Calgary in Flames, Panthers, Balsillly, Eklund…and more

Hello fellow hockey fans. It’s starting to heat up in South Florida, am I talking about the weather or the team?

Calgary in Flames, what will Keenan give?

Soon to be new owner of Nashvile makes a silly move.

Eklund….oh Eklund, it’s time I start giving a good talk.

Some Rangers spek.

What do you want us to do?

So….I still think the hottest news on TV, on radio, and on the internet is that Paris Hilton is spending time in jail. I’m really getting a good laugh at this as this girl really is a spoiled b…..brat.

Anyway, back to hockey. What’s up in South Florida? Well, the weather is getting warmer, but what’s to complain when you’re surrounded by pools, beaches, places with A/C, bars, good food…and girls showing skin since it’s hot. But, it’s more than that.

The Florida Panthers have recently re-signed Bryan Allen to a nice five-year deal. A solid defenseman, did very well in the second half, still 26, and still room to improve. The Panthers are expected to re-sign Nathan Horton soon as well as Stephen Weiss, long-term. Good going Jacques, lock these guys up. As for the goaltending situation, the Chris Gratton trade has something to do with it. The Panthers get another draft pick and it could be used to land a goaltender. So, Gratton serves two purposes: to clear up cap budget, and give a tradeable asset. A big name goalie is not expected to come to Florida, but Martin is still exploring possibilities despite the most likely chance that Eddie Belfour comes back, which I mentioned long ago. I think a trade can be expected from Florida on June 22, very good chance but not definite.

One thing is certain, Martin and the Panthers are ready to make the playoffs and will look to make moves in the off-season. It may be one of the top free agents out there, or it may be added depth with good players, like Todd White. The Panthers could be very attractive for free agents because of such a solid young core of players, a really good leader, and Martin is well respected. Keep your eyes open on the Panthers.

Mike Keenan is surprisingly back in action, possibly. If the Calgary Flames hire this guy, what does it mean? Well, I’d actually applaud Darryl Sutter for this move. The Flames are a good team, good bunch of players, and they are Stanley Cup material. Jim Playfair just wasn’t it, couldn’t do the job, couldn’t get the players to follow his philosophy on a consistent basis. The Flames need to win, they need to be pushed and Mike Keenan does that. Am I a fan of Keenan? No, but as coach I think he can still be worthy to have behind the bench. And, imagine having Keenan and the Flames take on Luongo and the Canucks? That will be fun.

The risks are high, though. Keenan already has one player to deal with, Kristian Huselius, who may be traded if Keenan is hired. He can get players frustrated, he may be a factor for free agents getting offers from Calgary and rejecting them because of Keenan.

Sutter should also consider this guy’s history. Mike Keenan has been hired as head coach, and then managed to find himself taking over the general manager’s position. Will another team make that mistake again? It’s always possible.

Yet, Mike Keenan knows how to make a Stanley Cup calibre team win. Worth the risk? I think so.

Mr. Balsillie should be spelled Balsilly for his latest act. At Copps, Balsilly is planning to prove a point that hockey is worthy in the Hamilton area by selling season ticket plans and making them 100% refundable. Umm, what’s the point? I think if you try that pretty much anywhere with any sport then people will go for it, duh…it’s a no lose situation. Talk about a stupid idea. I am all for having a new Canadian team and even better with a competent Canadian owner who has the dough, but Balsilly….come on….this is the dumbest idea ever to try and make a point. I mean, I’d even go for it and I live in South Florida. What do I care? I am buying tickets for a team that doesn’t exist and I still get my money back, 100%. Besides, any new team sells out in a new location, in almost any sport.

Your point then, sir? ….Come on…we don’t need silly ideas like that.

I know I have said that I am not a fan of this Eklund guy, but I do receive his newsletters via e-mail, which entertain me. How do they entertain me? Well, the guy is writing like some sort of diary.

“Hey fans. Well, I am up here Iceland and when I woke up I got tons of text messages and voice mail. I was taking a piss while reading the text messages and a very close source mentioned that Ryan Smyth will be a Flame. Drury will be a Shark. Anyway, tomorrow I am going to gorgeous Greenland because I love mentioning where I am going and what I do because you all care about what I do in life, while I get so many news by sources everyday. By the way, I just heard on the radio that Allen re-signed with the Panthers, but I SWEAR that I just got a call from an excellent source who tells me that Allen re-signed, so you heard it here first.”

