Posts Tagged Brent Sopel

Morning Rumors: Canucks, Canadiens, Flyers, Avalanche, Capitals, and Kings

  • Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province: Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman said that with Eddie Lack being out six months, that it won’t have any impact on the Roberto Luongo trade talk. The Canucks will likely now have to get a backup in the trade, or find a free agent. Lack is expected to be Cory Schneider’s backup next season.
  • The Fourth Period: The Canadiens wouldn’t mind adding a top 6 winger, and could offer up a blueliner to get one. The Wings, Kings, Senators, Wild, Oilers and Hurricanes are teams said to be looking for a defenseman. The Penguins, Flames, Devils and Sabres are also said to be offering up defensemen. Yannick Weber could find himself as the odd man out on the Canadiens blueline.
  • Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Carchidi wonders if Flyers GM Paul Holmgren will be patient and wait for Scott Hartnell’s return in four or five weeks, or will he go after a sniper like Ducks Bobby Ryan? The next two weeks will determine how they proceed. A 48 game schedule doesn’t allow you to wait too long.
  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC: The Avalanche may be looking for a forward with Ryan O’Reilly still unsigned, Steve Downie out for season and Gabriel Landeskog status uncertain. One GM said on an offer sheet: ”If Nashville is going to match that offer to Shea Weber, what the [bleep's] the point of  doing one?” Capitals GM George McPhee on Saturday: ”We are not looking for help. We’re in no rush to move anybody.” Pierre LeBrun reported that Kings may part with Jonathan Bernier under the right circumstances. ESPNs Craig Custance reported that some teams have interest in Brent Sopel who is playing in the KHL. He’d have to clear waivers first if a team signed him. Friedman thinks that Phil Kessel is perfectly suited to play in Toronto. He doesn’t pay attention to the newspapers, sports radio, etc.

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Afternoon notes on Comeau, Bergfors, Perron, Lightning, Maple Leafs, Ryan, Jagr, Pitkanen, Bogosian, Filatov, Ennis and Backstrom

  • Arthur Staple via twitter: The Islanders have placed forward Blake Comeau on waivers. He has no points in 16 games and is a -11. BD Galiof via twitter: Galiof wonders if a team like the Blue Jackets will take a chance on Comeau. Comeau on waivers means that no team was offering value back, or the Islanders think he can pass through. The Islanders were close to trading him in the summer before GM Garth Snow was able to get the price down on a new contract. Expect the Islanders to be willing to do the same with Reasoner and Rolston if their play doesn’t pick up. Galiof thinks that Comeau could be better on a low-end teams 2nd line. Didn’t play well on the Isles 3rd/4th lines.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: The Predators have put Niclas Bergfors on unconditional ($125) waivers. If he clears, they will mutually agree to terminate contract.
  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Blues winger David Perron is itching to get playing, and is getting closer.

    “There’s no date,” Perron said. “It’s just a matter of getting into practices and seeing how I react. It’s only been like four or five days (since he was cleared for contact) and I haven’t done a whole lot of it. We have a lot of games right now and a lot of optional skates and when it’s optional, it’s more about shooting and conditioning, so we haven’t gotten a lot of (physicality) yet.”

  • Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune: Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman:

    “I never believe you do something just to do something,” Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. “You just try to make the team better, whether that’s through recalling somebody or a trade. I’m not going to react. You just have to assess your team.”

    “In general, teams really are not looking to take on contracts, take on money this time of the year and it’s hard to make a trade,” Yzerman said. “It’s hard to find a fit with teams because teams don’t want to give up their draft picks. Teams don’t want to give up their young guys.”

  • Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly: Flyers winger Jaromir Jagr aggravated his groin last night, and will likely miss at least 2 games. “We got two games and then five days off,” Jagr said. “I think I’m not going to play those two games and make sure when I come back I want to come back strong.”
  • Chip Alexander via twitter: Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen could return on Sunday according to coach Paul Maurice. No decision on who will come out.
  • Chip Alexander via twitter: Hurricanes lines at practice: Skinner, Staal, Ruutu; Poni, Jussi, LaRose; Tlusty, Sutter, Dwyer; Brett Sutter, Brent, Stewart.
  • David Alter via twitter: Leafs lines at practice: Lupul-Bozak-Kessel, MacA-Connolly-Kulie, Frattin-Colborne-Crabb, Steckel-Dupuis-Rosehill, extras, Orr,Grabovski. David Alter via twitter: Grabovski will be out at least another week.
  • Joy Lindsay via twitter: Nikita Filatov says he’ll have a meeting with Senators GM Bryan Murray in the future, to discuss his future. Expects it to be next week.
  • John Vogl via twitter: Sabres forward Tyler Ennis will not play on Friday. Patrick Kaleta is also out, so they will need to call up a forward.
  • Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune: Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom missed last night’s game due to personal reasons and is expected to return to the team in a few days.
  • Brent Sopel via twitter: Sopel says that he’s turned down 3 NHL teams as he won’t break his current contract.

