Thursday, March 30, 2006

NHL Headlines

Jagr sets franchise mark for points
Injuries piling up for Senators
Leafs left searching for answers
Selanne, Toskala win weekly awards
NHL general managers reviewing CBA
Golden Bears win second straight Cup
Stars exercise option on coach Tippett
Yzerman ties Lemieux on all-time list
Leafs' Allison out indefinitely
Bruins drop axe on O’Connell
Samuelsson signs with Wings for three
Blues new owner wants instant return
Successful surgery for Demitra
Rucinsky out 4-6 weeks
Devils retire Daneyko’s number
Habs ink 2004 draft pick Chipchura
rushing to Crosby's defence
Kings can coach Murray

Aki Berg pondering retirement

Toronto defenceman Aki Berg has been struggling with more than just the overall lacklustre performance of the Maple Leafs, reports the Toronto Sun.
Berg may retire from the NHL after this season to return to his homeland of Finland, saying he wants his children to grow up with a Finnish background and culture."That's the thing -- it's family reasons," Berg told the Sun. "But I don't want this to be the focus right now. We have a lot of important games coming up and that has to be the No. 1 and only concern."

News araond the league - March 30, 2006

Nieuwendyk not impressed: Through one good eye, Panthers' veteran Joe Nieuwendyk is not impressed with the chippy play of the Bruins Brad Stuart....

Pat or Mats? Who is going?: The first rule about not making the playoffs is that you do not talk about not making the playoffs; the second rule of not making the playoffs is that your future is in doubt....

Jose Theodore back soon?: Goaltender Jose Theodore, who hasn't suited up since joining the Avalanche in a trade from Montreal, is expected to make his mile-high debut soon, the Denver Post reports....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bertuzzi and Crawford coming to an end?

The Vancouver Canucks may need to choose between their controversial forward and long-time head coach according to the Vancouver Sun.As the team continues to fall down the Western Conference standings, the relationship between Todd Bertuzzi and Marc Crawford is getting more attention. Crawford is running out of ways to get Bertuzzi back to his former level as a player, and the clique that Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund may be shutting out the rest of the dressing room. In any event, it would seem unlikely that there would be another season with both in the same room.

Belfour could be out for another week

The Maple Leafs' Ed Belfour may be out another week thanks to an injection in his lower backaccording to reports in the Toronto Star. The injection was in the same area as the problematic disc that was surgically repaired at the outset of the NHL lockout. The Leafs will continue their playoff drive with Mikael Tellqvist between the pipes, at least until Belfour returns. Backing up Tellqvist in net vs. the Sabres on Thursday will be Jean-Sebastien Aubin from the Marlies.

Andy Murray fired in Los Angeles, as Kings hanging on to a playoff spot

LOS ANGELES (AP-CP) - A winning record wasn't enough for Andy Murray to keep his job as coach of the Los Angeles Kings.
General manager Dave Taylor fired Murray on Tuesday night, saying the team wasn't playing with the same urgency and passion that marked the first half of the season.
Murray sensed it, too, after the Kings were beaten 5-0 by Colorado at home Monday night.
''It's totally disappointing that we would be lacking the sense of urgency that we needed - to be falling down, mishandling pucks, having scoring opportunities but not being able to get the shot away, losing too many puck battles and not getting saves when we needed them,'' he said.
The loss was the Kings' fifth defeat in seven games.

NHL News and Notes - March 22, 2006

Loss leaves Habs out of playoff spot
Rick DiPietro made 33 saves to help the New York Islanders hand the Montreal Canadiens a costly 3-1 loss on Tuesday night.

Movin' on up: Leafs edge Hurricanes
Jason Allison's power-play goal with 4:48 remaining in the third period Tuesday night lifted the never-say-die Toronto Maple Leafs to a crucial 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Canucks win 'Game 1' against Oilers
Daniel Sedin scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks stopped a late-season slide with a 4-1 win over the Oilers in the first game of a crucial three-game series against Edmonton.

