Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
The Canucks were hoping a gold-medal winning veteran with a cap hit of about $5 million would be reporting to training camp this month.
And it’s true, one is planning to. But he’s the wrong one.
Roberto Luongo may be in Vancouver next week and prepared to report to camp, if camp ever happens. So he’s in. For now. But Shane Doan appears to be out, according to reports which have him agreeing to a four-year, $21.5 million extension with the Phoenix Coyotes, pending the completed sale of the club to Greg Jamison.
The Canucks had tabled a similar offer, though the money wasn’t quite as much, and still believe they have the best chance to be Doan’s Plan B. But that Plan B is disappearing faster than those polar bears on Lost.
Doan represented an opportunity to significantly and instantly improve the Canucks, which explains why they were pursuing him with a courtship which included a dinner at the city’s Italian Kitchen.
Doan kept saying it wasn’t about the money, and it hasn’t been as the Phoenix deal is significantly less than the $30-million contract he was offered.
Angered by his name continuously swirling in trade rumors, Bobby Ryan unleashed his frustration with Ducks management earlier this summer and then tuned out. For the first time since he said he’d be fine with being dealt, Ryan addressed those comments and asserted that his first desire is to be with the team that drafted him second overall in 2005 and watched become a goal-scoring sniper.
“I wanted to come back to (my home in) Newport Beach and come back to this team and this group of guys,” Ryan said Wednesday after a voluntary workout at Anaheim Ice. “Always. That was the No. 1 thing.”
Skating with teammates and other NHL players as they await the prospect of a lockout, Ryan was making his first appearance back in Southern California after a summer of tumult largely of his own doing.
The winger lashed out in June while Ducks officials were at the NHL Draft, telling a New Jersey-based newspaper that the team has “shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately.”
“Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation,” he told the Camden Courier-Post. “When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I’m the piece going the other way.
“I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don’t care. Move me … because it’s just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re going to be the guy moved.”
Ryan said he now regrets doing the interview with a reporter that his father knew while he was participating in an all-day charity golf tournament, calling it “a mistake and a slip up on my part.”
In an interview with a Phoenix radio station, Coyotes captain Shane Doan revealed some good news for Coyotes fans.
One, that prospective owner Greg Jamison has secured the money to purchase the Coyotes and two, that he’s agreed to a new deal with the team; he’s just waiting on Jamison to acquire the team to make it official.
“My goal has been to stay here the whole time,” Doan told radio station XTRA 910 in Phoenix. “Don and Tip and the organization have been great. We have a deal worked out that we just want to make sure that the team gets signed and that everything gets done and it gets done before the 15th.”
Doan went on to say that Jamison has the funds to complete the deal to purchase the Coyotes and is optimistic it will go through soon.
“Mr. Jamison has the money. Mr. Bettman has said its all good, according to the NHL, and it’s going to go through. It’s just a matter of getting the lease agreement done now. Obviously that was done earlier. Now there are some things they decided they wanted to change, which obviously can delay things. With that being said, I think that Mr. Jamison and the league have stated it’s really up to Glendale and Glendale, they had it done for a while.”
The Blue Jackets, looking for top six forward help even before they traded franchise winger Rick Nash in July, attempted to make a splash in free agency by signing an NHL legend.
Lubomir Visnovsky, acquired by the Islanders on draft night a little more than a month ago, has filed a grievance through the NHL Players’ Association to void the trade from the Ducks, contending that his no-trade clause is still valid and Anaheim never got his permission to make the deal.
Should he win his grievance, the trade that sent him to the Islanders for a 2013 second-round pick would be rescinded, though Visnovsky’s agent told Newsday that the 35-year-old defenseman has no issues with the Isles.
“[General manager Garth Snow] has been great to him, they’ve had good conversations and Lubo likes what he’s heard about how they want to use him,” Neil Sheehy, Visnovsky’s agent, said. “But this has really nothing to do with the Islanders. For Lubo, this is about establishing what’s right and whether a team has the right to move him in the manner that they did.”
Visnovsky signed a five-year, $28-million contract with the Oilers in 2008 and waived his no-trade clause to allow a deal to the Ducks at the 2009-10 trade deadline. Visnovsky contends the Ducks needed his approval, in the form of a 10-team list to which he would allow a trade, this summer. That was never asked for before the June 22 deal.
