Archive for January, 2012

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.


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 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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State of the Chicago Blackhawks: NHL Trade Deadline Edition

Today is the 1st 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 Tab Bamford of and can be found on twitter at @The1Tab

The Chicago Blackhawks are in the mix for the best record in the Western Conference, but are equally close to fourth place in the Central Division. With a good, young core locked up and over $5 million in cap space, the Blackhawks will be buyers at the deadline.

What will be the Blackhawks wants/needs?

1. Top-four defenseman

The Hawks have one of the best top pairs in the league with Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, but have been searching for the right formula all season in the wake of Brian Campbell being traded to Florida during the draft.

Nick Leddy’s developing nicely, but has been better when held under 20 minutes per game over the last month. Meanwhile, Niklas Hjalmarsson appears to have peaked as a number 4-5 defenseman who excels at blocking shots and killing penalties, but has not taken the next step in his development yet.

Some players the Hawks might target include Tim Gleason in Carolina, Hal Gill and/or Chris Campoli in Montreal, and, if Brian Burke puts him on the market, Cody Franson.

Read the rest of this entry »

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No one has heard that Subban is availabe … Friendman’s 30 Thoughts rumors … Nothing imminent for Leafs … Coyotes update … Hedman hopes for next week

  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: LeBrun clarifies his comments on RDS. LeBrun talked with several teams yesterday and NONE have heard Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban’s name being available. What LeBrun said on RDS was that a team suggested it could be a possibility, though they hadn’t talked to the Canadiens. Louis Jean via twitter: All the Subban trade talk is “completely ludicrous.”
  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC: If the Canadiens end up looking for a new GM at some point, don’t count out former Avalanche GM Francois Giguere. After the Blues signed Brian Elliott to a 2 year deal, AHL goalie Ben Bishop’s name hit the rumor mill. GMs have now said that Elliott’s trade value has now gone up with his affordable deal. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is “pulling back” in his quest for a goalie and defenseman.

    “He’s made it clear that he’d rather wait than rush through a trade,” said another executive. Yzerman, via email, said, “We aren’t in a position to trade draft picks or young players for rentals.”

    Blue Jackets forwards Derick Brassard is off the market. R.J. Umberger might get some interest. A couple teams have heard that Ryan Suter is off the market. The Predators are not interested in a Ryan Ellis or Jon Blum/1st round pick for Ales Hemsky. Sabres Paul Gaustad could be a nice fit in San Jose. One GM thought Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky would fit well in San Jose. One of the reasons the Maple Leafs could be looking to move an NHL defenseman is to create room for Korbinian Holzer. Friedman has heard the Maple Leafs could consider moving Mikhail Grabovski, they are listening to offers. He’s a pending UFA and the Leafs could see the dollar amount an issue. They are also listening on Nikolai Kulemin.

  • David Alter via twitter: Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said last night that nothing is imminent on the trade front, lots of listening. Burke added that he doesn’t have a problem keeping pending UFA Mikhail Grabovski past the trade deadline without a new contract.
  • Lisa Halverstadt of the Arizona Republic: Glendale City Council met yesterday for an update on the Coyotes situation. The mayor wonders if the NHL is asking price will force the Glendale to pay more. The NHL is trying to get $170 million for the Coyotes, Forbes says they are worth about $36 million less.

    “I think it has kept other potential buyers out of the process of trying to purchase the team and I think it is definitely impacting the financial burden that’s being asked of the city of Glendale,” she said.

    Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly:

    “We bought this franchise out of bankruptcy when no one else would, and we and our owners have jointly supported its operation for more than two years now,” Daly said. “We and the city of Glendale have a joint problem and we are jointly trying to fix it.”

  • Erik Erendsson of the Tampa Tribune: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, who has been out since Dec. 27th with a concussion, practiced yesterday in a no-contact jersey. He’s hoping to return next Tuesday against the Capitals.
  • John Vogl via twitter: Sabres forward Jochen Hecht has a concussion. He skated yesterday but felt awful after and headed to the doctors.
  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini will likely get a 1 or 2 year contract extension. McKenzie said during last night’s Oilers telecast:

    “I think he’ll probably get one (a new deal). I think the way the team finishes from now to the end of the season might not make it completely ironclad.”

