Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Forsberg/Naslund Package Deal...Allison wants to play for Leafs

As reported on

Naslund/Forsberg Combo
It could be the greatest 1-2 sale ever in the NHL.The Vancouver Sun spoke with Canucks captain Markus Naslund and he confirmed that he and Peter Forsberg are considering packaging their rights together."Who wouldn't want to play with Peter?" Naslund told the Sun. "We'll see if that could work out or not. I mean, I think you can ask pretty much any winger in the league and they wouldn't mind playing with him."

Leafs trading up; look to land Allison
July 27 @ 9:15 AMThe Leafs, who are believed to be interested in selecting top goaltending prospect Carey Price, have reportedly been in talks with Columbus, Chicago and Atlanta -- the six through eight picks -- about a possible trade, reports the National Post. "I've heard grumblings of them trying to move up [in the draft]," Mark Seidel, chief scout for the International Scouting Service, told the Post. "Some teams have their eyes on certain guys, and I think they're one of them."In other Leafs news, former Kings sniper Jason Allison isn't hiding the fact he would like to play for the Blue and White, reports the Toronto Star."To me, it makes a lot of sense," Allison said. "I grew up here and I've been dreaming since I was 2 to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the past I might not have been interested and part of the reason for that is that I kind of like my privacy."

Iginla recruiting Niedermayer
July 27 @ 9:15 AMThe latest Niedermayer rumour making the rounds has Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla putting the hard sell on the Devils blueliner to play in Calgary, reports the Vancouver Province.Niedermayer has made it known he would like to play closer to his Cranbrook home and Calgary as well as Vancouver would fit that bill. Also, through his agent Kevin Epp, he has made it known that there are a few teams he would be willing to play for at a discounted rate, but Epp would not divulge which teams those are.

The Detroit Red Wings are waiting on Brendan Shanahan.
According to the Detroit News, the Wings are waiting for the 36-year old power forward to exercise his $2.4 million player option to return to the club.
Red Wings general manger Ken Holland is concerned that the team has still not received a decision from Shanahan.
"I've been at it long enough to know that (if) nothing's happened by now, there's a possibility that he's maybe entertaining thoughts of not exercising it," Holland told the paper.
Shanahan's agent Rick Curran said that the forward has been focused on NHL responsibilities recently and they will inform the Red Wings of the decision by the Thursday 5pm et deadline.
If Shanahan doesn't exercise the option, he will become an unrestricted free-agent.
Holland told the Detroit News that he hopes Shanahan will stay.
"I'd like to have Brendan back. Obviously, he's in the driver's seat. He can do a lot of things. He's a veteran, he's a leader, he can score goals, but at the same time, he's got to want to be here."

Report: Coyotes keeping Morris, Mara
The Phoenix Coyotes have made qualifying offers to two of their key defensemen.
According to the Arizona Republic, the club is bringing back restricted free-agents Derek Morris and Paul Mara.
The 26-year old Morris registered four assists in 14 games after joining Phoenix in March of 2004. He received a $2.66 million offer.
Mara set career highs with 42 points and 36 assists in 2003-04. The 25-year old tallied 23 points on the power-play and received a $1.14 million offer
In other Coyotes news, the newspaper also reports that the team also tendered a qualifying offer to forward Krys Kolanos, and exercised club options on forwards Mike Rupp and Boyd Devereaux.

Sens keep Dominator

In 2003, Hasek came out of a one-year retirement to rejoin the Detroit Red Wings but was limited to 14 games due to a recurring groin injury.
OTTAWA (CP) -- The Ottawa Senators are hanging on to Dominik Hasek.
General manager John Muckler announced Wednesday that the NHL team has exercised its one-year option on the 40-year-old goaltender. Hasek is due to make $2.28 million US this season.Hasek did not play during the lockout, other than skating with the Binghamton Senators, Ottawa's AHL farm team, during training camp.Ottawa signed the six-time Vezina Trophy winner in July 2004.
-Referenced from

July 27th Rumors

Reports on the Fan590, suggest that:
  1. Sabres will not qualify Satan, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
  2. Brian Burke is considering solid offers for the #2 Overall Pick in this years draft to acquire some offensive talent and move down in the draft.
  3. The Leafs are looking for an opportunity to move up in the draft.

Bruins making efforts to keep team together

BOSTON (Ticker) - The Boston Bruins are making a concerted effort to retain the core of their team.
The Bruins on Tuesday made contract offers to five of their free agents, including captain Joe Thornton and defenseman Sergei Gonchar.
Also receiving offers were restricted free agent left wings Sergei Samsonov and P.J. Axelsson and right wing Martin Lapointe, who is unrestricted. Teams exclusively can negotiate with their free agents through July 31.
"These players have made valuable contributions to our team," Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell said. "We hope these offers make clear to them how much we want them to be a part of building a championship team in Boston."
A restricted free agent, Thornton was offered a five-year contract. The 26-year-old made $5.5 million in 2003-04 and was awarded a one-year, $6.75 million deal after winning his arbitration case last summer.
An All-Star each of the last three seasons, Thornton was selected first overall by the Bruins in 1997. He was named team captain prior to the 2002-03 season, a campaign in which he collected a career-high 101 points.
Gonchar, who is an unrestricted free agent, was given a four-year offer. Acquired from Washington in March 2004, the Russian blue-liner also won an arbitration case last summer, receiving a one-year, $5.5 million contract after making $3.65 million in 2003-04.
The 14th overall pick by the Capitals in 1992, Gonchar recorded a career-high 67 points in 2002-03, one season after netting 26 goals, also a career best. The 31-year-old has appeared in three All-Star Games.
Samsonov, Axelsson and Lapointe each received three-year contract offers.
Samsonov, who made $3.65 million in 2003-04, reached an agreement on a one-year deal for the same amount last summer. Selected eighth overall in 1997, the 26-year-old Russian won the Calder Trophy in 1998 and appeared in the 2001 All-Star Game.
Signed to a lucrative free-agent contract in 2001, the 31-year-old Lapointe made $5.5 million with the Bruins in 2003-04. He scored a career-high 27 goals in his final season with Detroit in 2000-01 but has not netted more than 17 in any of his three campaigns in Boston.
A native of Sweden, Axelsson made $1.3 million in 2003-04. The 30-year-old enjoyed his best season in 2002-03, when he recorded career highs of 17 goals and 36 points.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Nolan may be sidelined upto 6 months

As Sportsnet first reported last week Tuesday's surgery was required to correct complications that have plagued Owen Nolan's since he injured his knee in March of 2004. -- -- Sportsnet has learned Toronto Maple Leafs, forward Owen Nolan had surgery Tuesday in Cleveland to further repair his injured knee.
The surgery was deemed successful but Nolan may be out of the NHL for as long as six months.As Sportsnet first reported last week this surgery was required to correct complications that have plagued Nolan's rehab since he injured the knee in March of 2004."Dr. Tony Miniaci, the Chief of Sports Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, performed the surgery on the injury which directly related to the trauma sustained in March of 04 while playing with the Leafs," said Nolan's agent JP Barry."Owen looks forward to getting back to rehab now that the problem interfering with his progress has been addressed," Barry added."This rehabilitation could take as long as six months, but Owen looks forward to a return to the NHL when he's ready."As for an update on Nolan's buyout status, Barry says the issues have yet to be resolved.
-thanks to

Domi to Pens -- With rumours flying about the possibility of Tie Domi heading to Pittsburgh, the enforcer only added fuel to the fire by pairing up with Penguins' owner Mario Lemieux for a charity golf tournament in the Toronto area Tuesday.
When asked about the possibility of heading to Steeltown, Domi said he remained open to the idea."It's is a decision I've got to make for my family and what's best for me," Domi told Sportsnet.According to Lemieux the Penguins will be in the market for a little muscle."I think it's important, especially with Sidney (Crosby) now and some of the star players we're going to have on the team, Lemieux explained to Sportsnet. "That's something that's part of the game and that's something we'll be looking at in the next few weeks."Lemieux believes Crosby and the new salary cap will help Pittsburgh add some quality free agents and the Penguins may be able to cause other teams a few problems next season."Things are going to change in Pittsburgh," Lemieux said. "We're going to be able to compete a lot better now with the new CBA."Domi told Sportsnet his first choice is to remain in Toronto but his decision will be swayed heavily by what choices forwards Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk make."Gary and Joe are obviously good friends and I'm going to keep an eye on what decisions they make and its going to have a big influence on what I do," Domi said.The Penguins can't have discussions about a contract with Domi until Aug. 1 but Lemieux is currently a guest at Domi's house while in Toronto.

Stevie Y - One more year

Steve Yzerman captained the Red Wings to three Stanley Cup championships, including back-to-back wins in '96-'97 / '97-'98. -- Steve Yzerman will get the send off his career deserves, Sportsnet has learned.A rarity in modern sports, Detroit's first pick in the 1983 is expected to sign a new one-year deal which will allow the certain Hall of Famer to retire knowing only one team.
Yzerman and Wings general manager Ken Holland will meet this week to discuss the team's direction, while at the same time ironing out what is expected to be a one-year agreement.The 40-year old Yzerman, who also intends to compete for a spot on Canada's 2006 Olympic roster, will easily surpass the mark of 1500 NHL games played, granted he remains healthy.Yzerman currently sits 47 games shy of the 1500 game mark and needs 22 goals to reach 700.
-Thanks to for report

Dallas: Return of D.H. Well it's not quite J.R.

