Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
All eyes are on Ilya Kovalchuk.
Off the glass
Around the boards
By Damien Cox
To lock up Phil Kessel for five seasons, the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment condo developers surrendered $27 million, and right now that looks like an equitable deal in today’s NHL for an explosive offensive player.
IT HAS come to this: that a good effort, one point out of two, a shootout loss at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins, is being viewed as a step in the right direction for the Flyers. Such is their current state. Such is their fragility.
The last thing they need now is a trade.
By PAT HICKEY
As the Canadiens prepare to face the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night (7 p.m., RDS, CJAD Radio-800), the focus will be on a goaltender, and it’s not Martin Brodeur, who is in position to break Terry Sawchuk’s NHL record for career shutouts.
By BRUCE GARRIOCH
It might be go big or go home for the St. Louis Blues.
While many NHL insiders are shocked coach Andy Murray still is behind the bench, the Blues have waited so long to fire him that they missed out on the best coach available — Peter Laviolette — so now the word is they are eyeing the possibility of trying to make a blockbuster deal.
Sixteen scouts were at the Wachovia Center to watch Ottawa outlast the fading Flyers, 2-0, on Thursday night.
That’s a stunningly high number of scouts, and, with Flyers starting goalie Ray Emery sidelined for at least six weeks, speculation is running rampant that the club is interested in a goaltender.
Hotstover Pierre LeBrun’s weekly ESPN blatherings included more rumblings that Vincent Lecavalier is unhappy in Tampa. I have no doubt Pierre is correct. Lecavalier simply does not trust Lightning management/ownership after everything that happened last year. No matter what anyone connected with that franchise says – number four was available for trade.
Nashville Predators GM David Poile has a couple of big issues to deal with before the trade deadline in March. Goalie Pekka Rinne, 27, who has taken over the No. 1 job with the Predators, is making $725,000 and has the potential to become a Group III unrestricted free agent on July 1 because of his age. The Predators can’t afford to let Rinne just walk away in the off-season which means Poile has to find a way to get the netminder’s signature on a long-term deal with a healthy raise. Then there’s defenceman Dan Hamhuis.
By BRUCE GARRIOCH
Desperate to make the playoffs, the New York Rangers are beating the bushes trying to find a top-six forward.
While the Rangers would prefer to bring in a centre, league sources told Sun Media yesterday that general manager Glen Sather is so desperate to find help up front, the club has investigated the possibility of acquiring injured Vancouver Canucks winger Pavol Demitra once he gets healthy.
Recovering from shoulder surgery he had in the off-season, Demitra, who can be explosive, might look good on a line with winger Marian Gaborik.
Patrick Sharp wants nothing more than to finish his career with the Blackhawks.
But there are no guarantees he will even finish the season in Chicago.
GM Randy Sexton spoke about goalie Tomas Vokoun’s status after the game.
Sexton said that he had just spoken with the physician who treated Vokoun at St. Joseph’s Hospital here in Atlanta and that Vokoun received stitches for his ear laceration — Sexton didn’t know how many. Vokoun underwent a CT scan and did some other tests to make sure there wasn’t any additional damage.
The Toronto Maple Leafs had an eventful practice on Sunday, mixing in a small disagreement with some good news about Mike Komisarek.
Mikhail Grabovski and Francois Beauchemin were involved in a scuffle and had to be separated, reports AM640 in Toronto
It’s not that there’s a double standard when it comes to NHL supplementary discipline, it’s that there is no standard whatsoever. To wit: Georges Laraque sticks out his leg in a reflex reaction, injures Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall with a knee-on-knee, and receives a five-game suspension for an unintentional but reckless play. Curtis Glencross on the other hand, intentionally delivers a forearm to Chris Drury’s chin, thus concussing the Rangers center though he was nowhere near the puck, and receives a three-game suspension for his intentional and flagrant foul.
Brian Burke has the go-ahead to send any Leafs player to the minors — essentially burying National Hockey League contracts — without clearing it with his bosses or the board of directors of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.
And that could happen as soon as this week.
By Greg Wyshynski
The news over the weekend that the Anaheim Ducks and winger Bobby Ryan(notes) have put their contract talks on hold was naturally going to lead to speculation that he’ll be on next summer’s Brian Burke free-agent buffet, and the Toronto Star didn’t disappoint.
The buzz around the Air Canada Centre Saturday night was not entirely centred on the Leafs snapping a five-game losing streak with a shootout win over Washington.
By MIKE ZEISBERGER
When Brian Burke celebrates his one-year milestone as Maple Leafs president exactly one week from today, he’d best be checking the candles on his anniversary cake.
Some disgruntled fan might have replaced them with sticks of TNT.
By Damien Cox
It is honourable and right for Brian Burke to stand by his coach, even more because he didn’t hire Ron Wilson to guide the Maple Leafs.
Center Marc Savard will soon sign a lengthy and lucrative contract extension that will keep him in Boston well into the next decade, according to a team source, but the club isn’t quite ready to let him return from his broken foot just yet.
Almost a quarter of the way through a very interesting seasons, I’m looking at the top five most surprising teams to date and the 5 most disappointing.
1) Colorado Avalanche – Did any one pick this team to finish out of the bottom 3 in the west? There goaltending has been great and the rookies have been playing fantastic.