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The motto has been “Fail for Nail”. If I am the Toronto Maple Leafs, I may not be bad enough to outright get him and the 1st overall pick (without some ridiculous lottery luck involved. I still say the NHL needs to change it to be more like the NBA cause the NHL lottery is Boring, but I digress), so why not go out and trade for him?
The Columbus Blue Jackets would have a really difficult time in making this selection. While he may in fact be better than Nikita Filatov or Nikolai Zherdev, suffice to say this franchise has not had much luck with Russian forwards.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning. They would rather have Schneider because he’s seven years younger and the length of Luongo’s contract scares them, but GM Steve Yzerman was the man running the Olympic team in Vancouver and Luongo was the goalie in the gold-medal game. If they can’t get Schneider they would be looking at the Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Bernier or Nashville Predators’ Anders Lindback, most likely. They have two first-rounders and the possibility of four second-rounders to dangle for a young goalie. They also need another top-six forward, so there are other holes to fill.
Brad Stuart almost certainly has played his last game as a Red Wing, as he wants to play close to his family in San Jose, Calif. The Wings will need to know whether Nicklas Lidstrom wants to play another season by the end of June. Tomas Holmstrom may have played his last game. Hudler might be gone.
Center Jordan Staal said Tuesday upon the Penguins’ arrival in Philadelphia that he was unaware of speculation regarding his future with the team.
Staal, with whom the Penguins can begin contract discussions July 1, is set to become a free agent following next season along with fellow center Sidney Crosby.
Both players will likely command raises from their current average annual salary — $4 million for Staal, and $8.7 million for Crosby.
Oh sure, now that the Vancouver Canucks supposedly have no use for Roberto Luongo, there is talk the Toronto Maple Leafs should try and trade for the him in the summer.
Nice try, but no thanks.
Why would the Leafs want a goaltender who was pulled after losing the first two games in the opening round this year? Why would the Leafs want a goaltender who lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final? Why would the Leafs want a goaltender who turns to mush whenever he sees a Chicago Blackhawks jersey?
Wait a second; it is either Luongo or another year of James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson? Well, then, send him over.
Nick Lidstrom is going to do what he always does, which is take some time off, and when it comes time in late June or early July when it’s time to get back in the gym and have to start working again, that’s when he’ll determine whether or not he’s fit to play for next year. It comes down to how much work he’s willing to do in the off-season.
He’s capable of playing. The level he played at this year, he’s still a top five or six defenceman in the NHL. For that reason, nobody thinks he’s going anywhere, but it’s possible.
The axe has fallen on Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres.
Torres was suspended 25 games for launching himself to deliver a late hit that sent Chicago’s Marian Hossa during Game 3 of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series on Tuesday night.
Should the 25 games not be served by the conclusion of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the remaining games of the suspension will carry over into next regular season. Torres will also be prohibited from playing in any preseason games until he has served this 25-game suspension (playoff and regular-season games).
We cannot say this for sure, but ever since Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said that the No. 1 pick he received in Tuesday’s draft lottery could be available for trade, you have to believe that the first call he received was from Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke … or KHL president Alexander Medvedev.
The KHL could use Nail Yakupov — considered the top prospect — and they might get him if the NHL fails to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the players before the start of next season. But the Leafs, who have the fifth-overall selection, truly need this No. 1 pick. Not so much because it will help the team, but because it will help erase the bad feeling in everyone’s mouth after a lousy second half to the season.
There are still many questions surrounding the Vancouver Canucks even though they managed to stay alive in the NHL playoffs save one – is Roberto Luongo still their main man?
Luongo’s up-and-down career with the Canucks is almost certainly in its final weeks now that the Canucks’ organization, from general manager Mike Gillis and head coach Alain Vigneault on down, turned to emerging goaltender Cory Schneider for the last two games with the team’s season on the line. Schneider served notice Thursday he is ready for the No. 1 job with 43 saves in a 3-1 win, the Canucks’ first against three losses in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings.
When practice ended Tuesday, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider met near centre ice. They kneeled together, and enjoyed each other, talking and laughing.
In the eye of the storm, it was a long, loose, pressure-free moment.
But was it their last?
Nail Railovich Yakupov answered the phone Sunday night in Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan, Russia, and said it was true. That’s exactly what he told Russian hockey legend Igor Larionov — who also happens to be his agent.
When the bingo balls fell and the 29th-place Edmonton Oilers won last week’s NHL Draft Lottery to pick first in the draft for the third consecutive year, Yakupov said he was ecstatic.
“I definitely want to go to Edmonton and play for the Oilers, for sure,” said the 18-year-old that Central Scouting and every other scouting service and credible draft projector has rated No. 1 all year.
When it comes to their offseason plans, the Blue Jackets prefer reshape to rebuild. In this case, they’re not splitting hairs.
Rather than dismantle the roster and start on a three- or four-year rebuilding plan, indications are that the Blue Jackets will make moves this summer with the hope of being competitive — dare we mention the Stanley Cup playoffs? — next season.
As the debate heats up over whether Jarome Iginla should be traded to accelerate a rebuild, one of the biggest questions that needs to be asked is simple: What is the captain’s worth?
The Calgary Flames owners have a pretty good idea what he means to the club financially and otherwise.
But how much is he worth on the NHL’s open market?