I mean……….what method is this? This is for real: “The NY Rangers are interested in picking up some depth on the blueline to and may get into the Hamrlik sweeps, which will go higher than I was predicting a few days ago.” Ok, how about ….No? I feel like immitating Dr. Evil and Eklund is Scott and I say “How about no, Shhhcott? Zip it! Here is exzzzzibit A”, and so on. For real, what is this guy thinking?

Eklund, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I don’t think people really care what you do, where you are, and it’s just so hard to believe that you have a zillion sources that everyday they tell you what’s going on in the league, which doesn’t happen almost 98% of the times. What makes you any different than professional journalists?

I am just trying to figure out what Eklund is up to. I don’t want to question his ethics, I think that’s morally wrong on my part, but what he writes appears so artificial, and some of the rumors just make zero sense. Why would the Rangers try to go after Roman Hamrlik when the defense is already set, when their top necessity is signing a center/forward? They cannot spend over $4M a season for a defenseman, they need to build up the offense and need to spend probably $5M a season, at least, on a forward. So how is this rumor even credible? How does Eklund take this seriously? I mean, here at we report what’s out on the media, as far as rumors, and usually we take pleasure in killing the idea, at least I do! If a “source” was to call me on my cell and tell me that there’s a good chance that the Rangers will sign Roman Hamrlik, I’d be raising high doubts on it because logically it does not make sense. Why logically? Because I’d use the knowledge I have and know that the rumor is just not credible enough. I wouldn’t even put it out there because it would be shut down right away. So, Eklund preaches the “don’t shoot the messenger” talk, and I agree, but the messenger should know better as well.

It’s like going to the fish market to buy fish in order to cook for your guests, and they tell you “this red snapper has been regarded by so many of our customers”, and you look at it but you smell that fishy odor. Ah, fresh fish is not supposed to have that fishy odor, but if Paris Hilton is near you…then you can take the red snapper since that’s fresh, and not fishy. So…what do you do? Do you BUY the fish anyway, cook it, and offer it to guests saying “hey, the fish market guys told me this was well regarded red snapper”, OR…do you reject it because something is too fishy and you can’t trust it?

I think that analogy makes sense. It’s what Mr. Eklund does, and you know what? I won’t attack his sources or his work, but I am irritated that the guy just passes on crappy rumors that make zero sense when he is up in a little cabin in Canada and going skiing.

Where is the justice in that? I am upset because the hockey fans that actually believe in this guy are getting ripped off. Mr. Eklund, you have to show some intelligence and start using hockey knowledge because I really don’t give a rat’s ass who your source is that tells you an illogical rumor. I mean, if anything your sources are making you look bad, and you shouldn’t take that garbage, but most importantly, don’t pass that garbage along to fellow hockey fans of mine. They don’t deserve it.

If Mr. Eklund gets to read this, then please….by all means send me an e-mail giving me a better explanation of your work and why you accept such garbage. Or, give me an indirect message through your newsletters, since I get to read them for entertainment. Thank you.

Now for some Rangers spek! No, not the spek ham, which is a smoked/spiced Italian prosciutto made in Northern Italy (to die for). It was recently reported that Rangers prospects Jaarko Immonen and Bryce Lampman will play in the Finnish league next season. Fine by me. Other prospects can get more ice time in Hartford, especially on defense. But, the Rangers lose a forward prospect in the system. They will keep the rights, but they won’t be able to use him, and I doubt he will be back in North America anytime soon, unless another team acquires him and gives him a shot. So…could this make a top three overall draft pick enticing for the Rangers? They have a solid farm system, but no stellar talent for any forward position, which they desperately need. So far, the Blackhawks, the Flyers, and the Coyotes, all three holding the first three picks, are suspected of trading the draft pick because all three need players to help them make the playoffs. This could actually be the best chance for any team to trade up and try to grab one of those top five prospects, who are quality.

I am just wondering, the Rangers may really want to get a top prospect and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do so.

