.....I don't use the word "suck" very often, but I can't think of a more appropriate term to define just how bad the Bruins were against the Leafs last night. Horrible! I think this is the first time I see a team playing 5 games in a calendar week, ie Monday to Sunday...and so far, it's been very ugly with no signs of getting any better...D'
Posted on Mar 7, 2008, 11:00 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
I have to admit, I agree with most of this guy's points. Didn't work for them tonight, as they lost to Chicago after forking over 10 pp's, but I do think they get away with more rough-stuff due to the sheer volume of what they're putting out. And I don't begrudge them for that...you do whatever works, and whatever you can get away with.
I want to start by saying something I have said over and over on both radio and TV. I have great admiration for the way the Anaheim Ducks play the game. I believe their philosophy is not new but it is brilliant. It plays on the one constant in NHL officiating. That is the official’s internal calculator. No matter how many changes to rules and their interpretation officials rarely drastically over penalize one team compared to the other. Just look through the box scores each morning and you will see that in a great many NHL games each team had about the same number of power plays. Does that mean the teams both committed the same number of fouls both called and uncalled? Usually it actually does and that is the balance that NHL referees try to maintain.
What happens if you as a team try to use that proclivity to your advantage? The late Roger Neilson once explained their philosophy when he coached the Florida Panthers. They didn’t believe their team was nearly skilled enough to have a chance to win it all. So what would the game plan be? The Hall of Fame coach’s idea was brilliant. What if you flood the game with fouls? Commit 100 fouls per game on purpose knowing the officials are only going to nail you for 6 or 7 or 8 because calling much more than that would slow the game down into un-watchability. Does the avalanche of fouls not somewhat level the playing field? It’s like death by a thousand cuts. There is no one egregious foul that changes the game, but rather a constant, numbing, frustrating dripping tap of continuous fouls which keep the opposition from ever feeling settled and in control of the game. It worked for the Panthers and it works for the Ducks.
Anaheim is the dirtiest team in the NHL and all the stats prove that. But what fans miss in their anger because their team was the victim of the Ducks “thousand cuts” game plan is the excellence Anaheim has achieved in executing this type of game plan. Getting everyone to play this way. Getting your skill players to play this way. Not an easy thing to do, but they have. It is not the type of hockey you can do half way. Everyone has to play that way to create a general look to the game that nothing is wrong or different from the way other teams play. But it is very different and believe me it is neither incidental nor accidental that the Ducks are the most penalized team in the league and have been shorthanded the most of any NHL club. In fact that is a benefit for them. When the league is criticized for not cracking down on the Ducks they just point to their penalty totals. How much more can you penalize the team which is already the most penalized team? The answer is yes you can. If a man convicted of murder is given a 3 year sentence one can certainly say he was punished but common sense tells you the penalty was not appropriate for the crime. If you are the Ducks and intentionally commit 50 or 60 fouls per game but on average only take 6 or 7 penalties per game is that not a light sentence which only encourages them to play the same way and in fact proves how effective a philosophy it is?
It is too convenient for those who think this is just whining from the guy who calls the Ottawa games. This exact same conversation goes on all around the league. It is especially prevalent in Detroit, Dallas and San Jose. Not surprising since there is a good chance one of those 3 teams will face Anaheim in the Western Final. Their talk shows are also filled with “how do those guys get away with that” the morning after each game against the Ducks. It’s a hot topic in Ottawa today because the Senators got more of the same in Orange County last night in their 3-1 loss and nobody should be surprised.
I repeat again, I am not complaining but rather just pointing out a reality. I think its brilliant managing and coaching. If I ran a team I would try to duplicate everything they do and how they do it. The Ducks know how much of a competitive advantage it is and they are experts at it. They should be applauded not persecuted. It’s the same conversation when talking about Chris Pronger. He is the dirtiest player in the NHL and I would have him on my team any time. It is a great strength not an indictment to have a player with a skill level so high play with that kind of edge. He breaks the rules all the time and gets away with a ton but that is what makes him one of the toughest opponents in the NHL. Who would not want that on their team? Pronger should carry the badge of “dirtiest player in hockey” with pride rather than getting upset when people say it, thinking it’s a shot of some kind. Most of the best players over the history of this game have also been some it’s dirtiest. Mark Messier, Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard are the first names which jump to mind.
It has taken me a great deal of time and space to get to my main point, but here it is. The only thing about this whole topic which I find distasteful is the disingenuous way the NHL treats people who point it out. It is intellectually insulting to have someone at the league level claim that home broadcasters are trying to incite fans to become negative towards the officials by simply showing plays, some of which were called and some were not. The implication that it is homerism has no credibility since Garry Galley and I on our Sportsnet broadcast also showed replays of Ottawa mis-deeds which were also uncalled. Garry and I also spent much of the first period and into the second criticizing the Ottawa forwards. While Anaheim was punishing the Senators defense with the body, the Ottawa forwards were taking fly-bys on the Ducks defense. Broadcasters on a homer telecast don’t mention those things. We do.
There is also an implication that we are bag men for Bryan Murray and his staff. Believe me Bryan is not sending us text messages during the game telling us when to start criticizing the officials on the air so it corresponds with his bench tirades. This broadcast was not an attempt to embarrass the officials, but rather on some nights the officiating and what they call and more often what they don’t has a major impact on the game. Last night was one of those nights.
The 2 biggest deciding factors in an NHL game on most nights are player error and officiating. Both are completely understandable. Hockey is a game of mistakes and officiating is always a no win situation since you are trying to manage the fastest non-motorized team sport in the world.
When we set out to broadcast a game we don’t sit down before hand to plot out ways to publicly erode confidence in the consistency of NHL officiating. But it’s pretty difficult to contend this is not a major problem in the NHL. Steve Yzerman was on Hockey Night in Canada after his induction into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and was asked what the number one issue facing the league was and he responded “officiating, nobody knows what a penalty is”. Is Yzerman a whiner? Is Steve plotting against the officials? No! Steve like all of us loves this game and that’s why it’s an emotional issue. But pretending it doesn’t exist is insulting. Berating and implying anyone who brings it up has a bias based on homerism is insulting.
While I applaud them for it and respect how well they do it. The fact is that Anaheim is the dirtiest team in the NHL and has the lowest foul to penalty-called ratio in the NHL and that gives them a distinct advantage. Every game is video taped. The evidence is there for anyone who wants to look at it but please don’t tell me I don’t see what I see or that I don’t know the rule book. My eyes work and I can read.
See you at the rink.
Posted by Dean Brown at 4:21 PM
Posted on Mar 5, 2008, 9:52 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
The Stars had recent success against the Ducks by torching them on the PP. But we all know the playoffs are a whole different animal, and Anaheim is a team built for the playoffs. There's a reason why most prognosticators are picking them to repeat. They have the train back on the tracks now, and they're back to their old (dirty) bag of tricks. Woe is be to their first round opponent.
Posted on Mar 6, 2008, 7:44 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
Bertuzzi (aka Bluto) isn't the creature he used to be, but he's still a force to be reckoned with. Makes up for the loss of Penner. Schneider is just a very solid, perennially-underrated d-man, so their defense is better.
Scott N. and Teemu are tanned, rested and ready for the stretch. Pronger is Pronger, hanging's too good for him. They have to be the favorites, in any serious pundit's book.
It is for these reasons that I am putting the Evil Eye on them, effective immediately. Expect a heap o' misfortune, Anaheim faithful! (sorry, but it has to be done)
Posted on Mar 6, 2008, 8:57 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
Lidstrom, Hudler, and Cleary served you well in Season 1
by Big Dan
But I know what you are saying. It puts too much pressure on your beloved mates. You want to relax and cheer, not sweat about the +/- of your guy.
The only Oilers to ever serve me well were Horcoff and Hemsky. My wife will attest to my huge man love for Hemsky now. He has joined the holy trinity of Moog & Smyth as my favorite Oilers ever. #4 is waaaaaaaay behind- Tikkanen? Ranford? Weight?
I love how entertaining Hemsky is to watch. How he keeps getting pounded but gets up every time. How he plays hurt. How he smiles that boyish grin with the broken tooth.
Our family just got a pug and my wife said I could name it. Hemsky was perfect! Unfortunately, she wouldn't let me so we settled on Remy.
I also learned former Oilers never seem to serve me well in fantasy pools.
Posted on Mar 5, 2008, 6:49 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
I'm a dog-fanatic from way back. I don't know how people live without dogs, frankly. My dog worships me like a god, he's the only one who'll stay in the room with me when I'm watching hockey, and he helps me stay in shape with regular long walks.
My grandmother used to have a pug, and he was a great little dog. Much nicer than most of the other small breeds, which tend to be nippy and yappy.
As for my team, every guy I've had on my fantasy-team in the second-half has either gone cold or gotten injured. Zetterberg, Cleary, Kronwall, Lidstrom, Hasek...might have had Rafalski for a couple of games, too. Ozzie and Dats just went into slumps, when I plugged them in.
I've ruined a few other guys, from other teams, like Crosby, Lecavalier and Iginla. The latter two stopped scoring completely, when I picked them up, after tearing it up previously.
Posted on Mar 5, 2008, 9:38 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
I bought one for my wife for her Birthday last year in September after watching this movie about Churchill. He was an pug freak... as am I now! Once my Bouv passes on, I'm going to get another pugeroolie!
His name is Winston. My daughter will take a pic later, I'll post it later. Little bugger is so ugly his cute.
Posted on Mar 5, 2008, 2:38 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168
Last year I had Murphy with me, on a late-night work project. I let him sit in my chair, and pretend to be me. I think he liked it for a minute, but working full-time would interfere with his 8 daily hours of nap-time.
He's 140 lbs. of Chesapeake Bay Retriever, btw.
Posted on Mar 7, 2008, 8:42 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124
...pretty nasty. I watched the game and Johnson really didn't know when he hit him where he'd land.
I would like to point out that while I certainly do NOT want anyone to get hurt bad Mr. Smythe got a little "karma" payback from when he SPEARD King's goalie Labarbera a month or two ago. The problem there was that no King took it out on him at the time...which is a major complaint I have about the team this year. At least Ian Lap went after Johnson after this play....although most admitted it was a dirty hit.
Posted on Mar 3, 2008, 12:35 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
....off hand but what I do remember is that he "ran" the goalie and in so doing speared him. Labarbera was out a number of weeks after but, like I said, what bothered me most was the Kings' reaction.
Nonetheless, the Jack Johnson hit the other night really had nothing to do with the prior situation. I SHOULD have been taken care of months ago...similar to what Laperrier (sp?) did the other night...at least.
Just another reason why the Kings are DEAD LAST in the NHL.
Posted on Mar 4, 2008, 11:34 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
Here are the standings for the year and last two weeks.
1. D'Artagnon 919, 70
2. Big Dan 917, 71
3. glenn 906, 66
4. BigE 894, 61
5. Golbez 867, 59
6. Octopus 876, 63
7. smike 832, 77
8. HR 800, 56
9. Burgie 765, 45
Neither D' or Big Dan have ever won, continuing the pattern of a different winner emerging every season.
I have often led in past years but never won in the end. D', quite honestly, was usually in the middle of the pack with Octopus. Next year will be Octo's turn.
Our two teams have 9 different faces. Which one do you think has a better chance?
I'm on the left. D' is on the right.
Savard 72 vs Malkin 84
Kovalchuk 70 vs D.Sedin 62
Briere 55 vs O.Jokinen 61
Gonchar 51 vs Boyle 14
Samsonov 22 vs Hudler 35
Backstrom 52 vs Toews 42
Avery 61 vs Neil 73
Luongo 56 vs Brodeur 68
Backstrom 39 vs Kiprusoff 42
Posted on Mar 1, 2008, 8:32 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206
The team was sinking badly because of its goaltending.
I got all excited about Gerber early in the season, but he's back to his usual level of mediocrity. And now he is ragging on his best defenseman?
Ray Emery is too busy getting into car accidents to practice. Teams are easily beating him in the five-hole and over the shoulder.
I said it before the deadline. Ottawa needs to pick up a goalie or they are out in the first round.
I am sure Lowe would have even been willing to deal Roli for a conditional draft pick, and take him back in June if he had to... just to give the classy veteran another chance at the Cup.
Roloson may not be that great. But a talented team like Ottawa only needs SOLID goaltending. He can provide that and be a veteran presence in the locker room. Roli has proven he is clutch in the playoffs for Minnesota and Edmonton.
Then, they could have sent Emery to the minors for a "conditioning stint". He either goes down and plays, or he is suspended without pay.
Then after two weeks, they waive him. Maybe Mike Smith isn't the answer and Tampa will pick him up. Maybe somebody's #1 gets hurt and they'll pick Emery up.
Or most likely he clears waivers and stays down. Either way, it'll teach him a lesson and keep him away from the team. He's been a distraction.
BRYAN MURRAY IS VERY, VERY DUMB. All that talent and no goaltending.
Posted on Feb 28, 2008, 7:32 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
Seems to me, both teams helped themselves in this deal. San Jose desperately needs an offensive-boost, and Campbell might give it to them. I haven't seen him play very much, but if he lives up to his rep, he should blend very well with the likes of Thornton, Marleau, and Cheechoo.
Some people think Bernier might be the better player, when he matures. He's got size and skill. Considering Buffalo was going to lose Campbell this summer, they made a pretty nice deal.
Posted on Feb 27, 2008, 7:20 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168
A couple years ago, I went to a Flame-Shark preseason game
by Big Dan
Bernier scored a hat trick. I remember saying, this guy is going to be goooood in a few years.
I am tickled pink Buffalo got him. More overrated filler to help the Sabres make the playoffs, eh?
There was a report that Campbell offered a 6-year deal for $30+ million early in the year. I guess he thought he was doing them a favor. He wanted security and was sniffing after the trade how he loved Buffalo and just wanted a long term deal.
In Edmonton, there are two guys worth the price of admission= Hemsky and Pitkanen. While Pitkanen's stats are down this year because of lingerign injuries, he is outstanding.
His stats are similiar to Campbell's at about 40 points/ year (but he doesn't have Sabre fans stuffing all-star ballot boxes).
He is going to sign for about $4.5 million this summer. That is what Campbell is worth. Buffalo won big by getting Bernier, just you watch.
Posted on Feb 28, 2008, 7:37 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124
For example, Crosby feeds the hype machine with his brilliant interviews and Hollywood smile.
He may end up in the same league as Sakic, Modano, Yzerman, and Messier someday. But he'll still be revered as the next Gretz or Mario. God love him.
Who else do you like? Roenick?
Oiler fans may criticize Lowe and MacTavish's on-ice performance. But their interviews are always open, honest, in depth, and refreshing.
Contrast that with Darryl Sutter. Calgarians think of him as a God because he lucked out on Kipper. I sat at his table a few years ago at a charity golf tournament.
