– all of this in addition to keeping soon-to-be free agents Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. It’s a bold strategy, keeping players who could walk for nothing in the summer, but it has the potential to pay off significantly for the team.


• Vegas hasn’t been as dynamic this season as it was in its debut when it waltzed to the Western Conference final, but its outlook improved Monday once it acquired winger Mark Stone from Ottawa. Stone was greeted at the airport by the Golden Knights mascot, a drum line and cheerleaders, a spirited welcome fitting for what Stone’s arrival signified. With 28 goals and 34 assists this season with the Senators, he’s primed to boost Vegas’ offense as it vies for seeding in the Pacific Division.


• Adding Mikael Granlund from the Wild wasn’t the Predators’ only move Monday; they also landed winger Wayne Simmonds from the Flyers. The Predators are battling the Jets for the top seed in the Central Division, and Winnipeg also beefed up its lineup by bringing in center Kevin Hayes and the experience of former Wild veteran Matt Hendricks. Which team recalibrates the best after these acquisitions will be intriguing to watch. It could determine who’s crowned the division leader and who’s the favorite in the West in the playoffs.