NHl News and Rumors – September 24, 2009

Pat Burns hopes health will allow him to scout for NJ Devils this season

Balsillie continues to finesse Coyotes bid

Forsberg planning another comeback

Murray has deals in mind

Pat Burns hopes health will allow him to scout for NJ Devils this season

Rich Chere/The Star-Ledger

Under different cir*****stances, this could have been his team.

When the Devils were searching for a new head coach this summer, Pat Burns might have been the logical choice. He is a no-nonsense guy with a Stanley Cup ring, a history of success as a three-time NHL coach of the year and holds a special place in Devils history.

It was, of course, never a possibility. Burns, 57, is dealing with cancer for the third time since he was first diagnosed with colon cancer during the 2004 playoffs. He beat that, as well as liver cancer.

This time it is incurable lung cancer, which has taken a noticeable toll on the once-robust former cop. Burns has lost 57 pounds, and now weighs 184, his voice is very weak and he has decided to forego any further treatment.

“That’s all done. It wouldn’t do much. It’s not going to help. It’s a question of time, really,” Burns told me from his home in New Hampshire.

“I feel so-so. It’s a struggle. But we knew that. It’s not getting any better. It’s progressing.”

Usually, Burns soon would be heading to his other home in Florida. He remains a Devils special assignment coach and scout, doing most of his work watching games in Tampa and Sunrise, Fla.


Balsillie continues to finesse Coyotes bid

Kevin McGran

Billionaire Jim Balsillie sweetened his offer to the city of Glendale and offered an olive branch to the NHL if he wins control of the Phoenix Coyotes in an amended offer to bring the bankrupt hockey team to Hamilton.

A key part of his amended offer is keeping the Coyotes in Glendale this coming season if he wins.

But none of what came forward to Judge Redfield T. Baum – who convened an emergency meeting to consider sending all sides to mediation – changes the NHL’s key position that Balsillie is not approved as an owner. The league believes its offer of $140 million (all figures U.S.) should prevail.

Balsillie, whose offer remains at $242.5 million, moved on a number of fronts:

To Phoenix hockey fans …

A promise the team will remain in Glendale this season, as long as the NHL pays for any losses. Balsillie’s lawyers said it was possible, but not likely, for the team to move to Hamilton during the Olympic break.

To Glendale …

He offered $25 million, win or lose, if the city relinquishes its claim for up to $560 million if the team relocates and joins Balsillie’s side. The city would get a further $25 million if Balsillie wins the team. Glendale is backing the NHL’s bid, like the rest of the creditors, and previously would get $50 million from Balsillie if he wins.


Forsberg planning another comeback

Adrian Dater

Brett Favre might amaze the average athlete with his comebacks, but if Peter Forsberg heard about them, he might respond: “Is that all?”

Forsberg, the former Avalanche star whose last NHL appearance was in Game 3 of the 2008 Western Conference semifinals against the Red Wings, is attempting another return to the NHL. He signed a one-week contract Wednesday with the Swedish Elite League team Modo, and hopes to sign with an NHL team before an Oct. 1 deadline.

“I’ve felt good recently and I’m ready to go,” Forsberg told Modo online. “I’ve made six or seven comebacks, so why not make another one?

“No, seriously, I’ve been working hard this summer and I have had a major surgery. That’s why I want to give it a try.”

Forsberg can play in Europe until Oct. 1, but if he plays there beyond that date, he will be ineligible to play in the NHL in the regular season.

Asked if the Avalanche would have an interest in re-signing Forsberg, general manager Greg Sherman declined comment.

Forsberg signed with the Avs late in the 2007-08 season after sitting out the campaign to that point because of chronic right foot problems.He played two games for Modo last season before having more foot problems, and many believed his playing days were finally over. But another surgery has left him feeling better than he has in at least two years.


Murray has deals in mind


Senators GM Bryan Murray conceded yesterday that forward Peter Regin will start the season in Ottawa and indicated rookie defenceman Erik Karlsson is also on the verge of earning a roster spot.

