- Free Agents
- 2013 Top 30 NHL Free Agents
- 2013 UFA Centers
- 2013 UFA Defensemen
- 2013 UFA Goalies
- 2013 UFA Left Wingers
- 2013 UFA Right Wingers
- Anaheim Ducks
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Calgary Flames
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Colorado Avalanche
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Dallas Stars
- Detroit Red Wings
- Edmonton Oilers
- Florida Panthers
- Los Angeles Kings
- Minnesota Wild
- Montreal Canadiens
- Nashville Predators
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Ottawa Senators
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Phoenix Coyotes
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- San Jose Sharks
- St. Louis Blues
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Vancouver Canucks
- Washington Capitals
- Winnipeg Jets
Posts Tagged Keith Ballard
- 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.”
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.
- Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area: Sharks winger Adam Burish will miss the second round with an upper-body injury. Burish was slashed on the hand by Alex Edler in Game 4.
- Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune: Blackhawks Dave Bolland is hopeful for round two.
“I’m still day-by-day,” Bolland said. “It’s getting better. I just want to make sure it’s strong. I’m hopefully playing for that Round 2. I’ll keep on working at it and making sure it gets better.”
Ray Emery is also close to returning.
- Josh Cooper: Predators GM David Poile said it would be a “steep price” to trade for their fourth overall pick in the draft.
- Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Predators Pekka Rinne underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left hip, recovery time is expected to be four months.
- David Staples: Goalie Yann Danis has been solid for the Oilers AHL team, but is not the ideal NHL backup. Staples would rather see the Oilers trade or sign a goalie who could challenge Devan Dubnyk.
- Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun: Canucks GM Mike Gillis talked to the media and how the Canucks may need to get bigger and grittier.
“From my perspective … it’s been a terrible season for us,” Gillis said. “We’re going to have to reinvent ourselves and do things differently in order to be successful. The macro look at this team is that changes have to be made.”
With the cap going down and some big contracts on the books, they’ll need to clear out some salary. Roberto Luongo will likely be traded and there is the amnesty buyout option for Keith Ballard ($4.2 million) and David Booth ($4.25 million).
“We don’t have the luxury of having picked first overall in the last 10 years,” Gillis said. “We have to use the players we have, the core group that we have, and we have to build around them. There will come a point where that core group is going to be dismantled or will no longer play, but it’s not today.
“When I took this job, we decided on a style of play that resulted in great success. And clearly, the landscape has changed and we have to address those changes. We don’t have a choice. It’s not something I necessarily agree with. But that’s what we face, and that’s what you have to do.
“We have to make the changes and adjustments necessary to compete for a Stanley Cup. It’s my intention to do it and recognize what’s going on and make sure we have a team that’s better equipped.”“Changes have to be made, but I’m not going to commit today to what those changes will be,” Gillis said. “It’s difficult when things end so quickly and they end so negatively for all of us. It’s pretty emotional to go through.”
Morning Hits: Vokoun, Fraser, Gionta, Canadiens injuries, Canucks offseason questions and Blue Jackets free agents
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Coach Dan Bylsma on starting Tomas Vokoun: “We brought Tomas Vokoun in to play big games for us…He’s done that for us & he’s been very good vs. the #Isles.”
- James Mirtle: Maple Leafs Mark Fraser was taken to the hospital to check for any broken bones after taking a shot off his face.
- Renaud Lavoie: Canadiens Brian Gionta will have surgery on Friday for a torn left bicep. He hopes to be ready for training camp.
- Renaud Lavoie: Brandon Prust and Ryan White are out tonight. Carey Price is day-to-day.
- Ottawa Senators: Senators Jason Spezza is on to the next phase of his rehab, past the “public skate” phase. He won’t be able to get into the lineup until he’s fully skating with the team.
- Ottawa Senators: Senators Mike Hoffman should be available soon.
- Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun: Ziemer’s thoughts on the Canucks coaching staff.
The jobs of head coach Alain Vigneault and his staff are most certainly on the line and general manager Mike Gillis is going to face some uncomfortable questions from ownership over the team’s second straight playoff collapse.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: The Canucks have the highest payroll going into next season, but trading Roberto Luongo or an amnesty buyout of Keith Ballard($4.2 million for two years) will help them get down below the new cap of $64.3 million. Five questions for the Canucks this offseason are:
• Do the Canucks have a bona fide No. 1 goalie in Schneider moving forward?
