Yes, the Rangers can make the playoffs in their God-awful division, and yes, the Rangers conceivably could record their annual early-round victory over the Capitals, but does anyone believe the ceiling is higher than a second-round goodbye?
Tell me there’s more to the plan than that.
Two immediate items of utmost importance: the futures of pending free agents Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi.
It is no secret that David Clarkson was one of the players rookie Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish went after hard this summer.
When Clarkson signed with Toronto, MacTavish expressed his regret and said that he “thought this guy was an Oiler.” Shortly thereafter, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Clarkson had left money on the table when he signed his seven-year pact worth $36.75 million. LeBrun didn’t report it as fact, but said he suspected the team to make Clarkson an even more lucrative offer was Edmonton.
One suspects that these days the Maple Leafs are wishing the Oilers had won that bidding
Just because he’s coming off the first suspension of his NHL career doesn’t mean opposing players can expect to have their head down when they skate anywhere near Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf.
Not unless they want to pay the price.
Even though Burke acknowledged that Feaster and his scouting staff hit a “home run” with the selection of Monahan last June, Burke wants his next GM to be draft savvy so the presumable next top-five pick will be a key part of the Flames’ future.
“We have to get those picks right,” he said. “You have to hit home runs.
“Jay did that last year.”
McKenzie "Nonis is certainly not in blow it up mode. If the right deal comes along for a player like Gardiner they'll make a deal."
— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) December 13, 2013
The trade rumours have also come with suggestions that Kulikov might be about to jump to the KHL; the option there (if the Oilers are interested) would be to try and negotiate an extension before acquiring his rights (note: I’m not a lawyer but as I read the CBA, Kulikov can talk about an extension prior to January 1 because he’s currently on a two-year contract). Given the Oilers needs on defence and the number of Russians MacTavish has brought in, Edmonton might be an attractive option for the young rearguard.
With the Winnipeg Jets and Evander Kane not always on the same page, the Vancouver Province floats the idea of Kane as a Canuck – which would address the team’s need for another scorer:
“Granted, negotiating a trade for a 22-year-old power forward of Kane’s ability would be harder than negotiating a new version of NAFTA, but players like this don’t become available every day. Kane’s from Vancouver. He has the potential to be a game-changer.”
The Carolina Hurricanes are scouring the market and are looking to make a major move to help their chances of making the playoffs this season.
Something is definitely not quite right up in Winnipeg where power forward Evander Kane continues to show signs he’s unhappy with his station in NHL life. The Winnipeg power forward is essentially breaking rocks in hockey jail for the Winnipeg Jets with no chance for playoff appearances, and far out of the league spotlight toiling for a team in the Canadian hinterland.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to pick up talks with captain Dion Phaneuf on a new contract this week, if negotiations haven’t resumed already.
The Calgary Flames shook up their front office Thursday after a disappointing start to the season, firing general manager Jay Feaster and assistant general manager John Weisbrod.
The Flames have just 26 points this season, good for 13th place in the 14-team Western Conference.
Ovechkin, who after a four-goal outburst Tuesday night is humming along on pace for a career-best 72 goals this season.
Interesting name potentially in play is Shawn Matthias in Florida. If Leafs looking to change forward mix, he's big and can play centre.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) December 11, 2013
I thought it was important to start with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon’s denial in a Miami Herald blog of our report on Hockey Night Hotstove that he had a trade in place involving Dmitri Kulikov, which was the reason the defenceman was scratched last week. It is believed Tallon’s trading partner was the Colorado Avalanche. The two teams did have some serious talks and may do so again. Tallon didn’t comment before we went to air and I stand by the info, but it should be known that history proves he’s been honest when I’ve contacted him about things.
The Leafs’ previously kicked the tires of Dallas Stars centre Vernon Fiddler, whom Stars GM Jim Nill said is no longer on the block.
The Isles’ disappointing Pierre-Marc Bouchard hit the waiver wire Monday, but his $2 million price tag might be too steep.
Leino was a healthy scratch Tuesday after loafing through practice Monday. More disturbing than his practice habits was his nonchalance over getting benched. He shrugged his shoulders and wondered aloud what Nolan expected, as if he needed things spelled out for him after going scoreless in his first 18 games
It’s not that difficult to understand. Nolan expects an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. He expects leadership from 30-year-old playing his seventh NHL season. He expects a little jam. He expects a goal every once in a while from a so-called top-six forward. Is that really asking for too much from a guy making $4.5 million?
Just putting this out there. It seems the bloom is off the rose between Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets.
With the cap going over $71 million and climbing even higher, what does this mean to P.K. Subban and his contract talks?
LeBrun: It could mean a lot. In many ways, he could be the poster child for young, star free agents and future negotiations. For guys like Alex Pietrangelo and Erik Karlsson, they signed long term deals because they were looking for security and didn’t know where the salary cap was headed.
All told, the Flyers have $49.36 million committed for next season.
That leaves approximately $21.7 million to spend, though a few players need extensions first. Goaltender Steve Mason will be due a big raise once he is eligible to sign an extension on Jan. 1. Steve Downie is set to become an unrestricted free agent and already earns $2.65 million. Brayden Schenn, Michael Raffl and Erik Gustafsson are all restricted. The Flyers also will need to find a deal for Ray Emery or look for a new backup.
Bryan Murray decided not to head to California to see if he could swing a deal at the NHL’s board of governors meetings.
But if the Senators GM is looking for a top six forward that might be able to play on the right side of centre Jason Spezza there is one available on waivers to be claimed before noon Tuesday.