While that’s good for the young Dane and young Swede, it means some of the team’s veterans should be very nervous.

With only Friday’s home game against the Bruins left on the pre-season schedule before the Senators make final cuts to reach their 21-man roster, Murray will try to find a new home for a couple of veteran players to open up roster spots and save some salary cap space.

“It’s a hard time of year because organizations have lots of young players that are going to be looked at,” said Murray. “Very definitely it’s going to be worth my while to make some calls and find out if there’s anybody that wants to give someone a chance.”

Murray didn’t name names, but it’s not hard to tell which players are on the bubble. Centre Chris Kelly, who would be difficult to deal with a $2.125-million US cap hit for the next three years, hasn’t performed up to expectations in camp and is feeling a lot of heat.


12 Responses to NHl News and Rumors – September 24, 2009

  1. mojo19 says:

    How much would you pay for Forsberg? How effective do you think he could be at this point?

    I think Atlanta, who is desperate to make the playoffs, and has already invited Max Afinogenov to camp, should make a play for Forsberg and see if there is mutual interest.

    Atlanta's priority is to get Kovalchuck extended, and being succesful this year is so important for them. They should make a decent offer to Forsberg IMO. And while they're at it, throw a couple bucks at Sundin, see if you can't grab both….

    Kovalchuck – Antropov – Little
    Kozlov – White – Afinogenov
    Forsberg – Sundin – Armstrong (gritty 3rd line)
    Slater – Reasoner – Thorburn

    x – Boulton, Peverly

    Enstrom – Kubina
    Bogosian – Hainsey
    Salmela – Welch

    x – Valabik


    Not a bad looking line up. Of course, even with Sundin and Forsberg injected into this line up, their success depends on many factors. Kari Lehtinen needs to be better than he has been. Afinogenov will be counted on for a big year. Little and Enstrom have to keep getting better, White has to repeat his performance of last year, Forsberg and Antropov (and Bogosian) would need to stay healthy, Sundin needs to play inspired, etc.

    Really the only sure bet is Kovalchuck with this team, but they would have a lot of potential, I think.


  2. Kyleton says:

    Kovalchuck will likely be gone after this season. I hope anyway. He is wasted talent in Atlanta.  They need another few years to undo the damage of their deals to get into their first and only Playoff appearance

  3. mojo19 says:

    We'll see. We know that Kovalchuck played with Antropov, on a line during the lockout and they became good friends. When the announcement was made that Waddell had signed Antropov, he got a text right away from Kovalchuck that said "nice job" (according to THN magazine, season preview edition).

    So they are trying to convince him to stay. The bottom line is, if they have some success this year, they have a better chance to re-sign Kovalchuck. This could be detrimental to their future because they might make some bad moves again in an attempt to make it now.

  4. lukeleim says:

    Niklas Hagman – Matt Stajan – Jason Blake
    Alexei Ponikarovsky – Mikhail Grabovski – Nikolai Kulemin
    John Mitchell – Tyler Bozak – Lee Stempniak
    Jay Rosehill – Wayne Primeau – Colton Orr
    Tomas Kaberle – Mike Komisarek
    Luke Schenn – Francois Beauchemin
    Ian White – Garnet Exelby
    Vesa Toskala
    Jonas Gustavsson

