Archive for August, 2009

NHL and Maple Leafs Square Off

Ok. Despite all efforts made to avoid this ridiculous situation unfolding in Pheonix, with the potential sale of the Coyotes and subsequent relocation to southern Ontario as proposed by RIM billionaire Jim Balsillie, the plot is getting too thick to ignore.

In an article from The Globe And Mail today, it’s been revealed that apparently the Toronto Maple Leafs are at odds with the NHL regarding how many of the Governors votes are required to move a team into another teams territory. In a nut shell, the NHL states the a simple majority would suffice while the Maple Leafs argue that a unanimous vote is required. The part that’s really interesting to me is that this would qualify as “news” to anyone that Toronto (and likely Buffalo) would oppose the possible relocation of a franchise within their “territory”.

With all due respect to Mr. Brunt (I mean that honestly, I’m a fan of his) it seems pretty obvious that any business would’t want competition in their backyard, much less a business that thrives on public support and loyalty, we’re not talking about a coffee shop here.

It seems to me that the longer this drags out the worse Balsillie is looking to the general public but I’m not sure he really deserves all the critisism. Businesses are bought out of bankruptcy all the time and clearly the NHL expanded to a city that doesn’t have the hockey culture to support it. One would think the NHL would be pleased to move out of town and relocate and probably would under the right circumstances.

The simple facts are that the NHL will not act in any way to threaten the Toronto Maple Leafs profits. The Leafs are the most profitable franchise in the NHL and the leagues fortunes hang in the balance. Think about it, if you were the NHL would you allow it?

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Sens Talking to Comrie and Sykora

The Ottawa Senators have held discussions with free agent center, Mike Comrie, and winger, Petr Sykora. Both I’d image would be contingent on Dany Heatley being moved. The Sens are already over the cap. They’d love to dump Jason Smith and his $2.6 cap hit, but I don’t see anyone wanting to take that on.

The LA Kings are not interested in Heatley, and I don’t blame them. You can’t argue with that he’s one of the more talented, but the baggage and selfishness he’d bring to any team may not be worth it (including the cost to acquire him). The Kings will be an interesting team to watch this year, they’ve got a great foundation, goaltending still a question.

“Do I want to bring in a Dany Heatley with all that baggage? It might work,” Lombardi said in a report on the Los Angeles Times website last night. “But I don’t think we’re in a position where we can afford that … Maybe a change of environment and he grows up. But my point is, do we need to take that risk right now? It scares me.

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Tanguay Signs With Tampa Bay Lightning

“Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Brian Lawton confirmed Saturday that the team has agreed to terms on a deal with free agent forward Alex Tanguay, pending a physical.

Assuming Tanguay shows no health related issues – he missed 30 games last season with a shoulder injury – the one-year deal could be official on Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not available, although it is believed to be in the $2.5 million range.”(Source-The Tampa Tribune)

Speculation is that Tanguay will bolster the top 2 lines, seeing time playing with Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier and  Steven Stamkos. Tanguay is a natural play maker and could have a huge season in Tampa Bay.

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Canucks add Blue line Depth

“The Vancouver Canucks have added a lot of depth to their blueline in a short period of time. The team has acquired defencemen Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenceman Daniel Rahimi and forward Patrick White. Vancouver also announced on Friday that they have inked veteran defenceman Mathieu Schneider to a contract.(Source-TSN)

With the loss of Mattias Ohlund to Tampa Bay via free agency this off-season, the acquisition of some veteran blue liners should help the Vancouver Canucks chances when trying to re-sign all star goaltender Roberto Luongo to a contract extension. Luongo will be an UFA heading into next summer.

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Forsberg and Allison on the Comeback Trail

Is Peter Forsberg attempting to get back to the NHL? After his comeback last year only lasted 2 games before his foot acted up, Forsberg is back at it this year, after playing his 1st game in the Swedish Elite league last night. Forsberg could also play for the Swedish team in the 2010 Olympics.

