharks.