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Archive for May, 2011
Winnipeg press conference for 11 am Central, 12 pm Eastern … Lightning off-season notes … Panthers sign Skille
- Bob McKenzie via twitter: An announcement will be made at 11 am Central time regarding the Thrashers move to Winnipeg, pending Board of Governor’s approval. Sean Fitz-Gerald via twitter: NHL network is carrying the press conference at 11 am Central, 12 pm Eastern. Bob McKenzie via twitter: Winnipeg will play out of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference next season, and realignment will happen the year after. No decision on team name yet, ownership may be moving away from the “Jets” name, but public support for “Jets” is only reason they may be still undecided.
- Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province: Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome will be in the lineup for Game 1. Ehrhoff suffered what looked to be a shoulder injury in Game 3 against the Sharks. Rome was dazed in Game 3 after a hit from behind.
- The Fourth Period: Steven Stamkos’s agent told The Fourth Period that he’ll be discussing a multi-year deal with the Lightning “in the near future.” They could work on a 5 year deal.
- Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune answered numerous questions on twitter yesterday about the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chances are slim that the Lightning re-sign Simon Gagne, Eric Brewer a notch above that. It’s believed that it’s taking so long to get Steven Stamkos re-signed because of the lack of CBA beyond next year is a factor in term/salary structure. Erlendsson thinks a Stamkos’ deal will be longer than 5 years, and less than $8 million. Lightning off-season needs are to find a mobile defenseman, goaltending, and a power play quarterback. He thinks that Dwayne Roloson will return next season as their starter. “It’s always possible” that Brad Richards returns to Tampa. Erlendsson thinks that both Teddy Purcell and Sean Bergenheim will re-sign with the team.
- Genadi Boguslavski via twitter: Two Canadiens players have signed with Barys Astana of the KHL, Nigel Dawes and Justin Boyd.
- Slava Malamud (of Sport Express) via twitter: SKA of the KHL offered Jaromir Jagr a 1 year deal woth $4.5 million according to a Czech Republic report. SKA is officially denying the offer.
- Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Penguins won’t be signing 2009 draft picks, center Andy Bathgate and Dman Viktor Ekbom. Bathgate was a 5th round pick and recorded 60 point in 64 games with Belleville of the OHL. He’s missed a lot of time with a shoulder injury the last 2 1/2 years. Ekbom was a 6th round pick, recording 8 assists in 96 games the last 2 seasons with Linkoping in Sweden’s Eletserien. Both will re-enter the draft.
- Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen: The Senators signed prospects Jakub Silfverberg and Louie Caporusso to entry level deals yesterday. Silfverberg was a 2nd round pick in 2009, and Caporusso was playing at the University of Michigan.
- Bob McKenzie via twitter: The Panthers have re-signed Jack Skille to a 2 year deal with a $825,000 cap hit.
Atlanta to Winnipeg could be announced as early as tomorrow morning … Stamkos had shoulder issue … Cizikas to sign with Isles
- Nick Kypreos via twitter: A formal announcement regarding the moving of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg could come as early as 10 am tomorrow morning. Bob McKenzie via twitter: “WPG lawyers signed off on their end. ATL lawyers doing their due diligence now. Soon as they sign off, deal is done, pending board approval.” Bob McKenzie via twitter: “If ATL lawyers sign off today, announcement tomorrow morning. If ATL lawyers don’t sign off today, drags out another day or two.”
- Erik Erlendsson via twitter: Steven Stamkos was dealing with a shoulder injury in round 1 versus the Penguins, but it was fine by the end of the series. He’ll undergo a CT scan on his nasal area to see if there is any damage.
- Jeff Marek via twitter: Casey Cizikas will be signing a contract with the NY Islanders.
- Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Pronvince: If the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, Mark Recchi will retire.
“Yes, I will,” Recchi said Sunday from Boston as his Bruins prepare for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks. “If we win, there’s definitely no doubt I’m going to walk away. I want to stay in the game and work with a general manager and learn the development side of the game. I think I understand some parts as a player.”
- Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe: Rumors are that the Red Wings will use the $6 million from the retired Brian Rafalski to go after Predators Dman Shea Weber, though Dupont thinks the Predators would match. The salary cap could be going up around 6-7%, from $59.4 million to around $63.5 million.
