Monday, November 13, 2006

Blue Jackets fire coach Gerard Gallant

The Columbus Blue Jackets have fired head coach Gerard Gallant.
Sources tell TSN it is expected that assistant coach Gary Agnew will be named interim head coach, but that a search for a full time head coach will commence immediately.
The Blue Jackets are off to a 5-9-1 start this season, Gallant's third season as head coach.
Gallant had been with the Blue Jackets since their first game. He was an assistant coach for three years before being named interim head coach in the 2003-04 season. After 45 games as interim coach, the Blue Jackets hired Gallant on a full time basis in June of 2004

HockeyBloggerman Response:

A change was definetley needed, coach gallant just didn't seem to get the most out of this club. If I were the GM, I would get rid of the interim coach as soon as possible and bring in a coach like Pat Quinn!

You have veterns like Modin, Federov, Carter, and Foote, and then with up and comers like Nash, Zherdev, and Kesla. He coaches an offensive game. Another option would be Hitchcock.

I would love to see this team do well because of the potential Columbus has.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another disappointing effort by the Sens, on the winning goal 2 on 2 you see a lazy half-assed "defensive" play by Spezza trying to poke the pass from the Thrasher player over to Kozlov...I guess he STILL isn't hearing what coach Murray is telling him. Poor Ottawa fans, at least you beat the lLeafs the last 2 times...they really mean a lot...LOL!!!

Break Up Those SENS!!!

It's over...say goodbye to:

Muckler - deserves it for letting the wrong players go, and bringing hand-picked Gerber as the #1 goalie

Murray - unfortunatley for him, his skilled players Spezza and Heatley are too 1 dimensional and he will be a scape goat. But here's an idea, how about him as replacement GM?

Alfredsson - he just needs a change, and so do the fans from him as captain.

But before any of these things happen, a trade will come first. And the only choice for Muckler is to get Forsberg, and get rid of Spezza. Heatley can go too, but Spezza is the main one. His arrogance as if he is a 10 year superstar is a problem.

....It's fun bashing the Sens! All the Sens fans are probably calling into talk shows bashing the Leafs as if it were Toronto's doing....That's Ottawa's prob! focus on he rest of the league and the cup. DUMMIES!

Sens collapse again...this time to Atlanta

Slava Kozlov's hat trick helped the Atlanta Thrashers beat Ottawa 5-4 on Wednesday night, and hand the Senators their first five-game losing streak in 10 years. The Senators blew 3-1 and 4-2 advantages. It was the third straight game that Ottawa blew a lead. The Senators led 2-0 in a 3-2 loss to Carolina on Saturday night and couldn't hold a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 loss to Washington in overtime on Monday night.FULL STORY...

Nylander, Rangers win in shootout
Michael Nylander scored the only goal in the shootout to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over Florida on Wednesday night.

Lecavalier pots OT winner for Lightning
Vincent Lecavalier's goal 2:41 into overtime gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Leafs keep on rolling, Sens collapse from 3-0 lead, and Kovalchuk scores 3!

Leafs 4 - Flyers 1
Caps 4 - Sens 3
Thrasher 5 - Bruins 3

Form previous post, looks like the Sens might need to make a move to shake things up with all the GMs meeting this week. Flyers and Sens...I wouldn't count it out.

Peter Forsberg Trade Rumors and Why the Sens will not win the cup!

With the Flyers in a state of turmoil, and in need for puck moving defencemen, the Flyers might be ina situation to move Forsberg, since he is to become a free agent next season anyways. The Flyers have young centres in Carte and Richards, thus making the move more likely. I think both Gagne and Forsberg will move, and Hatcher closer to the deadline. Here's a look at teams the Flyers can move Forsberg to:

Calgary - They are another team that is close to going in the wrong direction. if they want ssalvage the season and try and make one last run with Iginla, then the Flames need to go after Forsberg and have Iginla and Tanguay play with him. However, this would reuqire Hamrlik to go the other way along with a young forward like Lombardi, and maybe a pick as well.

Ottawa - Like Calgary, a predicted cup favourite is off to a below average start. Muckler must be feeling the pressure. 2 years ago, they put the blame on Hossa and Bonk, players identified as to soft, or without "canadian grit." So he brought in Heatley. have they won the cup? No! In fact, Heatley is highly dependant on Spezza, and he seems to be moody and selfish in thinking offence before defence only. Hossa on the other habd is flourishing and can be considered as a top 5 player. In fact, Hossa is showing a lot more of that "grit" Muckler complained about. Last year it was Alfredsson who blew the play, and they let Chara and Havlat go instead. Alfie is a bit quiet this year, and sorry Sens fans, but to be honest, Ottawa seems to pnly play their best hockey in the regular season against the Leafs. They put so much effort against them during the regular season - only if they could reproduce that in the playoffs against the leafs, and other teams.
So, Forsberg to Ottawa, one last chance for the Muckler regime. it ill probably cost them Meszaros (D), Shaefer (LW), prospect Kaigarodov, and a pick. No one hass ever questioned Forsberg's "grit", so maybe this is what the Sens captain needs - adding grit from fellow countryman might be what the doctor ordered for Ottawa's beloved Alfie!

P.S. This will probably be the only way for Alfie to have is chance to redeem all tehse years in Ottawa. If not, Say good by to this core. Muckler says he's been re-tooling the Team to be more suited for the cup run, but the real core should have been around Hoss, Chara, and Redden

News and Notes

Phoenix Coyotes forward Mike Comrie has suffered a fractured foot and will be out of the lineup for four weeks. Comrie will have surgery performed today to repair the fracture. Comrie injured his foot in the last shift of the game against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday when he was hit by a slapshot. Comrie leads all Coyotes players in scoring with four goals and seven assists in 13 games.FULL STORY...

Maple Leafs' Kubina to return Thursday
Pavel Kubina's life is about to change and it has nothing to do with his rapid recovery from a knee injury.

Afinogenov sidelined with upper body injury
The Buffalo Sabres will probably have to play a few more games without their leading scorer.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bolting Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Jay Feaster is prepared to make big changes to the team, and it's not to the coaching staff.
Quoted in the Tampa Tribune, Feaster says "I'm not concerned about the job the coaches are doing. I just think, and it's disgusting in this business, that it's a knee-jerk reaction, it's the easiest thing to do when it's not going well is to identify the one guy instead of the 20 guys who play. I don't think a coach becomes stupid overnight."
And Feaster delivered a message to any players who may have turned a deaf ear to the coaching staff.
"Then we ought to get the deaf and dumb out," Feaster said. "Honestly, if that's the case then I wish they would identify themselves to me and let me move them on because I would rather see them gone then a hell of a good coach."
"If we don't get things going the way we want them to, then there will have to be changes," he said. "It's because of our position under the salary cap, we are not in a position to go out and say, 'Here is a draft pick,' and get the answers that we think we need. We don't have the room to assimilate it under the cap. So, as a result, it's going to mean salary going out. And it isn't the guy making $500,000 or the guy making $450,000, that doesn't give us enough leeway to do things, either."

Rumors....Morrison to Ottawa

The Senators are interested in getting center Brendan Morrison from the Canucks if money issues can be worked out.
According to the Ottawa Sun, a source says that Canucks general manager Dave Nonis would like to move Morrison and his $3.2 million salary even if it's just to get some cap relief.
Non is will likely deny that he is trying to move Morrison, but the Canucks are right up against the league's $44-million ceiling with a payroll of $43.124 million and that's left Nonis handcuffed if the club runs into injury problems.
Though Nonis has denied holding trade talks with Senators GM John Muckler, sources insist the Canucks called last week to check on the availability of either defencemen Anton Volchenkov or Christoph Schubert.

