Archive for March, 2012

Canadiens GM candidates … Howson on draft, Nash … McQuaid OK … Bryzgalov out this weekend … P.A. likely gone

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: LeBrun lists some potential candidates for the Canadiens GM: Julien BriseBois, Marc Bergevin, Francois Giguere, Vincent Damphousse, Claude Loiselle, Patrick Roy, Pat Brisson, Pierre McGuire, Andre Savard, Doug Risebrough and Pierre Lacroix.There has been talk that the Blue Jackets may want to move their top pick as the top 2 prospects are Russian, and they haven’t had much luck with Russians. GM Scott Howson thinks that is hogwash:

    “What I will say to that speculation is that I think it would be close-minded of us, I think it would border on stupidity to not include any player just because they’re from Russia,” Howson told this week. “I think everybody is different. The fact that Zherdev and Filatov didn’t work out here will have no bearing on who we select in this upcoming draft.”

    Howson knows they need to address their goaltending situation, and he lines their blueline. On Rick Nash:

    “I’ll have a conversation with Rick after the year ends and see where he’s at, see where we’re at, and make a game plan moving forward,” said Howson.

  • Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s eye injury appears to only be minor, and no concussion was sustained. McQuaid was hit from behind by Jason Chimera the other night. He won’t play in either game this weekend, but should be back soon.
  • Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: The Flyers likely won’t play Ilya Bryzgalov this weekend in either of their afternoon games against the Senators and Penguins. Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start both games.
  • BD Gallof via twitter: The more Gallof talks to people, the more likely it seems that P.A. Parenteau will sign somewhere else, cashing in on his first big payday. Parenteau will want to be paid like a top a line player, but the Islanders don’t include him there if their kids develop.
  • Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal: The Oilers tried to recall Magnus Paajarvi yesterday but the move was rejected as they’ve already used their 4 callups after the trade deadline. In February, Paajarvi was assigned to the AHL so that he’d be eligible from their playoffs, then immediately recalled. The Oilers also called up Linus Omark, Teemu Hartikainen and Chris VandeVelde.

    “We believed we had confirmation to recall Magnus in one of our four call-ups after the trade deadline,” said Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini. “The league informed us today the only way he could be recalled was under an emergency recall basis.”

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Morning notes on Sedin, Toews, Carter, McQuaid, Reimer, Gustavsson, McDonald, Hejduk, Mueller, Suter and Parise

  • Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun: The Canucks get some good news in that Daniel Sedin could be ready to return for the 1st round of the playoffs according to GM Mike Gillis.

    “It’s risky to make projections with these things because one day the player just may not feel right, but he’s going in the right direction,” Gillis told The Vancouver Sun. “He’s feeling a little better each day. We’re hopeful if things keep going the way they are that he’ll be available [for the first round].”

  •  Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: Blackhawks Jonathan Toews is getting real close to returning.

    “I’m not sure if it’s official yet, but probably,” Toews said. “If it’s not [Thursday], it will be soon, though.”

    Defenseman Steve Montador’s concussion symptoms returned on Tuesday and he’s out indefinitely.

  • Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid left last night’s game in the 1st period after being hit face-first into the boards by Jason Chimera. McQuaid has had concussion issues in the past. He was cut over the eye and was ‘woozy’ leaving the ice.

    “We’ll probably learn more (today),” coach Claude Julien said. “But for the obvious reasons that the medical staff deals with those kind of things, the minute you don’t feel right, they pull you out. So hopefully we’ll get good news (today).”

  • James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: The Maple Leafs may shut James Reimer down for the season as a result of concussion-like symptoms returning.

    “There will be probably a point that there’ll be a decision made if he’s going to return or not,” Carlyle said. “That’s in the medical people’s hands right now. We just have to wait for clearance from everybody involved to put the player back on the ice.”

  • Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: Maple Leafs pending UFA Jonas Gustavsson is trying to not think that far ahead. “What’s going to happen next year is going to wait for a while.” Gustavsson was injured in the warmups and was unable to make the start. The Leafs may look to bring in a veteran goalie next year to work with James Reimer.
  • Mike Chambers of the Denver Post: Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk is considering retiring after the season.

    “It could be. I don’t want to analyze right now, but it definitely could be,” Hejduk said.

  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: (mailbag) Avs pending RFA Peter Mueller has been a healthy scratch for 2 games lately and would required a $2.2 million qualifying offer. Dater thinks they will likely qualify him, but it is possible they look to trade him.
  • Andy Strickland of True Hockey: Sources are saying that the Red Wings have sent scouts to watch the remaining games of pending UFAs Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. The Wings could be leaning more towards Suter since Nicklas Lidstrom could retire or play only one more season. B.J. Crombeen has been out with a hand injury. Roman Polak could return on Saturday.

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Afternoon notes: Schultz, Selanne, Toews, Scrivens, D’Agostini, new Devils lines and starting goalies

  • Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal: If Ducks defensive prospect Justin Schultz decides not to sign the Ducks and become a UFA on July 1st, Bob McKenzie thinks the Oilers have the best chance at landing him. TSN’s Aaron Ward thinks the Red Wings are the best bet, with Marc Crawford picking the Maple Leafs.
  • Helene Elliott of the LA Times: Ducks winger Teemu Selanne doesn’t know if he’ll return next year or not. He leads the team with 63 points in 76 games.

    “I’m not going to think about it before the season is over and then give it a couple weeks and get a feel from there,” he said after the Ducks practiced in preparation for Wednesday’s game against Pacific division-leading San Jose.

    “There are so many highs and lows during the season. I have to feel the situation.”

    Chris Kuc via twitter: Blackhawks Jonathan Toews is expected to be cleared for contact today or tomorrow.

  • James Mirtle via twitter: With Maple Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens just being called up for yesterday, he made an extra $2,800.
  • Rich Chere via twitter: Devils lines: Parise-Zajac-Kovalchuk; Sykora-Elias-Zubrus; Ponikarovsky-Henrique-Clarkson; Carter-Josefson-Bernier.

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Canadiens fire GM Pierre Gauthier

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The Montreal Canadiens have let GM Pierre Gauthier go. No replacement will be named. The Canadiens were eliminated over the weekend, so there is no reason to wait. Head Coach Randy Cunneyworth’s position likely won’t be addressed until a new GM is hired.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: Pagnotta notes that a GM may not be named until as late as June, as they may wait until some teams are eliminated from the playoffs to interview possible candidates.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: “While I fully get language sensitivities in MTL, duality of les Canadiens, it’s not absolutely vital new GM be Francophone or speak French.”

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Ehrhoff day-to-day … Vinny returns … Price for Nash for Leafs would be steep …Isles sign Grahame … Howard out Friday

  • John Vogl of the Buffalo News: Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff was re-evaluated yesterday.

    “He’ll miss some time,” said Ruff, who declined to elaborate whether it was day-to-day or week-to-week. “It’ll be a period of time.”

  • Howard Berger via twitter: Given what the Blue Jackets wanted for Rick Nash at the trade deadline, it would cost the Leafs Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri and their 1st round pick in June.
  • Steve Conroy of hte Boston Herald: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is progressing well from his March 3rd, groin/abdomen strain.

    “I’m doing exercising, biking, all kinds of stuff. It’s looking really good. I’m just trying to get the strength back and be ready to go,” Rask said yesterday. “I think we’re shooting for (a return for the playoffs) and it’s looking good now.”

    “If everything goes well, I’ll go out there and maybe get some shots, not do much but just go by the feel,” Rask said. “You can’t rush these kind of injuries.”

  • Islanders Point Blank: The Islanders have signed John Grahame for the rest of the year to back up Al Montoya. Arthur Staple of Newsday: Evgeni Nabokov left Tuesday’s game and is listed day-to-day with a lower-body injury, it looks like he may not play another game this season.
  • Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News: Red Wings Jimmy Howard won’t be in the lineup on Friday. Howard missed his 4th straight game on Wednesday with a groin issue.