- George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press: Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericasson doesn’t really want to test the free agent market this summer and would rather re-sign with the Red Wings.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Matheson thinks the Canucks should sign Kevin Bieksa over Christian Ehrhoff. Matheson proposes a trade and wonders if the Flames would do it, Devin Setoguchi and Jason Demers for Robyn Regehr.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Matheson thinks the wings need to get younger to push Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom. Jiri Hudler may be trade bait. The best free agent options for them could be Brooks Laich and Ville Leino, with Alex Tanguay as a possibility. WHL MVP and recently signed goalie Darcy Kuemper will likely start next season in the AHL. The Wild could go with German goalie Dennis Endras as Niklas Backstom’s backup, letting Jose Theodore and Josh Harding go as UFA’s. Matheson thinks the Wild should trade Backstrom and keep Theodore, but his $6 million price tag makes it extremely difficult.
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Brooks wonders if the NY Rangers are unable to bring in Brad Richards, they might look to Florida and Stephen Weiss.
Malhotra plans for Game 1 … Wings looking for Dman … Crosby to be re-evaluated … Another group interested in Thrashers
- Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province: Canucks forward Manny Malhotra has been given medical clearance and is preparing to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. 11 weeks ago he nearly lost his eye. “Everything is as it should be,” Malhotra said of the eye. “Going forward, I will continue to be monitored daily and if at any time the doctor doesn’t like what he sees, he has the ultimate veto power,” Malhotra said. Malhotra is expected to take Cody Hodgson’s spot as the 4th line center.
- Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: The Red Wings will now be looking for a top defenseman after Rafalski’s unexpected retirement. “The market isn’t as strong, but we’re only looking for one guy,” Holland said. “If a player’s not out there or doesn’t want to buy into the program, we’ll look at an alternative plan. Do you go a touch higher than you want? Yeah. But we’re not going to go dramatically higher than what we think makes sense.” UFA’s that might interest the Wings are Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff, Joni Pitkanen, Ed Jovanovski, James Wisniewski, Roman Hamrlik, Ian White and Tomas Kaberle.
- Fan 590 Audio: Ken Holland talks on Prime Time Sports (Thursday) talking about Rafalski’s retirement and what it means for their blueline.
- Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Sidney Crosby will be re-evaluated by a concussion specialist in the next week or so. Crosby has been vacationing in Europe, needs clearance from doctors before he can resume his off-season workouts. The Penguins won’t be re-signing Alex Kovalev or Mike Comrie. Comrie could retire, “I’m not sure what Mike’s going to do,” Shero said. “He might be leaning toward retirement.” Shero didn’t rule out re-signing any of their UFA’s: Max Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Mike Rupp, Craig Adams, Arron Asham, Eric Godard, Chris Conner and Nick Johnson.
- Craig Custance of the Sporting News: Chris Osgood is “100 percent healthy” but a decision on his playing future is still not known. “He’s going through the internal process to decide if he has the energy and the desire and determination to play hockey again,” Holland said. “In the middle of June, we’ll look at the goalies that are out there, we’re going to try and figure out a way to be the best team that we can.”
- Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Another group stepped forward with interest in buying the Thrashers and keeping the team in Atlanta. Statement from president Don Waddell.
“Along with all other groups who have expressed an interest in pursuing an ownership opportunity, which has happened as recently as earlier this week, we have said continuously that ‘until an agreement is signed and approved by the board of governors, it’s never too late but they will have to move very quickly and decisively. Ownership still is committed to selling at a greatly reduced price to anyone committed to Atlanta.’ ”
Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic: There are 3 key parts to the Phoenix Coyotes that are free agents, 2 are unrestricted and 1 is restricted. Ilya Bryzgalov (UFA) will be looking for a big raise from his previous 3 year, $12.75 million deal. GM Don Maloney said the team won’t break the bank for 1 player. If Bryzgalov signs for a “hometown discout”, it would give the Coyotes more options for bringing in other players or re-signing their own. Keith Yandle is a restricted free agent and will be wanting a big raise from his current deal which paid him $1.2 million. He’ll be looking for a long-term deal, and Maloney has maintained he’ll be back. Ed Jovanovski would have to take a pay cut to return to the Coyotes, $6.5 million last year. If he leaves, he would free up several millions. The Coyotes total payroll will likely be around the $56 million range. They have 13 total free agents, 8 are unrestricted, so they could be a totally different looking team next year. 3 other UFA’s are Radim Vrbata, Vernon Fiddler and Eric Belanger. Players who could be good fits for the Coyotes are Jussi Jokinen (Car), Ville Leino (Phi) and Brooks Laich (Was). The Coyotes could trade the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov if they feel they can’t get him re-signed and gamble on Jason LaBarbera. Tomas Vokoun is likely too expensive to bring in. Mike Smith has some potential. UFA defenseman that could fit are Christian Ehrhoff, Kevin Bieksa and James Wisniewski.