The agent for defenseman Derian Hatcher isn't ruling out a return to Dallas for the free agent.
Pat Morris cautions that just because the Detroit Red Wings decided to buy out his client rather than pay him close to $5-million this season, does not mean that Hatcher will come cheap.
"One of the reasons he left Dallas was the longer-term security Detroit gave him," Morris tells the Star-Telegram. "Given teams' needs for a No. 1 defenseman and his track record and age ... would point to him seeking significant terms."
Morris indicated that a three year deal would be a likely starting point in negotiations.
On Monday, the Red Wings bought out the remaining three years of Hatcher's contract.
Sources with the Stars tell the newspaper that they would be interested in bringing back Hatcher, regardless of whether or not they can sign free agent center Mike Modano or defenseman Sergei Zubov.
Hatcher spent 11 seasons in Dallas before signing a five year, $30-million contract with Detroit in 2003. However, he suffered a knee injury in his third game with the Red Wings in the 2003-04 season and was limited to just 15 games that season.
-Thanks to for report

End Of Days for Satan in Buffalo

Miroslav Satan's days with the Buffalo Sabres are numbered.
The Buffalo News reports the restricted free agent will likely not be tendered a qualifying offer or his rights will be retained in order to trade him over the course of the next few days.
Satan, who has led the Sabres in scoring in six of his seven seasons, is scheduled to make almost $4-million this season which would account for 14 percent of the team's payroll.
It's possible Satan could become an unrestricted free agent and decide to sign a new deal with the Sabres for considerably less than what he is making.
"I'm just trying to wait and see what happens," Satan tells the News. "I'm going to be a professional and not say anything more. I'm just going to wait and make no comments."
The newspaper reports Satan could also opt to play hockey in his native Slovakia this year.
NHL teams have until 5 p.m. Friday to buy out existing player contracts for two-thirds their value without it counting against the salary cap.
-Thanks to for the report

Niedermayer to test Open Market

The agent for New Jersey defenceman Scott Niedermayer doesn't expect the Norris Trophy winner to sign a new deal with the Devils before the end of the week.
Niedermayer earned $4-million in 2003-04. Last summer, he went to salary arbitration and was awarded $7-million for the season which was wiped out by the lockout.
"The whole process of last season and going to arbitration was to see what's out there," agent Kevin Epp tells the New York Post.
Epp says he expects Niedermayer to get offers near the salary maximum of $7.8-million and that he likely won't return to New Jersey at a discount.

Niedermayer was on TSN's Off the Record on Monday and said he fully expected to join the free agent market, which opens on August 1.
"I made my mind up to go through this process," he said. "If I can make a decision now, I can make one next week. I see no reason to rush a decision."
When asked what he would do if presented with a max offer from the Devils, Niedermayer stuck to his guns.
"If that were the case, I would definately continue this path (toward free agency) ... I'm going to continue with that. If (Devils GM Lou Lamoriello) makes an offer, hopefully it will still be there after (August 1)."
Niedermayer said family considerations would be important when choosing his final destination. He did not want to discuss specific teams, but admitted Vancouver is attractive because he and his wife are both from Western Canada.
"It's an exciting time," Niedermayer said.
-Thanks to for report

No Buy Outs for Blues...But what about Pronger

The St. Louis Blues will not use the new buyout rule to address its difficult salary cap position, according to a report in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Team have until Friday to buy out big cantracts at two-thirds of their value. It is a temporary rule designed to help teams get under the new salary cap.
The top targets for the Blues appeared to be Doug Weight and Keith Tkachuk. Weight will make $5.7 million this season, while Tkachuk will pull in $7.8 million.
On Monday, however, Blues president Mark Sauer said the buyout plan was just a money-burner. "That's just cash thrown into the river as far as I'm concerned," Sauer told the Post Dispatch. "Let's not sugarcoat this, this isn't a fantasy sports league here. That's real money being paid. Some teams are being forced to do that. Thank goodness we don't have to do that."

Despite keeping at least two high-proced players, the Blues say they won't be big spenders.
"We're not trying to figure out, nor should we, how to spend to the max," Sauer said. "We're trying to figure out, 'How do we stay flexible? How do we get this team more stable financially? How do we prepare for a very complex set of circumstances?"
That could be bad news for restricted free agent defenceman Chris Pronger.
The Blues have until Sunday to sign Pronger or give him a qualifying offer, which would allow the Blues to match another club's offer or receive compensation if Pronger signs elsewhere. Sauer said the Blues remain uncertain how to proceed with the star defenceman.
"I think it's maybe a better spending of major dollars if you're spending them on 27-year-old unrestricted free agents rather than 31-year-old unrestricted free agents," Sauer told the Post Dispatch. "I'm not knocking Chris ... but remember, once you burn some of that salary cap room, you're done.
"The bottom line now is flexibility as far as the St. Louis Blues are concerned, and we're going to be very careful about that."
"It's frustrating that they have had 15 months to put a game plan together," Pronger told the Post Dispatch. "They had an idea of what (the CBA) was going to look like. It's very frustrating not knowing where you're going to be. That's the thing ... it's not that they're giving you good news or bad news. They're not giving you anything."

Team Breakdown for Summer 2005

Top Newcomers: Ryan Getzlaf, C; Ilya Bryzgalov, G
Next in Line: Corey Perry, RW; Chris Kunitz, LW; Ladislav Smid, D
Possible Buyouts: Sergei Fedorov, C ($6.08M); Petr Sykora, RW ($3.116M)
Notable restricted free agents potentially not tendered: Ruslan Salei, D ($1.824M); Rob Niedermayer, C ($1.596M); Mike LeClerc, LW ($1.14M)
Needs: #1 defenceman; 3 top six forwards;
Projected cap position: $22M (14 players)
If Ozolinsh is not re-signed, the Ducks will need an offensive defenceman because none of the blueline returnees are particularly adept at quarterbacking the power play, though the Ducks will have some stay-at-home types like Keith Carney and Vitali Vishnevski to mind the store leaving Martin Skoula as the most offensive rearguard slated to return. Up front, it seems unlikely that Brian Burke can make the cash-costly decision to turn Fedorov loose, but the same can't necessarily be said for Sykora, leaving the Ducks in need of three more scorers (to join Fedorov, Rucchin and Lupul) on the top two lines. The Ducks might have even more cap room, depending on how many of their restricted free agents they decide to bring back.

Top Newcomers: Kari Lehtonen, G; Braydon Coburn, D
Next in Line: Jim Slater, C; Tommi Santala, C; Derek MacKenzie, C
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Dany Heatley, RW; Ilya Kovalchuk, LW
Needs: 1 defenceman; 2 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $24M (18 players)
As long as the Thrashers don't get raided via restricted free agency for up-and-coming stars Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk, then the organization should be in position to grow naturally, bringing up highly-touted rookie goaltender Kari Lehtonen and steady young blueliner Braydon Cobourn. A few additions might be worthwhile, however.; A veteran physical defenceman would help, as would a couple more complementary scorers. With as much cap room as they have, the Thrashers could make a dramatic free agent splash if they are so inclined, but it's more likely that they will add some solid veterans.

Top Newcomers: Hannu Toivonen, G; Andy Hilbert, C; Brad Boyes, C; Mark Stuart, D
Next in Line: Milan Jurcina, D
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Joe Thornton, C; Sergei Samsonov, LW
Needs: 3 defencemen; 3 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $23M (14 players)
While the Bruins appear to have a blank slate, there is the matter of signing their own restricted free agents, most notably Joe Thornton, but don't overlook the likes of Sergei Samsonov, Nick Boynton, Hal Gill and Andrew Raycroft, all of whom should eat into the B's cap space. Nevertheless, there will be plenty of opportunities for Boston to add top-flight free agents, both up front and on defence, and with so many NHL players coming from the Northeastern United States, don't be surprised to see some big names make the move to Beantown this summer.

Top Newcomers: Thomas Vanek, LW
Next in Line: Ryan Miller, G; Jason Pominville, RW; Paul Gaustad, C
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Miroslav Satan, RW ($3.8M); Martin Biron, G ($2.12M); Jochen Hecht, LW ($1.596M), Mike Grier, LW ($1.364M);
Needs: 1 defenceman
Projected cap position: $23M (20 players)
Few teams have as many assets in hand as the Sabres, though Buffalo still might be planning on shedding a couple of salaries up front in an effort to tighten the budget. In any case, the addition of rookie sniper Thomas Vanek will help a team that has room to manoeuvre under the cap, making either a trade or prominent free agent signing possible.

Top Newcomers: Dion Phaneuf, D
Next in Line: Eric Nystrom, LW; Brent Krahn, G
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Jarome Iginla, RW
Needs: backup goalie; 2 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $30M (19 players)
Provided that the Flames can keep Iggy in the fold, preferably with a long-term deal, the Flames figure to have a similar team to the one that made it to the Cup final in 2004, with one notable additon: rookie defenceman Dion Phaneuf has earned much praise for his play in the Western Hockey League and with Canada's National Junior Team and now it's time for him to make his mark in the NHL with his hard-hitting ways. If the budget will allow it, some scoring help would still be most welcome.