    “It’s Babs’ call and he’s the coach, he makes the decisions,” Howard said. “That (playing Friday) was the plan all along, but Coach has decided to go in a different direction, and as a player I have to respect that.

    “I hope he changes his mind, but I don’t think it’ll happen.”

  • Jonas Siegel via twitter: Ben Scrivens was recalled yesterday on a temporary basis and will be returned today. Jussi Rynnas will likely take his place. The Maple Leafs may have given Scrivens a day of NHL pay. He’s a big part of the Marlies AHL playoff run and they don’t want to disrupt that.

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Backstrom could play Saturday … Letang out at least 2 games … Leafs interested in Abbott … Vokoun ready … Canucks goalies

  • Chuck Gormley via twitter: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said he won’t play on Thursday against Boston. Could be looking at Saturday against the Canadiens.
  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: Word is that the Maple Leafs are close to signing college free agent Spencer Abbott of the Maine Black Bears. A number of teams are interested but he may be leaning towards signing with the Leafs. Abbott had 62 points in 39 games and is a Hobey Baker Award finalist.
  • David ALter via twitter: Maple Leafs line: MacArthur-Grabovski-Frattin, Ashton-Bozak-Kessel, Connolly-Steckel-Crabb, Rosehill-Lombardi-Brown-Armstrong.
  • Ken Warren via twitter: Senators Ben Bishop said his recovery is ahead of schedule and is hoping to skate this weekend. He might be able to play next week.
  • Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun: Canucks Cory Schneider will start tonight, and should get another start this weekend as they have a back-to-back starting Friday. There is a chance Schneider plays in 5 of 9 games in a 2 week stretch that follows Roberto Luongo’s worst 4 game stretch this year. “Is it possible there’s a genuine goaltending audition going on here and no one has much noticed or believed it?”

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Could change be coming for the Flames? Parenteau talks to start … Time running out for Hejduk, Morrow? Should Oils trade pick? Burke staying

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: LeBrun thinks the Flames need to re-tool, if not a total rebuild. Flames GM Jay Feaster is giving this group one last chance. If it doesn’t work, changes are coming. They will have 6 UFA s and 3 RFA at the end of the season. Jarome Iginla will have one more year at $7 million, and would he want to be around for another rebuild? They may need to have a “heart to heart” with Iginla after the season.
  • Arthur Staple of Newsday: Pending Islanders free agent P.A. Parenteau wants to remain with the club. Talks are likely to begin this week. Parenteau could be looking a deal in the $4 million per season range.

    “I’ve said all along that I want to be here, and nothing’s changed,” he said. “I love these guys and I want to be here for when we turn it around.”

  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk’s production has been non-existent in the 2nd half, and it could be the “the end of the line for the classy Avs captain.”
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Stars captiain Brenden Morrow has been moved down to the 4th line, and his minutes have been reduced. He’s been dealing with injuries all year, and it’s affecting his play. Heika asks the question if Morrow’s time in Dallas is coming to an end? He doesn’t think so.
  • David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: Former Lightning GM Brian Lawton said the Oilers should trade down in the draft.

    “The  time has come for the Edmonton Oilers to look to create another asset and if they do, in fact, end up with the number 2 pick, they should look to trade down. There are so many quality defencemen that are available. Morgan Reilly’s been injured this year but he’s out there. Mathew Dumba, very intriguing player. Ryan Murray, probably the top-rated guy in that group and, of course, the very last guy Griffin Reinhart.”

    Marty McSorley said the Oilers should:

    “Go out and draft the best player. … You can always make trades. You need assets, you need commodities within your organization.”

    Fan voting: (as of 8:55 am on the 28th) 41.46 % – Draft the best player available, even if that’s a Russian forward. 35.79% – Trade it for as good a veteran defenseman as the team can get. 22.75% – Trade down a few spaces, then draft the best defenseman available.

