• Expect the Rangers to be active leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline Feb. 26. The team announced Thursday, in a letter posted on its website, that the Rangers will seek to acquire “young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character” — potentially at the expense of losing “familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect.” It’ll be interesting to watch who the Rangers part with; winger Rick Nash has already submitted his no-trade list to the team. But kudos to the organization for being up front with its plans.
• What an epic performance Oilers superstar Connor McDavid had Monday against the Lightning, scoring four goals and adding an assist. The output rocketed McDavid from tied for 13th in league scoring to tied for third. It’ll take more than McDavid’s magic to catapult the Oilers back into contention, but he remains a reason Edmonton is entertaining.
• It was a neat scene in Pittsburgh on Tuesday when Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury returned for the first time since Vegas selected him in the expansion draft. Fans lined the glass with signs during warmup to show their appreciation for the three-time Stanley Cup champion, and the team welcomed him back with a tribute video. The emotion in the building was palpable, a cool reminder how much athletes can mean to the communities they represent.