Archive for January, 2012

Ovechkin suspended 3 games for his hit on Michalek

Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin was suspended for 3 games for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek.

Ovechkin leaves his feet and makes contact with Michalek’s head. He was suspended over a ‘charging’ violation.

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Afternoon notes involving: Goligoski, Flyers, Oilers, Bishop, All-Star replacements, Horton, Backstrom, Ehrhoff, Toews, Sharp, Whitney, Malone, lines and starting goalies

  • Dallas Stars via twitter: The Stars have signed defenseman Alex Goligoski to a 4 year contract extension worth $18.4 million, a $4.6 million cap hit.
  • Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal: Oilers GM Steve Tambellini seems to have earned himself a contract extension. It doesn’t look like head coach Tom Renney will be getting an extension at this time. Both are in the last year of their deals.
  • Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times: Cristodero thinks the Lightning should consider trading for Blues minor league goalie Ben Bishop. It would cost them a prospect or a high draft pick that Yzerman prefers to keep.
  • Michael Russo via twitter: Wild center Mikko Koivu won’t play in the All-Star due to his shoulder injury and will be replaced by Jordan Eberle. Chris Johnston via twitter: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was added to the All-Star game. (replacing Dustin Byfuglien)
  • Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: Bruins forward Nathan Horton left last night’s game with an apparent head injury. “I guess we’ll find out in the next few days here,’’ Julien said. “But we certainly didn’t allow him to come back and play this game.’’
  • Buffalo Sabres via twitter: Christian Ehrhoff will be back in the lineup tomorrow according to coach Ruff. Brad Boyes has the flu and his status is unknown.
  • Adam Jahns via twitter: Blackhawks Patrick Sharp skated today and is targeting to return after the All-Star break.
  • Mark Stepneski via twitter: Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said that center Mike Ribeiro will return tomorrow night and that Jamie Benn should be able to play in the All-Star game. Stars Lines at practice: Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder; Ott-Wandell-Buish;Nystrom-fiddler-Dvorak; Fraser-Dowell-Vincour.
  • Rich Chere via twitter: Devils lines: Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk; Sykora-Elias-Zubrus; Ponikarvisky-Josefon-Clarkson; Boulton-Carter-Janssen.
  • Dave Molinari via twitter: Penguins lines: “Dupuis-Jeffrey-Kennedy, Cooke-Park-Sullivan, Tangradi-Vitale-Adams. No one in Malkin’s spot with Neal, Kunitz.”
  • Erik Erlendsson via twitter: Lightning forward Ryan Malone suffered an upper-body injury on Saturday and he isn’t expected to play on Tuesday.
  • John Vogl via twitter: Sabres winger Tyler Ennis is practicing today on a line with Ville Leino and Drew Stafford.
  • Arthur Staple via twitter: Looking like it’s Evgeni Nabokov in net for the Islanders against Jonas Gustavsson and the Maple Leafs.


Rumors involving the Oilers … List of forwards that could be available … Ovie, Michalek have hearings … Rangers need Dman … Benn to IR

