Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Roy Traded to Oilers from Predators

As reported on the Edmonton Oilers' official website, the team has traded for centerman Derek Roy from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Mark Arcobello.

Roy, a 31-year-old pivot who is on a one-year deal valued at $1 million, had played in 26 games with the Predators this season, notching 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists). He spent 2013-14 with the St. Louis Blues, putting up a respectable 37 points (9 goals, 28 assists) in 75 games. He is viewed as top four centerman who will bolster the Oilers' forwards with a veteran presence.

Arcobello, a right-handed forward who played his college hockey at Yale University, spent 36 games with Edmonton this season, notching 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists). He spent some time last season with the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City, but the priority of the campaign with Edmonton where he put up 18 points in 41 games. The 26 year-old hailing from Connecticut is also on a one-year deal, at $600K for 2014-15.



Monday, December 29, 2014

Halak Off Injured Reserve

It was a short stint on the IR for New York Islanders' goaltender Jaroslav Halak.  As reported by Newsday, Halak has been removed from injured reserve and could play in net as early as Monday.  The injury to Halak is described as a lower-body injury, but as noted in the Newsday article, Halak missed significant time in net two years ago due to a groin injury.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Halak to IR, Poulin Recalled

The New York Islanders have placed goaltender Jaroslav Halak on injured reserve, and have recalled netminder Kevin Poulin, as reported on NHL.com.   Halak's placement on IR is retroactive to December 20.  The injury to Halak has been reported as a "lower-body" injury.  The veteran goaltender has been extremely solid in net for the Isles this season, putting up an impressive .919 save percentage and 2.24 goals-against-average.  Halak's performance this season has helped New York remain one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference during the first part of the 2013-14 season.

Poulin has also been solid in net for the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season.  His .928 save percentage and 2.41 goals-against-average at the AHL level afford the Islanders the ability to rely on Poulin as a solid backup if and when required.  

NHL Moves - Blue Jackets, Flames, Hurricanes, Blues, Sharks

As reported on the Columbus Blue Jackets' website, the team has recalled center Sean Collins.  The left-shooting forward hailing from Saskatoon had put up 19 points in 27 games with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL this season.

The Calgary Flames have recalled defenseman Corey Potter from their AHL affiliate Adirondack Flames, according to the team's website.  The journeyman blue liner who played his college hockey at Michigan State has 5 assists in 19 contests at the AHL level this season.  Last season saw him play with both the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers at the NHL level.

The Carolina Hurricanes are bolstering their offense with a call up from the AHL, bringing up forward Brendan Woods from the Charlotte Checkers as reported on their website.  The 22-year-old Woods has played in 29 games for the Checkers this season, putting up a healthy 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists).

Petteri Lindbohm was called up by the St. Louis Blues, as reported by CBS St. Louis , after spending some time with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.  Lindbohm has played in 8 NHL games this season, notching an assist.  He has spent the majority of his time this season with the Wolves, appearing in 23 contests and notching 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists).

Micheal Haley has been brought up from Worcester by the San Jose Sharks according to the San Jose Mercury News.  The centerman will add some toughness, necessary due to the suspension of John Scott.  Haley has played in 27 games with Worcester this season, scoring 10 goals and adding 3 assists.  He has also racked up 60 penalty minutes.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Isles Recall Goaltender Poulin

The New York Islanders have recalled goaltender Kevin Poulin according to Arthur Staple of Newsday. It is expected that Poulin will back up Chad Johnson in net for tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens.






Penguins Call Up Uher From Wilkes-Barre / Scranton

The Pittsburgh Penguins have called up forward Dominik Uher from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, as reported in the Post-Gazette.  The 21 year-old hailing from the Czech Republic has played in 29 games at the AHL level this season, scoring 4 goals and adding 5 assists.  It's thought that Uher will fill the spot vacated due to the Blake Comeau injury, sustained on Monday.  If Uher sees ice time with Pittsburgh in their contest with Tampa Bay on Tuesday evening, it will be his first NHL regular season appearance.  