And finally, what would you want to do for Draft Day coverage. Any ideas? We have a good relationship with McKeen’s Hockey, so we can work with them, but tell us what you would like to see HTR do for Draft Day coverage, which concerns future drafts as well. You members are valuable to us and many of you make this a great hockey link, which means that you are a part of it. So, if you have any ideas, share them as part of the comment threads under my column.

Anyway, thanks for reading as always,

Micki Peroni


42 Responses to Calgary in Flames, Panthers, Balsillly, Eklund…and more

  1. Penssuck says:

    Would be great if we could mute me, Leafy, Brumagnus, and Juicemoron for draft day to prevent us from voicing our opinions or intentionally acting like idiots (bru and juice).


  2. habswinthecup-again says:

     Do like the NFL and have a draft tracker and 1 or 2 of you guys give your analysis for each pick in the first round.

  3. mikster says:

    Naa, we’re not exactly scouts and this is the first time the past few years that i know little about the draft. The draft tracker will be under consideration though, thanks for the thought.

  4. vindictiveb says:

    That was a wicked read!

    Thanks Micki….

  5. Glucker says:

    only person who needs to be muted is you, Leafy can be a jackass, but he actually knows something about hockey, Bru is annoying when taking about the pens, but otherwise is ok, and Juice just disagrees with you, so you're holding a grudge. why are IPs not banned from this site?

  6. Glucker says:

    you know, i like Balsillie's idea, just proving that there will be sponsorship from that city, and ppl will come watch the team, out of curiosity, are those tickets refunable at any time, or only if the team doesnt get made?

  7. Glucker says:

    Maybe have a live chat, kinda like HockeyLeaks has

  8. mojo19 says:

    I agree about what you're saying. That if Eklund is just repeating rumours, he should shoot them down sometimes too. Like in Spectors hockey, he will put his source and what they say, then he'll finish with "spectors note" or whatever its called and explain why some of these rumours don't make sense (ie Hamrilik going to NYR)

    Spectors is the best, Eklund I never ever read.

  9. oildude says:

    I'll tell you what Mikster, I read Eklunds website every day too for entertainment. But that guy pisses me off. Earlier in the year when Todd Fedoruk got injured in a fight with whoever it was, Eklund put up a post saying that fighting should be banned immediately and that there was no place in hockey for stuff like this. Well I sent that mother****** a comment but he wouldn't post it. He seems to be a bandwagon jumper as well as bullshitter. As far as Fedoruk goes, the guy has a steel plate in his face and should not be fighting to start with. But to take fighting out of the sport,… come on. I wrote Eklund and told him to grow some balls or report rumors about golf or competitive eating or whatever the american public goes for down there. Fighting is part of the game and should remain that way. Maybe there should be a rule against enforcers fighting with a busted face, I would have no problem with this. Anyway, if Eklund is going to continue to make such ***** ass statements like that one, he should at least let all the feedback be posted on his site as well. Not just from the bleeding hearts that love him.

  10. wingerxxx says:

    I'm glad that Eklund has finally been addressed.  This is the time of year when his website will get a lot of hits, and its generally when the nonsense starts to appear on his webpage.  And yes, there are a lot of people that hang on this guy's every word. 

    This is my theorry regarding Eklund.  If you come up with enough rumors or "Player to City (e4)" or whatever, you're bound to get some right once in a while.  He has never done a great job of backing up his logic for considering the proposals and rumors he posts on his site. 

    For all we know, this is a guy who sits on the internet all day, scouts out the day's rumors from sports radio or other website, and then posts them on his webpage, and says that this rumor and this rumor come from a credible source.  I've never seen anything on his website that actually makes me believe that he is a real bona-fide hockey insider. 

    Do I believe that this guy has high-up NHL sources?  Not for a second.  Either that, and he does have "sources" that he believes are credible, and are just feeding him b.s.  And yeah, Hamrlik to NYR rumors don't exactly help.  Which goes back to the first point, and something you already said in your article.  The only reason I think that Eklund even posted that stupid rumor, is because Glen Sather ripped off Tampa Bay for Hamrlik years ago.  And maybe there are a few people out there that think that Sather would want Hamrlik again, for some reason.  And you're right Mik, it makes literally zero sense for the Rangers to acquire him. 

