Friday, December 30, 2005

Trade Rumors

- The Vancouver Province, seeing Brendan Morrison's demotion to the third line, suggests that the Canucks might be able to work a deal that involves Morrison and Cloutier going to the Blues for free agent-to-be C Doug Weight. The paper also notes that the Canucks are in the market for a goaltender, but they can choose from a fairly large group of available veterans.

- The Denver Post, noting that a Canadiens scout has been at the last couple Avalanche games, mentions that the Avalanche might have an interest in Canadiens G Jose Theodore. The Avs don't have much cap room to handle Theodore's $4.5-million salary, but a deal could work depending on what salaries go to Montreal.

- Devils C Scott Gomez could be on the block, with Calgary and Phoenix potential destinations, according to the New York Post. The Post also has the Devils interested in an offensive blueliner, listing Columbus' Bryan Berard and Pittsburgh's Dick Tarnstrom as possibilities.

- The Rockland Journal News, noting that the Rangers are approximately $5-million under the $39-million salary cap, mentions wingers Sergei Samsonov and Petr Sykora as possible targets to boost the Rangers' secondary scoring.

- Newsday reports that, while the Rangers are interested in Sykora, the Blueshirts aren't offering anything to tempt to the Ducks into making the move.

- Several reports indicate that Devils LW Patrik Elias is mere days away from making his return to action. Elias has been out all season after contracting Hepatitis A last year.

- Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon is looking to make some changes, according to the Chicago Tribune, with G Nikolai Khabibulin perhaps the most marketable player on the roster, despite his poor start to the season.

- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Capitals GM George McPhee says he won't be trading G Olaf Kolzig, despite what appears to be several teams' need for a veteran goaltender.

- Big ticket Penguins veterans Sergei Gonchar and Zigmund Palffy have both been mentioned in trade talks, acccording to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

- The Montreal Gazette expects the Devils to deal D Dan McGillis, though with McGillis making $2.2-million there may not be any takers unless the Devils take on a similarly-priced underachiever.

- The San Francisco Chronicle notes that Alexander Korolyuk remains Sharks property while playing in Russia and that San Jose likely will trade him at some point. Korolyuk is among the league leaders, scoring 28 points in 33 games for Chekhov Vityaz.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

News and Notes from the NHL

Coyotes bring Orszagh back from SEL -- The Phoenix Coyotes have signed former Nashville Predators forward Vladimir Orszagh, Sportsnet has learned.
Orszagh, who has been playing in Sweden since the lockout, still has to clear waivers as a member of the Coyotes, which means another team -- specifically his former club the Predators -- might swoop in an reclaim the right winger. The deal is reportedly worth $625,000. Orszagh played 82 games for Nashville in 2003-04, scoring 16 goals and adding 21 assists.

Roy Gate no. 2?December 29 @ 9:00 AM
With Colorado continuing to have problems between the pipes, could the Avalanche be looking to steal another goalie from the Canadiens?According to the Denver Post, the Avs may be looking into acquiring goalie jose Theodore from Montreal, with Florida's Roberto Luongo apparently off the trade block.For the second consecutive game, a scout from the Canadiens was in attendance Wednesday night.

The Shootout
It is a hit with fans and brings a playoff feel to every game. But how have players and coaches reacted to the shootout? In Part I of our shootout series, Scott Burnside finds that planning for shootouts is an imperfect science for a coach. Story

Return of the Whalers!!! Hartford looks for an NHL Franchise again

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Eight years after the Whalers left Hartford for North Carolina, a developer wants to bring another NHL team to the Connecticut capital.
Lawrence Gottesdiener is head of Northland Investment Corp., which owns $500 million US worth of property in Hartford. He would like to put the team in a $250 million arena he hopes to build.
''We've got our own money, we're willing to invest in an arena and we're willing to buy a team,'' he said. ''It would be an important entity and symbol of the city, the region and the state.''
Gottesdiener's plan calls for a publicly subsidized, 16,000-seat venue that would be home to a major hockey team. The University of Connecticut men's and women's basketball teams also would play some games there.
The new arena would replace the Hartford Civic Center under the proposal, which was announced Wednesday amid talk of the Civic Center's future.
-report from

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Has Lucky Luc's Luck finally run out?