He is just like the class bully. He sat there pompously with that permanent 'screw you' face as people catered to him. He always seems pissed off at the media and only give off-handed, snarky comments.
Brian Burke is kind of a mix of Lowe-eloquence and Sutter-edginess. God love him. We need more personalities like him!
Posted on Feb 27, 2008, 6:55 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
Both of these guys are very funny, though their delivery is so understated and accented, it's easy to miss their jokes if you aren't paying attention.
Last week, one of the national TV guys, I don't remember which one, asked Holmstrom if he felt like he'd "finally arrived" with the Wings, having scored 30 goals last year, and being on pace for the same this year. Homer deadpanned something about "it's great to finally arrive, at the age of 35." One of my all-time favorite hockey players.
Posted on Feb 28, 2008, 8:36 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
I had stopped paying attention around 3pm, when nothing had happened, and all the guys supposedly on our wish-list were gone. Later on, I saw where we'd nabbed Brad Stuart for a couple of picks, and I feel like we really helped ourselves.
Not that he's the greatest d-man since Orr, or has even lived up to his own hype, but I saw what he did against us last year in the playoffs: he was the most-physical player on the ice. The Wings needed a physical #4, and they've got him now. Plus, he's better than Lilja offensively, and moves Samuelsson off the second pp-unit. I like it.
Detroit wanted to bring back Fedorov, but Columbus didn't want to deal him to a divisional-rival. Understandable, I guess. So, the only forward who might be joining the team for the playoff-push will be McCarty, if he can get himself into NHL game-shape.
Speaking of D-Mac, well, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," and his second ex-wife got her at-bats in today's Freep. Seems Darren left her with a pile of debt, and a "Dear Jane" letter, when he decided to return to Detroit and seek to make amends with his kids (and ex-wife #1). Oops!
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 4:43 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206
Last game, Edmonton came back from 2-0 to beat Colorado 3-2.
It looked like they blew another 2-0 third period lead last night. Down 3-2, it was nice to see Pisani pull it out of the fire. Since coming back from ulcerative colitis, his offense has dried up completely. Fatigue perhaps.
It was also nice to see Sanderson score a goal. Most Oiler fans feel he wasn't given a fair shake by MacT. Now he HAS to give him ice time because there's nobody else.
It was also nice to see a shootout. It's been over a month now. Too bad the game wasn't televised.
We got the Calgary-Colorado game. Not since the 80s have I had such a seething hatred for the Flames. Regehr was interviewed after the game and I wanted to reach through the screen and punch him in the face.
Flames fans are so silly and annoying. They always cry and boo whenever their team gets a penalty, legitimate or not. Yet they ignore when their guys get away from murder (Nolan flattening Garon, Phaneuf's head butts, Regehr ramming Hemsky's head into the boards repeatedly).
Their latest whine is about a trip Liles embellished in overtime. WAAAAH! They forget that Colorado has the NHL's 2nd best shootout record and would have won anyway.
However, it was nice to see Smyth putting the screws to them again with a perfect OT pass. He has been a Flame killer this year.
Posted on Feb 27, 2008, 5:07 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
In fact, Stuart is so downgraded as a player, tsn.ca didn't even bother mentioning the deal, as late as 10pm last night. Espn.com featured the wit and wisdom of Barry Melrose, declaring Detroit a Loser in the Deadline Day Sweepstakes, because we didn't trade roster players, prospects and picks for one of the "names" that was out there.
I say, Stuart plays a physical game, as witnessed personally by me in the playoffs last year. He has previously been asked to do it all, provide offense as well as defense, and that has been a problem for him. In Detroit, he'll be asked to concentrate on playing tough, responsible defense, and letting Kronwall carry the puck for the most part. I think they can make an excellent second-pair, to Lids-Rafalski, and it leaves us with a whole squad of guys who can take up the remaining minutes.
One upside to the current spate of injuries, is that we've gotten to see some youngsters play who wouldn't have gotten a sniff of the NHL if everyone had stayed healthy. Derek Meech is an excellent young player, ready to step right in whenever and wherever he's needed. Ericsson is a huge and talented Swede, who converted to defense a couple of years back--he was the very last pick of the draft, btw. Nice one! Jimmy Howard has been very good in net, showing he's ready to make the jump next year, should Hasek retire as expected.
Last night's game was a perfect example of how the Wings have struggled, during this spate of injuries and bad luck. Dominated the shots and chances all night, allowed a few too many great chances for the Oilers, played hard, but didn't get the breaks or make the plays when absolutely needed.
Several guys are on the verge of returning, and Stuart will play Friday in San Jose. I'm looking forward to the team recovering its game, in time for the playoffs. Need some luck on the injury-front.
Dallas is closing fast on us, for the conference lead. It's not the end of the world if we're the #2 seed, though. The #8 team always seems to be a bear, having scratched and clawed its way into the playoffs.
Posted on Feb 27, 2008, 8:10 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
Under the circumstances, I think it was a bold move.
Conklin is playing great, the team is gelling and now that Hossa is there, Malkin can return to where he is most effective, centre ice, not on the wing. Always being a Conklin fan, I think he will play well enough to get them to the third round wherein they will fall to the mighty sabres... snicker.
The salary cap issue of, of course, the driving factor behind the trade. Pittsburgh's salary issue will be sorely stretched next year when Malkin comes to bat. Only now, the in the present, can management create an opportunity to put three premier forwards together under the restrictions of the cap.
The more I think about, the more I like it.
NO matter how it goes, management has made a decicive move to win the cup. You got to admire that.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 12:25 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
.....I'm not sure Esposito is a bust...not yet. I'll wait til he gets a chance to play before casting that opinion.
.....I think you're giving too much credit to the Penguins, thinking they will win the Eastern Conference. I also think Christensen is better than Dupuis...but the big thing for me is the Penguins getting rid of Armstrong, who apparently was great friends with Crosby.
.....I don't like this deal for a player who has almost no chance at sticking around in Pittsburgh...the Penguins gave up way too much...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 12:26 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
The Hossa trade is a risk... Dallas ripped off TB!
I agree, if Hossa takes off at the end of the year then the Penguins gave up a significant piece of their future for a rental. However, if any team can afford to give up some youth it is Pittsburgh, and who is to say that Hossa will not stay? Hossa has made it obvious he wants to be on a competitive team... the Penguins are just what he was looking for. If I'm Hossa, I'm thinking this could be a great thing. I'm convinced that the Penguins will not keep both Crosby and Malkin past their early career. One will stay, probably Crosby, and Malkin will have to go. I just don't see these guys working well as a 1-2 punch as good as Sakic and Forsberg did. Both Crosby and Malkin are young and should be the franchise players on their teams. I can see, however, Hossa and Crosby having that Sakic-Forsberg relationship.
Now as for that Richards trade... WTF??!! Two 3rd liners, a backup goalie who may have some promise but is far from a blue chip prospect, and a 4th round draft pick for an All-Star? I know Richards had some downside... the big contract, and two sub-par seasons, but c'mon! Plus Dallas gets a vetern backup in the deal. This must be a sign to Mike Modano that he's on the way out? I'm puzzled to see where Dallas will fit their 3 centres, all of whom could be the #1. But with a deal like that, who could resist the urge to make the trade?
Also, I can't figure out Bob Gainey. It's hard to argue with success, but he seems to be going very, very far out on a limb here. Huet did not have bad numbers, he actually had good numbers. Bad the last few weeks, OK, but a slump now is better than in April. The Habs are legit contender this year, IMO, and they traded a goalie with good numbers and put all the pressure on a rookie and another less-than-experienced kid. Perhaps they're hoping for Patrick Roy rookie magic with Price, but like I said they are very far out on a limb right now with that hope. Also, the draft pick they received belongs to Anaheim, so it will probably be the 55th pick in the draft... not exactly a lot of promise in that.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 4:50 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52
That is understandable because Richards is signed and Hossa is not. Ignore the fact Richards is overpaid about $2.5 mil/ year.
Jeff Halpern is one of the best 3rd-line centres in the league. Jussi Jokinen is a 2nd-line scorer who loves shootouts. Mike Smith- we'll see.
Johan Holmqvist going the other way was just a salary dump.
Meanwhile, Brad Richards might be their next clutch player ala Joe Nieuwendyk. You have to admire organizations like Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, and New Jersey. They know how to win and will do whatever it takes to win. They never seem to have to "rebuild" like the rest of us losers.
Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong, and Pascal Dupuis are all fine depth players but the Hossa deal comes down to Esposito & the draft pick.
I disagree with you about Hossa staying. It sounds from his interviews like he really wanted to go to Montreal. Maybe his brother told him a lot of great stories.
However, you mentioned they may have to trade Malkin and keep Crosby.
Crosby's trade value may be higher than Malkin's because of his sex appeal... WAAAY higher. Crosby is North American, Malkin is Russian. Crosby is good looking, Malkin looks like Lurch.
Malkin seems to make his linemates (Malone, Sykora) better. When Crosby was around, Malkin was only a point-per-game player and everybody else was slumping.
There was debate on whether Crosby was the best player in the NHL. I saw him in December and he wasn't so special. Iginla badly outplayed him that night.
We asked if Lecavalier, Ovechkin, or Zetterberg was better. Now, is Crosby even the best player on his own team?
Malkin doesn't get a big raise for a little bit. But maybe he should be the guy they stick with long-term?
Posted on Feb 27, 2008, 5:19 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
... because the windfall would be enormous. Malkin is an exceptional player to build around. The "new" NHL has proven that it is far better to have a balanced team of fair to good players than it is to have a team of two superstars and a bunch of pluggers. The trade will never happen though since Mario will not trade Crosby.
Posted on Feb 27, 2008, 5:30 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
One of them is going to get traded, eventually. That's a certainty. The only way I think it will be Crosby, is if he wants out or appears mildly unwilling to re-sign for forever. Then they'll make it Malkin's team.
But here's why I'd keep Crosby. He's not Russian. OK, let the banter fly, I'm a discriminatory jerk, I know. But I got to thinking... how many Stanly Cup championship teams have been built around a superstar Russian as their franchise player? Go ahead, look at the list. Malkin is good, in fact he's great individually and he's proven over the last couple of months that he can step up and help his team win games too. But for whatever reason, no matter how talented they might be, no NHL team has ever been able to build a champion around a Russian superstar, or even a European for that matter. Fedorov had Yzerman, Forsberg had Sakic... the rest of the winners over the past 15 years consisted of franchise players like Pronger/Niedermayer, Brind'Amour/Staal, Lecavalier/Richards/St. Louis, Niedermayer/Stevens/Brodeur/Elias/Gomez, Modano/Niewendyk, Messier/Leetch/Richter.
That's the hockey side of why they'll keep Crosby. The business side has been mentioned, he's worth more at the gate and in the non-hockey business side of hockey.
Posted on Feb 28, 2008, 3:03 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168
... of putting themselves over the team, and money over winning.
Some organizations, like Detroit, are full of Russian losers.
Some organizations, like Edmonton, say "nyet". For example, who could forget the Oilers patiently developing Boris Mironov? We called him Bobo for his clown-like bonehead plays.
We pick up Roman Hamrlik. They are dynamite together. Mironov has a career year. He's about to be a free agent next year. What does he do? Asks for ludicrous sums of money.
So we deal him and McAmmond for four former Hawk 1st rounders at the deadline (Moreau, Cleary, Kilger, Laflamme). He gets his $4 million from Chicago. He flounders there with crushing disappointment before sucking in New York and then falling off the earth.
It seems like that is usually the case with Russians, for whatever reason. But Malkin doesn't seem to be like that... yet. He does like to dive, though. Is that a bad sign?
They said Swedes can't win. Eventually, there's a first time for everything. Malkin, OV, or Kovalchuk may be the first Russian to lead their teams to glory.
Posted on Feb 28, 2008, 7:46 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
There has obviously been championship teams with Euro's filling the rank and file, or being a co-franchise player, but never as "the man/men". I'm not saying it will never happen, but when it comes to choosing between Crosby and Malkin it has to be something to consider... especially since Malkin has shown some evidence of being a bit like that sterotypical Russian.
Detroit could be the team to buck the system this year... Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg are the franchise, all Euros.
Posted on Mar 5, 2008, 1:37 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
A first rounder for the washed-up Adam Foote? The Avs are loading up to squeeze into the playoffs- Salei, Foote, Forsberg so far. But it's at significant risk long term for them. But maybe Sakic told them he's retiring this summer or something.
But Ted Ruth for impending UFA Fedorov! Who's that guy, Mr. Howson?
Maybe Ruth is just like the "who is that guy" Shawn Matthias last year. We will see.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 10:33 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
How'd the Fillers make out when it counted most...
.....in the playoffs? CHOKE!!! The Fillers over-achieved last season during the regular season, and were easily dismissed by a much better Senators team. The Fillers will struggle to get into the post-season...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 12:29 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206
Thats is why it doesn't matter to me that they are gone, in fact, I said that last summer when you were in full snivel mode. Considering the crappy year both drury and briere are having, I'd say nothing has changed.
Of course, Buffalo made THEM what they were, not vice versa.
The same will occur with Campbell. Without Ruff, he'll be back to minus 14 like the year before last and playing three minutes a game.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 1:02 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....MEH!!! Whatever that means. This has to be the most boring tv show I've watched...ever!! I mean, I want to know about the deals, but this trade deadline show on TSN is so freaking boring.
.....And so far, nothing's happening. Oh sure, Prospal was dealt to the Flyers, last night I think...but other than that, there's nothing going on at all. Even the announcers have acknowledged how slow things are, but they're expecting things to pick up after lunch. WAIT!!! There's been a trade...
Bryce Salvadore to New Jersey
Cam Janssen to St. Louis
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 7:37 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
Last night, they were talking about Richards-to-Dallas being a done deal, along with Hossa-to-Montreal. Nothing on those deals this morning?
I think the prices for the elite players are still a little too high, as there aren't that many of them available. Hopefully, we'll see something in the next few hours. The Wings always seem to wait until the last hour, to get something done on Deadline Day.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 7:56 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124
This is what slays me about some fans warped perceptions.
The Sabres IMPROVED when Grier, mackee and budz left!
IMPROVED! They won the presidents cup by leading the pack from game one to game 82. Unlike Ottawa this year.
As for Drury and Briere, at the time of the trade deadline, the Sabres were leaders of the pack and a bonafide contender for the holy grail. To make a trade just to save money or get something in return is, as I've said many times, the definition of sellout tot he fans and the team.
Be interesting to see who is coming back in return.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 8:39 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
.....OK, the latest breaking news is that Brian Campbell was just dealt from the Sabres to the Sharks. What's going back to Buffalo is not certain yet, but Bernier appears to be a part of the package...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 8:26 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
Halpern provides those valuable "intangibles" that every team needs during playoffs. I sort of suspected Jokinen might be involved in this trade, and it was evident Mike Smith was the biggest prize for the Bolts. Earlier rumors had Fistric in the deal, and I'm glad he wasn't part of it. He's a big, burly kid oozing with upside, and a key piece of the Stars future.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 9:00 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
The Montreal Canadiens have traded goaltender Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for a second-round draft pick.
