Posts Tagged Alex Kovalev

Free Agent Hits: Voynov, Wheeler, Little, Komarov, Ranger, Kovalev, Gonchar, Josi, Iginla, Kings and Blues

  • Igor Eronko: An exec from Traktor (KHL) said they made an offer to Kings RFA defenseman Slava Voynov, but there is no belief that he would accept it: ‘We know it’s almost unreal, but we’re going to try to sign Voynov until there is a chance’
  • Gary Lawless: Blake Wheeler’s camp said there has been no talks with the Jets yet. Bryan Little contract talks are “very preliminary.”
  • Michael Traikos: Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on Leo Komarov: “We made him an offer that we thought was fair. If he chooses to play in RUS for more $, nothing we can do about it.” Dmitry Chesnokov: Komarov will sign with Dynamo Moscow today. His Dynamo deal would not preclude him from exploring NHL options.
  • Darren Dreger: If Leafs Paul Ranger decides to return to the NHL, the Oilers would be high among the 20 plus teams that would be interested in him due to the Eakins hire.
  • Igor Eronko: Alex Kovalev signed in the Swiss league.
  • Darren Dreger: Sergei Gonchar’s deal with the Stars includes a full no-movement clause with a limited trade window from January 2015 to the trade deadline in the 2nd year of the deal.
  • Craig Custance: Oilers RFA Teemu Hartikainen will play for Ufa of the KHL.
  • Nashville Predators: The Predators sign defenseman Roman Josi to a 7-year, $28 million deal. Salary breakdown: 2.5 million in 2013-14, $3 million in 2014-15, $4 million in 2015-16, $4.25 million in 2016-17, $5 million in 2017-18, $5.25 million in 2018-19 and $4 million in 2019-20.
  • Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun: Francis thinks that if Jarome Iginla wants a serious shot at the Stanley Cup, he’d have a take a big pay-cut. It would be due to the fact that Cup contenders would have a tough time fitting in a bigger contract. How many teams would/could fit in more than $3 million a year for him? The Ducks could be a fit, especially his Teemu Selanne retires. San Jose might be able to fit him in on a one-year deal. The Blues could fit him in on the right side, but would he fit in Ken Hitchcock’s system?
  • Lisa Dillman of the LA Times: Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s top priorities will be UFA Rob Scuderi and Dustin Penner. He also has RFA Slava Voynov and Jonathan Bernier to sign. The Kings could let Penner hit the open market and open a top six spot for Tyler Toffoli or Tanner Pearson.
  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Blues have only had preliminary talks with RFAs Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund.

    “We haven’t really moved ahead with anyone yet,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. “We’ll probably do that, I’d say, 10 days before the draft (June 28) to two weeks before the draft. We’ll talk to guys if they want to get something done sooner, we’re prepared, but history shows that these guys usually don’t sign until after the free-agency period starts.”

    They may get an offer sheet from someone, but that is not a concern for GM Doug Armstrong.

    “Offer sheets aren’t a concern,” Armstrong said. “It’s part of the business and you know that they’re there. But the salary cap is coming down, and the mechanisms that would drive (current) teams away … that’s not available in the new CBA.”

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Garrioch’s roundup … Hejduk could retire … No calls for Komisarek … Flyers fans shouldn’t expect Weber

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Four GMs that could be on the hotseat: Greg Sherman (COL), George McPhee (WAS), Jay Feaster (CAL) and Dale Tallon (FLA).Marian Gaborikturned down a $79 million from the Wild in 2009, thinking that he could get $100 million. He ended up signing a 5 year, $35 million deal the with Rangers. The Blue Jackets were the only team interested in his $7.5 million contract for next season.

    Sources say the Blue Jackets offered one of their three first round picks to the Stars for Jaromir Jagr. The Red Wings were also interested in Jagr at the deadline.

    A decision on the Phoenix Coyotes is imminent. ”In Canada, the fans have been very forgiving,” said a league executive. “There are 20 owners in the United States who are sick of writing cheques for $1 million to prop this thing up.” Garrioch thinks that moving them to Quebec City and keeping the Blue Jackets in the West makes the most sense until they have expansion.

    The Sharks thought about trading defenseman Dan Boyle but they went on a 5 game winning streak. The Flyers, Rangers and Red Wings were interested. They could look to move him in the summer.

    Ryane Clowe gave up on his sign-and-trade thoughts when he found out that nobody would give him an 8 year deal in the $5.5 to $6 million range.

