NHL News and Rumors – June 23, 2011


Ryan Smyth not right fit for rebuilding club

Jagr movement could be coming very soon

Senators eye Super Six

From Minnesota: NHL draft scuttlebut

Jagr to Habs? Smyth back to Oilers? NHL rumour mill goes crazy

Ballard Headed for Waivers?


The new Winnipeg NHL franchise has chosen its first bench boss.

Claude Noel will be the man behind the bench when the team hits the ice of the MTS Centre to begin its inaugural season.

Noel is the former head coach of the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, where he spent one season compiling a 43-30-7 record and losing in the second round of the playoffs.

Prior to that, he spent four seasons as the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals and three as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He was the interim head coach of the Blue Jackets for 24 games in 2010


Ryan Smyth not right fit for rebuilding club

The sports homecoming is an often irresistible manoeuvre, soaked in sentimentality, but short on logic, business sense and much else.

Fans respond to the mere possibility of a return of their departed hero with unbridled passion, which is understandable. Pro sports operators sell their heroes very well.

Even more powerfully, fans fall in love with players on their own and sometimes stay in love with them even when their favourite is traded away.

In the case of Ryan Smyth, the Oilers marketing department didn’t have to do much work, if any.

As Joe Thornton once said of the man dubbed Captain Canada for his distinguished service with Team Canada at the world hockey championship, “He’s what a Canadian hockey player is, he’s what a Canadian hockey player looks like, how he acts.”

No argument here. A fine son of the Rocky Mountain resort town of Banff, Smyth was perfect for the post-glory years Oilers -a tough, reliable, fan-friendly digger and scorer with a blue-collar work ethic and the most genuine post-goal celebration in the game.

Fans at Rexall Place got to see that smile on a regular basis.

The news item generated Monday by the estimable Bob McKenzie of TSN that Smyth would prefer to play out the final year in his current Los Angeles Kings contract back in Edmonton went viral in minutes, if not seconds, as well it should.


Jagr movement could be coming very soon

Jaromir Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, will be at the NHL Entry Draft this weekend. So will Penguins general manager Ray Shero and Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland.

It’s time to make a deal.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, fresh off winning the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year, certainly sounded in favor of bringing the team’s former star back on board.

“I envision a guy coming back to the NHL with a high amount of motivation,” Bylsma said Wednesday in Las Vegas. “He doesn’t need to. He could probably make more money somewhere else, but he’d be coming back to prove he could play in the league and to win a Stanley Cup. And to think of a guy who scored 75 points his last year in the league, and then you see him in the world championships be outstanding. … His work ethic is high and the leadership is there, and that’s a real intriguing factor to think about the possibility of adding him to your team.”

The Penguins and Red Wings are the teams known to have interest in Jagr, and he is believed to desire a return to Pittsburgh. Svoboda’s arrival Friday in St. Paul, Minn., for the draft could make for an interesting weekend.

“Nothing is going to happen in the next couple of days,” Svoboda said. “On Friday, I’m coming to the States.”

Svoboda said Jagr was set to have a conversation with Shero and Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux on Tuesday. Jagr has long admired Lemieux, his former teammate.

Svoboda confirmed that the Penguins and Red Wings remain the front-runners for Jagr’s services. A third team — either another NHL team or a squad from Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, where Jagr played the past three seasons — reportedly also is showing interest.


Senators eye Super Six

As the Senators look to climb back into the NHL’s upper echelon, they know it’s important that they hit a couple of home runs in this weekend’s draft.

The Senators started rebuilding by unloading veterans Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Jarrko Ruutu and Chris Campoli in exchange for draft picks at the NHL trade deadline in February. Now, with six picks in the first 66 selections — including two first round picks (No. 6 and 21) — in the two-day NHL draft starting Friday at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., the Senators have to turn all their pre-draft talk to action.

With 12 picks in total, assistant GM Tim Murray and director of scouting Pierre Dorion are confident they’ll have a strong couple of days at the draft table.

“At No. 6, I think you’re going to get a front-line player, a top two-line player or a top-three defenceman,” said Dorion. “At No. 21, you’re probably looking at a top-three line player or a top 4-5 defenceman.

“Obviously, the guy at No. 21 won’t play (next season for the Senators) barring unforeseen expectations, but will be on our team in the next few seasons.”

The big decision for the Senators is whether they move up from No. 6. They’ve talked to Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini about the No. 1 overall selection, but judging by what scouts are saying, the best-case scenario is the No. 4 pick from the New Jersey Devils.


From Minnesota: NHL draft scuttlebut

Greetings from the land of 10,000 lakes and all that. One of these days, I would actually like to visit the inner parts of Minnesota, as I hear nothing but good things about it all. I have visions of cabins and fish and marshmallows roasting on a fire and plaid shirts and general stores with quirky small-town newspapers. Unfortunately, looks like I only have time to mostly hang out by a suburban hotel and do things like crank out the copy for this blog.

