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One possible explanation for coach Jack Capuano’s surprising decision to start Evgeni Nabokov in goal?
The Islanders could be showcasing the 36-year-old netminder in hopes of trading him.
Capuano’s decision was a puzzling one, especially since starter Al Montoya played so well in the team’s first three games. The 26-year-old is 2-1-0 with a 1.35 GAA and .953 save percentage.
A contrite Don Cherry finally apologized to three former NHL tough guys Saturday for disparaging them for their views on fighting in hockey.
Cherry apologized to Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson after he called them “pukes” and “turncoats” on the first broadcast of CBC’s “Coach’s Corner” of the season last week. He also said he was wrong to suggest that Nilan and Grimson linked fighting in hockey to drug use.
The three players said in a statement Tuesday that they are considering taking legal action against Cherry. Grimson is a lawyer practising out of Nashville.
By Michael Arace’s count, there were 27 scouts in attendance for the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. Twenty-seven.
League sources indicate as many as seven teams have presented offers to Coyotes GM Don Maloney in an effort to make a deal with holdout center Kyle Turris.
Toronto, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, Ottawa have two scouts in Nationwide.
ou take the good with the bad with Joni Pitkanen. His talent tantalizes, which is why he was drafted fourth overall and has been traded for significant returns twice since. His inconsistency also frustrates, which is why he has been traded twice since.
Given the Carolina Hurricanes’ financial situation, along with their sudden surfeit of defensemen, it’s fair to wonder whether Pitkanen is a luxury the Hurricanes cannot afford.
The return of Clarke MacArthur this Saturday is a no-brainer now that he is sprung from Brendan Shanahan’s penitentiary.
The return of Cody Franson will require another heart-to-heart talk with whichever Maple Leafs defenceman has to sit Saturday against the Calgary Flames.
During the first few weeks of the season, most general managers will be in full evaluation mode. Once November hits, the most aggressive teams will start addressing early-season issues. Last November, Ryan O’Byrne, Ian White, Anton Babchuk, Matt Hunwick, Tomas Fleischmann and Scott Hannan were among the notable players involved in a fall trade.
Accusing hockey’s best-known commentator of “a complete lack of decency,” three former NHL enforcers have raised the spectre of legal action against Don Cherry for controversial comments he made last week.
On Tuesday morning, the Nashville-based law firm Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Colbert released a statement saying former NHL players Chris Nilan, Jim Thomson and Stu Grimson are “considering further recourse” with regard to a rant Cherry made on Hockey Night in canada, calling these players “pukes,” “hypocrites” and “turncoats.”
Ron Wilson has been caught off-guard by Nazem Kadri’s speed.
His recovery speed, that is.
“The little bastard is back faster than I was led to believe,” Wilson said lightheartedly after watching Kadri work out with the team on Monday.
As we referenced earlier, the Stars are in jeopardy of slipping beneath the salary cap floor when healthy, and are looking for a player to add who could help the team and boost the payroll.
So who could be available?
It appears that for a new player to help the floor situation, he would have to make $1.2 million or more a year. Young winger Tomas Vincour is on a two-way contract, so he would be the candidate to move to the AHL to make way for a more expensive player. Because Vincour makes $800,000 a year and because the Stars could fall about $300,000 under the floor (it’s a complicated formula in which that number changes daily, but that’s pretty close), the Stars need to add a pretty healthy paycheck.
The Stars are studying moves to add a player because of the sudden possibility that they could drop below the NHL-mandated salary floor of $48.3 million.
The Stars have been paying half of Sean Avery’s salary to the New York Rangers since losing him on recall waivers in 2009, and that $1.9 million has also counted against the salary cap for the Stars.
However, the Rangers last week assigned Avery to the their minor league team in Connecticut , and the NHL notified the Stars that they could not count Avery’s cap hit while he is in the minors, even though they still must pay the salary.
That puts the Stars perilously close to the cap floor.
The argument could be made ht that Dion Phaneuf played his best game as a Maple Leaf on Saturday night.
Ditto for Phil Kessel.
For sure, Phaneuf had a powerful outing against Ottawa — as did Phil Kessel, with his first hat trick in a Toronto uniform — as the Leafs swamped a hapless Senators side 6-5 at the Air Canada Centre.
I haven’t met one NHL manager or scout who isn’t dumbfounded by Kyle Turris digging in his heels with the Coyotes and trying for $3 million or $4 million a year when he’s done little to justify it. The Coyotes just gave Martin Hanzal $3.1 million a year. They’re not giving it to Turris.
The Maple Leafs were without Tim Connolly when they opened their season Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre, but there is a slight chance the centre could play at home on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.
On the eve of the NHL season, Kyle Turris remains unsigned. Still no progress, either.
“We continue to have discussions with the Coyotes and are positive that over time Kyle will be playing,” his agent, Kurt Overhardt, told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “Kyle is in great shape and training hard in B.C.”
According to Damien Cox the Leafs are sniffing around about Oilers center Sam Gagner. The fact the two could be talking trade makes sense on a few levels. The Leafs are heavy on defenseman and the Oilers have some depth at center with Gagner on the IR, Brule in the AHL, and the starting line up of Horcoff, Belanger, Lander, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (not in any particular order).
Of all that drives Brian Burke crazy — and there are many things — little rankles him more than the fact the Montreal Canadiens have made the playoffs in the very same seasons that Burke’s Maple Leafs have not.
Tyler Bozak said on Wednesday that he likes the Maple Leafs’ acquisition of David Steckel, as he won’t have to go into the circle against the NHL’s top faceoff man anymore.
Facing the prospect of perhaps playing the first month of the season without Marc Staal, the Rangers have reopened discussions with 32-year-old free agent defenseman Paul Mara, The Post has learned.
If a contract agreement is reached, the idea would be for Mara, who played 156 games for the Rangers from late in 2006-07 through 2008-09, to join the club in New York on Monday after it returns from Europe.