In another comeback attempt, the speedy Jason Allison will be attending the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp. Allison last played in the NHL 3 years ago for the Leafs. My first thought when I see the name, Jason Allison, is “the slowest NHL player ever”. My only memory of Allison in a Leaf jersey is of one of his penalty shots, where I think he only took 3 strides from center ice to the net. It was the longest penalty shot of all time.

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Interest in Chelios?

The 74 year old 47 year old Chris Chelios still believes he can be a capable NHL defenceman. It doesn’t appear that he’ll be back with the Red Wings. While the KHL might have been an option, an NHL team might be stepping up to the plate. The Nashville Predators have expressed some interest on bringing Chelios in.

Chelios only played in 28 games last season and didn’t record a point. His role has been greatly reduced the past couple seasons Wings, as the game has become younger and faster. If some team decides to bring Chelios in, he won’t produce much on the scoresheet, but he could provide some leadership.

But honestly, it’s time to hang them up Chris. With each passing year you forget more about the Hall of Fame player, and remember  a player who just couldn’t let the game go.

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The Northwest Division Player Movement

The Northwest division is the second Western Conference we’re looking at. The Flames got off to an early off-season start with trading for, and the signing of Jay Bouwmeester. Minnesota lost Gaborik to the Rangers, but brought in Havlat. The Canucks were able to re-sign the Sedin twins, but were unable to land Kaberle. Columbus’s big off-season move was the contract extension for Rick Nash, other than that, they didn’t do much. Edmonton will only be remember for getting snubbed by Dany Heatley.

CALGARY FLAMES
Players In Players Out
Anton Stralman, D Trade – Tor Todd Bertuzzi, LW/RW FA – Det
Keith Seabrook, D Trade – Wsh Wayne Primeau, C/LW Trade – Tor
Nigel Dawes, LW W-Phx Adam Cracknell, RW FA – StL
Brian McGrattan, RW FA – Phx Warren Peters, C/LW FA – Dal
Jason Jaffray, W/C FA – Van Adrian Aucoin, D FA – Phx
Staffan Kronwall, D FA – Wsh Mike Cammalleri, LW/RW FA – Mtl
Riley Armstrong, RW/LW FA – SJ Jim Vandermeer, D/LW Trade – Phx
Garth Murray, W/C FA – Phx Jordan Leopold, D Trade – Fla
Fredrik Sjostrom, LW/RW FA – NYR    
Brandon Prust, RW/LW Trade – Phx    
Jay Bouwmeester, D Trade – Fla    
 
Remaining Free Agents
Anders Eriksson, D Marcus Nilson, W/C Andre Roy, LW Aki Seitsonen, C
Rhett Warrener, D      

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Players In
Players Out
Mathieu Roy, D FA – Edm Jason Williams, RW/C FA – Det
Pascal Pelletier, LW FA – Chi Craig MacDonald, LW/C FA – Europe
Mathieu Garon, G FA – Pit Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, D FA – Phi
Samuel Pahlsson, C FA – Chi Wade Dubielewicz, G FA – Min
    Aaron Rome, D FA – Van
 
Remaining Free Agents
Christian Backman, D Chris Gratton, C Trevor Hendrikx, D Steve Kelly, C
Jon Landry, D Manny Malhotra, C Jiri Novotny, C/W Michael Peca, C
Petr Pohl, RW John Vigilante, C/LW Kyle Wharton, D Mike York, C/W

EDMONTON OILERS
Players In Players Out
Dean Arsene, D FA Mathieu Roy, D FA – CBJ
Chris Minard, LW/RW FA – Pit Ales Kotalik, LW/RW FA – NYR
Nikolai Khabibulin, G FA – Chi Tim Sestito, LW Trade – NJ
    Dany Sabourin, G FA – Bos
    Dwayne Roloson, G FA – NYI
    Kyle Brodziak, C Trade – Min
 