A Bitter End?
Luc Robitaille believes he can still play. The Kings recently made the "tough decision" to bench him. George Johnson writes the two sides are caught in a tug of nostalgia vs. practicality, and how it ends is anyone's guess. Story
Luc Robitaille's stats More on Kings


Gretzky to return to Coyotes' bench tonight vs. Sharks
Pens fall to 0-4 under Therrien after OT loss to Leafs
Star-struck: Dallas takes beating from Detroit at home
Bruins' late comeback ends with OT win over Caps
Two third-period goals lift Preds past Flames in Calgary
Sutter lays down law for Canadians at junior tourney
Blues owners might have settled on potential buyer
Leafs' Tucker fined for scuffle with Janssen
Miller defensive, Hossa offensive players of week

Reports from and - Dec 28, 2005

Wayne Gretzky will be back behind the bench for the Phoenix Coyotes tonight against the San Jose Sharks. Gretzky left the team to be with his ailing mother back on December 17. In his absence, the Coyotes have lost three of the last five under interim coach Rick Tocchet.FULL STORY...

Avalanche demote goaltender Kolesnik
The Colorado Avalanche have sent goaltender Vitaly Kolesnik to the AHL after seven NHL starts.

Upshall scores winner for Preds in Calgary
Scottie Upshall's goal at 13:13 of the third period earned the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night and extend their win streak to six games.

Kaberle gives Leafs OT win over Penguins
Zetterberg and Red Wings outshine Stars
Bruins stop Capitals in OT
Report: Gretzky to return Wednesday
Leafs' Tucker fined for helmet incident
Letter of intent signed for Blues sale
Lemieux could return in seven to 10 days
Sharks place Parker on injured reserve
Thrashers activate Lehtonen from IR
Hossa, Miller win NHL's weekly honours
Report: Nolan inquires about Devils job
More Headlines >>

Toivonen may soon be the No. 1December 28 @ 9:39 AM According to the Boston Herald, it appears first-year goalie Hannu Toivonen could soon have the No. 1 goaltending job ahead of Andrew Raycroft.Although Bruins coach Mike Mike Sullivan won't say the rookie has the top spot, the fact that he has given Toivonen seven starts in the team's last 10 games is a more telling indicator."The reality is that Hannu is going to play," said Sullivan. "I thought he was our best player in the two (pre-Christmas) games against Toronto. Given that, I think he deserves to play."

Unlucky end to Luc's run?December 28 @ 9:27 AM Luc Robitaille's glowing career may be coming to a not-so-glorious end in the City of Angels, writes George Johnson for "Lucky Luc" is fighting for a place in the Kings lineup, which is creating a tough situation for the team and the forward who has been one of the most popular players in Los Angeles for the 13 years he has played there.Kings coach Andy Murray had to make Robitaille a healthy scratch for three straight games, which Murray called a "tough decision."But with an injury to Jeremy Roenick, it has opened up a spot again for Robitaille, which he hopes to use to earn his way back onto the regular lineup. "It's up to me," he admitted.

Ovechkin suit may be decided this weekDecember 22 @ 12:47 PM The playing status of Alexander Ovechkin could be decided as soon as this week, according to the Washington Post.A U.S. District Court judge heard arguments yesterday in the lawsuit between Moscow Dynamo and the Washington Capitals on which team has ownership of the rookie's contractual rights."The judge seemed to indicate he won't sit on this, so I would expect a decision pretty quickly," said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.Meanwhile, Ovechkin is almost certain to be named to the Russian Olympic team that is expected to be announced today, writes Tarik El-Bashir.

Thornton deal may not have included himDecember 21 @ 9:32 AM As if it isn't hard enough for Bruins fans to take that their former captain Joe Thornton has been flourishing in San Jose. Now it's being reported that perhaps he may not have needed to go.According to a story in the Boston Herald, there is speculation that the original deal between the Sharks and Bruins might have been a strict two-player swap of San Jose defenceman Brad Stuart for Boston forward Sergei Samsonov.Although Bruins GM Mike O'Connell denies it, a well-placed source says it was real, writes Stephen Harris.