On the way to Minneapolis this morning, members of Avalanche management were on my flight, including the coach, Joe Sacco. He seemed in good spirits. Unfortunately, they did NOT spill to me who they plan to take in Friday’s first round of the NHL draft. I kept trying to buy them drinks from those little bottles in the cart coming down the aisle, but they wouldn’t bite.

Two nights before the draft, and there are rumors aplenty that the Edmonton Oilers have NOT firmly decided on taking Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, that they are still mulling things over. Most people have assumed RNH is going No. 1, leading to the guessing game of who the Avs want at No. 2 – Landeskog, Larsson or Huberdeau. But if RNH is available, I say the Avs should grab him. I’ve seen a fair amount of video on him now, and he has definitely impressed me with his skill and hockey sense. Yeah, he’s skinny as a rail, though, but he’ll fill out.

If the Avs get RNH, that could open up furt
her rumor-mill possibilities of a trade involving Paul Stastny. RNH and Matt Duchene would make for a pretty nice, young 1-2 center combo for the future, and could make Stastny expendable. Don’t forget, the Avs also have Ryan O’Reilly up the middle, and Joey Hishon on the way.


Jagr to Habs? Smyth back to Oilers? NHL rumour mill goes crazy

The rumour mill has churned out any number of interesting possibilities. Jaromir Jagr, almost certainly coming back to the NHL, possibly with the Detroit Red Wings, maybe with his old team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. But why couldn’t it be the Montreal Canadiens, where Jagr could play with close friend Tomas Plekanec or former linemate Scott Gomez and wear the uniform of an Original Six team for the second time in his career?

Most people suspect Ryan Smyth will finish his career with the Edmonton Oilers, but will it happen next year – which would necessitate a trade with the Los Angeles Kings – or the year after, when his contract expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent?

Though the Flyers insist negotiations are ongoing, Ilya Bryzgalov has a chance to become the highest-paid goaltender in the game, assuming he signs with Philadelphia as soon as the NHL confirms that next year’s salary cap will top out at $64-million (all currency U.S.), giving the Flyers the payroll room to absorb a $5-million to $7-million annual salary hit. And who does GM Paul Holmgren move to shoehorn Bryzgalov’s salary onto his already hefty payroll? Kris Versteeg? Jeff Carter? Or does he permit Ville Leino to depart as a free agent? If Carter is ever in play, any number of teams looking to fill gaping holes at centre (yes, we mean you Toronto Maple Leafs) will be lining up to take a crack at a deal.


Ballard Headed for Waivers?

Vancouver is trying hard to sign both Kevin Bieksa and Christian Erhoff. If the Canucks can’t move Keith Ballard they will likely place him on waivers and eat the contract in the minors. Toronto has done this with Jeff Finger and the Rangers did the same with Wade Redden so it’s not like we haven’t seen this before. Vancouver can afford to eat Ballard’s deal.


30 Responses to NHL News and Rumors – June 23, 2011

  1. 93killer93 says:

    Dallas is willing to trade down to acquire more picks. they're missing their 3rd so they want to add more. 

    1st(25th), 1st(30th), 3rd(86th)
    1st(14th), Richards(rights)
    Probably gets done without Richards rights since his agent is saying he doesn't plan to waive his NTC
  2. KingCanada says:

    If that gets done I wonder who Burke intends to draft…my guess is one of:

    Jamie Oleksiak
    Tyler Biggs
    Duncan Siemens

    Im not sure who I would prefer but I will say it seems the Leafs still need forwards over defencemen.  But how can you argue with the aformentioned D's potential.

  3. 93killer93 says:

    I really want Murphy and Oleksiak.  Murphy fills our need of a blue chip offensive defenseman prospect, and how could you not love Oleksiak, 6'7 240lbs and a toronto native. 

  4. KingCanada says:

    If the Leafs decide to stand pat here are a couple projected late first rounders/early 2nds Id like the Leafs to go after:

    Tomas Jurco: Exceptional skating and puck handling, scored 31 goals, could be more consistent and grittier but great late first rounder.  Has some crazy goals on youtube which also include one he scored off his helmit haha.

    Brandon Saad: Imposing winger with potential to be a good power forward.  Already almost 210lbs, has an NHL body.  Was touted earlier in the year to go higher but inconsistency has had him drop in the rankings.

    Matthew Puempel: 6'1 200lbs scoring threat.  Scouting is saying he will need to work hard to make the pros but he is still an offensive threat and won OHL rookie of the year.

    Stefan Noesen: They say he is a project but he is a very physical player and plays with grit.  The guy has good hockey sense as well but he would take a lil more time to make the NHL.  Scored 34 goals, 77 pts for Plymouth.

    Stuart Percy: First and only defenceman on my list..  Burke followed him around the combine alot and after reading reviews on him he seems like a very smart no nonsense kind of defenceman.  Good positional play, makes good passes and makes no mistakes.

    Alexander Kochlachev: Had most points as a rookie in the OHL and also had 20 pts in the playoffs.  A lil undersized (not unlike Kadri) but is said to be a very gritty player.

    Daniel Catenacci: This pick is reaching a bit because he isnt rated as high as others in certain draft rankings but he reminds me of Brad Ross. 70+ points and is one of those irritating players to play against.  A little undersized but hes one of the fastest guys available.

