Posts Tagged Sergei Gonchar

Morning Rumors IV: Stars, Islanders, Senators, Canucks, Rangers, Sabres and Scouting Rangers-Bruins

  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: The Stars have about $2.7 million in salary cap space, which would allow the Stars to take on $13 million in players salaries (cap number). Sergei Gonchar has another year at $5 million and is likely untradeable. It’s unlikely they buy him out after the season or eat half is contract in a trade. The Stars could trade Stephane Robidas if they get a good offer for him. Ray Whitney and Vernon Fiddler are UFAs and could be moved. Heika doesn’t think Fiddler will be traded despite asking for a trade earlier in the season. It’s still unlikely that they re-sign Fiddler, but will use him to continue their push for a playofff spot.
  • The Fourth Period: The Stars are looking for a top-pair defenseman that has term left and not rental players. Two sources are saying they have interest in Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Edler. Both players have no-trade clauses. Source saying the Stars may not be in on Edler as the cost to acquire him may be too high. The Stars are also looking to trade Vern Fiddler and Ray Whitney. Stephane Robidas is getting interest from teams.
  • Darren Dreger: Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is injured and expected back mid-March, but is still getting some trade interest.
  • Arthur Staple: Islanders Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald will almost certainly be traded by Wednesday’s deadline.

    “You try to block it out, but it’s hard not to,” said Vanek, who rejected a seven-year, $50-million offer from the Islanders in January.

    MacDonald rejected a four year deal worth $16 million in January.

    “I’ve only ever been here,” he said. “I don’t know anything different. You try not to think about it, but obviously it’s running through your mind. It’s a business and that’s just how it is right now, I guess.

    “This is obviously not how I’d like to go out.”

  • The Fourth Period: The Senators are discussing whether they should trade Milan Michalak or keep the pending UFA. Michalek has a full no-trade clause, but knows what is going on and may consider a trade. Sources saying they haven’t approached Michalek about waiving his NTC. The Senators could look at trading pending UFA Joe Corvo.
  • Jason Brough: “No need to wait til the summer and waste the value Kesler could give a team this postseason.”
  • John Shannon: Shannon wonders if the extent of Daniel Sedin’s injury (left game yesterday) will play a role in whether they can afford to trade Ryan Kesler now.
  • Mark Spector: A lot of teams are saying that any trades need to be money in, money out. Teams either don’t have the salary cap space or they are at their internal salary cap.
  • Mark Spector: The Rangers may be interested in Ales Hemsky, but some of their scouts are split on him. Other teams are split on him as well. A third round pick is probably what teams may want to pay, the Oilers will be asking for a second.
  • Don Brennan: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk on the trade deadline: ”We’re easily considered a buyer….we’re definitely not sellers.”
  • Buffalo Sabres: “Tim Murray: We’re continuing to talk trades, continuing to get ready for the draft. Focused on hockey.”
  • Denis Gorman: Scouting the Rangers – Bruins yesterday: Flyers, Canucks, Sharks, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets and Penguins.

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Morning Rumors II: Sharks, Rangers, Wild, Sabres, Flyers, Panthers, Avs, Penguins, Jets and Kings

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Sharks Dan Boyle’s contract expires at the end of the season.

    “I talked to Doug [Wilson] yesterday,” said Boyle’s agent, George Bazos, when we chatted Sunday afternoon. “We’ll continue to talk. Both sides want to get something done.”

    Fair market value for Boyle could be three years at $15 million. Because of the 35+ rule, the Sharks could offer a one-year deal with bonuses. A compromise deal could be something like Sergei Gonchar’s two year, $10 contract.

  • Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News: The Rangers will have five restricted and seven unrestricted free agents this summer. The Rangers have held preliminary talks with Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello is second on the team in goals and points and has arbitration rights. The Rangers and Ryan Callahan have had ongoing discussions, with Callahan’s agent, Stephen Bartlett saying they hope to get something done and they remain optimistic.
  • Bob McKenzie: (late morning yesterday) McKenzie doesn’t think the Wild are close to a deal with anyone. They may need a goalie. If Josh Harding is going to be out long-term, with only five games left before the Olympic break, they may wait until after the break to get a better update on his status.
  • Chad Graff: The price tag for Ryan Miller is too high right now and the Wild don’t want to give up a lot for a rental. Have been told that the Wild are “absolutely not” trading Charlie Coyle or Mikael Granlund.
  • Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press: The Wild sent two prospects and two picks to the Sabres last year for Jason Pominville and are less likely to make a deal involves their young prospects.