Bergenheim doubtful … Ehrhoff and Rome ready for Finals … Malhotra cleared for contact … Calgary, Ottawa, and New Jersey coaching notes
- Corey Masisak via twitter: Lightning coach Guy Boucher says that though Sean Bergenheim has improved but he’s “doubtful” for tonight.
- Chris Vivlamore via twitter: Vivlamore was told the Thrashers-Winnipeg deal won’t be finalized until after the weekend.
- Dhiren Mahiban of NHL.com: Canucks coach Alain Vigneault expects both Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome back in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
- Jason Botchford via twitter: Canucks GM Mike Gillis said that Manny Malhotra has been cleared for light contact and “we’ll see how he progresses.” The Canucks medical team will determine when Malhotra will play, and Gillis doesn’t think the NHL will be involved. Malhotra’s vision already passes the minimum requirements.
- Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette: Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is expected to start negotiations with UFA Andrei Markov.
- Jesse Spector of the NY Daily News: The only way Bryan McCabe returns to the Rangers next season would be if he’d take a big pay cut from the $4.15 million he made last year, and that may still not be enough.
- Bob McKenzie via twitter: Talk that Craig Hartsburg could leave Everett (WHL) and join the Flames alongside Brent Sutter.
- Bob Mckenzie via twitter: The Senators should be starting their coach-hiring process soon. Craig MacTavish will be interviewed. Others that should be in the mix are: Peter DeBoer, Kurt Kleinendorst (Binghamton), Dave Cameron (Mississauga), John Torchetti, Kirk Muller and Kevin Dineen.
- David Pagnotta via twitter: The Devils haven’t officially spoken with Ken Hitchcock about their vacant head coaching position, could happen next week.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch: The Blues may look to the trade route to add an established forward, and they have three 2nd round picks. The Blues are in talks with Patrick Berglund about a contract extension, and it could be done before another club could sign him to an offer sheet. Rutherford doesn’t see the Blues trading Oshie, though it is possible. Oshie may be popping up in rumors as teams are inquiring about him, not the Blues shopping him. If Ed Jovanovski took a big pay cut from his $6.5 million salary, he might fit the Blues need for a veteran defenseman.
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Jonathan Huberdeau’s name is gaining some buzz as a possible pick for the Colorado Avalanche at #2. He’s listed as a center, and the Avs are deep there, but he can play the wing.
- Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Nikita Filatov shot down rumors that he’s returning to the KHL, said he’s determined to make the NHL with Columbus.
- Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer: Hurricanes prospect Oskar Osala tweeted that he’ll be heading to Russia to play in the KHL next season. Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford isn’t convince this will happen. Last week Rutherford noted, “I don’t think it would be a good choice for him because we’re calling these players up and if you’re capable, there will be a spot here,” Rutherford said last week. “He’s a big guy. He needs to improve his foot speed. If he can get a half-step (faster), he’s a guy who might have a chance to play here.”
- Brodie Brazil (CSN California) via twitter: Sharks winger Dany Heatley was playing with a broken hand for much of the late regular season, and he twisted his ankle bad in Game 3. Logan Couture broke his nose in Game 3. Joe Thornton’s left pinky tip was not attached to the rest of his finger. Ryane Clowe’s injured should was so bad he couldn’t even put on his own sweater during the Canaucks series. Jason Demers suffered a high ankle sprain in Game 7 versus the Red Wings.
- Ben Raby of CSN Washington: The Capitals could be looking to add a veteran who can kill penalties, win faceoffs and help fill out the 3rd and 4th lines. Possible candidates include unrestricted free agents Scott Nichol (SJ), Marcel Goc (Nash), John Madden (Minn) and Jeff Halpern (Mon) or possible prospects Jay Beagle and Cody Eakin.
- Ryan Bright of Philadelphia Sports Daily: Jeff Carter trade rumors to Toronto are back. Possible trade rumor pieces are one of Toronto two 1st round picks, Carl Gunnarsson and a prospect such as Joe Colborne, Jerry D’Amigo and possibly Nazem Kadri. The Flyers could then flip some or all of the that package to another team for a starting goalie. Goalie possibilities would be Miikka Kiprusoff, Cory Schneider, Jonathan Quick or the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov. Teams that could use a top center are the Leafs, Oilers, Senators, and Coyotes.
