NHL Rumors: Devils, Jets, Avalanche, Coyotes and Ducks

  • Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: The Devils have enough salary cap to bring back Jaromir Jagr and Marek Zidlicky. The Jets could be a potential landing spot for Bruins pending UFA goalie Chad Johnson. Jets Al Montoya will be a UFA. It is possible the Ducks let pending UFA Jonas Hiller walk at the end of the season and go with a Frederik Andersen and John Gibson tandem next year.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: The Avalanche and Paul Stastny’s camp will have contract discussions when the season is over.

    “Quite honestly, it was not even close from us to move Pauly,” said Roy, who also holds the title of vice president of hockey operations. “We said all along we didn’t want to have rental players, (but) the only one we would keep is Paul, because we believe that Paul wants to stay as an Avalanche next year. We believe that there’s a good chance for him to re-sign with us. Now, how it will happen, it will be up to Joe and his agent. But I think Paul has the Avs in his heart and I think he’s going to want to be in this town.”

    When asked if he expects to re-sign with the Avalanche.

    “I hope so,” he said Friday. “But I don’t really care about what’s going on with that stuff. That’s down the road. For me right now, it’s all about this team and what we’ve been doing all year and what we want to keep doing.”

  • Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic: Coyotes Antoine Vermette will be a UFA after next season, but they can start contract extension talks after July 1st.

    “I like it here,” Vermette said. “I haven’t thought a lot about it. It’s really quick, but we’ll see what’s going to present itself and we’ll listen.”

    Vermette will likely be looking for a raise from his current $3.75 million.

    “Yeah, we’d like to do something,” General Manager Don Maloney said. “But as we’ve learned, whether we’re able to do something, that’s another story.”

  • Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: The Devils might look to bring in Brian Gionta this offseason. GM Lou Lamoriello said he’s always looking for bring in goal-scorers despite their reputation of being a defensive team.

    “I don’t think we’ve ever not thought about offensive players. We always have,” Lamoriello said. “They also have to be able to do other things. All the players we added last year were basically offensive players.

    “(Ryane) Clowe had a certain niche and made other people taller. (Michael) Ryder and (Damien) Brunner had a history as scorers. And with (Jaromir) Jagr you saw what we got. More than we thought.”

    The Canadiens would like to retain their pending UFA, though he’d have to take less than the $5 million he made this season. Brian’s brother Stephen is a pending UFA for the Devils and would like to come back next year. He could help recruit Brian.

  • Lance Pugmire of the LA Time: Ducks Saku Koivu on potential retirement after the season.

    “Well, that’s … I haven’t thought that far away,” Koivu said. “You want [the Cup], I’ve worked for it all these years and retiring would probably be easier if [winning it] happened.

    “But right now, you try to keep the focus on the game and not think about the future. You start doing that, you lose the focus, that intensity you’re trying to find. You hope that’s going to happen.

    “And if it does, then I might have an answer for you.”

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NHL Video: Brent Seabrook’s Hit on David Backes

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook lays a big hit on St. Louis Blues forward David Backes.

Do you think Seabrook will be suspended? If so, for how many games?

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NHL Rumors: Coyotes, Jets, Capitals, Canucks, Lightning and Penguins

  • Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic: The free agent pool is year is not deep and the price tags may be too high for the Coyotes. The Coyotes have some young players like Connor Murray, Brandon Gormley and Max Domi that might be ready to make the jump. The Coyotes may also be open to making some trades. They could look be looking players in the 23 to 25 year range to complement enthusiasm with experience.

    “We have to look at our group and say we need more energy,” Maloney said. “We need more hunger into our group, and maybe we got a little complacent with people being here too long.”