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Afternoon notes: Ovechkin, Kulikov, MacArthur, Hurricanes, Bergeron, Connolly … Sabres, Flames and Isles lines … Starting goalies

  • Chip Alexander via twitter: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said that Chad LaRose will be out for 7-10 days due to a cut. Defenseman Joni Pitkanen (concussion and knee surgery) is likely out until the beginning of March. Rutherford said that Pitkanen’s injury status won’t inhibit any potential trade. He added that he’s not making calls and pushing for trades. Rutherford added that he’s interested in hockey deals that make financial sense and not just looking to move UFAs.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: They don’t need to decide until the trade deadline, but McKenzie doesn’t think they’ll send Brent Connolly back to the WHL.
  • John Vogl via twitter: Sabres goalie Ryan Miller left practice early after taking a high slap shot from defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani. Mike Morreale via twitter: Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff returns to the lineup tonight. Brad Boyes (flu) is practicing. John Vogl via twitter: Sabres lines: Vanek-Roy-Pominville, Leino-Boyes-Stafford, Gerbe-Hecht-Kaleta, Ellis-Adam-McCormick.
  • Roger Millions via twitter: Projected Flames lines: Comeau Jokinen Stempniak-Cammalleri Backlund Iginla-Tanguay Jones Kostopoulos-Morrison Horak Jackman. Projected defensive pairings and goalie: Butler – Bouwmeester, Giordano – Hannan, Brodie – Sarich … Kiprusoff.
  • Scott MacArthur via twitter: Islanders lines: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo, Grabner-Neilsen-Parenteau, Martin-Bailey-Rolston, Wallace-Pandolfo-Niederreiter. Defensive pairings: Streit-Jurcina, Hamonic-MacDonald, Eaton-Reese. G: Nabokov (Montoya backs up.)


A couple trade lists … 3 scouting notes … Sens may tweak … Stuart undecided about next year … Benn’s contract will wait … Crawford to start

  • TSN – Insider Trading video link: They list the Top 6 forwards that are potentially available: Jeff Carter (CBJ), Mikhail Grabovski (Tor), Ales Hemsky (Edm), Derek Roy (Buf), James van Reimsdyk (Phi), and Ray Whitney (Phx).
  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Custance lists 5 Blue Jackets that could be moved: Jeff Carter, Vinny Prospal, Derick Brassard, Antoine Vermette and Samuel Pahlsson.
  • Dennis Bernstein via twitter: There were 2 Maple Leafs scouts at the Kings – Senators game. Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier was there as well.
  • Kevin McGran via twitter: There were 13 scouts at the Leafs – Islanders game last night, including 2 from the Oilers and Flyers Don Luce.
  • Chip Alexander via twitter: The Lightning, Capitals, Canadiens, Stars and Blackhawks were scouting the Hurricanes – Jets game.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: The Senators are sticking with their rebuilding plan, but if they are buyers at the deadline, it will only be a ‘tweak.’
  • Ansar Khan of the MLive: The Red Wings haven’t started contract talks with defenseman Brad Stuart because he’s unsure if he wants to stay in Detroit or head back to the West Coast. He’s wife, 2 son’s and stepdaughter must remain in San Jose.

    “It is going to be a tough decision,” Stuart said. “It’s not going to be all based on hockey and what I want for my career. It’s going to be a little bit (about) family, which is important. Those are things I still have to kind of sort out, try to figure out what’s going to be best for everyone.”

  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Lightning forward Jamie Benn is expected to be able to play in the All-Star game. GM Joe Nieuwendyk said that Benn’s contract extension will likely have to wait until after the season.

    “We’ve had discussions, but there won’t be any more discussion, I don’t thnk,” Nieuwendyk said, “His is a different situation because he’s still entry level and doesn’t have rights that maybe Alex has. We’ll have further discussions with him at the end of the season.”

    Heika thinks they may wait until after the new CBA. Current CBA expires on Sept. 15th.