Friday, August 30, 2013

Philadelphia Flyers Re-Sign Defenseman Brandon Manning

As reported on Pro Hockey Talk, the Philadelphia Flyers have re-signed defenseman Brandon Manning to a one-year deal.  The deal is reportedly two-way.  Manning, a left-shooting undrafted defenseman from British Columbia, played most of last season in the AHL with the Adirondack Phantoms.  He picked up 21 points in 65 regular-season games for the Phantoms, while also seeing six games of NHL ice time with Philly where he notched two assists.  

Previous to joining the Flyers, Manning was on the blue line for the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL.  

Manning is described by the Hockey News as a "puck moving defenseman".   

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thomas Vanek Trade Request Has Not Happened

Thomas Vanek did not request to be traded by the Buffalo Sabres.  That's according to an interview given by Vanek on WGR 550 in Buffalo, as reported by Brian Stubits of cbssports.com.  The big, 29 year-old winger taken fifth overall in the 2003 NHL draft by Buffalo has scored 250 goals in 585 regular season games since his debut as a Sabre in 2005-06.  

Vanek indicated that he did not request to be traded, but will look to play out the season and keep his options open.  As quoted in the interview, regarding Buffalo's "rebuilding mode" and his stance, Vanek stated:
"I do believe that the guys that they drafted this year and in the past are good players, but with young guys you never know. I would like to see where we're at and I have that option so, I'm taking it."
Vanek is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2014.  With the caliber of play that Vanek is capable of, his services will be in demand by Buffalo as well as many other teams.  If Buffalo does not look like it will make the playoffs in 2014, Vanek will likely be moved by the Sabres for young players or draft picks.   Otherwise, Buffalo runs the risk of losing him to free agency in 2014, with no return on their investment.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NHL Snap Shots: Rajala, Ward, Goaltender Pads Shrink, Richards and Rangers

Finnish-born winger Toni Rajala has asked out of his contract with the Edmonton Oilers in order to play in Europe this season, according to the Edmonton Journal.  Rajala played for the Oilers' AHL affiliate team, the Oklahoma City Barons, in 2012-13, scoring 45 points in 46 regular season games with a plus-18 on-ice.

Cam Ward has a bit of extra motivation to improve after not being selected for Team Canada's Sochi Olympics summer camp according to the Toronto Sun.  The 29 year-old native of Saskatoon had his highest regular season goals-against-average in 2013, since the 2006-07 season.  It's a good bet he will improve on the 2.84 GAA mark he put up last season.

NHL goaltender pads will be shrinking this season.  The size of their leg pads has been decreased from 55% to 45% of the distance from the center of their knees to the center of their pelvis.

Brad Richards is happy with the Alain Vigneault hiring for the New York Rangers.  At least that's the indication from a recent comment, as quoted in the New York Post, by Richards saying that Vigneault's style of play will be "a lot more fun for a player like me".  

Adam Henrique Deal: 6 Years, $24 Million with the New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils have signed restricted free agent Adam Henrique to a six-year, $24 million deal according to Tom Gulitti on his Fire and Ice blog at northjersey.com.  Henrique, who was the 82nd overall draft pick by the New Jersey Devils in 2008, has scored 67 points in 117 regular season contests with New Jersey since first appearing on-ice with the team in 2010-11.

Henrique was a force for the Devils during their run to the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Finals.  He scored the series clinching goal against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and notched 13 total points in the playoffs that season.

The new contract for the 23 year-old centerman can be compared to the contracts of T.J. Oshie, Tyler Bozak, and David Booth, in terms of salary and cap hit for similar contract terms.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NHL Snap Shots: K. Gretzky, Nyquist, Souray, Boychuk and Lundqvist

The Boston Bruins have promoted Keith Gretzky to the director of amateur scouting according to Boston.com.  Keith, brother of Wayne Gretzky, was previously the director of amateur scouting for the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Detroit Red Wings signed restricted free agent Gustav Nyquist to a bridge deal according to Helene St. James at the Detroit Free Press.   Nyquist has spent parts of two seasons with the Red Wings notching 13 points in 40 regular season games.  The terms of the contract are reportedly two years for $1.9 million.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Shelden Souray will be out between four and six months due to a wrist injury according to the Toronto Sun.  The 37 year-old blueliner notched a healthy 17 points in 44 regular season games with the Ducks last season.  j

Zach Boychuk signed  a one-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes according to the News and Observer.  His contract is reportedly two-way with $550,000 made at the NHL level or $105,000 on the AHL level.