  • Brian McNally of the Washington Times: Capitals defenseman Mike Green knows that the organization could go in a different direction with GM George McPhee and their coaching staff, and that his days with the Capitals could be numbered. Green is entering the last year of his three deal. He’ll make $6.25 million next year with a cap hit of $6.083 million.
  • Adam Vingan of NBC Washington: (mailbag) Vingan thinks that the Capitals could get some assets back for Mike Green instead of buying him out. If they traded him, it would be because they think the core needs some retooling. It seems unlikely that GM George McPhee and coach Adam Oates return.
  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: Alex Ovechkin said that he would never ask for a trade. Only July 1st his limited no-trade clause kicks in. Each year he lists 10 teams that he would accept a trade too. There has been no indication that Capitals owner Ted Leonsis would consider trading Ovechkin.
  • Iain MacIntyre: MacIntyre is hearing nothing regarding John Tortorella and that Ron Hextal is in the mix for the Canucks GM job.
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: ”Callahan is what he is. The Rangers at one point were willing to pay him $6 million a year and he wanted more” … ”Keep something in mind, Fla is a no tax state. He may be able to take a deal that is more palatable to TB & Callahan makes his $”
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: ”I think Bylsma and Fleury are very much on the radar if things don’t go well for Pitt” … ”Losing to CBJ would be not going well for Pitt. There are a lot of different scenarios beyond that”

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Afternoon Hits: Injury Updates and Practice Notes From Today

  • Dan Rosen: Ducks Ryan Getzlaf is expected to be able to go in Game 2. X-rays were negative, suffered only a deep facial laceration that received several stitches.
  • Chris Johnston: Lightning’s Ben Bishop spent over 30 minutes on the ice this morning in full equipment. Missy Zielinski: Lightning coach Cooper on Bishop: “I don’t think we’ll be seeing Bishop anytime soon.” He hasn’t been completely ruled out of the series if it goes the distance.
  • Joe McDonald: Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg is practicing today. Ansar Khan: Zetterberg skated for about 20 minutes today.
  • Joe Haggerty: Not practicing for the Bruins today are Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and Matt Bartkowski. Kevan Miller returned. Haggerty can’t see Paille playing tomorrow.
  • Katie Strang: Flyers Steve Mason is doing better and will join the team in New York. His status for Game 2 is still uncertain.
  • Jeremy Rutherford: Blues Jordan Leopold and Roman Polak were working as the third defensive pair at practice.
  • Lou Korac: Blues T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund will be out. Vladimir Tarasenko is in.
  • Dennis Bernstein: Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on Matt Belesky’s injury: “Lower – body that’s been nagging him for awhile. Hopefully ready for Friday”
  • Andy Strickland: Blackhawks Patrick Kane is skating today with a notable brace on his left leg.
  • Chris Johnson: Lightning’s Ondrej Palat isn’t practicing. He only had one shift in the third period.
  • Renaud Lavoie: Don’t expect Canadiens Travis Moen to be in the lineup for Game 2. Needs more practice time.
  • Ansar Khan: Red Wings lines: Franzen-Datsyuk-Abdelkader, Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist, Jurco-Helm-Alfredsson, Miller-Glendening-Legwand.
  • Sam Carchidi: Flyers lines: Hartnell-G-Voracek; Raffl-Schenn-Simmonds; Read-Coots-Akeson; Rinaldo-Lecavalier-Hall.
  • Mark Lazerus: Blues lines: Ott-Backes-Steen, Schwartz-Sobotka-Tarasenko, Morrow-Roy-Reaves, Porter-Lapierre-Cracknell.
  • Arpon Basu: Lightning lines: Killorn-Johnson-Stamkos; Panik-Filppula-Callahan; Purcell-Thompson-Brown; Kucherov-Paquette-Pyatt

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NHL Video: Hockey Night in Canada Playoff Intro

Amazing Hockey Night in Canada video from last night for the opening of the 2014 playoffs.

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NHL Rumors: Capitals, Panthers, Jets and Sabres

  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: The Capitals already have $58.4 million committed to 21 players for next season. They only have three players who saw regular action this past season that will be UFAs. Mikhail Grabovski is reportedly looking for three or four deal in the $5 million range. Whoever is the GM and coach next season will have to determine if they feel Evgeny Kuznetsov is ready for the second line center roll. If not, they may look to someone like Grabovski to fill that roll.

    It doesn’t seem likely that Jaroslav Halak will be back with the Capitals, though he is open to returning.

    “We have a really good group of guys over here, I came here to make the playoffs and obviously we didn’t make it,” Halak said. “I’ve got unfinished business here and I wouldn’t be against coming back so we’ll see what the future brings.”