Armia Called Up by Sabres

As reported on Twitter by the Buffalo Sabres, Joel Armia has been called up from the Rochester Americans of the AHL. In 21 games with Rochester this year, Armia has put up a healthy 16 points.




Monday, December 22, 2014

Capitals Recall Burakovsky, Volpatti

As reported at prohockeytalk.com, the Washington Capitals have recalled both Andre Burakovsky and Aaron Volpatti from their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears.  Volpatti, who has been recovering from an injury, was subsequently placed on long-term injured reserve.  Burakovsky has played most of this season with the Capitals, appearing only briefly for Hershy in the AHL.  Burakovsky, the Capitals first round draft pick in 2013, received an opportunity to put in some significant game-time on-ice during his assignment with the Bears, according to the Washington Post

NHL Moves - Sabres: Pysyk and Schaller Called Up

The Buffalo Sabres recalled two AHL players on Sunday, in Mark Pysyk and Tim Schaller, as reported in The Buffalo News.  Pysyk, who was Buffalo's first round draft pick in 2010, had been manning the blue line in Rochester for Buffalo's AHL affiliate Americans this seasons, playing in 28 contests and notching 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists).  Pysyk is up in the NHL while some of his teammates are out with injuries.  Although he may be designated for assingment in the near future, he certainly has fans in the Sabres' organization.   As quoted in the Buffalo News:
“I’m a big Mark Pysyk fan,” coach Ted Nolan said before the game. “It’s just circumstances right now, and we’ll see what happens in the future. He’s a solid player, a solid kid. He’s biding his time and doing what needs to be done in order to be here permanently. This kid has potential to be one of the leaders of this organization for many years to come, so I’m glad he gets a chance tonight.”
Tim Schaller, who played his college hockey at Providence, scored a goal against the Boston Bruins in his return to the NHL upon his callup with Pysyk.  Schaller's stat line aslo included 3 hits and a blocked shot, making it a rather successful return to the Sabres, although the team dropped the contest to the Bruins.





Sunday, December 21, 2014

NHL Moves - Bruins, Penguins, Red Wings, Sabres,

As reported on NESN.com, the Boston Bruins have elected to designate defenseman Joe Morrow for assignment to their AHL affiliate in Providence.  The move is seen in a positive light as Morrow will be able to get the playing time that he was not seeing while with Boston.  The 22-year old blueliner has appeared in 15 games with big Bruins this season, notching a goal.  He spent the previous campaign with Providence, appearing in 56 games and garnering 29 points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled two defensemen in Taylor Chorney and Derrick Pouliot as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Chorney has been playing with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, where he's picked up 6 points in 25 contests.  Pouliot, who was drafted eighth overall by the Penguins in 2012, has led the AHL squad in scoring this season to-date, with seven goals and 13 assists in just 23 games.

Tom McCollum has been recalled by the Detroit Red Wings, according to Ansar Khan at mlive.com.  The big netminder had previously played one regular season game with the Wings in 2010-11.  This season has seen McCollum save at a .903 percentage.  McCollum will reportedly back up Petr Mrazek for Sunday's contest with the Colorado Avalanche. To make room on the Detroit roster, the Red Wings designated Xavier Ouellet for assignment.  Ouellet played in nine games for the Wings this season, contributing a goal and an assist.

Forward Johan Larsson was called up by the Buffalo Sabres, scoring his first NHL goal, and Buffalo's only goal, in their 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the First Niagra Center, according to the Buffalo News.  The young winger has played in 5 contests this season for Buffalo, after appearing in 28 during the 2013-14 campaign.

Also called up to the NHL by Buffalo was their number 12 overall draft pick from 2012, Mikhail Grigorenko.  The Sabres' prospect centered the line on which Larsson played in both young players' first game back with Buffalo.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jets Trade For Harrison

The Winnipeg Jets have traded with the Carolina Hurricanes, acquiring defenseman Jay Harrison in exchange for a sixth round draft pick in the 2015 NHL entry draft, according to NHL.com.

As reported in the Winnipeg Free Press, the Jets' defensive corps has been decimated. Within hours of the news that Winnipeg would be without defenseman Mark Stuart until the mid-winter timeframe, the Jets had completed the trade for veteran blueliner Harrison.