Leafs surprising many so far...Beat Sabres....Can they keep it

It's one month into the NHL season and Paul Maurice's Toronto Maple Leafs are showing an appealing trait that may prove valuable as they try to grind out a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They play their best hockey just when it seems the most unlikely.FULL STORY...
Highlights: TOR 4, BUF 1
Maple Leafs Report

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Report detailing Leanne Domi's statement

TORONTO -- Former Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi is portrayed as an "angry, violent" cheater who romanced Liberal MP Belinda Stronach while he ignored his family, according to a divorce application filed by his wife.
Domi threatened her with financial ruin if she hired a lawyer instead of taking a $2.5 million home-and-cash offer, Leanne Domi says in the document filed last week in which she cites adultery and cruelty as grounds for the divorce.
Domi's tough guy tactics worked wonders for him on the ice, but won't score any points in Ontario's courts, she says.
The document contains allegations that have not been proven in court. Tie Domi has not filed a response.
Leanne, 40, says she believed Tie would be faithful after an affair with actress Tia Carrere in 1999, the statement says.
She didn't believe all "the rumour and innuendo" about her husband and Stronach, who is also 40, until a friend caught them in New York in July, she states in the document.
Tie told her he was at a charity golf tournament in the Maritimes when he was in New York, Leanne states.
"It was humiliating to me ... I had been made into a fool -- Belinda and Tie were clearly laughing at how stupid I was for being the drudge who looked after the house and the family while they frolicked in New York."
Leanne also accuses Tie of trying to use his children as props for his retirement announcement while he has "avoided most of their activities," except for son Max's hockey games.
Tie's excuse was that he was "working" with Stronach and other business contacts to support his family, she says.
Most recently, Domi skipped the final day of Max's hockey tournament -- which his team won -- to attend a film festival lunch with Stronach and Brad Pitt, the document says.
The wife of 13 years says she gave up her career in merchandising to raise their three children and support Domi in his hockey career, encouraging his business and community work.
Leanne says Stronach "insinuated herself" into the Domis' life in the summer of 2005 when she attended the Formula One races in Montreal and dropped into a cocktail party. The Magna heiress coolly said, "hello" and then ignored Leanne and other wives -- who offered her champagne -- and "doted on the men (she sat directly beside Tie) as though they might disappear at any minute, the document says.
"Tie assured me that Belinda was nothing more than an important 'business contact' and said I should be nice to her since she held the key to an important and lucrative deal ... involving the supply of steel to Magna ... and he stood to make monumental commissions from this deal."
Domi's "intimate sexual relationship may have commenced when he began working on her political campaign in January, 2006," Leanne says. She notes that Domi "informed the news media he had been dating Stronach."
Their marriage collapsed this summer and she lashes out at Domi for "threatening me with financial extinction because I did not buy into his agenda. It is reprehensible and wrong," she says.
"He is a bully and will do whatever he has to do and say whatever he needs to get what he wants for himself."
Domi spent numerous nights away from the matrimonial home when he told Leanne -- who was on vacation in Muskoka -- that he was in their residence, the document says.
"When confronted by me about his lies about his whereabouts," Domi later deactivated his home's security cameras and "admitted doing so because he 'didn't want to be watched' on cameras he insisted on installing at their home, Leanne says. Domi hired house-sitters for their Toronto home while she was at their Muskoka condo -- which Domi bought her as a 40th birthday present and a vacation home for their family.
Instead of joining his family for these Muskoka vacations, Domi "repeatedly rebuffed our attempts to get him to come up to the condo," Leanne says.
Domi "admitted to adultery (albeit tangentially) on one occasion when he came home shortly after July 22, 2006," the document says. "I was crying and I asked him why he had done what he had done.
"I am so sorry, Leanne ... just leave Belinda out of this," she quotes him as saying.
Leanne says she believes Domi is "living in a condo on the Magna golf course."
She is seeking $15,246 monthly child support for their three children, Carlin, 12, Max, 11, and Avery, 7, and $30,000 a month for herself.
She alleges Domi's company and bank statement show "staggering, enormous debt, almost all of which is in my name."
The Domis' marital troubles started in 1999. Domi "spent inordinate amounts of time away from home," she says.
After a year-end team party, Domi didn't show up for two days, not calling once, she states.
"He was volatile, angry and violent when confronted about his habits. He left on a Friday afternoon and telephoned me saying he would never come back."
Leanne says she later discovered the other woman was Tia Carrere, who filmed her TV series Relic Hunter here. After an 18-month separation, Domi returned to the marriage, vowing to "never lie to me or the children again," she says.
"I believed him ... when he told the world at his 1,000th game in March 2006 that he could never have accomplished everything he had without me at his side, even though Belinda was hovering around him in the after-party," Leanne says.
Four months later, the Domis' marriage was over after she confronted Domi about Stronach and threw him out of their home, Leanne says.
"It is not an easy time for our family right now. We are coping as best as we can," Leanne said yesterday.
Greg MacEachern, executive assistant to Stronach, said she has "no comment at this time."
Domi's agent said the hockey star would have nothing to say while the matter was before the courts, Canadian Press reports.

Belinda Stronach not the first of Domi's affairs

According to reports on Leanne's statement, this affair with Liberal MP Belinda Stronach is not his first. As reported in papers...

Leanne, 40, says she believed Tie would be faithful after an affair with actress Tia Carrere in 1999, the statement says.

Tie Domi commits Adultry with Liberal MP Belinda Stronach

TORONTO (CP) -- Liberal MP Belinda Stronach has wound up in the middle of the nasty divorce of hockey tough guy Tie Domi, with court documents filed by the former NHL player's estranged wife alleging that her husband's greatest concern is that Stronach not be dragged into the dispute.Leanne Domi will seek spousal and child support from Tie Domi's $1-million annual income in Superior Court in Toronto on Tuesday, though neither party is obligated to appear in person. Her allegations, contained in a 20-page divorce application, have not been proven in court.In the application, filed Sept. 18, the day before Tie Domi announced his retirement from the NHL, she alleges her husband's "intimate sexual relationship" with Stronach caused their marriage to deteriorate as well as his relationship with their three children.She also alleges that the former Toronto Maple Leaf player told her if she did not hire a lawyer he would give her $1 million in cash and a $1.5-million house. If she contacted a lawyer, however, "I would get nothing."The documents also allege that Tie Domi "is anxious and desperate to ensure that Belinda is not brought into the divorce."Tie Domi has said he won't comment on his personal life and his agent said Monday the hockey star would have nothing to say while the matter was before the courts.Stronach, who stuck to her regular routine in Ottawa on Monday, has also refused to comment.She attended a gathering of the Liberal caucus executive, performed her regular Commons parliamentary duties, met with Liberal MPs to plot question-period strategy for the week, and went to a conference of business executives."She felt it would be very important that she do her job today and continue being the MP for Newmarket-Aurora," said the Stronach associate."She's got duties as an MP and that's what she'd rather be known for."The personal life of the multimillionaire heiress to the auto-parts giant Magna International also made headlines in May 2005, when as a sitting Conservative member of Parliament, she crossed the floor, effectively jilting boyfriend and fellow Tory Peter MacKay, now foreign affairs minister.Leanne Domi is seeking spousal support of $30,000 and child support of more than $15,000 per month, custody of the children with scheduled visits for Tie Domi, exclusive possession of the family home and the right to sell it and an order that his assets be frozen.Though the application states it is not necessary to name names in cases of alleged adultery, the first line of Leanne Domi's allegations reads: "Tie Domi has committed adultery with Belinda Stronach" and there are numerous references to Stronach throughout the document.The document alleges her husband's relationship with Stronach started in the summer of 2005, when he and Stronach attended a Formula One race in Montreal.In January 2006 Tie Domi started working on Stronach's political campaign, Leanne Domi says in the divorce document, even though "Tie had little to no interest in politics, and in fact, had not the slightest idea about political ideology."As her husband began spending more time with Stronach, Leanne Domi alleges he also began spending less time with their children, aged seven to 12, missing their hockey games in favour of, in one instance, attending a Toronto International Film Festival charity gala with Stronach, her son and actor Brad Pitt.Leanne Domi says that on July 22, after receiving a call from a friend who said she saw Stronach and Tie Domi walking hand in hand down Madison Avenue in Manhattan, she tearfully implored her husband to explain, "Why he'd done what he'd done."He responded, "I am so sorry Leanne...just leave Belinda out of this," the court document says.Leanne Domi says she asked her husband to leave their house. "He told me that if I kept quiet and didn't hire a lawyer he would give me $1 million in cash and buy me a house for $1.5 million," the divorce application reads.. It also says Tie Domi threatened his wife would "get nothing" if she hired a lawyer and said he has many powerful and influential friends (including Stronach) who are "on his side and who don't want to hear my stupid sob stories about him and Belinda."The application also contains allegations that Tie Domi's "trysts" with Stronach were not his first indiscretions. His wife claims he also had a relationship with actress Tia Carrere, known for the television show "Relic Hunter" during a period the couple were separated and attending counselling.

