NHL News and Rumors – Monday July 27, 2009

Wings looking at Bertuzzi

Afinogenov unlikely

Brisebois back in the driver’s seat

Wings looking at Bertuzzi


With the losses of Marian Hossa (40 goals) and Mikael Samuelsson (19 goals) — and possibly Jiri Hudler (23 goals) to the Moscow Dynamo — look for the Red Wings to add a scoring forward before the start of training camp.

Among the forwards the Wings are likely to have interest in are former Wings Jason Williams and Todd Bertuzzi, and former U-M standout Mike Comrie. Manny Malhotra and Mike Grier are other possibilities.

Williams, who turns 29 on Aug. 11, never found a home after being traded to the Blackhawks in 2006-07. He scored 17 goals in 63 games over two seasons in Chicago. After failing to find common ground on a line with Ilya Kovalchuk last season, he was traded to the Blue Jackets and finished with 12 goals and 17 assists in 39 games.

Although 34 and no longer capable of scoring 46 goals as he did for the Canucks in 2002-03, Bertuzzi could be worth considering again.

Comrie, who turns 29 on Sept. 11, scored 21 goals in 76 games for the Islanders in 2007-08.


Afinogenov unlikely

John Glennon

Afinogenov unlikely: Don Meehan, the agent for unrestricted free-agent forward Maxim Afinogenov, said last week he doesn’t envision Afinogenov signing in Nashville.

“I don’t think so,” Meehan said, pointing out that he brought up Afinogenov’s name for the Predators to consider. “I don’t anticipate hearing anything back from (Poile) on that. I’m not too optimistic.”

Poile called Afinogenov an interesting player because he’s shown offensive ability in the past. But the play of the Sabres’ winger has tailed off dramatically the past two seasons.


Brisebois back in the driver’s seat


Patrice Brisebois then pumped the gas to send the loud engine roaring a couple of extra times – for effect.

As entrances go, it was a show-stopper. And maybe it symbolized the former Canadiens defenceman’s exit from the game that has been his life, and his entrance into a new world – NASCAR racing.

The 38-year-old hasn’t announced his retirement from the National Hockey League. He hasn’t even made a decision. But as longtime RDS hockey announcer Pierre Houde said yesterday, he’s right on the doorstep.

At this point, there are no offers.

“I’m not waiting,” Brisebois said. “I don’t absolutely have to play hockey. It’s no longer about that. But I continue to train, and if a team says, ‘We want to give you another chance,’ I’d love to have another season.”

The last time Brisebois talked to Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey was just prior to the opening of the free-agent signing period. Nothing since then.

“It’s not that it’s over (with the Canadiens), but there’s a good chance it is,” Brisebois said. “With the recent signings, there’s not much room on defence, so you just turn the page. It’s not personal. I have so much respect for Bob, all he did for me, he brought me back here and gave me another chance.