Rumors: Thomas Vanek expected to be traded by the deadline


Thomas Vanek, as expected, will not resign with the New York Islanders prior to the March 5th trade deadline. Arthur Staple of Newsday reports Vanek has turned down a “substantial offer” from the Islanders and the Isles are now likely to move Vanek. The move to acquire Vanek has backfired on GM Garth Snow who took a gamble that the lure of playing with John Tavares would get Vanek to accept a big offer from the Islanders. However, it’s been no secret that Vanek has had his sights set on testing free agency from the get-go with many believing he will be willing to give the Minnesota Wild a hometown discount this summer. The Islanders have fallen 10 points out of a playoff spot. Vanek has 19 goals and 47 points in 54 games this season. The trade market will be interesting for Vanek. Few top contenders can take onRead More »

NHL Free Agency Buzz: “Clock is Ticking” on Capitals, Brooks Laich


Latest on Brooks Laich, Andrei Markov, & Alexei Ponikarovsky Capitals not moving fast to lock up Laich Among potential free agents, who is the No. 2 rated forward behind Brad Richards? In league circles, Capitals forward Brooks Laich gets the nod. Laich, 27, is Mr. versatile and could hit the open market widely believed as the most complete player in the free agent pool. Laich who has the ability to play center and wing at a high level, had 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points, including a +14 rating for the Capitals in 2010-2011. From 2007-2008 through 2009-2010, Laich posted three straight 20-goal seasons, collecting a career high 25 goals in 09-10. Laich can help a team in several areas including the power play. He had 24 power play points in 08-09, including 9 goals and scored a career high 12 power play goals in 09-10. It wouldRead More »

Ponikarovsky agrees to one year deal with Kings


Alexei Ponikarovsky is off the free agent market, agreeing to a one year deal with the Los Angeles Kings. The deal is worth slightly under $3 million per season. After a disappointing playoff run with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ponikarovsky saw a slow market develop, signing 27 days into free agency. Interest though began to pick up in the past week. The Kings who reached out to Ponikarovsky early into free agency, turned their attention backed to Ponikarovsky after losing out on Ilya Kovalchuk. On Monday Inside Pittsburgh Sports learned, Ponikarovsky was considering his first offer of free agency and was moving closer to finding a new home. The 30-year old forward had 21 goals and 29 assists in 77 games last season, playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins. Ponikarovsky recorded five points in 11 playoff games with Pittsburgh. He was a healthy scratch for games 5 andRead More »

NHL: Source: Granato on the Thrashers radar


Sunday’s NHL Rumor Mill The growing consensus last summer is that the Los Angeles Kings over-paid for defenseman Rob Scuderi who signed a 4 year deal worth $3.4 million per season. Nearly a year later, good luck finding a member of the Kings organization who believes that now. ¬†Scuderi has drawn rave reviews from the Kings organization and they believe he has been worth every penny as others now do. The Kings enter the off-season just a move or two away from making the jump among the elite teams in the West. Kevin Allen of the USA Today wrote weeks ago that “there is an expectation that the Kings will make a big splash in the free-agent marketplace.” The two big names being mentioned from the likes of Allen and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN is Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Marleau. There are doubts that the Kings will meet Kovalchuk’s demandsRead More »

Ice Report: Pressure building on Kings GM Dean Lombardi


Inside the NHL Lombardi looking to make major splash Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi is not in any danger of losing his job but pressure is building on Lombardi to get the Kings in the playoffs. The Kings are the 8th seed at this moment in the Western Conference and missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season under Lombardi is what will put his job in jeopardy beyond next season. Kings management saw this season as the year that the Kings take the next step and while there have been signs of that, it still might not be enough to get into the playoffs. With the trade deadline less than 8 weeks away, Lombardi is believed to be prepared to make a major splash at the trade deadline. Speculation continues to center around Ilya Kovalchuk with the Kings prepared to offer a 4-for-1 package centered around Jack JohnsonRead More »

Kings score 4 unanswered goals in the 3rd period, upend Penguins 5-2


Anze Kopitar (13), Jarret Stoll (4) and Michal Handzus (6) scored in a span of nearly six minutes in the third period and winger Dustin Brown (5) added a late goal at 17:30 in the period as the Los Angeles over-came a 2-1 deficit to score four third period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at the Staples Center. Pittsburgh which jumped out to a 2-1 lead going into the third period on goals from Jordan Staal (4) and Chris Kunitz (3) had a number of defensive breakdowns in the third period to suffer their first road loss (7-1) of the season. The Penguins were without key members Sergei Gonchar (wrist) and Evgeni Malkin (Right shoulder strained) but were also missing right winger Tyler Kennedy (groin) who was a surprise scratch after participating in the morning skate. Kennedy remains bothered by a groinRead More »