NHL Rumors III: Treliving Talks Flames … Trotz Talks Second Line Center

  • Aaron Vickers of Flames.nhl.com: Flames GM Brad Treliving on their current roster.

    “One of the things that help you improve is creating internal competition at all positions. You look at our team right now. We’ve got some young forwards that are going to push for spots at camp. That internal competition makes us better.

    “We’ve still got some work to do on the blue line before we get to training camp, but it’ll be the same situation there where we have guys fighting to be in the lineup, fighting to be on the team.”

    Treliving is still looking for ways to improve the roster.

    “You’re continuing to look at how to get better,” said Treliving, who also tendered a qualifying offer to Chad Billins in late June. “That’s the job. How do we get better? Sometimes those are little steps you’re taking.

    “By getting these contracts done, it makes us better but we’ve got lots of work to do. This isn’t something we close the book on and say ‘we’re done’. We’ll continue to work here. We’ve got lots of time before training camp.

    “Those days will be spent on finding ways to see if we can get better and see what is out there.”

  • Dan Rosen of NHL.com: Capitals coach Barry Trotz on how their second line center position could play out.

    “I’m looking at it in a number of different ways. You’ve got Marcus Johansson, who has played wing but he’s a centerman with great speed in the middle. The more I watch Backstrom the more I realize how good he really is and he gets very little credit. I was in the Western Conference for 17 years and I would see him once or twice a year. You knew he was good but you don’t know how good he is until you dissect him a little. He’s really good. But in the two-hole I’m really looking at a number of guys. I’m going to put guys in the middle during camp. I’m going to put Marcus Johansson and [Evgeny] Kuznetsov in the middle. Eric Fehr played in the middle last season but I think he’s probably going to end up on the wing. Organizationally they added Andre Burakovsky [No. 23 pick in 2013 NHL Draft] and I’d like to see him in the middle. We did that during development camp and he was outstanding in the middle. We’ve really got a few options there and I think that’s good. What you’re seeing in the National Hockey League now is the more people who can play center the better. Players can always get to the wall.

    “I’m going to let them play it out. We’re going to try to get the best three up the middle in terms of the people who are really good at distributing the puck and making things happen from the middle of the ice. After those three I think the fourth line will probably have a little more definition, probably more bite to it. I’m going to let them play through the camp, but my vision is that Johansson will play in the middle and Kuznetsov or Burakovsky will play in the middle and one will have to move to the wall. In today’s game, the more options you have the better off you are.

    “Obviously the Backstrom-Ovechkin line gets all the hard matchups, but last year based on performance the Jason Chimera-Joel Ward line probably outperformed any combination that they had in a second line. Through Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer — one of them might have to play on the top line — Kuznetsov, Johansson, Burakovsky, Fehr, I think we can probably establish a pretty good second line. If we can do that the depth of the third line will be very good too.

    “The center-ice position is where I’m going to focus a lot of attention. I think we’re going to be a lot deeper through the middle of the ice then I even expected.”

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NHL Rumors II: Braun, Leafs, Spaling, Stoa and Nelson

  • Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area: The Sharks have started contract extension talks with Justin Braun, though nothing is imminent.

    “Nothing yet. We will be talking more later in the month after Justin’s wedding,” Neil Sheehy said via email.

    Braun has one-year left on his deal before becoming a UFA. He’ll make $1.25 million this year.

  • David Pagnotta: Expect some movement from the Maple Leafs in the near future.
  • Seth Rorabaugh: Nick Spaling’s agent, Pat Morris, said there is nothing new to report on contract talks with the Penguins. Arbitration hearing set for July 31st. Both sides will exchange their briefs today.
  • Alex Prewitt: The Capitals have shown “no interest” in re-signing UFA Ryan Stoa according to Stoa’s agent. Stoa is now considering Europe.
  • Brian Compton: Islanders coach Jack Capuano said yesterday that he is a little hesitant to move Brock Nelson from center to wing, but knows what could potentially happen if he plays on the top line.

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NHL Rumors I: Reimer and His Agent Talk About Situation With Leafs

Jeff Simmons of SportsNet: Maple Leafs James Reimer told the Fan 590 that his rift with head coach Randy Carlyle was overblown.

