World Cup Chatter: What now for Team USA?


World Cup Chatter The World Cup started with what many view as a stunning upset in Team Europe defeating Team USA 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. From naming John Tortorella head coach over a year ago, it was clear what type of team the U.S. was going to build. It wasn’t going to be one made up of a bunch of Phil Kessel’s and Tyler Johnson’s. Before the drop of the puck yesterday, the U.S. was always going to be the team under the most scrutiny because of the way they constructed their roster. Yesterday’s loss now has all of the critics coming out of the wood work. Not to mention lineup decisions like scratching Dustin Byfuglien who some believe was scratched because he spouted off about not being a fan of playing forward earlier in the week. It wasn’t just that Team Europe upsetted the U.S., it was how flat the U.S.Read More »

Matt Murray drawing Carey Price like comparisons from Team North America teammates


What team are most World Cup managers worried about the most when the tournament gets underway? It’s no question Team North America. The youthfulness and speed they possess up front projects to make them a daunting matchup. Team North America’s 4-0 win over Team Europe showed much of that. One NHL personnel man in attendance said he felt like he was watching the Penguins from their Stanley Cup run in how Team North America just suffocated the opposition with their speed in all three zones, notably the forecheck. Team North America has the speed and skill to be a serious threat in the tournament and a deep run figures to come down to goaltender Matt Murray. Murray made 23 saves in the shutout win over Team Europe. Craig Custance of ESPN called Murray North America’s most important player in a recent feature and its hard to argue with that. NotRead More »

World Cup: Team Canada Burning Questions


Team Canada Brad Marchand – Sidney Crosby – Patrice Bergeron John Tavares – Ryan Getzlaf – Steven Stamkos Logan Couture – Jonathan Toews – Tyler Seguin Matt Duchene – Joe Thornton – Claude Giroux Corey Perry Burning Question: Where does Corey Perry fit? Team Canada’s roster includes 10 centers, many of them, Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin, Patric Bergeron and Claude Giroux who will slide over to right wing. If there’s any challenge for the heavy favorite Canadians, it’s finding the best group of 12 forwards. Corey Perry who scored 34 goals last season, opened Team Canada’s training camp this week as the extra forward. On the top line, Patrice Bergeron is itched in stone on Sidney Crosby’s right wing. Brad Marchand coming off a 37 goal season got the first look with Crosby on his left wing. Crosby has often meshed with players who have the type of intangibles thatRead More »

World Cup Preliminary Rosters Named


Team USA G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings G Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils D Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets D John Carlson, Washington Capitals D Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers D Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild F Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings F Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks F Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks F T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals F Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens F Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild F Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks F Derek Stepan, New York Rangers F Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets Team Canada G Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks G Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals G Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings D Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks D Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks D Shea Weber, Nashville Predators F Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars F Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins F Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins FRead More »

Wednesday’s Latest NHL Buzz & Rumblings


WEDNESDAY’S NHL BUZZ — Eric Staal entering the final year of his deal wants to resign in Carolina and Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis wants to continue to build around the Staal brothers. Yet it’s 50/50 whether Staal makes it through the season as a member of the Hurricanes. The Staal contract situation is a difficult one because of the Hurricanes ownership situation where the budget on a year-to-year basis is often a complete unknown. “Ron is in a no-win situation,” an NHL executive said of the Staal situation. “The ownership group there is so unpredictable.” What Francis is most likely struggling with is whether he’s going to have the financial backing two-three years down the road to make resigning Staal worthwhile. Carolina is a team some feel are trending up and will be improved over last season but playing in the NHL’s toughest division, a significant improvement will beRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Why Penguins wouldn’t go two years for Franson


THURSDAY’S NHL BUZZ — Cody Franson’s long wait on the free agent market has finally ended. Franson today signed a two year deal with the Buffalo Sabres that carries an AAV of $3.325 million. “Happy to get him. We feel we’ve got a top-4, top-5 guy who can play on our first power play,” Sabres GM Tim Murray told Buffalo reporters today. “He’s a skilled defenseman. Obviously a big body. He’s got some range, long reach, does take some space to get by him.” Franson has been an interesting case this summer. Right handed defensemen with skill are coveted by almost every team but no agent mis-calculated the market more than Franson’s agent Gerry Johannson did. The Franson camp went into the free agent negotiating period seeking a six year deal worth $40 million and were quite confident Franson was going be the Matt Niskanen of the 2015 free agentRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: Stamkos Future, Backes almost became a Capital


WEDNESDAY’S LATEST NHL BUZZ — The Grand jury investigation into rape allegations against Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane has been delayed and may never happen, the Buffalo News reported on Tuesday. The paper reported financial settlement talks are on-going between attorneys for both Kane and the alleged victim. “They have been in settlement discussions and both say they want their day in court, but both have vacillated from time to time and also said: Let’s just resolve it,” a source told the paper. — Aside from Kane who even with a settlement being reached, could still face criminal charges, though, unlikely if the alleged victim doesn’t want to go forward, one of the biggest stories going into the NHL season is Steven Stamkos future in Tampa Bay. Stars like Stamkos don’t make it to the free agent market but this situation may go there as some feelings have been hurt.Read More »

Boyes tops list of four wingers Pens looked into at trade deadline who are PTO candidates this fall


Training camps open in 13 days and many quality NHL players still can’t find jobs. Marcel Goc and Max Lapierre, two players traded for each other last season, both signed in Europe this week. Scottie Upshall a solid bottom-6 player signed with the St. Louis Blues on a professional tryout on Tuesday. One veteran agent said the market has shaped up for established players to either accept an $800,000 offer or go to camp on a tryout. The Penguins have gone the tryout route twice already, signing Sergei Gonchar and Tim Sestito to professional tryout contracts in August. The Penguins brass, though, wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t looking to take advantage of the current market and exploring the possibility of bringing in another forward on a tryout. The past week there have been discussions with a few. In fact, four notable wingers the Penguins looked into priorRead More »