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It’s been a bumpy road for Evgeni Nabokov of late.
Nabokov finished second in the NHL in wins with 44 with the San Jose Sharks in a career year in 2009-10, finishing tied for fourth in Vezina Trophy voting.
He struggled in the postseason, however, leading the Sharks to turn to Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki in goal and Nabokov to hit free agency as one of many goalies available on July 1.
Russian centre Alexei Yashin is considering a return to the National Hockey League with the New York Islanders according to a report by Canadian sports broadcaster TSN.
The Islanders confirmed on Friday that Yashin and his agent Mark Gandler have been in discussions with the NHL club and may make his return from the KHL this season.
What would it have taken for the Maple Leafs to make an offer of consequence on Steven Stamkos?
One year and $12 million? Ten years and $100 million?
The bottom line is: No one, including the Leafs, will ever know. Because no team in hockey made an offer on the restricted free-agent sniper, other than the Tampa team he re-signed with.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland soon plans to talk with Kris Draper regarding the longtime forward’s future with the team.
Draper wants to play another season, but the Wings are full well-stocked at the position.
“No doubt he wants to play … and play in Detroit,” Holland said. “We don’t have any cap issues, but we have to sort out what we’re doing with our 14 forwards.”
As negotiations between Tampa Bay and all-star center Steven Stamkos continues, there is mounting speculation of a possible three-way trade between the Lightning, Maple Leafs and Penguins.
Boston will have to replace the experience and leadership of retired second-line right wing Mark Recchi. They may also need another winger on the third line if unrestricted free agent Michael Ryder signs elsewhere.
For all the moves the Maple Leafs have made, going back before the NHL draft, there is still great uncertainty about them making the playoffs.
But what’s important to note is that the Brian Burke broom is no longer solely aimed at those brought here by previous general managers. Players and staff that came here under his watch are starting to disappear, too, or at least, look over their shoulders.
The San Jose Sharks have traded forward Dany Heatley to the Minnesota Wild for forward Martin Havlat.
Heatley scored 28 goals and added 38 assists in 80 games for the Sharks last season while Havlat scored 22 goals and added 40 assists in 78 games for the Wild.
The Wild inherit the last three years remaining on Heatley’s deal that will count as $7.5 million a year under the salary cap. However in real money, Heatley will make $8 million in 2011-12, $6 million in 2012-13 and $5 million in 2013-14.
David Poile was seen looking for his wallet today,when Brian Burke approached him to return it. Poile expressed his gratitude to Burke but when he opened it later he found it empty…..the leafs acquired Matthew Lombardi and Cody Franson from the Preds today for Brett Lebda and Robert Slaney and A conditional 4th round pick..
The rich got Richards, while the rest of the National Hockey League teams will soon begin closing their wallets now that two days of free agent shopping have concluded.
Once the New York Rangers won the Brad Richards’ bidding at $60 million US for nine years, runners-up such as Toronto and Los Angeles made their Plan B moves and 30 general managers paused to catch their breath and double-check their salary cap computations.
For Tim Connolly to find success and happiness with the Maple Leafs, and for Leaf fans to find some level of satisfaction with Connolly they’ve been unable to find with other recent free agents, everyone is going to have to go into this new partnership with reasonable expectations.
Start with the fact that Connolly isn’t Brad Richards, and the Leafs, to their credit, aren’t pretending that the 30-year-old pivot was anything but Plan B.
Arguably the biggest prize in free agency is off the market.
Brad Richards has chosen to play with the New York Rangers and will agree to a nine-year deal for $60 million.
The Rangers do not have pressing cap issues for either the summer or the season. Sather therefore has room to maneuver. That doesn’t mean that it’s wise to surrender that maneuverability today, this weekend, or even this summer, for cap space during the season is a significant asset, too.
Over then past several weeks, sources who have spoken to the Daily News about the Rangers’ offseason plans have not been able to answer one key question: What is Plan B for the Blueshirts if they cannot sign All-Star center Brad Richards, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at noon Friday?
There may not be one.
The Canucks have reportedly signed defenceman Sami Salo to a one-year deal, a report says this morning.
Top-four blueliner tops wish list heading into UFA free-for-all
Jay Feaster has referred to the Calgary Flames’ salary cap status as “jail.”
Some would see the team’s situation more as the looney bin. After all, the Flames were in a straight jacket last season at crunch time, and it proved costly when they couldn’t add any form of an impact player to make a playoff push.
General manager Garth Snow took a risk in hopes of improving the Islanders before the start of free agency, but it did not work out.
Less than 24 hours after acquiring the rights to Christian Ehrhoff , talks between the Islanders and the 28-year-old defenseman broke down and Snow shipped those rights to the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday for a fourth-round pick, just what he gave the Vancouver Canucks for the shot at Ehrhoff to begin with.
Things start shaking out Friday, however, and there are some useful free-agent defencemen scheduled to come on the market. Is there a fit for the Canucks? Here’s a list of some possibilities:
The buyout ending Chris Drury’s career as a Ranger will become official today, The Post has learned.
The 34-year-old who played four seasons on Broadway, the last three of them as team captain, will become an unrestricted free agent after deciding against applying for a medical exception due to a left knee condition.