Remaining Free Agents
Sebastien Bisaillon, D Carl Corazzini, C/RW Stephane Goulet, LW/RW David Rohlfs, RW
Tyler Spurgeon, C Bryan Young, D    

MINNESOTA WILD
Players In Players Out
Ryan Lannon, D FA – Phx Nolan Schaefer, G FA – Europe
Nathan Smith, C FA – Col Paul Albers, D FA – Europe
Wade Dubielewicz, G FA – CBJ Peter Olvecky, LW/C FA – Nas
Peter Zingoni, C FA Krystofer Kolanos, C/W FA – Phi
Jon DiSalvatore, RW FA – NJ Tomas Mojzis, D FA – Europe
Jamie Fraser, D FA – NYI Kurtis Foster, D FA – TB
Jaime Sifers, D FA – Tor Stephane Veilleux, LW FA – TB
Shane Hnidy, D FA – Bos Corey Locke, C/LW FA – NYR
Greg Zanon, D FA – Nas Marian Gaborik, RW FA – NYR
Martin Havlat, RW FA – Chi    
Kyle Brodziak, C Trade – Edm    
 
Remaining Free Agents
Marc-Andre Bergeron, D Riley Emmerson, LW/RW Dan Fritsche, RW/C Bryan Lundbohm, C
Jesse Schultz, RW Martin Skoula, D    

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Players In Players Out
Kellan Tochkin, RW FA Jeff Cowan, LW/RW FA – Buf
Guillaume Desbiens, RW FA Ossi Vaananen, D FA – Europe
Michael Funk, D FA – Buf Rob Davison, D FA – NJ
Andrew Raycroft, G FA – Col Curtis Sanford, G FA – Mtl
Tanner Glass, LW/RW FA – Fla Zack Fitzgerald, D FA – Car
Mikael Samuelsson, RW FA – Det Mark Cullen, C/LW FA – Chi
Matt Pope, RW FA Jason Jaffray, W/C FA – Cgy
Lawrence Nycholat, D FA – Col Jason Krog, C/W FA – Atl
Aaron Rome, D FA – CBJ Mattias Ohlund, D FA – TB
Evan Oberg, D FA Jason LaBarbera, G FA – Phx
    Shaun Heshka, D Trade – Phx
 
Remaining Free Agents
Juha Alen, D Patrick Coulombe, D Julien Ellis, G Michel Ouellet, RW
Taylor Pyatt, LW/RW Mats Sundin, C    

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Schneider Close to Joining the Canucks

According to Sportsnet.ca, the Vancouver Canucks are close to signing offensive defenceman Mathieu Schneider. The deal is reportedly for 1 year. This would be good move for the Canucks who need an offensive minded dman to help run the powerplay. Despite his age, Schneider is still a capable NHL defenceman.

The 41 year old Schneider is coming off a season split between Atlanta and Montreal. During his 44 games in Atlanta, he struggled a bit recording only 15 points and was a -10 (no surprise on the -10 as he was in Atlanta). Schneider had more success in Montreal where he posted  17 points in 23 games.

The Canucks have been looking to add a offensive defenceman for most of the off-season, and where supposedly one of the teams that was interested Tomas Kaberle. Kaberle’s no-trade clause kicked back in on the 15th, so the Canucks were forced to look elsewhere.

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The Pacific Division Player Movement

Here we’ll take at the off-season player movement for the Pacific Division. Every day or two, we’ll roll out player movement for each division.

