LATEST PENGUINS BUZZ Simon Despres has been a healthy scratch for two straight games and is skating this afternoon as the fourth pairing with Mark Eaton. There are many different opinions in hockey circles about Despres right now. Some scouts, talent evaluators, see him as more of a No. 3 pairing defenseman at this point in his development, but I’ve heard from enough scouts and a few former players who watch this team closely who believe Despres is a top-4 defenseman right now. A good argument can be made for Despres that he should be playing over anyone in the lineup except Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik. I like Matt Niskanen in Dan Bylsma’s system but defensively Niskanen is not a top-2 pairing defenseman. On a minutes (even strength minutes) per even strength goals against ratio, Niskanen has the worst mark of the Penguins seven defensemen. Niskanen hasRead More »
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Gary Roberts will announce his retirement this weekend after he was not claimed on waivers this week. Roberts, 42, has played in 1,224 career NHL games with Calgary, Carolina, Toronto, Florida, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, and has accumulated 438 goals and 471 assists for 909 points, with 2,560 penalty minutes, throughout his career.
Malone on the Trade Block: Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe reports, The Lightning are rumored to be dangling Ryan Malone. Dupont reports If Malone and St. Louis aren’t moved, look for rumors once more to circulate prior to July 1 that the Bolts will entertain offers for Vincent Lecavalier. After July 1, the Big Vin’s contract (11 years/$85 million) converts to a no-trade. Source close to Malone indicate he is very frustrated in Tampa Bay and he doesn‚Äôt have anything to do with the losing. It‚Äôs the way the organization is ran. Bruins looking to make major splash: The Boston Bruins remain highly involved in talks with the Ducks about Chris Pronger and the Toronto Maple Leafs about Tomas Kaberle. If they miss out on both players it is being reported that they could move on defenseman Derek Morris.
The Detroit Redwings are looking to add grit at the trade deadline. They are currently highly involved in talks with the Ottawa Senators about forward Chris Neil If the Wings fail to land Neil who is being pursuing by half a dozen teams, they are strongly considering Tampa Bay Lightning forward Gary Roberts.
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 »