Top Newcomers: Cam Ward, G; Mike Zigomanis, C
Next in Line: Niklas Nordgren, LW
Possible buyouts: Rod Brind'Amour, C ($3.8M); Bret Hedican, D ($2.432M)
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Jeff O'Neill, RW ($2.812M);
Needs: 3 top four defencemen; 2 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $14M (13 players)
Should the 'Canes make the aggressive move to clear cap room by buying out the likes of Brind'Amour and Hedican, and not tendering veteran winger Jeff O'Neill, there will be a clean sheet, with loads of cap space to lure free agents. Considering the rest of the roster will be quite young, Carolina would likely not be in a position to max out against the cap, perhaps targeting less expensive, younger free agents who can grow with the team. On the other hand, if there is that much cap room, the Canes could even pluck a prime restricted free agent away from a team with cap troubles.

Top Newcomers: Anton Babchuk, D; Brent Seabrook, D
Next in Line: Cam Barker, D; Pavel Vorobiev, RW; Craig Anderson, G; Duncan Keith, D
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Stephane Robidas, D ($.738M)
Needs: 1 top four defencemen; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $19M (14 players)
A very young team that could be much improved, depending on how they handle their cap situation. There is plenty of room available for the Blackhawks to offer big money to a premier free agent -- or two -- and add them to a mix of promising forwards and defencemen. In a big market like Chicago, the Hawks will look for star power to help rejuvenate the franchise.

Top Newcomers: Marek Svatos, RW; Phillipe Sauve, G
Next in Line: Peter Budaj, G; Brad Richardson, C
Possible buyouts: Joe Sakic, C ($6.65M); Rob Blake, D ($6.364M); Chris Gratton, C ($1.9M); Steve Konowalchuk, LW ($1.9M)
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Milan Hejduk, RW ($4.332M); Alex Tanguay, LW ($3.23M)
Needs: 1 defenceman; 2 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $26M (17 players)
Jammed right up against the cap, the Avalanche will have to make hard decisions, whether it involves buying out Blake or -- gasp -- Sakic, losing Hejduk or Tanguay as restricted free agents, or losing Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote as unrestricted free agents. GM Pierre Lacroix will have to make some shrewd moves in order to keep the Avs among the elite teams in the league, but when one considers Lacroix's resume, shrewd moves are to be expected.

Top Newcomers: Pascal Leclaire, G; Dan Fritsche, RW; Aaron Johnson, D
Next in Line: Joakim Lindstrom, C; Jaroslav Balastik, RW
Possible buyouts: Geoff Sanderson, LW ($2.508M); Todd Marchant, C ($2.47M); Andrew Cassels, C ($2.318M); Luke Richardson, D ($2.09M); Scott Lachance, D ($1.52M)
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Rick Nash, LWNeeds: 1 top four defenceman; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $24M (18 players)
With several veterans on medium-to-big ticket deals, the Jackets would be wise to cut a couple loose in order to free up more cap space. With GM Doug MacLean building a strong young nucleus, the Jackets need to guard against losing Rick Nash, and could also look for a playmaking centre to feed their star winger.

Top Newcomers: Antti Miettenin, LW; Trevor Daley, DNext in Line: Shawn Belle, D; Jussi Jokinen, CPossible buyouts: Bill Guerin, RW ($6.738498M); Pierre Turgeon, C ($4.56M) Needs: backup goalie; 2 top four defencemen; 3 top six forwardsProjected cap position: $25M (15 players) Free agent losses, along with a couple of potential buyouts, will have the Stars seeking significant free agent help up front and on the blueline. If the Stars were to buy out Guerin and Turgeon and lose Sergei Zubov and Mike Modano as unrestricted free agents, for example, the team would be looking at bringing back only two of its top seven scorers from 2003-2004 (ie. restricted free agents Jason Arnott and Brendan Morrow). Considering the cost of his buy out, the Stars may have to keep Guerin around, which only makes it more likely that they won't be able to keep Modano and Zubov.

Top Newcomers: Niklas Kronwall, D; Jiri Hudler, C;
Next in Line: Valtteri Filppula, C; Stefan Liv, G
Possible buyouts: Derian Hatcher, D ($4.94M); Brendan Shanahan, LW ($2.28M); Ray Whitney, LW ($2.66M); Darren McCarty, RW ($1.71M)
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Pavel Datsyuk, CNeeds: Goalie; 1 defenceman; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $30M (15 players)
In an extremely difficult cap position, the Wings may need to bite the bullet on Derian Hatcher's contract just to free up enough room to move under the cap. If the Wings don't create that room under the cap, they could find themselves in an untenable position with restricted free agents like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, both of whom could land offers elsewhere that are worth more money than the Wings would be able to match.

Top Newcomers: Jeff Woywitka, D
Next in Line: Jani Rita, LW; Rob Schremp, C; Marc-Antoine Pouliot, C
Needs: backup goalie; 1 top four defenceman; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $25M (20 players)
In a very good financial position entering free agency, with much of the lineup set, the Oilers should be able to land one, perhaps even two, big free agent fish in order to bolster their young lineup, in addition to re-signing restricted free agents like Ryan Smyth and Eric Brewer, among others.

Top Newcomers: Filip Novak, D; Anthony Stewart, RW; Rostislav Olesz, C Next in Line: Vaclav Nedorost, C; Lucas Krajicek, DPossible buyouts: Mathieu Biron, D ($1.064M)Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Kristian Huselius, LW ($1.216M) Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Roberto Luongo, G Needs: 3 top six forwards Projected cap position: $21M (20 players)Loaded with exciting young talent, the Panthers need to bring in some proven veterans up front to aid in the development of Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss and Anthony Stewart et al. Provided the Panthers can keep Roberto Luongo in the fold, GM Mike Keenan has said that the Panthers will be aggressive in free agency even with an approximate $30M budget, so expect to see some big names land in Florida this summer.

Top Newcomers: Denis Grebeshkov, D; Mike Cammalleri, RW
Next in Line: Yannick Lehoux, C; Jeff Tambellini, LW; Noah Clarke, LW
Possible buyouts: Aaron Miller, D ($2.66M)
Needs: backup goalie; 3 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $17M (16 players)
The Kings are in fine position, with plenty of room under the cap, and several young players ready to step in after strong seasons with Manchester in the AHL. RW Zigmund Palffy is an unrestricted free agent, so bringing him back could eat into the cap space, however there will be room for the Kings to spend money to bolster the forward units no matter which players they manage to retain.

Top Newcomers: Mikko Koivu, C
Next in Line: Stephane Veilleux, LW; A.J. Thelen, D; Josh Harding, G
Needs: 1 top four defenceman; 2 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $23M (19 players)
With much of their lineup already in place, provided that most restricted free agents are brought back, the Wild don't have any huge needs, though the new rule changes make it likely that they won't be able to rely so much on the grind-it-out checking style that has worked well for them in the past. In order to compensate, the Wild could add some more scorers, though it would be out of character for them to break the bank to do so.

Top Newcomers: Chris Higgins, LW; Marcel Hossa, RW; Ron Hainsey, D; Yann Danis, G
Next in Line: Alexander Perezhogin, RW; Tomas Plekanec, LW; Mark Streit, D
Possible buyouts: Patrice Brisebois, D ($3.42M); Craig Rivet, D ($2.66M)
Needs: 2 top four defencemen; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $25M (18 players)
Montreal is expecting several additions from the AHL squad this year, but that won't keep them from looking for help via free agency, particularly if the club decides that the contracts of Patrice Brisebois and Craig Rivet don't fit in the new salary structure. If that happens, the blueline will have to be the Habs' primary concern, but adding another scorer up front will be a priority as well.

Top Newcomers: Scott Upshall, RW; Ryan Suter, D
Next in Line: Andrew Hutchinson, D; Shea Weber, D
Needs: 1 top four defencemen; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $24M (22 players)
Not expected to push their budget too far, the Predators just need to focus on bringing back their restricted free agents, and possibly adding a forward and defenceman via free agency. Don't necessarily expect top-flight names, but a couple of proven veterans would undoubtedly help.

Top Newcomers: Zach Parise, C
Next in Line: Alexander Suglobov, RW; Tuomas Pihlman, LW
Possible buyouts: Sergei Brylin, C ($1.52M)
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Jeff Friesen, LW ($2.28M); Jan Hrdina, C ($1.824M); Viktor Kozlov, C ($1.748M); Colin White, D ($1.71M);;
Needs: 2 top four defencemen; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $23M (16 players)
The biggest concern for the Devils will be finding a way to keep at least one of blueliners Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski and Scott Stevens, all of whom are unrestricted free agents. The Devils should be in good shape up front, depending on which restricted free agents are brought back and assuming that star forward Patrik Elias can recover from Hepatitis A, which he contracted last winter.

Top Newcomers: Petteri Nokelainen, C; Bruno Gervais, D
Next in Line: Robert Nilsson, C; Jeremy Colliton, RW; Chris Campoli, D
Possible buyouts: Alexei Yashin, C ($7.6M)
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Kenny Jonsson, D ($2.394M);;
Needs: backup goalie; 3 top four defencemen
Projected cap position: $26M (15 players)
While the Isles might be best -- from a team perspective -- buying out Alexei Yashin's contract, there is just too much money owing (approximately $27M, even at the two-thirds buyout rate) to think that it will happen. So, they'll be hamstrung for several seasons by his overpriced deal, unless he miraculously turns into a top-flight player. So, assuming that Yashin stays on board, the Isles will have to turn their focus to rebuilding a defence corps that could lose Adrian Aucoin and Roman Hamrlik to unrestricted free agency while Kenny Jonsson could be staying home in Sweden.