Huet, 32, has a 21-12-6 record and 2.56 goals-against average this season with a .916 save percentage.
With Huet dealt, the Canadiens have turned to 20-year-old Carey Price as their third starting goaltender in as many seasons. Ironically, Huet became the team's new starter in 2006, when general manager Bob Gainey dealt former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Jose Theodore to Colorado on the eve of the trading deadline.
Huet is in the final year of a two-year contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
NHL on TSN Analysis
Keith Jones on Huet: "I'm shocked. I don't think they got enough for Huet... The Montreal Canadiens have had succeess going with rookie goaltender in the past... But I'm surprised the market was so small for Huet."
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 9:03 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....The bolts get a pretty good goaltender who wants to be a number one, while the Stars get a bonafide star player capable of helping the Stars make a true Cup run. And for the Stars, they get a backup goaltender too... so they did good with this deal...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 10:06 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
Sportsnet.ca -- Peter Forsberg is returning to the NHL and to his first NHL team.
The Colorado Avalanche announced Monday that is has come to terms with Forsberg on a new contract through the 2007-2008 season.
"We’re proud to announce to our fans that Peter Forsberg has decided to come back and play with our franchise where he’s enjoyed so much success early in his career," Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Francois Giguere said in a release. "His addition should complement our roster and will bring our team to an even higher competitive level.
Forsberg said he is glad to be returning to the Avalanche.
"Over the last several months, I have worked extremely hard in order for this to be possible," said Forsberg in a release. "I am looking forward to putting (the Avalanche jersey) on again.
"I have so many great memories of my playing days in Denver. I’m excited about helping my new teammates and former teammates in the coming weeks, and hopefully I am able to do that in the very near future."
Forsberg, 34, was selected sixth overall in the 1991 Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers before being dealt to the Quebec Nordiques on June 30, 1992.
He made his NHL debut with the Nordiques during the 1994-95 season, earning the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
During his next nine seasons in Colorado, he would go on to win two Stanley Cups , capture the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP (2003) and appear in seven All-Star games..
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 2:11 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
Or in having chance to win a cup, apparently.
Under the circumstances, I think he's sticking it to the team... big time.
Sundin will not waive clause
Sunday, February 24, 2008
By Pierre LeBrun
THE CANADIAN PRESS
The captain is staying.
Maple Leafs centre Mats Sundin, after careful deliberation over the weekend, decided Sunday night he would not waive his no-movement clause after being approached by interim Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher.
"I have carefully considered the team's request that I waive my no-trade clause," Sundin said in a statement released by his agent J.P. Barry on Sunday night. "I have always believed I would finish my career as a Toronto Maple Leaf so the actual request was still a very difficult one for me to contemplate. I have spoken to and listened to my family and those closest to me about this issue. In the end, there is no right decision in a situation like this one.
"I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL club at this time," Sundin added. "I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June. I hope everyone will understand and respect my decision."
Sundin is an unrestricted free agent July 1 and Fletcher had either hoped to trade him and recoup some assets to help rebuild the floundering club or possibly sign Sundin to a contract extension. But that won't happen either at this time.
"He advised us that he's staying where he is, which is his contractual right, and that at this time he's not interested in entering into a deal for next year," Fletcher, in Toronto, told The Canadian Press on Sunday night.
No hard feelings, Fletcher said.
"Hey look, when people sign contracts, both parties are happy with it when they sign them," said Fletcher. "The club was happy to give the player a no-trade contract and the player exercised it -- what can you say? It's the business of sport. So we'll live with it, we'll move on and we'll do what we can to start moving the club forward."
It ends a drama-filled weekend for the 37-year-old Sundin, who was first approached about waiving his no-movement clause in a meeting with Fletcher on Thursday. But Sundin kept to his word which he has repeated all season long -- he didn't want to leave the team he has been with for 14 years. Winning a Cup with another club doesn't mean the same to him. And he also been consistent in his desire to wait until the end of the season before deciding about whether he wanted to play another season.
Sundin and Barry met all day Friday in Toronto and another four hours Sunday in Ottawa. The Leafs play in Ottawa on Monday night, the first of a four-game road trip. And now Sundin knows he'll be in a Leaf uniform come Wednesday at Florida.
Sundin has 25 goals and 37 assists in 63 games this season. In 970 career games with the Maple Leafs, Sundin has 413 goals and 971 points, both franchise bests.
Several clubs were believed to be interested in Sundin, including Detroit, Anaheim, Montreal, Ottawa and San Jose. But they'll have to look for help elsewhere, perhaps in the form of Atlanta Thrashers winger Marian Hossa -- another player slated for unrestricted free agency and undoubtedly on the trade block.
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 7:14 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
I think he's earned the right to retire a Leaf, after all the crap he's put up with over his career. I don't blame him, for not wanting to be a rental, or a ringer, on a club that is loading up for the playoffs. I can see where winning under those circumstances would not be as satisfying to a player who has toiled for so long, for the same franchise.
I can also appreciate the opposing-view, where a player sees he is close to the end, and wishes for the chance to win a Cup, even if it is with a new team. Every case is different, and every guy has a different perspective.
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 10:56 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
.....I think by the time all is said and done, when Sundin calls it quits, he will go down as the greatest Leafs players of all time. I think Sundin has a couple more seasons, and in that time, he'll have a chance to pad his individual stats...for whatever that's worth. But, it should be enough to solidify his position as the best Leafs player ever...D'
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 11:09 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
.....I think Cliff Fletcher nailed when he said, "Everyone was happy when Mats Sundin wanted a no-trade clause and wanted to remain a Leafs forever, that's why they agreed to give him (Sundin) a no-trade clause. Sundin simply exercised his contractual right to not be traded, that's the business side of Hockey".
.....Sundin did nothing wrong, if fact, he should be applauded for not bailing on the team he captains...D'
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 2:54 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....Sundin leads from the back? Hmmm, I beg to differ. As a matter of opinion, I'd say if there's any one player who consistently shows up, every game...it's Mats Sundin. Despite all the trashing he takes, he's still the one player who never takes a night off.
.....As for improving the team by being traded, that's kind of a catch-22, isn't it? I mean, you want him not to care if he's traded, while at the same time care about the team he's being traded from...how does that make sense? Sundin has always wanted to win, but he wants to win with the Leafs. If Sundin had a better supporting cast, that's the only way for the Leafs to improve. And that's not Sundin's responsibility to acquire that better supporting cast...those mistakes were made by JFJ.
.....And let's not forget the popular belief within the Maple Leafs organization, especially among the owners where, whether the Leafs win or not, that's not important, especially when the ACC is filled every night and team is making record profits on a yearly basis. That's another area where Sundin has no control over, where the ownership spends money.
.....You're free to blame whomever you want for the Leafs problems, but you couldn't be more wrong by placing the blame on Sundin. Maybe if management and the owners cared as much about the Leafs as Sundin does, the Leafs wouldn't be having the problems they are having.
.....Lastly, as for improving the Leafs, it appears as if every player on the Leafs is up for grabs, as Fletcher intends to shake up the entire organization...who knows who will be left standing once the deadline passes? I doubt there will be much improvement that will have an affect for the next few years...D'
PS: I'm not sure I get your reference to Bourque, I mean, you do know that after being traded to Colorado, Bourque never returned to the Bruins, right? Just checking.
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 4:42 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168
I didn't recall Bourque returning to Boston, draped in glory from his Cup-win, to finish out his career with the Bruins. He did return for his number to be retired, though.
I compare Sundin to a less-fortunate Yzerman, who would have toiled in vain in Detroit were it not for the Wings building a great team around him. Sundin has been an incredible horse for the Leafs, year in and year out. It's very disrespectful to the man, to rip him for not wanting to win the Cup somewhere else, for a franchise to which he has no emotional-ties.
I wouldn't have wanted to see Yzerman farmed out to, say, the Leafs, to help them win a Cup in his last years. That would have been sickening.
I would have welcomed Sundin to Detroit with open arms, btw. He would have been the deadline-prize of the year, for any team. I'm glad he's staying put, rather than playing for Dallas, San Jose or anyone else.
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 5:04 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
Truly. BTW, you will recall that there was a spot on the Boston roaster had he chosen to return. He did not.
The fans loved him cause they appreciated his loyalty and felt he deserved to win the cup, if not in Toronto, then elsewhere. Pretty well irrelevant that Boston had agreat opportunity to improve...
And how'd he make out?
A Stanley Cup ring? being the centre of one of the sport's greatest feel-good stories in years? And whooo, on his return to beantown, glory. Nobody, certainly questioned his loyalty to the team!
Whats Mat's future hold?
Another early out? (three in a row now, a modern era record for dross? Glory? hardly. Anmd, at the end oft he day, ringless!
At least Bourque and the others seized the opportuinty, at least they were still hungry to win.
Personally, I can't fathom how any athlete at that level could or would turn down an opportunity to have one's name on the Holy Grail. Especially a player who, stuck in winless Toronto, was playing his last year. I would have kissed Fltchers ass in gratitude and named by first born after him, for god's sake.
Instead, he takes it as an insult and rallies the legions of lemmings, those who have always been happy with excuse and failure, to sing the farwewell dirge into his obscurity.
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 6:53 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
.....he's selfish, or not selfish enough? I'm 100% certain had Sundin agreed to wave his no-trade clause, you'd have found a way to crap on him for that... "look at Sundin, quitting on his team to go to a contender"...talk about being damned if you, and damned if you don't.
.....By the way, very few players who are traded at the deadline get their names engraved on the Cup...there are no guarantee that Sundin would have gone on to win the Cup with whichever team he was traded to...D'
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 7:35 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52
My most favourite recollection of his leadership came in the aftermath of the Domi hit on Neidermayer. The game where he led the leafs into a six shot route that left a disgusting taste in every leafers mouth. Of course, then there was the five game blitz when Buf went to the cup. Was he even on the ice?
Perhaps your memory is flagging, mine is not.
As a personal player, he is good. As a leader, he simply fails to motivate. On teams that were always to the cap, always full of prospect. Now we have three years in a row the leafs will miss the playoffs, first time in over fifty years.
Now thats leadership!
Only in your mind, brother.
In mine, it is the defintion of average.
As for his attitude, he has a chance, for the first time in his life, to play for a contender. Anyone else would be utterly thrilled, specially if, like Bourque and others, the player returned to hometown for a game to retire. The leafs are in desperate need of new talent, they are rebuilding and, considering the past and the benefit rent a players bring to the team, the path is clear.
If he had the competitive edge, he'd leap at the chance.
If he was a team player, he would welcome the opportunity to use his clout to improve Toronto, one that would last long after he retired. Even if he stayed, the team would be better next year.
He refused, even though a mere twenty games are left in the season. Perhaps his entire career.
So at the end of the day, he led the team to nothing. perpetually choked in the post season and, in the twilight of his career, played on and led a team that missed the playoffs three consecutive years.
YOu want to get all misty eyed and sentimental, go for it.
I'm not impressed.
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 6:35 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206
.....and one that is incorrect on so many levels. Sundin has been the Leafs best player pretty much since he's been in Toronto. The biggest problem in Toronto is that Sundin is surrounded by mediocre players. Seriously, besides Sundin, which other Leafs forward is a true first liner? Not a single one. Sure, Antropov was having a pretty good year, his best ever actually, and he's still 15 points or so behind Sundin in scoring on the Leafs. The next forward after Antropov in scoring on the Leafs has only half the points that Sundin has...AND THAT'S WHERE THE PROBLEM IS!!!
.....You want to blame Sundin, but look what he has to play with...a bunch of nothings! The Leafs have 3, maybe 4 players who are legitimate NHLers... and Sundin's the best of the bunch. Kaberle is legit...but it gets pretty thin after that. Blake's a second liner, so is Antropov. Oh, there's Tucker, and McCabe...so that's 6. The rest is filler, and not very good filler either. If you want to blame someone, blame JFJ, blame the rest of Leafs management...and the ownership group.
.....Mats Sundin is a good leader, but he's not a miracle worker. Considering the anorexic talent on the Leafs depth chart, the Leafs need a miracle...D'
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 7:26 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....that doesn't make them automatic contenders. The Leafs are like the Rangers, consistently spending money on bad or average players. Just take a look at the depth chart filled with soft, wimpy, filler-type players... Stajan, Steen, Wellwood, Coliacovo, Blake...the list goes on and one.
.....If Sundin had accepted to be dealt, what would the Leafs have gotten back for him? A couple draft picks that the Leafs would waste on more soft, wimpy, filler-type players. Trades are judged by which team gets the best player, and any team getting Mats Sundin would be getting a much better player than what they would be giving up to the Leafs... in other words, and I'll type slow this time, the Leafs would be a worse team without Sundin...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 5:34 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
What, you think I make this crap up? Give me a break. Did you forget the leafs trips to the third round during the Quinn era and the favourite status they maintained at the time.
Sundin was a non-factor when push came to shove and his leadership on the ice was, considering that six shot game of gutless submission after the Domi hit, was downright feckish. His stats, BTW, speak volumes about his ability to cope under pressure.
And it contradicts mightily with the, if I may, warped perspective you apparently hold. Certainly, the stats do not justify your position.
Or, considering what I have just learned, the loyalty smokescreen drivel...
Watching the Score, they just had JP Barry on. First he says Mats is playing at the best level of his career and he could not imagine him retiring... strachan asks him whether the leafs attempted to sign him for next year, dude says YES!
But Mats declined.
This from the dude who said he only wanted to be a leaf?
Rather contradictory, don't you think? I mean, considering the leafs current fall from grace, this would be just the bone the organization needs. Fletcher, who brought Sundin to Toronto in the first place, saves face this morning by announcing the extension. And what a boost such an announcement would give to the players on the ice, now, when only a miracle can get them into the playoffs.
What about the leaf nation?
Do you not think that an an announcement of his resigning this morning would have sent them into the lemming zone?
Now why would he DECLINE when he says how much he lovveesss playing in Tororonto and loves his buddies and loveees the fans?
Is he pissed off at management cause they just tried to dump him?
Better yet, as I suspect, did they try to sign him first and, when he declined, asked him to take a trade?
Then there is the JP Barry aspect, something I am familiar with as he is the agent for Campbell and Briere. Sundin is reading from the same script, same modus operandi.
Sundi may be a good player, D, but he is a selfish goof. He wants it both ways and the only people getting screwed is the fans. And it is not like he is married and has to move off the kids, eh? He's got a new girlfriend, no family ties, twenty games on the road and a playoff run is not the hardship so often alluded to.