    Eklund has gotten a few rumors right, but almost never, has he posted a breaking rumor that hasn't already made the rounds elsewhere.  He used this e1-e5 rumor rating, which really is a good way to let him off the hook in case it doesn't happen…which is VERY often.  I don't even bother to read his website anymore, because it just reeks of garbage.  There is absolutely nothing on his site, that you can't come up with on your own, using just a little common sense.  Or just surf the web a bit and find other sites posting the same rurmors. 

    Mik, if he writes you back….which I doubt unfortunately….be sure to let us know what he says, because I'm interested to know what exactly is going on with him.  Considering how many people look at his site, it would be in his best interest to at least prove to us that he is in fact, credible.  A start would be to tell you what he looks for in a source.  There is no need to name them, obviously.

  11. mundus80 says:

    first off the rangers need a solid D as much as a center, if not more so. but it is not hamrlik. also Jaarko Immonen and Bryce Lampman are some of the better prospects for the rangers, Jaarko can play on many NHL clubs right now. he should be given the chance or traded. he was given the chance and played well and was still sent down for some reason.
    as far as selling season tickets its not a bad idea if they are only refundable if the team ends up staying or moving somewhere else.
    as far as draft day, just keep up with the trades on draft day and have some
    analysis of the trades. maybe have a contest to see who goes where(teams not picks) in the first round, most accurate gets a ball of wax or something.

  12. ssj100matt says:

    Right now the current rumor with the Rangers (draft wise) is that they are mulling around trading Montoya and their 1st rounder (possibly 2nd) for the Coyotes 3rd overall pick… The plan is for the Rangers to take James VanRiemsdyk (a native NJ kid who wishes to go to one of the tristate area teams) for the 3rd overall pick of the draft… He is expected to go 2nd but the Flyers have expressed deep interest in taking Kyle Turris…

    Personally, aside from the beastly Patrick Kane there is not a whole lot worth while players to give up dozens of picks, dollars and prospects for. If the Rangers want an immediate impact kid that will be great for years to come is if they do trade for Kane… In order for a trade of that caliber to even be considered the Rangers would have to give up not only Montoya, their 1st and 2nd round pick but heavy fan favorite Petr Prucha… The Hawks have been begging for Prucha all season… They have baited/dangled the Rangers with Defensive powerhouse Brent Seabrook for Prucha but the Rangers failed to bite… The Blackhawks are in desperate need for a young winger that can be paired with Havlat… Coincidentally Havlat (a fellow Czech) seemed to play greatly with Prucha when they were on the World Cup and Olympic team together…

    The Blackhawks would love to take Chicago native/hometown hero Al Montoya just as much as the Rangers would love to take suburban Buffalo, NY native Patrick Kane… But will the Ranges picks, Montoya and Prucha be enough to get Kane… Maybe… I would love to see Kane center on a line at the Garden with Callahan and Alex Bourret in the near future… But one can dream           

  13. wingsfan13 says:

    thank you for finally calling out eklund.  he is a joke and his posts are funny yet worthless to hockey fans interested in fiesable rumors.  it also may help weed out the rumors that people post uselessy on here from him.

    i thought sutter said playfair was gonna be back next year?….so much for that

    i hope canada does get a hockey team in exchange for the preds, that would be sweet.   i hope they woould get new cool looking jerseys too cuz i'd buy one in a minute.

    i don't think anyone touch on the gratton trade but on behalf of tampa i think it was stupid.   they are takin on more salary when they are already pressed for room, wasted a pick on a washed up 3rd liner, and blew a 2nd rounder chance on a decent prospect in a system that is already deprived of anything really decent.  Dumb.

  14. ranger_fan says:

    Yeah I kinda posted this in another article about the Hawks but here it goes! May be I should be a Leaf fan because it is kinda fun to dream. Anyways…

    TO CHI
    NYR 1st
    Petr Prucha
    Nigel Dawes
    Marek Malik

    TO NYR
    CHI 1st
    Brent Seabrook

    Now would that happen? No. But the art of a good negotiator is too start high and set what you would and wouldn't accept. In my case I'd drop Malik and Seabrook.