Top Newcomers: Fedor Tyutin, D; Henrik Lundqvist, G; Maxim Kondratiev, D
Next in Line: Jozef Balej, RW
Possible buyouts: Bobby Holik, C ($6.726M); Darius Kasparaitis, D ($3.344)
Needs: backup goalie; 2 top four defencemen; 4 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $16M (11 players)
No longer able to throw money at every problem (that could be a good thing), the Rangers will likely free up cap room by buying out Holik and Kasparaitis, leaving essentially Jaromir Jagr, Michael Nylander and a handful of restricted free agents. So, starting from scratch, the Rangers need to find a way to lure probably half a dozen good free agents to town, though it would behoove the Blueshirts to try and look for some value on the free agent market as opposed to just breaking the bank for the biggest names out there.

Top Newcomers: Andrej Meszaros, D; Ray Emery, G
Next in Line: Patrick Eaves, RW; Brandon Bochenski, LW; Alexei Kaigorodov, C; Christoph Schubert, DPossible buyouts: Greg de Vries, D ($2.28M); Bryan Smolinski, C ($2.242M) Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Marian Hossa, RW; Jason Spezza, C; Martin Havlat, LW
Needs: 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $35M (21 players)
One of the most talented rosters in the league leaves the Senators with very little wiggle room, particularly if any teams decide to make a play for restricted free agents Hossa, Spezza or Havlat by offering a rich free agent deal. Even without much cap room, the Sens are poised to be contenders based on the returning core of the team.

Top Newcomers: Jeff Carter, C; Mike Richards, C; Antero Niittymaki, G
Next in Line: Patrick Sharp, C; Dennis Seidenberg, D; R.J. Umberger, RW
Possible buyouts: John LeClair, LW ($6.84M); Tony Amonte, RW ($4.496M); Eric Desjardins, D ($2.28M); Donald Brashear ($1.748M)
Needs: 2 defencemen
Projected cap position: $32M (20 players)
Philadelphia might be in the best shape of any team heading into the new NHL, quickly releasing veterans LeClair and Amonte to create room to sign rookies and restricted free agents. Rookies Carter and Richards will inject life into the Flyers' forward ranks and the addition of a defenceman or two should have the Flyers ready to compete for a Cup. Should more veterans need to be axed, look for Donald Brashear and Eric Desjardins to join LeClair and Amonte as ex-Flyers.

Top Newcomers: Keith Ballard, D
Possible buyouts: Brian Savage, LW ($2.85M)
Needs: None Projected cap position: $32M (23 players)
The Desert Dogs probably have the most set roster in the league, with 21 players already under contract going forward, and some room under the cap if necessary. With all the additions Phoenix made last summer, they may want to see how all the new pieces fit together before making too many more moves.

Top Newcomers: Sidney Crosby, C; Evgeni Malkin, C; G Marc-Andre Fleury; Ryan Whitney, D Next in Line: Kris Beech, C; Colby Armstrong, RW;
Needs: 1 top four defenceman; 2 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $18M (18 players)
The rebuilding process has just been given a boost of rocket fuel with the Penguins winning the NHL Draft Lottery, securing the first pick that they will use to select phenom Sidney Crosby. From the sounds of things, Mario Lemieux may want the Penguins to invest a little more in the free agent market than initially planned, but it's understandable -- a few key free agent additions could have the Penguins right back in the playoffs.

Top Newcomers: Marcel Goc, C; Milan Michalek, LW
Next in Line: Doug Murray, D
Needs: 1 top four defenceman; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $27M (23 players)
In excellent position financially, the Sharks do have room to acquire a premier free agent or two, and they might be in the market for a big blueliner if Mike Rathje leaves town as an unrestricted free agent. Up front, the Sharks have a speedy skilled group, and could surely find room for another proven goal-scorer.

Top Newcomers: Marek Schwarz, G; Jay McClement, C
Next in Line: Dennis Wideman, D
Possible buyouts: Keith Tkachuk, LW ($7.6M); Doug Weight, C ($(5.7M); Eric Weinrich, D ($1.33M)
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Chris Pronger, D ($7.22M)
Needs: 1 top four defenceman; 4 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $20M (16 players)
St. Louis is in a tough position because they have three players with huge contracts. It would stand to reason that, in order to provide the most flexibility under the cap, Tkachuk will be the first one let go. That move, all by itself, could give the Blues the room required to bring in a whole forward line of free agents, but would buying out Tkachuk and Weight create enough room to rebuild the top two lines entirely?; It might have to.

Top Newcomers: Mike Egener, D; Evgeny Artukhin, RW
Possible restricted free agents poached by others: Vincent Lecavalier, C; Martin St. Louis, LW
Needs: Starting goalie; 1 defencemen
Projected cap position: $30M (16 players)
Winning the Stanley Cup comes at a price, and for Tampa Bay, that price could be that they may lose some quality players. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin is an unrestricted free agent and the Lightning don't appear to have room under the cap for him, or if they do then they will likely lose Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier or Dan Boyle, who are restricted free agents.

Top Newcomers: Carlo Colaiacovo, D; Mikael Tellqvist, G; Kyle Wellwood, C
Next in Line: Alexander Steen, C; Staffan Kronwall, D; Ian White, D
Possible buyouts: Owen Nolan, RW ($5.627M); Ed Belfour, G ($4.56M); Bryan McCabe, D ($3.458M)
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Aki Berg, D ($1.064M); Nik Antropov, C ($1.007M);
Needs: 2 top four defencemen; 4 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $20M (9 players)
Getting in order with the league's new financial realities, the Leafs will have their work cut out for them, with little room to add big ticket free agents. While Nolan is going to be a contentious buyout, it remains to be seen if the Leafs would be prepared to unload Ed Belfour and Bryan McCabe as well. If those two get released, the Leafs will actually have plenty of room to deal under the cap. Under any circumstance though, with few players signed, Toronto will most assuredly have a new look by the time John Ferguson Jr. is finished remaking the Leafs' roster.

Top Newcomers: Ryan Kesler, C; Alex Auld, G
Next in Line: Jason King, LW; Kevin Bieksa, D; Kirill Koltsov, D; Tomas Mojzis
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Dan Cloutier, G ($2.318M);
Needs: 1 defenceman; 1 top six forward
Projected cap position: $27M (17 players)
A difficult off-season begins with the rumours that Todd Bertuzzi could be facing additional suspension time and may want to be traded. On top of that, Markus Naslund is an unrestricted free agent and should be in high demand, making it challenging for the Canucks to bring him back. If Naslund does leave, the Canucks will then have some financial flexibility to try and make up for the loss.

Top Newcomers: Alexander Ovechkin, RW; Maxime Ouellet, G; Boyd Gordon, C
Next in Line: Eric Fehr, RW
Needs: 3 defencemen; 4 top six forwards
Projected cap position: $19M (12 players)
In desperate need of a makeover, the Caps have little to build upon beyond Russian rookie Alexander Ovechkin, but they do have room to make some acquisitions this summer in an effort to improve the team's competitiveness. There are plenty of needs up front and on defence, so the Caps can simply focus on adding quality talent.
-Thanks to for report

Leafs status for 2005 - 2006

Top Newcomers: Carlo Colaiacovo, D; Mikael Tellqvist, G; Kyle Wellwood, C
Next in Line: Alexander Steen, C; Staffan Kronwall, D; Ian White, D
Possible buyouts: Owen Nolan, RW ($5.627M); Ed Belfour, G ($4.56M); Bryan McCabe, D ($3.458M)
Notable restricted free agents possibly not tendered: Aki Berg, D ($1.064M); Nik Antropov, C ($1.007M);
Needs: 2 top four defencemen; 4 top six forwards Projected cap position: $20M (9 players)

Getting in order with the league's new financial realities, the Leafs will have their work cut out for them, with little room to add big ticket free agents. While Nolan is going to be a contentious buyout, it remains to be seen if the Leafs would be prepared to unload Ed Belfour and Bryan McCabe as well. If those two get released, the Leafs will actually have plenty of room to deal under the cap. Under any circumstance though, with few players signed, Toronto will most assuredly have a new look by the time John Ferguson Jr. is finished remaking the Leafs' roster.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Signings and Rumors

The Los Angeles Kings re-signed veteran forward Luc Robitaille on Monday and also announced they're reducing their season-ticket prices for the upcoming season.
Robitaille signed a one-year contract with the Kings. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Robitaille, 39, holds the NHL record among left-wingers for goals (653) and points (1,370). Originally drafted by Los Angeles in the ninth round (171st overall) in 1984, Robitaille ranks second in club history in games played (1,012), goals (542) and points (1,130) and fourth in assists (588).
"We have always considered Luc Robitaille to be a King at heart," general manger Dave Taylor said in a statement. "It has always been our intention for Luc to retire as a King.
"We are pleased that Luc has re-signed with the Kings, as are the fans I am sure. We look forward to him continuing to represent the Kings in a first-class manner."