Next thing you know, he be using the tried and true Drury, now Campbell, now sundin BS agent inspired line about waiting until after July 1st (hence screwing the home teams advantage over the rest of the league) before, snicker, giving the team a chance to bid... blah blah blaheroolieeee..
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 6:11 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124
.....I doubt Sundin will walk on the Leafs come July 1st, but, if he does, it's not unlike so many other Unrestricted Free Agents who have done so in the past, and like them, Sundin has earned the right to do so. As for retiring, I doubt that's an option floating in Sundin's head...it's not going to happen, not this year.
.....As for the Leafs being contenders, only once in the past God-knows-how-many-years have they won their division, and even in that year, they finished fourth in the Conference. And sure, the Leafs made a run or two, but on a yearly basis, for the most part, the Leafs have been extremely thin on overall talent.
.....And by the way, in the playoffs, Sundin has 74 points in 83 playoffs games, that's almost a point per game, it's not Gretzky-like numbers, but it's still pretty good. Again, Sundin's not the problem in Toronto. There's a lot of finger pointing that can be done, but not in Sundin's direction...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 6:35 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
Its the months and months of bullsheeet about their supposed loyalty to the team as a shield against warranted criticism.
Leadership wise, you'd think he do anything at all to motivate his team for the playoff drive. What better opportunity... Even moohloa wise.. the leafs have to be desperate, JP has em over da pork barrel...
Again, Sundin only cares about himself.
He won't accept a trade to better the team for next year and he wont sign with the team and make the symbolic message of allegiance that only comes through action, not lipservice.
Feckless once, Feckless again.
Dude clearly cannot handle the pressure of contending in the NHL...
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 6:54 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
.....to watch Campbell walk, cause he's as good as out the door, whether he's traded, or whether he waits until July 1st.
.....As for shielding himself against criticism, if there's one thing I've seen with Sundin, he never hides or runs away from criticism, regardless of who is doing the delivering. Sundin has always made himself available to the press, and he's always taken whatever flack was directed his way. Even now, when so many feel he should have waved the no-trade clause, he's still standing tall for what he believes in. The Leafs could use more players like Sundin, not just in talent, but also in character. Like I said before, arguably the greatest Leafs player of all time...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 7:21 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
.....Regier had no choice. Because he couldn't get another Free Agent signed in a timely manner, he was going to lose a top end player for nothing... AGAIN!!! At least he's learnt now not to make the same mistakes again and again and again.
.....IMHO, Brian Campbell is a lot better than Spacek. As for Roy and Pominville...capital FILLER!! Afinogenov has a ton of potential, great hands...when he wants to play. And if you want overrated, that's Tomas Vanek for you...he's the definition of overrated...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 10:38 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....So we're just a couple days away from the trade deadline, there are a ton of rumours...but what's everyone expecting will happen? There's been lots of talk this afternoon regarding Mats Sundin, Brian McCabe and a couple other Leafs. And, Marian Hossa is said to be as good as gone from Atlanta...and now Holik's name is also being mentioned. Out of Tampa Bay, Brad Richards has been informed he will be playing for another team after Tuesday's deadline, they're just working out the details now. Now, Richards has a no-trade clause, but that will be waived...the two front runners are Vancouver and Dallas, supposedly...the Lightning want Mike Smith from the Stars.
.....Another name being bantied about, Alex Tanguay has asked to be traded...again. The team most interested in Tanguay is the Habs. Roloson's name is also being mentioned, but it has also been in the same breath as "number one goalie"...and Roloson is not a number 1 goalie anymore.
.....Even though we're not hearing anything about it, my buddy insists that Koivu is still being shopped, but he'll have a say in wherever he goes.
.....Anyways, are there other players you feel will be moved in the next 48 hours?...D'
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 2:06 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168
In addition to Mike Smith, the rumor mill has the Stars offering Boucher or Robidas for Richards. Lots of chatter on this one on TSN, with most people hoping the Canucks gets him (because he's Canadian, of course)...but all the rumor sources I've read are speculating that the Stars have the more attractive offer. Despite the huge salary hit, this would be a smart move for the Stars because it will allow them to transition Modano into retirement with a true playmaking center.
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 6:01 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
Something tells me the Wings are going to make a move for one of the "names" on the rumor-board. Maybe it's just the horrible losing-streak, or the injuries currently afflicting the team. I thought we needed a boost before all the injuries hit.
Now, I'm starting to wonder if maybe we should conserve our young assets, and look to next season. Last year, we gave up too much for Bertuzzi, who did less than nothing for us. Shawn Matthias is looking like the big, skilled young center we keep wishing we had, to go with our talented smaller guys.
The thing is, we need help on both offense and defense. I don't have any idea who Holland is seriously looking at, and what he's willing to give up. I do know he feels like he got burned last year at the deadline, and might be gun-shy this year.
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 7:56 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
.....Matthias is such a huge part of the Belleville Bulls, who are hoping to make it to the Memorial Cup this year. And their chances are pretty good too. Kitchener should win the O, but they are also the hosts this year, so the Rangers have an automatic berth in the tournament. If Kitchener loses, well, then it'll come down to the winner of the O...but the Bulls should come out of the east, so they should have a pretty good chance at making it.
.....I haven't been glued to the TV as in years past, but from all the stories I've heard, I can't remember the Red Wings being a part of any of the rumours. Doesn't mean it won't happen...in fact, that probably guarantees that the Red Wings will do something huge... but I have no idea what that might be.
.....On a completely different note, word is that Mats Sundin has refused to waive his no-trade clause... so that's one name off the list. Something I heard earlier about Sundin is that it was mentioned if he waived the no-trade clause, it would only be to go to Ottawa...YIKES!!!! It's been denied since then, but you have to think the Leafs would never trade Sundin to the Sens...D'
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 8:56 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52
.....have made it clear their first priority would be to get a goaltender in return, that's where Mike Smith comes in. Hard to believe it wasn't long ago that Smith was playing Jr B in Kingston, for the same team my son played for...not at the same time though. Last I heard, a couple offers were put on Richards' table and he was trying to decide where he wanted to go to.
.....I agree, it wouldn't be a bad deal for the Stars to pick him up. With that said, I hope Modano sticks around for at least a couple more years... playing with a guy like Richards could really pump up his numbers before his career is over...D'
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 8:44 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206
Last year, Edmonton went on that horrible 19-loss-out-of-20 run in March to finish with 71 points. That was good enough for 5th worst in the NHL.
This year, the teams I hoped Edmonton would catch (Washington, Florida, Atlanta, Phoenix, Columbus, Chicago, St.Louis) have all pulled ahead as the Oilers continue to wet themselves.
Meanwhile, the Islanders are suddenly tied with Philly and one point behind Buffalo for 8th spot? Who would have thought! Two weeks, ago, they were behind the Oilers.
Edmonton will finish with more than 71 points this season. For the most part, they are not playing all that bad. Just good enough to lose. I'll say they finish with 80 points (21 points in the last 20 games).
The only teams behind Edmonton are Tampa Bay and LA. They are each only 2 points behind and could pass the Oilers.
Toronto is only ahead 2 points ahead and it looks like they are going to gut the team. But it is entirely plausible the Oilers might be giving up the #1 pick the Anaheim for Dustin Penner.
80 points and last overall- CRAZY!!!
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 11:04 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....I'm not convinced all teams will reach 80 points, but I think most will be very close to 80. The Kings have only 18 games left, they're 24 points away from 80...I doubt LA will reach the 80 mark. In the East, Tampa Bay is 23 points away from 80 with 20 games left. Considering the Lightning are about to have a firesale, I doubt Tampa will go on enough of a run to reach 80. The Leafs have 19 games left, and if only half the rumours happen on Tuesday, the Leafs are destined for last overall...and that will be several points short of 80, likely 72 or 74...that's my prediction for last overall. Not necessarily the Leafs, but around 74 points...D'
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 1:37 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168
.....I really like the reality that any team can beat any other team on any given night. I know it was that way in the past...somewhat, but now, I think it's much more true compared to the past. A good example is the Oilers playing spoilers for other team...if any team continues to prove the parity in the League, I think it's the Oilers.
.....I'm still trying to figure out who will be last overall...I doubt it'll be the Oilers, no matter what they do on Tuesday. LA, Toronto and Tampa Bay are pretty good picks though. And again, about 74 points...D'
Posted on Feb 24, 2008, 9:11 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
.....You think Kevin Lowe will be a buyer at the deadline? I don't know if Lowe will sell the farm, but I think the best you can hope for is that he doesn't ruin the Oilers more than he already has. On the bright side, it's not like the Oilers have a Ryan Smyth to trade away and break the heart of Oilers fans all over again...D'
Posted on Feb 25, 2008, 4:48 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
The Oilers are down 3 forwards (-Horcoff, Moreau, Torres, Thoresen + Glencross) and 3 defensemen (-Souray, Smid, Tarnstrom) from te start of the year.
At least he has enough mediocre talent to fill a roster this time around. Sanderson's been sitting on his hands for a month. Rourke's still waiting in the farm. Last year, we were calling up guys from junior because of our high injury count.
But I think he should pick up a couple NHL-experienced guys who could be had for a 6th or 7th rounder. Just to avoid another 1-18 run.
If we had our draft pick, yeah sure.. play Schremp & Pouliot and go for first overall. But Brian Burke has our pick.
I still can't believe we may finish with 10 more points than last year, and lower in the standings. That has to be a rarity.
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 6:49 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
.....to do whatever he can to fix his team, but this year, I'm not convinced Kevin Lowe should bring in players just to fill the roster and try to win a couple extra games. I think it's come to the time when the Oilers have to acknowledge a full-blown rebuild is necessary, start from scratch by getting the kids in the lineup, compliment the few vets who are worth keeping (Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner and Stoll)...after that, pull the jettison cord.
.....And regardless of how much of a push you want the Oilers to make, fact is, the Ducks have the pick already, the Oilers have nothing to gain by bringing in a few players when it comes to the pick they gave up to the Ducks. The Oilers really have bigger things to worry about than whether or not the Ducks get the first overall...one man's opinion...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 7:17 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
.....What do you think Kevin Lowe has to dangle to other teams to bring in the players the Oilers need to compete for the rest of the season? The Oilers need so much, and have so little to offer...I think Lowe's hands are tied...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 10:13 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....word out of Edmonton from Ryan Rishaug, Kevin Lowe has stated he doesn't plan on doing ANYTHING, nor is he actively pursuing or shopping any player. I don't know if it's a smokescreen or not, but sounds like you shouldn't expect too much today...D'
Posted on Feb 26, 2008, 8:15 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
5 years for 10 million...in this day and age, i guess a fair deal...having a pretty poor season. At 27, i would think he would have gotten that and more in free agency though. Supposedly, Comrie is expected to be next.
Sadly, Chrissy Simon is back with the team and once again robbing younger players of a chance to play. Whatever pictures he has of Nolan, must be pretty embarrassing.
Posted on Feb 22, 2008, 5:27 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
Edmonton won't do much at the deadline... here are some quotes
by Big Dan
Joni Pitkanen's name has surfaced in rumours, but the odds of a playoff contender offering Edmonton somebody better than Pitkanen in a deal are slim, so why make a deal you know you're going to lose?
He might not like playing hurt, and he might not be as tough as some defencemen, but how many tough defencemen with high pain thresholds can skate and move the puck like he can?
He's asking for the moon right now - upwards of $5 million a year - so they've put off contract talks for now, but he's in the plans.
"We talked to the agent earlier and felt his request is a little offside," said Prendergast. "We'll wait and see how it goes at the end of the year. We like Joni, we want to keep Joni here, I'm sure we can work something out by the end."
They're also working on a deal for Tom Gilbert, who started very strong this season but seems to have hit a major wall (minus 11 in his last 14 games).
Jarret Stoll is also a Group 2 free agent this summer and you know that after making offer sheets to Thomas Vanek and Dustin Penner, a few rival GMs might have their chequebooks ready.
"I'm sure we have a bull's-eye on our back, but we're prepared for it," said Prendergast. "If it happens we'll deal with it at the time, but we think we can get them signed before the season. All three of those guys are a big part of the team right now and hopefully we can keep them for the future."
If not, they recoup the draft picks lost in the Penner deal.
Dwayne Roloson, with a $3.6 million price tag, would like to be moved as much as the Oilers would like to move him, but there hasn't been much interest.
Posted on Feb 21, 2008, 12:28 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
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I can't believe the salary fluctuations in Season 2
by Big Dan
Ovechkin, the leading scorer of the NHL, has two bad games and his value goes down $1 million in one day. I guess they are all flocking to Vanek- you lucky SOB.
I know better than to give up on OV from Season One. I hope he turns it around soon.
Usually I'm in the top 10% to 15%, so being in the middle of the world bugs me. I considered trading Getzlaf for Vanek a couple weeks ago- wish I'd done it.
I'm kind of like the Oilers.
I make a couple good deals (Malkin, Conklin) but then Ovechkin & Alfredsson go cold.
Or Elias & Semin & Boyle do well for me but Gaborik & Biron go cold.
Two steps forward, two steps back.
Other than smike and D', nobody in our league is doing that hot so there's lots of time to turn things around.
I have to watch closer b/c of the quick salary changes. Especially right after the deadline when I'm sure the Pens will pick up a goalie.
It didn't seem like you had to react as quickly in Season One.
Posted on Feb 21, 2008, 6:59 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
If OV is only got two games during a week and another player has five, well, odds are the other player is going to point more than OV, even if he has a good game. For example, Washington has three games this week and Pittsburgh has five. So does Ottawa, btw, starting tonight.
BTW, Ive been playing all week with a four to five million dollar surplus so salary fluctuations can be misleading. At the moment, I'm holding at 553 out of 57 freaking thousand and Ive been playiong all week with 4-5 million dollars sitting in the bank... something I shall rectify toute suite now that I have some trades...
Posted on Feb 21, 2008, 7:33 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
I've heard that at the GM meetings the thought of banning no-trade clauses came up. This in light of players using their no-trade clause recently, when asked to waive it. Word is Mats Sundin has refused, Rob Blake refused, Wade Redden was politely asked if he'd be interested but his arm wasn't twisted, and Doug Weight was threatened in order to get him to waive it. Cory Stillman had no problems waiving his in his recent trade.
So one has to wonder what the implications of this could be. Afterall, it is the GM's wishing to ban it who sign the contracts to initiate it as well. Apparently it's a collective bargaining thing that goes back as far as 1994 when we began seeing them pop up. They're coveted by players, as it gives them control of where they and their family live... it provides stability. But at the same time, it is hard to argue against the notion that it is stifiling the flexibility of teams under the cap system to resturcutre and hence become more competitive for their fans. Not good for the fans, not good for revenue, not good for the league, not good for players on the whole.