  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: The Oilers are taking calls for Ales Hemsky as half the league is looking for a top 6 forward. The Oilers need a puck moving defenseman more than a draft pick. It’s unlikely the Predators would give up Ryan Ellis for Hemsky. One scout thinks the Predators would rather have Ryan Smyth over Hemsky, but Smyth likely won’t waive his no-trade clause at the deadline. The Senators are a wild card for Hemsky. The Oilers have liked Drew Stafford. Matheson wonders if the Kings would be interested in a Jonathan Bernier for Magnus Paajarvi deal this summer. The Blackhawks might take a look at Chris Campoli for their 4-5 hole that they are looking to fill. The Predators may look at taking offers for backup Anders Lindback this summer.
  • Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Molinari lists some ‘rental’ players that could be available this year: Jason Blake (Ana), Josh Green (Edm), Nicklas Hagman (Ana), Adam Hall (TB), Ales Hemsky (Edm), Kristian Huselius (CBJ), Saku Koivu (Ana), Dominic Moore (TB), Frans Nielsen (NYI), Samuel Pahlsson (Ana), Jay Pandolfo (NYI), P.A. Parenteau (NYI), George Parros (Ana), Vinny Prospal (CBJ), Tuomo Ruutu (Car), Teemu Selanne (Ana) and Ryan Smyth (Edm).
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: Capitals Alex Ovechkin will have a hearing today for his high hit on Michalek. Penguins Zbynek Michalek will have a hearing today for his elbow on Hendricks.
  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Rangers GM Glen Sather needs to add a defenseman that can handle big minutes down the stretch. They’ve always liked Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason. Stars Sheldon Souray is an interesting option given his ability on the power play, but there are questions about his ability to defend. Ryan Suter is a possibility if he becomes available and if they want to go that direction.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Heika wonders if the Stars may have to consider moving Stephane Robidas, Brenden Morrow or Nicklas Grossman to create roster room for younger players. Heika doesn’t think so, as it sends a message that they are giving up this year. If they fall out of the race though, they may do something.
  • Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press: Jets Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane didn’t accompany the team to Carolina for tonight’s game. They play the Rangers on Tuesday in NY. Byfuglien and Kane are not expected to play until after the All-Star break.
  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger could play tonight after missing the last 5 games with a concussion. Predators defenseman Ryan Suter is expected to be back after missing 3 games with an upper-body injury.
  • Shawn Mitchell via twitter: Recently signed Brett Lebda will make his debut tonight, and will be on the top pairing with Fedor Tyutin.
  • David Alter via twitter: Leafs lines at yesterday’s practice: Lupul-Bozak-Kessel, Crabb-Grabo-Kulie, Lombardi-Connolly-Kadri, MacArthur-Steckel-Brown, x Rosehill,Armstrong,Boyce.

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NHL Sources Say video … HC Trade Tracker videos for Derek Roy and Ryan Suter

Sportsnet’s Sources Say Video: Talking Sidney Crosby and his concussion, Korbinian Holzer and the Leafs defense that may be available, and the CBA.

Hockeycentral Trade Tracker: Sabres Derek Roy. Possible destinations: Devils, Wild, and Blackhawks

Hockeycentral Trade Tracker: Predators Ryan Suter. Possible destinations: Flyers, Oilers, and Red Wings.

Hockey Night in Canada Hotstove video link:

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Sunday morning rumor roundup and injury notes

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: The Rangers, Sharks, Bruins and Wings have made inquiries about Teemu Selanne. Sources say it’s up to Selanne if he wants to go to a contender or not. The Leafs have held talks with the Ducks about Ryan Getzlaf, be he’s off the market and may have not even been on it all. It would take 2 top prospects and a top pick for Bobby Ryan. Flyers are looking at Tim Gleason. The Flyers, Penguins, Panthers and Senators have interest in Hal Gill. The only way Rick Nash gets traded is if he asks for one. Don’t be surprised if Jeff Carter is traded by the deadline. The Sabres are likely to move other parts over trading goalie Ryan Miller. Teams are asking a lot for players at the moment, so there haven’t been many trades. The Hurricanes are asking for top prospects or 2 1st round picks for Jaroslav Spacek and Bryan Allen, Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason. (My interpretation of this last statement was they want a top prospect for Spacek and Allen. A 1st round pick for Ruutu and Gleason.) Lightning coach Guy Boucher may not survive the season as the teams head coach. The Rangers are looking for a high end forward, possibly making a run at Selanne or Hemsky. The Oilers could listen to offers on Nikolai Khabibulin. The Lightning could look at Khabibulin and many believe Burke should go after a goalie. The Canucks may be looking at add some grit, possibly George Parros. Don’t expect a Cory Schneider trade, the asking price is “Stupid high.” The Penguins aren’t the only team to be interested in Dominic Moore.
  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney will give his surgically repaired ankle one last shot .

    “I have to give it one more try to play again this season. Hopefully it lasts for the rest of the year. If not, I’m probably done until next season”

    “Maybe I can play before the all-star break. I think I’ll do the (fitness) test with Tom (coach Renney) Sunday and see how that goes,” said Whitney.

  • Josh Koshman and Mark Everson of the NY Post: The NHL is talking with the Devils about advancing them money so they can operate through the season. Jeffery Vanderbeek would continue to run the team as they for a long-term financial solution.

    “We can presume if the advance has not happened, it is going to happen soon,” a source close to the team said.