The Colorado Avalanche spent a decade building a team that could contend for a Stanley Cup every year. The new collective bargaining agreement will chip away at that team, although the men in the front office aren't ready to give up on being dominant.
General manager Pierre Lacroix said Monday the Avalanche will honour the contracts of two core players, Joe Sakic and Rob Blake, and insists he hasn't given up on the notion of keeping Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote on the roster, as well.
"Who do I want back? I want everybody back because we are very proud of what we accomplished for 10 years," Lacroix said. "That is the goal. Is it possible? Sure it's possible. There is going to be some adjustment."
In reality, it will be nearly impossible for the team to keep both Forsberg and Foote, two free agents who will go on the open market if not signed by Colorado by Aug. 1.
When he's healthy, Forsberg is widely considered one of the best players in the game and can likely get the NHL-maximum $7.8 million US on the open market. Foote, a top defenceman, could command $4 million. The salary cap is set at $39 million. After their 24-per-cent salary rollbacks, Sakic and Blake will combine to count about $13 million against that cap. The Avalanche have only eight players under contract - with the possibility of buying out a few of those contracts - and need to sign 15 more.

Islanders general manager Mike Milbury knows the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement will only help his team so much. The rest is up to him and the players he puts on the ice.
"We always felt we could compete, but there was a feeling of frustration," Milbury said Monday. "We'll have a better chance, but we still have to make the right decisions."
Payrolls no longer are an issue when it comes to hockey. Gone are the days where big-market clubs could load up their rosters with all-stars no matter the cost.
The limit is $39 million US per team, whether you play in a sparkling new arena or the seen-its-better-days Nassau Coliseum. "Let's face facts. We need our top guys to perform," Milbury said. That starts with Alexei Yashin, who was slated to earn $10 million this season before a 24 per cent rollback cut his salary to $7.6 million - tied for second highest in the NHL.
Yashin scored 44 and 40 goals with Ottawa in the seasons before and after his yearlong holdout, which led to his trade to Long Island in June 2001. But he has only 73 goals in three seasons with New York. Injuries limited Yashin to 15 goals and 19 assists in 47 games during the 2003-04 season.
Yashin always has marched to the beat of his own drum and has not always been thought of as the best teammate, but the Islanders need more out of him if they are going to make their fourth straight trip to the playoffs.
Milbury has liked what he has seen and heard recently from his star forward. Yashin told Milbury that he wants to be the go-to guy, and has committed to coming to Long Island next month to work out with other players in the organization.
"At that kind of money, he's got to be the go-to guy," Milbury said.
The Islanders only have four players under contract for next season. Although he has until Friday to decide, Milbury is not going to buy out anyone before the deadline.
His main concern is his defence corps. Janne Niinimaa is the only blue-liner with a deal, and Adrian Aucoin, Roman Hamrlik and Kenny Jonsson are all free agents. Aucoin has expressed a desire to come back, and Milbury already has been in contact with him.
Jonsson, who has been with the Islanders since 1996, is not expected to return.
"I haven't spoken to him in a long time," Milbury said. "He didn't call. After nine years we thought that would be the nice thing to do."
Milbury expects a lot of talented players to be available on the open market, including many forwards. He will be shopping, but doesn't want his payroll to be much above $30 million heading into the season.
He will look at some players bought out by teams who need to cut payroll to fit under the cap. But he will be somewhat leery of those that are simply set free.
"Obviously that depends on the player," he said. "There's got to be a reason to buy them out other than just the money. They're still going to get good money to play. I don't see (John) LeClair falling into a $450,000 range (the NHL minimum)."
The Vancouver Canucks painted a rosy picture of ''exceptional'' fan support and growing season-ticket sales Monday even though the status of two of their biggest box-office draws remains in question.
General manager Dave Nonis said the team is working hard on a new contract for captain Markus Naslund and looking for an end to forward Todd Bertuzzi's suspension.
''I didn't make any secret about the fact we were going to try to sign Markus and we will,'' Nonis said at a news conference. ''We're going to make a concerted effort to put a team out there that is competitive.''
But resolving the issue of Bertuzzi's suspension won't be quite so easy for Nonis because the matter is out of his hands.

Nonis said he has been told a ruling should be coming from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman within about 10 days.
''He wants to get this resolved and move forward,'' Nonis said of Bertuzzi. ''He is excited about coming back to play, he looks in good shape.''
There are reports Bertuzzi, upon his reinstatement, will want to be traded from Vancouver. But Nonis said he has never been told that by Bertuzzi.
''Todd has never requested a trade,'' Nonis said. ''He has never said he wants out of Vancouver.
''And until he tells me that, I'm going to build this club with him on our roster.''

If Mike Modano doesn't return to the Dallas Stars this season he would consider joining former teammate Brett Hull in Phoenix.
''That's always been good, and I've always enjoyed playing with him,'' Modano told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Modano also told the paper he is intrigued at the opportunity to play under Wayne Gretzky, who may choose to coach the Coyotes. ''That would be a great experience to be around Wayne all the time,'' he said. ''That would be fun, and he'd be excited about it, I think.''
Modano, who has spent his entire NHL career with the Stars organization, says his first choice is to stay in Dallas.
''My gut feeling is, yeah, if it comes down to it somehow, someway, you can get creative to keep me around here for another three or four years. I don't think it's that difficult,'' Modano told the Star-Telegram. ''If the money situation is not that big of a difference, yeah, I'll stay. If it's big-time, then you are making a hard decision.''

-Thanks to for all reports

More Releases

For the upcoming season, including the 24 per cent rollback, Hatcher's contract calls for a salary of $4.94 million, McCarty $1.71 million and Whitney $2.66 million.
The 33-year-old Hatcher, a former Dallas Stars captain, signed with Detroit as a free agent before the 2003-04 season. Considered at the time to be one of the best all-around defencemen in the league, the big bruising Hatcher had little impact with his hometown team, tearing a knee ligament in the third game and missing the majority of that season.
Whitney, 33, also signed as a free agent with the Wings during 2003. He had 24 goals and 52 assists the season before with Columbus, and the Red Wings hoped he could fill the void created when Sergei Fedorov signed with Anaheim. With Detroit in 2003-04, Whitney managed 14 goals and 29 assists.
McCarty, who has spent his entire 11-year career with Detroit, is a fan favourite whose playing style embodies the blue-collar spirit of the city. McCarty, 33, won three Stanley Cups with the Wings and scored the winning goal against Philadelphia in 1997.

The Coyotes have bought out left-winger Brian Savage, the Arizona Republic reported quoting ''multiple NHL sources''.
Savage, 34, was scheduled to make $2.85 million US this season. The Coyotes bought him out for $1.9 million, as per the new collective bargaining agreement which allows a one-time window to buy out contracts.
Phoenix acquired Savage and a third-round pick in the 2002 NHL draft in January 2002 for left-winger Sergei Berezin.
Savage, who missed 46 games in two-plus seasons in Phoenix due to injuries, had 24 goals in 134 games for the Coyotes. Phoenix traded Savage to St. Louis near the end of the 2003-04 season, but Savage's rights, and his remaining contract, were returned to the Coyotes after the season as a condition of the deal.
-referenced from

Brisebois and Habs part ways

MONTREAL (CP) - The Montreal Canadiens have decided not to exercise club options on the contracts of defenceman Patrice Brisebois and minor league forward Gavin Morgan.
Brisebois was to have earned $3.4 million US next season after the 24 per cent rollback in player salaries contained in the new collective bargaining agreement.
The Montreal native's contract contained a $760,000 buyout clause if the team option was not exercised. Brisebois, now an unrestricted free agent, is allowed to sign a new deal with Montreal at a lower salary if he chooses.
-referenced from

The Future Pens

Here's a look at a potential Pens lineup this coming season

Lemieux Crosby Recchi
_______ Malkin Koltsov
Morozov Kraft Malone
Fata Beech Pirjeta
(They may go after Straka, Kovalev, Zhamnov)

Tarnstrom, Jackman, Melichar, Rozsival, Orpik, Strbak (I can see the Pens going after a top quality defenceman i.e. Yannick Tremblay, McGillis, Therien)

Fleury, Caron ( the Pens may also look for a veteran goalie to backup Fleury incase he falters i.e. Felix Potvin, Byron Dafoe)