Kings fire coach Murray; hire Torchetti
The Los Angeles Kings have relieved head coach Andy Murray and assistant Coach John Van Boxmeer of their coaching duties.

Flames come up short in Minnesota
Sharks inch closer to playoffs with win
Senators sweep Penguins; lose Volchenkov
Predators snap Red Wings win streak
Forsberg leads Flyers to win over Devils
Coyotes rally to defeat Blue Jackets
Avalanche lose Tanguay for 2-4 weeks
Columbus to host 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Blues' Jackman sidelined with broken jaw
NHL Mail: No Ordinary Joe
Coyotes demote Jones to San Antonio
More Headlines >>

Rick DiPietro made 33 saves to help the New York Islanders hand the Montreal Canadiens a costly 3-1 loss on Tuesday night. Montreal's loss, combined with Atlanta's 5-4 shootout win over Boston, puts the Thrashers ahead of the struggling Canadiens for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff berth.FULL STORY...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

NHLPA Issues...and more news from the League

Two Simmering Issues
There are two simmering issues that involve the NHL Players' Association and it's going to be interesting to see whether either of them boil over in the near future.

Senators beat Lightning in dying seconds
Tucker nets Leafs shootout win vs. Bruins
Coyotes get gritty to crush Kings
Predators pummel Noronen, Canucks
Sabres extend win streak to seven games
Weight scores two; Canes top Rangers
Islanders embarrass Devils at home
Blue Jackets' Berard done for the year
Canes' Cole hoping to be back for playoffs
Flames back on top of Northwest Division
NHL Mail: Peering into the Cristobal
More Headlines >>

Ice Chips: The Latest NHL Updates
Updated NHL Standings
Predators pummel Noronen, Canucks
Roloson backstops Oilers to victory

News from the NHL - March 15, 2006

Tucker tallies SO winner
Mats Sundin had two goals and an assist for the Maple Leafs, and Jason Allison and Bryan McCabe also scored.
TORONTO (CP) -- Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Mikael Tellqvist made the most of his rare back-to-back starts. Tellqvist made 28 saves -- and was a perfect 3-for-3 in the shootout -- to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs over the visiting Boston Bruins 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Berard shuts it down ColeBlue Jacket out for year; 'Cane hopes for return ...
Hockey HearsayNHLPA to vote on lowering salary cap this summer ...
Jokinen never wanted outLikes team direction, hopes Luongo will stay ...
Parker gets a pairNHL suspends tough guy for being third man in ...
Habs honour Boom BoomGeoffrion's No. 5 raised to the rafters ...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The final trades of the Deadline....let the run begin!

Philadelphia gets: W Niko Dimitrakos
San Jose gets: a third round pickScott
Burnside's instant analysis: Bob Clarke, as is his wont at deadline time, is stockpiling forward depth for what he imagines will be a long playoff run. Although Dimitrakos had only 16 points in 45 games this season, the 26-year-old was a surprise contributor to the Sharks' run to the conference final in 2004 with nine points in 15 games.

Calgary gets: W Jamie Lundmark
Phoenix gets: a draft pickScott
Burnside's instant analysis: At one point this season, Wayne Gretzky had Lundmark quarterbacking the power play from the point as the Coyotes tried to resurrect the career of a player taken ninth overall in 1999. With the Coyotes' playoff hopes all but extinguished, it will be up to Calgary coach Darryl Sutter to coax more production out of Lundmark. The Flames, like the Senators, coveted Olli Jokinen, and Lundmark is a huge step down from that level of player. Still, the Edmonton native has lots of tools. Now if he could only find them.