If you ask me, a no-trade clause for some players provides shelter for them to shirk, be it heavily or mildly, intentionally or subconsciously. Not all, but some. And they may even put up good numbers individually, but the laws of competitiveness dictate that a professional hockey player should want to win at all costs because that translates into greater benefits for them personally.
I go back to my Mats Sundin argument... do you really think he cares if he wins a Cup? If he does, it won't happen in Toronto during his career, and he should realize that unless he's as naive as Leaf-nation. So Mats has reached the stage of being content. He'll take his $6 million a year, score his 70 points a year, offer his comforting rhetoric to fans through the media, remain a hero in town and enjoy the perks of being king of Toronto without the hastle of moving his family or being away from them. Who needs a Cup?
Then there's Rob Blake. He loves LA. He's won a Cup. He'll take his nice paycheck, enjoy his beach house, get his surfing fix, be somewhat of a celebrity in the global meccha of celebs, and play mediocre hockey relative to his former glory without taking much heat because he's in town that loves him and won't run him out of town.
Obviously, the no-trade clause can be detrimental to a team on the losing end of an NHL season, with high-paid vets. Obviously, GMs are wishing they hadn't agreed to the no-trade clause but in reality did they have much choice at the time? We're still learning how the cap affects certain things, and now the no-trades are coming to a head. I don't think we'll see the end of it, but I think GMs are going to be less-willing to do it going forward. I think all they can do is get tough. To be honest, I think part of the reason athletes are paid so much is because moving around in inherent in the game.
Posted on Feb 20, 2008, 4:57 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
The pest aspect of his game made the difference between him being an average player and the reputation he earned. He seems to be pain adverse now, something which does not complement his style. Hence his performance this year is, shall we say, suckyroolie...
Posted on Feb 21, 2008, 7:36 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
With the talk of the Wings "lacking grit, and size-upfront" starting up again of late, it appears the Wings are seeking a low-cost alternative in D-Mac. He had a hat-trick the other day for the Griffins, so he hasn't lost it completely. He's still a bit chubby, but he's getting there.
This experiment may turn out to be a bust, but right now it looks like a "feel-good story of the year." He's had a rough ride in the last couple of years, made some awful choices, lost his family, etc. I'm just happy to see him playing again, even in the AHL.
I just hope this isn't the only move Holland is preparing to spring on us. We need another front-line player.
Wings likely to make McCarty offer
by Ansar Khan
Wednesday February 20, 2008, 1:03 AM
Press Photo/T.J. Hamilton
The Red Wings must sign Darren McCarty by Tuesday's trade deadline in order for the 35-year-old to be eligible to play in the NHL this season.
DETROIT -- Darren McCarty, one of the most popular players in the recent history of the Detroit Red Wings, is closer to rejoining the team.
"We'll very likely make him a contract offer," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said on Tuesday. "We'll make a final assessment in the next day or two."
Holland said he was waiting to get a report from assistant GM Jim Nill and team vice president Steve Yzerman, who watched McCarty play Tuesday for the Grand Rapids Griffins, in their game against San Antonio. McCarty, who joined the Griffins on a pro tryout contract, has four goals and three assists in seven games with the AHL club. The 35-year-old right wing must be signed by next Tuesday's trade deadline to be eligible to play in the NHL this season.
Holland said the Red Wings like McCarty's toughness, grit and playoff experience.
"The reason we're considering him is he's got some ingredients he can offer the team and he's free (doesn't cost any players/picks to acquire)," Holland said. "I don't expect he'll play a lot of minutes. Why spend assets to have somebody play a secondary role?"
Holland said there are three options to signing McCarty: Put him on the NHL roster immediately and keep him there, send him back to Grand Rapids on a two-week conditioning stint, or sign him and send him to the Griffins indefinitely. In order to send him to the minors, he would need to clear waivers, unless it's just for a two-week conditioning stint.
"The intention is to eventually get him up here," Holland said. "In my mind, he's not ready to be put on an NHL roster. I don't think Darren is quite there, conditioning-wise. He's got to lose some weight."
McCarty played his first 11 NHL seasons with the Red Wings and was part of three Stanley Cup championship teams. Detroit bought him out of the final year of his contract after the end of the NHL lockout in 2005. He spent the next two seasons in Calgary, playing only 32 games during an injury-riddled 2006-07 season.
He has had several off-ice problems, including battles with drugs and alcohol. He was out of hockey until last month, when he launched his comeback with the IHL's Flint Generals, a team co-owned by Red Wings center Kris Draper, McCarty's former Grind Line linemate.
Posted on Feb 20, 2008, 6:59 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124
This time of year, I always go back to my basic rule of thumb, regarding trade-rumors: "If you've heard about it, it's not going to happen." Almost never fails.
The Wings are out there, working the phones, like every team in contention. I've heard rumors today about Sundin, Fedorov, Hossa, and several others. Sure, we'll take Campbell. Here, you can have Dallas Drake!
In the real world, tough news today on Lidstrom, though it could have been much worse. Our defense is decimated, for the time being. On the good side, the youngsters are getting a lot of ice-time, and we're finding out what they've got.
Lidstrom out three weeks
Nicklas Lidstrom will miss three weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee. In addition, he has taken one test that has shown no signs of a concussion and he will be taking another to verify that.
Niklas Kronwall (shoulder) is a possibility for playing Friday night, but he still has to compete in more battle drills at practice tomorrow. Brian Rafalski (groin) is definitely out of the lineup for this weekend.
In case Kronwall isn't able to make it back, the Red Wings will recall Jonathan Ericsson from Grand Rapids for their trip to Western Canada. If Kronwall is still shelved, then Ericsson will make his NHL debut Friday.
Posted by Bruce MacLeod at 1:29 PM
Posted on Feb 20, 2008, 11:27 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
February 19, 2008
NHL GMs unanimously agree to once again tackle goalie equipment
By Pierre LeBrun, THE CANADIAN PRESS
NAPLES, Fla. - Shrink the goalies. Again.
That was the unanimous message from the NHL's 30 GMs Tuesday as they tried to address once and for all an issue that's played over and over again like Groundhog Day.
"Everybody is tired of the conversation," said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland. "If we can't get this right, then we have to sit down and look at the alternatives. And obviously bigger nets is one of the alternatives. That's something I don't really think anybody wants to do. Our hope is to get the goalie equipment right."
Day 2 of the GM meetings produced a minor trade - veteran defenceman Jaroslav Modry was sent from Los Angeles to Philadelphia for a third-round draft pick. The meeting also dealt with other topics such as the IIHF-NHL player transfer agreement and other collective bargaining issues but the clear headliner was the decision to forge ahead with a plan to further reduce goalie equipment.
"It's the right thing," said veteran New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, whose own goalie Martin Brodeur is certainly not among the cheaters. "Time has finally come where it's sort of taken a life of its own. As far as we're concerned, Marty probably wears the smallest equipment out there. But I don't think that's the point.
"What was impressive today was that it was unanimous, that every manager, no matter what their thought process was before, that it's finally got to the point where it has to get addressed."
The GMs agreed to form a committee of current and past skaters, goalies and GMs to come up with a way to further reduce and streamline equipment without putting the goalies at risk. The inclusion of current skaters and goalies is key - they can't make these changes without the endorsement of the NHL Players' Association.
"That's a huge problem," said former star player Brett Hull, now co-GM of the Dallas Stars. "They have to get on board with us. I'd like to know why they don't. Are we here for the good of the game or what? Should be better for the fans and if the PA doesn't want that, maybe there's something wrong with their leadership."
New NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly seems somewhat open to the idea.
"Reduction of the size of goalie equipment was an issue discussed at length with each of the teams during our recent fall tour," Kelly said Tuesday in an e-mail. "The majority of players favour some modest modification of goalie equipment size - pants and chest protectors in particular - so long as the changes are made with input and guidance from a committee of current NHL goalies, and without compromising the safety or our netminders."
The NHL came out of the lockout in 2005 having reduced goalie equipment by 10 to 15 per cent. Either that wasn't enough, or some goalies simply aren't complying and haven't been caught. It could be a little of both.
"If we felt everybody was complying right now, it wouldn't have been a topic of discussion today," said Minnesota Wild GM Doug Risebrough. "It's obvious there is some leakage, there are some guys that are finding ways to get around it. There are some culprits. We now have guys (goalies) saying, 'I'm doing my thing, but what about the other guy?' And so if we don't do something about it, those who are complying who might be in the majority might all of a sudden be in the minority.
"And then whatever we've gained, we've lost. It would not have been the biggest topic of dicussion today if we didn't think there were still some problems."
Holland says the game remains much better post-lockout with more flow and more scoring chances - but the goals are still hard to come by.
"We've got a tremendous game," said Holland. "The goalies are so good. We want to allow them to show their skill but again, make sure that their equipment is what we deem appropriate for our sport."
It's a conversation that's far from over.
The GMs also agreed Tuesday on a transfer agreement proposal for the IIHF to look at. European hockey federations opted out of the former agreement earlier this season in large part because they were frustrated that a large number of young players left their system for North America only to play minor-league hockey instead of in the NHL. The NHL agrees and Tuesday essentially came up with a plan where players aged 18-21 would be returned to Europe if they don't make NHL rosters.
"We basically want to buy ourselves a year to see if we need to rethink the whole thing or if we can kind of continue in the same framework," said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
One item that didn't get enough support Tuesday was Brian Burke's idea of retaining salary in trades. The Anaheim Ducks GM has lobbied hard on this issue for two years but it appears it's matter that will have to wait until the next round of collective bargaining.
Posted on Feb 19, 2008, 6:53 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52
More on the Holland-led 'war' on goalies
Posted by George James Malik February 20, 2008 07:49AM
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson is on board with the NHL's GM's, who decided to nitpick goaltenders' equipment in an effort to boost scoring--led by Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland:
February 20, Edmonton Journal: "Everybody's tired of this conversation, but either the goalies get smaller or we look at serious alternatives, and that's bigger nets, something nobody really wants to get into," said former NHL goalie Ken Holland, now the Detroit Red Wings general manager, in a loose threat.
It was seconded by Brett Hull, who never had any trouble beating a goalie no matter what they were wearing, although he's atypical to most of the 15-goal scorers in today's game. Hull told the NHL Players Association to step up, and get on the same page as the GMs.
"It's a huge problem for us. They have to get on board with us here. I'd like to know why they don't," said the 700-goal scorer, who's now the co-GM of the Dallas Stars. "Are we here for the good of the game or what? This (more offence) should be better for the fans, and if the PA doesn't want it, maybe there's something wrong with the leadership."
New NHLPA head knock Paul Kelly, who seems more accomodating than one of his predecessors, Bob Goodenow, may well be on Hull's side.
"The reduction on goalie equipment was an issue discussed at length during our fall tour of teams," said the Boston-born Kelly, who loved the pyrotechnics of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito in the days of the high-flying Boston Bruins. "The majority of players favour some reduction -- pants and chest protectors in particular -- so long as it's with the input and guidance of current goaltenders and as long as it doesn't compromise their safety."
The GM's seem to believe that the NHL goalies who face superbly-conditioned athletes ripping shots at them with composite sticks should look like the goalies who faced shots from guys who had a pack of cigarettes and a six pack after games--but the concept will, hopefully, be restrained to the concept of making equipment more form-fitting:
"Goalies want to be right on the edge, maybe a little over the edge if they can get away with it. That's what they do for a living. And they have to be protected, but the equipment isn't there to take up space," said Holland. ... "You look at the cheater on the catching glove (an extra piece of padding). That's why it's called the cheater, it's there to take up extra space but it's become part of the equipment," said Holland. "The object is the goalies being protected. But the object isn't for a small little guy to have 62-inch pads, either."
The "cheater" is now tiny, and goalies' leg pads are restricted to 38"x11"...And the Toronto Star's Damien Cox finds some of this discussion rather silly:
February 20, Toronto Star: Maybe it was because of the lack of trade activity, other than a deal that sent well-travelled blueliner Jaroslav Modry from L.A. to Philly and wild rumours that linked Mats Sundin to a half-dozen teams or more, but a strong consensus emerged from the NHL general managers meeting that goaltending equipment is out of control.
"We've been talking about it for 10 years," said Dallas co-GM Brett Hull. "The whole kit and caboodle is going to be addressed."
To that end - and stop us if you've heard this before - the GMs approved the formation of a new committee to investigate goaltending equipment.
"There's a new resolve," said league vice-president Colin Campbell. "Enough of this. Enough already."
Martin Brodeur put it best--it's not about "shrinking" equipment, it's about making sure that goalies look like human beings, not guys wearing chest protectors five sizes too big:
"From my point of view, and I hope they think about this, they need to make the effort to size everyone individually," said Brodeur in an interview from New Jersey. "If they do that, they'll see a big difference. They have to reduce the little guys to being little guys and the skinny guys to being skinny guys. Those guys are taking advantage of the system."
Brodeur, who is 6-foot-2, wears pads that are 34-35 inches in length and can't understand why most goalies in the league are wearing the maximum 38-inch pads.
"There's no reason why anyone under six-feet should be wearing 38-inch pads, but everybody is wearing them," he said. "It's like if you have a 33-inch waist, you shouldn't be allowed to wear XXL pants."
Perhaps the biggest offender is Manny Legace, who wears 38" pads on a 5'6" frame. Goalie won't have a problem with "rounding" the elbows and shoulders of their chest protectors, nor wearing properly-fitted pants.
The National Post's Mark Spector got militant:
February 20, National Post: As for the equipment debate itself, which was renewed for the zillionth time yesterday in Naples, it should win some kind of Masterton Trophy for perseverance, surviving since Patrick Roy was among the first of the hard-cheating butterfly goalies to elephantize the position.
That's right --after all these years, downsizing goaltending gear was once again the topic of the day yesterday at the general managers' meetings. The roster of GMs changes, but the problem does not, a fact that some of these men even laugh about now. One GM spoke of seeing Jean-Sebastien Giguere sitting on the Anaheim bench one night, and how "he looked like a turtle" as Giguere's head sunk into the massive shoulder "protection" he wears. The two Dallas goalies -- Marty Turco and Mike Smith--affixed cardboard cut-outs to their pads one night this year in Vancouver, in a biting tribute to Roberto Luongo, whose flaps on his pads were finally outlawed by the league this week.
"For us [at the league], it's tiring," NHL vice-president Colin Campbell said. "We've bought in. Every piece of goaltending equipment comes through the league office. Not just two goalies [per team]. Seven, eight, nine goalies per organization. You can imagine what [equipment police] Kris King's and Kay Whitmore's offices look like. Every piece of equipment needs to be photographed."
Asked how this latest assault on the size of goalie equipment will succeed where so many forays have failed, Campbell admitted: "I'm not telling you that it will. It needs a buy-in by management and by the players -- shooters and goalies. We don't have buy-in from them [the players]."