Malkin to Join Crsoby and the Pens

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will know long before the start of training camp in September if 2004 first-round draft pick Evgeni Malkin will join an ever-growing lineup of scorers that will soon include Sidney Crosby.
Penguins general manager Craig Patrick has already talked to one of Malkin's agents, Pat Brisson, about signing the 18-year-old center for the 2005-06 season. Brisson also represents Crosby, which could be a plus for the Penguins.
With Malkin's agents also handling the 17-year-old Crosby, the Canadian super prospect who will be drafted No. 1 Saturday by the Penguins, it's likely they will push Malkin to sign with Pittsburgh so the two teens can start playing together and learning each other's games.
If that happens, it's conceivable the Penguins could open the season Oct. 5 with Crosby centering a top line that also includes player-owner Mario Lemieux and Mark Recchi, and Malkin centering their second line. "We'd like to get him over here. ... We expect to have some dialogue over the next few days" with Malkin's agents, Patrick said. "We want to get him here as soon as we can." Malkin, last year's No. 2 pick behind Russian forward Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, is signed to a multi-year contract with his hometown Mettalurg Magnitogorsk of Russian's top pro league.
Malkin was the team's third-leading scorer last year, in a relatively low-scoring league, with 12 goals and 20 assists in 52 games.
"Based on what Malkin did last year, he's definitely ready," for the NHL, Patrick said.
Until now, the labour impasse that shut down the 2004-05 season and the expired transfer agreement between the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation has prevented the Penguins from attempting to sign Malkin.
The international agreement sets parameters under which a player's European team is compensated when that player signs with an NHL team. There was speculation Russian teams would not be part of any new deal and would seek higher transfer fees - in Malkin's case, perhaps as much as $2 million.
As reported on Saturday, a new transfer deal has been reached that gives NHL teams until Aug. 15 to sign players for this season, even those currently under contract in Europe.
Thus, the Penguins would have until then to sign Malkin, or he would play at least another season in Russia. The Penguins must sign Malkin by June 1, 2008, or relinquish his NHL rights.
Malkin's Russian contract is worth $1.3 million tax-free, and he could make more than that in Pittsburgh with performance bonuses. Under the new NHL labour agreement, Malkin can make as much as $984,200 in base salary next season, plus a signing bonus of slightly less than $300,000. But he could make several million dollars more in performance bonuses.
More incentive for Malkin: Lemieux has all but said the Penguins will add at least one more high-profile forward during the free agent signing period that begins Sunday.
They currently have seven players signed to contracts worth about $5.5 million. Even after determining how much Lemieux will make, and reaching terms with their restricted free agents - including Ryan Malone, Konstantin Koltsov, Dick Tarnstrom and Brooks Orpik - they figure to have about $12 million to $15 million available to sign players.
With owner-in-waiting William "Boots" Del Biaggio planning to increase the payroll by $10 million or $11 million from the approximately $20 million when they last played, the Penguins figure to be in the mid-range of NHL payrolls. They were at the bottom during the 2003-04 season.

Free agnecy rumors

According to the Fan590, sources claim that once free agency opens up next week, the Leafs are expected to make a big run at unrestricted free agent .... Peter Forsberg!

When going throught the list of free agents this summer, I noticed there are some intriguing options out there. Imagine if the Habs go out and sign Teemu Selanne to play along with Koivu, and re-signing Kovalev to play with Bonk. This would give the the Habs a a solid 2-Line punch. And don't forget Zednik, Riberio, and Ryder.

I see the Rangers trying to do something as well. Maybe the speedy Paul Kariya. With Jagr as the only legitmate stsr in NY, Kariya would be a perfect fit in NY to play along Jagr.

After 2 years of injuries, and now a year off to rehab, I see the LA Kings keeping Allison, and Deadmarsh. I have thought long and hard about where they may move, but something tells me they will be re-signed (if healthy). Although Carolina is rumored to be interested in Allison. Plffy should also re-sign with the Kings.

How about the Big E - Eric Lindros? Toronto woould be nice, and I am sure that is his first choice as well. But if the rumors are true that the Leafs covet Forsberg, their will not be enough money for Eric. That leaves, Buffalo, Chicago, Edmonton, Anaheim, and Boston as my choices of destination for Lindros.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

LeClair and Amonte first to be bought out

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Flyers are buying out the contracts of forwards John LeClair and Tony Amonte.
The buyouts will be announced at a news conference scheduled for Saturday morning, team spokesman Zach Hill said.
The 36-year-old LeClair spent 10 years with the Flyers, and was a member of the famed "Legion of Doom'' line with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg in the mid-1990s. He tallied 382 goals and 379 assists overall in the regular season in his career with the Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens; he had 42 goals and 47 assists in the playoffs.
LeClair, who entered the lockout due $9 million US this season, was to make $6.84 million after the leaguewide 24 per cent pay cut.

Amonte, who started the lockout at about $5.61 million, was due $4.26 million. In 14 seasons with New York, Chicago, Phoenix and Philadelphia, Amonte tallied 392 goals and 436 assists in the regular season; he had 20 goals and 31 assists in 86 playoff games. (Thanks to for report)

Friday, July 22, 2005

2005 - 2006 Entry Draft Order (courtesy

Super Mario to Groom The Next One!

Two decades after Mario Lemieux's selection as the top pick saved the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise from oblivion, the team will get the chance to draft a player whose skill has been compared to that of Lemieux.
Sidney Crosby is expected to begin his NHL career in Pittsburgh after the Penguins won the NHL Draft Lottery on Friday.
"I'm overjoyed," said a relieved Ken Sawyer, the president and governor of the Penguins.
It's the second time in three years that the Penguins will first overall pick, selecting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in 2003. "The thing about Sidney Crosby that blows me away is, at 17 years of age, how he handles pressure," said TSN Hockey analyst Pierre McGuire. "(Pittsburgh) is a great place for Crosby to do some tutorial work in terms of learning from the master, Mario Lemieux.
"Now’s the time for the political people in Pittsburgh to wake up and build a new arena for the next great one, Sidney Crosby."
"(Crosby) needs to carry a franchise before he carries an entire league on his back," added TSN Hockey Analyst Bob McKenzie. "Who better than Mario Lemieux to know what (Crosby) is coming into … but you worry sometimes about the kid. The expectations are unrealistic. He needs to be nurtured."
This year's entry draft, which will be held in Ottawa on July 30, will be drastically scaled back with the proceedings being held at a hotel for the first time since 1979 when defenceman Rob Ramage was selected first overall by the Colorado Rockies at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.
Under terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, the draft has been cut down to seven rounds from nine. Crosby will be among the top 20 prospects invited to attend the proceedings, which will be completed in one day instead of the usual two.
Crosby's impact is expected to be dramatic and had general managers salivating over the chance to draft him.
"Nothing's done yet, but I'd be more than happy to play (in Pittsburgh)," said Crosby in an interview with TSN immediately following the draft.
The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, who had the best chance among Canadian based teams of winning the first overall pick, finished in the bottom half of the draw. Calgary will draft 26th while Edmonton will draft 25th.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will have the 21st pick overall.
The Vancouver Canucks landed the 10th overall pick while the Ottawa Senators will pick ninth.
The Montreal Canadiens, who had one chance in 48 of winning the top pick, ended up with the fifth pick overall.
The actual drawing of the lottery was done behind closed doors "in a secure location," according to deputy commissioner Bill Daly - before the televised unveiling.
Forty-eight balls were put in a clear container and then drawn. Columbus, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and New York had the best chances to win, as each of those teams had the maximum three balls, or a 6.25 per cent chance.
Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville and Phoenix each had two balls.
The remaining 16 teams had one ball each and a 2.08 per cent chance.
The league came up with the revamped lottery because the lockout had wiped out the season so there was no order of finish around which to base the draft. Usually the lottery only allows the bottom five teams a crack at the first pick.
"This is a unique circumstance," Bettman said prior to the lottery.
"Nobody was particularly thrilled, but everyone understood that on balance it was probably the fairest way to approach it," he added.
There hasn't been this much fanfare around an NHL prospect since Eric Lindros was drafted in 1991.
Unlike Lindros, however, Crosby is expected to play for the Penguins.
Crosby's arrival in the NHL coincides with several important rule changes aimed at opening up the game offensively and increasing scoring.
-referenced from

Announced rule changes

No more ties
- Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, three players from each team participate in a shootout.
- Each team takes three shots. The team with the most goals after those six shots wins.
- If the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a "sudden death" format.
- If a game is decided by a shootout, the final score will give the winning team one more goal than its opponent, based on the score at the end of overtime.
Two-line passes
- Two-line passes will now be legal. The centre-red line will be ignored for off-side purposes.
- The "tag-up" off-side rule returns, allowing play to continue if offensive players who preceded the puck into the zone return to the blue-line and "tag" it.
Restrictions on goalies
- The dimensions of goaltender equipment will be reduced by approximately 11 per cent. In addition to a one-inch reduction (to 11 inches) in the width of legpads, the blocking glove, upper-body protector, pants and jersey also will be reduced in size.
- Penalties for goalies using oversizing equipment are: a two-game suspension, $25,000 fine for the team and trainer gets fined $1,000.
- Goalies may play the puck behind the goal-line only in a trapezoid-shaped area defined by lines that begin six feet from either goal post and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards.
Bigger Offensive Zone
- The blue-lines will be moved closer together to create an additional four feet in each of the offensive zones. That reduces the size of the neutral zone to 50 feet from 54 feet.
- The goal-lines will be moved two feet, to 11 feet from the end boards.
- The width of blue-lines and centre-red line remains unchanged.
Changes to icing
- A team that ices the puck cannot make a line change prior to the ensuing face-off.
- Touch remains in effect but linesmen will be given more discretion to wave off icing infractions if they are deemed the result of an attempted pass.
Changes to instigator rule
- A player who instigates a fight in the final five minutes of a game will receive a game misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension. The length of suspension would double for each additional incident.
- In addition, the player's coach will be fined $10,000 US, a fine that would double for each such incident.
Areas of emphasis for officials
- Zero tolerance on interference, hooking and holding/obstruction.
- Goalies who play the puck behind the goal-line but outside the designated puck-handling area will be penalized for delay of game.
- Goaltenders will be penalized for delaying the game if they "freeze" the puck unnecessarily.
- Any player who shoots the puck directly over the glass in his defending zone will be penalized for delay of game.
Unsportsmanlike conduct
- The league will review and assess fines to players who dive, embellish a fall or a reaction, or who feign injury in an attempt to draw penalties.
- The first such incident will result in a warning letter; the second will result in a $1,000 fine; the third will result in a $2,000 fine; and the fourth incident will result in a one-game suspension.
- Public complaints or derogatory comments toward the game also will result in fines.
Competition Committee
- Is comprised of four NHL players, four general managers and one owner and is supervised by Colin Campbell, NHL executive vice-president and director of hockey operations.
- The players are Rob Blake of Colorado, Jarome Iginla of Calgary, Trevor Linden of Vancouver and Brendan Shanahan of Detroit.
- The GMs are Bob Gainey of Montreal, Kevin Lowe of Edmonton, David Poile of Nashville and Don Waddell of Atlanta.
- The owner is Ed Snider of Philadelphia.
- Mike Gartner, the NHLPA's director of business operations, will provide input to the committee.