As noted in The News-Observer, Harrison had previously played for current Jets head coach Paul Maurice while both were with the Hurricanes.








Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sabres and Blue Jackets AHL Forward Trade

In a trade announced on Tuesday, December 16, the Buffalo Sabres received AHL forward Jerry D'Amigo from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for AHL forward Luke Adam, according to NHL.com.

D'Amigo, who was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2009, and hails from Binghamton, NY, played in 22 NHL games with the Leafs last season, notching 3 points.

Adam is a left-shooting centerman who was drafted by the Sabres in 2008, and has seen 87 NHL regular season games.  In those 87 contests, he's notched 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Erixon Traded to Blackhawks for Morin

At least two NHL teams have decided to make a significant roster move prior to the holiday freeze period.  As reported by CBS Sports, the Chicago Blackhawks have traded Jeremy Morin to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Tim Erixon.

Tim Erixon, a big young defenseman, had played in 20 games for the Blue Jackets this season, notching 6 points (goal, 5 assists).  He is currently signed to a one-year deal worth $600K.

Jeremy Morin meanwhile is a young forward making $800K annually on a two-year deal expiring after next season.  He had notched 11 points in 24 games last season.  In 15 games this season, he has not yet tallied a point.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

2014 NHL Holiday Roster Freeze

The National Hockey League will be enacting a roster freeze for the holiday season, which will take place between 11:59 p.m. on December 19 and 12:01 a.m. on December 28. There will be no trades occurring within this time period. Loans are also prohibited during this time period. The waiver situation gets a little bit more murky however. According to the Carolina Hurricanes website, players can be claimed after the freeze, if they were put on waivers prior to the beginning of the freeze. A player on emergency recall can also be returned to the AHL during the freeze period. For more detail, see the information on the Hurricanes' website.




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Spezza Trade to Dallas

The Ottawa Senators traded Jason Spezza and Ludwig Karlsson to the Dallas Stars in exhcnage for Alex Chiasson, Nicholas Paul and Alexander Guptill, according to NHL.com. It is expected that Spezza will play center on the second line, with Tyler Seguin (acquired from Boston last year) playing the pivot on the first line.

Spezza is entering the final year of a seven-year contract, for which he will be paid $4 million, but count $7 million against the cap. There are several Stars players who carry a higher salary for 2014-15.

The trade makes the Stars very strong up the middle, with Seguin, Spezza, as well as Cody Eakin and Shawn Horcoff playing the pivot. It's also thought that Valeri Nichushkin could eventually spend time at the center position.

In the trade, the Stars give up a winger in Alex Chiasson, who notched 39 points in 79 regular season games for 2013-14.

As for Ottawa, Chiasson's cap hit for next season is under $1 million, and the trade clears some significant room under the cap for the Senators. Their overall cap payroll sits at just above $50 million for next season, which gives them room to make a big acquisition if they feel it will help them advance through the Stanley Cup Playoffs.






Iginla Signs with Avalanche

Long-time Calgary Flame forward Jarome Iginla has signed a contract with the Colorado Avalanche for three-years at $16 million total. According to NBC Sports, the cap hit is $5.3 million annually. This will be Iginla's fourth NHL team in the last few years (Calgary Flames, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche).

The Edmonton native continues to excel offensively, putting up 61 points in 78 regular season games for 2013-14, despite getting on in years, as far as professional hockey players go, at 37.

Iginla has not scored less than 30 goals in a full (82-game) NHL season since 1999-2000 (when he scored 29). Colorado was fourth overall in 2013-14 for goals-per-game, and that kind of output should only improve with the addition of a goal-scorer like Iginla.

As far as salaries go, for 2014-15, Iginla will be tied for the second-highest paid player on the Avalanche with Matt Duchene, behind goaltender Seymon Varlamov.



Saturday, June 28, 2014

2014 NHL Draft Day Trades

List of 2014 NHL Draft Day Trades 

1.  Ryan Kesler and third-round draft pick in the 2015 NHL draft traded by the Vancouver Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Anaheim's first and third-round draft picks in the 2014 NHL draft.

