NHL News and Notes
High Ratings for Cup Finals
The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers have been a much bigger draw than Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.
The Blackhawks’ win Monday night earned the best overnight rating for a Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals on record.
According to the Associated Press, Game 2 drew a 4.1 rating and 7 share on NBC, the highest overnight rating since at least 1975, which is as far back as the records go.
The rating was up 21 percent from last year’s 3.4 for Red Wings-Penguins.
Game 1 which was a thrilling 6-5 Blackhawks win, was the highest ratings opener in 11 years.
GM Meetings taking place today
The annual GM meetings are taking place this afternoon in Philadelphia. Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney named GM of year, beating out Washington’s George McPhee and Nashville’s David Poile.
An area of focus for the general managers will be the salary cap. The salary cap is expected to rise to at least $58.8 million and some believe it will end up in the range of $59.3 million.
The increased cap will give Pittsburgh up to $13 million in cap space this off-season. The Penguins have approximately $45 million committed to 15 players for the 2010-2011 season.
The Latest buzz around the NHL
- According to the Toronto Star, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has received two offers for defenseman Tomas Kaberle. Trade talks regarding Kaberle are expected to heat up at the draft. League sources call the Boston Bruins the front runners to land Kaberle.
- Boston has four picks in the top 45, including No. 15, No. 32 and No. 45. There is also talk that the Bruins are willing to move winger Blake Wheeler. A strong market is expected to develop for Kaberle. Kaberle has one year remaining on his deal with a $4.25 cap hit.
- If Pittsburgh is unable to resign Sergei Gonchar (their top priority), talk around the league is that the Penguins are likely to target Devils defenseman Paul Martin over Anton Volchenkov.
- Martin, 29, made $4.5 million last season and his future with the Devils is up in the air. Martin told the New York Post that he and GM Lou Lamoriello agreed to wait until after a new Devils coach is hired to discuss contract