Category Archives: HTR Feature Article

The Restricted Free Agent Market could be hot…

Since Kevin Lowe got the ball rolling last summer with his play on Dustin Penner, it looks like the restricted free agent market this year could be even hotter. There are many teams desperate to grab a superstar, or potential up and coming superstar, and the offer sheet has become a great way to achieve this. This is even more true for teams who have difficulty attracting unrestricted free agents.

Penguins' fate rests in their hands

With 7 divisional games left in their regular season, with the most wins in the Eastern Conference (43), and with one point behind the Montreal Canadiens, with a vital game-in-hand, the Pittsburgh Penguins have the ability to control their own fate in the Eastern Conference (and Atlantic Division) standings.
By going 6-0-1, the Penguins will guarantee first place, regardless of what Montreal or NJ does. It would also give them 106 points, one more than last year’s amazing season.

With 7 goals scored in 3 of their last 4 home games, including 7 against the Devils (who previously had allowed only 5 in a game this season) with five in the third period, all without Sidney Crosby (who is due to return shortly), the Penguins are now looking like the favorites to win the East and that all-important home-ice throughout the Eastern playoffs.

Let’s break down the games left, and how the team has played of late.
Also, a few comparisons with the Habs to keep Habs fans’ interest.

Unrestriced/Restricted Free Agents Yet To Be Signed

Here’s a list of Players who are set to become Free Agents on July 1st. I will first showcase the UFA’s to be then the RFA’s to be afterwards. So here are this year’s potential UFA’s(with their current Salary not Cap Hit in brackets and the one’s in bold and italics are the ones I feel will be the most sought-after):

Salary Woes?…Hossa a rental?

With the addition of Marian Hossa to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup, there has been well spread talk around the league that Pittsburgh will turn into another Tampa Bay, a team who had to eventually ship Brad Richards out of town, because they could no longer afford three prominent players and their salaries. This has in turn started the talk around the league that Marian Hossa will not sign with the Penguins and will likely seek a different destination after July, with plenty of fans speculating already on Hossa’s future zip code come next season. Although these are certainly worthy concerns, and there is truth among them, the real truth and specifics are hidden in the details of it all.

The Aftermath

Hello hockey fans! Finally the day of intensity is over with and it feels like things are back to normal again. It was a good day for the NHL, I thought. Intriguing trades, and almost tied for number of total trades as well. It was also a good day for Anyway, the aftermath is here…..analysis on every single trade!

HTR Trade Deadline

Here it is folks. The trade deadline is 14 hours away (has come and gone) . Please read this to see how HTR will handle the trade news throughout today and tomorrow.

*** Update – Wow what a day here at HTR See below to view many of the trades that happened on this deadline day ****

Has the NEW Pittsburgh Penguins dynasty begun? [Plus: A Penguins History Lesson]

With four seasons of just atrocious hockey, many hockey fans may have forgotten what a powerhouse team the Pittsburgh Penguins were during the ’90s. From 1988-2001, only three players won the Art Ross Trophy. Mario Lemieux 6 times (3 times back-to-back), Jaromir Jagr 5 times (including 4 straight) and Wayne Gretzky 3 times (once back-to-back). With the exceptions of Mario’s first win (’88)¬†and Wayne’s last win (’94), none of those teams ever failed to reach the playoffs when their team sported the NHL’s leading scorer. Iginla broke that trend with Calgary the following year in ’02, but Foppa got back on track with the Aves after, followed by St. Louis and his Cup-winning Lightning, with Joe Thornton and Sidney Crosby having followed suit.
Few sane people would deny that having the League’s top scoring player on your team is a recipe for success.

So where does that leave the Penguins, who, with Malkin, have the potential to have back-to-back different Art Ross Trophy winners, and 13 of the past 19 said Trophies?

Also inside, Sergei Gonchar sets an active record with his eighth consecutive 50+ point season with a goal in last night’s victory over the Habs. [What an exciting game by the way!] And, a Penguins and Art Ross Trophy history lesson.

Rumors from the New York Post

Larry Brooks of the New York Post is reporting that the New York Rangers are in hot pursuit of Tampa Bay Defenseman Dan Boyle.

The Canadian Club Perspective

The Canadian Club Perspective:
Insight to the Trade Deadline

With trade rumors swirling around the media and the deadline less than two weeks away, the six Canadian clubs seem to be right in the middle of all of it once again. With the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadians in a battle for first place in the East, and the Calgary Flames right in the mix to finish at the top of their division, it looks to be a strong contending post-season for the three clubs.

Senators Need to Go Big At the Deadline

Over the last several seasons the Ottawa Senators have been very active at the trade deadline. Over the years, players such as Greg De Vries, Bryan Smolinski, Tyler Arnason, Mike Comrie, Oleg Saprykhin among others were acquired as the team pushed towards a championship.

Filling Roles Should be Canadiens Focus At the Deadline

The Montreal Canadiens have enjoyed an excellent season so far, a strong revival after missing the playoffs last season. They are merely 3 points from first overall in the Eastern Conference and with that have come thoughts of the team possibly challenging for the Stanley Cup.
Many have felt that the Habs are a top forward away from truly being cup contenders and are really hoping GM Bob Gainey makes a big splash at the trade deadline.

Leaf rumors: Vultures reported at the ACC, fire sale coming

Alfredson would like Sundin in Ottawa

It’s Groundhog Day, again, and the trade deadline is 25 days away.

And since the Maple Leafs hired Cliff “let’s make a deal” Fletcher as their new interim GM, you can bet your grand-daddy’s gold watch that significant roster moves are going to be made.

As such, we can expect an assortment of trade rumors up until February 26th. Here are the latest ones.

Recent Rumors from a variety of different Sources

Mats Sundin, Rob Blake, Red Wings rumors and HTR’s Saku Koivu Rant