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.
Burrows, 31, is heading into the final year of a deal that pays $2 million annually. The four-year, $8 million deal he signed back in 2009-10 represents one of the league’s best bargains — since signing, he’s averaged 29 goals per season and missed just 12 games to injury.
A report out of Calgary last week had the Red Wings offering Valtteri Filppula, Jonathan Ericsson and a prospect to the Flames for Jay Bouwmeester. But it seemed like wishful thinking, at best.
Even disregarding the value of Filppula and Ericsson to the Red Wings, Bouwmeester is in the conversation mostly because of his disappointing play for the Flames.
He does not play physically, especially not up to his ample size, and his offensive skills have waned.
Bouwmeester is, in sum, a drastically overpaid, veteran defenseman capable of soaking up an average of 22 minutes.
As much as the Red Wings need help, it is doubtful they would trade prized scoring and playmaking, a developing young defenseman and more, for Bouwmeester.
And the Flames are unlikely to part with Bouwmeester for much less.
Meanwhile, with two recent injuries and also failing to acquire defensemen this summer, the Flyers are likely to compete with the Red Wings for Bouwmeester, keeping the price high.
A far more attractive acquisition through a big trade is Keith Yandle, the young mainstay for the Coyotes, who is signed through 2016.
The perpetually on-again, off-again saga regarding the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team is on again.
Prospective Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison has brought investment money and partners back into the fold and could soon close on the purchase of the team from the National Hockey League. The sale would keep the team in Glendale at Jobing.com Arena.
Jamison’s group has been trying to buy the Coyotes since last year.
Two sources with knowledge of the three-year-old Coyotes ownership saga say Jamison now has the investors and partners in place to finally buy the Coyotes and a deal could close very soon.
All that comes as free agent Coyotes captain Shane Doan puts off signing with a new team while Jamison tries to close the deal. The fact that Doan has held off signing with a new team could be an indicator that he is waiting on the Coyotes sale to close.
Doan could re-sign with the Coyotes if Jamison can buy the team. He’s also considering the Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. The Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings could also be in the mix if Doan leaves Phoenix.
If the Pens have any interest in Bobby Ryan, now might be the time to strike. Philly wants him but has to concentrate on D, I’d think.
After failing to land a top defenseman through free agency, the Detroit Red Wings are looking to bolster their back end via trade.
A team source confirmed the Red Wings are talking with the Calgary Flames about making a deal for veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who has been the subject of trade rumors for more than a month.
The Red Wings are attempting to solidify their defensive corps with a trade because no top defensemen remain available through free agency.
Bouwmeester became expendable in Calgary when the Flames signed Dennis Wideman to a five-year, $26.25 million deal and the Red Wings need help on defense after captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired and Brad Stuart was traded to San Jose before he could sign with the Sharks as a free agent.
Wideman’s contract hiked Calgary’s payroll to $66.6 million, which is under the $70.2 million salary cap. But if the cap is reduced as expected when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, that could force the Flames to dump salary and the possibility might reduce their asking price for Bouwmeester.
The San Jose Sharks are among the favorites to land the services of free agent forward Shane Doan, a source has told CSNCalifornia.com.
Doan, who will turn 36 in October, is the top unrestricted NHL free agent still available.
According to the source, the Sharks, who are generally very tight-lipped about personnel decisions, have flown “under the radar” in their pursuit of Doan.
Doan reportedly met with the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, and has also drawn interest from the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. His preference is to remain in Phoenix, but the uncertain ownership situation there has led to him exploring other options.
There are reports that Doan is seeking a four-year contract worth $30 million, averaging out to a $7.5 million cap hit. According to CapGeek.com, San Jose has approximately $5.57 million in cap space.
Mark Messier has been awarded a $6-million settlement in the Hall of Famer’s long-standing grievance over money he claimed he was owed by the Vancouver Canucks.
George Nicolau, an 87-year-old New York-based arbitrator with a long history of handling high-profile sports arbitration cases, rendered his decision recently after meeting with both sides earlier this year.
The Canucks made only a brief comment on the decision.
“Canucks Sports & Entertainment is aware of the arbitrator’s decision and will have no further comment on the matter,” the team said in a statement to The Vancouver Sun Thursday.
Messier did not return a message left for him with the New York Rangers, for whom he serves as special assistant to the president.
