DePaoli’s NHL Free Agency Twitter Updates Ilya Kovalchuk enters the free agent market as this years top prize but coming up with more than two definite suitors has been difficult. Although there are some rumblings that LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi wants to stay away from Kovalchuk, Kings ownership fully intends to make a run at the 27 year old winger. The other known suitor includes the New Jersey Devils who continue to have daily contact with Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman. Now onto some potential wild cards/sleepers New York Rangers — Just about anyone connected with the Rangers say they won’t be in the mix. The Rangers currently have about $47 million committed to 15 players and have to pay Marc Staal who will become a restricted free agent on July 1. However, the Rangers were after Kovalchuk hard at the trade deadline and Glen Sather tries to get inRead More »
Draft day Chatter *Winger Colby Armstrong appears headed to the free agent market. According to a league source, no talks are currently scheduled to take place in LA between Armstrong’s agent Don Meehan and Thrashers GM Rick Dudley. The two sides have been far apart for some time as Armstrong is looking to land a multi-year deal worth upwards of $3 million per season. Armstrong is looking for at least a Steve Ott type of contract, source in Atlanta tells me. *Raffi Torres is another mid-tier winger who will hit the open market. Steve Reich the agent for Torres confirmed to Inside Pittsburgh Sports Thursday evening that Torres will become a free agent on July 1. There has been no attempt from Buffalo to engage in talks. *Serveral teams have made inquiries about Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone. The Lightning are listening to inquiries but are not actively shopping Malone. TorontoRead More »
Free Agency Buzz *The Atlanta Thrashers will be shopping for wingers this off-season. Contract talks with winger Maxim Afinogenov have gone nowhere and Colby Armstrong has already made his intentions known that he intends to test free agency. Afinogenov, 30, is coming off a breakout season scoring 24 goals and 61 points. Afinogenov is looking for a significant raise over his $800,000 salary from 2009-2010 but a stumbling block in talks with the Thrashers has been the term of the contract. Afinogenov is seeking a mult-year deal and Thrashers management doesn’t appear ready to commit beyond two years. Look for Alexei Ponikarovsky to be a target of the Thrashers. *Hurricanes winger Ray Whitney and Sabres winger Raffi Torres will test free agency. Both were primary targets of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the trade deadline. Whitney, 38, made $3.5 million last season. Torres made $2.75 million. *The market for defensemen willRead More »
Post-Atlanta Thoughts Pittsburgh rebounded after their embarrassing performance Thursday night like championship teams do; winning their next game. Martin Skoula scored two goals and Marc Andre Fleury made 31 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 3-2 to snap a four game road losing streak. Head coach Dan Bylsma made the right move going back to Marc Andre Fleury who was chased from the net against the Senators. Fleury had great rebound control tonight and clearly has put Thursday nights performance behind. The signing of Martin Skoula is paying dividends for the Penguins but it can’t be overlooked that Skoula is reviving his career in Pittsburgh.
Brodeur, Jokinen, and Crosby named ‘Three Stars’ New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was named first star of the week as Brodeur tied Patrick Roy as the NHL’s all-time victories leader and posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 goals-against average and .943 save percentage. Flames forward Olli Jokinen was named the NHL second star of the week. Jokinen has (six goals – two assists) in his last three games. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby brought home this week’s #3 star. Crosby notched eight points (two goals – six assists) in four games last week, helping the Penguins earn points in four consecutive games (2-0-2) and improve to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings ***The Latest Buzz*** Source: Concern over Scuderi’s ability to move the puck in the Penguins new system
If the Penguins want Colby Armstrong it is going to cost them puck moving defenseman Alex Goligoski according to a league source. Contrary to other reports, the Thrashers are not actively shopping Armstrong and they remain very high on him. Armstrong has 13 goals on the year, has been a great locker room presence and is averaging between 15-17 minutes of ice time per game. The Thrashers have received quite a few inquires about Armstrong including from the Penguins, Wild, Rangers, Kings, and Flames. As I‚Äôve been mentioning for a while, the Thrashers are actively shopping former Penguins forward Eric Christensen. Columbus, Montreal, New York Islanders and the Phoenix Coyotes are four teams to express interest. The trade deadline always brings out some crazy rumors. Pierre LeBrun reports a source told him the Panthers, Senators and Rangers were talking about a major three way trade involving Scott Gomez, Jason SpezzaRead More »
2008-09 SEASON SERIES Pittsburgh: 1-0-0 TEAM LEADERS Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby 13 goals,¬†E. Malkin 37 assists, 49 pts Atlanta: Slava Kozlov 14 goals, Kovalchuk 20 assists, 31pts Goaltending Matchup Pittsburgh ‚Äì Marc Andre Fleury (8-3-2, 2.86 GAA) Atlanta ‚Äì Ondrej Pavelec (3-5-0, 3.16 GAA) Special Teams Pittsburgh ‚Äì Power Play: 18.3%, Penalty Kill: 82.0% Atlanta ‚Äì Power Play: 19.4%, Penalty Kill: 72.4% Penguins Projected Lineup Dupuis ‚Äì Crosby ‚Äì Satan Fedotenko ‚Äì Malkin ‚Äì Sykora Cooke ‚Äì Staal ‚Äì Wallace Stone ‚Äì Taffe ‚Äì Godard D- Pairs Orpik ‚Äì Scuderi Eaton ‚Äì Letang Goligoski ‚Äì Boucher G Marc Andre Fleury
The Boston Bruins have received a lot of calls about the availability of center Patrice Bergeron and goaltender Manny Fernandez. Bergeron is off to a relatively slow start — 17 points in 29 games but he missed most of the 2007-2008 campaign and his game is still rounding into shape. Despite the play of center David Krejci (29 points in 30 games), the Bruins are not that interested in moving Bergeron. Still, expect his name to pop up during the trade deadline as the Bruins are looking to acquire a #1 or #2 defenseman. The Bruins have inquired about Jay Bouwmeester Rumors continue to swirl that Marian Gaborik and Marian Hossa will look to be a packaged deal next summer. There is some truth to that but don‚Äôt expect it to happen. MarKus Naslund and Pavel Demitra tried it this past summer and had no luck. Vancouver is getting mentionedRead More »