2.  Jason Garrison, rights to Jeff Costello, and seventh-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft traded by the Vancouver Canucks to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Vancouver's 2014 second-round draft pick.

3.  Derek Dorsett traded by the New York Rangers to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Vancouver's third-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft.

4.  James Neal traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

5.  The San Jose Sharks traded the 20th and 179th picks in the 2014 NHL draft to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for the 27th and 62nd draft picks in 2014.

6.  The New York Islanders traded the 35th and 57th picks in the 2014 NHL draft to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for the 28th overall pick in the 2014 draft.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hartnell Traded to Columbus for Umberger, Pick

The Philadelphia Flyers have traded forward Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward R.J. Umberger and a fourth-round draft pick in the 2015 NHL draft, according to NHL.com.  

Umberger had started his NHL career with the Flyers before he was traded to the Blue Jackets in 2008.  

Hartnell's most recent NHL season saw him pick up 52 points, with 20 of those being goals.  

In 2013-14, Umberger netted 18 pucks and had 34 points overall.  



Saturday, June 14, 2014

2015 NHL Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) Defensemen

The 2015 NHL unrestricted free agent class of defensemen may not be considered deep, but there are some key blueliners who will be highly sought after following the 2014-15 NHL season.

Tops on the list of acquisition targets might be the Washington Capitals' Mike Green.  The native of Calgary, Alberta has spent his entire NHL career to-date with the team from the U.S. capital.  Green will be of most value to a team looking to a defenseman who can lead the power play and provide an offensive burst.  


Green will be coming off of a three-year deal worth a total of $18.25 million when he is eligible for free agency.

Paul Martin is another key NHL defenseman who will become available in July of 2015, if not re-signed earlier by the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The well-rounded d-man who began his NHL career in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils will be highly sought after by a team looking to bolster their blue line with a bit of offensive spark.  Martin's current deal is $25 million over five years.  His next contract will most likely be for a shorter duration, but at about the same AAV.

The New York Rangers will need to come to terms with defenseman Marc Staal prior to July of 2015, or risk losing the big blueliner to free agency.  Although he has had some struggles with injuries (notably concussion), he has battled to prove that he can play defense among the best in the league.  Staal will be 28 years old when his free agent eligibility arises, and he'll be coming off of a 5-year, $19.875 million contract.  It's been made clear by Staal that he would like to address his contract over the 2014 summer, as quoted by Larry Brooks in the New York Daily News:
“For me, the contract situation is definitely something I would like to take care of over the summer. That’s the goal, but that also has to be the way management looks at it, too, in order to get it done.”

Scoring a Stanley Cup clinching goal would seem to be a factor in the re-signing of young defenseman Alec Martinez after the 2014-15 campaign, for the Los Angeles Kings.  Martinez, who has proven the value of his shot from the point, will be 27 when he is eligible for free agency.  With his best NHL season, statistically, having happened in 2013-14, it's not hard to imagine a significant pay increase coming for Martinez starting in 2015-16.



One of the "not-so-young" d-men that will be staring down free agency is the Anaheim Ducks' Sheldon Souray.  The skilled veteran will be closing out a 3-year $11 million deal after the 2014-15 NHL season concludes, when he will be 38 years of age.  If Souray is healthy and still has the desire to play, there will be several teams courting him and his big shot from the point.

Of the defensemen coming off of more expensive contract terms, Lubomir Visnovsky is near the head of the list.  Visnovsky, who will like Souray, be 38 years old when he is eligible for free agency, will be concluding a 2-year, $9.5 million contract.  The quick power-play quarterback has averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game for the Islanders the past two seasons.  Although Visnovsky appeared in limited games due to concussion issues, with his offensive skill on the point, it wouldn't be surprising to see Visnovsky back in the blue and orange for 2015-16.

To see the full list of UFA defensemen for 2015, head over to capgeek.com.










