Apologies for the site being down today, server issues that were out of my control. Here is what I would have posted this morning if I was able too, all in one giant post.
- Darren Dreger: The Flyers are working on a Mark Streit deal, as well as holding preliminary discussions with Claude Giroux on a contract extension.
- Josh Rimer: Red Wings sign Drew Miller to a 3-year deal worth $1.35 million per season.
- Szymon Szemberg: Former Flyers goalie prospect Joacim Eriksson has signed with the Canucks according to Swedish media and his agent.
- Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports: Andrei Kostitsyn will be staying with Traktor Chulyabinsk of the KHL according to reports.
- Gare Joyce: A scout said that Aleksander Barkov can get into the top 3, and maybe the most NHL ready. “Different conversation if he doesn’t get hurt late in yr.”
- Aaron Vickers: Flames GM Jay Feaster said that the NHL has asked the KHL about Valeri Nichushkin’s contract status. Nichushkin is free to sign an NHL entry-level deal and is not under contractual obligation with the KHL.
- Bob McKenzie: Kings assistant John Stevens had interview with the Canucks this week. He’ll also be interviewing with the Rangers.
- Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News: Mark Messier has had an interview with the Rangers.
“We were out in La Quinta, (California), and I had a chance to talk with Glen on a couple of occasions,” Messier told the Daily News outside the United Center on Friday. “I expressed my interest and my confidence in my ability, and from there that’s all I can really say because I don’t know much more than that, because he’s conducting interviews with many more people that obviously want the job, as well. So he’s going through the process, which he should.”
- Aaron Ward: Alain Vigneault has told the Stars that he no longer wants to be considered for their coaching position. Speculation will be that he’s heading to the Rangers. Renaud Lavoie: Alain Vigneault is on the verge of being the Rangers next head coach. Darren Dreger: The Stars are believed to have had a substantial offer on the table for Vigneault until he met with Rangers Dolan and company.
- Mayor Sly James: (the Mayor of Kansas City talking about the NHL) “Folks, I have no issue with having a team in Sprint, provided it is the right deal and there is local ownership. We don’t have that package” … “Would have to sell out very game with Coyotes to be mid-pack in attendance in NHL. Tough act.” … “not many cobwebs in 1 of the top 5 booked arenas in the country. We make $$ now. Not w/ most teams” … Responding to what some of the limiations are: “Tkt cost, limited corp sponsors, practice time and lost bookings, need to subsidize, lease restrictions, work interruptions, ownership, under performing team, etc etc”
- Damien Cox: Sidney Crosby’s agent is convinced that Zdeno Chara intentionally punched Crosby where his jaw was broken.
- Dan Rosen: Senators Daniel Alfredsson said he hasn’t started thinking about if he’ll play next year or not. Will need a few more weeks.
- Mark Spector: Flames GM Jay Feaster won’t consider buyouts. He’d have trouble getting veteran UFA’s to replace the ones he bought out.
- John Shannon: “Can confirm that RSE has agreed in principle to lease terms with City of Glendale on an arena lease.” David Pagnotta: “The tentative lease agreement bw city of Glendale + RSE will b presented to city council on Tuesday, upon which its expected to get approved.” John Shannon: “Rennaissance S and E agreement in principle with Glendale is for 15 years…but requires Council approval. Its not a certainty.”
- The Fourth Period: Source saying that the Flyers will buyout Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov. Briere would be owed $3.333 million over four years. Bryzgalov would be owned $23 million over 14 years, about $1.642 million per year. On Bryzgalov
“They don’t want to play for him or with him,” the league source said.
Buying Briere and Bryzgalov out would create $12.166 million in salary cap space. The Flyers are still interested in Coyotes Keith Yandle. The two teams discussed a deal at last year’s NHL Draft. GM Paul Holmgren could also be looking for top six forward, either signing or through trade.
