Hockey Rumors and News – October 2, 2009
1. Michael Nylander’s days with the Caps nearly done
2. Sens owner says Heatley left ‘sour taste’
3. Shanny opts out as Devils go with kids
4. Dallas Stars give Robidas four-year dealMichael Nylander’s days with the Caps nearly done
Although Michael Nylander did not appear in a preseason game and was a healthy scratch against the Bruins, the veteran center accompanied the team to Boston and participated in the morning skate. His days with the Capitals, though, appear numbered, Boudreau said.
“It’s well do*****ented that we’re trying to do something,” he said of Nylander, who fell out of favor with the coaching staff and management last season. “Whether it’s Michael or the Washington Capitals or the fans, [nobody] wants to see this drag on. I don’t think it’s good for Michael and I don’t think it’s good for us. Hopefully the resolution comes rather quick.” . . .
Neither Tomas Fleischmann (deep vein thrombosis) nor Eric Fehr (shoulder surgery) has been placed on the long-term injury list, so that means the Capitals expect both back before the season is 10 games or 24 days old. Fehr said he could play next week. . .
Sens owner says Heatley left ‘sour taste’
BRUCE GARRIOCH, Sun Media
Breaking his silence Thursday, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk admitted he felt betrayed by Dany Heatley and is glad the winger is gone.
After demanding a trade in May, Heatley was finally dealt to the San Jose Sharks for Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo last month.
While Melnyk wants to put the controversy behind the Senators, who open the season tomorrow in New York against the Rangers, he conceded the situation left a “sour taste” in his mouth and would advise anybody against signing players to front-end-loaded, long-term contracts.
After signing Heatley to a six-year, $45-million contract extension in October 2007, and shelling out more than $14 million to him in the last 12 months — including a whopping $4-million bonus on July 1 — Melnyk found it disrespectful.
“I spoke directly across the table, with (Heatley) and his agents,” said Melnyk. “When you make that type of commitment to a player where you front-end load a contract, you expect, just as a human being, when you shake somebody’s hand — never mind a 130-page contract — that they will be reciprocal to it. That’s my biggest disappointment. These people, I mean just as human beings, (shouldn’t) do that to anyone.
“Yes, it has left a sour taste, but you’ve got to forget about that. You learn from it and you’ll never do it again. I guarantee you, anybody else out there should be aware this can happen to (them) if the other side is not genuine.”
Melnyk says Heatley set a bad precedent for all sports.
‘He hurt himself’
Shanny opts out as Devils go with kids
The Devils decided their future needs the kids more than Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s leading active career goal scorer.
The Devils told Shanahan he wasn’t going to be among their top nine forwards this season, and the 40-year-old right wing yesterday declared he was leaving the team in what he called a “mutual and amicable” decision.
“Brendan played well. What transpired was the play of our younger players. The decision was made not to wait,” said GM Lou Lamoriello, whose club opens its season tomorrow at home against the Flyers.
“What changed since the summer [when Shanahan was re-signed for $1 million] is the emergence of the younger players.”
Yesterday’s stunner further confirms Niclas Bergfors’ place on the team he led in preseason scoring with five assists. It also means Matt Halischuk will be given a long look, as will Ilkka Pikkarainen, when he returns from injured reserve.
“We have to find out. We all feel they can do it. They’ve shown they can,” Lamoriello said of the youngsters.
Lamoriello would not discuss what would happen to Shanahan’s salary and cap liability if he isn’t dealt or waived, since a “mutual and amicable” separation might not qualify for a retirement cap exemption, even if Shanahan declines salary.
“Basically, he would not have been in our top nine. If he were, a couple of our younger players would not be in the lineup,” Lamoriello said. “This was a very difficult decision because of who Brendan is.
Dallas Stars give Robidas four-year deal
The Stars made a commitment to one of their hardest working players Thursday, signing defenseman Stephane Robidas to a four-year contract extension worth $13.2 million.
Robidas, who will make $1.5 million this season in the final year of his old deal, will start the extension next season, and it will run through 2013-14. Robidas will count $3.3 million per season toward the salary cap and should become the Stars’ highest-paid defenseman.
“It’s great security for me and my family, and it’s great to be with this organization,” said Robidas, 32. “This is home for me, and this is a team I feel very good about. It was a very easy decision for me.”
Robidas has had a tough climb through the NHL. While he was drafted by his hometown Montreal Canadiens, he washed out as a pro in 2002 and was waived.
The Stars acquired him and played him for parts of two seasons before trading him to Chicago for a bigger defenseman in Jon Klemm.
Despite performing well in 45 games with the Blackhawks, Robidas did not receive a qualifying offer in 2005, and he became an unrestricted free agent. He returned to the Stars just before training camp.
He served as a sixth or seventh defenseman initially but slowly moved up. He took charge of the Stars’ defense in their run to the Western Conference finals in 2008 and became their top defenseman last season.