Tie Domi and ex-Wife Leanne reach a settlement

TORONTO (CP) -- Former NHL enforcer Tie Domi and his estranged wife Leanne reached a temporary settlement in their high-profile divorce proceedings Tuesday but the name that set off a media frenzy was not spoken aloud in court and was nowhere to be found in the legal papers.The negotiated consent order includes agreements on giving child custody to the mother, payment of her legal fees and a restraining order that states Tie Domi is to "be restrained from molesting, annoying or harassing Leanne Domi or from communicating with Leanne Domi."Neither party was in attendance for the muted courtroom drama, which played out as the local media buzzed with stories about the popular, former Maple Leaf's alleged affair with Liberal MP and heiress Belinda Stronach.Leanne Domi wanted the divorce to be below the radar and not include Stronach but Tie Domi fought her attempts at getting a fair settlement, and so she went public, according to her application before the court.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hockey News - September 22, 2006

Updated Friday, September 22
Peter Schaefer and Daniel Alfredsson won't play tonight when the Senators face the Sabres. Both are suffering from a tight groin. Denis Hamel and Partick Eaves will take their spots. - TSN
Antoine Vermette will play left wing on the Senators top line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. Vermette has struggled playing on offensive lines. Coach Bryan Murray says that Vermette tries to do too much when playing with skilled players. He's hoping that Vermette can change that. - TSN
Sens lineup for today's game vs. Buffalo: Goal: Emery (starting), Guard. Forward: Vermette-Spezza-Heatley, Hamel-Kaigorodov-Eaves, Luttinen-Vesce-Fitzpatrick, Foligno-Hennessy-Heerema. Defence: Redden-Corvo, Barinka-Cook, Kudelka-Hedlund - TSN
Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo was cleared medically to return to the ice. General Manager John Ferguson said that when the young defenceman returns is entirely up to him. They will not pressure a quick return, as it could be detrimental to his health and development. - Toronto Star
Alexander Ovechkin did not practice on Thursday due to what coach Glen Hanlon called a "little, tiny injury." - Washington Post
Johan Holmqvist will make his Lightning debut Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. Holmqvist was the top goaltender in the Swedish Elite League with a 1.95 GAA and also won a gold medal backstopping Sweden in the World Championships. - St. Petersburg Times
Penguins' Mark Recchi suffered a fractured cheekbone against the Flyers on Wednesday night. The doctors cleared the veteran winger to return to the ice so long as he feels up to it. However, the Penguins trainer has decided to keep Recchi on the shelf for a few more days in order for the pain and swelling to subside. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Panthers forward Todd Bertuzzi is expected to return to practice as early as today after sustaining bruised ribs. "He had some contusion, so that's good," coach/GM Jacques Martin said. " Nothing is broken. He's just very sore." - Miami Herald
Carolina Hurricane Justin Williams will not play in tonight's pre-season game. Williams still has a bruised right cheek from being hit by a puck in practice Wednesday. No word on his return.
In Nashville, both Steve Sullivan and Jason Arnott are still suffering groin problems as a result of off-season hernia surgery. No word yet on how long they will be side-lined.
Jean-Sebatien Giguere looked sharp in net for the Ducks last night, giving him the edge in the battle for Anaheim's No. 1 goaltender position going into tonights game against Los Angeles. - LA Times
Word from the Blackhawks camp has Brian Smolinski showing sparks of his old goal-scoring form. Head Coach Trent Yawney stated he was impressed with Nikolai Khabibulin in his first preseason action and is confident he will rebound from his subpar season last year. Winger Matt Keith is looking good in camp as well. Last year Keith, a 2nd round pick in '04, was one of the final roster cuts, and this year is looking to stick with the team. - Chicago Tribune
Paul Statsney, son of Quebec Nordiques/New Jersey Devils great Peter, is turning heads with his creativity in Colorado, including coach Joel Quenneville. Paul scored the winning goal in last night's game against the Detroit Red Wings. - Denver Post
Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara, will attempt to skate this morning before the team leaves for Moncton, New Brunswick. X-rays on his foot and ankle showed nothing save for slight bruising. He will regardless travel with the team. - Boston Globe
The Florida Panthers' Ville Peltonen seperated his left shoulder Wednesday in Atlanta, and should miss substantial playing time. The team is bracing for a six week loss. Goalie Ed Belfour was held out of practice Wednesday as he felt under the weather. No word yet on his return. - Miami Herald
Early word out of Minnesota has Jacques Lemaire liking what he sees from his team. The one-two punch of Gaborik and Demitra is turning heads. - Star Tribuune
Ramzi Abid is making his bid for a spot with the Nashville Predators by notching a hat trick in the teams 8-1 win over Columbus yesterday. - Tennessean
Former Leaf Alexander Mogilny received a second opinion on his arthritic hip and it was confirmed that he is physically unable to play. The team is expected to apply for long-term injury status in order to save the $3.5 million dollar salary that would have counted against the cap. - Bergen Record
Ranger netminder Kevin Weekes, who injured his groin muscle in a scrimmage Sunday, attempted to skate yesterday. He re-aggravated the injury and left the ice. Word has him sidelined indefinitely. - Newsday
The No. 1 goaltender battle in San Jose keeps getting even hotter with Evgeni Nabakov recording a shut-out in his time in Thursday's win over Vancouver. The other contenders in the battle are Vesa Toskala and Nolan Shaefer. - Oakland Tribune
Vladimir Orszagh had reconstructive knee surgery Thursday and is looking at a recovery preiod of six to nine months. - Belleville News-Democrat

Leafs may not pick up Sundin's club option for next season...

There is a chance the Toronto Maple Leafs won't be picking up the club option on Mats Sundin's contract next season.
This will feed the speculation he might consider waiving his no-trade clause, or worst case, retirement. Neither of which is likely to happen.
So, please hold the outrage!
Let me explain.
The Leafs and the NHL have discussed the language used in the big captains contract to determine how this option year applies to the CBA.
A contract, I should add, that is unique and will this season include a $760,000 allotment which boosts his salary this year to $7.6 million after the rollback. Its important to note this allotment will be paid out this season and will have no bearing on Toronto's cap in the future. Unlike Ed Belfour's arrangement, which the Leafs are absorbing even though Belfour is now property of the Florida Panthers.
Currently, it's the average of Sundin's salary ($6.3 million) that eats up a big chunk of Toronto's cap space.
However, the theory the Maple Leafs are exploring would see the team decline the option, in affect ending the contract before signing Sundin to a new contract, free and clear of his existing deal.
As long as the 35 year old signs for less than $6.3 million, Toronto would save potentially hundreds of thousands in cap space, freeing up money to re-invest in other players.
If Sundin were to agree to a two-year, $11.5 million deal, automatically Toronto will shave $800,000 off the cap. In today's NHL, $800,000 buys a pretty good player.
Its a technicality worth exploring.

Friday, September 15, 2006

2006 - 2007 NHL Preview from

The Preseason
2006 Training Camp ScheduleCheck out the dates and locations of each team's first on-ice practice and training camp sites.
2006 Preseason ScheduleTeams begin tuning up their rosters and evaluating talent with an exhibition schedule that begins Sunday, Sept. 17.

More Hockey News - September 15, 2006

Here we go again: Pens to Hamilton? The chairman of Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion Ltd., the makers of the BlackBerry e-mail handheld device, is now the front-runner to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins according to a published report.

Jagr accepts the 'C': Without a true captin since Mark Messier wore the letter back in 2003/04, Jaromir Jagr feels it is now his time to take the Rangers as his team....

Three Kings in crowded net: The Los Angeles Kings open training camp in the envious (depending on who you ask) position of having three No. 1 goaltenders: Dan Cloutier, Mathieu Garon and Jason LaBarbera....

