Category Archives: HTR Feature Article

Could Cooper bring his winning ways to the Oilers?

edmonton

Jon Cooper used to stand before the bench as a lawyer, now he stands behind one.

And if he used to defend people, nobody has to defend his record as a hockey coach.

Everywhere he coaches, he wins. Midget AAA in Michigan, junior in two different leagues, in the pros with the Norfolk Admirals in the American Hockey League. He’s a rising star.

Would the Edmonton Oilers ever hire Cooper? Who knows?

He grew up in Prince George, went to school in the U.S. on a lacrosse scholarship, worked on Wall Street, then got his law degree and opened his own practice, before hockey took over his life and he decided to do it full-time about nine years ago.

At the least, the Oilers should be interviewing the young bright coach.

The Oilers are keeping their coach search ultra secret, although one of the leading candidates, Brent Sutter, has not had an interview with Oilers since working the bench for Canada at the world championship in May. Oilers team president Kevin Lowe was Canada’s general manager.

Oilers associate coach Ralph Krueger, who could very well be the front-runner because he knows the team and the players, is still waiting for a decision, too.
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Could+Cooper+bring+winning+ways+Oilers/6778109/story.html

NJ Devils’ Zach Parise can’t see himself playing for NY Rangers

devils

The Devils captain, scheduled to become the most coveted commodity of this summer’s free-agent crop on July 1, broke his season-long silence on his pending unrestricted free agency Wednesday. He said he would not consider crossing lines in the heated Hudson River rivalry.

Instead, Parise insisted he has never imagined himself wearing a sweater other than that of the Devils, the team he led to the Stanley Cup Finals this spring in his seventh NHL season.

“I’ve said all along, I’ve loved playing here,” Parise said. “I’ve always appreciated everything that this organization’s done for me. My feelings have never changed.”

Several teams, including his home state Minnesota Wild, are expected to bid for Parise’s services once he hits the market, but when asked if he could ever see himself playing in a Rangers jersey, the 27-year-old laughed nervously and said: “No.”

When asked again about signing with the Blueshirts, he said no three times.

Parise’s agent did not return calls, but such comments are not exactly the way to attract a high-spender such as the Rangers to the bidding war.

If the Blueshirts do not pursue Parise, they would likely have to make a trade to acquire their stated need of a star scorer.

Most notably, Blue Jackets captain and top-line winger Rick Nash remains on the trading block

Top 5 pre-draft trade possibilities

rumors

1. Rick Nash, LW, Columbus: If talk indeed turns to action, Nash will be dealt this summer.

The New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks were left at the alter at the February trade deadline because they weren’t willing to pay the massive price being demanded by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson.

2. Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver: There are a lot of teams looking for goaltending: Toronto, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus and the Chicago Blackhawks to name a few.

The issue is the contract given to Luongo by Canucks GM Mike Gillis. He always considers himself the smartest guy in the room, but giving Luongo a deal through with a cap hit of $5.3 million through 2021-22 was ridiculous.

3. Jordan Staal, C, Pittsburgh: This guy would attract plenty of attention. He is the best third-line centre in the league.

The Penguins are going to have to clear cash if they’re going to keep this team together. That could mean moving out a player like Staal because Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren’t going anywhere.

4. Jonathan Bernier, G, Los Angeles: He could do just fine sitting behind Jonathan Quick.

If there’s anything this run to the Stanley Cup final has proven, Quick is the man with the Kings and Bernier, 23, is going to have to be happy playing the No. 2 role until a trade is made.

5. Tim Thomas, G, Boston: The Bruins have a huge headache on their hands with this guy.

Thomas, 38, has declared he has no plans to play next season. He says he wants to spend more time with family, but many believe he wants to make sure he controls his own destiny when his “no-move” clause expires July 1.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/2012/06/09/19857966.html

Wild to go after Parise

wild

Zach Parise declined to discuss his future on Monday night after the New Jersey Devils’ season came to an end with a Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals, but the expectation remains that the Minnesota Wild will make a very strong push to sign the unrestricted free agent.