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Kings file grievance of Fraser … Devils re-sign Parise … Doughty update … NHL gets offer for Stars … Zherdev likes Jets

  • Dan Tencer via twitter: The LA Kings have filed a grievance over the health issues of Colin Fraser, who was acquired from the Oilers for Ryan Smyth.
  • Mark Everson of the NY Post: The NJ Devils and Zach Parise avoided arbitration and signed a 1 year deal worth $6 million.

    “Knowing that nothing was going to get done long-term right now, this gives us a springboard for further negotiations,” general manager Lou Lamoriello said.

    “There was no question that [Parise] was going to get a one-year contract, and settling it where both parties feel good about it is a platform to get something longer done,” Lamoriello said.

    If Parise isn’t signed to a long-term deal, he’ll become a UFA after this season.

  • E.J. Hradek of NHL.com: LA King GM Dean Lombardi on Drew Doughty contract talks,

    “I’m fairly confident that we’ll be able to get this done.”

    “We’ve been talking,” Lombardi said. “We’re trying to hammer it out, but I don’t think I really have a handle on it yet.”

    One of the problems involved is the lack of comparables for Doughty. Dion Phaneuf’s 6 year, $39 million deal could be the best comparable. Shea Weber is still working on a new deal with the Predators. Phaneuf had 54 goals, 105 assists and was a +27 after 243 games. Doughty has 33 goals, 93 assists and a +16 after 239 games. Doughty has better puck skills and skating ability than Phaneuf. It was reported a couple weeks ago that the Kings offered up to 9 years at more than $6.5 million a season. Doughty could become a UFA in 4 years under the current CBA.

  • Mike Hieka of the Dallas Morning News: 2 sources have said that Tom Gaglardi and Monarch Investments have sent an offer to the NHL to buy the Dallas Stars. There are over 40 lenders involved and everyone may not get paid as the sale price could be lower than the debt.

    “In a traditional sale, you have a seller who is trying to negotiate with a buyer, and you have traditional sale practices. But this isn’t a traditional sale,” said one source. “You have a group of sellers who have different opinions, and that really means you don’t have a seller, per se. Into that vacuum has stepped a lot of lawyers, and that has made the process very complicated.”

    Other offers can still be put forth, Gaglardi would have the option to increase his offer or walk away. The NHL allowed at least 4 groups to look at the Stars’ books.

  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun: Nikolai Zherdev would like to play for the Winnipeg Jets. There hasn’t been any indication if the Jets are interested.

    “The weather is not a priority to me,” Zherdev told broadstreethockey.com. “The most important thing is to get a good role on the team, a good coach and a good contract. Everything related to climate and geography doesn’t basically mean anything.

    “I don’t know all the details of the situation. The agent does,” said Zherdev. “But I can say that I’m seriously considering all offers from both NHL and KHL.”

  • Toronto Sun: Alexei Kovalev has signed a 2 year deal with Atlant Mytischi of the KHL. Brent Sopel signed a 2 year with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the KHL.

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Stamkos talks continue, unfounded twitter trade rumor … Semin being shopped … Doughty talks moving slowly … Leafs re-sign Bozak

  • Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburgh Times: The Lightning and Steven Stamkos continued negotiating yesterday. It’s “A work in progress” according to GM Steve Yzerman. Stamkos’ agent Mark Guy in a text, “Still working on it.” There was an unfounded twitter rumor that Stamkos’ rights would be sent to the Maple Leafs, and Evgeni Malkin would end up in Tampa Bay.
  • Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press: The Capitals are rumored to be shopping Alex Semin around the league with the Canadiens, Predators, Maple Leafs, Flyers, Penguins and Sharks possibly interested. Jets Dman Zach Bogosian’s name has been linked to Semin.
  • Helene Elliott of the LA Times: Negotiations between Drew Doughty and the LA Kings aren’t moving along quickly. Kings GM Dean Lombardi,

    “I am getting the feeling on Drew that unfortunately this could take a while. As we just saw this past week free agency produces a frenzy for players at all levels. We must be judicious about not getting into this market for our own players. Therefore it is critical with Drew that the dollars reflect a fair rate of return regarding the term of the contract. We must be prepared to do what it takes to get it right.”

