NHL News and Rumors – Friday August 21, 2009
1. Wild, Tanguay talking
2. At long last, Heatley to speak
3. Marleau doesn’t view himself as guy taking the fall — but he won’t discuss the NTC in his contract
Wild, Tanguay talking
MICHAEL RUSSO, Star Tribune
With training camp three weeks away and the Wild arguably in need of another scoring forward, the team has re-entered the free-agent market and is trying to land a player who for years has been a thorn in its side.
Left winger Alex Tanguay, tied for third on the all-time scoring list against Minnesota with 38 points in 41 games, is considering a contract offer from the Wild, his agent said on Thursday.
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher also confirmed the team’s interest in Tanguay, 29, who has scored 193 goals and 580 points over nine seasons with Colorado, Calgary and Montreal.
“Alex has been on the phone with Chuck and I’ve been on the phone with Chuck,” Tanguay’s agent Ritch Winter said. “We’re working on some other teams, too. We’re just doing as much homework as we can to help Alex make an informed decision.”
“This will be a decision that is based largely on opportunity,” Winter continued. “Minnesota or somewhere else will be a place he’s going to go to have a career year. We’re continuing those discussions, and the Wild is very, very much on his radar.”
The winger’s agent said Minnesota is “very, very much on his radar.”
At long last, Heatley to speak
Canwest News Service
Dany Heatley will finally break his silence in a conference call today, but at least one question was answered Thursday.
If the disgruntled Ottawa Senators winger is not traded before Sept. 12, he will show up for the opening of Senators training camp. Both Senators general manager Bryan Murray and J.P. Barry, Heatley’s agent, confirmed Heatley won’t hold out, as had been speculated in some quarters.
“It was never our interest not to show up,” Barry said in advance of today’s conference call, where Heatley will finally be queried about all the reasons why he asked Murray for a trade away from the Senators two months ago, why he rejected a potential deal to the Edmonton Oilers and how difficult it would be to come back and play for an Ottawa fan base that generally wants him gone.
The conference call was initiated by Hockey Canada, which wants the Heatley distractions out of the way before the Olympic team orientation camp next Monday through Wednesday in Calgary. Steve Yzerman, executive director of the Olympic team, empathizes with Senators fans and says Heatley has to provide some answers in order that he not become a sideshow.
“In fairness to the Senators’ fans and the media, it needs to be addressed,” Yzerman said. “It has to be addressed. We’ll get it done. Obviously, it will be a hot topic for one day. Everybody get it out of the way. Everybody ask the questions that need to be asked. Dany, answer those questions. And everybody move on.”
Marleau doesn’t view himself as guy taking the fall — but he won’t discuss the NTC in his contract
Patrick Marleau doesn’t see himself as the fall guy for his team’s playoff shortcomings even after having the captaincy taken away from him.
“I don’t think so,” he said today, “but that’s for everybody else to speculate about, I guess.”
I ducked over to Sharks Ice today to work on another story, but Marleau was there and there were some obvious questions for him after Coach Todd McLellan let it be known 48 hours earlier that Marleau was no longer the captain and that Joe Thornton was losing the “A’ off his jersey as well — at least at the start of training camp.
Marleau said last month that he had told GM Doug Wilson that if the Sharks brass and coaching staff felt someone else should be the captain, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get this team to the next level.”
That sentiment hadn’t changed Thursday now that word was out of the leadership change.
“I just want to win the cup,” he said. “If that’s what the organization feels we need to do to get to that level, I’m all for it.”
Marleau, however, didn’t want to talk about the one other question regarding his future in San Jose: Would he be willing to waive the no-trade clause in his contract?
“I’m not going to make that public,” Marleau said. “If that were ever to come up, then it’s something I would have to decide. But I don’t want to speculate on whether it could or might happen.”
Has he been asked about that yet?