    “I wouldn’t rule anything out, but those deals are hard to make,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “It’s tough to give up multiple assets on a yearly basis and stay competitive long-term, so you’re balancing the long term with the short term. Certainly, we’re happy with the deal last year, but that’s a difficult deal to make on a yearly basis.

    “Any deal (we do) has to make sense in the long- and the short-term perspective, in my opinion, for where we’re at in the arch of our franchise.”

    Barring an injury to Darcy Keumper and Niklas Backstrom, it’s unlikely the Wild would make a trade Ryan Miller, someone who they wouldn’t be interested in re-signing. The Wild are optimistic that Josh Harding will be able to re-join the team after the Olympic break.

  • Bob McKenzie: Though there are lots of Ryan Miller rumors, McKenzie doesn’t sense anything if imminent. Things can obviously change quickly. (late morning yesterday)
  • Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: It is shaping up to be a tough next six weeks for Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.

    “It’s obviously different than in years past,” Holmgren said yesterday. “You don’t get a real deadline to work with. We play six games before the Olympics, and then we come back and only have another [three] games to make a move.

    “Right now, it’s getting to the point where we need to see what we have, see what’s out there and make a move if we’re going to do it.”

    Holmgren believes in their team nucleus, but their will continue to look at the market.

    “That doesn’t mean if something comes up now and for the future, that we wouldn’t think about it,” Holmgren said. “We’ll continue to look around. But it would have to be something that makes sense for both.”

    The Flyers could use a No. 1 defenseman, but it’s unlikely that one would become available at the deadline. Sources saying that Panthers Mike Weaver and Avalanche’s Ryan Wilson are available.

  • William DePaoli: Clear that Penguins coach Dan Bylsma would endorse the addition of winger Matt Moulson. The Penguins do like him, but they expect a bidding war for him.
  • Dennis Bernstein: When asked what it would cost the Kings to get Andrew Ladd, Bernstein responds with the Jets are playing a lot better under Paul Maurice and may not be looking to sell yet.

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Morning Rumors II: Stars, Rangers, Kings, Hurricanes, Canucks, Lightning, Penguins, Leafs and Senators

  • TSN Insider Trading: McKenzie: Two Stars who may be okay with being traded are Ray Whitney and Sergei Gonchar. Whitney would be a rental, but Gonchar as two years left at $5 million.

    LeBrun: A Dan Girardi extension may be more likely than a Ryan Callahanextension.

    Dreger:  The Kings would like to add some scoring but will likely have to wait until closer to the trade deadline due to cap space available. They are looking at rentals: Mike Cammalleri, Thomas Vanek and maybe Tomas Fleischmann and Matt Moulson.

    Dreger: Hurricanes Tuomo Ruutu is in play. GM Jim Rutherford told Ruutu he will push for a trade. Ruutu has a no-trade clause.

    McKenzie: Rutherford sent an email to teams saying Jiri Tlusty, Riley Nash, Drayson Bowman and Brett Bellemore are available.  The Canucks did the same with Dale Weise. The Lightning did the same with Keith Aulie and Tom Pyatt.

  • Will DePaoli of Insider Pittsburgh Sports: The Penguins sent Simon Despres back to the AHL, and some within the organization are souring on him. Trade speculation will mount as they may be higher on prospects Derrick Pouliot, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin.
  • Will DePaoli of Insider Pittsburgh Sports: The Penguins are looking for a third line winger and a top-six winger. They don’t have a second round pick and are lukewarm on the idea of trading their first round pick for any rental that might be available. There is some thought of playing James Neal with Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby, and then finding a winger for Evgeni Malkin by the deadline. There are better fits out there for Malkin than Crosby.
  • ESPN Slide Show: Players who could be traded: Ryan Miller, Sam Gagner, Mike Cammalleri, Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Steve Ott, Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Anton Khudobin or Justin Peters, David Legwand, Martin Erat, Andrew MacDonald, Ryan Callahan and Nazem Kadri.
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: ”The Canucks need more strength down the middle. Probably going to have to use one of their good D to get it done.”
  • Damien Cox: A rumor that was floating around the prospects game that was going on during the summer, was a James Reimer for Nail Yakupov deal.
  • MyNHLTradeRumors: Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch said on Hockey Central that the Rangers wanted Marc Methot and another piece (likely an AHL player) for Michael Del Zotto. The Senators were fine with the other piece, but not with trading Methot.