    Lombardi added that they’d match any offer sheet. The Kings may be waiting to see what kind of deal the Predators and Shea Weber come too. Doughty’s agent Don Meehan in an email, “There is nothing new to report concerning any further discussions concerning Drew Doughty.”

  • Darren Dreger via twitter: Tyler Bozak re-signs with the Maple Leafs for 2 years, $3 million. (Last night there were reports that he signed for 2 years, $1.9 million)
  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: The Capitals are about $545,000 under the salary cap with RFAs Troy Brouwer and Karl Alzner still unsigned. They are able to go over the cap by 10% during the summer, and in the fall they might put Tom Poti and Eric Fehr on LTIR if they are not fully healed. The Capitals could also look at some trades to create some flexibility. Ted Leonsis wrote, “We will look to make some trades in the off season maybe even sign another free agent. We will continue to look at all of our options. We may not be able to get anything done. We may be able to do something. Time will tell.”
  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun: After locking up Andrew Ladd yesterday, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is hopeful to get a deal done with Blake Wheeler soon,

    “We had great conversations with his representative (Tuesday) and those will be ongoing,” said Cheveldayoff. “The fact he filed for salary arbitration doesn’t mean much at this time. We have a lot of time to get a deal done.”

  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dipatch: The Blue Jackets are still looking to add a defenseman to play with newly re-signed Marc Methot on the 2nd pairing. They are talking with Bryan McCabe, Brent Sopel, Scott Hannan and some others.
  • Jim Matheson via twitter: Ales Hemsky will be in the last year of his deal and will make $4.1 million. It’s sounding like he’d like to re-sign with Oilers.
  • Slava Malamud via twitter: Semyon Varlamov’s agent has said that Varlamov has signed a deal with the Avalanche, and that talk about door being open to the KHL are lies.

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Afternoon rumors and news involving Wisniewski, Jokinen, Leino, missed qualifying offers, Vokoun, Varlamov, Ducks, Blue Jackets, Sabres, and Blues

  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: The Canadiens trade the rights to James Wisniewski to the Blue Jackets. It will be a 2012 5th round pick if he signs, a 7th if he doesn’t.
  • Dustin Leed: Leed and TheFouthPeriod think that Ville Leino hasn’t re-signed with the Flyers as the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Penguins, Blackhawks, Hurricanes, Avalanche, Bruins, Rangers and Kings have interest in him.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: NHL statement on NHL team(s) improperly filing qualifying offers to RFA’s is: “We’re not aware of any defects relating to Qualifying Offers tendered by NSH to certain of team’s players as several media outlets reported. Those players, having timely received Qualifying Offers, will be Restricted Free Agents as of July 1, and both the players and the team…will be accorded the various rights and benefits of Restricted Free Agency as are set forth in CBA.” The NHLPA has raised the improper filing with agents of the player that are affected.
  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: “#NHLPA continues internal investigation throughout the day regarding #Predators potentially missing Q.O deadline on their respective RFA’s” … “Its up to #NHLPA to file grievance with #NHL against #Predators if they believe theirs sufficient evidence to support a case for the players.”
  • George Richards via twitter: Panthers GM Dale Tallon on goalie Tomas Vokoun: “We’re in negotiations with him as we speak. We’re very hopeful. That’s all I can tell you.”
  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The Blue Jackets and Jan Hejda continue to work a deal, likely for 3 or 4 years. The Jackets will still look to sign a defenseman if they re-sign Hejda, 2 if they don’t.
  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Blues will have 1 or 2 forward spots open depending on if Matt D’Agostini is re-signed or not. They are looking to add a defenseman and possibly a back up goalie. Forwards they could look at are Tomas Fleischmann, Chad LaRose (re-signed by Car. after this article was written), Joel Ward, Chris Higgins, Andrew Brunette and Jamie Langenbrunner. Defenseman they could look at are Jan Hejda, Kent Huskins, Brent Sopel or Steve Montador.
  • Jeremy Rutherford via twitter: T.J. Oshie’s agent Matt Oates, says that “things are going well” in their negotiations with Blues GM Doug Armstrong.