Sunday, June 1, 2014

2015 NHL Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) Forwards

2015 will be a pivotal year for the Chicago Blackhawks, and in particular their two key free-agents to-be.  When the 2014-15 NHL season concludes, Chicago's top two forwards, Patrick Kane and Jonathan
Toews will be addressing the free agent market (unless, of course, the Blackhawks wisely sign them to contract extensions).

Jonathan Toews will be 27 and concluding a five-year, $31.5 million contract with Chicago after the 2014-15 NHL season.  The skilled defensive forward, who also does his fair share of scoring, is the captain of the Blackhawks squad that could be called the best NHL team overall, in the past five seasons.  It's doubtful that Chicago would let Toews walk, and likewise doubtful that he would leave the team if they gave him a reasonable contract offer.


 Patrick Kane, the number one overall draft pick in 2007 by the Blackhawks, will be 26 when his current contract expires with Chicago.  The winger garnered a contract equal to that of his teammate, Jonathan Toews, at 5 years and $31.5 million.  The Buffalo native has merited the deal he signed, averaging a point or more in four of his seven regular seasons.  His success has spilled over into the postseason as well, with Kane raising the Conn Smythe trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP in 2013.  Kane's offensive skillset will be in high demand across the league.  Chicago will need to offer a very competitive contract to retain their offensive leader.

While the two key Blackhawks will play a pivotal role in the 2014-15 NHL Free Agent market, the most coveted, and highly paid, unrestricted free agent, will most likely be the Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza.  The scoring forward has been playing with the Senators since the 2002-03 season, racking up points along the way.  Spezza will be finishing up a seven-year deal, worth $49 million, after the 2014-15 NHL season.  What did he do to earn that kind of contract?  Well, the season before his current contract started, Spezza notched 92 points in 76 regular season games.  He's remained consistently productive when healthy, notching 66 points in 75 regular season games in 2013-14.  At 31 years of age when he is eligible for free agency, expect another big payday for this highly regarded forward.

One of Spezza's Ottawa teammates will also be looking at significant competition for his services.  Winger Bobby Ryan is more of a pure goal-scorer for which several NHL teams certainly have a need.  One of the teams in particular that could use his skill, is the New Jersey Devils.  It would not be surprising to see Ryan wearing the red and black in the Garden State for the 2015-16 season.   Ryan will be coming off a 5 year, $25.5 million deal that began when he was with the Anaheim Ducks.  His first season as a Senator was a success personally, as he notched 23 goals to go with 25 assists in 70 regular season games.

Another young goal scorer who will be facing free agency in 2015 is the tough Chris Stewart of the Buffalo Sabres.  The Toronto-born winger has amassed 115 goals and 113 assists in his 382 regular season games through the 2013-14 season.  He's also racked up a decent amount of penalty minutes in his NHL tenure.  Stewart will be 27 at the time of free agency and coming off a two-year, $8.3 millon contract.

You can see the full list of 2015 NHL unrestricted free agent forwards at capgeek.com.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wild Trade with Blackhawks: Swap Defenseman for Forward

The Minnesota Wild have traded for forward Brad Winchester from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Brian Connelly, according to NBC Sports.  This is the first NHL trade since the Olympic roster freeze went into place in early February.

Winchester, a Wisconsin native who played four years in college for the Badgers, was most recently with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, where he had a strong 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists) in 55 games.  His last NHL ice time was with the San Jose Sharks, where he scored 6 goals to go with 4 assists in 67 regular season appearances.

He has also spent NHL-time with the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, and Edmonton Oilers. All-told he has recorded 37 goals and 31 assists in regular season NHL ice-time.  He is a scrappy player as well, having racked up 552 penalty minutes in the NHL.  He carries a $550K cap hit on a one-year deal ending in 2014.

Connelly is a left-shooting defenseman who played for Colorado College.  The 27 year-old Minnesota native has spent the past few seasons playing the blueline in the AHL where he has been quite adept at connecting with his teammates to set up goals.  He is finishing up a two-year deal carrying an annual cap hit of $612,500 which ends in 2014, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

NHL Trade Notes: Flyers, O'Brien

Although the Philadelphia Flyers need to strengthen their defensive corps, Tim Panaccio reports on csnphilly.com that he is not aware of any significant upgrades the Flyers could make prior to the trade deadline on March 5, based on the players who are available or likely to be dealt.  At the Olympic break, the Flyers currently sit 17th overall in goals-against-per-game with a 2.75 mark, and they are 20th overall in plus/minus with a -8 mark.

