Archive for January, 2012

State of the New York Rangers: NHL Trade Deadline Edition

Here is the 3rd installment of our expanded NHL Trade Deadline coverage. We’ll be posting team outlooks leading up to trade deadline over the next couple weeks from a variety of contributing writers.

Written by Patrick Kearns of TheFourthPeriod.com and can be found on twitter at @PatrickKearns

In an era of armchair video game General Managers, it’s hard not to pick through every trade rumor with a fine-toothed comb to improve your team’s “overall” rating by lobbying for any player you believe would be an upgrade. This of course does not take chemistry into consideration, and with the New York Rangers building towards contention, it may be best to leave the roster alone. At the all-star break the team sits atop the Eastern Conference in points, and has the highest winning percentage in the NHL.

When the New York Rangers’ CEO James Dolan appeared at the podium before reporters after a win against the Nashville Predators a short time ago, he explained that he and General Manager Glen Sather’s plan was finally coming to fruition.

“In 2004, things weren’t going so well,” Dolan explained hitting the nail on the obvious head. “We decided to re-do the strategy… It’s all about the system that [Glen Sather] built. It’s about the farm system, and the scouting system and development. It’s about going with the kids, and sticking with that philosophy.”

Needless to say, when the man signing the paychecks starts buying into the team philosophy, it seems like an awful idea to betray what has gotten the team this far.

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If Canes go with a total rebuild, could Ward be moved? Canucks-Wings may have interest Moen … Sidney skates … Peckham rumors

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Garrioch touches on Suter saying he won’t sign a deal before the deadline. The Preds could move his rights at the draft, and the Flyers would definitely be interested. If the Sabres decide to trade Derek Roy, there should be plenty of interest. The Panthers could be looking for a defenseman, and Jaroslav Spacek could be a target. If the Hurricanes decide on a total rebuild, Eric Staal isn’t going anywhere, but some are wondering if Cam Ward will be part of the solution. He has a $6.3 million cap hit through 2014-15 and there would be interest. All of the Islanders pending UFAs are being shopped, including” P.A. Parenteau, Frans Nielsen, Mark Eaton and Steve Staois. The Canadiens would move Andrei Kostitsyn in a heartbeat.
  • Darren Dreger of TSN: (mailbag) LeBrun noted that the Canucks would like a guy like Travis Moen. Dreger adds that the Red Wings will/have shown some interest in Moen. The Wings could show interest in Brendan Morrow if he’s available. Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is willing to move pending UFAs in Hal Gill, Chris Campoli, Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn. They could have interest in Derek Roy.
  • Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Penguins center Sidney Crosby has started skating in Los Angeles. Crosby is in LA meeting with a neurological spine surgeon. Crosby also skated last week while he was in Atlanta visiting a chiropractor who specializes in neurological treatment. There is still no timetable on his return and GM Rya Shero said he won’t return until he’s symptom free.
  • Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal: Willis touches on Garrioch’s mention that Oilers defenseman Theo Peckham is getting some interest. He has a physical edge and he can kill penalties, but he is also on the bottom pairing of a weak team. If the Oilers do have interest in trading him, it may be because Colten Teubert is on his way. The Oilers likely won’t get much in return for him if they do move him.

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Suter won’t sign deal before deadline … Crazy Perry to Canucks rumor … Clowe not moving … Johnson – van Riemsdyk rumor … Pending UFA Dman list

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Predators defenseman Ryan Suter said he won’t sign a contract extension before the trade deadline.

    “I feel it would be more of a distraction than anything,” Suter said of signing now. “We’ve never had a timeline or deadline. We’re just focusing on winning. Everything else will take care of itself.”

    “I don’t see it being a benefit by hurrying up and trying to get something done,” Suter confirmed. “I’m a Nashville Predator until July. I will focus on making my team better.”

    The Preds do have on of the lowest payrolls, but GM David Poile says that have the go ahead from ownership to change that.

    “I think that’s the hardest part, you look at the past and seeing guys go through your team like Forsberg, Timonen, Hartnell — you go down the list, all you see is guys leaving,” Weber said. “You want to believe him [Poile], they’ve got the right things in mind. If they say they’re going to do it [increase payroll], then they should do it and we’ve got to trust them.”

