Short takes


Timeout challenge

Teams can’t use their coach’s challenge unless they have their lone timeout remaining, meaning teams will be afraid to burn a timeout to rest players when they’re trapped on the ice after an icing or to stop the momentum shift in a game.

That’s why Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said he didn’t call time during the Wild’s four-goal, third-period comeback in 5 minutes, 7 seconds Thursday.

“I was thinking about it, I won’t lie to you,” Roy said. “My only problem is if I use the timeout, I lose my challenge. If something happens, and it’s a goal and we cannot make any challenge, that’s the reason why I didn’t do it.”

One has to wonder if the league considers after this season adding a second timeout.

Oilers’ buddy system

Playing in the bubble that is Edmonton, Connor McDavid is living with Taylor Hall, another of the Oilers’ horde of first overall picks.

“I know there’s stuff I learned early on, stuff to do and stuff not to do,” Hall said. “I don’t go to the mall anymore, and I’m sure Connor won’t either.”

Big free-agent class

There are a number of potentially huge free agents next summer, although a few of them would seem destined to re-sign with their own teams, such as Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar.

Some of the big names that as of now are unsigned: Kyle Okposo, David Backes, Dustin Byfuglien, Eric Staal, Shane Doan, Tomas Plekanec, Alex Goligoski, Frans Nielsen and Keith Yandle.