- Craig Custance of ESPN: Penguins GM Ray Shero’s commented that his priority is to sign Kris Letang, but didn’t rule out a trade. It may take a $6.5 million deal for eight years to remain in Pittsburgh. On the open market he may get a max term deal at between $7 and $8 million.
“The feeling from those I spoke with on Thursday is that Letang will sign an extension with Pittsburgh. It’s a similar situation to Staal in that the best move would be to trade him if there’s not a deal to be struck, but it’s different in that the Penguins don’t have two other world-class defensemen already on the roster the way they did at center last year.”
Letang didn’t have a great playoffs, but that wouldn’t scare teams away.
“Not a chance,” he said. “If they put him on the market, 29 teams would bid on him.”
The return for Letang in a trade would be huge. He could be used to get into the top part of this year’s draft. The blueline is the one area the Penguins have some organizational depth.
The Lightning could use a Letang and could offer the 3rd overall pick in a package. The Oilers need help on the blueline and have been offering up the 7th overall pick. Letang may be too similar to Justin Schultz’s skill set for a deal to make sense for them. The Ducks could be an interesting option with Bobby Ryan and potentially two number one goalies in Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth and top goalie prospect John Gibson. Gibson is from Pittsburgh. The Sharks may not have the assets to land Letang. The Rangers could use a right handed defenseman, but they may not have the depth to make a deal.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: If the Blackhawks can’t re-sign Bryan Bickell, keep an eye on the Canadiens.Look for the Bruins to sign Patrice Bergeron to a long-term extension.The Kings have spoken with 10 teams about Jonathan Bernier’s availability. Could be traded before or at the draft.LeBrun thinks that Alain Vigneault will be the coach of the Rangers or Stars.
The Canadiens won’t be making Carey Price available.
- Dallas Morning News: Stars GM Jim Nill on the draft:
“I know historically to move up at the draft it costs you assets and we’re trying to build up assets,” he said. “Unless it was just something that I thought was a no-brainer, we’d move up, but I’m very comfortable where we’re picking and I know we’re going to get a good player.”
“It’s a good draft,” Nill said. “There’s a lot of good players and there’s going to be a lot of good players in the second round. It’s a strong draft. … There’s good forwards, there’s good defensemen. If you want smaller, skilled guys, they’re there. If you need some bigger power-forward guys … it’s a good variation of players.”
On other changes:
“I think we’re going to be active,” he said. “I know I need to make changes. We need to get … our team has to get better. That’s my game plan — I need to make some changes. It’s going to be different.”
- TSN: The Flames currently have about $19 million is salary cap space and could get another $5.8 million if Miikka Kiprusoff retires. The Flames have three first round picks (#6, #22 and #28).
“I don’t know that it’s feeling the pressure as much as it is recognizing the importance of it,” Feaster said Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“The importance of this draft is not lost on the organization and it certainly isn’t lost on the management of the organization.”
“We have had extensive conversations with teams about moving up into the top five in the draft,” Feaster said. “We at least know which teams are willing to do something and if they are, what it would take to do that, and also which teams are not willing to do that.
“The one thing I believe with the pick at six, we want to get a player who has the opportunity to come in here right now and compete for a job. We really like this draft. We think at 22 and 28, we’re going to be happy with the players who are still on the board.”
The Flames need size and talent down the middle, size to the backend of their blueline and a scoring right winger to replace Jarome Iginla.
“I talked with him just this week,” Feaster said. “We’re going to continue to give him time. I think if we had to say ‘You have to make a decision today’ I’m not sure he’s ready to play right now.
“We’ve made sure he knows we’ll wait for him to be sure of what he wants to do.”
- TSN Insider Trading: Jonathan Huberdeaushould be in Chicago today, likely to win the Calder Trophy.Alex Ovechkin is believed to be the winner of the Hart Trophy.The Blue Jackets and Sergei Bobrovsky’s camp will talk next week.Video of Zdeno Chara punching Sidney Crosby in his injured jaw in Game 1 of the Bruins-Penguins series (click TSN Insider link above).