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Morning Rumors II: Ducks, Leafs, Bruins, Canucks, Stars, Jets, Oilers, Sharks and Avs

  • Pierre LeBrun: Ducks GM Bob Murray on Jonas Hiller trade rumors:

    “There’s not a chance in hell that I’m moving Jonas Hiller,” Murray told on Tuesday evening. “I’m tired of hearing about the rumors. I can tell you Jonas is not going anywhere.”

  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: Cox thinks the Tim Leiweke and the Maple Leafs will be targeting Steven Stamkos in 2016 when he could become a UFA. If he’s not re-signed before, the Leafs could be in a position to offer him a huge deal, maybe close to the 20 percent max. If the salary cap his around $80 million, that could be around $16 million a season.
  • Joe MacDonald of ESPN Boston: The Bruins may have to look for a defenseman before the trade deadline. They will try from within for now, but even though they have depth at the position now, it may not be enough for a playoff run.
  • The Fourth Period: The Canucks are said to be looking for a top-nine forward, a center for their third line. Pierre LeBrun said they could use their blueline depth to acquire a center. Brad Richardson is their current third line center, so they could add a forth line center or a top-nine winger.
  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Teams may look to get the jump on the trade deadline and make a deal before the February 7th Olympic trade freeze. One issue for teams acquiring a player(s) before the deadline is that they would have to pay their salary during the two week break.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: GM Jim Nill is looking at deals, but it’s really hard to find a match. If the Stars are out if it by the trade deadline, players that could become available are: Vern Fiddler, Ray Whitney and Erik Cole. Nill brought in Shawn Horcoff and Sergei Gonchar, so it’s unlikely they move. Heika thinks the Stars will look to improve their blueline, but that isn’t easy to do. They could also look at moving Trevor Daley or Alex Goligoski.
  • Howard Berger of Berger Bytes: A source said that the Maple Leafs are looking for depth and size up front.

    “From what I understand, David is looking for a big body… someone that can spark a more aggressive forecheck, which the Leafs have been lacking, and – just as importantly – can be relied upon in the playoffs,” said a Western Conference scout. “Acquiring a skilled player of that ilk is difficult, but Toronto could have a big [trading] chip on the blue-line.”

    Berger doesn’t think the Maple Leafs will trade James Reimer before the trade deadline, but wonders if they could get Dustin Byfuglien for Reimer and Carl Gunnarsson.

  • James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: Leafs GM Dave Nonis won’t be trading all their draft picks and good young players for immediate help according to Tim Leiweke.

    “What we will not do, I promise you, is we’re not going to knee-jerk,” Leiweke told the Fan 590. “We will not give away our good kids, we’re not going to give away all of our draft picks. This is a long-term vision. And what we’re not going to do is panic and do a bad deal…

    “This organization in the past has had a bad track record of knee-jerking and doing deals that were bad deals and using good young assets. We won’t do that anymore.”

  • SportsNet: Scott Morrison, Nick Kypreos and Mark Spector: Joe Nieuwendyk may be the Flames main GM target. Capitals GM George McPhee may be their ‘Plan B’ GM target as he’s in the last year of his deal. Jets trade chips could be Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane. The Oilers are overvaluing Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky. Hemsky may only bring a 3rd round pick. Sharks Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are both expected to re-sign. Paul Stastny may their odd man out in Colorado. They may not look to move Stastny at the deadline if they are in the playoff race, unless they are able to fill another hole like a big winger or a top-four defenseman. The Sabres may give Ted Nolan a contract extension soon.