    The Devils continue to lose money and haven’t been able to repay an $80 million loan that was due on Sept. 1st. Vanderbeek owns 47% of the team but can’t fund the losses. Billionaire Ray Chambers also owns 47% but he doesn’t want to fund the team. Vanderbeek has tried to sell Chambers share unsuccessfully. Chambers has tried to pay $24 million to lenders to get out of his financial guarantee.

  • Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun: The 33 year old Olli Jokinen wants to retire a Calgary Flame. His leadership and play this year may give management reason to re-sign the UFA. Jokinen said he’d accept less money for a no-trade clause as his family loves Calgary.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier was at the Avalanche – Kings game last night. Dater noticed him talking with GM Greg Sherman. Also scouting the game were the Leafs, Penguins, Bruins, Blues and Rangers.
  • Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: The Wild made defenseman Marek Zidlicky a healthy scratch last night. The Wild may look to deal him before the trade deadline, and there likely won’t be any issue with him waiving his no-trade clause. He’ll be 35 in a couple months and will make $4 million next year.
  • Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews left last night’s game with an upper-body injury. ‘‘We’ll see, and we’ll know more in the next day or so,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said.
  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun: It “looks like” Jets forward Evander Kane has a concussion according to coach Claude Noel. Neither Noel or Kane know when it may have happened.

    “Is it going to be a few days? Is it going to be a few weeks? You don’t know. But I’ll handle that the way I’ve had to deal with everything else. We have what we have.”

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Oilers would listen to Khabibulin offers … Round up of what some teams are looking for … Could Visnovsky be on the move? Glencross out 6 weeks

  • Darren Dreger of TSN: (mailbag) The Oilers would listen to offers on Nikolai Khabibulin (39). He has 1 year left at $3.75 million. They would need to get a goalie back if they dealt him. Hard to see the Oilers and Canucks doing a deal for Schneider. If the Oilers made it a big deal that included Ales Hemsky, a Jonathan Bernier deal could make some sense. The Flames are still looking to improve this year, and can use some of their upcoming UFAs for help. The Blue Jackets could dangle Jeff Carter, Antoine Vermette and Derick Brassard. Rick Nash’s name will come up at the deadline. The Capitals are expecting Mike Green to return just before the trade deadline.
  • Jason Brough of ProHockey Talk: Brough thinks that if the Blue Jackets were to trade Jeff Carter, it’s more likely to happen in the summer, maybe by a new GM. Would he get a package equal to what he gave up for him now? It cost them their 2011 8th overall pick, which turned out to be Sean Couturier, Jakob Voracek and a 3rd rounder. Carter is under contract until 2022 with a $5.3 million cap hit. The Maple Leafs have been looking for a 1st line center. The Rangers could use some scoring help. The Kings could also use some additional scoring, reuniting him with Mike Richards.
  • Kevin Allen of the Toronto Star: Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke thinks it will be a busy trade deadline, but Burke hope to make moves beforehand as he’s “never liked the price tag at the deadline.” The Predators are looking for offensive help, and GM David Poile could deal Ryan Suter if they can’t re-sign him. The Sabres have to look at a roster shake-up. They could use a top-line center, and Drew Stafford could be bait. The Coyotes could use some help up front. The Wild are looking for some offensive help. The Oilers could trade UFAs Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth. The Flyers should be looking for a veteran blueliner. The Senators could use some more scoring help up front. The Ducks have Jason Blake heading to free agency. The Blue Jackets have Vinny Prospal and Samuel Pahlsson who’ll draw some interest. The Hurricanes will get interest in Tim Gleason and Tuomo Ruutu.
  • Pierre LeBrun via twitter: LeBrun thinks that Beauchemin’s contract extension further raises the possibility that Lubomir Visnovsky could be dealt at the trade deadline.
  • Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider: Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier is under contract until 2012-13, but will the Kings trade him before then? Many teams regard him as a future #1 goalie. But is he playing enough to generate a strong offer? He’s on pace to play in 15 games.

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The Hurricanes trade Ponikarovsky to the Devils

The Carolina Hurricanes trade Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersy Devils for a 2012 4th round pick and defenseman Joe Sova.

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Beauchemin signs 3 year contract extension with the Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks have signed defenseman Francois Beauchemin to a 3 year contract extension worth $10.5 million, a $3.5 million salary cap hit.