Prospect Justin Pogge looking solid for Canada....and maybe for the Leafs

Canada looks for its second straight win at the 2006 world junior hockey championship in Vancouver when it faces Switzerland today (6:30pm et/3:30pm pt on TSN). Justin Pogge, who back-stopped Canada to a 5-1 win over Finland in their tournament opener, is expected to start against the Swiss.
Justin Pogge, who back-stopped Canada to a 5-1 win over Finland in their tournament opener, is expected to start against the Swiss. Forward Steve Downie, who was ill earlier this week, is also expected to play.
Canada can set the country's second-longest win streak at the world juniors with another one today, which would be the eighth in a row for Canada. The longest winning streak for Canada was 18 games, starting in 1994 tournament and ending in the 1997 championship.
Switzerland won their opener, 2-0 over Norway. Reta Berra made 24 saves for the shutout and probably earned the start against Canada. Coach Jakob Kolliker, however, says the Swiss are not afraid to give Leonardo Genoni a turn.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Reports from - Dec 19, 2005

Larry Robinson is stepping down as head coach of the New Jersey Devils. There's no immediate word on a replacement or why he decided to resign. The Star-Ledger reported that team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello led the team at practice this morning.FULL STORY...

Frustrated Leafs welcome Islanders
Ed Belfour again tries to become the second-winningest goaltender in league history Monday when the Maple Leafs host the New York Islanders.

The Battle of Alberta resumes
The Calgary Flames try to win for the sixth time in seven outings Monday when they meet the Edmonton Oilers for the fourth time this season.

Canucks play host to Kings
NHL Mail: Late Round Revelations
Stars keep rolling with win over Blackhawks
Luongo stops 53 shots in Panthers' win
Ducks snap Sharks' winning streak
Sakic the difference as Avs top Rangers
Leafs' Steen injured; listed day-to-day
Auld unfazed in his new role with Canucks
Gretzky leaves Coyotes to be with family
Canadiens return Kostitsyn to Hamilton
More Headlines >>

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Reports from - Dec 15, 2005

Who's Really To Blame?
When a team is not performing well, everyone looks to the head coach for answers. But in the case of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Barry Melrose says the players are the ones to blame. Story
Adelson: Pens needed new direction Therrien provides it VoteOlczyk fired Hradek: Analysis Lemieux back Friday Moves


'Hockey Night' on ESPNEWS
ESPNEWS is your one-stop location for NHL coverage. Tune in to Hockey Night tonight for postgame analysis and highlights along with Barry Melrose.
Who's hot in NHL? Chat wrap
Mogilny won't play for Team Russia in Turin
Bettman: Salary cap will rise next season
Blue Jackets send goalie Prusek to Syracuse
Isles' Blake out of hospital after suffering concussion
Canucks lose top goalie Cloutier for regular season
Fedorov to skip Olympics, focus on NHL play
Sabres' Kalinin out 7-10 days with fractured finger
Tearful Fischer grateful to be alive

Rumors from

Canucks looking at BironDecember 15 @ 9:50 AM
Buffalo's Martin Biron may be in the crosshairs of GM Dave Nonis.With the loss of No.1 goaltender Dan Cloutier to surgery, the Toronto Sun is reporting that Biron, along with Washington goaltender Olaf Kolzig, are on the top of Vancouver wish list for goalies.

Sykora a wanted manDecember 14 @ 9:25 AM
According to various reports, Anaheim's Petr Sykora is the hot commodity on the trade block.According to the New York Post, the New York Rangers have a potential Sykora for Tom Poti deal in the works which could possibly be expanded to a four player deal, involving Ruslan Salei and Steve Rucchin as well.Meanwhile, the Toronto Star is reporting the Toronto Maple Leafs have inquired into Sykora, as have Boston and Ottawa.