Doug Gilmour joins Leafs' front office staff

TORONTO (CP) - Doug Gilmour, whose passionate style of play made him a Toronto fan favourite, has returned to the Maple Leafs as a talent evaluator.
The full-time position will see him assist GM John Ferguson, assistant GM Mike Penny and player development coach Paul Dennis on assessing players.
"I'll be hands on with John, Mike and Paul," said Gilmour. "It's baby steps right now.
"I'm going to give it all the effort I have and at times give an opinion. Whether it's right or wrong, they'll decide that."
Gilmour, 43, who quit as a player three years ago, said he also is tinkering with the idea of eventually getting into coaching.
"That's a decision I'll figure out in the next couple of years," he said. "Because I'm not that far removed from the game, I have some passion for the coaching side.
"But I'll learn the player development side now. I want to learn. I live here, my kids were born here, so I'm very proud to be part of the organization. I'm looking forward to it."
Gilmour, the Leafs' captain from 1994 to 1997, was an observer during the Leafs' rookie camp and was on hand for the first of the NHL camp's on-ice workouts Friday, when Ferguson made the hiring official.
"I'm waiting for that trip where Mike sends me some place he doesn't want to go," Gilmour kidded during an interview.
Ferguson and Gilmour had been mulling over exactly what he'd do for the last few weeks.
"Bringing Doug back into the organization on this side of the business is going to allow us to use his experience, his passion, his competitiveness - those intangibles - to drive them into the organization," Ferguson said during an impromptu news conference with Gilmour. "I couldn't be more pleased to bring him back and make him part of our future.
"We all know what he's done as a player. We think he can contribute (in the new role). We value his opinion. He'll learn and contribute, and who knows what the future holds.
"His presence in the organization means so much. Obviously, what he's done here as a Maple Leaf - that passion and competitiveness, that productivity, that success - all those things I don't possess and others in our organization don't possess. We'd like to think he can bring that to our group and to our players."
Gilmour twice played for the Leafs and retired as a member of the team after suffering a serious knee injury in 2003.
"It's nice to see him back in the organization," said captain Mats Sundin.
Gilmour played 1,474 NHL games with Calgary, St. Louis, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, New Jersey and Montreal. He won a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989.

Sundin wishes to end career as a Maple Leaf

TORONTO (CP) - He's said it before, and he'll say it again.
"If the organization wanted to move me, you have no real choice but, if it's up to me, I do want to stay as a Maple Leaf the rest of my career," captain Mats Sundin said after Toronto's first on-ice workouts of their NHL training camp Friday.
The topic arose during a media scrum because Sundin sold his posh home during the off-season, and because he's entering the last year - at US$7.6 million - of his contract.
The team has a $4.6-million option for 2007-2008 but it's likely both camps will start talking about an extension sometime this season.
"I don't have a desire to go anywhere else to be part of a championship team," he said. "We have just as good a chance to be a championship team right here as anyone else.
"I can't see myself trying to go to a contender at the end of the season just to be part of a championship. Any of the 16 teams that makes the playoffs has as good a chance as anyone else."
The Edmonton Oilers proved that after squeaking into the post-season on the schedule's last weekend last spring. Parity propelled by the salary cap levels the playing field.
"It's tougher and tougher to predict," said Sundin. "Before, you could tell who were going to be the top teams in the league.
"This year, it's impossible. I think we have as good a chance as any of the other teams. Our first focus has to make the playoffs. It's going to be very important for us to get off to a good start."
The six-foot-five centre earned 78 points and scored 31 goals last season. He played his best hockey after leading Sweden to Olympic gold.
"Having success with the Leafs in the playoffs is the ultimate goal," he said. "That in itself is a carrot that you're looking forward to and it helps you train."
While being bitterly disappointed to miss the playoffs last spring, he said there was a positive element to the club's strong finish.
"We had almost as many points as Edmonton had when they started their playoff run, and they went to the final. It was encouraging to see a lot of the younger players come in during the last 20 games and play well. That gave a brighter outlook to the start of this season."

Koivu takes part in first camp scrimmage

MONTREAL (CP) - Neither Michael Ryder's new visor nor Saku Koivu's blind spot prevented the Montreal Canadiens linemates from seeing eye to eye on the ice Friday.
Koivu had no trouble finding Ryder and winger Chris Higgins with passes in his first scrimmage since he suffered a serious left eye injury in the NHL playoffs in April.
The Canadiens captain even fed a pretty pass from the left side to Higgins for a goal.
"I thought it went well," said Koivu. "Physically, I felt fine and more important, I'm surprised I felt that comfortable with my eye.
"It will be a different scenario when we play against another team, but this was a first step and we have a couple of days before the first pre-season games. I hope that every day I feel a little more comfortable out there."
Koivu wore a contact lens on the eye, which still has a blind spot and recently developed a small cataract after off-season surgery to repair a detached retina.
He also wore a larger visor than the one he had on when Justin Williams' stick clipped his eye during a playoff game against Carolina on April 26.
The team's first day of on-ice workouts before a standing room only crowd at the Sportsplex 4-Glaces boosted Koivu's confidence that he will be ready for the Canadiens' regular season opener Oct. 6 in Buffalo.
"I had some doubts before today how I'd feel and what to expect. but the vision was OK," he said. "I didn't lose the puck in my feet too many times, so it was a pleasant surprise.
"If I don't face any setbacks and the vision is the way it is now, I don't see a problem for the season opener. But the first couple of exhibition games will tell a lot more."
Montreal's first two pre-season matches are against Boston at home on Tuesday and Wednesday. Koivu expects to play a game or two more than usual in the pre-season to get used to his slightly reduced vision.
Ryder is also adjusting to altered vision.
The 30-goal scorer is experimenting with a visor, although it will depend on how well he adapts in the pre-season whether he'll wear it in games that count.
The winger from Bonavista, N.L., said he considered wearing a visor even before Koivu's injury.
"It's a little different, just getting used to the sweat and snow that gets on it," he said. "It feels like you're inside something, looking through. Hopefully, I'll get used to it."
Koivu applauded his linemate's decision.
"Sometimes when something happens to a teammate, you see what might happen if you don't wear one," he said. "I'm hoping that it woke a few guys up and they realize that by wearing one, they might avoid an injury like that.
"I know there's a lot of guys who aren't used to wearing one but for us Europeans, it's never been a problem."
Ryder also showed up 12 pounds lighter than last season at 192 pounds after a summer of therapy for a pinched nerve in his neck.
"Because of my injury, I couldn't work out much," he said. "I was just trying to watch what I eat and make sure I didn't get out of shape and I ended up losing 12 pounds.
"Hopefully, I'm quicker. I don't really feel any pain now. It was in my neck, but I felt it more in my side. But it's gone. Now I'm just trying to rebuild the muscles."
Guy Carbonneau, who directed his first scrimmage since taking over as head coach, opted to keep his veterans together when making up lines.
Koivu, Ryder and Higgins ended last season together, while newcomer Sergei Samsonov showed energy in skating with Mike Ribeiro and Alex Kovalev. That line scored twice in the scrimmage.
Another new acquisition, Mike Johnson, scored a goal playing with Tomas Plekanec and Alexander Perezhogin while Radek Bonk centred Steve Begin and tough guy Aaron Downey, who also scored.
Garth Murray skated with two players competing for a vacant spot at forward - Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovsky.
"It's a short camp," said Carbonneau. "I have to get my team ready first.
"But we had (rookie) Kyle Chipchura's line against Ribeiro's line and they did well. That's good. It shows them what they have to do to play at this level. The first day went well."
One who looked sharp was six-foot-five defenceman Ryan O'Byrne, a 2003 third round draft pick who joined the team from Cornell University.
There is a spot open on defence to start the season as Francis Bouillon recovers from off-season knee surgery. Bouillon is to resume skating in two weeks, but isn't expected back until November.
The public was admitted free and they jammed the 1,200-seat arena. Fans were stacked three deep in the standing room area for the scrimmages.

Hockey News - September 15, 2006

Russian tribunal rules against Malkin
The Evgeni Malkin saga is far from over. A Russian arbitration tribunal issued a court order Friday prohibiting the Russian centre from playing in the NHL. But exactly what that means isn't clear.

Nonis doesn't know why Clarke made offer
Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis says Bob Clarke's actions in signing centre Ryan Kesler to a US$1.9 million offer sheet make no sense.

The Latest: A year after the Blues suspended Keith Tkachuk for arriving to training camp out of shape -- 263 pounds and 19 percent body fat--the star left winger will step onto the ice today at the Ice Zone weighing 229 pounds with 10 percent body fat. (More)...

Sundin wants to finish career with Leafs
Great things expected of Sens Kaigorodov
Tkachuk reports to Blues in better shape
Konowalchuk having heart checked out
Blackhawks lose Barker up to six weeks
Report: Bruins send Zhamnov home
Flyers centre Primeau retires
Blues sign Radek Dvorak
Leafs take to the ice at camp
Leafs add Gilmour to front office
Flyers name Forsberg captain
NHL to allow bigger stick curves
More Headlines >>

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clarke tries a bold move, and stings Canuks GM...and Why Not? He's just playing by the rules!

