Archive for March, 2012

More on Radulov … Helm out 4-6 weeks … Wild injury updates … Pitkanen close … Canucks lineup changes and starting goalies

4:45 PM:

  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Radulov’s return to Nashville is conditioned on him returning to the KHL next year (from Medvedev via @plysenkov). He was allowed to buy out this year only with condition he’d be back. If not, he’d have to pay 2/3 of next years back. Radulov’s KHL salary for next year would be for around $5 million. KHL president Medvedev also implied that SKA will try to buy Radulov’s and Evgeni Kuznetsov’s rights. In response to my question to be clear, Chesnokov said that Radulov can re-sign with the Predators after the season, but has pay the 2/3rds back.

2:50 PM:

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: Predators GM David Poile on Alexander Radulov:

    “We’ve been in contact with Jay Grossman, Alex’s agent, throughout process of trying to return Alex to NSH and NHL.”

    Though the complicated process has yet to be concluded, every indication is Alex will be returning to NSH in near future.”

    No updates are expected until tomorrow until at the earliest.

  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Chesnokov wonders how Radulov was able to get out of his contract. He’s re-read the KHL rules and it looks impossible legally. Article 30 (7) – “No player can terminate contract from the start of playoffs until April 30.” Pierre LeBrun via twitter: LeBrun responds to Chesnokov that “no player under NHL contract is supposed to bolt to another league either.” Slava Malamud via twitter: Malamud notes that if KHL president Medvedev allowed Salavat to “skirt KHL rules,” may expect to see a favor back to SKA, possibly trading Radulov to SKA. One possibility could be the Radulov is traded to SKA, then signing Capitals prospect Evgeni Kuznetsov, with SKA promising not to go after Kuznetsov. Shawn Simpson via twitter: Simpson spoke with Val Kamesky. Radulov is heading to Nashville for this season, but must return to Ufa next year. Slava Malamud via twitter: Radulov return to the Predators won’t set a precedent as it’s a unique case in that he left before the KHL-NHL had an agreement with contract.
  • Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: Mikko Koivu practiced yesterday and is listed as day-to-day. Niklas Backstrom’s groin injury is almost back to normal. Center Matt Cullen is expected back in the lineup against the Canucks.
  • Helene St. James via twitter: Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom did a few drills today at practice. It’s the most he’s done since his ankle injury.
  • Katie Strang via twitter: Devils center Travis Zajac was on the ice this morning, but is not expected to play tonight.
  • Andrew Gross via twitter: Rangers lines: Hagelin-Richards-Gaborik Dubinsky-Stepan-Callahan Zuccarello-Boyle-Mitchell Rupp-Fedotenko-Prust.
  • Jim Jamieson via twitter: Canucks forward Mason Raymond will be a healthy scratch. Alex Burrows will be back with the Sedin twins. Manny Malhotra is back in. Cory Schneider will start in net for the Canucks.

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Ever wonder how a hockey puck is made?

A video on how a hockey puck is made.

For Ian and some guys over at AllDucks.com

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Radulov returning to Predators this week … Stuart leaving Wings after season … No broken bones for Backes … KHL wants to play in Brooklyn

8:10 AM:

8:05 AM:

  • Slava Malamud via twitter: Alexander Radulov will be on a plane for Nashville tomorrow according to Sport-Express. Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Radulov bought himself out of his Salavat deal just for the remainder of the season. He’s still under contract for next season with them. Radulov wanted to keep his KHL options open in case he didn’t receive a good enough offer in the NHL.

7:55 AM:

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: As of about 7:39 AM, the Predators remain optimistic about Radulov returning, but GM David Poile said they are still waiting for confirmation.

7:25 AM:

  • Slava Malamud via twitter: Alexander Radulov and his KHL team Salavat have reached an agreement that would let Radulov leave for Nashville now. Salavat would keep his KHL rights. Reports are that he’ll fly to Ufa [today] and likely leave for Nashville later this week. Dmitry Checnokov via twitter: Radulov’s russian agent confirms that he’ll be joining the Predaotrs in the coming days. Curtis Zupke via twitter: Predators coach Barry Trotz said that Radulov could fly to the U.S. by Tuesday, and that he’d “love” to see him in the lineup on Thursday. Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Comments from Ryan Suter, Mike Fisher and Shea Weber on Radulov:
    Ryan Suter:

    “Whenever you have top players it makes the game a lot easier. Simple, easy plays, not a lot of panic. He’s a top player.”

    Mike Fisher:

    “Radulov has been here before and knows some of the guys. I don’t see him not fitting in fine. He’s going to add a lot. If he does end up coming, you can add a player like that late going into the playoffs, it’s going to be big for us.”

    Shea Weber:

    “Everyone knows what a good player he is and how dynamic he is and what he’s able to do with the puck. It adds another element and adds some depth and some exciting play.”