    The Devils and Sabres had interest in Jets Alex Burmistrov.

    It wouldn’t surprise some people if the Wild bought out Dany Heatley and his $7.5 million salary in the summer.

    Expect the Flyers to be looking for a new coach at the end of their season.

  • Adrian Dater: Avalanche winger Milan Hejduk remains out with a shoulder injury and he could retire after the season. “Hejduk, 37, has hinted this season will be it for him. He could change his mind, and here’s hoping he might. But I doubt it. Age is the great equalizer, and Hejduk has suffered his share of injuries in recent years. Along with the shoulder, he has had serious knee injuries and a troublesome back.”
  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis called both James Reimer and Ben Scrivens five minutes after the trade deadline to let them know that neither was offered in a trade. The Canucks did ask for Scrivens in their offer, but the Leafs wouldn’t do unless they included a “significant portion” of Roberto Luongo’s salary. The Flames had agreed to take a 2nd round pick from the Maple Leafs for Miikka Kiprusoff. The Leafs didn’t get one call on Mike Komisarek.
  • Dave Isaac of the Courier Post: Isaac notes that Flyers fans shouldn’t expect to see Shea Weber in a Flyers uniform anytime soon. After all of Weber’s signing bonuses, the Predators will pay him $27 million before next season and $41 million before the 2014-15 season starts, 37% of his contract. Weber also has a no-trade clause.

    “That’s a financial unlikelihood for Nashville looking to move him, especially to Philadelphia,” said Stu Grimson, a former NHL tough guy who now is a radio commentator for the Preds.

    The Flyers will have to look elsewhere. Coyotes Keith Yandle? Could they outbid the Islanders for Mark Streit if he doesn’t sign before free agency starts? Do they look at Senators Sergei Gonchar or Ron Hainsey?

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Roster notes for tonight: Ehrhoff, Callahan, Boyle, Simmonds, Cizikas, Granlund, Kovalev and Letang

  • John Vogl via twitter: Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff will return to the lineup tonight. Missed one game.
  • Arthur Staple via twitter: Sounding like Rangers Brian Boyle is out, Ryan Callahan is back in, Dan Girardi is out, Steve Eminger is in.

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Quick hits: Connolly, Islanders, Coyotes, Underagers, Leaf cuts, Kulikov, Redden, Stars and Kovalev

  • Chris Johnston via twitter: Tim Connolly is getting interest, but he might need to clear waivers first. Some teams would prefer a trade with the Leafs, who would need to retain some salary.David Pagnotta via twitter: Connolly’s agent said there are “no plans yet” regarding a buyout. Added, ”We will be discussing options after waiver results.”
  • B.D. Gallof via twitter: Source on idea of the Islanders bringing in Connolly, ”Not going to happen. I would be shocked”
  • Sarah McLellan via twitter: Coyotes will get a $2 million salary cap hit for Matthew Lombardi, and will pay $1.1 of his salary. (Lombardi’s salary this year is $3.5 million)
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: McKenzie thinks there are likely 3 under-aged rookies playing all season in the NHL: Dougie Hamilton in Boston, Nail Yakupov in Edmonton and Jonathan Huberdeau in Florida. Under-agers likely to get a ‘trial’ are: Rakell (ANA), Grigorenko (ANA), Dumba (MIN), Galchenyuk (MTL), Laughton (PHI), Scheifele (WPG). Final decisions on Murphy (CAR), Matteau (NJD), and Rielly (TOR) will be made this morning.
  • James Mirtle via twitter: Mirtle is hearing the Maple Leafs will be cutting Morgan Rielly and Matt Frattin today. Should know by their 11:30 am practice. If that is what is happening, it would mean they are starting the season with 8 defenseman: Phaneuf, Gunnarsson, Liles, Franson, Kostka, Holzer, Fraser, Komisarek.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: Clarifying that the Panthers and Kulikov have agreed on a 2 year deal, but has not officially been signed until he passes a physical.

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Wings Kindl has groin injury … Antropov optimistic for opener … Poti back with Caps … Kovalev close on deal … Lilja may look to Sweden

  • Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press: Nik Antropov didn’t pass is medical with the Jets last week, but has been skating this week.

    “We’ll see how it responds,” Antropov said Wednesday. “Today it felt good. I’m optimistic for the weekend.”

    Stephen Whyno via twitter: Tom Poti is back with the Capitals after a 2 game conditioning stint.