Messier signed a five-year, free-agent contract with the Canucks in 1997 for $6 million a season. The dispute between Messier and the team is believed to centre on deferred money the hockey player felt was owed to him.
It has been reported that Messier had a clause in his contract that would compensate him if the value of the Canuck franchise increased over the life of his contract, which expired in 2002.
Messier ended up playing only three seasons with the Canucks, who exercised an option in the contract to buy him out for $2 million after the 1999-2000 season. Messier, now 51, returned to New York and played four more seasons for the Rangers before retiring after the 2003-04 season.
When Jonathan Bernier, the Los Angeles Kings‘ well-regarded backup, announced his desire to be traded, rumours swirled that Toronto would be an appropriate landing spot. Here are five reasons why a Bernier-to-Leafs deal should not be struck.
1. They already have him.
More or less: Canadian goaltender chosen in the 2006 draft; will enter the 2012-13 season at 24 years of age; never played a playoff game; save percentage just on the friendly side of .900.
Take away the Mennonite background and last season’s rash of injuries — not a small deal, we know — and James Reimer is Jonathan Bernier. Neither is quite ready to carry a team into the postseason, but both have shown hints of brilliance that, with patience, health and some strong coaching, could get them to that proverbial next level.
Thing is, on paper, the Leafs goalie looks equal to or better than Bernier, who carries with him the perception of a potential star netminder being selected 11th overall (to Reimer’s 99th) and having won gold with Canada at the 2008 World Junior Hockey Championships. (Bernier went 1-1 in the tournament, splitting post duties with Steve Mason.)
Sure, there are hockey minds out there that believe Bernier’s hybrid stand-up/butterfly style and quick reflexes make him a prime candidate to improve with experience, but who’s to say a healthy Reimer (or even the untested Ben Scrivens, for that matter) won’t appreciate at the same rate?
Reimer has played 71 games to Bernier’s 48, has actually won more games than he’s lost (34-24-9 to Bernier’s 20-17-5), and has posted comparable stats — despite playing behind an appreciably worse defence. Reimer has six shutouts, Bernier five. Bernier has a .910 save percentage, Reimer’s is .914.
2. Bernier wants to be a starter now, but might not deserve it.
Bernier told TVA that he wants to be a starter in this league, but his impatience could be his undoing. Yes, it was only one interview, but Bernier and his Stanley Cup ring could have chosen to play things cool. There are worse jobs than getting paid millions to platoon in for a quarter of a season in a gorgeous city on a young, excitable winning team, allowing your skills to improve under limited scrutiny behind the second-best defence in the entire NHL.
A person with knowledge of the decision says the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Nashville star defenceman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth more than $100 million.
The Sports Network in Canada first reported the offer.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Flyers hadn’t announced the offer.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren confirmed early Thursday that the Flyers did sign Weber to an offer sheet. He gave no further details. The Predators issued a statement late Thursday morning confirming they had received the Flyers’ offer sheet, which gives the team seven days to make a decision on matching the deal or letting the defenceman go.
“We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it, and all of its ramifications, in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.”
It may not have been the big fish Canucks fans were hoping for, but you can bet pumping a 140-pound tuna to the surface in Panama was memorable for a vacationing GM Mike Gillis.
Those tuna are renowned fighters and that was a huge fish. It’s not easy.
Much like trying to land Shane Doan.
The Canucks are in on the Doan sweepstakes, having offered the power forward a competitive multi-year contract that is at least three years in length.
How competitive? Well, it’s relative, but teams aren’t in on Doan if they’re offering one- and two-year deals.
The Canucks offer probably is not near the four-year, $30 million monster an Eastern Conference team reportedly tabled.
But that offer did have a ring of absurdity to it. You could see it coming from the Magical Man who lives in Happy-Land on Lollipop Lane.
Whether it’d be enough to sway Doan remains to be seen. But, remember, this is a player who has dedicated his entire career to the Phoenix Coyotes organization. Could that same player be lured to a situation that doesn’t fit his criteria just because it’s the largest financial windfall?
First and foremost among Doan’s criteria is to stay in Phoenix.
He wouldn’t be rounding into late July without a contract otherwise. And his return to Phoenix became more likely Monday when Glendale formally rejected the petition which was seeking a referendum on the Coyotes lease agreement.