    Well those are my thoughts, love to hear who you guys would like to draft (not just Leaf fans btw).

  5. KingCanada says:

    Murphy is also an interesting pick considering the offensive potential.  Also hard to pass up on Oleksiak with that amount of size.  Maybe the compromise is Duncan Siemens who seems to have both sides of the table.  Or even Nathan Beaulieu altho I doubt he falls that far down…could be in the top 10 that guy.

  6. reinjosh says:

    Holy shit Carter just got traded to Columbus. 

    Voracek, 1st and 3rd.

    Wow. Well Carter gives the Blue Jackets a 2nd scoring option behind Nash. Now they need to go hard after a PMD. 
    Flyers clear cap space and get some nice assets. Voracek is no slouch and should fit nicely into Philly top 9.
  7. blaze says:

    Damn Carter would've been nice. Awesome trade for both teams, keep em coming.

  8. leafy says:

    Huge trade. But with Voracek, a 1st and 3rd pick, Carter didn't come cheap. I agree, good trade for both teams.

  9. leafy says:

    Many sources on Twitter are reporting the Leafs, NY and LA are in a bidding war to get Richards.

  10. reinjosh says:

    Columbus gets a guy they can add offense with but can also hopefully market. That in and of itself could be huge to them. Plus Carter could mean being a playoff team too.

    Philly gets some nice assets. The first will help restock a terrible system. Voracek is young and still talented. He's the big factor for me. If he breaks out, they could make this deal a huge win. The cap space is the biggest deal right now though.
    Biggest loser in this deal? Jeff Carter. 10 more years in Columbus…
  11. reinjosh says:

    Versteeg to Florida apparently. Dale Tallon sure loves his ex-Hawks. 

    If this is true, then I imagine that an announcement will follow about signing Bryzgalov. 
    I should mention that the Carter trade could hurt Philly in the future. Its been speculated that they had an "understanding" with Carter that they wouldn't trade him. because rules prohibited him from getting an NTC till he was older, Elliote Friedman speculated (he might have even said it outright) that they agreed to not trade him at all. Sort of a quasi NTC. 
  12. albertateams says:

    The deal makes a ton of sense for both teams. Columbus now needs to target a PMD.

    Any idea what the return for Robin might be?

  13. 93killer93 says:

    HockeyBreak on twitter reporting, Mike Richards to LA for a package around Brayden Schenn is very close to being done.

  14. Jets_Back says:

    The Flyers are in good shape despite a thin farm system.

    They do have 9 forwards, 4 defenceman and a goalie under the age of 30, so really at least their parent squad is youthful to an extent.

    Is this 1st round pick in this draft? With the 8th overall pick they could have plenty of options. Zibanejad would be an awesome fit for them, or if Dougie Hamilton slips down that way.

    Carter/Nash. That is a nice combination. Its too bad Columbus is a team little care about. Hopefully this bold move extends some interest in that hockey team.

    I think Columbus really needs to augment their defence to add some offensive component and they could be an emerging team out West.

  15. leafy says:

    You mean Brad Richards?

  16. 93killer93 says:

    No Mike Richards.

  17. leafy says:

    Wow. Almost looks like Philly is rebuilding, sort of.

  18. 93killer93 says:

    Hockey Break says it's official. 

    Schenn + Simmonds + possible pick
    Mike Richards
  19. Jets_Back says:



  20. leafy says:

    Simmonds is very popular in LA and if Schenn pans out, could be a tremendous trade for Philly. In the short term, LA gets the star and character gritty player they need.

  21. leafy says:

    Simmonds is very popular in LA and if Schenn pans out, could be a tremendous trade for Philly. In the short term, LA gets the star and character gritty player they need.

  22. mapleleafsfan says:

    Wow I feel columbus definitely overpaid here.. Don't get me wrong, carter is great and probably worth that much but it was fairly clear Phili needed to move someone giving the upper hand to columbus big time.. I really thought they would have to almost give someone away with the alleged 7 mill to bryzgalov.. I guess if Columbus was in a bidding war with another team or something it would have jacked up the price.. Either way columbus just made a big move, nash and carter is a pretty damn good 1,2..

  23. leafy says:

    Sorry for the double double.

  24. mapleleafsfan says:

    I love richards but that return is HUGE..

  25. mapleleafsfan says:

    I guess LA is out now?

  26. Jets_Back says:

    pretty interesting combinations though from all these trades:

    Richards/Dustin Brown



  27. Jets_Back says:

    Looks like too LA sends a second round pick to Philadelphia in the deal as well.

    so Philly trades their foundation for the next decade supposedly in a half an hour and gets:

    Voracek, Simmonds, Schenn, First round pick, Second Round pick, Third Round pick.

  28. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Vancouver is going to hate the 1-2 punch of Kopitar and Richards.

  29. mapleleafsfan says:

    Carter nash is the scariest at the moment for sure.. But Giroux Schenn JVR has some serious potential.. 

Leave a Reply