    To PHO (#17)
    Al Montoya
    Jarkko Immonen
    NYR 4th

    TO NYR
    PHO 1st (#3)
    Brett Bennett

    This one isn't really negotiable.

    Anyways this would leave NY with the #1 and #3 pick in the entry drafts. NY has historically made some questionable picks in the past with players who have question marks around their work ethics. But Immonen, Montoya, Malik, and Dawes are in my opinion all expendable. They are all NHLers. Prucha I would hate to see go, but we know the 'Hawks wanted him before, and to move up 16 selections in the first round is going to take a little something.

    Now if you really thought I was crazy with Leaffan syndrome:
    To WAS
    Alex Ovechkin

    TO WAS
    Marc Staal
    Steve Dubinsky
    Marcel Hossa
    NYR 2nd round selection

    LOL. Yeah I would at least inquire about all three possibilities, but only the PHO one probably has a chance. NY has a lot of depth in Hartford, and honestly they have a full 23 man roster without Nylander

    [Hossa] Straka Jags
    Callahan Avery Shanahan
    [Prucha] Cullen Ortmeyer
    [Dawes] Betts Hollweg
    Orr  and Greg Moore I think is close to ready

    [Malik] Rozival
    Tyuts Girardi
    Pock Mara
    Staal, or Baranka, or Sauer


    So with NY in the market for a few players (and the cap room to do so) we have the depth to do all three.

  15. ranger_fan says:

    whoops typo. (HEY ABOUT AN EDIT POST OPTION!)
    Yeah forgive the (#17) next to PHO and put it by NYR 1st in the CHI deal.

  16. ranger_fan says:

    Montoya and a first rounder? Phoenix would take that in a heartbeat!

  17. JuicemaN says:

    Thanks Glucker!

    Penssuck…you have almost the enitire site of posters against you…how can you possbily sit back and say "they're the one's who are wrong" It's like 15 vs 1 and you stand there acting like we're idiots….take a look around you, we all think you're a moron and you were even banned from the site as Archion but because you're such a loser you re-created a new name and yet we still figured you out…that's how dumb you are.

    Bru and I used to argue all the time but all we did was dissagree but we got along fine.   You ruined everything when you start calling people names and now you're getting it from everybody.

    Just leave and find something else to do, nobody hear likes you or care what you have to say because your opinion is clouded with four letter words and biggot oriented name calling.

    Glucker you're right, IP's should be banned from here.

  18. ranger_fan says:

    Could you may be tag up with McKeen's to give a one or two sentence thought? Fans would love it, and it gives McKeens good "free" exposure without giving up a full scouting report.

  19. ranger_fan says:

    You referring to the same Leafy as the rest of us?

  20. rossay says:

    Tickets are not 100% refundable if the team is moved to Hamilton. As a matter of fact, tickets are not refundable if the team does actually move. The people putting in money will have to buy the tickets they pinched in for or they will lose that money and we're talking about 500 to 5000 dollars… not so silly.  

  21. JuicemaN says:

    Yeah I think he's the only Leafy on this board….he's the one person everyone can agree on him being a little "out there" to put it politely.

  22. caskade says:

    gotta love when some backward hillbilly calls the idea of a BILLIONAIRE "silly."

    ever think maybe you just arent smart or sophisticated enough to UNDERSTAND why it was done?


  23. Penssuck says:

    I'm here to talk Hockey, not the nonsense you morons bring up.

  24. KingCanada says:

    I dont know if u guys do this or not (relatively new here, wasnt around last draft) but you guys should have a summary of wat every team did on Draft Day with who they picked and a quick summary of wat the picks and trades means for THAT team come september, whether the prospects have a shot at the big club, AHL or were there going and how the players they traded for affects the teams roster.  Kinda like a score card..

  25. Leaf_Expert says:

    The fact that i was offered a column on hockeybuzz should say enough…

    eklund = over-weight computer hockey geek.

  26. ranger_fan says:

    was he going to pay you?

