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Archive for category NHL News
- Alessandro Seren Rosso: Wojtek Wolski signed with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL.
- Renaud Lavoie: The Sabres signed John Scott to a one-year deal at $750,000.
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: The Red Wings would like to extend Damien Brunner.
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: A source confirmed that Patrick Roy is a strong candidate for the Avalanche head coaching position. Roy was offered the position in 2009, but turned it down.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Ales Hemsky’s days with the Oilers could be coming to an end. GM Craig MacTavish isn’t going to pay $5 million a season for a second line winger with world-class ability. His knock is missing too many games due to injury.
“I don’t think there’s a market for him … I shouldn’t say there’s no market,” said former NHL general Craig Button, who now works for TSN. “But the salary cap is coming down to $64.3 million. He makes $5 million for one more year. Would the Oilers pick up half of that to trade him, 50-50 (with another team)? That would still free up $2.5 million in cap space for the Oilers.
“I don’t know if they can get something tangible in return for Hemsky. Andrew Cogliano got the Oilers a second-round draft (pick). I don’t know if they can get that for Hemsky,” Button said.
“He’d be rolling along, on pace for 80 points, and bang, he gets hurt. He’s not reliable (to possible trade suitors).”
Western Conference teams that might be interested: Predators, Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Blues, Coyotes and Jets (moving next season). If the Red Wings lose Valtteri Filppula, Hemsky could be an option if they only have to pay $4 million.
- Bruce Garrioch: With Jason Spezza returning to the Senators lineup today, would have to assume that Guillaume Latendresse will be sitting.
- Helene Elliott: Kings Jonathan Quick received a game misconduct that the end of last night’s game. He receives an automatic $200 fine and “the case shall be reported to the commissioner, who shall have full power to impose such further penalties by way of suspension or fine.” Because it was for abuse of an official, if a player receives two of them, they can be suspended. It was Quick’s first abuse of an official.
- Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider: The NHL didn’t like Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s comments regarding the Raffi Torres suspension and have fined the organization $100,000.
- Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News: It sounds like the Sabres would like to keep Tomas Vanek, but he may be looking to get out. The Sabres may be more interested in trading goalie Ryan Miller. The 33-year old Miller is set to make $6 million next year and may not be easy to move with the salary cap going down. Harrington thinks a team that is close to the winning the Cup may be interested in Miller. Could the Ducks be interested? Jonas Hiller has a year left on his deal and was only OK in their first round loss. The Blues might be interested. Brian Elliott lost four straight in the first round, and Jaroslav Halak may not be getting along with coach Ken Hitchcock. Sabres GM Darcy Regier is unlikely to move Miller to an Eastern Conference team, so that would eliminate the Capitals and perhaps the Penguins. If a non-Cup contending team is interest, maybe the Avalanche. Miller would be an improvement over Semyon Varlamov and JS Giguere.
- Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun: The Canucks are already over next year’s salary cap with 17 players under contract. Trading Roberto Luongo and buying out Keith Ballard would free up $9.5 million. They would have to be cautious free agent spenders. They probably can’t afford Ryane Clowe, Nathan Horton or David Clarkson. They may have to look at cheaper options like Guillaume Latendresse, Raffi Torres, Eric Nystrom and Bryan Bickell. There isn’t much help from within the organization coming up. Six current Canucks have no-trade clauses, and another three kick in on July 1st: Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins and Alex Edler. Edler may be used as a trade chip. Would the Flyers deal Sean Couturier for Edler? Could the Canucks get a package including Justin Abdelkader from the Red Wings or Jamie McGinn is a deal with the Avalanche.
“In order to get players to play for less than market value, you have to give them something they can rely upon,” Gillis explained. “I think if a player was unhappy here, he’d waive his no-trade. If we were unhappy with him, it would be obvious and he would waive his no-trade. But that’s not a path we’re looking to right now. I think we need to supplement our core group of players that are here as best we can, and then look at possibilities down the road.”
- Chris Nichols of SportsNet: Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said that Pavel Datsyuk won’t be heading back to Russia when his contract expires after next season.
“You mean how long is his deal and how much is he gonna make? Well, there’s this much possibility he’s going back to Russia,” said Babcock, making a zero with his thumb and index finger. “I mean, we’ll get it done (new deal) in the summer.”
