Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
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Holland is eyeing Nashville’s Ryan Suter if the Predators can’t sign him. Holland has said with respect to the prize free agents (Zach Parise is in the same boat), he would be willing to trade for their negotiating rights, usually a window of a few days around the draft and before July 1 when they hit the marketplace for one and all.
“I’ve never done it and it would depend on what the price is, but I’m not opposed to anything,” said Holland, who knows the Philadelphia Flyers have made a history of trading for negotiating rights of UFAs such as Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and the Predators’ Dan Hamhuis. They signed the first two, and couldn’t work out a deal for Hamhuis in 2010. They dealt his rights to the Pittsburgh Penguins six days later.
The salary cap is going up to $70.3 million from $64 million as of July 1, but only until a new collective bargaining agreement comes in, when the cap will likely drop substantially because the owners don’t want to give the players 57 per cent of the league revenue, more like a 50-50 split. The Red Wings, like most teams, are likely operating under the old model, so they won’t be spending fools. But they would love Suter; they’ve played against the Predators constantly in the playoffs. Parise, they envision, could play with Datsyuk.
For now, they have Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl as their top five on defence, with two huge holes. Holland knows he’ll have to get somebody to replace Stuart too, but he doesn’t have a lot to trade.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired goaltender Tomas Vokoun from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2012 seventh-round draft pick, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
The Penguins then signed Vokoun to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $2 million. Vokoun’s contract begins with the 2012-13 season and runs through the 2013-14 campaign.
Vokoun, 35, recently completed his 13th NHL season with Washington, posting a 25-17-2 record, 2.51 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and four shutouts in 48 games. One of Vokoun’s shutouts was a 30-save performance in a 1-0 victory over the Penguins on Jan. 11 at the Verizon Center.
A native of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, Vokoun’s 25 victories this season marked the ninth-straight season he has surpassed the 20-win plateau. During that span, Vokoun has topped 25 wins seven times, including three seasons when he has posted 30-plus victories.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Vokoun enters the 2012-13 season ranked sixth among active netminders with 287 career victories – leaving him 13 shy of becoming just the 31st goaltender in NHL history to reach 300 career wins.
Vokoun has appeared in 401 games since the NHL returned from the lockout in 2005-06, the eight-highest total during that span, while also posting 36 shutouts – an average of 5.1 per season. Over the last four seasons, the two-time NHL All-Star (2004, ’08) has posted a .923 save percentage.
Earlier this week, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun linked the Flyers to Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar as one of the possible replacements for Chris Pronger, whose career may be over as a result of post-concussion syndrome.
Bill Meltzer of HockeyBuzz.com cited a source within the Flyers’ organization, who said the Flyers’ chances of trading for the 38-year-old Gonchar are “slim to none.” While I think the Flyers might be kicking the tires to see exactly where Ottawa stands with Gonchar, there’s also something a little more to the story than the possibility of adding an over-the-hill blueliner, who at one time was one of the best two-way defensemen in the NHL.
The Flyers could very well be searching for a defenseman with just one year remaining on his contract. In the case of Gonchar, he has a cap hit of $5.5 million and he’s an unrestricted free agent after 2012-13. Sure, the Flyers would love to get their hands on Ryan Suter if he hits the open market come July 1. But perhaps the Flyers can still upgrade defensively, though only in the short term for two reasons:
1. I don’t think the organization wants to completely close the door on a Pronger return. If he takes a year off and shows significant improvement between now and the summer of 2013, then it would make sense to make a trade for a veteran D-man, who would come off the cap after 2012-13. I believe Paul Holmgren when he says he looks at Pronger as “a cup half full.” The idea of him “officially” retiring makes no sense at all. Not only would he forfeit five years of salary ($19 million), but the Flyers would be on the hook for his $4.9 cap hit over the next five seasons as well.
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