VANCOUVER (CP) -- The Vancouver Canucks are going to be paying Ryan Kesler top dollar after all.The Canucks matched Kesler's offer sheet and re-signed the centre to a new contract Thursday after the Philadelphia Flyers extended a US$1.9-million offer to the 22-year-old on Tuesday.Vancouver had hoped to re-sign the restricted free agent for much less money. They had reportedly been trying to negotiate for roughly half the amount Kesler will now be paid.It was the first offer sheet signed by a player since 1999. The Canucks had a week to choose whether to match the offer or receive a second-round draft pick, but took just two days to make the decision.Technically, the last official offer sheet before Tuesday was in July 1999 when Tampa Bay made an offer for little-known Oiler Brett Hauer. Edmonton matched it.The last offer sheet of any note was in February 1998 when Carolina went after Detroit star Sergei Fedorov and the Red Wings matched it.Clarke's move sparked debate around the league. Some GMs privately questioned it although none of them would go public. The general concern was that Clarke nearly tripling Kesler's salary to $1.9 million would be inflationary and affect future comparable players. Kesler is a checking centre who had 10 goals in his rookie season last year.Philadelphia went after the young Canuck in an effort to replace former captain Keith Primeau, who was forced to retire because of concussion-related problems.For his part, Clarke wasn't concerned about how the move was viewed by others."That's the rules in the CBA," Clarke said. "The rules aren't convenient just for one team, they're there for everybody. You can't pick and choose. If you like one rule and I like one rule, does that mean we can only use one rule? That's crazy."If you're unhappy with the rules, complain to (commissioner) Gary Bettman."

Mats will be Maurice's go to guy

TORONTO (CP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs made plenty of changes for the new NHL season and one that is about to happen might have the most favourable impact of them all.Mats Sundin will get more playing time.The big Swedish centre can expect new head coach Paul Maurice to have him on the ice well in excess of the nearly 20 minutes a game he logged last season. The onus will be on the captain to lead the Leafs' bid to return to the playoffs."I've always had players in those roles play an awful lot of minutes relative to the rest of the league," Maurice said during the opening day of training camp Thursday. "The three TV time-outs during games, charter flights, better nutrition -- all those things point to your better players playing more."The biggest thing though is that there's not the same price to be paid to play hockey as there was two years ago. Mats Sundin, to get to the front of the net two years ago, had to give back five sticks by the time he got to the bench. The wear and tear on these guys has changed."Fitness tests and off-ice workouts were the order of the day in the freezer that was Ricoh Coliseum. A handful of players including off-season free-agent pickup Pavel Kubina donned pads and skated. Most have been training in groups for weeks, so everybody looks to be near game-ready shape. Nobody was puking on the exercise machines.On-ice drills begin Friday, and the first exhibition game is at Air Canada Centre on Monday night against Buffalo. The regular-season opener is at home on Wed., Oct. 4 against Ottawa.At this stage, Maurice isn't fretting over who skates on the first line with Sundin."Who Mats plays with is not the most important question to answer," Maurice said. "He's going to play with a lot of different people over the course of the year."There's times you leave lines together because you know there's chemistry there and you want to let them work through it, but we'll ask Mats to be our best player most nights and if the people around him aren't going then you make adjustments.
Mats Sundin is here to make the players around him better, and he's good enough to."There'll be no camp scrimmages, said Maurice."It's almost like play-fighting with a friend and I don't care for it," he explained. "A short camp forces you to work on systems."NHL training camps were shortened to 20 days this year."I think it's still too long," new Leafs centre Mike Peca said with a grin. "Players are coming into camp in such great shape ... it's plenty of time."Regardless, Maurice's main goal is to make this a quicker team. After all, it's the trend around the league given the strict crackdown on obstruction fouls that is in force.He's not making any bold predictions."It's a dogfight now for everybody to get into the playoffs," he said. "My biggest concern outside of hockey is controlling the emotional rollercoaster our team will go on based on the interest in the team."That's part of being here -- managing that rollercoaster. I understand that we're going to be in a dogfight to make the playoffs. That's hard for home-town fans to hear but it's the (reality) of the NHL" now that the salary cap's levelling of player hiring capabilities has promoted parity.There's been nary a discouraging word about Maurice since he replaced Pat Quinn, but he insists he has yet to feel the weight of the heavy expectations of Leafs fans on his shoulders as he prepares to return to an NHL bench for the first time in 2.5 years."I know it's coming, but I don't feel any pressure yet," he said. "If you're going to win on the big stage, there's going to be some pressure there to do it."The main competition in camp will be for two or three defence spots and a handful of third- and fourth-line wing positions."I don't think there are clear frontrunners in a lot of areas," said Maurice. "A player who did a great amount of work this summer can really change his game."I would expect great competition. The change in the game where the players aren't physically asked to grind is the biggest advantage our young kids have. We don't have to wait two years for a player to physically mature. If you can come in and skate and jump into plays you can be a good player in your second year. There's more room for young players to come in and be impact players."

Primeau announces his retirement

Philadelphia Flyers centre Keith Primeau retired Thursday, ending a 15-year NHL career after failing to receive clearance to play because of lingering effects from a concussion.
Flyers name Forsberg captain

Hockey News - September 14, 2006

NHL to allow bigger stick curves
The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved a variety of rule changes pertaining to the curvature of players' sticks.

Canucks match Kesler offer
The Vancouver Canucks are going to be paying Ryan Kesler top dollar after all.

'Canes to deal Jack Johnson?
Now that Frantisek Kaberle will miss most of this season because of shoulder surgery, the Carolina Hurricanes are in desperate need of a defenceman. But it won't be Jack Johnson, Carolina's third overall pick in the 2005 entry draft.

Aggressive tactics
A brief conversation with Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis is all that is required to establish his disdain for being inconvenienced by the Philadelphia Flyers attempt to lure restricted free agent Ryan Kesler with a high priced offer sheet.

Lalime to be sidelined 2-3 months
Luongo aims to change Canucks culture
Tanguay did homework on Iginla
Oilers begin camp with more firepower
Maurice: Leafs will struggle for playoffs
Senators going with blue-collar approach
Raycroft likes hockey buzz in T.O.
Capitals sign tough guy D Erskine
Panthers agree to terms with prospects
Connolly still has concussion symptoms
Koivu hopes to wait for cataract surgery
More Headlines >>

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hockey News

Gionta to attend training camp: Despite not having a contract, Brian Gionta has decided to put his career at risk and attend Devils training camp....

Remembering the lives lost: The five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks brings back painful memories for many, including members of the LA Kings family. Scouts Mark Bavis and Ace Bailey were among the hundreds who died aboard United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Center.

Vokoun signs for four more years: The Nashville Predators made sure their star goalie wasn't going anywhere, signing Tomas Vokoun to a four-year deal....

Sens sign centre Kaigorodov
Flyers make Kesler an offer
Sabres sign players & coaches
Fitzgerald done after 17 years
Oilers agree to three with Lupul
Canucks ink Linden for one year
Flyers' Gagne gets five-year deal
Canes' Kaberle may miss six months
Vokoun staying put in Nashville
More Lupul-Oiler talks Monday
Sundin arrival surprises Leafs
Sabres ink a keeper in Miller
Malkin hits ice with Penguins
Vigneault: Markus is my captain
King walks out on 'Nucks camp

Primeau close to announcing his retirement?

PHILADELPHIA (CP) -- Flyers captain Keith Primeau is expected to announce his retirement by the end of the week, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting."I've had those discussions with my wife and I will have something more to say about it either tomorrow or Thursday," Primeau said. "I have not talked to the club since last week. I had been looking to get myself back into a position to play."If Primeau does end his career, the captaincy will likely go Peter Forsberg, which was the Flyers' plan in the event Primeau did not begin the season.Primeau, 34, who said retirement at his age will be "very tough to face," has been unable to recover from post-concussion syndrome suffered last Oct. 25 at Montreal when he took a blow to the head from Alexander Perezhogin.Primeau played 5{ seasons with the Flyers and 312 games with 87 goals, 126 assists and 213 points. He assumed the captaincy from Eric Desjardins in 2001.

DiPietro signs record deal...$67.5 Millon for 15 years

The New York Islanders have signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract. The deal will pay DiPietro $4.5 million annually.
''In all of our discussions with Rick, he made it clear that he wanted to be an Islander for the rest of his career,'' said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. ''But it was of equal importance to Rick that we work out a deal that would allow us to continue to build a Stanley Cup contender for years to come. This deal is great news for our franchise and our fans.''
''I'm extremely appreciative of the commitment (Islanders owner) Charles Wang and Garth have made to me,'' said DiPietro.
Islanders' owner Charles Wang, who was directly involved in the negotiations, had indicated that if DiPietro didn't sign by Friday, when the team opens training camp in Nova Scotia, that DiPietro would not play in the 2006-07 season.
''Rick's made no secret for a long time that he wanted to be an Islander his whole career,'' DiPietro's agent Paul Krepelka told The Associated Press..