Edmonton gets: LW Sergei Samsonov
Boston gets: C Marty Reasoner, C Yan Stastny, a second-round pick
Scott Burnside's instant analysis: If ever there was a doubt that Edmonton's future is now, then this deal dispels that notion. Although Samsonov is injury-prone, he is a talent and will add a much-needed offensive element to an Oiler team that fancies itself a Cup contender. Samsonov didn't come cheaply, though, as Reasoner has shown flashes that he's a player in spite of his team-worst minus-12. Samsonov will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

New Jersey gets: C/LW Jason Wiemer
Calgary gets: a fourth-round pick

Florida gets: D Ric Jackman
Pittsburgh gets: C Petr Taticek

Phoenix gets: W Yannick Lehoux
Los Angeles gets: forward Tim Jackman

Phoenix gets: LW/C Oleg Kvasha
Islanders get: a third-round pick

Vancouver gets: D Eric Weinrich
St. Louis gets: D Tomas Mojzis, a third round pick in 2006

Minnesota gets: D Shawn Belle, D Martin Skoula
Dallas gets: D Willie Mitchell, a second-round pick

Ottawa gets: C Tyler Arnason
Chicago gets: W Brandon Bochenski

Atlanta gets: D Steve McCarthy
Vancouver gets: a conditional pick in 2007

Detroit gets: D Cory Cross
Pittsburgh gets: a fourth-round pick in 2007

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Brendan Witt from WAS to Nashville

Nashville Predators acquire defenceman Brendan Witt from the Washington Capitals in exchange for first-round draft pick and forward Kris Beech.

Ozolinsh to NYR

New York Rangers acquire defenceman Sandis Ozolinsh from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in exchange for a third-round draft pick.

Sandis Ozolinsh to NYR....Antropov Anyone?

Anaheim send D Sandis Ozolinsh to NYR

UPDATE - D Keith Carney and Juha Alon from ANA to VAN for 2nd round draft pick
D Brent Skinner

Nik Antropov.....JFJ can't even let this guy go!

25 minutes left and Toronto have done JACK SHIT!

What in the hell is wrong with JFJ?

He didn't do anything, Richardson and Suglobov for Ken Klee!!! My god. At least dump players for anything and clear cap space if nothing else.

Oli Jokinen re-signs with Florida!

Panthers ink Jokinen to 4-year, $21M deal
Taking the most talked-about name off the trade market, the Florida Panthers signed centre Olli Jokinen to a four-year, $21-million extension Thursday.

Trades - Recchi to CAR, Carney to VAN....more - 2:27pm EST

The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded Mark Recchi going to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Niklas Nordgren, Krystofer Kolanos and a second-round pick in 2007. Recchi must officially waive his no-trade clause for the deal to go through, but that is expected to happen before the deadline.FULL STORY...

Canucks grab Carney from Ducks
Continuing their efforts to solidify their blueline, the Vancouver Canucks have landed veteran defenceman Keith Carney in exchange for a draft pick and a prospect.

Phoenix Coyotes acquire defenceman Jamie Rivers from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2007.

Trades coming in - 12:57pm EST

New Jersey Devils acquire defenceman Brad Lukowich from the New York Islanders in exchange for a third-round pick in 2006.

Vancouver Canucks acquire defenceman Sean Brown from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2006.

Philadelphia Flyers acquire defenceman Denis Gauthier from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Josh Gratton and two second-round picks in 2006.

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim acquire defenceman Sean O'Donnell from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Joel Perrault.

Vancouver Canucks acquire goaltender Mika Noronen from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a second-round pick.

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim acquire forward Jeff Friesen from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick.

Top Names Rumored to move by today's deadline

Top names being thrown around as of 10:30AM include:

Pitt - Recchi, Malone
ATL - Savard
BOS - Samsonov, Murray
WSH - Witt
Stl - Drake
TOR - Belfour, Berg
VAN - Bertuzzi

Jokinen off the trade block?

It also appears that star centre Olli Jokinen may be off the block. A source indicated Thursday that Panthers GM Mike Keenan has made a new contract offer to the 27-year-old Finn, who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent July 1.The Ottawa Senators were leading the chase to acquire Jokinen but he won't be available if the Panthers feel they can re-sign him.