New NHL Schedule Format

NEW YORK (July 22, 2005) - The National Hockey League is returning with an exciting new regular-season schedule format that emphasizes division rivalries.
Each club will play eight games against each of its four division rivals (32 total).
Each club will play four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in its conference (40 total).
Each club will play 10 inter-conference games, hosting one game each against all five clubs from a designated division and traveling for one game each against all five clubs from a different division. For the 2005-06 season, Northeast Division clubs will host the Pacific Division and visit the Northwest; Atlantic Division clubs will host the Northwest and visit the Central; and Southeast Division clubs will host the Central and visit the Pacific. Division vs. division assignments will rotate annually.
The new schedule strengthens division rivalries; division rivals played each other six times under the previous schedule.
The new schedule maintains integrity of the conference-based playoff format; each club continues to play 40 games against non-division, intra-conference opponents.
The new schedule allows for continued exposure of teams and star players from the other conference.
The new schedule allows for more compelling television matchups, thanks to the combination of stronger division rivalries with continued intra- and inter-conference play.

Coolest game back

The new CBA is a six-year deal with a NHLPA option to re-open the agreement after Year 4 of the deal.
NEW YORK (CP) -- The NHL board of governors unanimously approved the new labour deal Friday, officially signalling the end of the lockout.
"It's over. Let's drop the puck on a fresh start and a wonderful future for the National Hockey League," said commissioner Gary Bettman.The league vote, conducted at 1:17 p.m. ET, was 30-0. Bettman called it a "seminal moment" in the league's history.The season will open Oct. 5 with all 30 clubs in action. It will mark the league's first on-ice action since Tampa Bay Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk lifted the Stanley Cup over his head on June 7, 2004."Let me be the first to welcome you to our 2005-06 season," Bettman said at a New York hotel. His news conference was an appetizer for the main course: the league's draft lottery, with junior star Sidney Crosby the big prize.And throughout, Bettman pledged to win back the fans."The best thing that I can say to our fans is we're back, we're going to be better than ever and we're going to make it up to you," he said."We will do everything, everything, to be the best we can be and to earn your continued devotion," he added. "We know this was a terrible time for everyone associated with the game."Fans will see a new game. There will be no more ties, with a shootout deciding games. Officials will crack down on obstruction. Two-line passes will be allowed to open up the game. Goalie equipment will be smaller and there will be no-touch icing.Each team will play eight games against each of its four division rivals and four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in its conference.Each club will also play 10 interconference games. For the 2005-06 season, Northeast Division teams will host the Pacific Division and visit the Northwest, Atlantic Division clubs will host the Northwest and visit the Central; and Southeast Division teams will host the Central and visit the Pacific. Such assignments will rotate annually.The players gave the new labour deal their approval Thursday, although many voted holding their nose. Some 87 per cent of players who cast ballots did so in favour of the agreement. Out of 532 votes cast, 464 players voted in favour and 68 voted against.Friday's league vote officially ends the lockout, which wiped out an entire season -- 1,230 games plus the playoffs -- and kept the Stanley Cup in mothballs.Now the league must sell the game, no easy task in some quarters in the wake of the labour unrest.Crosby will help. But the magnitude of the task that awaits the league was shown by the fact that U.S. fans had to rely on regional cable to watch the draft lottery.ESPN, which earlier decided not to pick up a $60-million US option to show games next season, also opted to skip the lottery.Also Friday, Bettman promoted his right-hand man Bill Daly, previously vice-president and chief legal officer, to deputy commissioner. And the league showed off its new logo, a black and silver shield.The commissioner said the draft will be held a week from Saturday in Ottawa.Bettman confirmed that NHL players will go to Turin next year to play in the Olympics and to Vancouver for the 2010 Games. He said in Olympic years, the league will dispense with the all-star game to help tighten the schedule.
-referenced from

Big Bert to get 10-20 games more -- Todd Bertuzzi won't be in the lineup for the Vancouver Canucks come opening day.
According to a report out of the Vancouver Province, sources have told the newspaper commissioner Gary Bettman will announce next week that the winger will receive an additional 10-20 games for his March 8, 2004 sucker-punch on Colorado Avalanche centre Steve Moore."It's going to come down next week so the league can get on with the business side [entry draft; free agency]," a source told the Province."They [NHL] have already made their minds up and it's only fair to the Canucks because if Bertuzzi wants out, then there's little time to go after unrestricted free agents and qualify the restricted free agents they've got."Also: NHLPA approves dealBertuzzi's agent, Pat Morris, was skeptical of the alleged added suspension saying he has received no indication that his client will serve more time."That's somebody guessing one way or the other," he said. "I'm not aware of Todd getting any more time."Bertuzzi is under contract for the 2005-06 season at a rolled-back base salary of $5.421 million US.

Potential rule changes to be announced today

- Allowing the two-line pass (no red line) like international hockey;
- Reduction in goalie equipment;
- Using the AHL crease and limits on goaltender puck handling;
- No tie games; using a penalty shootout after overtime;
- No-touch icing;
- Bringing back tag-up offside;
- Move nets back two feet towards end boards.
No longer on the list, it is believed, is the plan to increase playoff participation to 20 teams from 16. That's going to be reconsidered next year but given the NHL's plan to take a break for the Turin Olympics it doesn't seem to make sense to make the season longer this year. The original idea of going to 20 teams would have seen an extra mini-playoff round with a best-of-three series in each conference between the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th-ranked teams.

Leafs Prospects Look Good

In the past 12 seasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs have played in four Eastern Conference championships and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs only in 1997 and 1998. Since Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk, Wendel Clark and Felix Potvin revived the franchise under coach Pat Burns in 1992-93 to the most recent cast led by Mats Sundin, Gary Roberts, Tie Domi and Darcy Tucker, the Maple Leafs have been perennial Stanley Cup contenders.
That success has come with a cost, however, with a number of draft picks surrendered in trades. Nor have top Maple Leafs' draft picks panned out over the last two decades. The team is under new leadership with GM John Ferguson Jr. and drafting will be one of his big challenges. It's breathtaking to realize that since 1987 when the team selected defenseman Luke Richardson, only one first-round draft pick, forward Nik Antropov, has made a significant contribution to the Maple Leafs. Other teams have used Toronto's first-round pick to take players like Scott Niedermayer, Darius Kasparaitis, Roberto Luongo and Mark Bell. That's information in a vacuum, though, because many players who have advanced the Maple Leafs' cause have come via those traded picks.
Meanwhile, first-round picks like Luca Cereda, Jeff Ware and others have failed to meet expectations.
But things are about to change.
Two recent draft picks, Carlo Colaiacovo, 17th overall in 2001, and Alexander Steen, 24th overall in 2002, should be joining the roster in the next two seasons. Colaiacovo has played four NHL games already. He played 49 games with the St. John's Maple Leafs last season in which he was hurt when he was hit in the head with a puck early in the year and suffered a midseason hip injury. He returned late in the season and played well.
Steen is going to be a favorite of Ferguson's. Steen's father, Thomas, played for John's dad when he was the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets
Steen looks like the real deal, a tall fearless center with scoring and passing ability and the kind of leadership skills that made him captain of Team Sweden at the 2003 and 2004 World Junior Championships. He played with the stocked Modo team in the Swedish Elite League last season and had nine goals and eight assists in 50 games. He might have been better off, in terms of ice time and leadership opportunities, to have played in the AHL last season. That's where he's likely to start this season.
"I've seen him play and he has matured physically," Ferguson said. "He's a very smart two-way player. He suffered a bit in terms of ice time this season, but he played with Peter Forsberg and looked good. We look forward to the opportunity to see him here in Toronto with the Marlies.
"Alexander is very smart with good offensive instincts. He has good hands and a strong lower body. He moves the puck well and has good vision. He also has a good sense of defensive responsibility and good capabilities offensively."

Every late draft pick should greet his new general manager with the short speech left wing Robbie Earl made to the Maple Leafs. The 5-foot-10, 184-pound left wing was taken in the sixth round, 187th overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft. That was just after his 14-goal, 13-assist freshman season at the University of Wisconsin. He went out and had 20 goals and 24 assists this season for the Badgers. "He was very open about the fact he thought we got a steal where we got him," Ferguson said. "I'm happy he feels that way. He has a lot to prove and last season went a long way to bolstering his argument. Wisconsin swept North Dakota one weekend last winter and Robbie had both game-winning goals. He's doing the things he said he could do and maybe showing teams he could have been taken earlier. He has below-average NHL size and it won't be the last time he hears that. He's an explosive skater with a good finishing touch."