Former North Stars president and general manager Lou Nanne confirmed as much on Tuesday during his weekly appearance on “Reusse and Mackey” on 1500 ESPN. Nanne said that after talking to Wild owner Craig Leipold last week he believes, “the Wild are going to throw the kitchen sink” at the winger in order to land him.

Nanne said he thinks the fact the financially strapped Devils lost in the Cup finals make it less likely that Parise will stick with that organization. Parise has spent his seven-year NHL career with New Jersey and served as the team’s captain.

“I was under the belief that he would have to win the Cup to come to Minnesota until I talked to Craig Leipold last week,” Nanne said. “I’ve gotta tell you, the Wild are going to throw the kitchen sink at him. I think there’s a good chance he ends up in Minnesota, because I don’t see anybody in the National Hockey League willing to give as much to Parise as the Wild are going to be willing to give. So I would not be surprised if Zach Parise came home.”

Nanne went on to say that the Wild will pursue Parise and Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, who also will be a free agent on July 1.

“They’re going to do everything in their power to get them,” Nanne said. “And I would not be surprised if they got them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t get them. But I have to tell you, if they don’t get them it’s going to be confusing to me — especially Parise, because I really believe the Wild will pay more than anybody else for him.”

The Red Wings, Rangers and Penguins also have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Parise, whose father J.P. played with the North Stars.

http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Lou_Nanne_believes_theres_good_chance_Zach_Parise_ends_up_with_Wild061212

 

Parise heir to L.A. throne?

kings

Up next for the Los Angeles Kings: First, a parade. Then, the pursuit of free agent Zach Parise come July 1.

These Kings have no intention of winning just one Stanley Cup. They want more. And they are not in any kind of salary cap conundrum, the way past winners have found themselves . They won’t have to dish off quality players – or any players really – the way the Chicago Blackhawks did after winning two years ago.

And while they won’t say so because they can’t legally say so, the captain of the New Jersey Devils is No. 1 on their off-season shopping list.

They want Parise, as do many teams, and they want him badly.

Parise fits perfectly into the Kings’ ultra-competitive philosophy, led by general manager Dean Lombardi and his able assistant, Ron Hextall. What they determined on their way to the Stanley Cup was what so many have known already. But until you witness it up close, experience it with your players – that fine line between success and failure often comes down to little more than effort.

And it’s not just effort. It’s a willingness to compete at a level beyond the norm. That willingness, when combined with superb goaltending by Jonathan Quick, terrific team altering leadership from coach Darryl Sutter, and all-world play from defenceman Drew Doughty, is why the Kings came out of the eighth seed and won 16 playoff games, losing just four, and now have an entire summer to celebrate.

In the post-game hysteria, Hextall, who was once the ultimate competitor himself, approached defenceman Rob Scuderi in the all the noise and spray of the Kings dressing room. He saw Scuderi, with a broken nose, a cut on his lip, a cut on his chin, is face looking like a work of abstract art, all from the game and series changing hit by Steve Bernier of the Devils and had to tell him rather loudly. “You’re the reason why we won the Stanley Cup.”

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/12/la-has-no-intention-of-winning-just-one-cup

What should Canadiens do with No. 3 pick?

canadiens

With the draft coming up a week from Friday, there’s a lively debate over whether the Canadiens should try to move up – or down – from their No. 3 position.

Given the talent available this year, No. 3 appears to be a good spot. While there are a handful of players with the potential to be useful NHL players, there’s no Sidney Crosby, no Evgeni Malkin. Nail Yakupov has emerged as the consensus No. 1 prospect, but there’s a case to be made that defenceman Ryan Murray is closer to play in the NHL or that Alexander Galchenyuk would have been No. 1 if he hadn’t been injured.

Because there is little to choose from among the top five prospects, there seems little reason to contemplate giving up an asset to move up.

There might be more of an argument to be made for trading the pick or moving down. But the only way that makes sense is if the Canadiens get an established NHL player in return.

There is some precedent for this route, but it falls into the you-should-learn-from-your-mistakes category.

In 2008, the Canadiens might have had a shot at John Carlson, Tyler Ennis or Justin Schultz, but they traded their first-round puck to Calgary for Alex Tanguay. He was so underwhelming as a Canadien that general manager Bob Gainey let him go after one season.