Calgary Christmas wish listDecember 13 @ 9:20 AM
The Calgary Sun is reporting the Flames are interested in acquiring a centre or scorer to complement sniper Jarome Iginla. And, if you believe the rumours, there are quite a few snipers who are up for grabs.The list includes: centres Patrick Marleau, Doug Weight, Olli Jokinen, Oleg Kvasha, Jason Allison, Brad Richards and Marc Savard have all been mentioned as potential bait, while wingers Petr Sykora and Owen Nolan are believed to be available to the highest bidder.

Rangers set sights on SykoraDecember 12 @ 10:04 AM
The New York Rangers and Anaheim Mighty Ducks are discussing a deal that would send Petr Sykora to the Big Apple, according to a report in the New York Post. The paper states Rangers assistant GM Don Maloney was in Montreal Saturday to scout the 29-year-old winger. In Anaheim's 5-3 win over the Habs, Sykora registered a goal and an assist. Sykora, who fell out of favor early with first-year coach Randy Carlyle, has also attracted interest from the Canadiens and Boston Bruins as well as the Ottawa Senators. Sykora's remaining 2005-06 cap charge equals $1,964,435. The Rangers are 9-1-1 in their last 11. They currently have approximately $4.5M of cap space available.

No interest in LuongoDecember 7 @ 9:25 AM
Despite rumours suggesting otherwise, Philadelphia Flyers GM Bob Clarke is not interested in trading for Roberto Luongo.Clarke admits some teams have called, and one did offer a goalie, but Florida was not one of them."I haven't spoken with [Florida GM] Mike Keenan in some time," Clarke told "We like our goaltending. We're not interested at all [in Luongo]. When Esche got hurt, we had other teams call us, not Florida, but we have no interest."

Reports from - Dec 15, 2005

Owner-captain Mario Lemieux practised with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday for the first time since being hospitalized Dec. 7 with a rapid heartbeat and expects to play Friday night against Buffalo. FULL STORY...
Penguins recall Ouellet
Penguins fire Olczyk, call on Therrien

Mogilny opts out of Team Russia for 2006
The chance to play for former linemate Pavel Bure was not enough to lure Alexander Mogilny to Turin, as the veteran winger told TSN that he has withdrawn his name from consideration for Team Russia at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Penguins fire Olczyk, call on Therrien
The Penguins have fired Eddie Olczyk as coach and named Michel Therrien his replacement.

NHL salary cap rising to $40-45M
Brooks addresses NHL owners' meeting
Plenty of goalie options for Canucks
Saskin appears at NHL GMs meeting
Oilers obtain Evans from St. Louis
Hurricanes reassign G Ward to AHL
Islanders' Blake released from hospital
Cloutier having surgery; out four months
Heated exchanges at NHLPA meetings
More Headlines >>

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Weekend Reports from - Dec 11, 2005

Penguins owner-captain Mario Lemieux said he is doubtful that the team will remain in Pittsburgh after its Mellon Arena lease expires in 2007, citing a lack of progress on a new arena. FULL STORY...

Flames rally past Senators in overtime
Daymond Langkow scored 3:38 into overtime Saturday night as the Calgary Flames came from behind for a 2-1 win over netminder Ray Emery and the Ottawa Senators.

Streaking Stars deny Belfour win No. 448
Marty Turco stopped 19 of 20 shots and made his case for the Canadian Olympic team as the Dallas Stars edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Saturday.
Big Bert is the hot name on the trade block these days, with Broadway mentioned most as the destination. The Sens are fine with what they have in Havlat's absence and Petr Sykora is on the outs in Anaheim. Hot n' Not, Farm Report and looking at some top draft prospects in Junior Report and Varsity Report. All this and the best in quotes, Chirping, in this week's edition of's Backchecking.
December 9th