  • Bill Meltzer via twitter: Flyers Andreas Lilja told Expressen that he’s considering going back to Sweden to play for Rogle. Lilja said he’s ”a good enough player to play where I want” and may not be interested in playing in the AHL this year.

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Training camp notes involving the Sabres, Stars, Canadiens, Panthers and Flyers

  • John Vogl via twitter: Sabres GM Darcy Regier said that Mikhail Grigorenko will be going to training camp. “Burning” a year of his entry level contract for half a season won’t factor into the decision whether to keep him in the NHL or returning him to Junior.
  • Renaud Lavoie via twitter: There is a chance that Mike Commodore will be at the Canadiens training camp. He’s been playing with the AHL Bulldogs.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: The 40 year old Alex Kovalev will be invited to the Panthers training camp. Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel: The Panthers haven’t confirmed any camp invites yet.

    “No one has promised me anything,” said Kovalev, who has 428 goals and 596 assists in 1,302 regular-season games over 17 NHL seasons for New York, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Ottawa. “They just want me to come in and make the team.

    “I can’t predict anything. I’m just going to do what I’m able to do and we’ll see how it’s going to go. They could say we may go with the younger guys or something.”

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Morning notes on CBA, O’Reilly, Kovalev, Hurricanes, Galchenyuk, Ohlund, Gionta, Prust, Oilers goalie prospects and Simmonds

  • Aaron Ward via twitter: “Further clarification to NHLPA proposal to limit non player spending by teams.Player concessions in 2005 lowered player costs while” … “non player costs sky rocketed.These costs can be defined as GM/Coaches salaries on down to Jet Fuel.Speaks to proposal theme of shared” … “financial responsibility in the PARTNERSHIP.The extra draft pick for teams in financial trouble is very discretionary and would be” … “mutually agreed upon by NHL/NHLPA on case by case basis with the intent to target the market/team in need.This would be very limited but” … “the pick itself would serve the purpose of helping to revitalize a team.Lastly,a franchise in distress under special circumstances,would” … “be permitted to trade/sell up to $4 million in cap space to another team giving the team a way of getting another ‘paycheck’.This would be” … “VERY limited and only available to teams in need.”
  • Allan Walsh via twitter: Gary Bettman’s response to the NHLPA’s proposal: “The sides are far apart, there’s still a wide gap between us with not much time to go.” Don Fehr on Bettman’s response: “When you start with the proposal the owners made, how could it be otherwise. Consider what the (NHL) proposal was.”
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly’s agent on contract negotiations:

    “I can’t comment on the negotiations, other than to say we are still working on it and will likely speak again next week.”

  • George Malik via twitter: is reporting that Alex Kovalev told a Swiss team (HC Geneva) that he’s received offers from North American teams.
  • Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer: The Hurricanes may still look to add some 4th line muscle. “What’s gone relatively unnoticed is the lack of concrete change on defense, an area where the Hurricanes have struggled since the core of the 2002 and 2006 teams moved on. Corvo is underrated defensively, but of the Hurricanes’ two free-agent departures, he’s more of a replacement for Jaroslav Spacek than he is Bryan Allen.”
  • Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin thinks it could be difficult for 2012 1st round pick Alex Galchenyuk to make the team.

    “It will be difficult because he didn’t play much hockey last season, but we’ll see how he does in training camp,”

    Brian Gionta have recovered from his torn bicep and Bergevin isn’t concerned with Brandon Prust’s hand surgery this offseason.

  • Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times: Mattias Ohlund’s hockey career is still up in the air after 6 months of recovery from major knee surgery (“a thin layer of titanium was used to resurface his femur at the patellofemoral joint behind his kneecap. That created a cushion where cartilage had flaked away and bone-on-bone rubbing caused severe pain”).

    “Do I have a dream to still play hockey? Yeah, I do,” Ohlund, 35, said Monday after a workout at the Ice Sports Forum. “I’m slowly getting better. But I don’t know what the end result will be.”

    “Significantly improved,” Poirier said. “When he left me he could only get to 10, 12 reps; it was painful. Now he can do 15 to 20 reps without pain. The next step is to build him up even more.”

    “Nobody has told me this is impossible,” Ohlund said of a comeback in his 14th NHL season.

  • Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal: Oilers goalie prospect Olivier Roy will likely split time with Yann Danis in the AHL. Tyler Bunz will likely take Roy’s spot as the starter in the ECHL.
  • Andy Strickland via twitter: The Flyers have signed Wayne Simmonds to a 6 year, $23.875 million contract extension. It works out to just over $3.97 million per season.