Chris Gratton re-signs, Morris and Reinprecht re-sign with Phoenix

The Florida Panthers have signed centre Chris Gratton to a new two-year contract extension.
The former first round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1993 was earning $900,000 this season prior to the deal.
Gratton, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Panthers last August, has 14 goals and 30 points in 56 games this season.
The Panthers had been getting several calls from other teams looking to acquire Gratton, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this July.

The Coyotes on Wednesday agreed to terms with both players on three-year contract extensions with Morris getting a deal worth $11.75 million and Reinprecht signing for $6 million.
A 27-year-old defenseman, Morris was acquired in a trade with Colorado on March 9, 2004. In 33 games with the Coyotes this season, he has collected two goals and 14 assists, ranking third on the team with an average ice time of more than 20 minutes.
Reinprecht, 29, has three goals and one assist in eight games since being obtained in a deal with Calgary on February 1. In 60 games this season with the Coyotes and Flames, the veteran center has 13 goals and 20 assists.
"These are players that we have acquired earlier through trades and players that we have identified as a part of our desired core moving forward," Coyotes general manager Michael Barnett said. "Derek Morris would have been the youngest defenseman in this summer's free-agent group at age 27. Steve Reinprecht is a skilled and versatile forward who, at only 29, will play on one of our top lines."

Drafted 13th overall by Calgary in 1996, Morris has 53 goals and 206 assists in 534 career games with the Flames, Avalanche and Coyotes. Reinprecht has collected 72 tallies and 123 assists in 329 contests with Los Angeles, Colorado, Calgary and Phoenix.

Curtis Joseph taken off the trade market

The Oilers paid a big price for a rental - a first round pick and more if they sign Dwayne Roloson after the season, but I think the Oilers could afford that.

They realized that the goaltending market was shrinking. Curtis Joseph was taken off the market by the Phoenix Coyotes, Martin Biron won't be dealt by the Buffalo Sabres, but Mika Noronen could be had, but he has no NHL playoff experience or NHL experience for that matter.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ken Klee (D) traded from Toronto to NJ for prospect Alexander Suglobov

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defenceman Ken Klee to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for prospect Alexander Suglobov.
Klee became expendable when the Leafs acquired Luke Richardson from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional draft pick earlier in the day.
The 34-year-old blueliner, who just returned from an ankle injury, has scored three goals and added 12 assists in 56 games this season. He will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Suglobov has 25 goals and 23 assists in 51 games with the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League.

Jose Theodore traded to Colorado for David Aebischer

Breaking News:

The Montreal Canadiens have traded goalie to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for goalie David Aebischer.

Looks like Pierre Lacroix is attempting to strike lightning twice....remember the Patrick Roy trade?

Hockey Trades - Roloson to EDM, Richardson to TOR, Parrish and Sopel to LA

With less than 24 hours to go before tomorrow's 3:00pm deadline, the trades have started to come through:

1. Veteran Luke Richardson is returning to the city that first brought him into the league. The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Richardson from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fifth-round draft pick, Sportsnet has learned.The pick will be for this year's or next year's draft, depending on whether the Maple Leafs make the playoffs.It's fifth-round pick in 2006 if the Leafs miss the playoffs. However, if Toronto makes the post-season, the Blue Jackets have a choice of a fifth-round pick this year, or a fourth-round pick in 2007.

2. New York Rangers have traded forward Ville Nieminen to the San Jose Sharks for a third-round pick.

3. Edmonton Oilers acquired goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a first round pick and a conditional 3rd round draft pick.

4. Los Angeles Kings acquire forward Mark Parrish and defenceman Brent Sopel from the New York Islanders in exchange for defenceman Denis Grebeshkov, forward Jeff Tambellini and a conditional third round pick.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Trade Deadline Rumors heard on the Fan590 Hockey Insider

Some interesting notes I heard this morning on the Fan590. Scotty Bowman was on the air on the Hockey Insider report, and stated that he had heard that the Lightning had contacted Chicago and made a serious offer to bring back Khabibulin. According to him, it involved sending one of their top forwards in return. He suggested St. Louis, as he has struggled this season.