• Should this team still be built around the Sedins?
• Will Ryan Kesler ever be injury-free?
• Does this team have the right supporting cast to still contend?
• Is it time to retool, rebuild or be patient for one more run with this core?
- Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on contract talks with their free agents, including goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
“We’re working on them. It’s a work in progress on all fronts. Everything has been started, everything is in progress. We’re waiting to hear back from a few agents. Obviously, Bobrovsky is a high priority for us. I told him in the (exit) meetings that everybody talks about his great play, and sure it was remarkable. But I’m even more impressed with his work ethic, how he prepares for the game and every practice, how he takes care of recovery after every game, the routine he goes through every day. That’s what I’m most impressed about Bobrovsky. He sets the bar high for the rest of the guys. I don’t think anybody’s going to argue with me if we says he’s the MVP of our team this year. If he sets the bar that high with the way he works everyday, it’s going to be hard for anybody else in that room to say, well, I’m not going to do this or that today. That’s what I think it’s all about, your best players being your hardest working players. And that’s what we have in Bob.”
On Bobrovsky’s contract talks …
“It’s going to take its course, and it’s going to take its time. Some (deals) are quicker than others. We’ll have to stay more patient with some than others. I don’t anticipate any problems. It’s going to be a negotiation. His agent, his representatives are professionals. They have their thought process and we have ours. I’m sure we’re going to reach a result here in the near future.”
Roster and Goalie Notes: Senators, Canes, Bruins, Pens, Leafs, Canucks, Devils, Caps, Panthers, Blues and Predators
- Darren Dreger: Senators confirm that Erik Karlsson will be in the lineup tonight. Sidney Crosby is having more dental work done today.
- Chip Alexander: Hurricanes Alexander Semin has a concussion.
- Boston Bruins: Nathan Horton not on the ice today. Last update, still day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
- Will DePaoli: Penguins Paul Martin is with the team. Pittsburgh Penguins: Martin won’t play tonight, but is hopeful for Saturday. Penguins: Brooks Orpik (lower-body), Joe Vitale (lower-body) and Sidney Crosby (dental work), remained in Pittsburgh. James Neal and Martin are back to full practice, but won’t play tonight.
- Michael Traikos: Looking like both Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren won’t play tonight for the Maple Leafs. Chris Johnston: McLaren has some neck soreness.
- Farhan Lalji: Canucks Keith Ballard will play forward tonight.
- Andrew Gross: Jared Staal will be on a line with Jordan Staal and Tuomo Ruutu.
- Bruce Garrioch: Senators lines: Greening-Smith-Alfredsson; Michalek-Turris-Conacher; Condra-Zibanejad-Silfverberg; Latendresse-Pageau-Neil. Brent Wallace: Defensive pairings: Methot Karlsson; Gryba Phillips; Gonchar-Cowen.
- Tom Gulitti: Devils lines: Henrique-Loktionov-Kovalchuk; Elias-Zajac-Clarkson; Zubrus-Josefson-Sullivan; Carter-Gionta-Kostopoulos.
- Randy Sportak: Flames lines: Cammalleri-Stajan-Stempniak; Baertschi-Backlund-Hudler; Byron-Horak-Cervenka; Reinhart-Jones-Jackman. Randy Sportak: Defensive pairing: Giordano-Wideman; Brodie-Cundari; Butler-Babchuk.
- Stephen Whyno: Michal Neuvirth will start in net for the Capitals.
- Steve Goldstein: Jacob Markstrom will start in net for the Panthers tonight.
- Lou Korac: Brian Elliott will start in net for the Blues, with Jaroslav Halak backing him up.
- Randy Sportak: Joey MacDonald will start in net for the Flames.
- Preds Radio: Chris Mason will start in net for the Predators.
- Mike Morreale: Johan Hedberg will start in net for the Devils.