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Brendan Morrison looks forward to taking game to next level

BURNABY, B.C. (CP) -- Centre Brendan Morrison thinks subtracting Todd Bertuzzi from the Vancouver Canucks could result in an addition to his scoring totals this NHL season.For most of the last five years Morrison has been the setup man on the Canucks' high-scoring top line along with wingers Markus Naslund and Bertuzzi.Both Naslund and Bertuzzi wanted the puck as much as possible. That meant Morrison's job was pass first, maybe look for a rebound, then make sure he got back on defence.Bertuzzi's trade to the Florida Panthers this summer means Morrison may find the puck on his stick more often."When you play with those guys, the tendency is just to get them the puck," Morrison said after skating with some of his teammates at a local arena. "Now I might have the puck a little more, get the chance to create a little more and definitely shoot the puck more. That should lead to more production."Naslund said Morrison may get more of a chance to demonstrate the goal-scoring skills he showed at the University of Michigan where he was a Hobey Baker award winner as the top U.S. college hockey player."I think Brendan plays his best when he's forceful and confident," said Naslund. "Maybe it was difficult for him to play with me and Todd who both really want the puck all the time.

NHL news for September 7, 2006

Bettman to settle GM disputes
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman will be involved in the resolution of Mike Keenan's break-up with the Florida Panthers and will also manage Neil Smith's settlement with the New York Islanders.

Morrison looks to increase scoring
Centre Brendan Morrison thinks subtracting Todd Bertuzzi from the Vancouver Canucks could result in an addition to his scoring totals this NHL season.

Thrashers agree to terms with Lehtonen
The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms on a new multi-year contract with goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Gagne and Flyers 'a ways away'
Bryzgalov inks two-year deal with Ducks
Naslund responds to captaincy questions
Crawford excited about rebuilding Kings
Ricci still recovering from neck surgery
Taylor named new Lightning captain
Koivu looks to test injured eye at camp
Officer sues VandenBussche for $10.2 M
Ovechkin says he's not ready for 'C'
Sharks' Bell arrested on DUI suspicion
Malkin inks deal with Penguins
Forsberg back on the ice after surgery
Avalanche re-sign Svatos to one-year deal
More Headlines >>

Martin insists he was not the reason for Keenan's departure

Despite reports to the contrary, Florida Panthers coach and GM Jacques Martin insists Mike Keenan isn't gone because of him. "No, I don't think there was a breakdown with my relationship with Mike," Martin told The Canadian Press in an interview Thursday.

Dudley: 'Panthers owner big fan of Martin'
Did Keenan jump, or was he pushed?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Malikin to sign soon with the Pens; Keenan fired/resigns; Zherdev could play in Russia

Evgeni Malkin is about to become a Pittsburgh Penguins player. Malkin has spent three weeks training in the Los Angeles region, but is expected to sign with the Penguins on Tuesday - two days before the start of rookie training camp. Malkin's agents said last week they would open contract talks early this week, and the Penguins are planning a news conference Tuesday to announce the signing.FULL STORY...

GM Keenan and Panthers part ways
The Florida Panthers and their general manager are not waiting together to see how the 2006-07 NHL season will unfold.

Zherdev, Columbus still not speaking
The chances Nikolai Zherdev will be playing in Columbus this season are dwindling.

Roenick perplexed by lack of TV exposure
Checketts guarantees winning start
Oilers to use five partial affiliates
Stars re-sign Trevor Daley
Islanders draft pick Blaho killed in crash
Hurricanes sign tough guy Stephen Peat
Sabres ink Kalinin to two-year deal
Hall of Famer Dickie Moore recovering
Red Wings to retire Yzerman's jersey
Havlat gets a chance to be 'the man'
Hurricanes sign Brad Isbister
More Headlines >>

Iron Mike let go from GM post in Florida

The Florida Panthers and their general manager are not waiting together to see how the 2006-07 NHL season will unfold.
Even after an offseason of major player transactions and renewed playoff hopes, the team announced in a statement Sunday that Mike Keenan has resigned from his front office post and has been replaced by head coach Jacques Martin.
''I can't say that I had looked at being a general manager,'' Martin said. ''Maybe a long-term goal could have been that, but not short term.''
It is not clear what led to the move - made just days before the start of training camp. While the Panthers are publicly saying he has resigned, sources tell TSN that Keenan was actually forced out.
Keenan had three years remaining on his contract with the Panthers and leaves after working parts of four seasons with the club. He was named head coach of the Panthers in December of 2001 and held the post until November of 2003.
He returned to the team as general manager in May of 2004 and immediately made a flurry of changes to improve the club's fortunes. He joined in with Martin - a former Ottawa bench boss who was also his university teammate - and added veteran players to the lineup such as forwards Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts and Chris Gratton.
The team failed to make the playoffs for a fifth straight season in 2005-06, prompting Keenan to make more dramatic moves over the summer. He swung a blockbuster deal that saw superstar netminder Roberto Luongo go to Vancouver for a package that featured power forward Todd Bertuzzi, and also signed veteran goalie Ed Belfour.
The Panthers were Keenan's seventh NHL team. He began his NHL career as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1984, and then led the Chicago Blackhawks behind the bench in 1988, guiding both teams to the Stanley Cup Final.
In 1993-94, he was hired as head coach of New York Rangers and led the franchise to its first Stanley Cup win since 1940. Keenan also served as head coach and GM as the St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, and Boston Bruins.
Keenan began his coaching career with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League.
Martin spent eight seasons with the Senators before joining Florida and is considered one of the league's top coaches. He won the Jack Adams award as coach of the year in 1998-99 and was runner-up three other times.
Martin says he doesn't see much need for change to the Panthers' roster.
''I don't see any changes,'' Martin said. ''I think we're excited as an organization about this roster. We feel we've improved our hockey club.''
It will be his first general manager job in the NHL.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Prospect Alexei Kaigorodov pencilled in as No. 2 centre behind Spezza

Metallurg Magnitogorsk will not stand in the way of finding a roster spot in the NHL.According to Ottawa Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch, the Ottawa Senators will invite Russian prospect Alexei Kaigorodov to taining camp -- and no cloak & dagger antics will be needed.However, due to the lack of an agreement between the NHL and the IIHF, Sens GM John Muckler had to be creative in getting Kaigorodov to camp. Under terms of the agreement, Kaigorodov, 23, will be allowed to attend the Senators camp, but if he does not earn a roster spot, he must go back and play with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. But if he does impress at camp and makes the roster, he will sign a rookie deal worth $1.1 million US.According to Garrioch, the Senators already have Kaigorodov pencilled into a spot as their No. 2 centre. Trading Bryan Smolinski to the Chicago Blackhawks last month left an opening.

Hockey News - August 27, 2006

Hitchcock pleased with Primeau: Most hockey pundits have closed the book on Keith Primeau's career, but Flyers' coach Ken Hitchcock is not one of them. Hitchcock is also tired of the Gagne trade rumours, which gain new life each day.

Traded stars on ice: For a brief moment the Florida Panthers must have thought they'd won the player lottery as both Todd Bertuzzi and Roberto Luongo worked out together on the ice in Florida....

Leafs to invite only the elite: The Maple Leafs aren't going to bother with the fringe players this year at training camp, preferring to go with players that have an actual shot at making the team....

Malkin's saga to conclude

Much-heralded prospect Evgeni Malkin expects to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins in early September following the Labour Day long weekend and intends on be on the ice when the team opens rookie camp on Sept. 7. At least that's the plan that Malkin, the Penguins and the NHL is following. Malkin's Russian Super League team Magnitogorsk may have other ideas. TSN's Hockey Insider Darren Dreger explains.

Battle over Malkin over?