    2009/2010 Statistics
    Matt Stajan: 82-21-44-65
    Niklas Hagman: 80-32-29-61
    Jason Blake: 82-24-35-59
    Phil Kessel: 61-29-26-55
    Tomas Kaberle: 81-6-49-55
    Mikhail Grabovski: 80-20-32-52
    Alexei Ponikarovsky: 79-22-29-51
    Tyler Bozak: 76-14-25-39
    John Mitchell: 81-17-21-38
    Francois Beauchemin: 71-11-24-35
    Lee Stempniak: 63-12-19-31
    Nikolai Kulemin: 69-16-14-30
    Ian White: 76-13-17-30
    Mike Komisarek: 82-3-21-24
    Luke Schenn: 81-4-15-19
    Jiri Tlusty: 34-6-7-13 
    Jay Rosehill: 71-4-8-12
    Wayne Primeau: 66-4-7-11
    Viktor Stalberg: 22-6-5-11
    Jeff Finger: 28-3-6-9
    Garnet Exelby: 73-1-7-8
    Christian Hanson: 18-4-4-8
    Colton Orr: 77-2-5-7
    Rickard Wallin: 12-1-2-3
    Jonas Frogren: 1-0-0-0

    Vesa Toskala: 29-16-4   2.61   0.908
    Jonas Gustavsson: 14-14-5   2.44   0.912

  5. bbruins37 says:

    so the leafs put up 275 goals, the second highest total in the last two years and the 10th highest in the last 7 seasons (and that includes the inflated scoring years coming back from the lockout), missing their top scorer for about two months.

    and all this while getting their defense to a point where they would have finished 5th in the league last year.

    i think youre being too humble with that 95 point record. those kind of stats have 115 points + written all over it

  6. cam7777 says:

    I could see Philly dumping Jones in the minors, and signing Forsberg to a 1 year, inscentive laden deal :

    Gagne – Richards – Forsberg
    Hartnell – Carter – Carcillo
    Vanriemsdyk – Briere – Giroux
    Laperriere – Betts – Asham


    Pronger – Timonen
    Carle – Coburn
    Parent – Tollefesen

    Emery – Boucher

  7. cam7777 says:

    Actually, Hejduk just signed an extension with the Avs this afternoon.  This seems like strange timing for such a move.  Hejduk was previously considering retirement at the end of this contracts' term.  Perhaps the return of Forsberg has changed his mind, and convinced him to stick it out one extra year and hope the kids can do something special. 

    The Avs were also rumored interested in taking Nylander off of the Capitals hands.  Perhaps with O'Reilly and Duchene playing themselves onto the team, there is renewed optimism in Colorado.  Could the injection of youth, coupled with a pair of elite Swedish vets change the fortunes of the Avalanche for the upcoming season?

    to the Capitals:
    Clark, Svatos
    to the Avalanche:
    Nylander, 4th round pick

    -Sign Forsberg, 1 year, 2 million dollars (+ bonuses)

    Wolski – Stastny – Hejduk
    Duchene – Nylander – Forsberg
    Tucker – O'Reilly – Stewart
    McLeod – Hensick – Jones

    Liles / Hannan
    Salei / Foote
    Preissing / Quincey

    (*****iskey, Shattenkirk)

    Anderson – Budaj

    They would still have sub-par goaltending, and a mediocre defense, but Their offense could potentially be pretty potent, and some rebound years from Hannan and the d-corps could go a long way.  Couldn't possibly hurt Duchene to play with Forsberg and Nylander for a year.

  8. lukeleim says:

    meh you might be right. 255-260 is more likely…

  9. leafy says:

    Can someone please explain to me clearly, accurately, and logically what the f*** is Gary Bettman's problem?


  10. cam7777 says:

    What's wrong with that?  I don't see how anybody could still be on board with Balsillie at this point.  He's trying to rob a franchise, and cheat the NHL.  The Coyotes are only worth 140 million (tops), but a franchise in Hamilton, just the rights to it, would be worth almost a half billion.  Jim wants both for 242 million.  I hate Bettman as much as the next guy, but I dpn't see what's wrong with this particular set of comments….

  11. leafy says:

    That's not why Bettman is blocking Balsillie. In fact, it is now blatantly obvious that, even if Balsillie offered $500M for the Coyotes, Bettman would still try to block him.

  12. cam7777 says:

    Well, if Balsillie was actually trying to buy the franchise and location for what it was worth, than I would be on his side.  What he has done is wrong though, regardless of Bettman's personal issue with him. 

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