The question Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock must be asking himself: Why aren’t these guys getting my message?
The coach beats himself up after losses like Saturday’s 4-0 decision to Pittsburgh.
“I don’t care what you do for a living, if you have kids. Every day is not easy. You’re supposed to respond,” Babcock said. “To me, the greatest thing about sport, it mirrors life and the teams you want to watch and the teams that you’re proud of to be associated with, they just keep coming. No matter what happens, they’ve got people who step up and respond.
* Now’s the time for the Penguins to trade Sidney Crosby. The No-Longer-Kid is on the downside of his peak and won’t achieve his heroics of yesteryear. Still time for the Pens to cash in on a return. Who’d be realistic trade partners? How about the Canadiens, Maple Leafs or Kings?
This week, it’s Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell.
But when you’re a team that’s started the 2015-16 National Hockey League season as badly as the Calgary Flames have, trade rumours start to fly and speculation of shake-up moves begin.
As Calgary continues to struggle, GM Brad Treliving holds some sway over the defensive market. There are blueliners available, but few that are overly appetizing. Dennis Wideman’s played very well for them, one of the few who’s been above water during this ugly start.
On the possibility of a blockbuster trade between the Flames and Lightning involving Steven Stamkos:
“Well, listen. Certainly Treliving, I think, has been on the phone to a lot of teams, from what I can gather. But I have no evidence to suggest that Brad Treliving and Steve Yzerman have spoken, sadly. I know we wish that was true.
Flames calling around NHL trying to unload Dennis Wideman. But two years, $11 million left on contract makes him tough to move at 32
— Adrian Dater (@adater) October 27, 2015
By the end of the night it was clear that changes are in the air — with the precise details to be filled in soon. If Froese stays, one of Holland or Arcobello presumably has to be sent down … and Froese is definitely staying.
This is Babcock starting to shape the Leafs roster.
Murray trying but other GMs aren't looking to throw him a lifesaver https://t.co/bLXCp7PRyO
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) October 27, 2015
Blues GM Doug Armstrong would prefer to move Carl Gunnarsson, a No. 4-5 defenceman and pending UFA, but that would only bring back a Cam Atkinson-type player, should he deal with the Jackets. If St. Louis wants a Top 6 forward in return, they may dangle Shattenkirk, who has one year left on his deal beyond 2015-16.
The Anaheim Ducks are also on the clock. That team suffered a horrific start, putting coach Bruce Boudreau on the spot. Randy Carlyle is the best NHL coach currently not working, but the Ducks could turn to former Senators coach (and yesteryear Blues winger) Paul MacLean instead.
After the 2016-17 season, some good goalies will be up for raises. Ben Bishop and Steve Mason, aces for Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, will be unrestricted. Based on their performance, age, and comparables, Bishop and Mason will be well within their rights to ask for multiyear deals over the $6 million threshold. Bishop helped backstop the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Final. Mason is coming off a very good season for a not-so-good Flyers team.
“The other thing too is, at some point in time, John Gibson’s got to play. So I wonder if – and I don’t know this for sure – but he’s got a really nice chip there in Frederik Andersen. Gibson’s signed long term, Andersen isn’t.
Will he stay or will he go?
The hottest topic in the NHL is the future of Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, who is headed to unrestricted free agency July 1.