    It’s unlikely that Dustin Penner will be back with the Capitals.

  • Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel: Panthers GM Dale Tallon:

    “I’m disappointed in the year; I’m disappointed in a lot of things,” Tallon said. “I’m moving forward. We’re going to fix it. We’ve got great support now from [owner] Vinnie Viola and we’re going to move forward and add the pieces to help these kids get to the level that we need to get them to.”

    Tallon wants to add two veteran defenseman by the draft. He’s hoping to sign at least five veteran free agents, including a “sniper” to aid their power-play. He will tender qualifying offers to Dmitry Kulikov, Dylan Olsen, Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Hayes.

  • John Feinstein of the Washington Post: Two summers ago the Blue Jackets were looking to move Rick Nash. Nash went to Rangers for three reasonably good players. The Capitals had plenty of those and an extra first round pick from the Semyon Varlamov trade. Nash had six years and $62 million remaining on his contract. Caps owner Ted Leonsis didn’t want to spend the money.
  • Winnipeg Jets: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff: ”Yes. Ondrej Pavelec is the number one goaltender going into next season.”
  • Winnipeg Jets: Kevin Cheveldayoff: ”We still believe there’s room for us to improve at forward… Some of it might have to come from a trade.”
  • Jimmy Murphy: “People still doubt my source that told me prior to Olympics Habs and Devils were talking Gionta & 2nd rd pk was offered? He’s worth more!”
  • Hope Smoke: Sabres GM Tim Murray: ”At the trade deadline I did suggest a deal with Bryan and it just didn’t work out. I think we both have the ability to make a deal” … ”We may still end up making that same trade down the line.” …”Bryan may have won that trade off the bat because he was getting a guy who could make an impact right away…” … ”…whereas down the road when he’s drinking a beer three or four years later these couple of players would be good for me”
  • Hope Smoke: Tim Murray: ”I would love two top 6 picks this year. That would push us farther in the rebuild I have no idea what the Isles are going to do”

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NHL Rumors: Hurricanes, Senators, Rangers, Flames, Oilers and Sabres

  • The Fourth Period: There has been talk that the Hurricanes could look to trade Eric Staal this offseason.

    “I’ve been here a long time. I love it here. I’ve had success here. I know and I believe we can again, and I can be a part of that,” Staal told reporters on Tuesday.

    “I think I can be part of the right things going forward. Obviously, my career isn’t going to be forever, and I want to play in the playoffs. I don’t want to continually miss the playoffs and have these types of interviews at the end of the season. We’ll see what happens here in the next little while.”

  • Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun: Brennan thinks that if they can find the fit, they should trade Craig Anderson. If they move him, they should be able to fill a roster needs or add to their draft picks. He is entering his final season of his deal and could be looking for a three or four year contract.  If re-signed, where would that leave Robin Lehner? Brennan also doesn’t think that Jason Spezza will be back.
  • Larry Brooks: It is possible that the Rangers will use an amnesty buy out on Brad Richards.

    “It’s been in the back of my mind to a certain extent, it would be a lie if I said it wasn’t there,” the 33-year-old center said. “But it’s not affecting me or weighing on me, or having any impact on my preparation or my game.”

  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: ”I’ve heard that the Flames could have had Nyquist and Tatar for Bouwmeester or another player but chose not to” … ”Based on my information, that was the Wings’ package for Bouwmeester, but not for Iginla”
  • John Vogl: Sabres GM Tim Murray on the possibility of buying out Ville Leino: ”Very good possibility.”
  • Bruce Garrioch: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk: ”Changes will need to happen,”
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish listed his four core players: Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Justin Schultz.
  • Jason Gregor: Oilers MacTavish on pending RFA Justin Schultz: ”I’m open to both scenarios either a longterm or a bridge contract.” Jim Matheson: MacTavish on Shultz: ”He is developing player. Potential is limitless. I would consider long-term deal.”
  • Mike Harrington: Sabres GM Tim Murray: ”I want to rebuild properly, which takes time. It doesn’t have to take years.”
  • Mike Harrington: Sabres GM Tim Murray reaffirmed that they could draft Aaron Ekblad, not a guarantee that they draft a forward.

