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“Ridiculous.’’ So says Panthers GM Dale Tallon when it comes to rumors that he’s looking to deal talented No. 1 pivot Stephen Weiss. Nonetheless, the chatter won’t go away, and Weiss, the No. 4 pick in the 2001 draft, could be the next big cat out of Sunrise, following ex-linemate Nathan Horton. If Tallon is looking to make a move, the Oilers will get aggressive in a bid because they are injury-depleted at pivot with both Shawn Horcoff (knuckle) and Eric Belanger (foot) expected to miss at least another month. No. 1 Oiler pivot Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also has been hindered by a wonky shoulder.
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O’Reilly could sign a one-year deal with Colorado, then take the team to arbitration over the summer and hope to score a big contract of the kind he wants now. If the arbitrator sides with the player, the Avs would either have to pay it or they could “walk away” from the deal, which would make O’Reilly an unrestricted free agent and lose him for nothing. And that is something they obviously wouldn’t want.
What is brewing as a much bigger story in Toronto, however, is what happens with Kessel’s contract situation and if he remains with the team long term.
The five-year deal he signed when he originally landed with the Leafs in former GM Brian Burke’s infamous trade with the Boston Bruins is set to expire on July 1, 2014, meaning Kessel can sign an extension in less than five months.
It is also believed that while Leafs GM Dave Nonis isn’t offering his top sniper around the league, he is willing to listen to offers, rumours that will only increase should Toronto fall out of the playoff race before the trade deadline in early April.
Call it Bob Murray’s big decision.
With the NHL trade deadline set for April 3, nobody is under more intense scrutiny than the Anaheim Ducks GM with all-star forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf both set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
While Murray has maintained publicly he wants to keep both players in the fold, he’s going to have cough up a lot of cash from the Ducks’ bank if Perry and Getzlaf are both going to stick around Anaheim past this season.
Well, the opinions that matter are the coaching staff and our pro scouts and ownership. We’re all on the same page. We’re disappointed with the way things have started. It’s not over. Nothing that a couple of wins won’t really help. But we’re gonna make good decisions. We’re not gonna do anything short term. We’re not gonna blow anything up. We like the people here. We’ve just got to be smart about how we do it. We’ve made a lot of good decisions over the last five or six years. Hopefully, we made good decisions this year, but we’ll see.
In hockey, when you’ve tried everything but firing the coach and your team doesn’t respond, you tend to fire the coach. Maybe owner Craig Leipold won’t force that move immediately, but he has no reason to be patient after making an immense investment in front-line talent and watching his team fall apart.
Whether Mike Yeo is responsible for his team’s slump is irrelevant.
Darcy Regier has dialed up his GM counterparts this week with his Buffalo Sabres squad collecting only three wins in 10 games to begin the season.
But there are no magic pills lying out there right now in what appears to be a soft trade market.
“I’ve talked to some GMs the last few days,” Regier told ESPN.com Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a pretty quiet market right now. A number of teams have very small things they want to do, quite honestly, with the hope that whether it’s with their players or our players, they’re going to get them on track because of their previous history of them being a lot better. That kind of leaves it where we’re saying, ‘Let’s touch base again later in the week or later on.’ Teams sitting in positions similar to us are hoping to turn it around with the group that they have and then in the event they don’t, looking at the trade market. But as you said, it’s pretty soft right now.”
— Howard Berger (@Berger_BYTES) February 7, 2013
Hopes were raised Tuesday night among Avalanche fans about the Ryan O’Reilly contract standoff with the team, when it was reported by your humble correspondent that talks still were ongoing after a period of inactivity. Could a resolution finally be at hand?
Sorry, but it doesn’t look like it from what I’m hearing. Neither side appears willing to budge.
So what do you do if you’re the 2-7-1 Washington Capitals?
Well, you start working the phones.
Sources around the league indicate that indeed Caps GM George McPhee has begun to do just that.
Edmonton Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini moved quickly to get defenceman Mark Fistric from Dallas a few days into training camp after the lockout ended, in part because Theo Peckham had a sore hip and wasn’t in the proper shape. He surprised most of the NHL, getting the abrasive blueliner for an average price, a third-round pick.
He was applauded for his pro-active approach, not even waiting until the season started.
<p>The New Jersey Devils have acquired Andrei Loktionov from the Los Angeles Kings for a fifth-round choice in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Devils announced Wednesday. Loktionov was a fifth-round pick by the Kings in the 2008 draft. He has seven goals and 14 points in 59 career NHL games, including 39 during the 2011-12 season. He appeared in two Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Los Angeles Kings during their march to last season\\\’s championship. This season, Loktionov has played only for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, with seven goals and 22 points in 37 games.</p>
The Pittsburgh Penguins, sitting first in the Atlantic Division, could be looking to acquire another winger to play alongside Evgeni Malkin.
It’s believed the Penguins are once again taking a look at Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin.
While the Senators are determined to go with what they’ve got to fill the void left by the back surgery to centre Jason Spezza, Murray likely couldn’t make a deal unless he was willing to give up a top prospect to get something in return.
The New Jersey Devils have acquired Andrei Loktionov from the Los Angeles Kings for a fifth-round choice in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Devils announced Wednesday. Loktionov was a fifth-round pick by the Kings in the 2008 draft. He has seven goals and 14 points in 59 career NHL games, including 39 during the 2011-12 season. He appeared in two Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Los Angeles Kings during their march to last season\’s championship. This season, Loktionov has played only for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, with seven goals and 22 points in 37 games.
Panthers deny it but hearing more & more Panthers F Stephen Weiss is available. If so and I’m Peter Chiarelli, I’d go after him.
— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) February 5, 2013
In asking the proper authorities tonight, it is confirmed: talks are still ongoing with Ryan O’Reilly. There was little to no contact for several days, but O’Reilly’s agents – Mark Guy and Pat Morris of the Newport Sports Agency in Ontario – did speak with Avalanche management today – presumably Greg Sherman.
That’s all I have for now. Don’t know if it was positive or negative, the talks. But I don’t think there’s any question that it’s a positive that talks are still happening at all. By my accounts, they had been very chilly previously. They still may be. Obviously, there is no deal yet.
Ever wonder what life would be like without Miikka Kiprusoff giving the Calgary Flames at least a fighting chance almost every night?
Looks like Flames fans might just find out.
An otherwise encouraging night for the Flames was marred two-thirds through when Kiprusoff did not start the third period of a 4-1 win in Detroit due to a lower-body injury.