NHLNews and Rumors – Tuesday July 21, 2009

Media CEO wants NHL back in Quebec

Being a Leaf definitely tempted Nash

Hawks, Capitals lead list of NHL teams on the rise

Thrashers ready to give Kovalchuk the hard sell

Sharks might still be circling HeatleyMedia CEO wants NHL back in Quebec

QMI AGENCY

Saying he was “disappointed” with how things worked out regarding the sale of the Montreal Canadiens, the head of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Peladeau, is turning his attention to Quebec City.

The media group’s CEO says he will be “seriously” involved in the current efforts to see another NHL team brought to the Quebec capital, a place Peladeau called “such a magnificent city”.

“Quebec City is a hockey city… much more than certain American cities with NHL teams,” he said over the weekend. “Quebec City has the potential to build a new arena and accommodate a hockey team, but it won’t be tomorrow. (We’ll) have to be patient.” Peladeau was in the city with his wife, Julie Snyder, at a benefit evening for the Fondation Felix-Leclerc.

The Quebecor chief said it was obviously a disappointment to see his group of financial backers unsuccessful in its bid to acquire the legendary team. After offers from a host of high-profile potential buyers earlier this year, the Canadiens and the Bell Centre were finally sold to the Molson brothers in a deal worth some $630 million.

“For sure we’re disappointed,” Peladeau said. “We believed strongly and were confident we would get it. I involved myself enormously in this matter. We were a solid group. I don’t understand why we didn’t get it.”

Peladeau’s interest in the matter is good news for those who experienced the intense rivalry between the Habs and the Nordiques, including Michel Bergeron, the former Nordiques coach.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/07/20/10201061-qmi.html

Being a Leaf definitely tempted Nash

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

Rick Nash didn’t need Maple Leafs fans to tell him he would look good in blue and white — the Brampton native has enough friends and family to remind him regularly.

But the Columbus star admits the allure of playing for his home-town team was a huge consideration prior to re-upping with the Blue Jackets a year before he would have become an unrestricted free agent.

“It was tempting,” Nash said yesterday at Glen Abbey Golf Club prior to teeing off in the inaugural Mike Weir Charity Classic. “It’s home. And it would be a dream to wear the Maple Leafs uniform.

“But at the end of the day Columbus is where I’m happy and I think we are on the right track.”

Nash wouldn’t necessarily have even been on the Leafs’ radar, but coming off a 40-goal season, the former London Knights star clearly is one of the brightest young talents in the game. And when the Jackets offered a $62-million US deal over eight seasons, Nash couldn’t resist.

“We have good goaltending, good young players and it’s going to be an appetizing place to come to soon,” Nash said. “We are going to be a contender and I want to be part of it.”

Nash was one of a handful of NHLers participating in the charity event to kick off Canadian Open week, a group which included potential Olympic teammates Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks.

Back home in Quebec for the summer, Brodeur doesn’t need to be reminded that his Olympic tryout unofficially starts when the NHL season begins in October.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/07/21/10202606-sun.html

Hawks, Capitals lead list of NHL teams on the rise

Dan Rosen – NHL.com Staff Writer

For two seasons the Pittsburgh Penguins were known as one of the teams “on the rise.” You would hear pundits predicting the Sidney Crosby-led Penguins were “evolving,” or “getting closer.”

They came around a few months ago by winning the Stanley Cup.

With that, we offer you our first Top 10 list of the summer. It’s the Top 10 teams that we deem to be, as they say, on the rise.

These are the teams that for the last few seasons have been taking steps up the challenging ladder to Stanley Cup glory, and all look poised to continue their climb in 2009-10. Maybe one even could reach the top and become the next Pittsburgh Penguins.

1. Chicago Blackhawks — Their run to the Western Conference Finals was a dramatic leap for a team that hadn’t reached the playoffs since 2002, but it wasn’t totally shocking. The Hawks have changed dramatically in the last 24 months by developing a solid young core and have spent to upgrade in other areas.