No matter which way the Canadiens go, the one thing they shouldn’t do is trade defenceman P.K. Subban. I’m sure this idea isn’t being thrown around when Marc Bergevin assembles his braintrust, but the idea seems to have some traction on fan websites and there are a few folks in the media who feel this would be a better team without Subban.

[pacman]

Luke Schenn-to-Oilers rumour riles Leafs GM

toronto

Brian Burke’s disputes with the Mother Corp just don’t seem to be going away.

The Maple Leaf president/GM was furious on Monday over a Hockey Night in Canada report that suggested there are “rumblings” throughout the NHL that Burke is prepared to trade defenceman Luke Schenn to the Edmonton Oilers for the No. 1 overall pick in this month’s entry draft.

“Typical of Hockey Night,” said Burke. “I have never discussed this trade or any trade involving Luke Schenn to Edmonton.”

The report was part of HNIC reporter Elliotte Friedman’s popular “30 Thoughts” blog on various goings-on around the NHL. Friedman said he doubted the deal would happen, but added that “many teams” think Schenn will be a better player outside of Toronto.

“There are rumblings that Toronto will offer Luke Schenn to Edmonton for a swap of first rounders,” wrote Friedman. “No doubt Brian Burke would like to make a huge draft splash. He loves the big stage. And I do believe the Oilers like Schenn and have discussed his availability before. But I just can’t see it happening for the first overall selection.”

http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1209721–luke-schenn-to-oilers-rumour-riles-leafs-gm

Howard Eskin – JVR could be part of a package for Nash

philly

 

To continue Flyers like Rick Nash and a “possible” trade really can’t happen until JVR is 100 percent. JVR delaying surgery on torn Labrum

Tonight on Sports Final @NBCPhiladelphia a hearty discussion concerning joe Banner and a @Flyers player may be causing problems w a trade

http://twitter.com/#!/howardeskin

Report: Leafs shopping D Luke Schenn

toronto

The Toronto Maple Leafs are rumoured to be shopping defenceman Luke Schenn to the Edmonton Oilers as part of a deal where both teams would swap 1st-round draft picks in this month’s NHL Draft, according to Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports.

The trade would allow the Maple Leafs to move up and select consensus first overall selection Nail Yakupov, a 5′ 11” right wing from the Sarnia Sting.   In 79 games this season, Schenn matched a career high with 22 points and posted a plus-minus rating of -6. He will entering the second season of a five-year contract worth $18 million. Meanwhile, Yakupov tallied 270 points in 107 games over the past 2 seasons in the OHL.

http://www.thescore.com/home/articles/288965-report-leafs-shopping-d-luke-schenn

Red Wings Need Some D-men

redwings

The loss of Stuart and Lidstrom further accentuates the need for defenseman — be it through trade or more likely free agency — in the next several weeks.

Holland said he had brief discussions with other general managers at the GM meetings two weeks ago, but nothing interested him.

Players such as Ryan Suter (Nashville), Matt Carle (Philadelphia), Barret Jackman (St. Louis) and Dennis Wideman (Washington) are potential unrestricted free agents that will attract the most attention, with Suter the undisputed No. 1 target of teams.

There’s also Justin Schultz, an Anaheim draft pick who has gone unsigned. Schultz will become an unrestricted free agent later this month and will attract a lot of interest — the Wings included.

“We’ll be active,” Holland said. “We’ve lost two quality defensemen.”

Stuart played in 81 games last season, scoring 21 points (six goals, 15 assists), while averaging 21 minutes, 3 seconds of ice time. He had one assist in the five-game playoff series to Nashville.

Murray is a 6-foot-2, 218-pound center who split time between the Sharks and the organization’s minor league affiliate Worcester last season. Murray can also become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but it’s not certain the Wings will aggressively work to re-sign him.

With the Sharks Murray, 30, played in 39 games with four points (one goal, three assists), while averaging 7:42 of ice time. He played in 10 games with Worcester, scoring three points (two goals, one assist).