Datsyuk’s agent and GM Ken Holland will talk about an extension in July.
- Jonathan Willis of Oilers Nation: Though they are very unlikely to get him, the Oilers should make a pitch for Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner.
- Craig Custance of ESPN: There have been no contract yet between Dave Nonis and Phil Kessel’s camp.
“He’s in my mind one of the top players in the league. Would we look to extend Phil? Again, he has a year left in his contract, there is no urgency in getting him signed to an extension,” Nonis said. “Phil Kessel is going to be a good player in this league for a long time. If there’s a deal there that makes sense for both of us, no question, we’ll look to bring him back for an extended period.”
It will be a challenge to find a deal that makes sense. Kessel will be entering the last year of his deal that is paying him $5.4 million and he’ll be looking for a nice raise.
“Kessel’s value will not go down,” he said, but added that Kessel’s game isn’t as well-rounded as that of some other stars, which may hurt him at the negotiating table.
“He doesn’t possess four or five tools,” he said. “He’s a guy who is a sniper.”
Alex Semin could be a comparable for Kessel. Semin signed a five year, $35 million deal this season. $8 million a year for Kessel could be their starting point.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: McGran notes that Maple Leafs Tyler Bozak could be the best center in this year’s UFA crop. He could be looking for a deal in the Mikhail Grabovski range, $5.5 million a season.
“My agent will deal with that stuff,” Bozak said of his contract status. “I would like to stay here. This is a place I like playing.”
Bozak might have to take a hometown discount if he wants to remain with the Leafs.
“If there is a contract that makes sense for us and makes sense for Tyler, we’ll sign him,” said GM Dave Nonis. “It’s not a situation where we have to sign Tyler Bozak. There are numbers that make sense for the team and there are numbers that make sense for Bozak.
Leafs GM Nonis thinks teams will be active trying to trade high-salaries players before or at the draft. If teams aren’t able to trade them, they may have to buy them out. Compliance buyout period starts 48 hours after the Stanley Cup and ends on July 4th, a day before the start of free agency. Players that are 26 and older receive 2/3′s of their contract, while players under 26 receive 1/3 of their contract.
“We are in fairly good position cap-wise,” said Nonis. “We have some players we have to re-sign. That’s going to eat in to cap space a little bit. We’re not in a position where we have to shed money, which some teams clearly are.
“I would expect the weeks leading up to the draft are going to be fairly busy. The draft itself will be busy. It usually is with player movement. I think you’ll see some bigger movement this year, just because of the cap situation.”
- Michael Grange of SportsNet: Leafs GM Nonis plays things a little differently than former GM Brian Burke.
Nonis, for example, said he would trade Dion Phaneuf, the team’s captain and the best defenseman albeit in a fairly shallow pool. And he said it without flinching. I asked him and Nonis said an unblinking “yes” before I’d even finished the question.
That’s not saying that he will trade him, but he would consider it.
“I’ve always felt the word untouchable is really silly in this sport,” said Nonis. “There are players you would be unlikely to move and players we see as being long-term solutions to success here. But untouchable doesn’t help you if you’re looking to get better. You look at the some of the teams that have gotten better and been good for a long time, they’ve moved some people that may have made fans shake their head, but they’ve gotten better doing it.”
The Leafs have $45.1 million committed to 12 players and a Mike Komisarek or John-Michael Liles buyout could give them more flexibility. They could use help at center and on the blueline.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: There is a strong possibility that Jason Spezza will return to the Senators lineup for Game 3 on Sunday. A decision will be made tomorrow morning after their skate. Spezza hasn’t received clearance from doctors yet.
“He continues to skate on a daily basis and makes progress,” said MacLean Friday. “We’ll go through practice (Saturday) and the pre-game skate and we’ll see where it is. If he’s available to us, it’s Jason Spezza, we’re going to have him in the lineup.”
- Wayne Scanlan: MacLean on Spezza: “If he’s available he’ll be in the lineup. He’s Jason Spezza.”
- Fluto Shinzawa: Bruins defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden haven’t been ruled out of Game 2.
- Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: Maple Leafs Phil Kessel will have a $5.4 million salary and cap hit. He can’t sign an extension until after July 5th, and Koshan thinks the Leafs would foolish to not extend him. Kessel’s agent indicated that he wants to remain with the Leafs.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: Leafs GM Dave Nonis will have some offseason questions to consider. Do the Leafs look to extend Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and James Reimer. Kessel could look for upwards of $7 million a season. Can the Leafs even ask their captain to take a pay cut from his $6.4 million salary? Reimer would be due for a big raise from his $1.8 million salary if he’s a No. 1 goalie.
The Leafs UFA list includes: Tyler Bozak, Clarke MacArthur, Colton Orr, Ryan O’Byrne and Mike Kostka. Bozak could be looking for Mikhail Grabovski-type money. MacArthur didn’t have good regular season and the Leafs are deep on the wings. Orr will likely be back. O’Bryne will likely be gone. Kostka’s play declined as the season went on, but could be brought back for depth.
The Leafs RFA list includes: Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Leo Komarov, Joe Colborne, Matt Frattin, Carl Gunnarsson and Mark Fraser. The Leafs could play hardball with Kadri in attempt to keep his salary low. Franson led the Leafs defenseman in scoring. The others are likely to be back. Frattin could be MacArthur’s replacement on the third line. Colborne appears to be ready for the next step.
Compliance Buyout Possibilities: Mikhail Grabovski, Mike Komisarek and John-Michael Liles. Komisarek may be no-brainer, freeing up his $4.5 million cap hit. Liles has 3 years at $3.875 million a season. Grabovski has 4 years left at $5.5 million a season. Nonis may look to trade both Liles and Grabovski.
- Howard Berger of Berger Bytes: Berger thinks the Leafs should save the money on Tyler Bozak, give Joe Colborne Bozak’s spot, and sign David Clarkson or make a trade.
“Colborne has enviable skill,” an Eastern Conference scout told me this week. “If he can bring his emotional game to a similar level – even half the time – Leafs won’t have to worry about a No. 1 center. From what I hear, they like the kid, and I think he’s worthy of a long look in the NHL. There aren’t going to be a lot of centers with decent price-points on the market in July.”
UFA center options are not that young: Patrick Elias (37), Andy MacDonald (35), Nik Antropov (35) and Mike Ribeiro (33). Stephen Weiss and Derek Roy are 30, and will want more money.
The Leafs and Devils could talk about Clarkson before July 5th about obtaining his rights to discuss a long-term deal before he hit the open market.
Morning Hits: Canucks playing catch-up, Devils want Zidlicky back, Avs wait on coach’s and Pens lines
- Craig Custance of ESPN: Player size is gaining more importance to teams, and some teams have to catch-up with the trend.
“When I took this job, we decided on a style of play that resulted in great success. Clearly the landscape has changed, and we have to address those changes moving forward,” said Canucks GM Mike Gillis during his season-ending press conference. “It’s quite clear the league is going in a direction that we have to recognize and adapt to. It doesn’t just happen in one playoff series.”
“You can’t have all big guys; you can’t win with all small guys,” he said. “Character comes into play. I don’t care how big you are, if you have no character you’re not going to succeed.”
- Tom Gulitti of the Bergon Record: Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is still completing his interviews and evaluatation process.
Lamoriello said “everything is open” as far as bringing back unsigned players “no decisions have been made on anything.”
Defenseman Marek Zidlicky will be a UFA and the Devils would like to have him back.
“We’d certainly like to have him back,” Lamoriello said.
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: It’s not looking like the Avalanche will have a new head coach any time soon. The Avs may wait and see what happens with Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, whose contract expires June 30th. Lindy Ruff could also be an option. Sakic may not want to hire someone straight from Junior, so Patrick Roy could be out.
- Shelly Anderson: Penguins lines at practice yesterday: Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis, Neal-Malkin-Iginla, Morrow-Sutter-Cooke, Adams-Vitale-Kennedy, Bennett-Jokinen-Glass (Jeffrey)
- Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: Capitals Alex Ovechkin played the final two games of the first round with a hairline fracture in his left foot. He was able to continue playing, as skating would not make the injury worse.
- Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer: Hurricanes Eric Staal suffered a knee injury in yesterday’s World Championship game between Canada and Sweden after taking a knee-on-knee hit by Alex Edler. Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said that Staal will return to Raleigh today and will have an MRI on Saturday. It’s believed that he may have only suffered a sprain and not a ligament tear.
“It’s unfortunate and hopefully it’s not too serious,” Rutherford said. “If it is serious, hopefully there will be enough recovery time for him to be ready for next season. We’ll just hope for the best.”
- James Mirtle: Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser did not suffer a concussion when he was hit by the puck on the forehead. Dion Phaneuf wasn’t injured during the playoffs, “I was fine.”
- Tony Ambrogio: Leafs Tyler Bozak suffered an oblique injury at the end of the regular season and a tricep injury at the end of Game 5. James Mirtle: Bozak will be out for four weeks. Darren Dreger: Tear was 70% to his right tricep. He admitted that him taking the warmup for Game 6 was a pure Randy Carlyle mind game.
- Michael Russo: Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom had surgery to repair a sports hernia yesterday. He is expected to be fully recovered for next season.
Morning Hits: Stalberg, Ribeiro, Hendricks, Clarkson, Elias, Nabokov, Streit, Boyes, Cervenka and the Blues
- Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times: Blackhawks made winger Viktor Stalberg a scratch last night and coach Joel Quenneville wouldn’t give details as to the reason. A source said that Stalberg was at odds with the coaches about his roll in round one. He only received 58 seconds total of power play time in the first three games of round one, despite averaging 2:11 per game during the regular season. He only recorded two power play assists all season.
“I had a conversation with him,” Quenneville said. “He knows how it stands, what the situation is. We’ll leave it at that.”
Quenneville on if Stalberg could work his way back into the lineup.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Things change in our business quickly, whether it’s health or decisions based on play. We’ll visit as things go along.”
- Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times: Capitals UFA second line center, Mike Ribeiro (33), is looking for a four or five year deal.
“I don’t see myself getting worse,” Ribeiro said. “It can only get better. I can be out there. I can work out more. There’s a lot of room there to improve and, you know, that’s why I don’t think I should have less than four or five years.”
Capitals Matt Hendricks is also looking for a long term deal.
- Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has held talks with UFA David Clarkson, but nothing with regards to Patrik Elias. No financial discussions have taken place with Clarkson though.
“We’ll continue to work on it. We’ve certainly started the process, but until (contracts) are complete there is nothing done,” Lamoriello said [yesterday].
- Zach Braziller of the NY Post: Islanders UFAs Evgeni Nabokov, Mark Streit and Brad Boyes all hope to return next season. Nabokov’s agent spoke with GM Garth Snow about four weeks ago, but nothing since then.
“I think Garth will make his decision,” Nabokov said. “I told him I would like to stay, but we were fighting for the playoffs and nothing was going on. Now we have to see.”
- Wes Gilbertson: Flames center Roman Cervenka signed a three year contract to return to the KHL. Dmitry Chesnokov: SKA acquired Cervenka’s rights from HC Lev for two players, then signed him.
- John Shannon: The NHL has announced that there will be two games at Yankee Stadium next Jan. 26th and 29th. The Devils will play the Rangers on the 26th and Islanders will play the Rangers on the 29th, with the Rangers being the away team for both games.
- Andy Strickland of True Hockey: Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk maxed out their player bonuses again this season. Pietrangelo reached his A-Level bonuses for assists, ice time, blocked shots, and points.
The are several categories a D-man can earn team bonuses including goals (10), assists (25), points (40), ice time (among top 4 on team), +/- (top 3 on team among D-men), blocked shots (among top 2 D-men on team), points per game (0.49 points per game). Obviously these numbers are pro-rated this season to reflect the 48 game season.
Strickland thinks the last thing the GM Doug Armstrong needs to do is to overreact to negative things surrounding the Blues. They need to find the right balance of offense and defense. Many of their players were drafted high due to their offensive ability, and they need to utilize their instincts and playmaking ability more often. Being too conservative against the Kings may have been one of their downfalls.
- Ian Mendes: Senators coach Paul MacLean gave no update on the status of defenseman Eric Gryba, but didn’t rule him out for Game 2 just yet.