2. Washington Capitals — Led by back-to-back Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin, the Caps have won consecutive Southeast Division titles and improved in the playoffs from 2008 to 2009. They’re still young and hungry, and now they might have their goalie of their future in Simeon Varlamov.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=450999&navid=DL|NHL|Home

Thrashers ready to give Kovalchuk the hard sell

Jeff Schultz

In the past several weeks, the Thrashers have signed a free agent forward (Nik Antropov), traded for a top-four defenseman (Pavel Kubina) and drafted potential top scorer (Evander Kane). Whether they keep the only player that most people walking around the streets of Atlanta can actually identify is another matter.

Negotiations are expected to heat up this week between general manager Don Waddell and Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman. The two sides aren’t saying much publicly that they haven’t said before. Waddell sent me an email Monday, saying: “It’s our goal to sign Ilya to a long-term deal.” Grossman declined comment. (He’s known as a tough agent, but issuing negotiating rhetoric to the media isn’t his thing.)

Kovalchuk has a year left on his contract at $7.5 million. Theoretically, his new deal could pay him up to $11.2 million per season (20 percent of the NHL salary cap of $56 million). The bigger issue is term: The NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement has no cap on length of contract. For example, former Thrasher Marian Hossa just signed a 12-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks (no doubt clinching the Cup for the Blackhawks in 13 years).

But the Thrashers’ negotiations with Kovalchuk will be different than those they had with Hossa. Kovlachuk seems to be looking for a reason to stay here. I’m not sure that ever was the case with Hossa, who wasn’t drafted by the team and never really adopted Atlanta as a home the way Kovalchuk has. Hossa also wanted a chance to win the Stanley Cup immediately (as shown by his ill-fated decision to leave Pittsburgh and sign a one-year deal with Detroit, which then lost to the Penguins in the finals).

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2009/07/20/thrashers-ready-to-give-kovalchuk-the-hard-sell/

Sharks might still be circling Heatley

Ken Warren, Canwest News Service

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson won’t dare mention the name Dany Heatley, but don’t let the sounds of silence fool you.

The Sharks remain a possible landing spot for Heatley, providing, of course, the Ottawa Senators’ on-again, off-again trade talks with the Edmonton Oilers are finally dead.

Wilson, you’ll recall, promised to do whatever was necessary to shake up his team after it underachieved yet again in the spring, bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the
Anaheim Ducks after winning the NHL regular season title.

“Is this the final time we have to get kicked in the (butt) to realize we’re going to commit to whatever it takes to get to the next level?” he asked a group of disappointed fans after the club’s elimination.

That fiery, passionate comment came more than two months ago. Since then, Wilson’s biggest moves have been re-signing forward Ryane Clowe, and defencemen Rob Blake and Kent Huskins.

As for the promised shakeup? Nothing.

http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/nhlnews/story.html?id=06d7317f-0deb-48bc-aec4-409d25147cd9&add_feed_url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.faceoff.com%2ftopstories.atom


116 Responses to NHLNews and Rumors – Tuesday July 21, 2009

  1. cam7777 says:

    Meh, At this point, it's a matter of opinon Grabovski vs. Pleks, or Grabovski vs. A.Kostitsyn.  You can't really say Kostitsyn is a proven player.  He has one more season on Grabovski.  As for Plekanec, with seasons of 29 points, 47 points, 39 points, and 69 points, i think it's safe to say his 69 point season was an anamoly.  He's a 40-50 point guy who had a great year.  Habs fans should know this better than anyone.  You guys got your hopes up so high because of how badly everyone overachieved one year.  The reality is, that most of those players slid back into their norms last year.  Tanguay hasn't been great a while now.  Pleks and Kostitsyn fell back down to earth. 

    Obviously we need another year from Grabovski to see what he really is.  Is he going to be a 50-60 point guy?  Is he going to be a 40-50 point guy?  Is he going to be a defensively sound, annoyingly streaky 35 point guy?  I really think we can't judge just yet.  But to just assume that all these Habs, most of whom are marginal players, are far and away better than him, is just absurd.  Especially when the last season, their most recent work, says otherwise.

    And actually, on almost any given season I would prefer anyone from that list you just made over Gaborik.  At least those guys play more than 10 games.  Of course, they say he is good to go now, so who knows? 

