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The Wings had the option of using MacDonald in that role last season, and still pursued other goaltenders. They went after Tomas Vokoun when free agency began July 1, but couldn’t compete with Washington’s offer of $1.5 million and a shot at the starting spot. Ultimately, the Wings signed Ty Conklin, whom they had in ’08-09. There’s little chance Conklin will return after he went 5-6-1 with a 3.28 GAA and .884 save percentage.
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.