Beauchemin took a slight decrease in pay as he carried a $3.8 million cap hit in current deal.

Dennis Bernstein via twitter: Bernstein thinks that this move may mean they are more likely to keep the core together.



Some quick afternoon hits involving: Crosby, Blues sale, Cooke, waivers, McDonald, Bishop, Devils lines and starting goalies

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: “Sounds like Sid is doing well in Atlanta. Daily treatments. Skating everyday. Making progress.”
  • Andy Strickland via twitter: Sources are saying Blues minority owner Tom Sillman has signed a purchase agreement to buy the St. Louis Blues.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: The Jets have put Derek Meech on waivers. The Sharks have put Frazer McLaren on waivers. The Flames Brett Carson and the Panthers Michal Repik clear waivers.
  • Andy Strickland of True Hockey: Blues forward Andy McDonald has been out since Oct. 13th, but is getting close to removing his no-contact practice jersey.
  • Andy Strickland of True Hockey: It’s looking like the Blues will be trading AHL goalie Ben Bishop before the trade deadline. He’ll be a group VI unrestricted free agent at the end of the year if he doesn’t play in 15 more games. If he does play in 15 games, he’ll be a group II free agent a the team would retain his rights.
  • Rich Chere via twitter: Devils lines: Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk; Sykora-Elias-Zubrus; Zalewski-Josefson-Clarkson; Boulton-Mills-Carter.

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NHL Attendance for each team after 20 home games: 2011-12

Our 2nd installment in tracking NHL attendance for the 2011-12 season.

The Flyers get a big boost in their attendance from the Winter Classic. If you don’t take into account the WC, the Flyers have an average home attendance of 19,734 through 19 games. 12 teams are at or over 100% capacity, down one from attendance after 10 games. Dallas has seen a nice improvement over the last 10 games.


20 Games

11-12 AVG

% Capacity

10 Games

11-12 AVG

10-11 AVG
09-10 AVG
1 Chicago
2 Montreal
3 Philadelphia
4 Detroit
5 Toronto
6 Calgary
7 Ottawa
8 Vancouver
9 St. Louis
10 Tampa Bay
11 Pittsburgh
12 Washington
13 Buffalo
14 NY Rangers
15 Los Angeles
16 Boston
17 San Jose
18 Minnesota
19 Edmonton
20 Nashville
21 Florida
22 Colorado
23 New Jersey
24 Carolina
25 Winnipeg *
26 Anaheim
27 Columbus
28 NY Islanders
29 Dallas
30 Phoenix
* Prior years attendance for Winnipeg are Atlanta’s attendance numbers.


Plenty of teams looking a top 6, and players who may qualify … Ryan back on track … Flyers approach with Pronger out … Suter after $7+ million

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Teams that could be looking for a top 6 forward at the deadline: Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Wild, Kings, Red Wings, Rangers, and Predators. The Sharks could look for a top 6 or checking line forward. The Bruins and Canucks are looking for depth. Predators GM David Poile:

    “There’s 15 to 20 teams right now that are aggressively calling the three or four or five teams that they think are appropriate to call. And there’s nothing happening with those teams right now.”

    Potential top 6 players that could be available: Derek Roy, Brad Boyes, Drew Stafford, Vinny Prospal, Antoine Vermette, Kristian Huselius, Ales Hemsky, Tuomo Ruutu and Jason Blake. The Predators and Red Wings like Hemsky. The offseason may be a better time for the Ducks to trade Bobby Ryan. Some people think that Blues AHL goalie Ben Bishop is the best goalie not in the NHL and could get some interest. LeBrun thinks Ryan Suter’s side is sitting back to see what Poile will do at the deadline to improve the Preds. GM David Poile:

    “If you’re asking what I’m going to do, my gut is that we’re going to be trying to add to our team and if we’re adding to our team, we certainly don’t want to be taking away from it by making a deal like that.”

  • Eric Stephens of the OC Register: Bobby Ryan has been reunited with the Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and is back on pace for a 30 goal season. Ryan said that he hasn’t spoken with GM Bob Murray regarding all the trade rumors that he’s been mentioned in this season. Toronto Sun:

    “It’s frustrating because I think my play over the past 10 games has been good enough to where (the rumours) should cease a little bit and there should be some protection there,” Ryan told the Orange County Register.

