NHL: Vrbata to Czech Republic?

 

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Radim Vrbata, who was signed to a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract in the off-season is apparently heading home to the Czech Republic to finish the season there according to TSN.CA. Vrbata is expected to clear waivers on Tuesday and will be free for assignment to a Czech team if he chooses to play there. Vrbata scored 27 goals last season with the Phoenix Coyotes last season but only has three goals this season. His salary for this season will go off the Lightning books and they will not be responsible for paying him or having his salary count against the salary cap. Source: TSN.CA

Deal in the works between the Av’s & Sens?

 

The Latest NHL Buzz The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping Radim Vrbata who has minimal value right now. Vrbata has gone 40 games dating back to last season without a goal. Winger Gary Roberts is also believed to be on the trade block with the Detroit Red Wings showing interest. The big name who could be moved at the trade deadline is Marty St. Louis. If the playoffs are an afterthought, indications are ownership will explore the possibility with the idea of getting younger and clearing enough cap room to make a run at one of the top tier wingers on the free agent market next season. St. Louis is 33 yrs old and has two years remaining on his contract. The Ottawa Senators are aggressively pursuing Avalanche defenseman Jordan Leopold and discussions have centered around the Senators shipping Chris Neil and Antoine Vermette for Leopold and forward Tyler Arnason.Read More »

Lightning fire Barry Melrose

 

TSN.Ca is reporting the Tampa Bay Lightning have fired head coach Barry Melrose and have named named associate coach Rick Tocchet interim head coach. The Lightning have struggled this season (5-7-4) and are currently 13th in the Eastern Conference. Melrose, 52, was named the sixth head coach in Lightning history on June 24. DePaoli’s Take: The Lightning’s new ownership need to learn that you can’t build a Stanley Cup contender over night. Ownership needed patience heading into this season and it’s clear that they don’t have it. The Lightning were the worst team in the league last season and adding players like Ryan Malone, Radim Vrbata weren’t going to make the Lightning Stanley Cup contenders this season. To make matters worse ownership traded their best defenseman Dan Boyle in return for Matt Carle who they traded away last week. Hiring Barry Melrose was risky in the first place and wasRead More »

NHL: Canucks acquire Michel Ouellet

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Lukas Krajicek and left wing Juraj Simek from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Shane O’Brien and right wing Michel Ouellet (17 goals). The Nashville Predators also expressed an interest in Ouellet

NHL Preview: SouthEast Division

 

Inside Report: what everyone will be watching this season is whether the Capitals can play at the level they did near the end of the regular season. The Lightning and Hurricanes will have something to say about that while the Panthers and Thrashers begin the season on the outside. Both teams lack the offense to compete this season. The Panthers will look to win with defense. Expectations will be high for the Capitals. 1. Washington Capitals (43-31-9) The Capitals went 11-1 last year to clinch a playoff berth and won the South East division title on the final day of the regular season. Head coach Bruce Boudreau changed the whole complexion of the Capitals. He made hockey fun for the players and they excelled under his leadership. Alexander Ovechkin (65 goals ‚Äì 47 assists ‚Äì 112 points) flourished under Boudreau and was named the league‚Äôs most valuable player. Ovechkin isRead More »

Day 1 NHL Free Agency Frenzy; Live Updates

 

Day 2 12:58 a.m. There is a 1yr 1.75 million offer on the table to forward Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi is believed to be looking over three other offers with Calgary among the interested parties. With all of this talk of Jagr, I wouldn’t look past Markus Naslund who has been on the Penguins radar since the clock struck noon on July 1. Source tell TIOPS Ray Shero is taking calls regarding Ryan Whitney and listening to offers but it appears ownership wants Whitney to stay put. Penguins expect a decision from Jarkko Ruutu by Wednesday morning. No offer has been made to Jason Smith but the interest is there. The Penguins have yet to meet the demands of Brooks Orpik (6yrs – 22 million) but the two sides are still in discussions. Penguins offer to Hossa is for 7.2 million per season. The amount of years is up in theRead More »