According to the New York Post, Henrik Lundqvist is "happy with the New York Rangers and not thinking about free agency at all".  Talks on a contract extension are in the "early stages" according to Lundqvist in the Post article.






Saturday, August 17, 2013

2014 NHL Free Agents - Devin Setoguchi

Devin Setoguchi will be 27 if and when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2014.  The winger has played the past two seasons for the Minnesota Wild, after starting his NHL career with four campaigns as a member of the San Jose Sharks.

He's had a pretty good balance of goals and assists throughout his career.  In the regular season he has 116 goals to go with 106 assists.  Pretty similar balance in the playoffs as well, with 15 goals and 10 assists.

Setoguchi will be finishing up a three-year contract in 2013-14, started with the Wild, but as a member of the Winnipeg Jets after his trade north of the border in July of 2013, for a second-round draft pick in the 2014 NHL draft.

His contract will count $3 million against the cap for Winnipeg in 2013-14.

Outlook
Setoguchi has moved around a bit during his brief NHL career.  Based on that fact, there is no ruling out that he won't move again.  It really all depends on how he plays in his stint this year with the Jets.  If the Jets play well, and Setoguchi is a large part of that, I'd look for him to remain with the team and be re-signed before he becomes a UFA.  

2014 NHL Free Agents - Ales Hemsky


Ales Hemsky is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July of 2014, unless re-signed by the Edmonton Oilers prior to that date.  The native of the Czech Republic, taken in the first round of the 2011 NHL draft by Edmonton, has been accumulating assists as fast as Sergei Fedorov could skate since Hemsky first took to the NHL ice during the 2002-03 season, when he notched 24 assists in 59 regular season games for the Oilers.

Scoring Stats Goals Assists Ice Time
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV SH PP S S% ATOI
2002-03 19 EDM 59 6 24 30 5 14 6 0 0 1 15 0 9 50 12.0 12:04
2003-04 20 EDM 71 12 22 34 -7 14 8 4 0 3 15 0 7 87 13.8 14:26
2005-06 22 EDM 81 19 58 77 -5 64 11 7 1 4 23 0 35 178 10.7 16:59
2006-07 23 EDM 64 13 40 53 -7 40 8 5 0 1 20 0 20 122 10.7 16:59
2007-08 24 EDM 74 20 51 71 -9 34 12 8 0 2 29 0 22 184 10.9 18:35
2008-09 25 EDM 72 23 43 66 1 32 19 4 0 2 16 0 27 185 12.4 18:39
2009-10 26 EDM 22 7 15 22 7 8 4 3 0 0 10 0 5 57 12.3 17:56
2010-11 27 EDM 47 14 28 42 3 18 12 1 1 1 19 1 8 100 14.0 18:17
2011-12 28 EDM 69 10 26 36 -13 43 9 1 0 1 18 0 8 137 7.3 17:36
2012-13 29 EDM 38 9 11 20 -6 16 4 5 0 1 7 0 4 82 11.0 15:42
Career 597 133 318 451 -31 283 93 38 2 16 172 1 145 1182 11.3 16:43
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/17/2013.

Outlook
Hemsky is a $5 million cap hit for the Oilers for 2013-14.  With goal scorers emerging all around him, as the Oilers young talent develops, Hemsky's ability to set his teammates should pay dividends shortly.  Whether or not he has the opportunity to continue to do so for the Oilers remains to be seen.  


NHL Snap Shots: Blue Jackets, Oil Kings, Rangers, Giroux, Stars, Sabres

The Columbus Blue Jackets Dalton Prout will miss the start of training camp due to surgery to repair a torn abdominable muscle.   The Jackets defenseman, taken in the 2010 NHL draft, has notched seven points in 33 combined games over the past two seasons.  In other summer hockey news:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gabriel Landeskog Agrees on Extension with Colorado Avalanche

The 2011-12 Calder Memorial Trophy winner, Gabriel Landeskog, agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche, according to ESPN.  The 20 year-old winger is making $925,000 through the 2013-14 season, with annual bonuses that makes his per season cap hit $3.575 million.  His new contract will pay him an annual salary of $5,571,429 through the 2020-21 season according to Cap Geek. Landeskog has shown much offensive prowess since taking to the NHL ice after his selection by Colorado as the number two overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.  He has averaged .58 points in the regular season over 118 games with the Avalanche.