Bowman also expressed that a goalie like Belfour would be a good fit for TB, where Grahme and Burke have struggled. If the Leafs could get a St.Louis in return, it would be a good addition.

As for Bertuzzi rumors, Bowman believes it would have to encompass getting goaltending in return, but seemed more like an opportunity in the offseason. He didn't seem to confident that this is the year for the Canuks, and if they are looking for a goalie, they should get one who has a few years left.

What do the Leafs do? Rumors begin to swirl1

With just a bit over 2 days before the trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs face some tough decisions. The Leafs management and players have put up a strong front by stating they are in a fight for the final playoff spot. However, as we have seen in the new year, the Leafs cannot compete and sit in 11th spot in the East and 8 points behind the Habs for that final spot.

The difference between the Habs and Leafs is , the Habs are putting up a fight by winning games, while the leafs have lost 3 in a row since the end of the Olympics, and 2 losses prior to them. The Leafs didn't show up against Washington or Buffalo. The competed to their best abilities against Ottawa and still lost. Whereas the Habs are 3 and 1 in their last 4. With strong goaltending. Belfour looks like the Eagle is going extinct. But you can't fault him completely. The defence is crap, and his confidence is shot. That can only come back if the team wins a few for him with strong defencive play. Reports indicate that tonights game is the test to see whether or not the Leafs blow up the team, or hope for the best and make a run with 22 games remaing.

So why not? Let the Leafs have this one last game as a test to see if they have what it takes to fight, and compete....soemthing we haven't seen in 2006. In fact, I think the "success" they had at the start of the season to December, was in large part due to them playing weaker teams at the time, and a strong powerplay. Also, if you observe carefully, the only time the Leafs show any puck control, or offensive zone presence is on the powerplay. They lack the speed and offensive skill to setup and breakout with the puck. They are very sloppy and slow!

Montreal v/s Toronto....lets see if they come out and play.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Pat Quinn Era Coming to an End

For the first time since the Quinn Era began, the leafs will NOT make the playoffs.Sure they are close in the race for 8th place, but lets face it...this is a defeated team.For the first time in his entire stay with the Leafs, I see frustration in Mats Sundin's eyes.Especially after winning gold in Turino, I ahve notice Mats hitting and aggressively going afterthe puck, where in the past, he would allow his linemates to get in there and fight for the puck.In Friday's games versus the Sabres, I will not for get Sundin hammering his stick on the icelate in the game demanding Steen to pass it to him - an indication of a lack of confidence in him.Not to mention Mats taking back to back interference penalties late in the second period.

So what do we do? Remember Pat Burns when his luck ran out? That's right...time to break up the Leafs.The problem now is that, they don't have anyone that other GMs want.

If I were in charge, I would do my best to move Belfour for whatever you can. But his poor play, and massiveclub option for next year will probably stop any trade form happening. He also has a no-trade clause, which willonly get waived if the other picks up next seasons contract. Nice going Eddie, looks like you are gonna be stuckin Toronto as a $4.5 Million backup goalie on a team going nowhere.

Secondly, I would seriously consider moving Tucker. Outside of Mats, he is the Leafs best asset. I can see himmoved to Calgary, or Edmonton. I also, think moving McCabe is right ther with Tucker. With Kaberle already already signed, I can't see McCabe at +$5 Million / year for 5 years. He is not that good defensively in the first place.Again, I can say that Calgary and Edmonton as destinations.

Everyone else can all be let go at the end of the season, as most of the roster are free agents.
Finally, if a good opportunity comes up, and a strong deal is in the making, the Leafs must consider moving Mats Sundin.Get some young players in return, draft picks and rebuild. Because either way, he cannot help the Leafs in the near future.And nor is there any young players that can come up and play with him. The biggest failure of Leaf management has been the inability to add wingers of star quality to play with him over his stay. Neither Roberts or Mogilny cut it either. Imagine if the two were re-signed?One is injured (Roberts), and the other can't play for the Devils(Mogilny).