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Rick Nash Trade Rumors

I’ll continue to add Rick Nash trade rumors to this post, bumping old ones to a jump page when it gets to long. Here are links to 2 previous entries HC Rick Nash Trade Tracker Videos and Rumors, and Blue Jackets put Rick Nash on the trade market.

Feb. 26th 8:15 PM

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: Obviously possible Rick Nash could move by tomorrow but it were close in any way do you think CBJ would’ve played him today?”
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: Teams that have the most interest in Nash don’t think he’ll be moved and are looking at other players.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The Rangers weren’t willing to pay the price for Nash prior to today, and today the Blue Jackets asked for more than they initially asked for. Can’t really blame the Rangers for not wanting to blow up their team to make a Nash deal.

11:15 AM

  • David Boclair of the Nashville City Paper: The Predators have made an offer Nash. It’s unlikely the Blue Jackets would want to trade within their division. The Preds offer could include: Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis or Jonathan Blum and multiple picks and/or prospects
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: The Blue Jackets haven’t spoken with the Maple Leafs in days. Leafs will keep trying, but Gardiner remains untouchable.
  • Bruce Garrioch via twitter: Belief before the Maple Leafs loss to the Capitals that the Leafs interest in Nash was minimal, and they they were driving up the price for the Rangers.
  • Sam Carchidi via twitter: The Flyers are still talking with Blue Jackets about Nash, but nothing serious has developed. The Jackets want several of the Flyers young players.

9:00 AM

  • The Fourth Period: The Rangers may include Carl Hagelin (Rangers want Stepan) to go along with Brandon Dubinsky, Chris Kreider and a 1st round pick. The Blue Jackets are asking the Maple Leafs for Jake Gardiner, Joe Colborne, Matt Frattin and a 1st round pick.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: The Leafs, Rangers, and Sharks have offers in on Rick Nash, and have all said the offer could be better in the summer. The Rangers and Leafs are being aggressive as they have more parts to offer than the Sharks.
  • Bruce Garrioch via twitter: The Sharks are still interested in Nash, but could probably make a better offer in the offseason. The Maple Leafs and Rangers are still in.
  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson should go after Derek Stepan over Brandon Dubinsky. Howson wants Chris Kreider, the Rangers best prospect. He also wants either Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto, but McDonagh isn’t going anywhere. Dylan McIlray or Tim Erixon are also options. After the Carter deal, defense is not a top priority for Howson. He could use some 1st round picks to take a run at Canucks Cory Schneider this offseason. They already have their own and the Kings.

Feb. 25th 9:50 PM:

  • Spector’s Hockey via twitter: Elliotte Friedman suggested on the Hotstove that the Blue Jackets might not move Nash by Monday. They’ve shifted their focus to forwards for Nash.
  • Chris Botta via twitter: Botta can see the Rangers best offer for Nash as Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, a 2012 1st round pick and a conditional pick based on Rangers success the next 2 years.
  • Todd Cordell via twitter: Bob McKenzie reported that the Canucks are jumping into the trade market, with Nash a possibility.

4:40 PM

  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: Rick Nash’s agent spoke with TSN and said the following: “We’re hopeful a deal can get done prior to the trade deadline that is fair and equitable for the Blue Jackets…” .. “However, if a deal is not reached, then the list of acceptable teams will not change at a later date.”

2:05 PM

  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Rangers remain firm that they aren’t going to trade Michael Del Zotto or Ryan McDonagh in a deal with Columbus for Nash.
  • David Pagnotta via twitter: Hearing that the Blue Jackets want Derek Stepan badly, but might settle for Carl Hagelin. Brandon Dubinsky, Chris Kreider, Stepan or Hagelin, and a pick (may not be a 1st). There could be more coming from the Blue Jackets. May boil today to Stepan or Hagelin.

9:00 AM

  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: “No guarantees #CBJ captain Rick Nash is traded by Monday’s deadline, but might be best for all parties to have a quick ending to this.” …”#CBJ have set the bar very high and are waiting for other teams to meet their requirements. So far, none of them have done so.” … “#CBJ approach is that they don’t have to trade Nash, but several possible suitors and the Nash camp are getting impatient w the process.” … “Might be best if #CBJ fans come to terms with the fact that Nash is likely going to be traded. Might not happen at deadline, but …” … “… chances of Nash being with the Blue Jackets at the start of next season are slim.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Ducks in the rumor mill … Subban-Plekanec drop the gloves … RNH injures shoulder … Carcillo could face suspension

  • Eric Stephens of the OC Register: Talk about what Teemu Selanne will do has already surfaced as the Ducks have struggled with a 10-21-6 record.