As Mike Chambers writes in the Denver Post, Landeskog becomes the face of the franchise with this contract.  As quoted in the Post article, Landeskog says of his new deal:
"I wanted a long-term deal. I want to stay in Denver. I want to win a Cup in Denver," Landeskog said in a phone interview from his hometown of Stockholm.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Jersey Devils Sold

The New Jersey Devils have announced in a news conference this morning that the team has been sold to Josh Harris, the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, as was widely reported prior to the official announcement.  Harris, who co-founded the private equity firm, Apollo Global Management Group, will reportedly hold majority ownership of the team, while previous owner Jeff Vanderbeek retains a minority interest.   

2014 NHL Free Agents - Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur is finishing up a two-year extension with the New Jersey Devils paying him $9 million for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 NHL seasons.  Brodeur's 2012-13 was shortened by not only the lockout, but by injury.  The 41 year-old netminder, who some consider the best to ever play the game, will most likely share his duties with the newly acquired Cory Schneider in 2013-14.

Goalie Stats Scoring Stats
Season Age Tm GP W L T/O GA SA SV SV% GAA SO MIN GPS G A PTS
1991-92 19 NJD 4 2 1 0 10 85 75 .882 3.35 0 179 0.4 0 0 0
1993-94 21 NJD 47 27 11 8 105 1238 1133 .915 2.40 3 2625 8.9 0 0 0
1994-95 22 NJD 40 19 11 6 89 908 819 .902 2.45 3 2184 5.2 0 2 2
1995-96 23 NJD 77 34 30 12 173 1954 1781 .911 2.34 6 4433 12.8 0 1 1
1996-97 24 NJD 67 37 14 13 120 1633 1513 .927 1.88 10 3838 12.4 0 4 4
1997-98 25 NJD 70 43 17 8 130 1569 1439 .917 1.89 10 4128 11.1 0 3 3
1998-99 26 NJD 70 39 21 10 162 1728 1566 .906 2.29 4 4239 9.8 0 4 4
1999-00 27 NJD 72 43 20 8 161 1797 1636 .910 2.24 6 4312 12.1 1 4 5
2000-01 28 NJD 72 42 17 11 166 1762 1596 .906 2.32 9 4297 11.3 0 1 1
2001-02 29 NJD 73 38 26 9 156 1655 1499 .906 2.15 4 4347 9.8 0 4 4
2002-03 30 NJD 73 41 23 9 147 1706 1559 .914 2.02 9 4374 11.4 0 0 0
2003-04 31 NJD 75 38 26 11 154 1845 1691 .917 2.03 11 4555 12.5 0 0 0
2005-06 33 NJD 73 43 23 7 187 2105 1918 .911 2.57 5 4365 14.9 0 3 3
2006-07 34 NJD 78 48 23 7 171 2182 2011 .922 2.18 12 4697 17.3 0 1 1
2007-08 35 NJD 77 44 27 6 168 2089 1921 .920 2.17 4 4635 15.5 0 4 4
2008-09 36 NJD 31 19 9 3 73 870 797 .916 2.41 5 1814 5.9 0 0 0
2009-10 37 NJD 77 45 25 6 168 2004 1836 .916 2.24 9 4499 13.2 0 3 3
2010-11 38 NJD 56 23 26 3 127 1313 1186 .903 2.45 6 3116 6.3 0 2 2
2011-12 39 NJD 59 31 21 4 136 1472 1336 .908 2.41 3 3392 7.9 0 4 4
2012-13 40 NJD 29 13 9 7 65 654 589 .901 2.22 2 1757 3.1 1 2 3
Career 1220 669 380 148 2668 30569 27901 .913 2.23 121 71786 201.9 2 42 44
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/15/2013.

Outlook
If Brodeur stays healthy, plays well in 2013-14, and wants to play in 2014-15 he will.  And it will be for the New Jersey Devils.  But that is a lot of "ifs" to come together before we see Brodeur on the ice and not in the announcer's booth or coaching for the 2014-15 season.

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