Isles re-sign Okposo for 5 years … Thornton’s and other Sharks injuries … Preds will match any Weber offer sheets
- The New York Times: The NY Islanders have locked Kyle Okposo (23) up for 5 years, at $14 million. Okposo was drafted 7th overall in 2006. He missed the first 44 games last year with a lorn labrum. In 192 career games he’s scored 44 goals and added 72 assists. He’ll make $1 million next year, $2 million in 2012-13, $3 million in 2013-14, $3.5 million in 2014-15 and $4.5 million in 2015-16.
- Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News: Not only did Sharks center Joe Thornton have a separated shoulder in Game 5, but he’s been dealing with a pinky injury since the regular season, which ended up bothering his wrist.
“My pinky went in a different direction than it was supposed to,” Thornton said. “The top just got cut off and they had to put it back together. It happened with a couple games left in the regular season. That surgery probably will happen tomorrow.”
His shoulder injury won’t require surgery. The full list of other injured Sharks isn’t known yet. Jason Demers missed the Vancouver series. Ryane Clowe’s upper-body injury “needs to be repaired.”
“It was a lot of guys, and I think that’s a good sign,” McLellan said. “We were bumped, banged and bruised a lot more this year than last season. No one ever wants to be hurt, but that’s a good sign.”
UFA defenseman Ian White said he’d like to return next year.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: A challenge for Sharks GM Doug Wilson is to improve the blueline, bringing in a top-four defenseman. Dany Heatley struggled again in the playoffs (3 goals in 18 games) and has 3 years at a $7.5 million cap hit. RFA Devin Setoguchi has been inconsistent and the Sharks could explore a trade at the draft. Joe Pavelski’s production this playoffs dropped compared to last year, 17 points in 15 games to 10 points in 18 games.
- Craig Custance of the SportingNews: Predators coach Barry Trotz on teams thinking of about giving Shea Weber an offer sheet,
“We’ll just match it,” Trotz told Sporting News. “I can tell you, whatever they offer, it’ll just get matched.”
“I know he’s going to get done. I can tell you that,” Trotz said. “They’ve had some good discussions.”
- Renaud Lavoie via twitter: Lavoie reports True North will pay a total of $170 million to move the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, $130 to buy the team and $40 for relocation fees.
Roloson to start … Thornton played with separated shoulder … Red Wings options … Leafs and Richards … A Souray buyout coming?
- Darren Dreger via twitter: “Sorry Wpg, it’s inching closer, but there still is no firm deal with ASG and there will not be an announcement today. From a key source.” Bob McKenzie via twitter: “As for WPG, principals still grinding out detail work. Hearing Thurs as earliest possible date for announcement, perhaps Fri or later.”
- Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune: Dwayne Roloson will be between the pipes for Tampa Bay in Game 6.
- Pierre LeBrun via twitter: Joe Thornton played last night with a separated shoulder.
- Brian Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News: Brian Rafalski will retire at an 11 am press conference. The Wings now have an extra $6 million to work with this summer. Possible free agent defenseman the Red Wings could look at are Canucks Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo and Christian Ehrhoff, Joni Pitkanen (Car), Tomas Kaberle (Bos), Ed Jovanovski (Pho), Eric Brewer (TB) and Scott Hannan (Was). RFA’s that would require multiple 1st round picks in an offer are Drew Doughty and Shea Weber.
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: If Nicklas Lidstrom returns to the Red Wings, he’ll join Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, and Jakub Kindl. Jonathan Ericsson might be brought back as they have a bit more financial flexibility with Rafalski retiring, but they won’t overpay for him. Ruslan Salei is likely done with the Wings. 2007 1st round pick Brendan Smith has a shot at making the team. They could bring in 35 year old Ed Jovanovski to eat up minutes. Kevin Bieksa could be another option, as well as Joni Pitkanen, Sami Salo, Eric Brewer, Tomas Kaberle, Bryan McCabe and Roman Hamrlik.
- Pierre LeBrun via twitter: Lidstom will let the Red Wings know of his plan to retire or to come back again likely before the NHL draft.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: The Maple Leafs want to be in the Brad Richards sweepstakes. It has been suggested that Burke could possibly offer a deal in the 7 or 8 year range, which goes against his usual philosophy. Richards could get more than $7 million, possibly up to $8 million. The Rangers or Kings might consider offering more. Without having an owner and coach in place, it would be difficult for Nieuwendyk to re-sign Richards. The Leafs could look to acquire his rights before July 1st, but not if it requires them to send Nazem Kadri the other way.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: The Oilers are considering options again with regards to defenseman Sheldon Souray. He’s still owed $4.5 million with a $5.4 million cap hit. They could buy him out after June 15th for 2/3′s salary, cap hit spread out over 2 years. He could also be sent to the minors. The Oilers are still pursuing Swedish goalie Viktor Fasth and are interested in Finnish Dman Ville Lajunen. Zach Stortini could be traded by the entry draft.