Hockey Headlines - August 27, 2006

Report: Kaigorodov free to join Senators
Russian prospect Alexei Kaigorodov will join the Ottawa Senators for training camp. According to a report in the Ottawa Sun, the Senators have come to an agreement with Kaigorodov's Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Red Wings re-sign Johan Franzen
The Detroit Red wings have re-signed forward Johan Franzen to a three-year

Canadiens not among suitors for Dumont
'Canes Ward's whirlwind summer
Rangers re-sign defenceman Pock
Report: Lidstrom to wear 'C' for Wings
Questions swirl as Frost is freed on bail
Bruins' ink Bergeron to multi-year deal
Koivu skating, optimistic he'll be ready
Penguins are now Crosby's team
Gretzky excited about Coyotes' changes
Zherdev still staring down Blue Jackets
More Headlines >>

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dumont let go by Sabres; Legace signs in St.Louis; Sinden set to retire; more...

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Buffalo Sabres have decided to exercise their walk-away option on the arbitration award to forward J.P. Dumont.
Effective immediately, Dumont becomes an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any NHL team. Dumont had his case heard by an arbitrator on Monday, July 31, and was subsequently awarded a one-year, $2.9 million contract. Dumont, 28, scored 40 points in 54 games for Buffalo last season. Since being acquired with Doug Gilmour in a trade from Chicago for Michal Grosek on March 10, 2000, Dumont scored 223 points in 362 games with the Sabres.
For his career, Dumont has 256 points in 434 games with Chicago and Buffalo.

After the Detroit Red Wings chose to cut ties with Manny Legace earlier in the summer, the veteran goaltender has signed with the St. Louis Blues.
''The Blues are thrilled to bring a veteran goaltender with a career winning record to our team,'' said club president John Davidson. ''With the addition of Manny, we feel solid with the depth we have in goal.''
Legace was 37-8-0 record with a 2.19 goals-against average last season but was blamed for the club's first-round playoff loss to Edmonton.
That didn't deter the Blues, who also have Jason Bacashihua and Curtis Sanford between the pipes.

Eric Desjardins
Flyers defenceman Eric Desjardins, the second-highest scoring defenceman in team history, will retire this week, a team spokesman said Wednesday. Flyers spokesman Zack Hill said the 37-year-old Desjardins was going to make an official announcement Thursday.FULL STORY...

Gonchar says Malkin to stay in Russia
Call it a case of broken telephone. After saying he expected Russian star Evgeni Malkin to play in the NHL this season, defenseman Sergei Gonchar has changed his tune.

Bruins' Sinden steps down as president
President Harry Sinden is stepping down after more than 40 years with the NHL team. He will continue as an adviser to Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and as alternate governor for the team on the NHL's board of governors.

Forward Alexei Mikhnov has informed Russian club Yaroslavl that he wants to play in the NHL this season which means the 2000 first round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers could be at training camp in September. The 24 year old is expected to sign a one year deal with the NHL club, likely worth $817,000 with a minor league clause... the Oilers have also begun contract talks with recently acquired forward Joffrey Lupul, who earned $949,000 in Anaheim last year... The Oilers have also expressed interest in free agent forward Petr Sykora, who played with Lupul in Anaheim before finishing the season with the Rangers. - Edmonton Journal

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Buffalo Sabres to unveil new jersey and logo; will use original jersey as 3rd alternate jersey

BUFFALO, N.Y. --- Buffalo Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn announced today the Sabres will wear the franchise's original blue and gold uniform and logo as the team's third jersey during 15 home games in the 2006-07 season.The team will wear a new Blue and Gold uniform design, which will be unveiled in late September, for the remaining 26 home games and all 41 road games.The Sabres first wore the original Blue and Gold in the 1970-1971 season and continued that way for the following 26 years. The first major change to the team's look came in 1996-97 when the team changed its basic colors to red, black and white to coincide with the opening of the HSBC Arena (formerly Marine Midland Arena)."We have been planning all along to use the original colors and logo as our third jersey for next season," Quinn said. "Given the outpouring of fan concern the last few weeks, we decided to make this announcement now instead of September as originally planned. We are still committed and enthusiastic about our new uniform and believe that fans will embrace it once they have a chance to actually see it."The Sabres will unveil their new uniform during the week of September 24, at a time and place still to be determined. The team will actually wear their new jerseys for the first time on Saturday, September 30, in their only home pre-season game at HSBC Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00 p.m.

Greg Gilbert new coach of the Marlies

TORONTO (CP) -- Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson installed Greg Gilbert as the new head coach of the AHL's Toronto Marlies on Thursday and continued to mull over possible additions to the big club's roster.Gilbert, 44, got a three-year contract. Financial terms were not divulged. The former head coach of the NHL's Calgary Flames had been coaching the major junior team in Mississauga, and he now fills the position that opened up after Marlies coach Paul Maurice was promoted to replace Pat Quinn."I love seeing guys finally grasp something you've tried to teach them," Gilbert said of his development role.

More signings and Rumors

An arbitrator has awarded Chicago Blackhawks forward Kyle Calder $2.95 million for the 2006-2007 season. Calder, 27, is coming off a season in which he recorded career-bests and team-leading totals in goals, 26, and points, 59. A fifth-round pick of the Blackhawks in 1997, Calder has notched 210 points in 359 career games. He earned $1.311 million last season.FULL STORY...

Sabres re-sign Pominville, Lydman
Defenceman Toni Lydman and forward Jason Pominville avoided arbitration and agreed to long-term deals with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Red Wings re-sign Williams for two years
The Detroit Red Wings avoided arbitration with Jason Williams on Thursday, re-signing the center to a two-year contract.


With the Danny Markov completing the defence, Red Wings GM Ken Holland remains on the lookout for a goaltender and more scoring on the wing. Winger Anson Carter could be a possibility if he drops his demand for a multiyear deal approaching $3 million per season. Dominik Hasek and Manny Legace, both former Wings, are the lone unrestricted free agents of note, and the team hasn't expressed much interest in either. - Detroit News
Panthers GM Mike Kennan will accept the arbitrator's deal for defenceman Jay Bouwmeester. Once this deal expires after the 2007-08 season, Bouwmeester would have one more season with the team before becoming a free agent. Florida would like to have Bouwmeester signed to a long-term deal before then. - Miami Herald
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said he expects Alexander Mogilny to compete for a job in training camp and he has apparently talked Vladimir Malakhov into coming back and reporting to training camp. Their combined $7.1 million cap figure will count whether they are on the team or not, so the Devils want them on the roster. - Bergen Record

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lindros signs with Dallas

Sportsnet has learned that Eric Lindros has signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Stars worth $1.55 million plus another million in incentives.The Toronto Maple Leafs refused to budge on their offer of $1 million, which did not include any team or individual bonuses.Lindros was quoted in Saturday's Fort-Worth Star Telegram, saying "I think (Dallas is) a great fit. Looking at the roster there, knowing [coach] Dave Tippett and [assistant coach Mark] 'Chopper' Lamb from my Philly days ... I feel good about going down there and I'm looking forward to getting back on the ice." Over the past two seasons, Lindros has played in only 72 games. Last season, he missed 49 games with wrist injury but scored 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 33 games. Over his 12-year NHL career, Lindros has 367 goals and 472 assists for 839 points in 711 games.

News and Notes from the past week

Saturday, July 15
NHL Roundup: Eminger commits to Caps
Friday, July 14
Stars looking to land Lindros
Canucks deal late pick for Pyatt
Oilers keep Horcoff for three
Thursday, July 13
Quinn rejected Bruins offer
Habscheid announced as Lewis' assistant
NHL roundup: Sabres ink Biron
Berlin's World Cup co-ordinator dies
Wednesday, July 12
Multiple moves for Canadiens
NHLPA elects interim committee
Primeau: Flyers won't wait forever
Rivalries dot NHL opening night
Aebischer agrees to Habs' offer
Melnyk purchases IceDogs
Tuesday, July 11
Playfair takes charge of Flames
Linden won't seek re-election
Panthers re-sign Horton
Forsberg avoids second surgery
Great One likes Alberta coaches
Monday, July 10
Isles add grit with Simon signing
NHLPA faces U.S. labour board charge
Muckler likes his revamped Sens
Bruins' GM Chiarelli gets early start
Cassie Campbell considers retirement
'Nucks cut ties with ECHL team
Komisarek re-signs with Habs
Oilers add defensive depth
Canucks get faceoff help in Chouinard
Wild re-sign young defenceman Burns
Habs sign Higgins, prospects

