Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
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.