  2. RealisticNick says:

    He has been around the 29th for the last 4 or 5 seasons, he is not on the decline, he is consistent.  And as for him being around the 29th spot, last season Boston and San Jose had 3, Pit, Philly, Van and Detroit had 2 in the top 30 for center scoring.  What does that mean?  14 Guys of the 28 ahead of him were on the same team as one of the other guys.  SO 5 teams took up 14 of the top 30 centers, that leaves 16 top 30 centers for 25 teams.  It means that Gomez would have been a #1 center on 11 of the 30 teams in the league.  I am hardly seeing how he is struggling to hang onto that being he has been there since the lockout.

    Tanguay did not play with Iginla his last year, he was demoted, the year before when he did, 81 points.

    I never said Grabovski was crap, I just said he was not a better than most of Montreals forwards like you stated.  A career season of 48 points does not make him better than proven forwards like Kovalev, Lang, Koivu and Tanguay.  Plekanec and Kostitsyn?  Well they regressed last year and it will be this season to find out if it was all Kovalev.

    And again, losing Antropov (46 points as a Leaf), Moore (41 points as a Leaf) and Kubina (40 points as a Leaf) will hurt the offence as they have not been replaced.  Are you going to tell me that Bozak, Hansen, Komisarek, Beachemin, Wallin and Orr are even going to get even close to 127 points?  Unless a scoring forward comes in through trade or signs, the Leafs offence is worse this seasons.

  3. RealisticNick says:

    That is the debate that I had it down to.  Three unproven players, Grabovski could arguably be better or worse than 2 of Montreal's top 6 forwards last season (Kostitsyn & Plekanec)…which is not "most" as you had said earlier.  When comparing a top 6 forward you can really only compare him with another teams top 6, due to ice time and powerplay time.  In Plekanecs defence, he did end up playing behind Lang and Koivu when they were healthy; however, I'm still not sold on Plekanec, Grabovski or Kostitsyn and this season will be the one to determine who can produce consistently.  My argument was with the people trying to say Grabovski's one good seasons makes him better than proven NHL vets.

  4. lafleur10 says:

    CAM  are you illiterate and can't read! grabovski and most of the leafs forwards didn't out point all the habs forwrds! kovalev and markov,koivu  had more points than ANYBODY ON THE LEAFS!! don't believe me look it up! and i'll tell you this right now grabovski won't come close to gomez not within the 5-10 points as you claim gomez will finish 20- 25 points ahead of him period.all the analysts blasted gainey for bringing in gomez,well it's these same analysts that blasts him for not doing anything at the trade deadline so i wouldn't put much stock into waht they say1 most of them…….no infact all of them couldn't hold a candle to gainey when it comes to being a g.m. that's why he's a g.m, and their analysts he knows more about hockey than they'll ever know in there life time!and i suspect that if gainey got fired and applied for another g.m. job and those analysts applied for the same job they wouldn't even get to the interview process and gainey would get the job over them!as far as gomez goes gainey didn't give gomez that contract sather did so stop makeing sound like he did(it would've been the same if we'would've got lecavalier) you sound insanely bias not can't admit when somebody points out facts that grabovski and your leafs just aren't that good ,you get in a tizzy and start justifying these guys and make all these weak irrrelevant arguements and can't admit that were were better we made the playoffs you you guys didn't and i'm willing to bet we make it again this year and you guys don't! it bothers you immensely that plekanec and i were right and called it 100% last year when we told you antropov was a stiff and you wouldn't get a 1st r.d pick for him! and you came up with this market crashing b.s. and can't admit that maybe the guy wasn't that good and overated and over hyped by leafs fans and when we(us habs fan who watch all the games too) see the same thing (that we wasn't that good) and tell you guys this you guys go on the defensive and starrt praising him like he's the best player in the game and we have nobody that's as good as him ,when infact 3 quarters of our players were better than him and most of the other players on other teams were better than him,but you guys can't or refuse to see this! now that's what you call bias give it a rest cam !