All quiet on RNH after MRI … Ballard symptom free … Ilitch’s looking at $650 million multi-purpose complex
- Eric Francis via twitter: The Oilers are saying they can’t comment on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. His status for the World Junior Championship is unclear. Francis later notes that they can comment, but choose not to after his MRI. RNH’s agent said that strengthening is needed.
- Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province: Canucks Keith Ballard is skating with a bunch of NHLers. He hasn’t had any post-concussion symptoms.
“I don’t know what they [coaches] have in mind for me,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of different partners there and you kind of expect that. With Chris, we’ve had good chemistry and communicated really well. If that happens good. If not, you do the best with what you have.
“My first year was more of an adjustment period than I had probably anticipated and there were a lot of ups and down, but I felt really comfortable last year. I’m in a different role than previously in my career [Florida, Phoenix] and I’ve done everything I can to embrace my role and do the best I can with it. I just want to continue to do that.”
- John Gallagher and Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press: The Ilitch family is looking at building a $650 million multi-purpose arena complex in downtown Detroit. The complex would have a rink, residential housing, shopping, office space and more. They have begun “to explore the viability.”
“It’s not a plan for an isolated, single-use structure,” Jackson said in the statement. “Instead, it builds on the clear successes we’ve already had downtown integrating districts that feature entertainment, and support commercial, retail and residential development around them.”
Morning notes on: Luongo, Maple Leafs, Thomas, Schultz, Sabres, Stastny, Blue Jackets, Nash, Islanders and Rangers trade targets
- Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: Roberto Luongo is now the best option for Maple Leafs after the Penguins trading/signing Tomas Vokoun and the Lightning trading for Anders Lindback. Free agent options for the Leafs could be Josh Harding, Scott Clemmensen and Chris Mason. The Bruins could trade Tim Thomas to a low cap team like the Avalanche or Islanders. Zach Parise is leaning towards staying in New Jersey. If he’s unsigned on July 1st, he’ll get interest from the Kings and Red Wings.
- Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun: The Maple Leafs are expected to be one of the leading teams after Justin Schultz. Brian Burke drafted him. The Ducks may look to trade his rights before June 24th.
- Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News: Gleason thinks Zach Parise is too expensive for the Sabres. A couple players who would look good in a Sabres uniform are Ryan Malone and Jarret Stoll. Jordan Staal would be nice, but the cost to acquire and re-sign would be high. The Cost to acquire Paul Stastny would be less. If Gleason were the GM, he’d be aggressively shopping Derek Roy and Andrej Sekera and listening to offers for Ryan Miller. Stastny carries a $6.6 million hit, while only producing 21 goals and 53 points. He did produce over 70 points in 3 of his first 4 years. Gleason offers one of the Sabres 1st round picks and Roy and/or Sekera?
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Source confirms that the Rangers are after Rick Nash again. At the trade deadline, Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson was after Chris Kreider; Derek Stepan or Carl Hagelin; Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto; plus Brandon Dubinsky and a 1st round pick. The Sharks, Flyers, Hurricanes, and maybe the Maple Leafs and Bruins are interested. If the Rangers included Kreider, a deal would likely get done. Alexander Radulov is believed to heading back to the KHL.
- Daren Millard via twitter: Heard Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson is talking to all teams about a lot of players. He’s not limiting teams to Rick Nash’s “list.”
- Matthew Coller of ESPN: Offseason need and fixes. Boston Bruins – backup goalie, sign Dominik Hasek. Buffalo Sabres – defensive center, sign Sami Pahlsson. Toronto Maple Leafs – veteran goalie, sign Josh Harding. Montreal Canadiens – playmaking right winger, sign P.A. Parenteau. Ottawa Senators – Stay-at-home defenseman, sign Barret Jackman.
- Arthur Staple of Newsday: Oilers GM Steve Tambellini said this week that he has no plans to trade the 1st overall pick, but will listen to offers. The Rangers could be looking at trade targets like: Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, Shea Weber and Tobias Enstrom. Islanders GM Garth Snow is looking hard for a defenseman. Possible defenseman could be Jay Bouwmeester, Keith Ballard, Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek.
- Katie Strang via twitter: The Rangers have extended qualifying offers to Mats Zuccarello, Anton Stralman and Michael Del Zotto.