Leafs and Oilers talking trade about the 1st pick?

toronto

Among the most troubling aspect of the Brian Burke rumours: They are being avidly spread by people he would consider friends and professional colleagues … Apparently, the Maple Leafs want to move up in the draft and Edmonton may want to move its No. 1 pick. A deal, one that could involve Luke Schenn, is not out of the question here. There’s also been talk that Montreal’s new management crew would like to move out of the No. 3 pick, which is an old Rick Dudley trick, and drop back, pick another player, and cash in on the early choice with an additional asset … Would any other team in the NHL come down to a choice between Michel Therrien and Marc Crawford for its head coaching position? Really, two guys coming off unsuccessful runs: has it become that desperate for Les Canadiens? … Television doesn’t show Darryl Sutter at his best. The better you know him, the more you realize what a sensible, grounded, funny, man he is. But about that Dion Phaneuf trade?

Never mind … Sutter, by the way, was slightly troubled/embarrassed by what sat behind him in Game 4 in Los Angeles. The porn lady may have been behind Peter DeBoer, trying to throw off the New Jersey Devils, but Sutter was hoping no TV cameras would close in on him, where a guy dressed up as a woman (for attention only) was flashing behind him. “Someone,” he said, “should have kicked that guy out.” … Devils assistant coach Larry Robinson has been putting on a line-changing clinic with his defence corps in the Stanley Cup Final. And because he’s Larry Robinson, he gets away with more than he should when he doesn’t have last change.

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/10/simmons-devils-keep-chaos-out-of-the-room

 

HTR New Design – Options that you would like to see

facebook

Just as the title states. Please do not vent your issues here just let me know what things you would like to see happen.

 

* I have now changed the comments so that the new ones are at the bottom of the page.

Top 5 pre-draft trade possibilities

rumors

1. Rick Nash, LW, Columbus: If talk indeed turns to action, Nash will be dealt this summer.

The New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks were left at the altar at the February trade deadline because they weren’t willing to pay the massive price being demanded by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson.

The Jackets are in a tough spot because Nash has made it clear he wants out. His $7.8-million cap hit through the 2017-18 season means only certain teams can be involved in the discussions and he has to approve any deal.

Nash wants to be moved to a contender. The Rangers and Sharks both need scoring. Don’t be surprised if the Buffalo Sabres try to get into these discussions.

2. Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver: There are a lot of teams looking for goaltending: Toronto, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus and the Chicago Blackhawks to name a few.

The issue is the contract given to Luongo by Canucks GM Mike Gillis. He always considers himself the smartest guy in the room, but giving Luongo a deal through with a cap hit of $5.3 million through 2021-22 was ridiculous.

Moving the contract is going to be even more difficult. Bolts GM Steve Yzerman has declared he wants nothing to do with that kind of trade. Toronto GM Brian Burke would have to swallow his pride to acquire Luongo.

Burke has often been an opponent of long-term deals. Perhaps the only hope for Gillis and the Canucks is an “amnesty” clause in the new CBA. That would allow the Canucks to buy him out and not have a cap hit.

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/06/09/top-5-pre-draft-trade-possibilities

 

 

Staal brothers put together?

rumors

Keep an eye on the Carolina Hurricanes when it comes to how things play out on the Jordan Staal front with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As I wrote recently, the Penguins’ top priority is to sign Sidney Crosby and Staal to contract extensions this summer — both centers are UFA-eligible on July 1, 2013 — but if they can’t get both done in a cap-sensible manner, it could open the door for Staal to be dealt.

Several teams have already expressed an interest regarding Staal, but I believe the Hurricanes will be aggressive in trying to trade for him, with the idea to have him on same team as his brother, Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.

If the Penguins decide to open the trade market on Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh could get more out of Carolina in a traditional hockey deal than from other teams.

Why? While other teams might point to the fact that Staal has only one year left on his deal and won’t want to give up too much for a pending 2013 UFA, the Hurricanes may be willing to take more of a long-term gamble that, given the sibling tie-in, they could re-sign Staal.