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NHL Free Agent Rumors: Kassian, Hainsey, Loktionov, Grabovski and Timonen

  • Ian Mendes:: Senators GM Bryan Murray: ”Matt Kassian’s not in our plans — and we’re not in his plans.”
  • Chip Alexander: Hurricanes pending UFA Ron Hainsey likes the fit and will ”see how it goes.”
  • Michael Smith: Hurricanes Andrei Loktionov wants to remain in the NHL next season and with the Hurricanes.
  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: Capitals pending UFA Mikhail Grabovski wouldn’t mind remaining in Washington, but would want to know which way the organization is going.

    “Nobody knows what’s going to happen here, so it’s made me disappointed too,” Grabovski said Tuesday. “I want to know, first before I sign, who’s going to be coach, who’s going to be general manager, because nobody knows and lots of stuff is being said.”

    “I just don’t want to have same experience I have before in Toronto when [former coach] Ron Wilson is gone just after I sign, and they bring in a coach who don’t really want me,” Grabovski said. “For me it’s important that people believe in you and trust. Adam Oates, he bring me here with McPhee. They trust me as a player, and I do my best in the half-season I played. I can do better. [When] people trust me, I feel this and I play better, good hockey.”

    Grabovski is believed to be looking for a four or five year deal in the $5 million per season range.

  • Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on if he wants pending UFA Kimmo Timonen back next season.

    “Absolutely,” he said, though it’s highly probable the defenseman would take a pay cut from his $6 million salary. “We’ve talked a couple times during the year and put it on the shelf, and we’ll talk again in a couple months. I know his family is very big in his life, and his kids are getting older and he wants to be around them more. But he loves to compete, and if he wants to come back, we’ll figure it out.”

    Timonen doesn’t want to start thinking about retirement.

    “Once you start thinking about it, you don’t think about the game as much,” he said. “During the Olympics, I knew it was my last game and it was really emotional. I knew it was the last time I put the Finland jersey on. But I haven’t made up my mind yet here.”

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Quick Hits: Coaches, Analyzing Payrolls, Cap Numbers and Senators

  • John Shannon: Coaches receiving a vote of confidence in Edmonton, Ottawa, Calgary, and Long Island.
  • Allan Walsh: “Analyzing NHL payrolls (Cap $64.3M), direct correlation in spending below $60M and NOT making playoffs. (8 teams below, 1 in playoffs). 8 teams have won Stanley Cup in NHL salary cap era, 7 of those teams spent to the Upper Limit.
  • Cap Geek: “Our estimates show 11 teams finished the 2013-14 season within $100K of the salary cap. Our estimates also show 19 teams finished the 2013-14 season within $1M of the salary cap. Of the teams with more than $1M in cap space, ANA, DAL and COL were the only ones to make the playoffs.
  • Bruce Garrioch: Senators GM Bryan Murray: ”Still think you need two goaltenders.”

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NHL Injuries: Flyers, Red Wings, Blues, Avs, Sharks and Bruins

  • Dave Isaac: Flyers Steve Downie is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
  • Helene Ste. James: Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg skated before practice yesterday. Felt good but didn’t push it. Zetterberg said it’s unlikely he’ll be ready before round 2.
  • Lou Korac: Blues Vladimir Tarasenko still needs doctors clearance. He feels good and today will determine if he can play or not. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said that Tarasenko is right on time with his six week timeline.
  • Adrian Dater: Avs coach Patrick Roy said that John Mitchell is doing better and could play at some point during the series.
  • Michael Kelly: Avs Matt Duchene is just over two weeks into his four to six weeks recovery.
  • David Pollak: No decision has been made if Raffi Torres will play in Game one.
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: ”the Bruins are having some flu issues right now. Kelly is having some back issues & Paille took that hard hit. Some things there”

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Lines and Pairings at Practice Today For 11 Teams