Afternoon notes on: Radulov, Sedin, Gill, Krejci, Kubina, Rome, Ebbett, Preds and Wings lines, Halak starts
- Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Predators Alexander Radulov’s Russian agent: “Radulov will most likely spend the next season in Russia.”
- Brad Zeimer of the Vancouver Sun: Canucks forward Daniel Sedin won’t be in the lineup tonight.
- Craig Custance via twitter: Predators Hal Gill won’t be in the lineup tonight but he’s making progress. He’ll travel with the team to Detroit. Josh Cooper via twitter: Gill: “I’m going to give it some more time. I don’t think at this point I can help the team.”
- Katie Carrera via twitter: Bruins David Krejci thinks he’ll be able to go for Game 2.
- Scott Burnside of ESPN: Flyers defenseman Pavel Kubina will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch. He’ll replace Marc-Andre Bourdon who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
- Helene Elliott via twitter: For Game 2 Aaron Rome will replace Keith Ballard, and Andrew Ebbett is in for the suspended Byron Bitz.
- ESPN: Predators lines: S. Kostitsyn – Fisher – Erat , A. Kostitsyn – Legwand – Radulov, Bourque – Spaling – Hornqvist , Yip – Gaustad – Halischuk. Defensive Pairings: Suter – Weber, Klein – Josi, Bouillon – Hillen/Ellis … Red Wings Lines: Franzen – Datsyuk – Bertuzzi , Filppula – Zetterberg – Hudler, Nyquist – Albdelkader – Cleary, Miller – Emmerton – Holmstrom. Defensive Pairings: Lidstrom – Ericsson, Kronwall – Stuart, Quincey – White.
- Andy Strickland via twitter: Jaroslav Halak will start Game 2 for the Blues.
Morning notes on: Toews, Bolland, Brunette, Kassian, Sedin, Ballard, Jets, Blues ownership and Schneider starts
- Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times: Blackhawks Jonathan Toews hasn’t been ruled out for Saturday.
“There’s still signs of the concussion lingering and, when that’s completely gone, I’ll be comfortable playing,” said Toews.
Dave Bolland is day-to-day with a n upper-body injury. Andrew Brunette (foot) is questionable for tonight.
- Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun: Canucks Zach Kassian is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Byron Bitz has been recalled. Coach Vigneault when asked if Daniel Sedin has begun light skating,
“He’s following the protocol. . .there’s nothing to report there. That’s where we are.”
GM Mike Gillis has said he hopes Daniel is ready for the playoffs. Keith Ballard travelled with the team but won’t play tonight. Kevin Bieksa has missed the last 4 games.
- Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press: The Jets need to find a #1 center either through a draft and develop or through free agency. Brian Little, Alex Burmistrov and Kyle Wellwood have been used in the top 6, but are not top-line centers. Top draft pick Mark Scheifele still needs to grow physically and learn to against men.
- Andy Strickland of True Hockey: Minority owner of the Blues, Tom Stillman, is still working on finalizing a deal to buy the team. No closing date is set. One area that hasn’t been settled with the NHL yet is who guarantees/funds the losses.
- Dan Murphy via twitter: Cory Schneider will start in net for the Canucks against the Flames.
Ballard to LTIR … No deal for Grabovski … Waivers today … Boyce claimed on waivers … Russell has concussion … Scouting
- Bob McKenzie via twitter: The Canucks put Keith Ballard on the LTIR, creating $4.2 million in cap space. Ott could be an option. Ballard has a concussion and is not close. He might be ready for the playoffs.
- Chris Johnston via twitter: Indications are that Mikhail Grabovski won’t be signing a contract extension with the Maple Leafs by Monday.
- Bob McKenzie via twitter: On waivers today R. Russell and Clitsome (CBJ), Boulton (NJD), Staubitz (re-entry) (MIN), Kolanos (CGY).
- Brian Compton via twitter: The Islanders have waived Brian Rolston and recalled David Ullstrom.
- Bob McKenzie via twitter: The Blue Jackets have claimed Darryl Boyce off waivers from the Maple Leafs.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Blues have lost Kris Russell to concussion-like symptoms. Kent Huskins will take his spot, and Ian Cole was recalled. The might make a move for a defenseman, but have indicated they may be quiet, citing budget concerns.