    “It’s the nature of the business I guess. We’re still a team that’s (13) points out of the playoffs. We didn’t have a good first half and set ourselves so far behind the 8-ball.”

    Randy Miller via twitter: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on if Chris Pronger could be ready for the playoffs: “I don’t know. We’ll see. I would say the odds of that happening aren’t very good.”

  • Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly: Do the Flyers approach the trade deadline like Chris Pronger’s career could be over?

    “I’ve talked to Chris enough to know things aren’t going good,” Holmgren said. “We’re not going to make any rash decisions. We’ll continue to look at the team for the present and the future and if something comes up that makes sense, we’ll see what we can do.”

    James van Riemsdyk is making progress with his concussion, but isn’t skating yet. Blair Betts won’t play this season due to knee and other injuries.

  • Andy Strickland via twitter: Strickland has been told that Predators defenseman Ryan Suter wants to stay in Nashville, but also wants to win. Talks continue. Strickland of True Hockey: Word is that Suter could be looking for an extension north of $7 million per season. Add the Blues to the list of teams that would be interested in Rick Nash if he were to become available. Don’t expect a deal though. Defenseman to keep an eye on at the trade deadline: Tim Gleason and Bryan Allen of the Hurricanes, Filip Kuba (Ott), Johnny Oduya (Win), Matt Carle (Phi), Bryce Salvador (NJ).
  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: Sportsnet Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean made it pretty clear that they are sure Oilers Ales Hemsky will be traded at the deadline. MacLean doesn’t see teams paying a big price for him. Kypreos is a little more positive towards Hemsky, “There’s a lot of teams right now looking for a top six forward and he certainly fits the bill.” Kypreos names the Penguins, Blackhawks, Red Wings as possible destinations. MacLean name the Senators, Capitals, Canucks, Red Wings and Sharks.


Morning NHL rumors and injury notes involving: the Blackhawks, Stars, Tallinder, Bogosian, Ramo, Kolanos, Tanguay, Jagr, Martinek, Niittymaki

  • Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: The Blackhawks are letting everyone know what they would like to trade for. A defenseman for their 2nd pairing, and a veteran forward, preferably a 2nd line center. The Hawks haven’t talked  to the Ducks who floated their big 3 and Francois Beauchemin earlier this month. In the Western Conference, only the Ducks, Oilers and Blue Jackets could be sellers so far. It would take a significant piece for Oilers Sam Gagner. In the Eastern Conference, the Sabres, Canadiens, NY Islanders, Lightning, Hurricanes and maybe the Jets could be sellers. The Sabres have Derek Roy, Drew Stafford and Brad Boyes but their price could be high. They should at least call about Tim Gleason and Tuomo Ruutu of the Hurricanes. Untouchable prospects could be Dylan Olsen, Kevin Hayes and Brandon Saad. Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Shawn Lalonde and Brian Connelly could interest some teams.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: (mailbag) If the Stars don’t sign Nicklas Grossman to a contract extension, they could trade him by the deadline. As for anyone else, that would depend on whether their buyers or sellers. If they are sellers, there should be some interest in Brenden Morrow, Sheldon Souray, Mark Fistric and Grossman. If they are in a playoff at the deadlines, would have to think they are buyers.
  • Tom Gulitti of the Bergon Record: Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder will be out 6 to 8 weeks with a blood clot in his lower left leg. He’s been bothered by a sore leg and an MRI yesterday revealed.
  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun: Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian could be ready to return tomorrow night. He’s missed 5 consecutive games with a lower-body injury.
  • Vicki Hall via twitter: Flames GM Jay Feaster confirms that recently acquired goalie Karri Ramo has 1 year left on his KHL contract.
  • Roger Millions via twitter: Flames forward Curtis Glencross was put on the IR and out at least 7 days. MRI results are not in yet.
  • Adam Kimelman via twitter: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on a Jaromir Jagr deal: “We’ve had some talks. I don’t really want to comment any further on that right now. We’ve talked about it.”
  • Shawn Mitchell via twitter: Blue Jackets defenseman Radek Martinek will miss the rest of the season with a concussion. They’ve signed Brett Lebda to a 1 year deal.
  • Craig Custance via twitter: Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki will play for Worchester of AHL on Friday and Saturday. Interested teams will get a chance to scout him.

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