Which Pacific division team(s) do you think improved the most? Which team(s) will have trouble repeating last seasons results? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

ANAHEIM DUCKS
Players In Players Out
Evgeny Artyukhin, RW/LW Trade – TB Drew Miller, LW Trade – TB
Justin Pogge, G Trade – Tor David LeNeveu, G FA – Europe
Nick Boynton, D FA – Fla Josh Green, LW FA – Europe
Saku Koivu, C FA – Mtl Francois Beauchemin, D FA – Tor
Joffrey Lupul, RW/LW Trade – Phi Ryan Dingle, LW/C Trade – Phi
Luca Sbisa, D Trade – Phi Chris Pronger, D Trade – Phi
Dan Sexton, RW FA    
 
Remaining Free Agents
Michal Birner, LW/C Eric Boguniecki, RW Bret Hedican, D Brad Larsen, LW/RW
Bjorn Melin, RW Rob Niedermayer, RW/LW Chad Painchaud, LW  

DALLAS STARS
Players In Players Out
Alex Auld, G Trade – Ott Sergei Zubov, D FA – Europe
Jeff Woywitka, D FA – StL Tobias Stephan, G FA – Europe
Warren Peters, C/LW FA – Cgy Brendan Morrison, C/LW FA – Wsh
Karlis Skrastins, D FA – Fla Chris Conner, RW/LW FA – Pit
    Steve Begin, LW/C FA – Bos
    Joel Lundqvist, LW/C FA – Europe
 
Remaining Free Agents
John Lammers, C/LW Alexander Naurov, C/W Mark Parrish, RW/LW Darryl Sydor, D
Landon Wilson, RW      

LOS ANGELES KINGS
Players In Players Out
Juraj. Mikus, C/W FA Matt Moulson, LW/RW FA – NYI
Brandon Segal, RW FA – TB Kyle Quincey, D Trade – Col
Ryan Smyth, LW Trade – Col Tom Preissing, D Trade – Col
Rob Scuderi, D FA – Pit Brian Boyle, C Trade – NYR
 
Remaining Free Agents
Derek Armstrong, C Kyle Calder, LW Dan Cloutier, G Vladimir Dravecky, RW
Denis Gauthier, D Danny Taylor, G    

PHOENIX COYOTES
Players In Players Out
Lauri Korpikoski, W/C Trade – NYR Wyatt Smith, C/LW FA – Pit
Adrian Aucoin, D FA – Cgy Ryan Lannon, D FA – Min
Jason LaBarbera, G FA – Van David Hale, D Trade – TB
Vernon Fiddler, LW/C FA – Nas Radim Vrbata, RW Trade – TB
Sami Lepisto, D Trade – Wsh Nigel Dawes, LW W-Cgy
Shaun Heshka, D Trade – Van Joakim Lindstrom, LW/RW FA – Europe
Jim Vandermeer, D/LW Trade – Cgy Enver Lisin, RW/LW Trade – NYR
Stefan Meyer, LW Trade – Fla Brian McGrattan, RW FA – Cgy
Justin Bernhardt, RW FA Steven Goertzen, RW FA – Car
    Garth Murray, W/C FA – Cgy
    Brandon Prust, RW/LW Trade – Cgy
    Steve Reinprecht, C/LW Trade – Fla
  
Remaining Free Agents
Alex Bourret, RW Dmitri Kalinin, D Ken Klee, D Derek Nesbitt, RW

PHOENIX COYOTES
Players In Players Out
Lauri Korpikoski, W/C Trade – NYR Wyatt Smith, C/LW FA – Pit
Adrian Aucoin, D FA – Cgy Ryan Lannon, D FA – Min
Jason LaBarbera, G FA – Van David Hale, D Trade – TB
Vernon Fiddler, LW/C FA – Nas Radim Vrbata, RW Trade – TB
Sami Lepisto, D Trade – Wsh Nigel Dawes, LW W-Cgy
Shaun Heshka, D Trade – Van Joakim Lindstrom, LW/RW FA – Europe
Jim Vandermeer, D/LW Trade – Cgy Enver Lisin, RW/LW Trade – NYR
Stefan Meyer, LW Trade – Fla Brian McGrattan, RW FA – Cgy
Justin Bernhardt, RW FA Steven Goertzen, RW FA – Car
    Garth Murray, W/C FA – Cgy
    Brandon Prust, RW/LW Trade – Cgy
    Steve Reinprecht, C/LW Trade – Fla
  