  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Current Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart is a pending UFA and has made it known that he likely won’t be back with the Wings next season. His wife and 3 kids still live in California, and it’s too far with him in Detroit. The Sharks would be a perfect fit, and the Kings might have interest. Kings GM Dean Lombardi drafted Stuart.
  • St. Louis Blues via twitter: Blues forward David Backes blocked a shot on Saturday and will be evaluated in a few days according coach Ken Hitchcock. Jeremy Rutherford via twitter: Backes didn’t break any bones. Hitchcock said there is no return date yet. He’ll go on the West Coast trip and could play by the end of it.
  • Damian Cristodero via twitter: The Lightning are signing goalie Sebastien Caron, who has been playing in Germany. Announce coming today. Dustin Tokarski likely heading back to the AHL.
  • Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly: The KHL wants to play regular season games in Brooklyn next year.

    “We decided that when the basketball club [the New Jersey Nets, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov] finishes building its arena in Brooklyn, KHL Legends Game and regular season games will be held there,”  Medvedev said in the interview. (Interview by SovSport)

    “We are continuing to improve the relationship between the KHL and the NHL. I am hoping that the situation with [Alex] Radulov will not spoil it.”

    Jaromir Jagr’s thoughts:

    “They’re thinking of doing that?” Jagr asked. “No [bleeping] way would they draw. Who would go to the games? How they gonna fly here? It makes no sense.”

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Sunday morning notes: Canadiens, Sharks, Leafs, Kings, Wild, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Blues and Blackhawks

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Whoever is the GM of the Canadiens this summer will be in charge of re-signing RFA goalie Carey Price. He could be getting a deal in the $5.5 million to $6 million range. Senators Erik Karlsson is also a RFA and could get a deal in the $5.5 to $7 million range. Predators Shea Weber is also a RFA this year. Pierre McGuire is a name to keep an eye on as candidate for the Canadiens GM job if it opens up. Garrioch wonders if the Sharks would trade one of Joe Thornton of Patrick Marleau if they miss the playoffs. Many wonder if Leafs Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel will thrive under new coach Randy Carlyle. Some people think Zach Parise could land in LA on July 1st, but with Lombardi possibly panicing and making the Carter for Johnson deal, it may have lessened their chances. The Wild have emerged as the favorites. Garrioch wonders if the Leafs would take a shot at Roberto Luongo this summer. Apparently if Scott Howson is still the GM of the Blue Jackets, he plans on drafting Filip Forsberg with the #1 pick ahead of Nail Yakupov.
  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: One league executive on the Blue Jackets if they win the draft lottery,

    “They can’t pick a Russian so they can’t use the pick,” … “They’ll have to trade it.”

    Along with trading Rick Nash, their options are:

    1) They could keep the pick and not choose Yakupov, which would be counter-productive; 2) They could flip picks with another team, trading the first choice for another early choice, and getting an asset as well; 3) They could trade the pick to the highest bidder and begin rebuilding their team.

    If Ducks college prospect Justin Schultz becomes a free agent, they Leafs will likely chase him again. They were interested in him when talking with the Ducks about Francois Beauchemin.

  • Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is out indefinitely with a bad back. Dan Cleary has also been dealing with pain in his knee since Dec. 1st, and will need to have surgery again at some point. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson’s wrist is healing quick, but he’s still scheduled to return late this month. Joey MacDonald will have an MRI on his back when he gets back to Detroit.
  • Derrick Goold of St. Louis Post Dispatch: Blues coach Ken Hitchcock hass told Jason Arnott to take a week off.

    “When I watched him play (last week), I saw a guy who was protecting himself on the ice and to me he was going out of the way to get out of the way,” Hitchcock said Saturday. “I felt like there was going to be a further injury. I could see how banged up he was. … We needed to get a better player on the ice.”

    Hitchcock isn’t sure if Andy McDonald will join the team on their road trip.

  • Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune: Wild Mikko Koivu has been practicing the last couple days and is close to returning. “He is getting very close,” Yeo said. “But again, after talking with the doctors, we all felt it was best to hold him off for a couple more games.”
  • Tracey Myers of CSNChicago: Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews hasn’t skated in 4 days. Coach Joel Quenneville,

    “The process, I’m sure in his mind, is not a fun thing to be dealing with. You want to be optimistic; there was that stretch there where he was getting close. There’s hope, and that’re we’re at.s whe”

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Hall has concussion … Trotz expects Radulov decision soon … Datsyuk, Bogosian to return … Anderson close … Skinner suspended

  • Shane Jones via twitter: Oilers forward Taylor Hall suffered a concussion last night and coach Tom Renney added, “It was a clean hit in my mind. He slipped. That made it worse .”
  • Josh Cooper via twitter: Predators coach Barry Trotz thinks a decision if Alexander Radulov will be returning this year or not should be coming soon.