- Bruce Garrioch: Senators Jason Spezzastayed in Ottawa to skate with the other black aces and won’t be returning for Game 2. He’s skated everyday for the last two weeks.
“Everybody on our team is hopeful and everybody in Ottawa is hopeful,” said centre Kyle Turris. “He’s a player you can’t replace. He’s somebody that adds so much to a team and he’s one of the best players in the league.
“To have him possibly in the lineup, yeah it’s a huge help, but we understand if he’s not we can carry on and continue to play.”
- Katie Carrera: Capitals Martin Erat dislocated his elbow when he collided with Alex Ovechkin and Derek Stepan in round one. He would have been ready for round two.
- Joe Haggerty: Bruins defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Andre Ference and Wade Redden missed practice yesterday. James Murphy of ESPN: GM Peter Chiarelli indicated that they could be without all three tonight. Torey Krughas been recalled.
“Maybe we have a different look than we’re used to, as far as puck transporting,” Chiarelli said. “Maybe that’s a good thing, but that’s what we’re going to be. We’re calling up Torey Krug today to come along for the ride, so you may see him at a point. Those three D, if they’re in the lineup, give us a little different complexion back there.”
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: The Dallas Stars fired head coach Glen Gulutzan and assistant coach Paul Jerrard.
- Eric Stephens: Ducks GM Murray said the team will be different next year. He indicated that he’d like Saku Koivu to return, and will talk to Teemu Selanne over the next little while.
- Anaheim Ducks: Murray on Teemu Selanne: “I’ll wait a while, go hit a few (golf) balls, go play with him and let him beat me, and then we’ll decide.”
- Brian Costello: The Dallas Stars were cheering for the Bruins. If the Bruins make the Eastern Conference final, the Stars will get their 1st round pick. If they don’t, they’ll get a 2nd round pick. From the Jaromir Jagr trade.
- B.D. Gallof: “Just to make this VERY clear… Nino Niederreiter is NOT being actively shopped. See his name coming up like forgone conclusion. To expand on Nino thoughts: yes, he is a tradable asset. however, when has Garth ever just traded off asset? Has to be right scenario. Also do not believe #isles will spend ANY rebuild assets for a goalie when vets aplenty.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A couple Blues GM Doug Armstrong quotes in case you missed them.
“This is a public cry that for any GMs that have any 50-goal scorers that want to just send them to St. Louis, give me a call,” Armstrong said. “I spent the last two days going over the top 20 scorers the last few years, and most of them are drafted by their own teams. Reality is with free agency the way it is now, teams tie up those elusive top-end goal scorers.
“If I can find a guy that can come in and help us score goals, certainly we’re going to look at doing it. But to think that that player is out there and teams say, ‘Geez, it’s St. Louis’ time to win, we’ll give you (Alex) Ovechkin,’ you’ve got to deal in reality. … It’s incumbent upon the players in this room to find out how to produce when the lights are the brightest to score those goals.”
“We have players that have produced in the past that haven’t been able to get us over the hump in the playoffs, but they’re still in those prime years,” Armstrong said. “I believe that the home-grown talent can produce at those times. The easiest thing is to show somebody the door. It’s foolish if you’re not bringing in somebody that’s better.”
Andy McDonald will be a UFA and is not expected to re-sign. Armstrong said they expect to re-sign all their RFAs including Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund.
“I don’t see this being a huge free agency offseason for us,” he said. “I see it more taking care of our own business and then seeing if we want to re-arrange some of the chairs via trade.”
Stewart, Berglund and David Perron could be players the Blues consider trading.
- Seth Rorabaugh: Senators coach Paul MacLean said that Eric Gryba will be further evaluated for his “upper-body” injury.
- Ansar Khan: Red Wings Jimmy Howard left practice early yesterday. He’s had a sore hamstring, but he’s still played well through it.
- Eric Stephens: Ducks GM Bob Murray said that center Nick Bonino had a torn hamstring, which he suffered playing soccer before a practice in March. Murray added that Ryan Getzlaf’s ankle was never the same after he injured it on March 3rd against the Stars. Francois Beauchemin was playing with a torn ACL for a while and will have surgery soon to repair it. Defenseman Toni Lydman confirmed that he suffered a concussion from the Justin Abdelkader hit. Goalie Viktor Fasth was playing at 80% at the end of the year with a strained lower abdominal muscle.