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Injury Notes involving 15 teams

  • Farhan Lalji: Canucks Roberto Luongo left last night’s game. Ben Kuzma: Coach John Tortorella said that Luongo has a lower-body injury and is day-to-day. Kuzma thinks it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it is a groin strain.
  • Jeremy Rutherford: Blues Alex Steen is expected to miss today’s game with an upper-body injury.
  • Aaron Portzline: Blue Jackets winger Matt Calvert isn’t believed to be out long-term. After Saturday’s game his arm was in a sling.
  • Patrick Kearns: Rangers Marc Staal skated both days this past weekend.
  • Larry Brooks: Rangers Dylan McIlrath had an MRI on his knee after suffering an injury on Saturday during his AHL game. Same knee as before.
  • Aaron Vickers: Flames coach Bob Hartley on Curtis Glencross:  “I didn’t get any update but if you look at the replay from yesterday, it doesn’t look very good.”
  • Don Brennan: Senators Mika Zibanejad says he’s ready to go today, ”It’s just a matter if the coach wants me to play or not.”
  • David Strehle: Flyers Erik Gustafsson will be out two weeks with a left knee sprain.
  • Michael Russo: Wild’s Clayton Stoner has a lower-body injury. Coach Yeo doesn’t think that it is serious.
  • Ken Wiebe: Jets Mark Stuart has a lower-body injury and coach Claude Noel isn’t sure if he’ll be able to go tonight.
  • Tracey Myers: Blackhawks Corey Crawford skated yesterday and should start practicing after the Christmas break.
  • LA Kings Insider: Kings Jonathan Quick practiced yesterday but there is still a ways to go. There is no timetable for his return.

    “I haven’t been experiencing the soreness nearly as much as I was, say, a week ago,” he said. “Like you said, it is practice, and you know what the drill is, and you know what you have to do each play, so it’s not a situation where you’re completely in reaction mode and don’t know what’s going to happen. Quite frankly, I could do these drills for another two months and you could feel a hundred percent, and it’s still not the same as playing in games.”

  • Stars GM Jim Nill said that Sergei Gonchar is out seven to 10 days with concussion-like symptoms.
  • Rob Rossi: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang had surgery last week to treat an elbow infection. He’s expected to return after the Christmas break. Rob Scuderi is expected to return on the 27th against the Hurricanes. Paul Martin hasn’t started skating yet, and there is no timetable with Brooks Orpik.
  • Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: Bruins Injury update: Brad Marchand didn’t practice yesterday but is expected to play tonight. Daniel Paille (concussion) practiced but doesn’t have clearance to play. Adam McQuaid (lower-body) is a possibility for tonight. Dougie Hamilton (lower-body) didn’t practice and is still expected to be out another two weeks. Loui Eriksson (concussion) received treatment yesterday.
  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Rangers Marc Staal said there is “no comparison” between his most recent concussion and the one he suffered in 2011.

    “The last time, I played through a concussion for so long, the effects dragged on forever,” the Rangers’ alternate captain said Sunday morning. “This one is different.

    “From day-to-day afterward, I’ve felt better, quicker. There is no comparison.”

    Staal has been symptom free the past couple days.

  • Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post: Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said that Cody Franson has been bothered by discomfort in the “hips area” since the start of the season.

    “That’s one of those things that we say: If a player misses training camp, he [misses] that foundation, that opportunity to have that underneath you, and it can affect you,” Carlyle said after practice Sunday. “And here we are, in the middle of December, still talking about it.”

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Injury Notes: Gaborik, Brunner, Polak, Visnovsky, Orr Glencross, Hertl, Downie, Gorges, Weiss and Gonchar

  • Aaron Portzline: Blue Jackets Marian Gaborik broke his collarbone four shifts into his return.
  • Todd Cordell: Devils Damien Brunner is out at least four weeks with a lower-body injury.
  • Lou Korac: The Blues put Roman Polak on the IR with a lower-body injury.
  • B.D. Gallof: Islanders Lubomir Visnovsky’s return is still not known, so you can assume it is not “soon”.
  • Jonas Siegel: Leafs coach Randy Carlyle hinted that Colton Orr could return on Monday. He’s been out for nine games with an elbow injury.
  • Calgary Flames: Flames Curtis Glencross left last night’s game with a lower-body injury.
  • Mike Heika: Sharks GM Doug Wilson said that forward Tomas Hertl will be out at least a month and that they will know more when swelling on his knee goes down.
  • Anthony SanFilippo: Flyers Steve Downie will be out seven to 10 days with an upper-body injury.
  • John Bartlett: Canadiens Josh Gorges missed yesterday’s game with a lower-body injury.
  • Helene St. James: Red Wings Stephen Weiss will have sports hernia surgery. They are hoping to get it scheduled before Christmas. He’ll be out through February.
  • Missy Zielinski: Lightning’s Eric Brewer left last night’s game in the third period with an upper-body injury.
  • Mike Heika: Stars Sergei Gonchar left last night’s game with an upper-body injury.