  • John Buccigross via twitter: Buccigross is hearing that college free agent J.T. Brown (UMD) is down to the Flyers, Bruins and Lightning.
  • David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail: Someone within MLSE doesn’t expect any of the new ownership to demand that Brian Burke be fired as the Leafs GM before the end of the 2013-14 season.

    “You have two choices: you can trust your general manager or you can fire your general manager,” the insider said. “At the end of the day, you can criticize [MLSE] for not hiring the right GM. But the decisions are made by the general manager. They really are. Brian Burke is running the show.”

    “[Burke] can do pretty well what he wants. Brian has no shackles of any consequence at all.”

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Injury notes on Bryzgalov, Backstrom, Ehrhoff and Timonen … Some starting goalies for tonight

  • Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has a small chip fracture in his right foot. An MRI showed the fracture after 2 x-rays revealed nothing. He won’t require surgery and could be back playing by the weekend.

    “We don’t think this is a serious injury,” Holmgren said. “It’s a chip off a weight-bearing bone, and the doctor has said it’ll be absorbed back into his system, and there’s no real risk here at all [to play]. It’s just he’s in a little bit of pain right now.”

  • Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom passed his baseline test “with flying colors.” Backstrom has been out since Jan. 3rd, and has skated 14 of the past 15 days.

    “We’ll see where it goes from here,” McPhee said. “We’re making sure he’s in good shape and he’s comfortable. It’s going to be his decision.”

  • Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News: Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff left last night’s game in the 1st period with a knee injury.

    “We’ll have our doctors evaluate him but it looks like he’s going to miss a little bit of time,” said coach Lindy Ruff. “It’s something we’ll get evaluated [today] and get a better idea.”

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Hall out 5-6 months … No contact yet for Toews … Roster notes for Pens, Devils, Preds, Wings … Starting goalies

  • Edmonton Oilers via twitter: Oilers Taylor Hall will not return to this season as he’ll be having labral shoulder surgery. According to Steve Tambellini: “Recovery time will be between five and six months, so our hope is that Taylor will be ready for the start of next season.”
  • Mike Morreale via twitter: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said that Jonathan Toews still hasn’t been cleared for contact.
  • Pens Inside Scoop: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Ben Lovejoy had knee surgery and will be out 3-4 weeks.

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Sedin has a concussion … One option for Radulov could be a trade … Bishop out 2 weeks … DeKeyser staying in school

  • Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun: “Daniel obviously has a concussion and we’re following the protocol with it,” Vigneault said. “I’m not going to address this every day. He has a concussion and when we get something more to say, we’ll say it.”
  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: Capitals Nicklas Backstrom was cleared for contact over the weekend, and skated with teammates for a 45 minute session yesterday.

    “I’m not a hundred percent yet, but I’m getting there. It takes a little time,” said Backstrom, who has been on the ice 13 of the past 14 days. “It felt good. But I think it’s going to be even better.”

  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC: There has been a lot of talk on Alexander Radulov’s future in Nashville or the KHL. Another possibility could be the Predators trading him for an asset(s) and giving him the opportunity to pick a longer-term destination. The Oilers and Ryan Smyth’s side continue to talk contract extension, and both sides are denying that the Oilers only want to do a 1 year deal.
  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: (mailbag) Reader asks about the Oilers trading for either Jonathan Bernier or Cory Schneider. A month ago Mathson would have agreed that the Oilers may need a number 1 goalie, but Devan Dubnyk is 15-8-2 since New Years. Bigger question is what to do with Nikolai Khabibulin and his $3.75 million? Dubnyk is a RFA, coming off a $800,000 year.
  • Ottawa Citizen: Senators goalie Ben Bishop will be out 2 weeks with a lower body injury.
  • Ansar Khan of MLive: College defenseman Dan DeKeyser, who was targeted by pretty much every team, has decided to return to school for his junior year.
  • David Pollak via twitter: Sharks Logan Couture left last night’s game after being hit with a Thornton shot in the upper-body as a precaution. He said he was fine.
  • Andy Strickland via twitter: Strickland doens’t expect Andy McDonald to play tonight. Matt D’Agostini will be evaluated this morning.