Veteran Shane O'Brien is awaiting a trade from the Calgary Flames organization according to the Calgary Herald.  The 30 year-old blue liner has suited up in 528 regular season NHL games, racking up 91 points and 911 penalty minutes.  He was recently sent to the Flames' AHL affiliate in Abbotsford.  O'Brien still wants to compete at the NHL level, and according to the Herald article, interim-GM Brian Burke has indicated that he will try to conduct a trade of O'Brien to a team where he might be able to provide his services at the NHL level.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

No Major NHL Trades and Roster Freeze In Place; What's Next?

So, in the end, it wasn't much of an artificial trade deadline, as far as the volume and impact of the NHL trades which were made prior to the roster freeze going into place at 3 p.m. ET.  The NHL will be taking a break from play after this weekend, as some of their elite players head over to Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

But no huge trades occured prior to the roster freeze.  Ryan Miller is still a Buffalo Sabre.  So is Matt Moulson.  Sam Gagner is still wearing blue and orange, as is Thomas Vanek (although for a separate team).  And Ray Whitney is still on the Dallas Stars.

This could all very well change once the roster freeze is lifted on February 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET.  There will be just about ten days for trades to happen before the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET on March 5.  It would be far from surprising if there was a flurry of trade activity in that ten day time span.

Here are more details on some of the names mentioned as being in play for major trades once that roster freeze is lifted:
  • Ryan Miller - Although new Buffalo Sabres' GM Tim Murray has indicated that it is more a matter of if, than when, Miller will be traded, he has confirmed that there have been trade talks involving the American goaltender, but Murray hasn't found the right trade deal yet.  The teams who have been speculated to have the most interest in Miller and his services include the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild.
  • Thomas Vanek - He's already stated that he wants to test free agency.  It has been confirmed that Vanek turned down a substantial offer from the New York Islanders and GM Garth Snow.  It was widely rumored that the offer was for 7 years at $50 million total.  Will Vanek get more than that in the free agent market?  We will see when he tests it in July.  But prior to that timeframe, he is likely to be traded by the Islanders.  They are not a playoff contender at this stage of the season, and with a public statement that Vanek is going to test free agency, there is really no strong reason to keep him on the roster.  One team in particular which needs scoring help, and has been speculated to be very interested in Vanek, is the Los Angeles Kings.  Don't be surprised if Vanek is wearing black and silver before the trade deadline passes, and if the Islanders land a defenseman, prospects or draft picks in return.  
  • Matt Moulson - The Sabres are another team that is not in playoff contention, with upcoming UFA's to be traded.  It just so happens that Moulson was traded once this season, for the aforementioned Thomas Vanek.  And they are both likely to be traded again.  Moulson, who has 15 goals and 18 assists this season between Buffalo and New York, has sparked interest from at least a dozen NHL teams.  The catch here is that Moulson was on the injured reserve prior to the roster freeze, but he is expected to be back on the ice after the Olympic break.  
  • Sam Gagner - The Los Angeles Kings need scoring help.  Sam Gagner can provide that help.  And the Edmonton Oilers probably need to shake things up a bit to get going.  Gagner, who is signed through the 2015-16 season at a $4.8 million cap hit, has 24 points in 47 games for Edmonton this season.  Kyle Clifford has been mentioned as a possible player to be involved in any trade between the Kings and Oilers.  Clifford would give the Oilers some toughness and size, without a huge cap hit.  The deal seems to make sense for both teams.  
  • Dave Bolland - He was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks for several seasons, winning two Stanley Cups with the team that drafted him.  But he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs not long after hoisting the most recent Stanley Cup in 2013.  There has been speculation recently that the Maple Leafs, knowing that Bolland could explore the free agent market in July of this year, might be willing to trade him.  Bolland, like Moulson, is coming back from an injury, which makes the trade possibilities here a little cloudy.  
  • Ryan Callahan - Callahan, a Rochester, NY native, will be representing Team USA in Sochi for two weeks in February.  There was vast speculation that if the New York Rangers and their current captain couldn't come to an agreement on a contract extension before the Olympic roster freeze, that Callahan would be playing in the Olympics while a member of an NHL team other than the Rangers.  But it didn't happen.  That doesn't mean a trade won't happen after the Olympics are over.  Rangers' fans, and I would think Rangers' team management also, want Callahan to remain a blueshirt.  It seems that a sticking point in contract negotiations has been the length of contract that Callahan is seeking.  He reportedly wants seven years with above $6.5 million annually, while the Rangers' management would like to see a shorter-term contract.  This situation, and the potential for a trade, is made even more interesting by the fact that the Rangers are playing well and are squarely in the playoff hunt as the standings currently sit.  

