Six things we learned in the NHL: Historic hat trick

Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman recap a busy Saturday as teams have begun making trades ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline.

Trades. Rumours. Signings.

Believe it or not, there were also actual hockey games going on today, too.

Here are six things we learned in the NHL on a busy Saturday night.

But first, a blooper:

Trades dominate the day
OK, before we get to the games... let's recap. General managers were busy Saturday, making for a full day of roster shakeups and teammate farewells.

As Sporstnet's Mark Spector points out, the day of dealing also revealed an increasingly common trend we've been seeing the last few years: More and more trades are happening in the days leading up to the NHL trade deadline as opposed to on the actual deadline day.

The Chicago Blackhawks made headlines Thursday and Friday by adding some key rental pieces for another Stanley Cup run, but Saturday's biggest trade news included James Reimer heading west to join the San Jose Sharks and the Florida Panthers landing Jiri Hudler, Teddy Purcell and Jakub Kindl.

(Get a full recap of the latest trades in our Trade Tracker.)

But while we've seen plenty of players change sweaters already, let's not forget that there are still so many up in the air: Loui Eriksson, Eric Staal, Mikkel Boedker, to name a few.

So stay tuned — it's going to be an exciting ride to the deadline.

Can't stop Forsberg
Remember that hat trick Filip Forsberg scored on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs? It was the first natural hat trick of his NHL career.

Well, he did it again. This time, against the St. Louis Blues in a 5-0 win for the Nashville Predators.

He's now got 26 goals to his name to put a little padding on his team-leading goals total and take over in points from Roman Josi.

Giroux reaches 500
Claude Giroux returned to the Philadelphia Flyers' lineup Saturday afternoon after a three-game absence due to an upper-body injury, and he made quite the impact.

His power-play snipe from the point didn't just help his team defeat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 for an afternoon victory — it also marked his 500th career point. His statline now reads 161-339-500.

Giroux, 28, is now the fourth player from the 2006 draft class to reach the 500-point mark, joining Nicklas Backstrom, Phil Kessel and Jonathan Toews.

The Flyers captain tweeted out a photo of that milestone puck following the game, along with a pretty great hashtag.

Leafs' past, present and future
Saturday wasn't the greatest showing for the now Reimer-less Toronto Maple Leafs. Their 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens means they've now been swept by their Quebec rivals in back-to-back seasons for the first time in team history.

To potentially complicate matters, P.A. Parenteau left the game following the first period and didn't return, causing some to wonder whether we can still expect the pending UFA forward to be traded. Turns out, Parenteau had been experiencing muscle spasms, stemming from Friday's gym session.

Parenteau himself talked about the interruption to the game, stating that he's doing what he can to settle the spasms and he'll "be ready to go Monday."

Now, as for that future... it looks like we're about to get a glimpse.

According to Sportsnet's Damien Cox, the team is likely to call-up star prospect William Nylander "soon after Monday's trade deadline."

Things get heated in Colorado
Saturday's Stadium Series matchup between old rivals Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings was a beautiful sight to be seen. Snow everywhe— wait, what?

OK, so the snow at Coors Field didn't exactly work out as planned. With record-high temperatures reaching 65 degrees Farenheit (!), real snow was definitely not in the forecast. Instead, the crew created a wintery white backdrop using what looked like cotton batting/stuffing, which totally did the trick. Until the wind picked up.

Fake. Snow. Everywhere.

High temperatures aside, the game itself was pretty entertaining, and even featured a Pavel Datsyuk-Gabriel Landeskog scuffle.

In the end, the Red Wings came out of the blizzard with the 5-3 win.

Zibanejad nets historic hat trick
It looked like Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames were going to claim victory over the Ottawa Senators Saturday night.

And then Mika Zibanejad happened.

The 22-year-old centreman notched his first career natural hat trick to propel the Senators to a 6-4 victory at the Saddledome — and it happened fast. In three straight shifts, in fact.

His milestone moment, the team's first hat trick since Jason Spezza (Oct. 2013), was the fastest such feat in franchise history. Three unanswered goals in less than three minutes. 2:38, to be exact.

Also worth noting, it was a big game for Zibanejad's teammate, Chris Neil, too. He scored himself a one-year extension with the Senators worth $1.5 million.