Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
The loss of Stuart and Lidstrom further accentuates the need for defenseman — be it through trade or more likely free agency — in the next several weeks.
Holland said he had brief discussions with other general managers at the GM meetings two weeks ago, but nothing interested him.
Players such as Ryan Suter (Nashville), Matt Carle (Philadelphia), Barret Jackman (St. Louis) and Dennis Wideman (Washington) are potential unrestricted free agents that will attract the most attention, with Suter the undisputed No. 1 target of teams.
There’s also Justin Schultz, an Anaheim draft pick who has gone unsigned. Schultz will become an unrestricted free agent later this month and will attract a lot of interest — the Wings included.
“We’ll be active,” Holland said. “We’ve lost two quality defensemen.”
Stuart played in 81 games last season, scoring 21 points (six goals, 15 assists), while averaging 21 minutes, 3 seconds of ice time. He had one assist in the five-game playoff series to Nashville.
Murray is a 6-foot-2, 218-pound center who split time between the Sharks and the organization’s minor league affiliate Worcester last season. Murray can also become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but it’s not certain the Wings will aggressively work to re-sign him.
With the Sharks Murray, 30, played in 39 games with four points (one goal, three assists), while averaging 7:42 of ice time. He played in 10 games with Worcester, scoring three points (two goals, one assist).
Among the most troubling aspect of the Brian Burke rumours: They are being avidly spread by people he would consider friends and professional colleagues … Apparently, the Maple Leafs want to move up in the draft and Edmonton may want to move its No. 1 pick. A deal, one that could involve Luke Schenn, is not out of the question here. There’s also been talk that Montreal’s new management crew would like to move out of the No. 3 pick, which is an old Rick Dudley trick, and drop back, pick another player, and cash in on the early choice with an additional asset … Would any other team in the NHL come down to a choice between Michel Therrien and Marc Crawford for its head coaching position? Really, two guys coming off unsuccessful runs: has it become that desperate for Les Canadiens? … Television doesn’t show Darryl Sutter at his best. The better you know him, the more you realize what a sensible, grounded, funny, man he is. But about that Dion Phaneuf trade?
Never mind … Sutter, by the way, was slightly troubled/embarrassed by what sat behind him in Game 4 in Los Angeles. The porn lady may have been behind Peter DeBoer, trying to throw off the New Jersey Devils, but Sutter was hoping no TV cameras would close in on him, where a guy dressed up as a woman (for attention only) was flashing behind him. “Someone,” he said, “should have kicked that guy out.” … Devils assistant coach Larry Robinson has been putting on a line-changing clinic with his defence corps in the Stanley Cup Final. And because he’s Larry Robinson, he gets away with more than he should when he doesn’t have last change.
Just as the title states. Please do not vent your issues here just let me know what things you would like to see happen.
* I have now changed the comments so that the new ones are at the bottom of the page.
1. Rick Nash, LW, Columbus: If talk indeed turns to action, Nash will be dealt this summer.
The New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks were left at the altar at the February trade deadline because they weren’t willing to pay the massive price being demanded by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson.
The Jackets are in a tough spot because Nash has made it clear he wants out. His $7.8-million cap hit through the 2017-18 season means only certain teams can be involved in the discussions and he has to approve any deal.
Nash wants to be moved to a contender. The Rangers and Sharks both need scoring. Don’t be surprised if the Buffalo Sabres try to get into these discussions.
2. Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver: There are a lot of teams looking for goaltending: Toronto, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus and the Chicago Blackhawks to name a few.
The issue is the contract given to Luongo by Canucks GM Mike Gillis. He always considers himself the smartest guy in the room, but giving Luongo a deal through with a cap hit of $5.3 million through 2021-22 was ridiculous.
Moving the contract is going to be even more difficult. Bolts GM Steve Yzerman has declared he wants nothing to do with that kind of trade. Toronto GM Brian Burke would have to swallow his pride to acquire Luongo.
Burke has often been an opponent of long-term deals. Perhaps the only hope for Gillis and the Canucks is an “amnesty” clause in the new CBA. That would allow the Canucks to buy him out and not have a cap hit.
Keep an eye on the Carolina Hurricanes when it comes to how things play out on the Jordan Staal front with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As I wrote recently, the Penguins’ top priority is to sign Sidney Crosby and Staal to contract extensions this summer — both centers are UFA-eligible on July 1, 2013 — but if they can’t get both done in a cap-sensible manner, it could open the door for Staal to be dealt.
Several teams have already expressed an interest regarding Staal, but I believe the Hurricanes will be aggressive in trying to trade for him, with the idea to have him on same team as his brother, Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.
If the Penguins decide to open the trade market on Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh could get more out of Carolina in a traditional hockey deal than from other teams.
Why? While other teams might point to the fact that Staal has only one year left on his deal and won’t want to give up too much for a pending 2013 UFA, the Hurricanes may be willing to take more of a long-term gamble that, given the sibling tie-in, they could re-sign Staal.
Either way, the Hurricanes are going to be an interesting team this summer. I believe they’re going to add to their payroll and want to upgrade with one or two forwards.
Devils winger Zach Parise wouldn’t be able to count his scoring chances during the Stanley Cup finals on his two hands if he wanted to.
