Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
As many of you know the site has been alittle off for the past while. This is partially because the server that htr is on has been completely hijacked. I have had to filter comments because of the mass amounts of robot spam that is landing on the pages of htr. I am in the process of switching servers and trying to restore the problems. I hope that you can all understand that there are some major problems that i am trying to work though here. I do not filter the comments directly. I have had to put in a maga filter that does this.
Next summer’s crop looks even weaker, with few candidates available who can reasonably step in and play top-four minutes. The best of the bunch from a long-term Oilers perspective is likely this group of four:
Alexander Edler. The offensive defenceman hit career highs last year in goals (11) assists (38) points (49) and shots (228). The Canucks leaned on Edler heavily in an offensive role to make up for the departure of Christian Ehrhoff – he got power play time, tons of offensive starts and typically managed to duck the toughest assignments (which went to the Hamhuis/Bieksa pairing). Despitep laying those sorts of minutes for the powerhouse Canucks, Edler finished with a disappointing plus/minus (even) and struggled mightily in the post-season. Still, as a 6’3”, 27-year old offensive defenceman playing top-four minutes on a contender, he’s going to get paid.
Rob Scuderi. The no-nonsense defensive defender was overshadowed by regular partner Drew Doughty’s transcendent play en route to Los Angeles’ Stanley cup victory, but even so he logged heavy minutes on the Kings’ blue line and offers major value to any team as a shutdown defender. At 34, he’s in the tail end of his career yet is still young compared to much of 2013’s free agent class.
Ian White. Last summer, the Detroit Red Wings paid him less than $3 million/season on a two-year deal. He’s likely to get both more money and term this time around. The 29-year old White found success in a top-pairing role in Detroit (he actually led the Red Wings blue line in time on ice at even-strength last year). Now, he’ll need to prove he can be successful without Lidstrom – a partner who seemed to help him significantly last year.
Jordan Leopold. A regular member of the Buffalo Sabres’ top four last season, Leopold’s the sort of cheaper option some team will be forced to settle for next summer. The 32-year old isn’t a high-end offensive option but is capable in both zones and with or without the puck.
In a bizarre, slightly uncomfortable scene at Saveology.com Iceplex Tuesday morning, current Panthers starter Jose Theodore was beginning an informal practice with several teammates just moments after estranged Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had finished his own skate.
Luongo has made it clear that since Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis promoted goalie Cory Schneider to starter after giving him a three-year, $12 million contract extension, that he wants to be traded to the Panthers, the franchise he established his All-Star credentials with from 2001-06 and back to an area he maintains an offseason residence with his wife and two young children.
So, Luongo was literally about to sneak out the back door to avoid a potentially awkward situation for fellow Quebec native Theodore, whose job he covets. Luongo spoke to the Sun Sentinel before leaving.
“It’s been a tough summer, not knowing what’s going to happen … with your family and everything,” Luongo told the Sun Sentinel while changing inside the cramped visitor’s locker room a few feet from where the Panthers were skating.
“[The Panthers] makes sense for myself, for my career and my family,” added Luongo, who has 10 years at $5.33 million per remaining on his deal. “This is a preferred location for obvious reasons, but I’m not shutting the door on other possibilities.”
Luongo, 33, has been linked to the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs, both with glaring needs for an elite goalie. Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon has repeatedly said he’s content with his current goalie trio, that includes Theodore, Scott Clemmensen and promising Swede Jacob Markstrom.
Alex Kovalev, who turns 40 in February, aims to return to the NHL and says he has a couple of tryout offers.
The Russian spent last season in the KHL with Atlant Mytischi but played only 22 games because of injuries. Once an offensive star in the NHL, Kovalev managed only one goal and five assists.
The winger was in Switzerland this week training with the Servette Geneva team. Kovalev said he plans to go to the U.S. to work out but did not identify the teams offering tryouts.
Kovalev has 428 goals and 596 assists in 1,302 regular-season games with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. He had 16 goals and 18 assists in 74 games with Ottawa and Pittsburgh in 2010-11, his most recent season in the NHL.