It's ironic that the perception of a "problem" goes back to a goaltender who proudly wore a 16"x10" blocker, 15"-wide pads, and jerseys more properly sized for clowns:
The history of great goalies who cheat goes back to the best, however. It was the Hall of Famer Patrick Roy who not only perfected the butterfly style, but also defined it as it stands today: a goaltending style that works well when employed by a skilled netminder, and ever better when augmented by illegal, bulky gear.
Therein supposedly lies the problem, according to the Globe and Mail's David Shoalts:
February 20, Globe and Mail: according to the GMs, the issue is not so much the size of the equipment, because limits were introduced after the 2004-05 lockout. Rather, the focus should be on the measures goaltenders take to get around them. They also insisted no changes would be made that compromise the goaltenders' safety.
"If we felt everybody was complying right now, it wouldn't have been a topic of discussion," Minnesota Wild GM Doug Risebrough said. "It's obvious there is some leakage. There are some guys that are finding ways to get around it. There are some culprits."
The latest controversy erupted in Vancouver two weeks ago when Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo was told to remove two flaps from his goal pads. This came a month after Stars goaltenders Marty Turco and Mike Smith mockingly wore outsized cardboard flaps on their pads during a pregame warm-up in Vancouver to draw attention to Luongo. According to Canucks GM Dave Nonis, Luongo's flaps were not illegal, but he wore them too loosely. The flaps are meant to protect the inside of a goaltender's legs but the league felt Luongo wrapped his pad straps around them in a manner that flared them out so they filled up the space between his legs. Nonis said the league told Luongo he could put them back on, but only if he kept them tight.
The GMs want to crack down on these kinds of modifications, as well as lower the current height of pads and shrink the pants and chest pads. If they can't, Holland said, there could be dire consequences to make sure enough goals are scored to keep the game entertaining.
"We're serious," Holland said. "If we can't get this right, then we have to sit down and look at the alternatives. And, obviously, bigger nets is one of the alternatives. That's something I don't really think anybody wants to do. Our hope is to get the goalie equipment right."
Round the chest protectors, and pants, and enforce size restrictions on a per-goalie basis. Enforce rules that define the three-dimensional size limitations upon leg pads so that calf wings and thigh rises can't "flare out" unnecessarily. As Colin Campbell suggests, actually fine and/or suspend guys when they wear illegal equipment. This is about nipping and tucking, not chopping with an ax.
Posted on Feb 20, 2008, 7:28 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
If Clemens is ultimately convicted of perjury, the stink would be too bad for the president to come near. Their names would be linked together in infamy, forever. Bush has enough issues, legacy-wise.
I have to say, despite the softball being played by most of the members of Congress who were in on that little chat with Clemens and McNamee, it doesn't look real good for Roger right now. I smell another rotten, Pete Rose-type scandal, and another item for baseball fans to argue about endlessly.
Posted on Feb 19, 2008, 3:23 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
Tecumseh native, Calgary draft pick Mickey Renaud is gone. Tragic.
From AM800 website:
SPITFIRES CAPTAIN PASSES AWAY 2008-02-18 14:28:21
The Windsor Spitfires have announced that the team's captain has passed away. In a news release, the team announced the Mickey Renaud collapsed at his Tecumseh home and was rushed to Windsor Regional Hospital. However, all efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. The Spitfires have called a news conference for 4 o'clock this afternoon at which time team officials will release more details. Stay with AM 800 News for more on this developing story
I'm glad we didn't draft him, or else I'd be starting to think the Wings were really cursed, with the string of accidents and near-deaths they've had with their prospects.
Sounds like he was on his way to the NHL. Really sad.
Red Wings assistant GM liked what he saw in Mickey
Dave Waddell , Windsor Star
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill doesn't make many mistakes when it comes to running the team's draft table, but he knew he'd made one with Mickey Renaud.
He could clearly see Renaud was developing into an NHL player this season, but like the rest of the hockey world Nill never imagined the Tecumseh native wouldn't live to pursue his dream.
"He's such a great young man," said Nill, admitting he's still in disbelief over Renaud's tragic death Monday at his parent's home in Tecumseh.
The Sarnia Sting's Steven Stamkos and the Windsor Spitfire's Mickey Renaud fight for the puck during OHL hockey action at Windsor Arena on Thursday September 27, 2007.
Tyler Brownbridge, The Windsor Star
"From watching him so many times this year, I've been mad at myself because we should've drafted him. He had become a real horse.
"He's the type of player, with such character, that every team wants. I just can't believe a big, strong kid like that is gone in an instant.
"My thoughts and prayers are with Mickey and his family."
Nill added the 19-year-old's death isn't going to just rip open a devastating hole in the Renaud family. As captain of the Windsor Spitfires, Renaud was a largely than life presence on a very young team.
"He was the guy other players looked to for guidance on that team," Nill said.
"At that age, those kids feel invincible. Their whole lives are ahead of them and they see great opportunities.
"All they're thinking about is hockey. All of sudden, they wake up and the realities of life have crashed inside their little bubble.
"It's going to be devastating for them. For many, it'll be the first time they've experienced the death of someone close to them."
While acknowledging the near tragedy of Jiri Fischer is different in that that the Wings defenceman survived, Nill said the stunning effect of a brush with death still has some lessons for the Spitfires players.
"Let's hope God, through Mickey, is reaching out to touch other kids," Nill said. "To get them to understand what is truly important in life. To live a well-round life.
"Hockey may seem everything to them, but in reality it's only a small part of it. Family, friends and God are what really matters."
Nill said some of the Wings needed counseling to help them deal with Fischer's near death, but ultimately it's going to be up to the individual to battle through their emotions.
He expects Renaud's passing ultimately will have a galvanizing effect on the Spitfires.
"This is a lot worse because these players are still just kids not grown men," Nill said. "It'll be tough for them.
"Eventually, they'll come together. He'll (Renaud) be in their hearts as they go.
"It'll bring them closer together and they'll play hard because they know that's exactly what Mickey would want them to do."
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When being a "pro," isn't all it's cracked-up to be...
I've heard some tough stories about life in the minors before, but this one takes the cake. I almost want to write out a check to some charity, after reading what these poor guys had to go through. Looks like some of them will face criminal charges, now.
I've never heard of the league, the MAHL. They must be the lowest of the low, as far as "professional" goes.
Added On February 17, 2008
from The Buffalo News:
Police say retaliation against owner sparked hockey players’ vandalism spree
By T.J. Pignataro NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 02/16/08 7:11 AM
As many as seven Jamestown Vikings hockey players who vandalized a century-old Jamestown building in an alcohol-fueled rage early Thursday told police they mistakenly believed the building was owned by the man who ran their team and hadn’t paid them in about two months.
Felony criminal mischief charges may be filed against the hockey players as soon as Jamestown police and the Chautauqua County district attorney’s office finish their investigation. That could be as early as next week.
“One of our felony prosecutors walked through the scene [Friday],” Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley said late Friday. “We’re going down a path where criminal charges are likely to be filed.”
The players received notice late Tuesday from their team that the five-team Mid-Atlantic Hockey League was immediately suspending the 2007-08 season to “reorganize” for next season. Financial and other considerations were cited as the reason for the shutdown.
Police believe the players, who told them they had not been paid by the team, retaliated by trashing the former Vikings Lodge on Washington Street, where some of them were staying.
Officers found nearly every antique leaded-glass window in the building was smashed. Bar stools had been thrown through doors. Paint was spilled around a historic third-floor dance hall. Police said the players also tried to start fires in the kitchen.
Witnesses who saw the damage said Friday that it reeked of beer and rotting food and they saw a bar stool suspended in a wooden door.
The owner of the Vikings, Andrew G. Haines of Canton, Ohio, was shocked by the news. He said he hadn’t talked to any of his players and is content to allow “the police to do their job.”
“From what I understand, it wasn’t the whole team,” Haines said. “Once we find out who it was, they’ll be suspended from this team and the whole league. And, we’ll make sure other leagues know about this.”
The building first housed the Fraternal Order of Eagles before being purchased by the Jamestown Vikings in 1941. A year ago, it was sold to a Florida man, and he was negotiating to sell it to Haines. However, the deal had yet to be closed, Haines said.
The Florida owner was on his way to Jamestown to assess the damage, according to Foley.
Officials at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, home to the Vikings hockey team, warned the players beforehand not to let their emotions boil over after receiving word of the canceled season.
“We just knew they were upset and we didn’t want them to retaliate in any way,” said Erica Maloney, marketing and sales manager for the arena. “The players knew Mr. Haines was in the process of purchasing the building.”
“We wanted them to understand the building was a historic part of Jamestown.”
Maloney said it was known that the team was behind in meeting the players’ payroll. Sometimes, arena officials even “paid cash to the players from ticket sale proceeds,” she said.
“The arena tried everything we could to help the players and support the players,” Maloney said. “The community embraced the team and the league.”
Players told police that besides not being paid, they were living in substandard conditions — in some cases, sleeping on mattresses on the floor with no access to showers.
Haines said the players were not obligated to accept the housing there — which was free.
In an e-mail to The Buffalo News, one of the players accused Haines — who also partially owned two other league teams — in Wooster, Ohio, and Indiana, Pa. — of failing to pay players there, as well, eventually resulting in the league’s demise.
Reports published Tuesday in the Indiana Gazette, suggested members of the community’s team, the Indiana Ice Miners, also hadn’t been paid “in weeks.”
The Vikings’ player also detailed accounts of injured players having to pay for medical bills out of their own pockets. He said players couldn’t “get home because they had no money” and “also could not eat.”
“We had coupons for a few restaurants around town for one meal a week,” he said. “This is how most of us ate during the weeks.”
Posted on Feb 18, 2008, 6:49 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
Cleary is greatly missed, but so are Kronwall and Rafalski. Hasek is out with a hip-flexor, and Ozzie got shelled two games running (not his fault, either, the Wings allowed one breakaway and breakdown after another in those games).
Add to that, the Eurotwins are slumping, the lines are all messed-up, and we're not getting any bounces. It's a bona fide slump.
On the bright side, maybe it will inspire Holland to snag a good player before the deadline. I think we need a little shot in the arm, in the form of another top forward or d-man, to match with what the Sharks, Ducks and Sens are doing. Not to mention the Stars, who are looking very tough right now.
Also on the good side, Jimmy Howard has played well in goal the past three games, relieving Ozzie twice and then playing the whole game yesterday, in the 1-0 loss to the Stars. This isn't his year, but he'll probably be up for good next year, if he continues to excel in GR, where he's been carrying a pretty bad team all year.
Posted on Feb 18, 2008, 8:31 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124
How'd they get in this mess? A few well-deserved long term deals to Iginla/ Phaneuf/ Regehr/ Kiprusoff... and a few bad deals to Primeau/ Nilson/ Eriksson.
Jarome Iginla 7,000,000
Alex Tanguay 5,250,000= will no doubt be traded
Matthew Lombardi 1,816,667
Wayne Primeau 1,400,000
Marcus Nilson 1,000,000
Dustin Boyd 650,000
David Moss 550,000
Dion Phaneuf 6,800,000
Robyn Regehr 4,000,000
Adrian Aucoin 4,000,000
Cory Sarich 3,600,000
Rhett Warrener 2,350,000
Anders Eriksson 1,500,000
Miika Kiprusoff 6,700,000
Buffalo's handed out a few long term deals to Vanek, Hecht, and Roy. The rest of their forwards are either signed for next year, or easily signable. The only UFA is Michael Ryan ($475).
Their defense will be massively revamped with Numminen ($2.6)/ Kalinin ($2.0)/ Campbell ($1.5)/ Pratt ($550) all becoming UFA's.
They'll need a backup goalie too, as UFA Thibault ($760) hasn't cut the mustard.
If they resign=
Paul Gaustad $1.0
Daniel Paille $1.0
Clarke MacArthur $750
... they will be at $41.7 million with 6 roster spots to go. A lot of room if they can attract somebody.
Thomas Vanek 7,142,857
Derek Roy 4,000,000
Jochen Hecht 3,525,000
Maxim Afinogenov 3,333,333
Tim Connolly 2,900,000
Ales Kotalik 2,500,000
Jason Pominville 1,033,333
Drew Stafford 984,200
Adam Mair 758,333
Andrew Peters 500,000
Jaroslav Spacek 3,333,333
Toni Lydman 2,875,000
Henrik Tallinder 2,562,500
Nathan Paetsch 850,000
Ryan Miller 2,666,667
However, unlike Calgary, their core is not signed to long term contracts.
In summer 2010, they will have A LOT of free agents.
The Oilers will not be keeping UFA's Sanderson ($1.5) or Reasoner ($950).
There are rumors they will trade RFA's Stoll ($2.2) at the deadline and the banged up Pitkanen (each $2.4) in the summer. They will be trying to deal Roloson ($3.7) and Torres ($2.4) too.
They will likely resign UFA Glencross to say $750.
If they signed RFA's to:
They'll be at $48.8 million with a full roster, which isn't playoff worthy. So the new owner will give Lowe some room to tweak.
Next year, there may be no rookies. That's a good thing after this year's massive rebuild. The only possibilities will be F Schremp, D Chorney, and G Deslauriers.
Posted on Feb 17, 2008, 10:08 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
For most of the year, the Oilers played like a bunch of pansies. They kept the score close but teams loved playing them.
Now, they're MEAN! It all started with the Flames last week. Mr. Ram Your Head into the Boards Regehr, Mr. Fall On the Goalie Nolan, and Mr. Head Butt Phaneuf were getting away with murder. So the Oilers took it into their own hands to stand up for each other.
I love it!! If you're expected to lose, at least make the other team pay physically. Don't play dirty like a Matt Cooke. But hit hard. Fight. Yap. Make things unpleasant.
With Horcoff, Torres, Souray, and Pitkanen out... Mathieu Garon has to carry the team every night. But there are more positives than just team toughness and strong goaltending.
- I never thought I would like a guy who couldn't fight, skate, shoot, or stickhandle. But Zach Stortini is really growing on Oiler fans lately. He is POUNDING anything that moves lately. And getting scoring chances. And driving the opponents absolutely batty.
- Brodziak, Glencross, and Stortini are dominating games. Who would've thought? Brodziak and Glencross (two local boys) have great chemistry together. Glencross is a perfect 4th liner= big, physical, strong defensively, can score. He is a UFA so I hope Lowe keeps him.
- MacTavish's patience with the up and down seasons of Smid and Grebeshkov is being rewarded. With Tarnstrom dealt and two significant injuries, those two have stepped up.
There are also negatives.
- At even strength, Stoll is playing like a man expecting to be traded. He is a heckuva faceoff guys and penalty killer. But I'll be surprised if he is still here in March.
- Nilsson continues to drive MacTavish crazy with his inconsistent play. Very poor decision making with the puck.
- Gagner played like an 18 year old. Kesler and Mitchell completely shut down our #1 line (Gagner, Penner, Hemsky).