  • David Pollak via twitter: A Sharks source says there is “zero chance” that Ryane Clowe is available for trade before the trade deadline.
  • Chris Botta via twitter: Botta hasn’t heard of the Corey Perry to Vancouver rumors, and doubts it would be Ducks GM Bob Murray’s to team to trade him to.
  • Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province: Enrico Ciccone on a TV said that Patrice Brisebois claims a trade is being considered between the Ducks and Canucks. The Ducks would trade Corey Perry for Cory Schneider, Mason Raymond and Keith Ballard.
  • Dennis Bernstein via twitter: Bernstein doesn’t believe there is anything to the Jack Johnson for James van Riemsdyk rumor, but the Flyers are definitely shopping him.
  • Jason Brough of Pro Hockey Talk: Brough lists some pending UFAs that could be available: Hal Gill, Pavel Kubina, Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen, Adrian Aucoin, Andy Sutton, Chris Campoli, Steve Staios, Milan Jurcina and Brett Clark.
  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: There have been rumors of the Maple Leafs have an interest in Sam Gagner. The Oilers are looking for a defenseman, and should look at Carl Gunnarsson or Luke Schenn. Schenn’s name as been in the rumors more often than Gunnarsson of late.

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The Blackhawks have traded for Brendan Morrison

The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired center Brendan Morrison from the Calgary Flames for defenseman Brian Connelly.

Morrison has a $1.25 million salary cap hit and will be a UFA at the end of the season. He’ll likely center the ‘Hawks 2nd line, possibly the 3rd line if the feel Bolland is the #2.

Connelly carries a $525,000 NHL cap hit, and will be a RFA at the end of the season.

James Mirtle via twitter: Flames GM Jay Feaster: “Given his pending UFA status and the fact that we were not going to re-sign him, we felt it important to try to move him.”

Brendan Morrison

Brian Connelly

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Could the Leafs be looking at Clowe? Rutherford wants a ton … No serious talks with Karlson … Peckham, Sutton getting interest … A Miller for Hiller swap?

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

  • Only a few GM’s are in Ottawa, Brian Burke is one of them, and everyone is waiting for him to make a move.

    “He’s trying. He’s trying hard. He definitely wants to get bigger,” a league executive said Thursday.

    The Leafs would love to bring in a hard-nosed forward. A guy they could look at is Sharks winger Ryane Clowe. Clowe has 1 year left at a $3.625 million cap hit. There is word that he might be someone the Sharks could look at moving. It might take more than the Leafs want to offer San Jose to get him though. The Leafs would likely have interest in Tuomo Ruutu. The Hurricanes have talked to Ruutu about a contract extension but it’s believed he’s asking for too much on a long-term deal, so he’ll likely be traded.

  • League sources are saying that Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is asking a ton for his UFA defenseman. A league source said that Hurricanes are asking for 2 1st round picks or a 1st round pick and an ‘A’ prospect for one of Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen or Jaroslav Spacek. The asking price will come down.
  • The Blue Jackets would move center Antoine Vermette. He’s been available all season.
  • The Senators and defenseman Erik Karlsson’s camp haven’t had any serious contract talks. It will likely wait until after the season.
  • The Oilers are getting interest in defenseman Theo Peckham and Andy Sutton. Sutton will be a UFA at the end of the year. Peckham will be an RFA, and there are plenty of teams looking for help on the blueline.
  • The Ducks, Blackhawks and Lightning could be looking for goaltending help, so keep an eye on Ryan Miller. The Sabres aren’t shopping him, but they’ll have to decide soon if they are in the playoff hunt or not. A Miller for Jonas Hiller trade could be possible.

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Morrow available? List of players who “could actually impact the playoff races” … Parise not getting traded … Blake drawing interest … 3 “serious” buyers for Coyotes

  • Bob McKenzie of TSN: There is some talk around the league that Stars forward Brenden Morrow “may” become available before the trade deadline. The Stars are in 10th spot, but only 3 points out and have played less games. Morrow has a no-trade clause and one more year left with a $4.1 cap hit. The Stars won’t aggressively shop him, but contenders could target him. If the Stars could get a nice young package for him, and if he’d agree to it, they would have to consider it. A Stars source said they’re “probably not” going to trade him. One team executive heard:

    “Morrow might be available” and “we certainly intend to find out if he is.”

  • Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Gordon lists some players that “could actually impact the playoff races”: Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Antoine Vermette, Andrei Kostitsyn, Martin Havlat, Mason Raymond, Evgeni Nabokov, Luke Schenn, Tim Gleason, Antero Niittymaki, Hal Gill, and Marek Zidlicky.
  • Roger Hensley of the St. Louis Post Dispatch: If the Blues need to add a proven scorer is a tough question to answer. Will they be fine when Alex Steen and Andy McDonald return from injury? There may not be a lot of legit scores that are available, and what would be the cost to get one? If Steen and McDonald return, Hensley doesn’t think they need to bring in scoring help, but if they don’t, they may need to explore some other options.
  • Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has said he’s having fun this year and is leaning towards coming next year. Chere notes that Zach Parise won’t be dealt at the trade deadline, but the odds of him re-signing with them are 50-50.
  • Jason Botchford in the National Post: Canucks forward Mason Raymond has battled his way back from a broken back this year, but he hasn’t been producing and could find his days in Vancouver numbered. He’s well liked, a good penalty killer, has good wheels, but has only scored 33 goals in his last 171 games.
  • Chris Botta via twitter: Ducks Jason Blake is getting some trade interest. Botta notes that the Ducks got better when he returned from injury.
  • Tim Sassone via twitter: If Ducks Jason Blake is available, Sassone thinks he’d look good as the Blackhawks 2nd line center. He wonders if Bob Murray would trade with Stan Bowman. (I don’t think Blake has played center at any point in his NHL career)
  • John Wawrow (AP) in the Globe and Mail: Gary Bettman says there are 3 groups that are showing “serious” interest in the buying the Coyotes that would keep the team there. One of the groups is led by former Sharks president and CEO Greg Jamison and the other is Jerry Reinsdorf.

    “We’re going to try to avoid a move of the Coyotes, but if we don’t sell the club, I’m not sure that this won’t be the last season here,” he said.

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Senators captain on Daniel Alfredsson on playing next year:

    “The way this season is going, if I’m still healthy after this season, I’m hoping I can go one more,” said Alfredsson. “This year has been so good. If we can make the playoffs, that would almost be a dream come true.”

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Strategies from the NHL’s Top General Managers – Brian Burke

Posted by Rotman School: How Winners are Built: Plays and Strategies From the NHL’s Top General Managers

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State of the Los Angeles Kings: NHL Trade Deadline Edition

Here is the 2nd installment of our expanded NHL Trade Deadline coverage. We’ll be posting team outlooks leading up to trade deadline over the next couple weeks from a variety of contributing writers.

Written by Dennis Bernstein of TheFourthPeriod.com and can be found on twitter at @DennisTFP

Needs: Nothing but a scorer will do. Although ranked last in offense, Los Angeles is in the top eight in the West due to the stellar work by goaltender Jonathan Quick, the team’s clear cut MVP. With 20 of the Kings final 32 games on the road, their margin for error is miniscule and they must deal for a top six finishing forward in order to qualify for the post season. With the heat on GM Dean Lombardi from ownership to win now, he will likely have to broker a blockbuster along the line of the Mike Richards trade to overcome the lack of production from Dustin Penner and Jarret Stoll, a natural center shuttled to the wing on the second line but unproductive.

In order to bring back a player of that caliber, the Kings will have to deal from their strength, defense and goaltending with Jack Johnson and Jonathan Bernier the assets being offered to the market. While they’d take a producer on either wing, the gaping hole that exists on the left side has not been filled since the departure of Ryan Smyth over the summer. They have over $ 3 million of cap space availability, so to bring in a high priced player for half a season is doable even without a roster player departing. Injured Simon Gagne is not close to being ready and there is increasing talk that he will be landing on Long Term Injured Reserve prior to the deadline for further cap relief. There is some chatter  of interest in New Jersey’s Zach Parise given the Devils reported precarious financial standing but the cost of Dustin Brown and Bernier may only occur if Kings drop out of the top eight in the next month.