- Will DePaoli via twitter: The Penguins have yet to contact Arron Asham about a possible contract.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch: Blues forward David Perron is making some progress with his post-concussion syndromes.
“We’ve talked to David, and he’s feeling better, but he’s not at the point where he’s coming back to St. Louis to take the necessary tests before he can train,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. “He’s taking small steps ahead, but not to the point where he has passed his tests to begin his summer training program.”
Armstrong had said that if Perron still have symptoms in July, they would have to plan to start the season without him.
- Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Jaromir Jagr’s agent tells @plysenkov that Jagr isn’t considering any offers from the NHL at this time.
- Ben Kuzma via twitter: Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (shoulder) not taking part in the pre-game skate.
- Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke – Leafs looking at packaging a 1st (1 of 2) and 2nd (39th) to move up in the draft. Will draft best player available and not by position. Also focusing on adding a number one center, if can’t get one in free agency, will look at trades.
Rangers should offer pick for Richards … Avs goalie options … Penguins start negotiations … Flames hope to re-sign Tanguay … Gunnarson could be trade bait
- Greg Brady via twitter: Sources tell Brady the earliest the Stanley Cup Finals would start would be next Monday. There will be no games on this Saturday regardless.
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post: If the Rangers wait until July 1st to go after Brad Richards, they’ll have steep competition in Toronto and Los Angeles, and the price may go up. Brooks thinks the Rangers should make an offer to the Stars before July 1st, so Richards an get acquainted with the organization, and they could get full info on his concussion this past season. Brooks thinks the Rangers should offer the Stars a 2nd round pick (#57) for Richards.
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Dater doesn’t think the Avalanche will offer any a goalie a contract in the $5-6 million per season range. Free agent goalies in that range are Ilya Bryzgalov and Tomas Vokoun. Other possible goalies could be: Josh Harding – risky, JS Giguere – too many miles, Marty Turco – no thanks, Chris Osgood – pass. The trade route could be an option but comes with a price: Jonathan Quick, Jonathan Bernier, or Cory Schneider – all expensive. If they go after Vokoun, Dater would only offer a 3 year deal worth $10 million. Peter Budaj won’t be back, and they can’t go into the season hoping Brian Elliott is the answer.
- Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: The Penguins have started negotiations with free agents Pascal Dupuis and Mike Rupp. Dupuis, 32, had a cap hit of $1.4 million last year. Rupp, 31, had a $825,000.
- Will DePaoli via twitter: The Penguins have begun talks with Craig Adams. Nothing is imminent but it’s possible that they could get a deal done this week.
- Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald: Flames GM Jay Feaster said on the radio yesterday that he has confidence the Flames will re-sign winger Alex Tanguay. “We believe we can,” the general manager said on NHL Live. “We do want to get him signed.” Tanguay signed a 1 year deal worth $1.7 million last year, and recorded 22 goals and 69 points. The Flames have 17 players under contract for next year with a cap hit of $55.8 million with an expected cap around $62.2 million. Ales Kotalik and his $3 million salary could be off to the minors next season. The future of Niklas Hagman and his $3 million is also in doubt. The Flames hope to re-sign backup goalie Henrik Karlsson. They have 4 UFA defenseman, Anton Babchuk ($1.4 million), Adam Pardy ($700,000), Steve Staios ($2.7 million) and Brett Carson ($500,000). Brendan Mikkelson ($687,500) is a RFA.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: With the strong play of Maple Leafs prospects Jesse Blacker (Owen Sound) and Jake Gardiner, Carl Gunnarson could be vulnerable as Brian Burke continue to look for a number 1 center.
- Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: St. Louis Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko has decided to spend another year in the KHL. Update: “Sibir GM tells SovSport the Blues made an “exclusive offer” to Tarasenko “like no other…guaranteeing he’d play.” “Sibir GM to Sovsport about the Blues’ offer to Tarasenko: “We had no idea the Blues wanted [Tarasenko] to come so bad. But it’d be better for him to play 1 more year in Russia before moving to the NHL.”
- Joe Yerdon via twitter: Doug Weight is expected to announce his retirement today.