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BHN Daily: Evan Rodrigues Trade Was a Mistake, Markstrom Chatter, Snoop Dogg Represents Canadiens

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Evan Rodrigues Florida Panthers Buffalo Sabres Jacob Markstrom New Jersey Devils Calgary Flames Snoop Dogg

Former Buffalo Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues was the star of Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final. He scored two goals in Florida’s 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, giving the Panthers a two-game lead to start the series. The journeyman has shown an ability to mesh with some of the top players in the league and perform in clutch moments.

Rodrigues gave the Panthers the lead with the eventual game-winner, scoring on a quick release after a turnover by Evan Bouchard.

He followed that up with Florida’s next goal on a nice powerplay deflection. The goal established a 3-1 lead before the Panthers sealed it with an empty-netter.

Revisionist history is always easy to point to, but the Sabres made a mistake by giving up on the college free-agent signing so soon. His final season in Buffalo was a struggle but prefaced by two strong showings in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. Rodrigues averaged 15 minutes of ice time per game in those seasons, contributing up and down the lineup.

Rodrigues’ Journey

The production and the defensive play dropped off in 2019-2020 after signing a one-year, $2 million deal before the season. Buffalo shipped the pending unrestricted free agent to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline for Conor Sheary and Dominik Kahun. In the ensuing seasons, Rodrigues signed two more one-year deals with the Penguins under two general managers, Jim Rutherford and Ron Hextall.

After playing in a supporting role with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Colorado Avalanche signed the forward to add to an offense led by Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Rodrigues was still stuck on another one-year deal despite providing value in all facets of the game.

The Florida Panthers finally gave Rodrigues stability, signing him to a four-year, $3 million contract before the season. It’s the biggest yearly salary he’s had to date.

The half-point-per-game player doesn’t wow you with points or puck skills, but he can play with anyone, in any situation. He’s seizing his opportunity in Florida’s top-six, with three goals in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

By giving up on him too soon, the Sabres have missed out on one of the best-value players in the NHL.

The Latest at Buffalo Hockey Now

The latest edition of the Sabres Grades series features Peyton Krebs, who is approaching a key point in his career. See how his 2023-2024 season went and what this offseason could mean for his future.

Across National Hockey Now

There’s more chatter on the status of Jacob Markstrom, who could have a new home next season.

New Jersey Hockey Now: The Devils are considered frontrunners for Markstrom.

Calgary Hockey Now: The trade market could be tight, leaving room for a Markstrom return to Calgary.

Other stories from around the league:

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Recent drafts tell success stories and include painful misses.

Montreal Hockey Now: Snoop Dogg was part of the Formula 1 festivities in Montreal over the weekend. He was repping an Arber Xhekaj Montreal Canadiens shirt as part of a new line released by Death Row Records.

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