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Bergeron needs medical clearance … Contract talks for Gorges and Markov next … Coaching candidates

  • Steve Conroy of the Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron just needs medical clearance before he can get back in the Bruins lineup. He took contact at yesterday’s practice, and will take part in this mornings practice before deciding if he’s in or not. He’d most likely center Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand. Shawn Thornton would likely be the odd man out. Tyler Seguin would likely remain with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder.
  • Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: If Drew Miller is back with the Red Wings next year or not, it will come down to price. He made $650,000 this past season, and was a valuable penalty killer. He added 10 goals and 8 assists in 67 games. “Hopefully we can work something out. I’d definitely like to stay — I mean, it’s a great organization here. They have a lot of depth, but that’s what happens when you have a good team.”
  • Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette: The Canadiens now have 3 defenseman under contract for next season, Alexei Yemelin, PK Subban and Jaroslav Spacek. Negotiations for Josh Gorges and Andrei Markov are next. Because of the salary cap, it’s unlikely that James Wisniewski or Brent Sopel will be back. Hal Gill and Roman Hamrlik could be back at the right price.
  • Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Salary cap issues could prevent the Penguins from re-signing Tyler Kennedy. They’d like to keep him, but the RFA may be in the $1.5 – $2 million range. He had 21 goals and 45 points last season. Kennedy could be traded before the team has to send him a qualifying offer.
  • Tony Marinaro via twitter: Bob Boughner stepped down as the Blue Jackets assistant coach. Marinaro is hearing that Florida or Dallas could be possible teams he could coach.
  • Rich Hammond of the LA Kings Insider: Oscar Moller update. He’s expected to sign 2 year deal with a team in Sweden, and the Kings would almost certain retain the RFA’s rights. To retain his rights they would just have to extend a qualifying offer by June 27th.
  • Andy Strickland of True Hockey: Dave Cameron (Mississauga OHL head coach) is being strongly considered as the next Ottawa Senators head coach. Minnesota and Florida are possible destinations for former NY Islanders head coach Scott Gordon. A source tells Strickland to not completely write off Brad Richards to Tampa. Strickland (and myself) doesn’t see it happening. A $4-5 million price tag for Jaromir Jagr could be a hefty price if a potential 3rd line NHL winger. Strickland is told that Mike Modano will officially retire at some point this off-season. Chris Osgood could do the same.

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Kariya to play a part in Selanne’s decision … Off-season notes on the Blackhawks, Kings and Canadiens

  • JP Hoornstra of the InsideSocal: Paul Kariya could play a part in Teemu Selanne’s plan to play another season or not. Selanne has said he wants to know if Kariya would come back to Anaheim if he decides to play next year. “Obviously all the years that I had with Paul, it was just unbelievable,” Selanne said. “I talked to him yesterday and we’re going to meet next week. We didn’t even talk about injuries yet but I want to talk to him about how he’s doing, what he’s thinking and maybe go surf with him.”

    If he retires, Selanne said he would be at peace his career ending now. “I think so,” he said. “I tried to play like I left everything there. That’s how you should play anyway, every season. You can’t just win the Stanley Cup every year. That would be awesome, but it doesn’t work like that. I really believe we had enough tools to go further, but we lost.”

    If he comes back, it will be in Anaheim. “I haven’t thought about having a chance to go somewhere else,” he said. “This is my place for sure.”

  • Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald: Despite being knocked out by the Canucks in the first round, there isn’t a lot of holes to fill in the Blackhawks lineup. One area they need to add is size and sandpaper. They have to make decisions on RFAs Troy Brouwer, Viktor Stalberg, Chris Campoli and Jake Dowell, either to re-sign or use as trade bait. Re-signing RFA’s Cory Crawford and Michal Frolik is a priority. Ryan Johnson may be only UFA to return (if the price is right) out of a group of Tomas Kopecky, Marty Turco, Fernando Pisani and Jordan Hendry. Kopecky may have priced himself out of Chicago’s plans, he made $1.2 million this past season. The Blackhawks could look at dealing one of their “big-ticket players”, possibly Niklas Hjalmarsson and his $3.5 million cap hit.
  • Helene Elliott of the LA Times: The Kings think that Dustin Penner needs to improve his conditioning for next season. Winger Justin Williams needs to decide if he wants to have surgery on his shoulder or not. GM Lombardi has to decide if he wants Michal Handzus and Alexei Ponikarovsky back, coach Murray does. They must also re-sign RFA’s Drew Doughty, Wayne Simmonds, Trevor Lewis, Brad Richardson, Alec Martinez and Oscar Moller. Moller’s future with the Kings may not be bright as he scratched for Scott Parse who had been out for 5 months. Lombardi on Doughty, “Part of this is do we go short term with Doughty for now and keep it down or try and go long-term.”
  • Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette: The Canadiens blueline could have a different look next year as they have 6 UFA’s. Who of Andrei Markov, Roman Hamrlik, James Wisniewski, Brent Sopel and Hal Gill will be back?