Size, size and more size was the drafting mantra across the NHL for many years and it caused some talented smaller players to go a lot lower than they should have. Defenseman Ian White, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, could be one of those. After a 12-goal, 31-assist rookie season with Swift Current, White was taken in the sixth round, 191st overall, in 2002. The Maple Leafs had to love his 32 goals and 47 assists for 79 points the next season, 68 points the year after that and good numbers in an injury-shortened final season. White, who played youth hockey with Steen in Winnipeg, added four assists in eight AHL playoff games two years ago and had four goals and 22 assists in his rookie AHL season.

"He knows he's somewhat undersized for the prototypical NHL defenseman. He's heard it before for a long time, but he just continues to progress," Ferguson said. "He had a strong impact as a rookie in the AHL. He played a lot of minutes and finished with a really strong plus-minus. He did nothing to diminish his status as a prospect. He only enhanced it."

A player who goes in the ninth round of the junior draft and the seventh round of the NHL draft, skates poorly, doesn't "do" defense and has conditioning issues generally doesn't make it to the NHL. So, why is right wing Jeremy Williams so close?

Because he worked extremely hard to make himself a better skater, got fit and is working on his defense. White's teammate at Swift Current, Williams led the Broncos in scoring in 2002-03 and was named to the WHL First All-Star Team. Williams had 16 goals and 20 assists in 75 games in his rookie AHL season.

"Jeremy showed very good hockey sense and skill this season," Ferguson said. "He's already got an NHL shot release. He realized he has some work to do off the ice to maintain his physical consistency and be a contributor night in and night out. It's important this offseason for him get in a lot of physical conditioning. He has skills that rightfully establish his place as an NHL prospect. He was a later pick, but in the AHL this year he exhibited the finishing skill he had in juniors. And, that was without getting frontline power-play time. He did prove later that he could contribute in that area. He played hard at critical times. Jeremy has a ways to go, but he possesses characteristics that will help him continue."

While some of Toronto's top prospects were overlooked for lack of size, defenseman Dmitri Vorobiev slid down because of a perception of a weight and fitness problem. The other problem was scouts were not enthusiastic about his potential. The rap was that he did most things well, but nothing really well. Well, Vorobiev, who went in the fifth round, 157th overall, in 2004, has two solid seasons under him in the top Russian league and he was the leading-scoring defenseman on Team Russia at the 2005 World Junior Championships. That seems out-of-sync with his two goals and six assists last season and two goals and one assist the season before.
"The Russian policy of no second assists affects defensemen the most," Ferguson said. "He gets his shot through on net and those 'assists' add up, but aren't credited. I saw him play with Tolyatti Lada and he played on the top pairing. He's only 19, 17 at the start of his rookie season. Dmitri is a good two-way defenseman with decent size. He makes good puck decisions. He's not flashy, but he's dependable and effective. That league was better last year than it typically is and he did well. He's a thickly built kid with a good attitude. We think we extracted some value getting him where we did."

The Maple Leafs used four-straight picks to select defensemen in 2001. Karel Pilar and Colaiacovo have already moved to the head of the class. Brendan Bell and Jay Harrison appear to be on their way. Bell went in the third round, 65th overall, and Harrison was taken later in the third round with the 82nd pick. They are very different types of players.

Bell has always been a great assist producer and he blossomed in his final junior season as captain of the Ottawa 67's, scoring 14 goals and adding 39 assists in 55 games. He had seven goals and 25 points in his AHL rookie season and six goals and 31 points last year. He was the Canadian junior defenseman of the year two years ago. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, he's got the size. His conditioning and defensive play improved dramatically under coach Brian Kilrea at Ottawa.

"Brendan had a good, solid second professional season," Ferguson said. "His play was a little inconsistent. He had some nights when he was far and away our best defenseman. Those nights tell you he continued to progress. You can see why he was the junior defenseman of the year. He's strong, solidly built, a strong skater with a big shot. Brendan is a very good puck mover and he can play the point on the power play. He possesses a low, hard shot. He's improved his strength since junior and he's more capable defensively."

Harrison didn't progress as anticipated in juniors and, despite some success, slipped with the scouts. A first-round junior pick, his skating, low scoring and high penalty minutes hurt his draft selection. Harrison won a gold medal with Canada at the 1999 World Under-18 Championship and played on the medal-winning 2001 and 2002 WJC teams. He's played three seasons with St. John's and the Maple Leafs will consider him for a physical role on the defense.

"He has very good size and toughness. We project him as a fifth- or sixth-defenseman," Ferguson said. "He can also kill penalties. He plays a tough defense and clears the crease. The new rules will impact the makeup of the roster. We expect they will put a premium on mobile defensive players. Jay makes a good first pass and clears the zone quickly. He moves the puck fine, but it's not his first suit. He's not a puck-carrying guy. He makes the simple, safe outlet and we like that."
Ferguson is also high on the chances of Swedish defenseman Staffan Kronwall, the younger brother of Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nik Kronwall. They took him with the 285th overall pick in 2002, just before he moved up to play with Djurgardens in the Swedish Elite League. He now has three years under his belt at that level, although he got shuffled around this year with the increased level of competition. A low-scoring defensive defenseman, he could be competition for the job Harrison has his eye on. He's 6-foot-4 and 214 pounds.

"We anticipate he'll make the transition to North America this season," Ferguson said. "He's a good athlete in very good physical shape. He transitions the puck very well and he competes hard. For where he was picked, this club will get value."

Ferguson is curious about defenseman Dominic D'Amour whose knowledge of positional play has always been advanced. "Always in the right place. Makes the right play," are what the scouts say about 6-foot-3, 202-pound blue liner who averaged 216 penalty minutes in three seasons with Hull in which they twice went to the QMJHL finals. He split last season between St. John's and the ECHL.

"Dominic has good size with toughness and offensive capability," Ferguson said. "Everyone said he was a defensive defenseman, but then he had 15 goals in his last junior season. He's got a heavy shot from the point. We'll see how he develops."

Center John Mitchell is a big man still growing into his body. He showed consistent improvement in juniors with Plymouth and had 82 and 75 points his last two seasons. Mitchell is excellent on face-offs and tough against other teams' top centers. Plymouth coach Mike Vellucci absolutely expects his former charge to play in the NHL and cites his leadership qualities. Mitchell's skating is good and will get better with maturity and the added strength it brings. The Maple Leafs took him in the fifth round, 158th overall, in the 2003 draft, just before his breakout junior season.

"John is a highly skilled offensive player but he has some work to do on his end-to-end skating," Ferguson said. "He's a deceptive, slippery opponent. He was in the top ten in OHL scoring the past two years. He put up consistent offensive numbers both years. I think there is more there when he gets his stride straightened out. He has room to get better. His puck movement and hand skills are top shelf."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Nolan up for knee surgery

According to reports on, Owen Nolan will require knee surgery to correct an earlier attempt to correct knees.
This poses an interesting scenario that if he is injured, then a buyout cannot take place. Thus, the Leafs will be stuck with a big contract on an aging, declining forward.
Let's see what happens.

Roberts to hated Ottawa? Say it ain't so....anywhere but there

I'm not one who would cry if Roberts was not brought back to Toronto, but please don't let him end up in Ottawa. According to a reporton, gritty Leafs winger Gary Roberts may be going to the provincial rival Ottawa Senators, reports the Ottawa Sun.Sources have told the Sun that GM John Muckler will make an offer to Roberts when the unrestricted free agent market opens Aug. 1."We haven't had any formal or preliminary discussions (with Ottawa) regarding Gary, but I would think he is going to be sought after by four or five teams that have an interest in a guy with his kind of character," Roberts' agent Rick Curran told the Sun.

Predictions on Draft Order

With the new CBA indicating that each team will have an equal chance of winning the #1 pick overall in this years draft, here is another look at my randomly generated draft order, and picks based on TSN's top 30 prospects.

3 BOSTON Benoit Pouliot (LW)
4 TORONTO Anze Kopitar (C)
5 COLUMBUS Gilbert Brule (C)
6 NASHVILLE Bobby Ryan (RW)
7 CHICAGO Kenndal McArdle (LW)
8 ST LOUIS Jack Skille (LW)
9 CAROLINA Marc Staal (D)
10 CALGARY Devin Setoguchi (RW)
11 EDMONTON Ryan O'Marra (C)
12 MINNESOTA Brian Lee (D)
13 NY ISLANDERS Luc Bourdon (D)
14 FLORIDA Niklas Bergfors (LW)
15 PITTSBURGH Marek Zagrapan (C)
16 ANAHEIM Alex Bourret (RW)
17 BUFFALO Ryan Stoa (C)
18 LOS ANGELES Martin Hanzal ( C )
19 ATLANTA Jakub Kindl (D)
20 DALLAS Andrew Cogliano ( C )
21 OTTAWA Carey Price (G)
22 PHILADELPHIA Matt Lashoff (D)
23 DETROIT Tuukka Rask (G)
24 COLORADO Ryan Parent ( C )
25 TAMPA BAY Dan Bertram (RW)
26 NY RANGERS Michael Blunden (RW)
27 MONTREAL Guillaume Latendresse (LW)
28 VANCOUVER Scott Jackson (D)
29 SAN JOSE Brendan Mikkelson (D)
30 NEW JERSEY Ondrej Pavelec (G)