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Has there been a hotter ticket than New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise on the free-agent stage in the last 10 years?
You can see how badly he wants to win, the pistons pumping as he hunts down a loose puck in the neutral zone and sends it into the open net to ensure the Game 5 win for the Devils at Madison Square Garden.
He’s the engine that drives the Devils, with due respect to the big wheel Ilya Kovalchuk, who is much better than I thought he’d ever be when they gave him that lifetime contract as a free agent.
Dominik Hasek, one of the best goaltenders to play in the NHL, is reportedly interested in making a return to the NHL at age 47.
Hasek has reportedly told several Czech publications he’s exploring the possibility of making a comeback and playing in the NHL.
Dominik Hasek is considering making a comeback at age 47. (AP Photo)
Ritch Winter, Hasek’s agent, told Czech publication Isport.cz, that he did not know of any negotiations going on.
Now the clock has been set on the Ducks and their ability to reel in their big fish.
TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie reported on his Twitter account Friday that prized Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz has filed paperwork to leave school with the intention of turning pro.
It means that the Ducks now have a 30-day exclusivity window to negotiate with Schultz in the hopes of getting their 2008 second-round draft pick under contract. The club is expected to begin discussions with his representatives shortly.
The Coyotes enter the off-season with six unrestricted free agents on their tab — including captain Shane Doan. Not only could a handicapped budget mandated by the league dictate whether he and a few of his peers stay, but the sideshow that’s evolved without an owner is also a factor and could affect their decision to stay with the organization.
“I don’t want to go through another year and be a doormat in the league where you don’t have ownership and people to stand up for you,” veteran and unrestricted free agent (UFA) Ray Whitney said.
Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault let the cat out of the bag on French language TV: Goalie Roberto Luongo does indeed want a trade out of Vancouver.
Speaking over the telephone to a Montreal-based TVA Sports show called Le Match, Vigneault was asked if he agreed that Luongo needed a fresh start. (Vigneault was on the show Wednesday night to discuss his contract extension.)
“First of all, that is what he wants right now,” Vigneault said in the translated quote. “What we need to do is what’s best for our organization and our team. We have to look at what’s best for our organization and Roberto.”
The Lightning, leading up to free agency, will look to trade for a No. 1 goaltender, general manager Steve Yzerman said.
“My preference,” Yzerman said Thursday night, “is to go with a little bit younger guy that maybe has a little less experience that can step up and play well for us now.”
As an example he mentioned Semyon Varlamov, 24, whom the Avalanche acquired last summer from the Capitals for a first- and second-round draft pick and who had a respectable 2.59 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 53 games.
Trade rumors, signing your own players and major roster decisions are all in play with the NHL Draft and NHL free agency little more than a month away.
That means the rumor mill is getting worked into a deep frenzy for 27 NHL teams watching the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings work out the whole Stanley Cup thing. There were reports out of Columbus that the Bruins are working on pulling together a deal for discontented sniper Rick Nash as he becomes the biggest trophy on the trade market this summer.
This is where the big money is spent and the tears of regret flow for years. You must dabble and be aggressive at times, but you must be very careful not to lock down the wrong guy that saddles your future. The pickings are slim, but it appears the Stars are ready to shop. With the Bob Gainey hiring last week, many of the Stars brass spoke publicly about their intentions:
Stars president Jim Lites offered this: “We are without budget. As crazy as that sounds. We are restricted by only the CBA and fitting long and short term into that system…This is a different situation than we have been in for the last 4 seasons – which is we have an owner who is willing to spend and not being run by the league….We are prepared to spend what we need to spend, but we need to spend wisely.”
A star winger for the Devils, Parise will be the most coveted prize of the NHL’s off-season as he becomes an unrestricted free agent. His presence in the Eastern Conference Finals hints at a promising scenario for the Rangers that could play out in early July. Here’s Parise, 27 years old and in the prime of his career, delivering two goals and an assist in the Devils’ 4-1 series-tying victory in Monday’s Game 4, and it’s impossible to watch him and not wonder what he might bring to the Rangers if they were to win the bidding battle for him.
During a turn-back-the-clock, sunset run for Martin Brodeur, which began at the all-star break, the evidence has been mounting the 40-year-old is not ready to retire.
When there was a mention during Saturday’s CBC broadcast of Brodeur’s brother believing the goalie is coming back, it was yet another sign this won’t be the end of his career.
Would you trade Alex Ovechkin if you were Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee? Or would it be over Caps owner Ted Leonsis’s dead body?
Leonsis is paying Ovie $9 million for two more years, then seven years at $10 million. He loves the Russian forward. It’s mutual, certainly twice a month, on payday.
But is Ovechkin ever going to lead the Capitals to the Promised Land? People who know Ovie say he now looks overwhelmed by the expectations and the series of playoff losses that are wearing him down. It doesn’t look like the sheer joy of playing the game is there any longer.
Let’s forget about Ryan Suter and Zach Parise for a moment.
Judging from the reaction of Red Wings fans, that’s difficult to do considering they are the two prospective unrestricted free agents — and apparently the only ones the Red Wings care about this summer.
But suppose they remain with their teams. Or end up with someone else.
Who’s next on the Red Wings radar?
Brent Sutter lost the quarter-finals at the world hockey championships Thursday afternoon.
Nine hours later – at 1 a.m. in Helsinki – you have to figure he became the next head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.
Wanting more wins out of their young talent, the Edmonton Oilers won’t renew the contract of head coach Tom Renney after two seasons in the NHL’s cellar.
“We’re entering a new phase of our hockey club,” general manager Steve Tambellini said Thursday.
Whats up everyone? Maybe a bit of an odd topic but Im curious to know people’s thoughts.
Been watching a lot of playoffs and a bunch of the world championships. Obviously they are a bit different. The worlds teams are essentially “all star” teams while regular teams are just that.
Hasn’t been a Leafs article in a while, so I figured give us leaf-heads something to talk about to take out minds off of the sever lack of playoffs in the land (I only say that cause I can’t get Marlies games).
What’s going on with Milan Hejduk’s situation?
Not a whole lot in tangible terms. But this much I know: there is an ongoing dialogue between him and the team still at least.
Some have been wondering about future of Todd McLellan in San Jose. No question in my mind he’ll be back with the Sharks. I would not, however, be surprised if the Sharks look to hire an experienced or veteran assistant coach.
There were rumours that Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle was going to hire his own assistants but I am told now that both Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin are expected back.
There’s change coming to the Washington Capitals this summer and it’s not just their head coach. Barring a complete change of heart, forward Alexander Semin won’t be back in Washington next season. According to Semin’s agent Mark Gandler, the skilled forward has no intentions of signing a contract extension with the Capitals and plans on becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Like a lot of NHL clubs, this off-season is going to be especially interesting for the Canucks.
According to Capgeek.com, the Canucks have 17 players signed to NHL contracts that total just north of $55 million. Assuming the team opens the season with the roster maximum of 23 players, that gives them about $9.2 million in cap room to sign those six players, based on the past season’s numbers.
But those numbers will change because the cap ceiling – released in late June — is expected to go up for next season, from $64.3 million to somewhere in the $69 to $70 million range and then, when the NHLPA invokes as expected its escalator clause, it could end up north of $72 million.