Remaining Free Agents
Alex Bourret, RW Dmitri Kalinin, D Ken Klee, D Derek Nesbitt, RW

SAN JOSE SHARKS
Players In Players Out
Henrik Karlsson, G FA Marcel Goc, C/LW FA – Nas
Joe Callahan, D FA – NYI Mike Grier, RW FA – Buf
Jed Ortmeyer, RW FA – Nas Jeremy Roenick, RW/C Retired
Danny Groulx, D FA Lukas Kaspar, LW/RW FA – Phi
Dwight Helminen, C FA – Car Travis Moen, LW FA – Mtl
Scott Nichol, C FA – Nas Patrick Traverse, D FA – Europe
Kevin Henderson, LW FA Claude Lemieux, RW Retired
Brandon Mashinter, LW FA Brett Westgarth, D FA – NYI
    Riley Armstrong, RW/LW FA – Cgy
    Brian Boucher, G FA – Phi
 
Remaining Free Agents
Jonathan Boutin, G Brendan Buckley, D Tom Cavanagh, C/W Taylor Dakers, G
T.J. Fox, C Cory Larose, C Kyle McLaren, D Mike Morris, RW
Tomas Plihal, LW/C Ashton Rome, RW Alexei Semenov, D  

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Tanguay and Wild Talking

“Left winger Alex Tanguay, tied for third on the all-time scoring list against Minnesota with 38 points in 41 games, is considering a contract offer from the Wild, his agent said on Thursday…”(source-StarTribune.com)

It would be a good move on Tanguay’s part to sign a 1 year deal to re-establish himself as a star calibre player before looking to sign a long-term deal. As we’ve seen throughout the off-season, teams are reluctant to give significant contracts to second tier talent with the salary cap expected to go down in the coming seasons.

According to Tanguay’s agent Ritch Winter, ”This will be a decision that is based largely on opportunity,” Winter continued. “Minnesota or somewhere else will be a place he’s going to go to have a career year. We’re continuing those discussions, and the Wild is very, very much on his radar.”

The Minnesota Wild have about $4 million in cap space and could really use some more offense, but I’m not sure another left winger is really what they need. They already have Martin Havlat for the first line but at the right price Tanguay would be a solid second line player.

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Sundin Decision Soon, Heatley to Speak

Shocking news … Mats Sundin is still undecided if he’s going to play hockey next year. Feels like 2008 all over again, but thankfully this year there has been virtually no mention of it. Sundin was supposed to have made his decision by the end of July, but his decision should come next week according to agent, J.P. Barry. 4 or 5 teams are apparently interested, with the Vancouver Canucks being one of them. Sundin will (well, should…) definitely get a lot less than the $5.6 million (pro-rated) he received last year from the Canucks. I don’t how Sundin will come to a decision by next week, that would mean he’d have to attend training camp. And on a side note, if by the odd chance someone from ‘faceoff.com’ (the site where the article came from) reads this entry, PLEASE fix the font color on your site, reading the blue font is painful.

In other shocking developments, Dany Heatley has decided to come out of his cave and speak to the media regarding the mess he’s created in Ottawa. There will be a press conference at 1 pm today, at his agents and Team Canada officials urging. Yesterday he also let the Senators know that he’ll report to camp if he’s not traded. Now that would be an uncomfortable for him, and I wouldn’t feel sorry for him at all.

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Bertuzzi to the Red Wings? Marleau loses Captaincy

According to MLive.com, the Detroit Red Wings are close to signing free agent winger Todd Bertuzzi. The deal is reportedly worth $1.5 million for 1 year. This would be Bertuzzi’s second stint with the Wings; playing 8 regular season games in 2006-07 after a trade from Florida. The 34 year old winger recorded 44 points in 66 games last season for Calgary. Detroit is looking to replace some offense after losing Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Kopecky, and Jiri Hudler.

Patrick Marleau, who has been mentioned in trade rumors for the last couple years, has had his captaincy removed. Dan Boyle might be a candidate to take over as the captain.

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