- When is Mathieu Roy going to learn to protect himself while being hit? He almost had his 5th concussion!
I haven't watched an Oiler game on TV this year until last night. I guess I'm going to have to start.
By the way, with my disdain for the Flames, I decided to cheer for the Canucks. After hearing their "Oilers Suck" chant, they can all go to hell too.
Let's go Nashville/ Phoenix/ Columbus for the last playoff spots!
Posted on Feb 17, 2008, 7:42 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
Just kidding... though I must admit I was suprised when watching the game against Montreal yesterday, to hear that Montreal offered MORE then Philly did for his services. More?
Geez, I thought, considering the size of philly's contract... regardless, he's playing about as good as Biron, good, but not good enough to win. In my all to humble opinion, Philly overpaid for both.
Posted on Feb 17, 2008, 2:29 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206
I did a post about Philly's cap problems down the road
by Big Dan
While teams like Detroit and Dallas are in good shape down the road, Philly is going to find it very hard to fill holes and improve in the upcoming years.
I heard Montreal is going to do anything in their power to get a true franchise player (Jokinen, Lecavalier, ?). If it means overpaying, so be it. They have to because so many players don't want to face the media pressure there. Especially French Canadians.
I also read that Montreal offered over $7 million per year for Ryan Smyth.
Posted on Feb 17, 2008, 4:52 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
He'd be the French superstar the fans would idolize and worship.
He'd the be the power forward they would so desperately need.
I think the Canadiens would be the 4th Canadian team in a row to lose in the finals. Despite their bored mid-season lull, I can't see Detroit losing this time around (unless injuries do them in again).
Posted on Feb 19, 2008, 6:51 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
Supposedly, the Wings are hot after Marian, who shares the same first name as the owner's wife. Is it fate?
I agree, the Wings need a tweak or two on their roster, to add some scoring and/or defensive-depth for the playoffs. The injuries are piling up, and some of our guys are looking tired.
I think we dodged a bullet last night, however, as Lidstrom is only mildly-concussed, and only strained his knee, after getting slammed by Laperriere in the first period. Wings went on to totally dominate and manhandle the Avs, and break the 6-game losing streak. Onward and upward!
(but get us another player, Kenny)
Posted on Feb 19, 2008, 3:27 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
MIght as well call him Schultz... I see nothing...
NHL to discuss drug testing with Congress
2/14/2008 1:25:00 PM
While the search for truth continues into whether or not Roger Clemens took Human Growth Hormone, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association are preparing for their date with U.S congress on February 27th.
Congress has invited NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly, along with the main league and union heads from the three other major sports, to address the issues involved in the drug testing programs in professional and amateur sports.
Congress is considering passing a law to establish minimum requirements which may include mandatory blood testing, as well as off-season testing. The fact is, there has been proposed legislation pending for several years that would establish minimum standards.
The NHL and NHLPA believe that its existing drug program has worked well and Paul Kelly, for one suggests blood testing is unnecessary and too invasive and doesn't think off-season testing would be possible, logistically or from a cost perspective, given the NHL's players hail from all corners of the globe.
Kelly also raises concerns over the privacy and civil liberties issues in both proposals.
Use and abuse of performance enhancing drugs is rare in the National Hockey League, so the league is likely to resist blood testing as a first resort.
With that in mind, the NHL is currently helping to fund research for screening tests that would detect HGH from a urine sample.
Based on the turmoil that has followed baseball in its attempt to challenge the experts and congress, the expectation is that the NHL and the Players Association will do whatever is necessary, within reason to make all involved comfortable.
Commissioner Bettman is expected to deliver a prepared statement at the meeting, although the NHL doesn't believe, in light of all that is going on in baseball, that hockey's drug program will be the main the focus
Posted on Feb 15, 2008, 4:20 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
He will probably trade your nifty Finn for a low level prospect, two 5th round picks and a box of pucks. Sorry BD, I really thought The Oilers would be in better shape by this point in the season. Ah, is Penner worth his wages, yet?
Posted on Feb 14, 2008, 1:18 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52
At first, I just thought this guy was your run-of-the-mill egomaniac who felt he had the right to do whatever he wanted, and how how dare anyone question him.
Now, he seems to be a lot sicker than that. For him to pursue this with such vigor, when each new piece of evidence uncovered makes him look as innocent as OJ, is stunning to me.
McNamee is lying, risking federal prosecution, because of some tickets clemens didn't get him years ago. Clemens' wife took HGH, but HE didn't...his best friend risked federal indictment to point the finger at him, but they are still very close, he is just mistaken. (Must have had that conversation with Luis Sojo). Clemens has proof that mcnamee is lying, a taped phone conversation (yeah, really well guy here) in which clemens asks mcnamee to say he didn'[t do it, and the guy says<"tell me what you want me to say"...
Clearly, he is stunned that anyone dare question him. He is a mighty athlete and we are mere mortals.
BTW, speaking of frauds, did anyone else hear pettite's testimony that he took HGH in 2002 and then again in 2004? I guess that horrible guilt that he felt after making such a big mistake had an incubation period of 2 years.
Posted on Feb 13, 2008, 4:46 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206
Senators acquire Stillman
Monday, February 11, 2008
THE CANADIAN PRESS
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators have been looking to add some secondary scoring all season long and GM Bryan Murray delivered it Monday, acquiring veteran winger Cory Stillman from the Carolina Hurricanes.
The trade also saw defenceman Mike Commodore go to Ottawa in exchange forward Patrick Eaves and defenceman Joe Corvo.
"I didn't want to give up Patty Eaves, I really like this guy, he's got a good future," Murray told The Canadian Press. "But right now for this particular group of players, I think Cory brings experience, real knowledge of the game, good leadership, and ability around the net.
"Our secondary scoring was lacking and hopefully this helps address it at any rate."
Stillman, who waived his no-trade clause to make the deal happen, has 46 points (21-25) in 55 games this season while earning only $1.75 million. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
The Senators wanted someone to complement leading scorers Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza.
"When you look at our lineup on Saturday night, those three guys pretty much got all the points," Murray said of a 6-1 win over Montreal. "You can't have that. When you get the shutdown guys on you and you can't get secondary scoring, then you have a real problem. I think Cory brings credentials and smarts around the net that will help us."
Rutherford had long been looking to add a puck-moving defenceman and got it in Corvo, who is signed for two more seasons at $2.75 million per year.
"We're very happy to address one of our needs, making our defence more mobile and adding a player like Joe that can play on the power play," Rutherford told The Canadian Press. "Also, we view Patrick as a real character player, a real good young player that can fit into our style of play.
"With that being said, it's very tough to say goodbye to guys that we part of winning a championship and Cory and Mike were true professionals and were a big part of us winning the Stanley Cup (in 2006). So this is a tough deal, but one that's necessary."
Commodore, 28, is a rugged defenceman who had 12 points (3-9) and 74 penalty minutes in 41 games this season while earning $1.3 million. He will also be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"He's been there, he's a rambunctious type of guy, he's a battler," said Murray. "I thought we had some holes on our defence without the puck and I think Mike helps address that. Energy and size and grit are what we're hoping to add here. He's just a competitive person."
Eaves, 23, had four goals and six assists in 26 games this season. Corvo, 30, had 27 points (6-21) and a plus-13 rating in 51 games. He will be a restricted free agent July 1.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 1:27 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
Zednik cut along neck
Sunday, February 10, 2008
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik underwent surgery to close a deep gash on the right side of his neck and was in stable condition Sunday night after he was cut by a teammate's skate during a game.
"The surgery was successful and he's resting comfortably in the hospital," Panthers spokesman Brian Goldman said.
Blood gushed from Zednik's neck after he was hurt midway through the third period of Buffalo's 5-3 victory, creating a frightening moment that delayed the game for about 15 minutes. There was also a brief discussion about postponing the game altogether.
Zednik was behind the play and skating into the right corner of the Sabres' zone, when teammate Olli Jokinen was upended by Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur. Jokinen fell head-first to the ice, and his right leg flew up and struck Zednik directly on the side of the neck.
Clutching his neck, Zednik raced to the Florida bench, leaving a long trail of blood. When he arrived, he nearly fell into the arms of a team trainer, who quickly applied a towel to the cut. Zednik was then helped off the ice by the trainer and teammate Jassen Cullimore, and escorted to the Panthers' dressing room.
"We shouldn't have finished the game," Jokinen said. "I saw the replay, that it was my skate that hit him in the throat. I think we were all in shock. I've never seen anything like that. There are bigger things than (finishing the game). It was terrifying.
"I didn't think anyone on our team was thinking hockey out there after an injury like that. If it was my call, I would have gone to the hospital with him."
Panthers spokesman Justin Copertino said Zednik was transported by ambulance to Buffalo General Hospital. Copertino said the team was making arrangements to have Zednik's wife, Jessica, fly from South Florida to Buffalo by a charter flight Sunday night.
The team was scheduled to return to Miami, but assistant general manager Randy Sexton and assistant trainer Dave Zenobi planned to stay behind with Zednik, Copertino said.
Zednik's injury left players and coaches on both benches stunned, and a silent hush fell over the crowd at HSBC Arena.
NHL vice president Colin Campbell consulted with Sabres general manager Darcy Regier and referee Bill McCreary in a tunnel after Zednik was loaded into an ambulance. Campbell, who was not available for comment, attended the game in part because his son, Gregory, plays for the Panthers.
In a statement, the NHL said that Campbell talked to commissioner Gary Bettman and decided to continue the game after knowing that Zednik was stable, that trainers had stopped the bleeding, and that the teams were willing to go on.
The league said: "The thoughts and prayers of the NHL family are with Richard Zednik, his loved ones, his teammates and the Florida Panthers organization."
"I can fully understand if they wanted to cancel the whole game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "It was pretty solemn. There wasn't a lot being said (on the bench). There was just more concern for Richard than anything else.
"When you see something like that, it isn't about playing anymore. But I said, 'We're going to finish the game and it's going to be what it's going to be."'
As crews scraped the blood from the ice and the surface was cleaned by Zambonis during the extended delay, the public address announcer said: "Richard Zednik is in stable condition and on his way to a Buffalo hospital."
The crowd stood in applause during the announcement.
Zednik's injury was eerily reminiscent of an injury sustained by Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuk about 19 years ago at Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium. On March 22, 1989, Malarchuk severed his jugular vein when St. Louis Blues forward Steve Tuttle was upended while skating toward the crease, slicing Malarchuk with a skate.
Malarchuk required over 300 stitches but spent only one night in the hospital, returning to practice after four days. On April 2, he played the final five minutes in the season finale, less than two weeks after his injury.
Panthers defenseman Steve Montador recalled seeing Zednik in a state of shock as he got to the bench.
"He looked pale, he was obviously standing and to a degree, coherent. But he didn't look as focused as you or I right now. He was staring at nothing," Montador said. "That's a pretty brave guy to realize what's going on: Grab your neck and get off the ice."
Zednik has 15 goals and 11 assists this season.
It was the second serious injury caused by a skate this weekend.
On Saturday, NHL linesman Pat Dapuzzo needed dozens of stitches to close a cut on his face after he was hit by the skate of Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie in a game against the New York Rangers.
Dapuzzo, scheduled to retire at the end of the season, didn't return after the second-period injury.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 5:52 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
Florida has been averaging five goals a game and he has been part of most of em. Unfortunately, this is the first game he played since I traded for him. (After noting how many games Florida was going to play this week.)
Got one trade left, guess he will have to go.
I hopped on Malkin's bandwagon early, dudes a dynamo for points without Crosby in the lineup. Check out the standings, BTW. Hey, you may recall I once told you Conklin was a good Goaltender and he got a bad rap in Edmonton? Well, Between you and me, next time Pits has a run of games, he 's gonna be my goaltender. But for the moment, I'll give Bryz another week.
Geeez, just watched the replay on CBC Newsworld, uneditied, clearly, Check out the plume of blood and how much, so fast, there was. Dude is lucky to be alive.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 8:39 AM from IP address 22.214.171.124
This injury is the one hockey-injury I've always dreaded seeing, even more than the blinding puck to the eye, or the deadly puck to the throat (which I witnessed as a youngster). It always seemed inevitable, that someone would get their jugular cut by a skate eventually, though it looks like his jugular escaped this time. I read in another story, about how he collapsed on the way to the locker-room, from blood-loss. Very scary incident.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 2:36 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
I was searching ESPN and the local news broadcasts this morning for news on Zednik. One local station (KTLA) showed the incident in a close-up (all the clips I saw on YouTube later were long shots). Apparently the anchors weren't warned about the images, nor were they given any written warning to pass on to the viewers. The woman anchor reacted off-camera while it was shown, and they both were obviously shaken afterwards. I had to leave for work, so I don't know if it was shown again.
Glad to read it looks like he's going to be all right.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 6:20 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52
What I kept thinking yesterday, was that these two teams must meet again in the playoffs this year. Things don't always work out the way they're supposed to, at playoff-time, but something tells me another showdown with the Ducks is inevitable. It's almost like the old days, with us and the Avs. Another vicious playoff-series, and we could have this rivalry heated-up to the boiling-point.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Rivalry all it's quacked up to be
DETROIT -- This isn't the start of something or the end of something. This is right smack in the middle of something, and it's getting juicier every time we see it.
It's the Red Wings and the Ducks, two new adversaries rapidly becoming old adversaries, destined for another collision. On a frigid Sunday afternoon at the Joe, it actually felt a bit like spring, like playoff season, and we saw how little separates these teams.
Anaheim hung on for a 3-2 victory only after Nicklas Lidstrom's apparent tying goal with 40 seconds left was disallowed. It was an iffy call -- the referee said Tomas Holmstrom was in the crease and made contact with goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and he did, but slightly. It's the type of call that better not decide a playoff game. And this was the type of game that confirmed why these teams better meet in the playoffs.
The outcome wasn't what the Wings wanted but it's what they had to see, to get another glimpse where they stand. After losing their third straight game, and after learning rugged forward Dan Cleary is out two months with a broken jaw, the Wings stand on slightly slippier ice today.
But if hockey needs a boost, and the Wings need something to energize them, this is the matchup that does it. There was terrific skating and plenty of nasty scrums and one fine fight.
'Have to go through them'
The Wings and Ducks may have completely different styles but they're on similar paths. The Wings have the most skill in the league, but this isn't about beating everybody else. This is about beating the best, and don't kid yourself, the Ducks are the ones to beat, the defending Stanley Cup champs.
"I think you have to go through them if you're gonna have success," Lidstrom said. "Their style is to come after us hard, try to be physical. We can play that way too, and we took it to them in the third period, but they play it real well."
If the season series is an indicator -- the teams split four games -- we should expect something similar to last year's Western Conference finals, won by the Ducks in six taut games. If these teams meet again, the Wings will have their gloves full.