    “It sounds like it’s in better position and has a lot more steam to it than the past,” Trotz said. “I would probably say by the weekend we should have a better idea of if he’s coming or not.”

    Radulov’s KHL team (Salavat) is holding things up. His contract is up with them on through April 30th.

    “We are under the KHL jurisdiction, and this matter must be resolved in a legally sound way,” his Russian agent, Yuri Nikolaev, told Yahoo. “We don’t want to break the law. Nashville made a very good offer to Radulov that he could satisfy the entire last year of his entry-level contract by playing a few games. We are searching for the right way out that would allow Alex to go to the NHL.”

  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Capitals prospect Evgeni Kuznetsov’s agent said on a Russian radio that Kuznetsov will consider all offers. He didn’t say that offers were KHL only.

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Afternoon notes involving: Radulov, Perry, Sbisa, MacDonald, Markov, Kaberle, Sekera, and Starting goalies

  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Alexander Radulov’s agent tells @plysenkov that he’s “not expecting any news today or even tomorrow.” Salavat is wanting Radulov to buyout is his deal. Salavat will somehow keep his rights if Radulov buys himself out. Radulov would have to pay Salavat 2/3 of his deal if he wants to return to Nashville now. KHL contract numbers are not required to be disclosed to public.
  • Mike Harrington via twitter: Sabres Andrej Sekera might play tomorrow. Nathan Gerbe traveled with the team, but his status is unknown.

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Maple Leafs would have trouble getting equal value for Phil Kessel

Mark Zolinski of the Toronto Star: (Going off Cox’s piece yesterday about trading Phil Kessel) Kessel might be used as part of a Rick Nash package or a 1st round pick. Gord Stellick thinks Kessel has good value. Bill Watters thinks it would be difficult to get equal value for what they gave up for him, 2 1st round picks and 2nd.

“To get the value already invested in the acquisition would not be a realistic consideration,” Watters said.

“This player (Kessel) is considered (by the Leafs) to be a franchise player and there’s not a team in the NHL, I think, that would give up a similar player for him … so you’re making a sideways deal at best.”

One GM of a non playoff team:

“What would I give up for him? … I’m not giving up my best players for him, I can tell you that, and I’m not giving up my first-rounder, my best young player, if that’s what you are getting at,” he said.

“To be perfectly honest, and I don’t mean this in any way, shape or form as disrespect (to the Leafs), but I don’t think (Kessel) is a player most teams need on their roster.”

Another GM,

“could see possibly a team in need of goal scoring … inquiring about (Kessel). You have to think it’s going to take a player and a first-rounder, at least, I think, that’s where an offer would start.

But “you can look at a team like … maybe San Jose, if they don’t make the playoffs and they start thinking they need a change. Kessel goes there and gives them 30 goals … who knows.”

Another league insider,

“Is he the type of player Randy Carlyle will put up with? Well I can tell you whether he is or not, Randy better get used to playing him 20 minutes a night because I don’t see him going anywhere. And I don’t know if the market for a Phil Kessel is big enough right now to warrant a deal, there would have to be something pretty magical coming back there for (Burke).

“I know that Brian wanted a lot for players he tried to trade (this season). So you have to figure he’d want a lot for Kessel. … But do you give up two players, a first-round pick, and another pick … that to me is a ransom and I don’t think it gets done.

“But he’s one of the Leafs’ best players and to me, cap is not an issue here … the cap may go up close to $70 million (U.S.) this summer (in the new CBA), so there’s room if a team wants him.”

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Suter talks Radulov … Leafs inclined to keep 1st … Toews’ concussion … Lidstrom out a week … Wild injury update … MacDonald hurts shoulder

  • Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Predators defesneman Ryan Suter on the possible return of Alexander Radulov.

    “It takes away from the guys we have on the team when we talk about other guys coming in, and guys who have been here all year and worked hard all year,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “It’s going to be a fine line we’re going to have to walk if he does come back.”

  • James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke on their 1st round pick:

    “[We’re] inclined to keep the pick,” Burke said, “but listening [to offers] already.”

  • Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville used the word “setback” when talking about Jonathan Toews’ concussion. Toews had skated for 4 straight days, rested for 2, skated Wednesday and took yesterday off.

    “Whether it’s a setback or it’s part of the process, that’s what we’re dealing with,” Quenneville said. “It’s a concern. You miss a guy like that.”

  • Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News: Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom will be out for at least another week. Pavel Datsyuk is still waiting to test his knee after having arthroscopic surgery 24 days ago.
  • Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune: Wild center Mikko Koivu has been cleared for contact and practiced yesterday without a no-contact jersey for the first time. Koivu has been out for the last 13 games games with a shoulder injury. He’ll practice again today, and they’ll determine then when he’ll return. There is a chance he’ll return on Saturday against the Hurricanes. Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom took the full practice yesterday. “He looked really good,” Yeo said. “If he got sore or tired, he was told to back off and to give it a rest. But he didn’t do that, which is obviously a good sign.” They’ll make a decision after practice on both Josh Harding and Backstrom. If both are 100%, Matt Hackett will be sent back to Houston. Defenseman Justin Falk, out with a lower body injury, is close to returning to practice.