  • Pat Leonard: Rangers lines and Pairings: Poul-Brass-Zucc, Nash-Step-MSL, Hag-Rich-Fast, Boyle-DMoore-Dorsett. McDonagh-G, Staal-Stral, JMoore-Klein.
  • Joe Smith: Lightning lines: Palat Johnson Stamkos, Killorn Filppula Callahan, Brown Paquette Kucherov, Purcell Thompson Panik. Erik Erlendsson: Power play units: Hedman-Stamkos-Filppula-Palat-Callahan; 2nd unit Carle-Kostka-Killorn-Purcell-Johnson.
  • Luc Gelinas: Canadiens lines: Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek Prust-Plekanec-Gallagher Bourque-Eller-Gionta Weise-Brière-Bournival.
  • Aaron Portzline: Blue Jackets lines: Jenner – Johansen – Skille; Calvert – Dubinsky – Atkinson; MacKenzie – Anisimov – Comeau; Tropp – Letestu – Boll. Frattin extra. Defensive pairings: Tyutin – Johnson; Murray – Wisniewski; Nikitin – Savard. Extra pair: Schultz – Prout. Rob Mixer: Power play units: Calvert-Dubinsky-Atkinson, Tyutin-Savard; Jenner-Johansen-Letestu, Johnson-Wisniewski.
  • Ansar Khan: Red Wings lines: Franzen-Datsyuk-Abdelkader, Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist, Jurco-Helm-Alfredsson, Miller-Glendening-Legwand. Andersson, Bertuzzi rotating in. Defensive pairings: Kronwall-Smith, Quincey-DeKeyser, Lashoff-Kindl, Ouellet-Sproul. Howard and Gustavsson in goal.
  • Pittsburgh Penguins: Penguins lines: Kunitz-Crosby-Bennett Jokinen-Malkin-Neal Glass-Sutter-Stempniak Gibbons-Vitale-Adams (Pyatt & Megna rotating in). Defensive pairings: Orpik-Martin Scuderi-Letang Maatta-Niskanen Bortuzzo-Engelland.
  • Michael Russo: Wild lines: Parise-Koivu-Coyle;Moulson-Granlund-Pominville;Cooke-Brodziak-Niederreiter; Veilleux-Haula-McCormick; Fontaine, Heatley extras
  • Lisa Dillman: Kings lines: Gaborik-Kopitar-JWill. Richards w/King &Carter; Stoll centering Toffoli & Brown. 4th line Clifford-Lewis-Pearson/Nolan.
  • Lance Pugmire: Ducks lines: Beleskey-Getzlaf-Perry, Cogs-Koivu-Silfverberg, Winnik-Bonino-Palmieri, Selanne-Perreault-Maroon.
  • David Pollak: Sharks lines: Hertl-Thornton-Burns, Marleau-Couture-Nieto, Wingels-Pavelski-Havlat, Torres-Desjardins-Brown.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Avs lines: O’Reilly-MacKinnon-Parenteau, Landeskog-Stastny-McGinn, Talbot-Cliché-McLeod, Bordeleau-Malone-Carey. Defensive pairings: Holden-Johnson, Barrie-Guenin, Benoit-Elliott

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Odds of Winning Tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery Drawing

The NHL will hold their draft lottery drawing tonight at 8:00 PM EST. The odds of obtaining the first overall pick are as follows:

1st – 25.0% – Buffalo Sabres
2nd – 18.8% – Florida Panthers
3rd – 14.2% – Edmonton Oilers
4th – 10.7% – Calgary Flames
5th – 8.1% – NY Islanders
6th – 6.2% – Vancouver Canucks
7th – 4.7% – Carolina Hurricanes
8th – 3.6% – Toronto Maple Leafs
9th – 2.7% – Winnipeg Jets
10th – 2.1% – Anaheim Ducks (via Ottawa)
11th – 1.5% – New Jersey Devils (Forfeit pick but are included in the drawing)
12th – 1.1% – Nashville Predators
13th – 0.8% – Phoenix Coyotes
14th – 0.5% – Washington Capitals

If the NJ Devils win the lottery, the NHL will hold a re-draw. The Devils will select 30th overall.

The Islanders have until June 1st to decide if they will keep their 2014 first round pick or send it to the Sabres as part of the Thomas Vanek – Matt Moulson trade. If the Islanders keep the pick, the Sabres will get their 2015 first round pick.

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