Best Free Agent Goalie of 2002-2003?

There isn’t a whole deal going on these days in the NHL, so what a great time to consider who won the free agent goaltending race of last summer.

Bruins shopping LaPointe?

According to Faceoff.com the Boston Bruins are dangling high priced, low scoring forward Martin LaPointe as trade bait along with Kyle McLaren. (ain’t he a Islander?)

LaPointe, a five million dollar a year forward has scored only one goal this year but is considered one of the few “leaders” on the Bruins. LaPointe and McLaren could bring the goalie the Bruins desperatly need as well as possibly a forward (Isbister and DiPietro?)

This rumor comes on the heels of Boston shipping goalie John Ghrame to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a fourth round pick, leaving a gap at the goalie position in Boston.

So what do you think? I believe that the Ghrame deal is opening a door for a bigger trade coming up. They need a goalie and they need offense.

Grahame to Bolts for a 4th rounder in 2004

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?ID=22611&hubName=nhl

Short story on it.

That is a horrible trade for the Bruins. Not like Shields was much better than Grahame, especially before Grahame was injured. That means that they might go after a real starter soon. As for Tampa, they give up a 4th for a back-up goalie. Not bad since a 4th round pick can always be re-acquired. Shows how much the Bruins goaltender was worth though….

LEAFS and PREDS CLOSE TO DEAL?

It has been well documented that the Toronto Maple Leafs have been searching, among other things, a second line center. And if sports radio “THE TEAM” is correct. They may have found one in Nashville.

All-Star Starting Lineups…What A Joke.

The starting lineups for the NHL All-Star game were released Saturday. I like how the NHL is going back to the East/West format but there are some huge mitakes that the fans made in voting. Here are the lineups and my comments…

MantaRay report for 11/12/03

The MantaRay Powerrankings for the week ending 1/12/03.

As teams reach the midway point in the season here are the latest powerrankings.

Cliffnotes:

Top ten:

-Philadelphia Flying up 4 spots with improved play

-Red Hot Stars move up to the #3 spot.

-Blues & Bruins drop

Middle of the Pack:

-Caps & Isles continue to make their moves

-Av’s snowed under

Bottom of the Barrel:

-Bluejackets & Pred’s climbing out?

-Canes winded and collapsing.

-Panthers get neutered by Caps and others.

Wickenheiser's Debut, the shape of things to come?

Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun wrote a recent article regarding Hayley Wickenheiser, the long time Canadian female hockey star playing her first professional hockey game in Finland.

Hartley's Atlanta's New Coach!!!

TheFourthPeriod.com reports:

Hartley to coach Atlanta

(Jan. 11th) As first reported by TFP on Thursday, Bob Hartley will be the Atlanta Thrashers new head coach. The two sides are currently finalizing contract details and the announcement is expected this weekend. Hartley is expected to be behind the bench possibly for the team’s next game Monday in Philadelphia, but no later than a home game Wednesday against Montreal.

www.thefourthperiod.com

McLaren Deal Done?????

McLaren Deal Done?

Various media sources are reporting that the deal involving Boston Bruins defenseman Kyle McLaren is complete, and an announcement is imminent. As discussed on TFP previously, the reports suggest McLaren is on his way to the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Brad Isbister and a draft pick. TFP has not been able to contact officials in either Boston or New York this morning.

McLaren, 25, has not played this season and requested a trade after turning down Boston’s qualifying offer of $1.755-million. He has 34 goals, 90 assists and 370 penalty minutes in 417 NHL games. Isbister, also 25, has 9 goals and 10 assists in 38 games with the Islanders

www.thefourthperiod.com

Coaching Changes

How serious are these rumors about fan favorite, Ted Nolan, coming back to coach the Sabres? Ruff’s contract ends after this year, and he has a friend in Columbus.

Habs trade rumors

Recent postings on the fourth period suggest that the Habs are trying to obtain Sami Kapanen from Carolina and are trying to deal Jeff Hackett to the Bruins. The Habs have demonstrated over the past year and a half that they do not know how to improve their team through trades.

****UPDATE**** Isles Hunt for McLaren

According to Newsday and TSN, the Isles have emerged as the leading candidate to land Kyle McLaren. Boston which has had goalie troubles recently asked for Rick DiPietro, but that was turned down by the Islanders. Boston also has interest in Brad Isbister, however Isbister has been nursing a sore ankle and will be sidelined for the next 10-14 days.