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Quick hits on: DeKeyser, Brown, Biship, Franzen, Ericsson, Howard … Caps, Flames, Lightning lines … Bryz starts

  • Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: Western Michigan University defenseman Dan DeKeyser is expected to get interest from all 30 teams. The Flyers appear to a candidate to land University of Minnesota-Duluth forward J.T. Brown.
  • Stephen Whyno via twitter: Capitals lines: Ovechkin-Laich-Brouwer, Chimera-Perreault-Semin, Johansson-Halpern-Aucoin, Hendricks-Beagle-Ward/Knuble. Backstrom extra.
  • Roger Millions via twitter: Flames lines (Jokinen didn’t skate today): Tanguay Cammallei Iginla-Glencross Horak Moss-Kostopoulos Jones Jackman-Comeau Stajan Stempniak.
  • Adam Kimelman via twitter: Tampa Bay Lines (dressing 7 Dmen): Purcell-Stamkos-St.Louis, Malone-Pyatt-Connolly, Wallace-Smith-Wyatt, Labrie-Segal. Defensive pairings: Hedman-Brewer, Lee-Clark, Commodore-Mikkelson, Aulie.

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Quebec City to build arena … Russian draft picks … Steen returns … Johnson could be ready … Little has x-rays … Gustavsson done as Leaf?

  • Montreal Gazette: Quebec City and Quebecor Media Inc. have reached an agreement to build a $400 million, 18,000 seat multi-use sports complex. Construction is schedule to begin in September and be completed by September 2015. The cost will be split between the provincial government and the city.
  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: With 2 Russians expected to be top picks this year, teams may be thinking if they’ll pull a Radulov and head to the KHL during their entry-level deals to get more money.

    “You do as much homework as you can on a player, what kind of character he has, what drives him. The general consensus is, say, if they’re here playing junior in North America (Yakupov in Sarnia, Grigorenko in Quebec City and fellow Russian Alex Galchenyuk, also in Sarnia), the player wants to be here. I think the Radulov situation might be a one-off. The top Russian players who’ve made the committment to come over (Malkin) are staying. They do have leverage of going back to Russia which can help with an NHL contract. Yeah, that has to come into consideration, but I look at the kids in this draft, I think if you like them you’ll take them and you’ll sign them.”

    The Panthers had offered UFA defenseman Jason Garrison a $2.5 million per deal, but he quickly turned it down. He may be figuring he could get $4 million on the open market. One NHL executive said his a #5 defenseman. The Oilers may be interested come July 1st.

  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Blues forward Alex Steen returned to the lineup last night after missing the last 39 games due to a concussion. He did leave the game early after taking a skate near the mouth. Defenseman Kris Russell also returned to the lineup. David Backes is still bothered a bit by his bruised foot. He’s playing through it, but getting time off on practice days.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson will be re-evaluated today after the morning skate to see if he can return against the Sharks. He’s missed the last 2 games with a back injury. Semyon Varlamov will start in net for the Avs.
  • Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: The Leafs have 6 games left with no back-to-backs, so it’s possible that Jonas Gustavsson has played his last game in a Leafs uniform. Burke should know by now if he’ll re-sign the pending UFA or not. Free agent goalies that could be available to July 1st are Tomas Vokoun, Josh Harding and Martin Biron.
  • Michael Woods of the Toronto Star: Woods looks at 8 goalies the Maple Leafs could have acquired last year instead of going with James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson:  Craig Anderson, Brian Elliott, Mike Smith, Jose Theodore, Tomas Vokoun, Ray Emery, Antero Niittymaki and Ben Bishop.

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