Trade notes on Schneider and the Avs … Jan. 1st if key for some free agents … Injury notes on Crosby, Wisniewski, Duchene and Morrow


  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Answering mailbag questions: “If the Avalanche is in the playoff hunt when the deadline presents itself (Feb. 27), then I think there’s an excellent chance the Avs will be buyers. They’ve got the cap room to do something like pick up a name guy, even if as only a rental.”
  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Players who signed a 1-year deals can’t sign contract extensions until after January 1st. “What makes this year unique is that the CBA expires after this season, which means players and teams may not be as eager to sign midseason extensions until they have a good feel for what the structure of the new CBA will be.” Shea Weber is the most notable player waiting for Jan. 1st, but there are a few others who may also be looking to sign an extension. Blues ‘backup’ Brian Elliott signed a 1 year, $600,000 deal in the offseason and has a 14-4-0 record with a 1.63 GAA. Blues GM Doug Armstrong: “Right now our policy is we wait until the 45-50 [game] mark until we worry about next year’s team,” Armstrong said. “We’ll get well into the New Year and see.” Oilers defenseman Corey Potter got off to a hot start before injuring his ankle, but is establishing himself as a top 4 Dman. Blues forward T.J. Oshie is on pace for 27 goals, and is willing to talk extension. “We’re open to it,” said agent Matthew Oates of O2K Management Group. “The biggest thing is for T.J. to keep doing what he’s doing and the team to keep winning. T.J. loves St. Louis.” Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray got a fresh start from GM Joe Nieuwendyk, and had put up 15 points in his 1st 33 games.
  • Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: It’s not looking like Sidney Crosby will be returning to the Penguins lineup anytime soon. There is no timetable, and no indication from the team or medical staff if there are plans to shut him down for the season.
  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson on defenseman James Wisniewski ankle: “It’s broken. Our docs will look at him tomorrow.” It may not be season ending.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Avalanche center Matt Duchene left last night’s game in the 1st period with a knee injury. It looked like he caught his skate in a rut while delivering a hit. He’ll be re-evaluated today. Defenseman Jan Hejda took an elbow from Raffi Torres in the 2nd period. He finished the game, but said afterwards that he wasn’t feeling 100%.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:  Stars captain Brenden Morrow left last night’s game after he took a puck right on the MCL that has bothered him for years.  On what his prognosis might be, “I have no idea. I’ve sprained them before, but I don’t know if I’ve ever taken a slapshot off of one. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow and just try to keep the swelling down.”
  1. #1 by Jeff at December 30th, 2011

    I think the Blue Jackets are cursed.

  2. #2 by Mark Easson at December 30th, 2011

    The Doug MacLean curse lives on …

  3. #3 by hotwings at December 30th, 2011

    how foolish do the jackets look for not rehiring ken hitchcock? the problem is not only the coach, but the gm giving james wiz. that horrible contract.. keeping the coach too long.. trading for carter… letting brassard tank… not getting a backup for mason..

    i think if they can move a couple assets, like brassard, vermette or umberger.. and do a gm/coach overhaul.. its the quickest way out of the situation

  4. #4 by Mark Easson at December 30th, 2011

    The problem with the Brassard, Vermette, and Umberger assets, is that their trade value is pretty low.

    I don’t mind the trade for Carter. It hasn’t panned out as they may have hoped, but he is good. Wisniewski contract isn’t great, but they are in a market where they have to overpay to get someone to go there.

    Not re-signing Garon or getting a veteran backup was a big mistake.

  5. #5 by hotwings at December 30th, 2011

    if u can get a turris like return for brassard, which isnt unreasonable.. i think thats a good return… but ya.. vermette and umberger.. a 2nd +? if your lucky?

    ya and ur right about the market… if i was one of these nhlers, im sure id have a personal list of places like columbus, carolina, long island, winnipeg, calgary, etc, where i would refuse to play… especially if you were half decent..

  6. #6 by Jeff at December 30th, 2011

    Listen, if this team is going to win, they MUST MUST MUST find a top 5 goaltender.

    Easier said than done, but it is the only path for this team to compete annually.

  7. #7 by hotwings at December 30th, 2011

    i disagree.. more than 5 teams compete every year and have a legitimate chance of winning the cup.. do the math.. and what is a top 5 goalie anyways? the top 5 are always changing year to year.. jimmy howard isnt a top 5.. yet the wings have a decent shot at the cup again.. same with the hawks and their goalie..

    if you put a “top 5″ goalie in columbus, i still dont think they are close to winning a cup… they are missing a whole wack of elements from coach, gm, forward and defensive depth..

  8. #8 by Jeff at December 30th, 2011

    What does a “whole wack” mean? 6? A Baker’s Dozen? Is that Rural Canadian Speak for “a lot”?

    Everything you say is correct. I am saying they dont have the money, the market, or the right ownership to wait a real proper 5-10 yr plan to be perennial contenders. They need to find a great goaltender that can make a bad team good. And then maybe with a few more tweaks, that goaltender can make a good team great.

    Great goaltending can cover up a ton of problems with your roster.

  9. #9 by Mark Easson at December 30th, 2011

    There inability to develop players has really hurt them.

    They are spending the money this year ($61.5 million), but it’s not helping.

    They may not have a lot of time to start another rebuild, and I’m not sure if the right management is in place to do it, but it might be the time to do it.

    Do they have the assets to land one of those great goaltenders? Howson has said he won’t trade Nash.

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