“In all honesty, I’ve always defended (Carlyle). Maybe we didn’t see eye-to-eye last year,” Reimer said on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “But that has no bearing on his ability to coach. Sometimes you don’t see eye-to-eye. I have a lot of respect for him. I think he’s a great coach. He’s won a Cup. I have no qualms at all about playing for him again.”

“I felt that the door was closed there. It felt like things were heading in a different direction,” Reimer said Monday. “Over the course of the summer, things have changed. Obviously signing the new (two-year) contract, things have taken a 180 (degree turn) from there. I’m excited to come back. It’s not a case where I wanted to leave but I thought that things were kind of done there. I’m real excited to have another opportunity and kind of a new start.

“I think we have a talented group and have what it takes to make a good run.”

Ray Petkau on Prime Time Sports … Reimer “wants to be the starter” … “happy to be a Maple Leaf” … Petkau and GM Dave Nonis did talk about seeing if there was a starting opportunity for Reimer somewhere else.

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Quick Hits: Arbitration, Winnik, Tatar, Stats and Brassard

  • Luke Fox of SportsNet: Remaining arbitration hearing dates: Jimmy Hayes (FLA) – July 29th, Nick Spaling (PIT) – July 31st, Michael Frolik (WIN) – July 31st (update – just signed a one-year, $3.3 million deal)Dwight King (LA) – Aug. 1st, Justin Fontaine (MIN) – Aug. 1st, P.K. Subban (MON) – Aug. 1st.
  • Alex Seixeiro: Daniel Winnik said on the Fan 590 that the deal with the Maple Leafs came together quickly over the past couple days.
  • Helene St. James: Due to Tomas Tatar’s December birthday, he’ll have one-year of restricted free agency after his contract expires in 2017.
  • Allan Walsh: One NHL GM said that advanced stats are now central when evaluating prospects and ranking players for the draft.
  • Renaud Lavoie: Derick Brassard’s deal with the Rangers contains a limited no-trade clause. Salary breakdown: $7 million, $6 million, $5 million, $3.5 million and $3.5 million.

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Salary Cap Outlook – The Pacific Division

Continuing on from where we left off with the Central Division, it’s now time to take a look at final division in the NHL, the Western Conferences teams, Pacific Division.

*All figures according to CapGeek.com, with the Salary Cap being $69 million*

*2015-16 cap space does not include current unsigned RFA’s*

Part 4: Western Conference – Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 22 (11 forwards, 9 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $57,864,167
Overages: $1,150,000
Cap Space: $11,135,833
RFA’s Remaining: Jakob Silfverberg, Devante Smith-Pelly
Players for LTIR: Sheldon Souray (if needed)

Overview: The Ducks are one of the NHL’s best teams, and yet, they still find themselves with just over $11 million in cap space. This is a very unfamiliar sight for good teams. With only Silfverberg and Smith-Pelly left to bring back (which should come for around or less than $3 million combined), the Ducks are in an extremely good position financially moving forward.

Read the rest of this entry »

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NHL News: Wings Sign Tatar … Leafs Sign Winnik

  • Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have re-signed RFA Tomas Tatar to a three-year contract.

Danny DeKeyser is the lone RFA remaining for the Red Wings. A decision on if Daniel Alfredsson will play next season is expected next month. Remaining UFAs in Mikael Samuelsson and Todd Bertuzzi likely won’t be returning.

Winnik is coming off a two-year deal worth $1.8 million per season.

The Leafs now have 16 forwards on NHL contracts for next season. Jake Gardiner (RFA) is their only remaining free agent.

Leafs fans will like him as long as you don’t expect 30+ points. He’s not going to wow you with his offense.

Scrappy player. Plays hard. Skates hard. I wouldn’t call him a hard hitter but he hits … Will do well with Carlyle.

Click for stats Read the rest of this entry »


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NHL Rumors II: Wings, Oilers, Hurricanes and Zacha

  • Brendan Savage of MLive: Danny DeKeyser still doesn’t have a deal with the Red Wings, but he isn’t concerned.

    “There won’t be any problems,” DeKeyser told Fox 17 while in Portage to play in annual Western Michigan Hockey Alumni and Friends golf outing. “It’ll be done before camp.