- Chip Alexander via twitter: Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller is not worried about Cam Ward, could be in next game.
- Dave Molinari via twitter: Scouting the Penguins-Lightning game today: Stars, Kings and Lightning.
- Adrian Dater via twitter: Scouting the Blue Jackets game last night: Bruins, Flyers, Rangers, Devils, Sharks Penguins and Lightning.
- Roger Millions via twitter: Flames lines: Glencross Jokinen Iginla-Tanguay Cammalleri Comeau-Desbiens horak Jackman-Bouma Stajan Kostopoulos
- Jonas Siegel via twitter: James Reimer will start in net for the Leafs tonight.
Written by Errol N. Hannigan and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
At this point in the season the Vancouver Canucks are a win away from tying Detroit for first place in the NHL. Last year Vancouver finished first overall with a record of 54-19-9 for a total of 117 points and based on their current production are on pace to equal that amount again this year. If that will be enough to be first again remains to be seen, as the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Rangers also look like strong contenders.
Vancouver has made a few personnel changes from the team that came within one win of hoisting the Stanley Cup last year, and they look like a team that should be able to contend again without making any deadline changes.
Since last year the Canucks have added some grit to their line-up in the form of Byron Bitz, Mike Duco and if he is able to return from the injury list Aaron Volpatti. Vancouver has two lines that can put up points with regularity. The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, and the ever improving Alexandre Burrows are the number one line. With line number two being one of the fastest lines in hockey right now with the all USA born Kesler, Higgins and Booth. They also have good third and fourth lines that they can roll and use to wear down their opponents. They have one of the best face-off men in all of hockey in Manny Malhotra, who they use almost exclusively to win defensive zone face-offs.
Pens would like a 40 goal scorer, but … Sens interested in Ruutu, listening to offers on Kuba and Gonchar … Buyers, Sellers, etc … Havlat skating
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Penguins GM Ray Shero:
“We’re playing well, getting healthy, and that means more than anything. If I could get a 40-goal scorer or something that makes sense, I’d do that. But …”
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Many are looking to see what Senators GM Bryan Murray will do. The Senators are interested in Tuomo Ruutu, along with the Bruins, Rangers, Flyers, Blackhawks and Predators. Though there are some reports that he’s off the market, one executive said Saturday that he wasn’t. To get Ruutu could be costly, a top prospect (perhaps Mark Stone or Stefan Noesen) and a 1st round pick, which is not going to happen. The Senators have been listening to offers for Filip Kuba. It’s doubtful that it happens, but is possible. Sergei Gonchar could also get dealt.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: McGran lists teams that will be buyers, sellers or will stand pat. Buyers: Rangers, Maple Leafs, Flyers, Capitals, Sharks, Canucks, Kings, Predators, Blackhawks, Devils and Stars. Sellers: Blue Jackets, Hurricanes, Oilers, Lightning, Sabres, Wild and Canadiens. Standing Pat: Red Wings, Flames, Islanders, Senators, Jets, Ducks, Bruins, Panthers, Penguins, Blues, Coyotes and Avalanche. Hot Commodities: Rick Nash, Ryan Suter, Jeff Carter, Luke Schenn, Sam Gagner and Ryan Miller. Buyer Beware: Scott Gomez, Rick DiPietro, Alexander Semin, Dustin Penner and Brad Boyes. Coveted Young Players: Cory Schneider, Jonathan Bernier, Sergei Bobrovski, James van Riemsdyk, Jake Gardiner, Cody Hodgson, Michael Del Zotto and Ryan McDonagh
- Randy Miller via twitter: Miller doesn’t think the chances of the Flyers re-signing Matt Carle are good.
- David Pollak via twitter: Sharks winger Marty Havlat is skating in San Jose and is aiming for a mid-March return.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin didn’t finish last night’s game after he tweaked his groin, but it may also have been exhaustion. Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard is out with concussion symptoms.
- Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger: The Devils have put defenseman Adam Larsson on the IR, and have recalled Peter Harrold.
- Michael Russo via twitter: The Wild have re-signed Kyle Brodziak to a 3 year deal worth $8.49 million.