  5. lafleur10 says:

    CAM  are you illiterate and can't read! grabovski and most of the leafs forwards didn't out point all the habs forwrds! kovalev and markov,koivu  had more points than ANYBODY ON THE LEAFS!! don't believe me look it up! and i'll tell you this right now grabovski won't come close to gomez not within the 5-10 points as you claim gomez will finish 20- 25 points ahead of him period.all the analysts blasted gainey for bringing in gomez,well it's these same analysts that blasts him for not doing anything at the trade deadline so i wouldn't put much stock into waht they say1 most of them…….no infact all of them couldn't hold a candle to gainey when it comes to being a g.m. that's why he's a g.m, and their analysts he knows more about hockey than they'll ever know in there life time!and i suspect that if gainey got fired and applied for another g.m. job and those analysts applied for the same job they wouldn't even get to the interview process and gainey would get the job over them!as far as gomez goes gainey didn't give gomez that contract sather did so stop makeing sound like he did(it would've been the same if we'would've got lecavalier) you sound insanely bias not can't admit when somebody points out facts that grabovski and your leafs just aren't that good ,you get in a tizzy and start justifying these guys and make all these weak irrrelevant arguements and can't admit that were were better we made the playoffs you you guys didn't and i'm willing to bet we make it again this year and you guys don't! it bothers you immensely that plekanec and i were right and called it 100% last year when we told you antropov was a stiff and you wouldn't get a 1st r.d pick for him! and you came up with this market crashing b.s. and can't admit that maybe the guy wasn't that good and overated and over hyped by leafs fans and when we(us habs fan who watch all the games too) see the same thing (that we wasn't that good) and tell you guys this you guys go on the defensive and start praising him like he's the best player in the game and we have nobody that's as good as him ,when infact 3 quarters of our players were better than him and most of the other players on other teams were better than him,but you guys can't or refuse to see this! now that's what you call bias give it a rest cam !

  6. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Hahahahaha @ DandoEagle

  7. DandoEagle says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH!!

    I was thinking that the point wasn't made earlier either mojoke!

  8. nordiques100 says:

    The Isles may get ripped for signing martin biron but its a sound move on snow's part.

    now, they can live without dipietro should he get injured yet again and they have excellent insurance around to let dipietro get back to full strength without leaning on players of yann danis calibre.

    they can now play wait nad see with dipietro, let him get healthy, play some games, maybe in the minors, and see if he can go a long stretch without getting hurt.

    if so, they just bought maybe a 2nd round pick as they could probably peddle biron for that much as a trade deadline rental.

    and they'd still have roloson around to share the workload for 2 years.

  9. cam7777 says:

    yea, and i can agree with all that.  it's just lafleur's blatant disdain for anything blue and white that sets me off.  he makes it sound like every forward we have is completely useless, but neglects the performances of his own players.  like really, i understand that pleks and AK had a good season – 2 years ago!  for all we know, plekanec could totally bomb this year and put up 18 points.  Or, Grabovski could own, and put up 77 points.  Or vice versa.  But to say our offense is in deep trouble, and that the Habs willl be far and away better, is pretty ridiculous at this point…

    Glad we got that all cleared up, ha…

  10. cam7777 says:

    yea, it's a fine move.  i noticed some people on other boards saying something about a rumor that dipietro could be done for good.  probably just idiotic fans talking, but that would be crazy for the isles.  they'd be on the hook for what, 6 years of that 15 year contract (insurance only covers 7).  Oh well, hope it's not true.

    I'm not ripping Snow for signing Biron.  I'm going to rip Snow for not doing anything to improve his club except needlessly trading picks away, and ignoring free agency altogether.  Really, goalies are a last priority for July.  There's still Fernandez and a few other quality guys out there to be had.  Why didn't Snow address any of the teams real problems?  Like the fact that they have no one with any NHL experience on their roster.

    He should have had Tanguay, he should give San Jose some of his crappy project players for Cheechoo, and he should be going after Bertuzzi and Sykora hard.  He could even bring Satan back, or hell, Yashin, just do something man!  Does he really think Tavares is going to come in their and do all the scoring with his awesome supporting cast of Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey and Doug Weight?  The defense is pretty weak too.  Past Streit, they don't have much.  Seriously, what is this guy thinking?

  11. nordiques100 says:

    they r in rebuilding mode, and wont be winning for some time. simply, players may be taking a pass on that kind of situation.

    the arena situation is tenuous at best with no deal yet for a new one to be built……potentially leading to a threat to move down the road.

    and unless tavares can turn that franchise around, the isles are irrelevant in NY compared to the rangers……..and yanks, mets, giants, knicks and jets for that matter.

    this is going ot take some time.

    the moves i am not fond of snow are picking de haan so early and passing on john moore, or kulikov for that matter.

    and i dont particularly care for his coach scott gordon. but i guess as 2 former goalies, they get along and have similar philosophies.

    i'm not going to slag snow for trading picks. he has had 11 picks in the first 3 rounds combined in the last 2 drafts. a good recovery from the smyth deal. he's done a fine job rebuilding depth. 

    but in 5 yrs he may regret passing on schenn, boedker and filatov and picking bailey over hodgson.

    this is i guess what you get for inexperience. but suffice to say, he's done much better than say JFJ.

