NHL Free Agency Buzz: Vrbata viewed as a fit in Pittsburgh


Latest Buzz on Vrbata, Markov, Fleishmann, Richards & more “Complete player” Vrbata could surface as target If the Penguins don’t resign Tyler Kennedy and fail to bring in Jaromir Jagr, a name who could surface on their radar is Phoenix Coyotes right winger Radim Vrbata, assuming the term (2 years) and price makes sense. Vrbata is a Dan Bylsma type of player due to his complete two-way game but has some scoring touch and offensive skill to go with his two-way play. Vrbata, 30, scored 19 goals and 48 points last season for a defensive minded Phoenix Coyotes team. He tallied 24 goals in 2009-2010 and scored a career high 27 goals in 2007-2008. According to Vrbata’s agent Rich Evans, what makes Vrbata a unique player that could hit the open market is his ability to score at the NHL level but also matchup against the oppositions top forwards. “He’sRead More »

Jagr mentions interest in playing for Montreal, New York or Pittsburgh in possible NHL return


Those close to former NHL superstar Jaromir Jagr fully believe Jagr will return to the KHL next season, however, as the World Championships ended today, Jagr fueled speculation about a possible return to the NHL with three teams believed to be at the top of his wishlist. The team sources indicated earlier in the week that is at the top of Jagr’s wishlist is the Montreal Canadiens but Jagr also had some strong words about possibly playing again for two of his former teams in the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers.

Report: St. Louis Blues acquire Jaroslav Halak


The Montreal Canadiens have traded goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues, according to TSN.CA. The Habs receive defenceman Lars Eller and forward Ian Schultz. Halak led the Canadiens on their surprising playoff run, upending heavy favorites Washington and Penguins. Halak, 25, went 26-13-5 in the regular season with a 2.40 goals against average. Halak split goaltending duties with Carey Price and eventually won the No. 1 job late in the season. Halak is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer which fueled talk over the past couple weeks that the Canadiens would look to sell high and deal Halak who is believed to be seeking a Marc Andre Fleury type of contract. Halak is represented by Allan Walsh who also represents Fleury. Many believe that Halak’s price tag is in the $5 million range.

Game 6: Morning Skate: Gill misses morning skate; Spacek likely to make series debut


Montreal Canadiens Morning Skate Update Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill did not participate in the Habs morning skate and Gill’s status remains up in the air. Gill suffered a laceration to his left leg in Saturday’s game and will be a game time decision after warmups. Meanwhile, Jaroslav Spacek participated fully in today’s skate and is expected to make his series debut. Spacek was in the top-6 rotation. He has been sidelined with what is believed to be a respiratory issue.   Andrei Markov (knee) took another step towards returning to the lineup, skating for the second straight day but was among the extra defensemen. Markov is trying to skate with a brace on his right knee. Markov will not play today but there appears to be some optimism that he could play Wednesday night if the Canadiens force a game 7. The Penguins will take the ice around 11:30 a.m. Canadiens Projected Lineup Kostitsyn – Plekanec –Read More »

Off-day report: Gill day-to-day; Spacek hopeful to play


Off-day Report The Pittsburgh Penguins arrived in Montreal this afternoon as the team looks to close out the series Monday night in game 6. The Penguins did not skate today but a few players including Sidney Crosby and Max Talbot had a short media session after the team arrived in Montreal. Barring an unexpected injury to pop up Monday morning, it’s difficult to imagine Alexei Ponikarovsky or Ruslan Fedotenko finding a way back in the lineup for game 6. Fedotenko, Conner, Godard and Ponikarovsky were among the extra forwards that have traveled with the team. The Penguins have opted against taking all off their playoff roster players on road trips this post-season. For Montreal it was an off-day of good and bad news. Defenseman Hal Gill is day-to-day with a laceration to his leg. Gill is hopeful to play and is likely to go into game 6 as a game time decision. Gill will tryRead More »

Dan Bylsma seeks quality of shots, as opposed to the volume of shots on Halak


“Shoot! Shoooot! Shooooooot!” Those are the cat calls Penguin players have heard from Penguin fans for eons. And, okay, from media members as well (I’m guilty as charged). No doubt. Of all the teams in the National Hockey League, the Pittsburgh Penguins may be the most notorious when it comes to over-thinking and over-passing instead of just shooting the puck on net. With all of the skill the Penguins have possessed over the years, one complaint backers of the Pens have had is that they simply don’t get the puck on net enough. From Sergei Zubov, to Jan Hrdina, to Alex Goligoski, to Kip Miller, to Jaromir Jagr, to Mario Lemieux, to Dick Tarnstrom, to Sidney Crosby, to Milan Kraft, to Evgeni Malkin, to Sergei Gonchar…any skilled Penguin who has ever played at Mellon Arena has been booed at some point in their career for passing or stick handling insteadRead More »

Penguins look for an encore performance against Montreal


The Pittsburgh Penguins return home tonight to face-off against the Montreal Canadiens after a 2-1 road trip. Pittsburgh has won two straight and four of five games. As the Penguins are starting to get somewhat healthier, the injury riddled Canadiens have been without a number of key players this week including forwards Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta and defensemen Andrei Markov (injured reserved), Hall Gill, Jaroslav Spacek. Markov will be sidelined for atleast two more months and Gionta, Gill will not play tonight. Spacek and Gomez are questionable as the Canadiens cancelled their morning skate in Pittsburgh today. The Canadiens have also recalled center David Desharnais in anticipation that forward Andrei Kostitsyn will not be able to play tonight as Kostitsyn was injured last night against Columbus. Goaltender Carey Price is 4-1-1 in his past six games with a .929 save percentage and 2.05 goals-against average. Price will make his seventhRead More »

Crosby’s hat trick powers Penguins to 6-1 win


Sidney Crosby scored three goals and linemate Chris Kunitz added a goal and three assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-2-0) defeated the Montreal Canadiens (6-6-0) 6-1 Wednesday night at Mellon Arena. Pittsburgh’s top line of Crosby (3 pts), Kunitz (4 pts) and Bill Guerin (3 pts) combined for 10 points on the night and goaltender Marc Andre made 23 saves to earn his 9th win of the season. Crosby’s three goal night was his third career hat trick and the former hart trophy winner now has 24 goals in his last 36 games, dating back to last years playoffs. Crosby is currently fourth in the league with nine goals and last season, Crosby ninth goal didn’t come until November 28th. The Penguins rebounded from a loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night to become the first team to 10 victories.