 

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Devils will need to make a decision on Parise … Carter 100% available … Ruutu could be moved next week … Schenn may be a trade candidate … Niittymaki to waivers

  • Mark Everson of the NY Post: If the Devils can’t afford to sign Zach Parise (Everson guesses 10 years at $80 million) to a contract extension before the trade deadline, they may have to decide if they want to trade him or possibly lose him for nothing after the season.
  • Darren Dreger TSN video link: Blue Jackets forward Jeff Carter is 100% available, but his contract could be an issue for most teams. The Maple Leafs are not interested in Carter, nor have they talked to Columbus about him. Carter has a cap hit $5.27 million for the next 10 years. The Blue Jackets would need at least 1st round pick and a good young roster player in return. Dreger notes that a Tuomo Ruutu could be traded as early as next week. The Hurricanes think if may cost $4 – $4.5 million on a new deal. The Oilers have said they aren’t shopping Sam Gagner but he keeps coming up in discussions.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: “More productive trade discussions this week among teams which means next week might see some action. Not surprising..many teams after D-men.”
  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: It is not clear if Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is thinking about trading defenseman P.K. Subban. There appears to be some disappointment within management with the development of Suban. Subban has had some verbal battles with assistant coach Randy Ladouceur. Staples wonders if the Oilers would be interested if he would become available.
  • Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun: After the Maple Leafs signed John-Michael Liles to a 4 year contract extension yesterday, Luke Schenn may now be a prime candidate to be traded.

    “We want to get ourselves into the playoffs,” Schenn added. “(Trades) are the business side of hockey and we really can’t focus on that. There’s a lot of talk and speculation outside, but that’s out of our control.

    “I was talking to my roommate Cody Franson and he said he’s never dealt with anything like this (before arriving this season). He said in Nashville, there might be a bit of rumbling on the day of the deadline, but not a month or two in advance. “That’s part of being in Toronto.”

    Brian Burke noted:

    But if (trades) are not there, then they’re not there. Sometimes, you have to keep pitching. We’re doing a lot of listening and working the phones. Nothing I would characterize as imminent or close.”

  • The Fouth Period: Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier was scouting the West Coast. Before the trade deadline he could move any of: Hal Gill, Andrei Kostitsyn, Chris Campoli, Yannick Weber, Mathieu Darche and Travis Moen. Gauthier would like to make another big trade, but it’s believed that upper management would have to give the okay before a deal is made. The Canadiens have expressed interest in Ryan Suter, Bobby Ryan and Derick Brassard.
  • Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: There are many people unhappy with Tim Thomas snubbing the White House visit, and it could lead to something bigger. From Shinzawa:

    Thomas’s decision, however, may be the first step in goalie and team parting ways. His no-movement clause expires at the conclusion of this season. Thomas has one more season remaining on his four-year, $20 million contract. Rask, a restricted free agent at year’s end, should be ready to assume the starting job in 2012-1.

    The Bruins could get a big return for him from someone looking for a #1 goalie.

  • Dave Stubbs via twitter: Teams scouting the Canadiens-Red Wings game: Blues, Canucks, Penguins, Blue Jackets, Kings, Red Wings, Flames, Coyotes, Senators, Wild and Maple Leafs.

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Maple Leafs sign John-Michael Liles to a 4 year extension … What does it mean for Grabovski … Leafs Audio

2:35 PM:

12:10 PM:

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: Liles contract extension with the Maple Leafs if for 4 years, a $3.875 million salary cap hit.

11:40 AM:

  • Pierre LeBrun of TSN is reporting that Leafs will announce a 4 year contract extension for John-Michael Liles.
  • Michael Traikos via twitter: If the Leafs do sign Liles for 4 years, it seems lot considering they have Gardiner, Jesse Blacker and Stuart Percy in the system.
  • Michael Triakos via twitter: “I have to believe that the #Leafs would not be re-signing Liles unless they were planning to move another puck-moving D-man before deadline.”
  • Steve Dangle via twitter: Dangle notes Lefas Dmen with expiring contracts: Franson (RFA), Aulie (RFA), Finger (UFA), Gysbers (RFA), Holzer (RFA), Lashoff (RFA). Mikus (RFA).

11:25 AM:

  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: There is speculation that the Maple Leafs and John-Michael Liles are closing in on a multi year contract extension. He is set to be a UFA after the season.
  • James Mirtle via twitter: One big worry for the Maple Leafs would be Liles concussion issue. Another issue with the Leafs signing Liles is the salary cap. It was widely believed the Leafs would only re-sign one of Liles or Mikhail Grabovski.
  • Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: Grabovski’s name has surfaced in the rumor mill. He’ll be a UFA after the season, and would get some interest on the trade market. He has been a solid player and it may be hard to let him go, and it could have a negative affect on Nikolai Kulemin.
  • TSN 1050 Radio: Darren Dreger and James Mirtle talk Leafs. Teams calling about Grabovski, MacArthur and defenseman.

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