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Stars GM Nill Issues Statement Regarding Evgeni Malkin’s Dad’s Claim

From yesterday’s post: Igor KleynerEvgeni Malkin’s dad told SovSport that the Dallas Stars offered Malkin more money than the Penguins did this summer. Malkin was still under contract with the Penguins. Malkin’s dad also said that if Evgeni was to leave the Penguins, it would likely be for the Rangers or Canadiens.

  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Stars GM Jim Nill issued a statement regarding Evgeni Malkin’s dad saying that the Stars made Evgeni a contract offer this summer.

    “We have seen the reports that have surfaced out of Russia claiming that we have tampered and they are completely untrue.  The Dallas Stars organization respects and adheres to all rules and regulations set forth by the National Hockey League and any report that claims otherwise is false.”

    It doesn’t look like the NHL will be investigating the matter at this time.

  • Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Malkin’s agent said that he never entertained thoughts about playing for another NHL team. Malkin said in a text yesterday that he wanted “only to play for Pittsburgh.” There was also no discussion about joining the Stars between Malkin and Sergei Gonchar, his best friend.

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Morning Hits: Devils, Outdoor Games, Shelly and Dillon

  • David Giambusso of the Star-Ledger: Officials are saying that Jeff Vanderbeek could sell the New Jersey Devils or take a small role, and it could happen as early as today. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello would not say anything about the situation. Some with close knowledge of the situation said the sale could take place in the next couple days and certainly within the next couple of months. Vanderbeek would be bought out or hold a minority stake. There are three groups that are said to be interested in purchasing the team. Reports may not be true the NHL is about to takeover the team. The lease with Newark and the Prudential Center Arena are likely to remain intact.
  • CBC: The NHL will hold four outdoor games in January and two in March.

    “If you’re looking at it on a national basis, obviously we’re doing more,” commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday at Yankee Stadium, which will host two games in January. “But for teams and markets that want to host this (event), for fans that want to attend, we can’t do enough of them.”

    Games will be played at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium, Chicago’s Soldier Field, Yankee Stadium (two games), the Heritage Classic in Vancouver and the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    “The reason we’re doing more outdoor games is really what it’s now doing locally,” Bettman said. “This is an incomparable event and what happens is fans get connected to the game in ways they never imagined, we get new fans who, for the first time, will come and be a part of this. This is a fan-oriented, fan-driven event, and that’s why we’re doing so many games so we can bring it to more fans.”

  • Shawn Mitchell: Forward Jody Shelly has retired from the NHL and will take a job with the Blue Jackets.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: After a successful first NHL season, Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon could find himself in a variety of spots this season. He could be reunited with Stephane Robidas, used as support for the 39-year old Sergei Gonchar or with Trevor Daley which could become their future shutdown pair.

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Kovalchuk’s mom talks, the Fallout, Gonchar and Datsyuk were close to leaving and the KHL cap

  • Dmitry Chesnokov: SKA is denying they had a deal in place with Ilya Kovalchuk in January. Pavel Lysenkov of SovSport spoke with Kovalchuk’s mom, who was not surprised with what transpired.

    “I knew about it, to be honest. Of course Ilya discussed this matter with me. It was back in January when my son was thinking about staying with SKA. But he went back to New Jersey to finish the season. Everything had to be done in a civilized manner; all legal questions must have been resolved.”

    Is it true his salary was delayed by the Devils? [ed.: The question is unclear as it may be interpreted a number of ways]

    “Yes, it happened. Now, after the lockout, there are a lot of restrictions at all teams. They are also underpaid 20% [of their salary]. The League takes it as an escrow that may not be paid back if the NHL does not make profit. And then there’s government tax of 50%. That means on paper you are being paid $10 million a year, but in reality only 3. So the pendulum swung for Russia.”