Lemieux pulls out of Winter Olympics
Ducks cruise to victory over Canadiens
Rucinsky scores weird winner to beat Blues
Penguins end skid with long-awaited win
Sharks keep rolling with Thornton in lineup
Grahame wins again as Bolts edge Predators
Islanders edge out Oilers in a shootout
Demitra, Kings pounce on Panthers
Radivojevic nets winner; Flyers edge Wild
Blues deal Boguniecki to Pens for Poapst
Flyers' Gagne sidelined for two weeks
Wild's Wanvig suspended, Lemaire fined
More Headlines >>

Saturday pivotal in Ed Olczyk's future
Saturday's Penguins home game against the Colorado Avalanche could be pivotal in terms of head coach Ed Olczyk's future in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Reports from - Dec 7, 2005

No interest in LuongoDecember 7 @ 9:25 AM Despite rumours suggesting otherwise, Philadelphia Flyers GM Bob Clarke is not interested in tarding for Roberto Luongo.Clarke admits some teams have called, and one did offer a goalie, but Florida was not one of them."I haven’t spoken with [Florida GM] Mike Keenan in some time," Clarke told "We like our goaltending. We’re not interested at all [in Luongo]. When Esche got hurt, we had other teams call us, not Florida, but we have no interest."

Foote given the 'C'December 6 @ 1:55 PM Adam Foote become the team's fourth captain, after Lyle Odelein, Ray Whitney and Luke Richardson, Sportsnet has learned. Richardson surrendered the captaincy on Nov. 26, a day after he was a healthy scratch. Richardson hasn't divulged his reasons, although he told Gallant that he thought it was the right time to step aside. Foote, Trevor Letowski, Sergei Fedorov and David Vyborny have served as assistant captains this season. Foote has been out because of a groin injury since Nov. 23. but is expected to play Thursday against the NY Islanders.

No Turin for Stevie YDecember 6 @ 9:45 AM Steve Yzerman has pulled himself off Canada's Olympic roster. Steve Yzerman has confirmed to Sportsnet he will not participate in this coming Olympics in Italy.Yzerman told Sportsnet "I talked to Wayne the other night and told him I didn't feel I was playing well enough to hold one of 13 spots." He added "I'm very grateful for past opportunities representing my country but there is too many good players playing too well for me to hold a spot in the roster."

Ovechkin suit could be resolved soonDecember 1 @ 9:43 AM According to a story in the USA TODAY, the issue of jurisdiction will play a huge role in the battle over the rights to Capitals rookie Alexander Ovechkin.The forward's former Russian team, Moscow Dynamo, filed a lawsuit against him on Nov. 18 contending he still owed them services, and are looking for money as compensation.The U.S District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan set a hearing for Dec. 21 to determine whether his court has jurisdiction. "If this court doesn't ... the case will be dismissed," said Sullivan.In any case, the hearing set for this month should ensure the dispute will be resolved before the end of the regular season.

Mario Lemieux in Hospital

Pittsburgh Penguins owner-player Mario Lemieux was admitted into hospital Wednesday for observation of an irregular heartbeat, general manager Craig Patrick said. Lemieux will be monitored overnight in the undisclosed hospital and won't play Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild. The Penguins said Lemieux's playing status will be day to day after that. According to Patrick, Lemieux reported having an irregular heartbeat after practice.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Say it ain't so Joe!

The Boston Bruins have traded C Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for D Brad Stuart, F Marco Sturm, and C Wayne Primeau.

I think Boston has lost it's mind, and SJ is about to start their SHARK ATTACK!!!

Here are various reports on the trade:


The Boston Bruins shipped Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday for Wayne Primeau, Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart. Thornton, 26, is a three-time all-star who had nine goals and 24 assists in 23 games this season for the Bruins. The six-foot-four, 223-pound power forward is in the first year of a $20 million US, three-year contract and is due to make $6.66 million this year.FULL STORY...


Instead of firing its coach or GM, Boston traded its franchise player.
Skating With Sharks
Joe Thornton is headed west. The last-place Bruins dealt their captain to the slumping Sharks on Wednesday for forwards Wayne Primeau and Marco Sturm and defenseman Brad Stuart. Story
Melrose: Wakeup call for Thornton ... Watch No. 1 historySharks lose 10th straight Elias Says