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Perry was almost traded to Oilers … Injury notes on Spacek, Lecavalier, Clowe, Green, Hamhuis, Miller, Havlat and 3 Senators

  • Randy Youngman of the OC Register: In 2003-04, the Anaheim Ducks almost traded Corey Perry to the Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks were prepared to send Perry and a 2004 1st round pick to the Oilers for center Mike Comrie. Comrie was holding out, and the Oilers were wanting Comrie to repay $2.5 million of his original signing bonus. When he didn’t repay the signing bonus, the deal fell through, and he was later traded to Philly. The Ducks used the 2004 1st round pick to select Ladislav Smid.
  • Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette: Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik, a UFA at season’s end, hinted that it could be his last year in a Canadiens uniform. After the media named him the “Jacques Beauchamp Trophy” winner (goes to the unsung hero), “I’ve been doing this a long and especially (since) this is my last year, it’s an honour.” … “I know I’ve been playing with lots of good players this season. You guys had a choice and it’s a big honour for me.” P.K. Subban and Jaroslav Spacek are the only defenseman under contract for next year. Hamrlik, Andrei Markov, James Wisniewski, Hal Gill, Brent Sopel and Paul Mara are all UFA’s.
  • Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette: Quote of the Year: Jaroslav Spacek on how he knew his March 4th knee surgery was a success, “I woke up with two knees and no big boobs.”A decision if he’ll play tonight won’t be made until a couple hours before the game.
  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Sharks forward Ryane Clowe left last night’s game after 3 shifts with what coach Todd McLellan called a lower body tweak after the game. He was being evaluated after the game and more could be known today.
  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: Capitals defenseman Mike Green and Tom Poti didn’t travel with the team to Toronto for tonight’s game. Green took part in full practice yesterday but didn’t take any contact. He hasn’t ruled out getting into a game before the playoffs start. Alex Semin had a maintenance day yesterday to help heal some nagging injuries. Boudreau said there is a “chance” he could miss 1 of the team’s 3 remaining games.
  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports: Taylor Hall was asked to join Team Canada for the World Championships, but won’t be good enough shape to go. Sense around New Jersey is that they will do all they can to re-sign Zach Parise, but will he want to stay?
  • AP on NHL.com: Sabres goalie Ryan Miller took some shots yesterday at practice. He still thinks he’s day-to-day and hopes to play on Saturday against the Blue Jackets. Jhonas Enroth will start tonight against the Lightning.
  • Renaud Lavoie via twitter: Vincent Lecavalier said he will have no choice and will wear a visor when he returns. He may continue to wear it next year if he can adjust to it. TB Lightning via twitter: There was no structural damage to Lecavalier’s eye, and he’ll be a game time decision today.
  • Michael Russo via twitter: Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said that Martin Havlat is doubtful to play in the final 3 games, as he has an upper body injury.
  • Bruce Garrioch via twitter: Senators winger Daniel Alfredsson and defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Erik Karlsson are all done for the season.
  • Dan Tencer via twitter: It’s sounding like Oilers center Shawn Horcoff is done for the year after having a setback last week.
  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: The Maple Leafs will have about $15 million in salary cap space next season after they re-sign RFA’s Tyler Bozak, Clarke MacArthur, James Reimer, and Luke Schenn. The Leafs are more than one player away, so spending a lot money on Brad Richards may not be the right move. It’s unlikely the Leafs will trade some of their young talent for expensive veterans. If Richards (31) is looking for a 3  year deal, he might be a fit for the Leafs, but he’ll be looking for longer term. Paul Stastny, if made available, could be a player the Leafs would be interested in. Cox wonders if Burke could try to package his 2 1st round picks and a Kulemin or Gunnarson to move up in the draft and grab a top prospect (top 4), but that would tough.

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Canadiens acquire Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes from the Thrashers

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenseman Brent Sopel and forward Nigel Dawes to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Ben Maxwell and a 4th round draft pick.

Brent Sopel carries a $2,333,333 cap hit this year and will be a UFA at seasons end.

Dawes carries a $650,000 cap hit and will be a RFA after the season.

Maxwell is in the last year of his entry level deal and will be a RFA at the end of this year.