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Afternoon notes on: 2 College FAs, Backstrom, Kulemin, Zajac, Toews, Leafs lines and starting goalies

  • David Alter via twitter: The Maple Leafs will go with 7 defenseman tonight. Jay Rosehill will be a scratch. Expected Leafs lines: MacArthur-Bozak-Kessel, Ashton-Grabovski-Frattin,Connolly-Steckel-Crabb, Rosehill-Lombardi-Armstrong.

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Quick update on Alexander Radulov

  • Slava Malamud via twitter: Alexander Radulov is in talks with Salavat about his release. He “can release self unilaterally, would have to give up 2/3 salary.”
  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Radulov wants to leave for Nashville right away but Salavat hasn’t granted permission (via @plysenkov and his agents). Salavat wants to keep Radulov’s KHL rights, but that can’t happen if he leaves now, would have to wait for the fall. Which is why he hasn’t received permission yet. Losing Radulov’s rights is not something they want to do. They are at a dead end now. Radulov took a physical in Moscow, and it showed his knee is fine.

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Morning notes on: Kessel, Crosby, Letang, Lidstrom, Kuznetsov, Gerbe, Nash, Selanne, Gomez and Toews

  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: Cox doesn’t think Phil Kessel fits with the Maple Leafs. Despite his ability to score 30 goals,

    “He’s no leader on a team still developing internal leadership. He’s not combative or a fierce adversary. He doesn’t bring size to the equation or pluck or two-way excellence.”

    Cox thinks the Leafs should look at trading Kessel. He has a $5.4 million cap hit, and will get a $5.1 million salary next year and $5.4 million in the last year of his deal.

  • Helene St. James via twitter: Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom suffered a bit of a setback. At yesterdays’ morning skate,

    “I was more sore today when I skated, so that’s why I was out there for just a few minutes. It was more sore today.” He has a deep bone bruise and there is still some swelling, no fracture.

    On shutting things down for a bit:

    “We’ve talked about it,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll talk more to the coaching staff and see what the next step will be, but it’s still day-to-day. It’s discouraging that I haven’t started feeling better, as it’s going on two weeks now.”

  • John Vogl via twitter: Sabres Nathan Gerbe was scratched from last night’s game with upper-body injury.
  • Jim Matheson via twitter: A veteran pro scout on Blue Jackets Rick Nash, he loves his skill but “Does he make other people around him better?”
  • Derek van Diest of the Toronto Sun: Blue Jackets Rick Nash won’t talk about his trade request and why he wanted out of Columbus.Defenseman James Wisniewski on how it is has been in the dressing room after Nash’s request came out last month,

    “Our job is to go out there and play hockey,” said Blue Jackets defenceman James Wisniewski. “We go out there to try and win hockey games. What happened behind the scene is his personal business and we support him as a person and as a player.”

  • Jeff Miller of the OC Register: Jari Kurri thinks that Teemu Selanne should keep playing,

    “Everybody’s really happy with what he’s doing,” Jari Kurri said. “Keep going. Why stop now?”

    “I’m hoping he keeps playing,” Kurri said. “Why stop? I know he wants to win. He wants to do well and he’s playing well. I don’t see any reason for him to stop.”

  • Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette: Canadiens forward Scott Gomez will miss some time with a concussion. Gomez suffered the injury when he was hit by Sabres Tyler Myers, who was suspended for 3 games.
  • Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune: (written on Tuesday) Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Jonathan Toews:

    “it’s part of the process. Some days are better than others, but he knows his body and we’ll see how he is. Hopefully, we’ll get him back on the ice (Wednesday) and things progress.”

    “Jonathan was excited when he was skating,” Quenneville said. “He’s still looking forward to getting back. Hopefully, it’s going to be soon.

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Afternoon notes on: Radulov, Duchene, Perry, Sbisa, Datsyuk, Letang, Backstrom, Eager and Wings starting goalies

  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Alexander Radulov’s Russian agent said there is no meeting with the KHL today. A decision is expected tomorrow.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Avalanche forward Matt Duchene will return to the lineup on Thursday. He will miss only 9 days instead of the expected 3 to 4 weeks for the ankle injury.
  • Eric Stephens of the OC Register: Both Corey Perry and Luca Sbisa are questionable for tonight. Perry injured his shoulder on Saturday and Sbisa developed back spasms on Monday.
  • Dave Lozo via twitter: Capitals Nicklas Backstrom has skated 2 days in a row and said there’s “no problems at all.”

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