    “I’ve read some stories in the papers too about what the situation could be,” said Selanne, who took the day off for maintenance. ”To be honest, I haven’t really thought about that too much. I still believe that we can make the playoffs. I don’t want to think about that thing before we’re out.

    “So right now, I just think I’m going to be here. That’s the only goal I have right now. Right now, I can’t see that happening. The focus is still do the job here now and see how it goes. A lot of work to do. It’s a big challenge right now.”

    Ducks GM Bob Murray may look to see what he can get for the few tradable assets he has. Bobby Ryan has already been on the trade block and Ryan Getzlaf’s name has crept into the rumor mill lately. GM Murray has already said that Selanne is retiring a Duck.

  • Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News: It’s sounding like the Sabres could be shopping some players in effort to turn their season around. Coach Lindy Ruff’s job is safe. The Sabres sit in 11th spot, but they don’t need to blow up their roster. Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Paul Gaustad and Ryan Miller haven’t lived up to expectations or their contracts.
  • TSN:  Canadiens P.K. Subban and Tomas Plekanec dropped the gloves at yesterday’s practice. No big bombs were landed and both players resumed practicing afterwards. “It’s nothing personal between me and P.K., it’s about the team and to realize we have to start playing as a team,” said Plekanec. “Those things happen.
  • Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly: Flyers winger Jaromir Jagr took himself out of yesterday’s Winter Classic after he was speared in the calf. “It was swelling and getting worse and worse in my leg,” Jagr said. “I just couldn’t skate hard and I didn’t want to just be [on the ice] to be there. I knew at that point I couldn’t help my teammates.”
  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Custance list 10 candidates for next year’s Winter Classic and beyond: 1. Detroit 2. Washington 3. New York 4. Minnesota 5. Toronto 6. Chicago 7. Colorado 8 Columbus 9. Green Bay 10. Las Vegas
  • Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province: Canucks forward David Booth hopes to return to the lineup by Jan. 9th against the Panthers. Booth has skated for 3 straight days, but only for 15 minutes. Booth has been out with a sprained knee ligament since Dec. 6th. Defenseman Aaron Rome also skated but is still a ways from returning.
  • Blackshawks Dan Carcillo’s hit on Oilers Tom Gilbert. This will definitely be looked by the league, and a suspension is likely. What do you think?

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Maloney, Doan talk Turris … CBA talks to begin after All-Star Game … Doughty fined … Bogosian, Deveaux up for suspension?

  • Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic: Coyotes GM Don Maloney on Kyle Turris:

    “He felt that he decided he wanted to go down a certain route and certain things he was looking for; and for us as an organization, very few times in the CBA where you do have some leverage, and we just felt strongly that we needed to use our leverage now,” he said.

    “Looking down the road with some other players … we just felt it was important to set a standard on how we operate.”

    Maloney added the process was always about business as Turris was looking for a contract worth a lot more than he got. Captain Shane Doan on having Turris back in the locker room:

    “Obviously, we’re going to tease him, we’re going to have fun with him,” he said. “This room is a pretty good group of guys that’s gonna give it to him, and the reason you give it to him is because you like him so much.

    “Everybody wants him back. So we’re looking forward to it, and I’m sure he’s looking forward to playing hockey again, that’s what he does, and he does it really well.”

  • Iain MacIntyre via twitter: Canucks forward Mason Raymond is getting close to returning, with the possibility of him being in the lineup next week during their homestand.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian will have a hearing this afternoon for his hit on Capitals Cody Eakin. Andre Deveaux will also have a hearing for his elbow on Tomas Fleischmann. How many games do you think Deveaux will get?