    “So, no one needs to worry about that.”

  • Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal: McCurdy looks at Penguins RFA center Brandon Sutter after reports from Will DePoali’s (Inside Pittsburgh Sports) sources saying that the Oilers and Avalanche are paying attention to the situation. The Penguins have offered Sutter three different deals, but he’s looking for a one-year deal. The Penguins re-signed Marcel Goc to a one-year deal, and added Nick Spaling to help fill out their bottom-six. The Penguins could be looking for winger, someone like David Perron in return for Sutter, but that may be too high a price for the Oilers.
  • Chip Alexander: Hurricanes coach Peters said that their power play could consist of Jeff Skinner, Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm, with Alex Semin playing the right point with Justin Faulk or Ryan Murphy.
  • Zdenek Janda: Top Czech prospect Pavel Zacha will likely be leaving the Czech to play junior in the CHL, probably in the OHL.

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NHL Rumors I: Maple Leafs, Flames and Rangers

  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: Dave Poulin appeared to know that he would be let go. Claude Loiselle didn’t think he would be let go despite knowing that changes were coming. Talk is that Poulin and Brendan Shanahan didn’t appear to see eye-to-eye right from the start. Some think that Loiselle could take Shanahan’s old position with the NHL.
  • Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: James Reimer’s new two year deal will take him to unrestricted free agency and makes him more tradable .

    “He never said: ‘Get me out of here,’ ” said Nonis. “What he did ask was for us to explore opportunities that would make sense for both sides. We did. I went back to him and said: ‘I don’t have something that I would feel comfortable doing and we prefer to sign you.’ We both felt him coming back was good for us and for him. He wouldn’t have signed a two-year-deal if he didn’t feel comfortable coming back to Toronto.”

  • Larry Brooks: If Rangers RFA defenseman John Moore gets a deal around $1 million, and they give the final two forward roster spots to J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast, they could start the season with about $1.3 million in salary cap space.

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NHL Rumors: Subban, Alfredsson, Leafs, Capitals

“I’ll answer one question about the negotiation,” Subban told a media scrum at Royal Montreal Golf Club.“It’s been kept pretty quiet the whole time and it’s going to remain that way until a deal is done.”

“As of right now today I’m sitting here and trying to just enjoy the day. Just not thinking about anything,” he said.

  • Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News: At age 41, Daniel Alfredsson will decide in late August whether to return for another season. The 18-year NHL veteran missed 14 regular season and two playoff games last season due to back problems. 
  • Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: With all that he has done since taking over the reigns of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brendan Shanahan has shown that he is thinking for the future and not afraid of change. With the hiring of Assistant GM Kyle Dubas, Shanahan proved that he is willing to try something new and break the chains from traditions.
  • Chuck Gormley of Comcast Sportsnet Washington: The Washington Capitals, barring a re-signing or a trade, have one roster spot and just over $1 million in cap space left. The biggest holes on the Capitals roster are down the middle at the centre position and on the left-wing. Some names that might yet be acquired to fill one of those spots are UFA’s Saku Koivu or Daniel Carcillo. Antoine Vermette of the Arizona Coyotes is another potential fit, although with a $3.75 million salary the Caps would have to move salary to get him.


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Salary Cap Outlook – The Central Division

Continuing on from where we left off on Thursday with the Metropolitan Division, it’s now time to take a look at the cap situations of the Western Conference teams, starting today with the Central Division.

*All figures according to CapGeek.com, with the Salary Cap being $69 million*

*2015-16 cap space does not include current unsigned RFA’s*

Part 3: Western Conference – Central Division 

Chicago Blackhawks 2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 23 (14 forwards, 7 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $71,216,795
Overages: $60,000
Cap Space: -$2,216,795
RFA’s Remaining: None
Players on LTIR: None

Overview: The Blackhawks are in a very familiar position for this time of year, over the salary cap maximum. With no RFA’s remaining and 23 players onboard for next season, the current group is basically what you will see on the ice once October comes along. Being just over $2 million over the cap obviously means that a few moves have to be made, but that shouldn’t be a problem for GM Stan Bowman; it never has been before. Read the rest of this entry »


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