Of all the Devils, Parise has felt the sting of running into the wall that is Kings goalie Jonathan Quick the most.
Parise has no points in the finals. He and fellow star Ilya Kovalchuk’s minimal production have stood out in a series that would be much different for the Devils, who are in an unenviable 3-1 hole after winning Game 4, if their two best threats had converted. All they have is an empty-net goal between them.
“We do need to score; that’s our job and that’s our responsibility,” Parise said, repeating a common refrain.
But the lack of production doesn’t negate the type of player Parise is, nor will it affect New Jersey’s desire to re-sign him or
numerous teams to pursue him.
Parise is one of two prized unrestricted free agents this summer, the other being Predators defenseman Ryan Suter.
One of the NHL’s top offensive draft prospects, Nail Yakupov or Alex Galchenyuk, could become Toronto Maple Leafs, according to the Sarnia Sting stars’ agent Igor Larionov. Or possibly both of them.
In an interview conducted by Russian hockey reporter Andrey Osadchenko and published on OilersNation.com Tuesday night, Larionov said that three Canadian teams — the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs — are interested in his talented clients.
“(Oilers GM Steve) Tambellini told me: ‘We like him (Yakupov). We want him. But we’re going to make a decision the day before the draft.’ I also know the Habs want to get one of my guys — either Nail or Alex,” Larionov, a Hockey Hall of Famer, told the site.
“So do the Leafs. It is possible that the Leafs are going to trade their draft pick and get both of them. There is a possibility like that. Nail and Alex went to New Jersey for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. After this they met Leafs GM Brian Burke. Then Nail met with the Habs.”
The Leafs currently hold the fifth pick in the NHL Entry Draft, which begins June 22 in Pittsburgh. The Canadiens pick third, and the Oilers won the lottery and the No. 1 pick.
“The day before this interview I talked to Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe. They really like Nail. However, at this point they can’t promise anything,” Larionov said. “The same goes for Columbus. (Blue Jackets GM) Scott Howson, Craig Patrick and Tyler Wright spent two days in Sarnia with Yakupov and his family. It’s a serious indication they really want him.
The clock is not only ticking on the Devils’ season, but on Zach Parise’s career in New Jersey, for when the puck is dropped tonight for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it will start the countdown at T-minus-60 on the captain’s impending unrestricted free agency
This all but certainly will be the final summer in which, a) players will be allowed to sign front-loaded contracts with huge signing bonuses that this year will also serve as lockout-protection; and b) players will be permitted to sign contracts without term limits.
Indeed, Parise can expect offers modeled after the nine-year, $60 million contract Brad Richards signed last summer with the Rangers, under which the center is receiving $24 million the first two years, including a $10 million signing bonus last July and an $8 million signing bonus due next month.
Parise, who will turn 28 next month, could attract offers of up to 12 years. He will certainly receive front-loaded, bonus-laden offers from the Rangers and Red Wings, who have millions to spend and the inclination to do so.
The Wild will be in, though Parise might want to think more than twice about going home to join a team in which he would be the best player by leaps and bounds.
The Sharks could be in. The Maple Leafs will be, though current general manager Brian Burke doesn’t believe in front-loaded deals. The Bruins could become a serious contender. There will be others.
Given the financial realities in New Jersey, it’s almost impossible to conjure the scenario in which ownership could cut Parise a $10 million check on July 2. And again, that’s even assuming Parise’s first choice is to remain a Devil.
It appears Alexander Radulov‘s days with the Nashville Predators are over.
According to the Nashville Tennessean, Predators general manager David Poile will try to trade the Russian forward’s rights or allow him to return to the Kontinental Hockey League.
“The best way to characterize it is it’s time to not pursue Rad anymore,” Poile told the Tennessean. “If he wants to play in the KHL that’s fine, if he wants to play with another NHL team I’d be willing to trade his rights.
“We feel the fit right now is not with Nashville,” Poile added.
Radulov just completed an eventful season in which he returned to the NHL for the first time since leaving for Russia in 2008. He played 50 games for Ufa in the KHL before returning to Nashville in March and playing nine regular season games for the Predators. He contributed six points in eight playoff games, but was suspended by the team during the second round after he and Andrei Kostitsyn were cited for violating team rules while the team was in Phoenix.
Luongo’s stock skyrockets after Penguins snap-up Vokoun
Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis took a couple of days off this weekend to go fishing and clear his head for the decision-making process which is about to begin in earnest over the next couple of days. And while he did that, he and his team got lucky.
At least that’s the way it would appear to anyone watching the goaltending situation.
With the Pittsburgh Penguins snaring of Tomas Vokoun from Washington to back up Marc-Andre Fleury for the next two seasons Monday, and Tim Thomas announcing he was going to sit out next season, the chances of improving the return on any Roberto Luongo deal just took a significant leap forward.
Pens GM Ray Shero seemed to catch others who would have liked to consider Vokoun for their own organizations napping with his pre-July 1 strike, giving up just a seventh-round draft pick to leave teams like Toronto, Chicago and Tampa with their pants at half mast. And assuming Thomas does indeed wish to step away from the game as he says, this leaves the number of experienced available goaltenders depleted by two pretty good players.