Havlat and Smolinski head to Chicago in three team deal

OTTAWA (CP) -- The Ottawa Senators finally traded Martin Havlat and the Chicago Blackhawks finally landed a star.The Senators sent forwards Havlat and Bryan Smolinski to the Blackhawks in a three-way deal also involving the San Jose Sharks, a source told the Canadian Press Sunday.Havlat agreed to a three-year deal with the Blackhawks after the trade. He was a restricted free agent and had refused to commit to the Senators for more than a year during negotiations, saying he wanted to test the free agent market.Chicago initially traded Mark Bell to the Sharks for Tom Preissing and Josh Hennessy, who were flipped to the Senators along with prospect Michal Barinka and a 2008 second-round draft pick.The 25-year-old Havlat has 235 points in 298 career games, all with the Senators.Ottawa had been working on dealing him for weeks before working out this deal with Chicago.Likewise, the Blackhawks tried hard to land a star when the free agent signing frenzy began July 1, but failed to do so. The only player the team brought in was goalie Patrick Lalime, expected to back up Nikolai Khabibulin.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Shanahan to the Rangers; Poti moves over to the Island

The New York Post reports that forward Brendan Shanahan has agreed to a one-year contract with the New York Rangers.
The Post adds that the 37-year-old veteran took the deal - worth about $4 million for next season - after turning down more lucrative offers from both the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens.
Shanahan reportedly informed Canadiens GM Bob Gainey Saturday he was rejecting his team's bid to sign him.
Shanahan had 40 goals and 81 points last season and earned $2.28 million US.
The 18-year NHLer played for nine seasons in Detroit, helping lead the team capture three Stanley Cups.
In 1,350 career games with the Red Wings, Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils, he has 598 goals and 1,232 points.

NEW YORK (AP) - Former New York Rangers defenceman Tom Poti is moving across town.
The 29-year-old Poti joined the rival Islanders on Saturday, signing a $2.75-million US, one-year deal after three-plus, up-and-down seasons on Broadway.
"From the beginning of free agency, I told my agent that I wanted to see if something could be worked out with the Islanders," said Poti, a U.S. Olympian in 2002. "The opportunity to be one of the veterans on such a talented young team is something I wanted."
Poti was thrust into the spotlight with the Rangers after fan-favourite Brian Leetch was traded to Toronto late in the 2003-04 season - New York's fifth straight out of the playoffs.
Known as an offensive-minded defenceman, Poti never could live up to expectations and was unable to be a comparable replacement to Leetch - a likely Hall of Famer.

Maple Leafs sign Ondrus to two-year deal
Blues' pick Johnson opts for college
Wild sign defenceman Burns
Staios to Oilers fans: Team will be fine
Flyers' Forsberg begins rehab on ankles
Free agent Legace waiting for suitors
Sabres in for an expensive offseason
Canadiens sign Ribeiro, blueliner Cote
Wesley stays another season in Carolina
Antropov agrees to deal with Leafs
More Headlines >>

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Big E would like to return to Toronto...if things can work out.

TORONTO (CP) - The Big E wants to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs and is waiting for the NHL club to decide whether the feeling is mutual.
Veteran centre Eric Lindros, an unrestricted free agent, says he spoke with Leafs GM John Ferguson on Tuesday night about possibly returning.
"We'll see how much (salary cap) space he's got and what he wants to do and who he wants to sign," Lindros said Wednesday. "We'll see where it goes.
"Hopefully we'll figure something out," Lindros added. "But I don't know what's going to happen."
Lindros said other NHL clubs have showed interest since he became a free agent last Saturday so he doesn't want to wait around all summer while the Leafs make up their mind.
"I've been in touch with John about a time frame and when it's time to move ahead," said Lindros, who earned $1.55 million US last season. "So we'll see what happens."
If the Leafs do re-sign him, Lindros returns to a much different dressing room. Gone are Ed Belfour, Tie Domi and likely Aki Berg, Jason Allison and Alexander Khavanov if the Leafs decide not to re-sign the unrestricted free agents.
The team has been busy in recent days, acquiring blue-liners Pavel Kubina and Hal Gill as well as starting goalie Andrew Raycroft.
"We got two big defencemen, that really helps us, and now it comes down to the forwards and what John wants to do up there," said Lindros. "But the team looks really good from the goaltender up to the defence, there's some spots up front that need to be addressed and I'm sure John will do that."
Lindros was speaking to reporters after taking part in Nike Bauer's off-ice training event at Rogers Centre, where several hundred aspiring young players took tips from Lindros as well as Leafs forwards Chad Kilger and Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ottawa Senators forward Chris Kelly and Matt Nichol, the Leafs' strength and conditioning coach.
Lindros got the loudest cheers from the kids on hand and it's clear playing for his hometown team remains the perfect fit for him.
"It's a wonderful place to play in," said the 33-year-old former Hart Trophy winner. "I got out of the gates pretty well last year but I didn't get to play that much last season and I'd like to come back and have a really strong season."
In fact, he was one of Toronto's better players early last season, but was sidelined by a serious wrist injury that ended up wiping out his year, a brief comeback late in the regular season abruptly ended after completely tearing the ligament in his wrist.
"I feel strong and healthy, my wrist will be 100 per cent, certainly by training camp," said Lindros, who had 11 goals and 11 assists in 33 games last season, his first in Toronto.
"It's a time issue, really," he said in explaining his rehab. "A ligament takes time to heal, but within that you're working on flexibility, you're working on wrist strength, your finger strength, everything that comes together with shooting a puck.
"I skated today for the first time in a while."

Cloutier traded to LA; Friesen signs in Calgary; Laraques signs in Phoenix

Just a week after signing new No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo, the Vancouver Canucks have bid farewell to their former starter. The Canucks and Los Angeles Kings have completed a deal that sends goaltender Dan Cloutier to L.A in exchange for second-round selection in 2007 and a conditional selection in 2009. The move reunites Cloutier with head coach Marc Crawford, who was hired by new GM Dean Lombardi last month.FULL STORY...

Spacek leaves Edmonton to join SabresLike fellow defenceman Chris Pronger, Jaroslav Spacek wanted out of Edmonton.

Flames sign Tanguay; add FriesenThe Flames have signed restricted free agent Alex Tanguay to a new three-year contract.

Coyotes sign Georges Laraque
Briere among Sabres going to arbitration
Wild re-sign Gaborik to three-year deal
Flyers re-sign Niittymaki to new deal
Ducks re-sign McDonald
Lindros hopes to return with Maple Leafs
Hurricanes sign Cole to three-year deal
Panthers agree to terms with Allen, Mezei
Islanders re-sign defenceman Bouchard
Flames add Friesen to forward ranks

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Roenick signs on with Phoenix; Barnaby to Dallas

Jeremy Roenick has signed a one-year deal to join the Phoenix Coyotes, a team which he played for from 1996-2001.
''JR is very well liked here in Phoenix, but this isn't about selling tickets on popularity,'' said Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett. ''It's about adding talent to our club. His pride and toughness breeds winning. That's what sells tickets.''
Roenick, one of the NHL's most outspoken players, indicated recently that he could be signing with a Canadian team this summer.Roenick, 36, is coming off the worst season of his career, during which he scored just 22 points in 58 games with the Los Angeles Kings. However, he's one of the most productive American-born players in history, with 1142 points in 1182 NHL games. He's added 116 points in 136 career playoff games. ''I'm thrilled to be returning home to play for the Coyotes,'' said Roenick. ''I have a lot of great memories from my five years in the desert and I'm looking forward to having a great season and help lead our team to the playoffs. I'd like to thank Wayne Gretzky and Mike Barnett for having faith in me. I'm hungry, I'm focused and I can't wait for the season to begin.”
Roenick has also played for Chicago and Philadelphia.

The Dallas Stars have signed agitator Matthew Barnaby to a one-year contract worth $625,000.
In 82 games with the Blackhawks last year, Barnaby had eight goals, 20 assists and 178 penalty minutes.
In 795 career NHL games with Blackhawks, Avalanche, Rangers, Lightning, Penguins anda Sabres he has compiled 112 goals, 181 assists and 2,345 penalty minutes.

Stars, Barnaby agree to one-year deal
Penguins sign free agent Ruutu
Flyers ink Randy Robitaille
Blues bring back Petr Cajanek
Yzerman headed to WIngs' front office?
Reasoner returns to Oilers
Lightning sign Denis to 3-year deal
Kings sign Willsie to two-year deal
Thrashers sign Brathwaite, Krog, Haydar
Senators re-sign Spezza for two years
Carter's days with Canucks over?
Blues sign unrestricted free agent Guerin
Isles agree to terms with Hilbert
Islanders ink Witt to three-year deal
More Headlines >>