Friday, December 20, 2013

Linus Omark Traded to Buffalo Sabres

Linus Omark has been traded by the Edmonton Oilers to the Buffalo Sabres according to the Edmonton Journal.  Edmonton will receive a conditional  sixth-round draft pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft.  It was rumored that Omark had wanted to be traded in order to see more NHL playing time.  It was also reported that the Oilers wanted to get their 50-man protected list solidified, providing further impetus for this trade. Omark had a brief stint with the Oilers but spent most of his time this season with their AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons.

The former fourth round pick of the Oilers in 2007 has seen 66 regular season NHL games with 30 points to his credit (8 goals, 22 assists).

He proved himself to be skilled offensively in his time on the Oilers' farm team this season, notching 29 points in 29 games for the Barons. Given the Sabres' struggles offensively in 2013, it would be surprising if Omark did not appear on their NHL roster in the very near future.

The teams squeaked this deal in before the NHL roster freeze kicked in for several days during the holidays.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Rangers and Blackhawks Trade AHL Forwards

As reported by NHL.com, the New York Rangers have traded Brad Mashinter to the Chicago Blackhawks today in exchange for forward Kyle Beach.

Mashinter has participated in several NHL games for the Rangers this season, but has spent the majority of his time in the AHL. Beach, who was a high draft pick by the Blackhawks in 2008, has not yet taken to the ice in an NHL contest.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lundqvist Signs Extension With Rangers

"King Henrik" Lundqvist has cemented himself as an all-time New York Ranger by agreeing to a seven-year contract extension begining with the 2014-15 campaign.  The 2012 Vezina winning backstop has clearly become one of the best NHL goalies, and the Rangers will now expect him to remain playing at the highest level, given that he will be paid at the highest level.

Lundqvist's contract carries a total value of $59.5 million or $8.5 million annually.  That makes him the highest paid netminder, by annual average value, starting with the 2014-15 season, by a margin of $1.5 million.


2014 NHL Free Agent Goaltenders - Top 5



The Top 5 NHL Goaltenders Set for Free Agency in July, 2014



1.  Henrik Lundqvist  

UPDATE:  Lundqvist agreed to a seven-year deal with the New York Rangers, beginning with the 2014-15 campaign, at a total value of $59.5 million. 

All indications have been that the New York Rangers want to re-sign Henrik Lundqvist prior to free agency. It also seems as if Lundqvist wants to remain the goaltender for the Blueshirts.  Yet, no deal has been made to date, extending "King Henrik" past July, 2014 with New York.  Lundqvist has made it clear that he will not accept contract negotiations becoming a distraction during the 2013-14 NHL season.  



2.  Ryan Miller



There has been much speculation that the Buffalo Sabres were considering a trade of their star netminder.  

Actually, it's probably a bit more than speculation, since Buffalo's GM, Darcy Regier has stated that discussions he has had with other General Managers involve taking money in any trade of Miller or his teammate Thomas Vanek.  At this point, if the Sabres don't play well in the first half of the 2013-14 season, there is a considerable chance that Miller will be traded prior to the March 5, 2014 NHL trade deadline.  If that does not happen, obviously, how the Sabres play in 2013-14 as a team, will affect how both Miller and the Buffalo organization approach any potential re-signing.


3. Martin Brodeur



If Brodeur plays in the NHL for the 2014-15 season, it will be with the New Jersey Devils.  How the net-sharing duties work out this season between Marty and Cory Schneider, acquired in the draft-day trade with the Vancouver Canucks, will go a long way in determining whether Brodeur returns.  In the end though, Brodeur is, as considered by many, the best goaltender to ever play the game.  He'll retire as a New Jersey Devil when he feels that he can no longer contribute at the highest level.   





4. Jonas Hiller



Hiller, the Anaheim Ducks Swiss-born netminder, has shared his goaltending duties with Viktor Fasth recently.  That said, Hiller is still considered a "number one" goalie.  All seven playoff games in 2012-13 for the Ducks were 'tended by Hiller, and he put up a very respectable .917 save percentage and 2.46 GAA.  If Fasth plays as well as he did last season however, the Ducks may elect to let Hiller go the free agent route while looking to re-sign Fasth, whose contract comes due one year later.  





5.  Jaroslav Halak



Halak ceded some net time to Brian Elliott with the St. Louis Blues in 2013, due to an injury.  Still, Halak should get the nod as the primary netminder in St. Louis, unless his plays slips to the point that the Blues' management chooses to insert Elliott on a more regular basis.  Both Halak and Elliott will be unrestricted free agents in 2014.  Halak's cap hit for 2013-14 is $3.75 million according to capgeek.com, while Elliott has come with an annual price tag of $1.8 million. The Blues also have young Jake Allen who will be competing for a spot on the roster this season.  










Blue Jackets Bring McKenna Back With Bobrovsky Injured

With the recent injury to Vezina-winning netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, the Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled goaltender Mike McKenna from their AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons, according to the team's website.

Bobrovsky will be on IR and miss four to five weeks.  While he is out, the net will be tended by Curtis McElhinney, with McKenna backing him up.  The 30 year-old McKenna has seen 17 regular season games in the NHL, putting up an .887 save percentage.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oilers Recall Jason LaBarbera

An injury to their newly acquired netminder has led the Edmonton Oilers to recall goaltender Jason LaBarbera from Oklahoma City of the AHL according to nbcsports.com.  With Ilya Bryzgalov ailing, Devan Dubnyk will be the starter and LaBarbera available for relief.  The 33 year-old backstop has extensive NHL and AHL experience, and will provide key insurance due to unforseen injury to Dubnyk.  

Senators Recall Hoffman

The Ottawa Senators have recalled forward Mike Hoffman according to The Hockey News and the team's website.  Hoffman, a left wing from Ontario who was selected by the Senators in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL entry draft, has played in four regular season NHL games over the past two seasons.  While playing with the Senators' AHL affiliate in Binghamton this season, Hoffman has notched an impressive 26 points in 21 games.  In other recent moves, Ottawa has assigned defenseman Mark Borowiecki and Derek Grant to Binghamton.

Did you know.......Hoffman scored 52 goals in 62 regular season games while playing in the QMJHL in 2008-09?   

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