As for potential free agents, I would target Samsonov, Joikinen, Havlat, Legwand, and Savard up front, and Morris and Gauthier on the blueline.

But what players would come here if ther is no McCabe, Tucker, and most of all No Sundin?

Luongo a King? Belfour to accept trade? Lindros done for the Year!

Kings looking to acquire LuongoMarch 6 @ 8:30 AMThe Kings are pressing hard to work out a "blockbuster" deal for Florida Panther goaltender Roberto Luongo, a league source told the Los Angeles Times.The package would include King goaltender Mathieu Garon and the Panthers' choice of prospects currently at minor league Manchester, the source said. The Panthers are said to be still unsure whether to move Luongo, considered an elite NHL goaltender.

Belfour willing to waive no-tradeMarch 6 @ 8:20 AMUnder the right circumstances, Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.The Toronto Star is reporting if the Leafs were to try to trade Belfour, and the team on the other side was willing to guarantee the option year on his contract, the Eagle would accept the deal."I don't want to be anywhere where I'm not wanted," Belfour told the Star. "I want to be where I'm wanted."Edmonton is believed to be interested in the Leafs backup.

Lindros done for the yearMarch 4 @ 10:00 PMToronto forward Eric Lindros was dealt a season-ending blow on Saturday versus the Senators. Lindros re-tore the ligament in his right wrist, and will have surgery next week to repair the damage."I tore it again," said an emotional Lindros, fighting back tears. "I'll need surgery this week."It's not a lot of fun."Lindros, who had just returned after missing 27 games because of the damaged wrist, said it happened when he took a slap shot late in the second period. He didn't return for the third.

Kings and Islanders sign Norstrom and Bates

Bates signs three-year deal with Isles
Shawn Bates removed his name from the trade rumour mill Monday when he signed a three-year contract to stay with the New York Islanders.

Kings lock up Norstrom for two years
The Los Angeles Kings have locked up a key member of their team.

The Montreal Canadiens will try to improve on their three-game winning streak when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. The Canadiens have won all three meetings against the Flyers so far this season. The Flyers have dropped four in a row, including three games since returning from the Olympic break.FULL STORY...

The Montreal Canadiens will try to improve on their three-game winning streak when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. The Canadiens have won all three meetings against the Flyers so far this season. The Flyers have dropped four in a row, including three games since returning from the Olympic break.FULL STORY...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Pat Quinn still thinks Leafs a playoff team

Quinn thinks Leafs still a playoff team
It wasn't quite Don Waddell's playoff guarantee of last month for the Atlanta Thrashers but head coach Pat Quinn insists his Toronto Maple Leafs can still join the spring-time party despite their recent losing slide.

Sens beat stumbling Leafs; Lindros done
Following a 4-2 loss to rival Ottawa, the Toronto Maple Leafs also lost centre Eric Lindros for the season after he reinjured his right wrist.

The Carolina Hurricanes have suffered a setback to their aspirations to win the Stanley Cup because winger Erik Cole has suffered a significant neck injury. The Hurricanes announced Sunday that Cole has a compression fracture in a vertebra in his neck expected to miss at least the rest of the regular season. Cole's injury will no doubt cause the Hurricanes to look at potential replacements via the trade market before Thursday's deadline.FULL STORY...

Kiprusoff blanks Sharks for 7th shutout
Higgins strikes twice, Habs beat Lightning
Lightning recall Tarnasky, Reid
Biron stops 40 shots in Sabres victory
Isles honour '80 Cup heroes, beat Flyers
Thrashers edge Capitals to move into 9th
Lidstrom powers Wings past Coyotes
Modano scores twice in win over Avalanche
Brodeur sets goaltending mark in Devils win
Avery scores twice as Kings beat Jackets
Vandermeer suspended for high stick
More Headlines >>