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Some free agent notes … Huselius out 4-6 months … Devils getting closer to naming coach … Canes basically done

  • Craig Custance of the SportingNews: Custance notes some intriguing players remain unsigned: Alex Kovalev (who’s not retiring according to his agent), Bryan McCabe, Scott Hannan and Ray Emery. The Bruins could use some help on the wing with Mark Recchi retiring and Michael Ryder heading to Dallas. The Rangers could use some scoring help up front, but a veteran along the blueline may be more important. Chris Osgood’s future with the Red Wings could be decided later this week. The Red Wings don’t want to spend much on their backup goalie. The Predators need to find some scoring help as only Sergei Kostitsyn and Patric Hornqvist scored over 20 goals. The Islanders are still $10 million below the salary cap floor. Kings GM Dean Lombardi continues to work the phones, and could be looking to add a winger.
  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets winger Kristian Huselius tore his pectoral muscle last weekend while bench pressing during a workout. He’s expected to miss 4 to 6 months after surgery (today in Columbus). Jackets GM Scott Howson will now look for a free agent winger who is able to play in the top 6. “I’m sure I’ll get some phone calls beginning (Thursday),” Howson said.
  • Tom Gulitti via twitter: Though they are getting closer to hiring a new head coach, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said “it won’t be this week.”
  • Chris Kuc via twitter: The Blackhawks just started the negotiating process for RFAs Campoli and Frolik, there is no rush to get them signed.
  • Dirk Hoag via twitter: Predators GM Poile “we’re in exactly the position we want to be competitive for a number of years. We have our window of opportunity.”
  • Chip Alexander via twitter: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said they are basically done for the summer unless a good “hockey deal” comes along. He will need to add a few depth AHL players.
  • Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: Kris Draper wants to return next year, and Red Wings GM Ken Holland plans to talk to him soon. The Wings don’t have cap problems, but they 14 forwards under contract already. The 40 year old Draper had 11 points in 47 games, and didn’t complain when he was made a healthy scratch. If he’s not offered a contract by the Wings, he’ll likely be offered a position within the organization.
  • Wayne Scanlan of hte Ottawa Citizen: The Ottawa Senators have signed their 2011 1st round draft pick Mika Zibanejad to an entry level deal.

    “Obviously, if I don’t (make the Senators), I’m going back to Sweden,” said Zibanejad

    “I don’t think that’s a bad idea to be there and maybe develop, get bigger and stronger. Sweden is the second-best league in the whole world, so I think that’s the plan.”
  • Predators unveil their new jersey’s:

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Malhotra plans for Game 1 … Wings looking for Dman … Crosby to be re-evaluated … Another group interested in Thrashers

  • Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province: Canucks forward Manny Malhotra has been given medical clearance and is preparing to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. 11 weeks ago he nearly lost his eye. “Everything is as it should be,” Malhotra said of the eye. “Going forward, I will continue to be monitored daily and if at any time the doctor doesn’t like what he sees, he has the ultimate veto power,” Malhotra said. Malhotra is expected to take Cody Hodgson’s spot as the 4th line center.
  • Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: The Red Wings will now be looking for a top defenseman after Rafalski’s unexpected retirement. “The market isn’t as strong, but we’re only looking for one guy,” Holland said. “If a player’s not out there or doesn’t want to buy into the program, we’ll look at an alternative plan. Do you go a touch higher than you want? Yeah. But we’re not going to go dramatically higher than what we think makes sense.” UFA’s that might interest the Wings are Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff, Joni Pitkanen, Ed Jovanovski, James Wisniewski, Roman Hamrlik, Ian White and Tomas Kaberle.
  • Fan 590 Audio: Ken Holland talks on Prime Time Sports (Thursday) talking about Rafalski’s retirement and what it means for their blueline.
  • Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Sidney Crosby will be re-evaluated by a concussion specialist in the next week or so. Crosby has been vacationing in Europe, needs clearance from doctors before he can resume his off-season workouts. The Penguins won’t be re-signing Alex Kovalev or Mike Comrie. Comrie could retire, “I’m not sure what Mike’s going to do,” Shero said. “He might be leaning toward retirement.” Shero didn’t rule out re-signing any of their UFA’s: Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Mike Rupp, Craig Adams, Arron Asham, Eric Godard, Chris Conner and Nick Johnson.
  • Craig Custance of the Sporting News: Chris Osgood is “100 percent healthy” but a decision on his playing future is still not known.  “He’s going through the internal process to decide if he has the energy and the desire and determination to play hockey again,” Holland said. “In the middle of June, we’ll look at the goalies that are out there, we’re going to try and figure out a way to be the best team that we can.”
  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Another group stepped forward with interest in buying the Thrashers and keeping the team in Atlanta. Statement from president Don Waddell.

    “Along with all other groups who have expressed an interest in pursuing an ownership opportunity, which has happened as recently as earlier this week, we have said continuously that ‘until an agreement is signed and approved by the board of governors, it’s never too late but they will have to move very quickly and decisively.  Ownership still is committed to selling at a greatly reduced price to anyone committed to Atlanta.’  ”

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