A 3 way deal that involved Tampa fell through. The newspaper reports the Bruins recently turned down an offer from the Tampa Bay Lightning of Fredrik Modin straight up for McLaren. The 3 way deal would have sent McClaren to the Isles, Roman Hamrlik to Tampa and Modin and possibly Kubina to Boston.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/ny-inotes103082124jan10,0,5577532.story?coll=ny%2Dislanders%2Dheadlines

Couple of News from TheFourthPeriod.com

http://www.thefourthperiod.com/rumors.html

Turco a hero in his neighborhood. US needs to change drinking age law!!!

Waddell to hire a coach soon.

Gary Roberts’ status.

Sens vs Canucks Game>>>Devils to Deal Rafalski>>>Philly's Old Kids on the Block>

Mantaray jinxed what was supposed to be the best game of the week. Just kidding Manta!

Rafalski to be dealt for a scorer? Mironov almost a New Jersey Devil.

Desjardins and Primeau are the old kids on the block, what’s their worth?

Bruins weaknesses starting to show.

Coyotes to change their look for 2003-2004…

ESPN had Mike Barnett, GM of the Coyotes in for an interview during Wednesday nights game again the Blackhawks and he revealed that along with the new building, the Coyotes will portray a new logo and new jerseys. Personally, I feel this is a damn good move! The current style is……ummm…..well, put it this way, the Canucks jerseys with the hockey stick on it were better! Watch for an outburst in jersey sales whether they come out next year or the year after. Jersey sales will go towards Amonte’s salary.

Barrasso To Retire A Penguin

ESPN.COM is reporting that Tom Barrasso, recently released goaltender of the St. Louis Blues, will sign a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins so that he can retire a member of the team he played 12 seasons for. As a member of the Penguins Barraso captured back-to-back stanley cup championships in 1991 and 1992. It is not reported whether Barraso will play considering that the Penguins have a formidable goaltending tandem all ready in place with Johan Hedberg as a #1 goaltender and the up and coming J.S Aubin as a #2. But if Barrasso is planning on playing the signing will come at opportune time as Hedberg has recently suffered a shoulder injury that has led to the call up of Sebastien Caron. Hedbergs injury is not reported as serious so the margin of time for return would be slim. Barraso probably sees a signing with Pittsburgh as a good oppurtunity to end his illustrious NHL career on a positive note.

Controversial Goal Wins For Devils

Habs’ skid continues: http://www.faceoff.com/nhl/teams/canadiens/news/story.html?f=/news/20030107/030107News2203822.html

Sens Bankrupt!

It has been reported by TSN that the Ottawa Senators will be filling for Bankruptcy prtection, which basically means they will be given 30 days to come up with a long term business plan to keep the team viable. However at any time within that 30 day window a portion of the team can be bought if a judge deems that a sale is good for the creditors and the company (team in this case). It is however important to understand that filing for bankruptcy does not negate contracts which are currently enforced with the union (such as the NHLPA).

Fedorov out of Detroit???????

Foxsports and Msgnetwork.com’s Stan Fischler, is reporting the Detroit RedWings center and soon to be fa Sergei Fedorov will not resign with the team, and the club will trade him before the march deadline.

Fischler reports the team will/would not deal him to a western conference team, but to a eastern team. And the catch is finding a club that can afford to sign him to a long term contract, and give what the wings need (young defensive depth)

Now there is only a couple of teams in the east that can take on a contract that he would want Flyers,Rangers,Leafs.Can you imagine him a Ranger? a Flyer? Or even wearing a Leaf’s jersey?

I highly doubt the Wings would deal him, but im sure people will talk about this one.

Mironov Traded to Rangers

Disgruntled Chicago Black Hawk defenseman Boris Mironov was traded today to the New York Rangers for a 4th round 2004 draft pick.

The 30-year-old Mironov has been suspended without pay since Dec. 5 after leaving the team two days earlier and demanding a trade. He asked for reinstatement on Dec. 31 and has been in a conditioning program since. The Rangers will pick up $1.5 million of his $3.3 million salary, adding to a sky high team payroll of $69 million – tops in the NHL.

The Blackhawks compiled a 9-2-4-1 record after Mironov left the team.

It’s odd how the Black Hawks got so much better after Mironov left the team. I’m not sure why Mironov asked to be traded. What was his gripe? Nathan Dempsey and Steve McCarthy played very well in Mironov’s absence, making him expendable. This move should help the Rangers somewhat – a team that is desperate for help on defense.

What do you think of this trade?