- SN 590 The Fan: Maple Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle on Tyler Bozak’s injury: “Bozak was dealing with a bicep injury”
- Allan Walsh: Panthers’ forward Jonathan Huberdeau had successful hip surgery yesterday.
Morning hits: Stars, Ducks Canucks, Price, Kaberle, Blues, Coyotes bid rejected, Dion’s days numbered?
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Matheson laughing at a fan site suggesting a Loui Eriksson trade to the Islanders for Ryan Strome and Michael Grabner, and with Islanders fans saying they wouldn’t trade either straight up for Eriksson. Matheson does note that Eriksson could be in play for a front-line center. The Stars also have some defenseman that could be on the move.
The Stars have lots of young defencemen looking for regular work — Jamie Oleksiak, Joe Morrow and Kevin Connauton — which makes trading Trevor Daley or Alex Goligoski certainly plausible.
Matheson wonders if the Ducks would take a run at Stephen Weiss.
Matheson thinks with the Canucks at $63.5 million for 16 players for next season, will use their buyouts on David Booth and Keith Ballard. Both have two years left at $4.2 million cap hits. Mason Raymond is likely gone as a UFA.
- Dave Stubbs: Addressing a Canadiens Carey Price rurmor: “Price asking for a trade would need to travel a million miles just to reach ludicrous.”
- John Lu: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said a decision on a compliance buyout for Tomas Kaberle hasn’t been made yet.
- Jeremy Rutherford: Blues playoff issue. Rutherford knew fans who didn’t buy tickets as they didn’t know when the games were starting soon enough. The Blues didn’t sell out three playoff home games.
- Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat: (h/t Pro Hockey Talk) Blues GM Doug Armstrong on their need for more scoring.
“This is a public cry that for any GMs that have 50-goal scorers that they want to send to St. Louis, give me a call,” he joked. “This doesn’t happen, you have to deal in reality. The reality is with free agency the way it is now, teams tie up those elusive top-end goal scorers.
“They draft them. (Evgeni) Malkin, (Sidney) Crosby, (John) Tavares, (Steven) Stamkos were drafted by those teams.”
The Blues will send qualifying offers to all of their free agents.
“We’re going to negotiate to try to sign every player that’s a restricted free agent,” he said. “Ownership understands that the window is open now and we have to take care of our own. I don’t see this being a huge free-agency off-season for us. I see it more as taking care of our own business — and then seeing if we want to rearrange some of the chairs via trade.
- Scott Burnside of ESPN: The NHL has rejected California investment banker Darin Pastor’s bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.
“We have rejected the offer. It didn’t include the elements we had previously discussed were necessary to warrant serious consideration,” Daly said in an email Monday night.
It was rumored that he was willing to pay upwards of $277 million with $42 million in cash at closing, though that seems unlikely as it would be hard for the NHL to walk away from that.
- David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail: (h/t Lyle Richardson in the Hockey News) Shoalts piece was written last Thursday after Dion Phaneuf’s pinch that cost the Leafs the game. Shoalts thinks that Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis should move to Plan B and “The plan should include quietly putting Phaneuf on the trade market no later than the NHL draft at the end of June. Nonis will not hit a home run with a trade, nor should he expect to thanks to Phaneuf’s erratic play.” A deal would may only get a modest return, but Nonis should accept it. Phaneuf has a year left with a $6.5 salary cap hit and may not take a pay cut from the Leafs.
- Tim Wharnsby of CBC: h/t Lyle Richardson in the Hockey News) Wharnsby’s piece was written last Thursday. Wharnsby wonders if Dion Phaneuf’s days in Toronto are numbered. He continues to make the same mistakes he made as a rookie in 2005. Nonis may have to make a decision by draft. The Leafs have organizational depth on the blue line. Nonis would have to feel that Jake Gardiner is ready for a bigger role. Cody Franson may be ready for a bigger role.
- James Mirtle: On Phaneuf: Mirtle would be surprised if the Maple Leafs didn’t re-sign him.
- John Lu: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin on order of positions that mature the fastest: wingers, centers, defensemen and goalies.