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Savard to LTIR … Brodeur to have MRI … Kessel Audio … Red Wings looking at Conklin … Blackhawks-Thrashers scouting each other

  • Boston Bruins: Announced that Marc Savard will be put on LTIR and is out for the rest of the season.
  • The Fourth Period: The Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Thrashers have been heavily scouting each other this year, and might be setting something up for a future deal. The ‘Hawks could be looking for a Dman, and Brent Sopel could be an option. The Thrashers may like Jack Skille.
  • Kevin Allen of the USA Today: The Red Wings aren’t looking at expensive goalies, such as JS Giguere. Chris Phillips will be easier to move than Sergei Gonchar as the later has 2 years remaining. The Calgary Flames aren’t trading Robyn Regehr or Jarome Iginla. Allen thinks Alex Kovalev could end up in Pittsburgh. The Predators are looking for scoring help.
  • Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News: The LA Kings are looking for some scoring help, and Gleason thinks that Tim Connolly could be a fit. He mentions Kyle Clifford as a ‘prospect’ that could head to other way to Buffalo. Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler could be trade bait for the Bruins.
  • Andy Strickland of True Hockey: The St. Louis Blues have already decided they won’t be re-signing goalie Ty Conklin, and have had discussions with the Detroit Red Wings. Ben Bishop would become the backup if Conklin is moved.
  • Bob McKenzie via twitter: Ray Emery signed with the Anaheim Ducks and was put on waivers at noon. Any team can claim but he’d have to stay in the NHL. If the claiming team wants to send him to the minors, he’d have to go on waivers again, and the Ducks could claim him.
  • Mark Spector via twitter: The Rangers have been scouting Sheldon Souray and haven’t liked what they’ve seen. He’s too slow for AHL, let alone the NHL.
  • Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post: Phil Kessel responds to comments he made yesterday, “Obviously, I love Toronto, I want to be here,” Kessel said, smiling. “I love this city. I love the fans. I love this team. The guys are great here. I don’t want any trade or anything like that. I want to be here for a very long time.”
  • Kevin Allen via twitter: Pavel Datsyuk will be back in the Red Wings lineup tonight. Tomas Holmstrom is hoping to return on Wednesday.
  • Eric Stephens via twitter: Ryan Getzlaf is back practicing with the Ducks and working with the 1st PP unit. Could be getting for their game against the Canucks.
  • Erik Erlendsson via twitter: Dwayne Roloson will start for the Lightning tonight against the Sabres. Ryan Malone will return to the lineup. Nate Thompson will not play tonight, may have suffered a concussion last yesterday. Malone practicing on top power play unit.

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Dustin Byfuglien being traded to the Atlanta Thrashers

TSN: The Chicago Blackhawks in the process of trading Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for a 2010 1st round pick (#24), a 2010 2nd round pick (#54), Marty Reasoner and Jeremy Morin.

The deal is pending league approval, officials are en-route to LA for the draft.

We’ll update if there are any new details once it’s official.

“It is believed that the Thrashers would exceed the NHL’s 50 contract limit with this trade and would need to offload a contract before the trade can be approved.”

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Horton on the move before the draft? Stars need a pucking moving defenseman … To get Chiarelli’s attention, Oilers could ….

DJ Been of WEEI: There were reports that this weekend that the Bruins were close to trading for Nathan Horton, but it hasn’t happened yet. Several teams may also be close on a deal for him. The Maple Leafs are another possible destination for him.

Bob McKenzie via Twitter: Nathan Horton hasn’t been moved yet, but will be moved, the Bruins are right in it.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: If the Oilers wanted to see if they land the top 2 picks, offering Ales Hemsky and Jordan Eberle or Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson might get Chiarelli’s attention. Chicago could be asking for a 2nd round pick to get Kris Versteeg, plus taking Brent Sopel’s $2.2 million contract off their hands. The Sabres could use a defenseman like Sheldon Souray. The Sabres are looking to move Derek Roy, Tim Connolly, and Drew Stafford. The Sabres aren’t that interested in re-signing Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman.

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: The Dallas Stars have a surplus of left handed forwards (no right handed centers, and potentially only 1 right handed forward. The Stars could really use a puck moving defenseman, and could send out one of their top-6 wingers, James Neal, Jamie Benn, Brenden Morrow or Steve Ott.

Craig Custance of the SportingNews: The San Jose Sharks could be looking for a top-tier defenseman with possible targets, Anton Volchenkov, Paul Martin, Sergei Gonchar, and Zbynek Michalek.

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