  27. GlenSather says:

    Mikster, I agree with your Eklund comments. I recently signed up for his league pass for $19.99 for the year(ripoff).  I got sucked into this because I was curious of his rumor chart.  According to his chart the Rangers are not players in any of the the big time free agent forwards ie Drury, Gomez and Brier. Not only that, but they are not even on the radar for any talented free agent defenseman.  He shows them with a 10% chance at Thomas Vanek?
    Instead he has them going after Mike York??????????Robert Lang???????????????Brent Sopel??????????Bryan Muir(who???????????????)?????????????????????????????????
    He also expects us to believe that the Montreal Canadiens have just a good a shot at Shanahan as the Rangers loooooool.  He also shows Detroit as a big player in the Nylander chase.  That last one could be true based on the story in New York Post of Nylander firing his agent to get more money.  He must be nuts though to expect us to believe the Rangers will not go all out to sign either Drury or Gomez.  Both of whom grew up big time Rangers fans.

    One more thing.  If you run this website Mikster, why do you have Brodeur on your banner?  Bump him for Jagr.

  28. Glucker says:

    lol, he knows a thing or two, he puts together coherent arguments when not bashing Sundin 😛

  29. BruMagnus says:

    Eklund is a fraud, a mole and a plant.

  30. Smitch says:

    First off, LOVE the comment on Eklund!  Second, Basilly is a business man first.  The main reason for him doing this is probably so he can take the thousands of dollars he will get and invest it to make some fast cash!  He won't care if he has to refund it or not.  He will walk away with some $$$ and all for nothing if there is no team.  So either way, he wins.

  31. BruMagnus says:

    Good article, albeit long.

    I couldn't take it seriously after the start though when I read, "Some Rangers spek" and was thinking Jar Jar Binks was writing this article…

  32. BruMagnus says:

    A further question for Eklund, why would the Sharks, who have Thornton and Marleau, be after Drury?

    Did he say there'd be a trade involving Marleau (or, haha, Thornton)? Seriously what is that guy smoking.

    You SHOULD question his ethics because he is a mole set up to rig players value and throw things into chaos.

  33. BruMagnus says:

    I tend to agree.

    A couple questions to ask
    Is there an NHL ready rink in Hamilton? If so, if the team DID move there, would the season ticket owners still be able to refund them? Hopefully not, but if that happened, I doubt they would.

  34. BruMagnus says:

    As of now I respect Spector more than anyone else. He is almost always right, and has very insightful comments, and isn't afraid to occasionally totally bash a rumour if it's too far-fetched. In fact, he may be my long lost (more sophisticated) brother.

  35. BruMagnus says:

    Months ago when people were using him as a source I called Eklund a fraud and said not to trust him. People questioned why I said that, finally it seems people are waking up!!

    As I said then, I have a better hit-to-miss ratio with my predictions based on pure logic and educated guesses than he does with his 'sources'.

  36. flamingsenator says:

    haha,…acually…make that 14-2….i like that guy :p

    no one cared that he came back except for u and bru……and no one minded the comments…..CEPT….u and bru

    i dont see wats diff from wat bru pukes out of his mouth than this guy(watever were gonna call him)………this guy is crude….ommg….so is leafy….who cares….be like me and just ignore it….

    frankyl this guy says wat others are thinking…and i like him for it….

  37. wingerxxx says:

    A lot of us on this site just kind of laugh at him.  Or never took him seriously to begin with.  The guy has been around for a while. 

    I've always thought that a lot of his rumors are based on his own educated guesses, but not necessarily logic.  They are very different things. 

  38. mojo19 says:

    lol. I had to ask my buddy who Jar Jar Binks is. You are such a nerd.

  39. mojo19 says:

    I was just thinking the other day that San Jose is lacking depth at centre.

  40. tancred says:

    What on earth makes you think Mikster is a "backward hillbilly?"  He's anything but.  It would be great if the members of HTR had a little bit more respect for each other.  

  41. BruMagnus says:

    Wow, a billion dollars worldwide and one of the biggest films of the last 20 years and you didn't see it, nor know of the most annoying character ever digitally created?  I pity you!

  42. mojo19 says:

    I havent seen LOTR either. That shit bores me to death. I watched the beginning of one of the Star Wars movies (don't know which one) when it came onto satelite, but I had to turn it off.

    The only one I saw of the old ones was a new hope and it sucked, so why would I watch 5 more movies?

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