  12. zackman13 says:

    yes they should, 1 forward, 1 d-man, and one goalie.

  13. cam7777 says:

    yea, but right now you're seeing a situation developing that is only going to get worse as the CBA era moves along – quality veterans and middling players are being left behind on july 1st because most teams have all their money tied into big names, and can get young players to do what these players might otherwise bring.

    that leaves guys like sykora, bertuzzi, comrie, morris, satan, afinogenov, williams, axelsson, grier, pyatt, peca, malhotra, moore, seidenberg, m.a. bergeron, betts, shannahan, and even chelios.  of course, tanguay is still out there too, but i'm sure he would be more comfortable talking to the islanders if they, you know, acquired some talent.

    from that list i just made, i would be seriously looking at malhotra or moore to man the 3rd line, axelsson to kill penalties and play on the 4th line (plus provide solid veteran experience), grier to protect the kids and play on the 3rd line.  and then maybe look at one of the scoring options (bertuzzi, sykora, afinogenov, etc…).  these guys are all just hanging out there, waiting to be acquired.  they would not cost that much at this point.  if they want to stay in the nhl for another couple years, why not go help out a struggling franchise.  for a lot of them, it's that, or off to europe. 

    he should be revamping the forward core this year, and then looking to do the same thing next year with the defense.  he's got nothing but kids running around on the ice.  he needs to give them the proper time and situation to develop.  they won't come into their own if they have to do it with doug weight as their leader.

    also, for a lot of veterans, playing a half a year on the island probably isn't such a bad thing.  they go in their for a decent paycheck – more than they would make on a contender – and wait to get traded at the deadline.  in the meantime, they provide the young islanders with invaluable experience. 

    i just wish he'd do something. 

  14. cam7777 says:

    About the Leafs scoring, I do think they will be uneffected by the loss of Kubina, Antropov and Moore, for the most part, and here's why:

    1.) first off, Antropov is a right-winger, not a center.  once he left, ponikarovsky stepped up his game immensely.  that is why he ended up out-scoring antropov.  ponikarovsky has really found his spot.  he's a good leader for the kids, and works especially well with grabovski and kulemin.

    2.) we can reasonably expect mitchell, grabovski, and kulemin to all take strides forward.  expect kulemin to hit something more like 45 points this year, grabovski 55, and mitchell hopefully closer to 40.  that helps; a lot.

    3.) the feeling from burke is that wallin should more than competently replace moore.  he sees this guy in the same mould as sami pahlsson, but with more scoring upside.  he's 29.  either he's going to bring it, or he's not.  it's not like he's a kid.  still, he was the captain of farjstead.  he could easily end up out-performing moore. 

    4.) beauchemin is capable of 35-40 points.  i'm a huge ducks fan because we knew teemu selanne when he played here in winnipeg, so i watch the ducks just as often as the leafs.  he is fully capable of producing kubina's numbers, or at least, within that ball park.  he can for sure hit 30 points.  he doesn't on anaheim because his role is different.  he isn't expected to do that, because pronger and niedermayer did.  but now, he will get to open it up on the powerplay a little more.  he can wire it from the blue-line just as effectively as kubina.  they are actually very similar players, except that one has higher offensive upside, and one has higher defensive upside.

    5.) players like Tlusty, Bozak and Stalberg should be able to come into our lineup perform better than they might have last year.  Orr, Mayers, Stuart, Mitchell, Schenn, Beauchemin and Komisarek will keep them well protected.  If they can score in the NHL, we should find out about it this year.

  15. RealisticNick says:

    Just too many "if's" to really be able to guarantee the same offensive production as last season.

  16. mojo19 says:

    Michalek is better than Penner and Vlasic is maybe slightly better than Smid. But Cogliano has way more promise than Pavelski and that balances out the trade. How you figure Joey P is better than Cogliano, I don't know.

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