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Kovalchuk fallout could be an isolated case.

    For now, this appears to be an isolated case. At least that has to be the hope, especially for teams built around a standout Russian player.

    When I asked one general manager Thursday evening if teams should be concerned, he admitted uncertainty.

    “I don’t know,” he said. “I would suspect this is a unique situation.”

    Another GM said the bigger impact will be in the draft, where he’d be less likely to use a top pick on a Russian player after Kovalchuk’s decision to leave for the KHL. And if teams aren’t using top picks on the best Russian players, there’s even less motivation for them to come to the NHL. The NHL might not be losing its biggest stars now, but the eventual problem might be that the stars never go to North America in the first place.

  • Alexander Zaytsev: Sergei Gonchar and Pavel Datsyuk were close to leaving the NHL for the KHL is summer according the GM of Metallurg.
  • Igor Eronko: The KHL would like to raise their salary cap to $40 million, which must be approved by most of the teams.

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Quick Hits: Raycroft trade, Campbell, Tarasenko, Jones and Gonchar

  • Elliotte Friedman: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said that the Andrew Raycroft trade to the Maple Leafs was going to be either Tuukka Rask or Jiri Tlusty. The Leafs wanted it to be Tlusty, while the Bruins wanted Rask.
  • Naoko Funayama: Bruins Gregory Campbell had successful surgery on his broken right fibula.
  • Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Blues have told Vladimir Tarasenko that he must improve his conditioning.

    “We’ve given him a clear mandate on what we expect when he gets back here, what we’re going to see from him on a conditioning level, the grind that he’s going to have to do,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said recently.

  • Gare Joyce: Joyce spoke with three scouts on Monday. None had Seth Jones at No. 1. Two didn’t have him at No. 2. One had him at No. 4 behind Barkov.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Heika on the Sergei Gonchar trade/signing for the Stars:

    Had this happened last summer, I would’ve pooh-poohed the trade and said, “No way, too old.” But watching Ray Whitney last season, watching Jagr last season, these guys can do it. I don’t know how they do it, but they keep themselves in shape and I guess when you’re that level of player, even if you’re 90 percent of what you once were, you’re still pretty darn good in the NHL.

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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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Trade Rumors: Kessel, Penguins trio, Goligoski or Daly and the Leafs should move up in the draft

  • Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star: Feschuk thinks it’s time for the Maple Leafs to trade Phil Kessel.

    There’d be no better time to trade Kessel, considering his excellent run of play as the league’s sixth-leading regular-season scorer has put his value at an all-time high. Don’t for a moment believe that Nonis, fresh off delivering a no-Leaf-is-untouchable post-season message, isn’t thinking hard about the possibility.

    The Leafs need to give up value to get their “long-sought No. 1 center.” Kessel, along with Dion Phaneuf will be UFAs after next season. Dion’s stock is weighed down by his $6.5 million salary. Nonis’ shopping list isn’t short, which should include an upgrade in net. They should consider UFA Mike Smith and possibly revisit Roberto Luongo. The Leafs will look at UFA David Clarkson, but he’ll be looking for big money. The Leafs blueline needs more high-end talent at low prices. Moving up in the draft would make sense, along with trolling for compliance buyouts that may come cheap.

  • Spector’s Hockey: Richardson thinks that IF the Penguins were to move any of Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury, Fleury is the likely one to move. Malkin is too valuable to the them and Letang is their best puck-moving defenseman. IF the Penguins were to trade or buy out Fleury, they would need to find a young, affordable backup for Tomas VokounDmitry Chesnokov: Chesnokov suggests Michal Neuvirth.
  • Bob Stauffer: Stauffer see the Stars trying to trade Alex Goligoski or Trevor Daley for a centerman if they can get Sergei Gonchar signed.
  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: Cox thinks the Leafs need a center like Sean Monahan and should look at moving up in the draft. The Predators are dangling the No. 4 pick, the Oilers at No. 7 could also move their pick. Trading youth-for-youth would make sense, and they could use Jake Gardiner. It would be a type of move that wouldn’t help them next year, but more of building move.

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