Either way, the Hurricanes are going to be an interesting team this summer. I believe they’re going to add to their payroll and want to upgrade with one or two forwards.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/17612/rumblings-staal-brothers-put-together-market-for-tim-thomas

New Jersey star Zach Parise would be a devil of a Blackhawk

blackhawks

Devils winger Zach Parise wouldn’t be able to count his scoring chances during the Stanley Cup finals on his two hands if he wanted to.

Of all the Devils, Parise has felt the sting of running into the wall that is Kings goalie Jonathan Quick the most.

Parise has no points in the finals. He and fellow star Ilya Kovalchuk’s minimal production have stood out in a series that would be much different for the Devils, who are in an unenviable 3-1 hole after winning Game 4, if their two best threats had converted. All they have is an empty-net goal between them.

“We do need to score; that’s our job and that’s our responsibility,” Parise said, repeating a common refrain.

But the lack of production doesn’t negate the type of player Parise is, nor will it affect New Jersey’s desire to re-sign him or
numerous teams to pursue him.

Parise is one of two prized unrestricted free agents this summer, the other being Predators defenseman Ryan Suter.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/13044633-419/new-jersey-star-zach-parise-would-be-a-devil-of-a-blackhawk.html

Leafs eyeing trade up for Yakupov

toronto

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.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2012/06/07/report_toronto_maple_leafs_want_yakupov_galchenyuk/

 

Blues’ Davidson Has Interviewed With Jackets

columbus
John Davidson, president of hockey operations for the St. Louis Blues, interviewed last week for an executive-level position with the Blue Jackets, The Dispatch has learned via NHL sources.
Davidson, 59, was in Columbus on May 29 to interview with Blue Jackets’ majority owner John P. McConnell and club president Mike Priest.
Neither McConnell nor Priest would comment on the club’s interest in Davidson last week when The Dispatch requested an interview. Through a club spokesman, McConnell said that his franchise will continue to “pursue every opportunity to improve as a hockey club.”
It’s unclear what role Davidson might fill with the Blue Jackets, or how his addition would affect the role of Priest, or others. In St. Louis, he presided over an experienced and accomplished hockey operations staff, but Columbus has one of the most inexperienced front offices in the NHL.
Also to consider is what impact Davidson’s arrival would have on the impending trade of Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, who asked to be traded last winter after he was told by management that the Jackets were rebuilding. One NHL source said he suspected a meeting between Davidson and Nash would be one of the first items on Davidson’s agenda should he join the Blue Jackets.
Davidson is nearing the end of a 30-day window in his contract in which he is allowed to pursue opportunities with other NHL clubs. The window was triggered, per his contract, when Blues were purchased by Tom Stillman on May 9, and closes on Friday.http://www.bluejacketsxtra.com/content/blogs/puck-rakers/2012/06/blues-davidson-has-interviewed-with-jackets.html

Agent says Jagr, Flyers working on new contract

philly
The wheel of fortune on Jaromir Jagr appears to have come full circle in the Flyers’ favor.
When the Flyers held their break-up day on May 10, the words emanating from Jagr clearly indicated the club’s chances to re-sign him were questionable.
Jagr was asked three times about re-signing and avoided answering questions directly, while deferring to his “role” as being an issue on coming back for the 2012-13 season.
He didn’t like being bounced off Claude Giroux’s line or having his minutes cut during the playoffs, even though it was plain he was laboring to skate because of injury.
Jagr’s position in May was in stark contrast to Jan. 19 when he told reporters he was going to re-sign as a Flyer without reservation.
Well, once again, something has changed.
Jagr is very much in the Flyers’ picture and apparently wants to re-sign, after all.
Agent Petr Svoboda, the former heart-on-his-sleeve Flyer defenseman, told CSNPhilly.com on Wednesday night that Jagr wants to come back and that the two sides are working on another one-year deal for next season.
“I’ve talked to Jaromir and I have talked to Paul [Holmgren] and we hope to get something done before the draft,” Svoboda said, adding that whatever impression Jagr left last month was no longer accurate.

Devils’ Parise will soon wear new jersey

devils

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.

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REPORT: PREDS TO TRADE RADULOV OR RELEASE HIM BACK TO KHL

nashville

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.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=397760

 

 

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