They stood up to the Ducks last spring and I have no doubt they'll do it again. But as the Feb. 26 trade deadline nears, GM Ken Holland has to be mindful of a possible matchup.
"As we sit here today, the best-built playoff team is Anaheim because of their size," Holland said Sunday. "But you could build a team to beat Anaheim and not even face them in the playoffs. We'd like to do something (at the deadline), but I don't want to wake up one day and not have prospects left. It all depends on the price."
Last year, the Wings acquired Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder, and neither is here today. In fact, Bertuzzi now conveniently makes the Ducks even bigger and badder. That's a risk the Wings are reluctant to take again, and I understand.
Besides, it's not like there's a ton of space between these teams. The Wings are smaller and shiftier and whip the puck around the ice, while the Ducks tromp around as if they're looking for a bar fight. (OK, that's mostly Chris Pronger and George Parros, but you get my meaning).
The 6-foot-5 Parros squared off in the second period with Wings 6-1 scrapper Aaron Downey, and as they circled and circled, fists bared, crowd roaring, the imagery was perfect. This was two rivals sizing each other up, and while Downey got his left fist free and won the fight, the Ducks took the battle -- barely.
It's only just begun
Johan Franzen amped up Detroit's physical presence and scored early in the third, and the Wings controlled play after that.
"I thought it was a heckuva hockey game," coach Mike Babcock said. "Anaheim challenges us physically, so we like to measure where we're at that way."
The Wings are behind in that way, but not as far behind as they used to be. The biggest difference is philosophy, which makes the rivalry more fascinating.
The Wings are terrific in the regular season, with the best record in the league by far. The Ducks bide their time until the playoffs, with stars Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne recently returning after resting, er, mulling retirement.
The Cleary injury is a blow but he's expected back for the playoffs. If he weren't, Holland would have to make a trade. The Wings always could use another tough forward, which is why they're giving old favorite Darren McCarty a look in Grand Rapids. Until he gets in shape, it's hard to tell if he has a legitimate shot.
It's not like the Wings need lots of help. We saw again how close they are to the defending champs, their newest nemesis. They won a similar game (2-1) in Anaheim last month.
As passions boiled at the end of this one, with the crowd hooting and even Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk leaping into a scrum, we were reminded how good this is. And how much better it might get.
You can reach Bob Wojnowski at email@example.com.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 5:11 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
That was probably the fairest "home town" article I've read in awhile.
Great game! Doris spent half the game screaming at the referees. I agree the disallowed goal was very iffy, but there were a number of penalties assesed to Anaheim that should have been non-calls, as well; a high stick that missed by a foot and a half, but was well sold by a Red Wing smart enough to snap his head back like he'd been struck by an anvil and a tripping call, made by the backside ref, that could have, and should have been over ruled by the ref standing 6 feet away - replays showed there was no contact with the player. Probably one of the most entertaining games I've seen in a long time - NBC has to be happy.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 6:08 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
I had a feeling there would be a "payback call" on the Wings in the third period, and sure enough, there it was in the usual place: Holmstrom in the crease. Tomas needs to adjust his game in there, imho, so he's about 6" farther from the goalie most of the time. We've had too many interference-calls, and several goals called back, but none as hurtful as yesterday's. The refs are watching him like hawks, now.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 6:25 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
You think the Flyers are bad? You should watch this sad outfit. Keenan is icing a team full of Derian Hatcher's right now.
Two things I noticed when I went to the game last night:
a) The Oilers are awful. Not one guy played well.
b) The Flames are going to get eaten alive again in the playoffs (if they make it). Teams will make them pay on the power play.
When is the NHL going to do something about Regehr? A month ago, he reached Hemsky from behind, and rammed his head into the boards. NOT EVEN A PENALTY!!!
Fast forward. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME, HE DOES THE EXACT SAME THING! Almost decapitated one of the NHL's most entertaining players. What does he get, a 2-minute minor?! Good thing the Oilers stuck up for themselves this time and got in a few scraps.
Owen Nolan absolutely flattens Garon. The Flames love to do that- they did it lots in their 5-0 loss and a few games before against Edmonton. NOT ONE FRIGGIN' CALL BY THE REF!
I loved how Nolan ripped the puck at Garon's head for the game winner. Typical Flames hockey.
The NHL has to do something about this BS. I would recommend Lowe trading Roloson to the Sens for Ray Emery. Then, we can play Sugar Ray against the Flames and see if they try that crap.
Dustin Penner jumps out of the way of a shot, grazes Kipper, and while he is laying on the ice... Regehr is taking shots at his head with the stick. AND PENNER GETS THE PENALTY!
I also hope the Oilers pick up a Tuomo Ruutu, Erik Cole, or Darcy Tucker. We need to get tougher if the NHL is going to let teams get away with these goon tactics. Maybe Peca or Laraque will come back this summer as UFA's.
Posted on Feb 10, 2008, 2:25 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
I came to work this morning expecting a bunch of guys laughing at me.
Instead, they agreed the refereeing was brutal and that Regehr was getting away with way too many liberties on Saturday. He has went from clean, hard working defender to dirty scumbag this year.
We all laughed about Nolan flattening Garon (no penalty of course), and then going down like he was shot. Smid went to hit him, Nolan turned around with the puck in his feet, and Smid sent him head first in the boards.
Even though Smid let up and it wasn't intentional, it still should have been a major. Of course when Regehr is allowed to grab Hemsky by the neck and throw him head first into the boards every night, I guess everything's allowed (except for Moreau, who was called for "touching").
Nolan's laying there like he's having a seizure while the Oilers are in the Flame zone. When he realizes there is no call, he springs to life and races into the zone. HE'S ALIVE!
I was livid when the fans were booing after all the crap their loser team was getting away with before that. Penner, you need to learn how to fight man. But Smid- WOW did he pummel that guy!
I am really starting to like Smid more and more. The only positive out of that night.
Posted on Feb 11, 2008, 7:09 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
I saw that play, and the TV-cam caught the little chap going nuts, while Lilja was skating away from him. Our local announcers were laughing about him. Later, while I was watching the CBC feed, he was still at it, pounding on the glass and yelling something.
Kid's got spirit, I have to hand it to him. Needs a smack, too.
Posted on Feb 10, 2008, 8:46 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
For tha past week, I've had 3 different computers hijacked by Network54 pop-ups. If you close the pop-up, it jumps back up in a few seconds, or at most, a minute. A couple of times, it made it nearly impossible to read a complete post and I bailed out - even setting my pop-up blocker to "High" didn't stop all of them. The only way to stop "Smiley Central" from locking my computer was to block the IP. I wouldn't mind a small sidebar of ads that didn't block our content, but these cover the full page, include other re-directs and loops.
If I'm the only one with this issue, well, so be it. But, if it is an ongoing problem for everyone, maybe we need to look for another host.
Posted on Feb 9, 2008, 5:12 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
I use Internet Explorer 6.0 most of the time, with the pop-up blocker set to "medium." That's found under "Tools," in case you didn't know. This setting seems to work best for me, only blocking a few pop-ups that I want to pop-up, in which case you just override the block with the control key.
Hope this helps.
Posted on Feb 9, 2008, 6:28 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11
I switched to Internet Explorer 7 and have the pop-up blocker set on high. It was on medium but things kept getting worse. It is possible I've got a virus of some type on my computer, but why would it only seem to nail me at Network54 and not at other sites?
I tried loading FireFox about a year ago but got a bit frustrated with some of the gymnastics required to get it running with my older machine at home. Newer machines at the office came loaded with IE7 and haven't felt a need to change.
Posted on Feb 9, 2008, 8:02 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168
I know I already chimed in, but I get the same thing I've always gotten here: the information bar that pops up, at the top of the window, saying that Explorer is blocking a pop-up, and if I want to see it, to say so. If I ignore it, it goes away as soon as I click to another screen.
Again, I am using IE 6, SP2, with the pop-up blocker set on stun, I mean, medium.
Posted on Feb 9, 2008, 8:53 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
As soon as I opened Octo's post, a full page pop-up saying "Network54 is being brought to you by...", something to do with meeting all the singles you could ever want. It did, however, give me a button to close the screen. This is with IE7's blocker set on high, plus my Earthlink blocker also on. This one went away when told, but not all have been so polite.
Posted on Feb 10, 2008, 6:24 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199
How do you guys feel about Fire Fox? I tried it about a year ago and quickly went back to IE6. Does it have any real advantages for you? How about drawbacks? I may give it another try. My original brouser was Netscape and when I loaded the newest Netscape 8.0, it seemed like it was a Fire Fox clone... Back to Internet Explorer...
Posted on Feb 10, 2008, 6:28 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
.....I'm using IE 6 and I'm not experiencing anything different than in the past. When I first launch The Face Off Circle, I get a "CASELMEDIA" pop up, but I close it, and that's it...it doesn't happen again, unless I open another browser. I did notice about a week ago, rather than open a caselmedia add, I got a full window add over the message I opened. But in the upper right hand corner, there was a button to "skip this add", I clicked on it and it disappeared...and that was that, and it hasn't happened since...D'
Posted on Feb 10, 2008, 6:29 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206
Go to NHL.com and check out the Feb. 7 game between the 'Yotes and BJ's, the video highlights. Play the one titled "Weller on Nash," in the hits section. It's beautiful. Weller drops three guys in about three seconds.
It's some kind of natural hat-trick.
Posted on Feb 8, 2008, 8:41 PM from IP address 220.127.116.11
.....Holy Rinkydinkaroolie!!!!! Total domination by the Bruins over the Sabres...TOTAL DOMINATION!!! Did the Sabres even touch the puck in the third period? I think the only shot registered against Auld was actually shot by a Bruins player. The Sabres were completely dependent on counter-punching and desperately hoping for more powerplay opportunities to try and win this game. At one point in the third, the Bruins had a 14-nothing shot advantage, and the Sabres couldn't stop the Bruins' attack. Sabres fans may think the Bruins played a boring game, but that's only because the Sabres were too busy trying to catch the Bruins and compete at the same level...which the Sabres couldn't do. Go Bruins Go!!! Totally schmotally awesomearoolie!!!!...D'
Posted on Feb 8, 2008, 7:25 PM from IP address 18.104.22.168
.....Even though the Sabres went ahead 2 nothing, they were being outplayed badly by the Bruins from the second the puck dropped to the ice. If only all Bruins opponents were as easy at the Sabres to beat, shoot, the playoffs would never be in question. Worst part is, the Sabres desperately needed that game, and they folded like a cheap card table...D'
Posted on Feb 9, 2008, 1:00 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124
.....but 17 shots for the Bruins to 1 for the Sabres, that says a lot about how the Sabres caved, and how badly they were outplayed and dominated by the Bruins. The Sabres were outshot, outhit, outworked, outmuscled, OUTPLAYED...and most importantly, OUTSCORED by the Bruins. The mediocre Bruins, with a mediocre Alex Auld between the pipes, showed everyone that the Sabres do not have the talent to compete...D'
Posted on Feb 9, 2008, 6:26 PM from IP address 126.96.36.199
.....There was no need to trap in that game, not when the Bruins were completely dominating the Sabres in all departments. Shoot, for a very long stretch, the only Sabres player to touch the puck was Ryan Miller, as the Bruins played a little game of keep away from the Sabres and peppered Miller repeatedly, with little or no opposition from the Sabres skaters. Even during the 4 on 4 OT, with the wide open ice, the Sabres were outplayed. Dominated...that's what the Bruins did to the Sabres. Dominated!!...D'
Posted on Feb 10, 2008, 6:15 AM from IP address 188.8.131.52
Ugh! At first I was incredulous, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Not only would the Ducks make themselves stronger, probably the strongest defensive-lineup ever assembled if everyone's healthy, they also deprive their chief rival in the West of the one item they may be in need of, to stem the tide of onrushing, big, physical Anaheim forwards.
They'd have to part with a player, a prospect and a top-pick to get Blake, but they can afford to do so. They'd have an extra d-man to offer, for starters. They've got those picks from the Penner-deal. They'd be crazy not to do it, imho.
Blake has taste for Ducks
Friday, February 08, 2008
A former Los Angeles Kings defenceman understands what it's like to be the coveted prize and to also be in control of the situation.
It was just over a decade ago that the Detroit Red Wings called the Toronto Maple Leafs and made a pitch to acquire the services of Larry Murphy.
Murphy's contract included a no-trade clause, meaning he had the final say as to whether he'd doff the Maple Leaf in favour of the winged wheel.
"(Leafs GM) Cliff Fletcher called me in a few days before the trade deadline and sounded me out, to get an idea of places I might be willing to go," recalled Murphy, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie with the Kings in 1980-81.
When Fletcher called to inform him of Detroit's offer, Murphy talked it over with his wife and opted to make the move.
It was a wise decision that earned Murphy back-to-back Stanley Cups with Detroit in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Fast forward to this season and a current King finds himself in the catbird's seat.
Kings captain Rob Blake is the most coveted prize up for grabs as the Feb. 26 trade deadline fast approaches.
Blake wasn't in the lineup Thursday as the Kings dropped the Wings 5-3 at Joe Louis Arena.
In fact, he wasn't even in Detroit.
Expect that scenario to continue through the rest of the NHL season, unless the Wings happen to cross paths with the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
According to highly-placed league sources, Anaheim is where Blake will be headed at the trade deadline.
He wouldn't even be required to move house to play for the cross-town Ducks and since Blake owns a no-trade contract, he can make that call.
That's not the only reason why Blake won't be coming to Detroit.
A non-displaced fracture of the left ankle kept Blake out of the lineup Thursday.
A desire not to displace themselves of their future will keep the Wings from making a move for Blake.
In return for Blake, word is the Kings are seeking a player off a club's roster, a top prospect and a high draft pick.
As a rental player -- Blake will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end -- that's a hefty price.
Detroit moved a similar package last season to grab Todd Bertuzzi, the big forward who was supposed to put them over the top. That didn't work out very well at all, but it's got nothing to do with why they won't be willing to pay the Kings' ransom for Blake.
The Wings, who figure they will be contenders for years to come, won't to be willing to part with young defencemen Jakub Kindl or Jonathan Ericsson, likely targets that the Kings would pursue.
Instead, they'll pursue a depth defenceman. The Wings learned a harsh lesson last spring in how quickly a defensive corps can thin out when they lost both Mathieu Schneider and Niklas Kronwall to injury.
The Ducks don't possess Detroit's option of patience. They must win now.
Moves to bring back defenceman Scott Niedermayer and forward Teemu Selanne from self-imposed exile further skewered Anaheim's salary cap.
The Ducks won't be able to keep all their current pieces in place for next season.
Along with Niedermayer and Chris Pronger, Blake would give them an unprecedented three Norris Trophy-winning blue-liners and the right to call themselves Cup favourites.
The price for Blake will be one Detroit is unwilling to pay, but considering how they've loaded their guns for this season, it will be a price the Ducks can't afford not to pay.