Trade: Boston and Columbus, Parlett, Camper

The Boston Bruins traded with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, acquiring defenseman Blake Parlett and sending pivot Carter Camper west to Columbus, as reported by the Providence Journal.

Parlett was most recently playing on the blue line for the Springfield Falcons of the AHL.  He was formerly a part of the New York Rangers' farm system and was traded to Columbus as part of the deal for Marian Gaborik.  The 24 year-old is an offensive blueliner, racking up 18 points in 37 games for Springfield this season.

Camper, who played his college hockey at Miami University (Ohio), is a 25 year-old forward who has seen a few games in the NHL with the Bruins (during the 2011-12 season).  He can certainly put the puck in the net, but his forte is as a set-up man.  Camper was most recently with the Providence Bruins where he amassed 31 points in 41 games.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Islanders Trade Bouchard and Regin to Blackhawks

The New York Islanders have traded Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin to the Chicago Blackhawks in return for a 4th round draft pick in 2014, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Bouchard, a 29 year-old forward, carries a $2 million cap hit for 2013-14.  The former number 8 overall draft pick has played in 28 games with the Islanders this season, scoring nine points.  Over his NHL career, which began in 2002-03 with the Minnesota Wild, he has notched 356 points in 593 games.  

The 27 year-old Regin, a pivot from Denmark, was playing in his first season with the Islanders, where he appeared in 44 games, scoring seven points.  Regin carries a $750K cap hit for this season.  

Where Will Thomas Vanek Be Traded? Los Angeles Kings?

A few teams are reportedly looking at Thomas Vanek for scoring help down the stretch.  The New York Islanders know that Vanek will be exploring the free agent market come July.  With playoff potential slim for the Isles, they would be best suited to deal the Austrian goal-scorer for draft picks or prospects.  The teams which have been mentioned as potential landing spots for Vanek include the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild.  There has been particular speculation that the Kings have interest in Vanek to boost their scoring.  The Kings currently sit near the bottom of the pack in the NHL in the goals-per-game category.  Would the Kings benefit from an offensive producer like Vanek?  Certainly.  But do they have the cap room to take on his salary?  Not yet.  They'd need to move some current players, as well as throw in a draft pick or prospect to make the deal happen.  Don't be surprised if they figure out a trade to satisfy both the Kings and Islanders though.

Trade: Pittsburgh and Columbus Swap AHL Forwards

The Pittsburgh Penguins traded forward Paul Thompson, who had been playing with their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre Scranton, to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for forward Spencer Machacek.

Thompson has been assigned to Columbus' AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons according to the team's website.  In 39 games with the Penguins AHL affiliate, he notched seven points this season.  Thompson is a goal-scorer who outpaced his assists last season.

Machacek, who has been assigned to Wilkes-Barre Scranton, is a set-up man who can also put the puck in the net.  He has spent 25 games in the NHL between the Winnipeg Jets and the Atlanta Thrashers, who drafted him.  In that time span, he has notched nine points (2 goals, 7 assists).  

Los Angeles and Montreal Trade AHL Forwards

The Los Angeles Kings traded forward Robert Czarnik to the Montreal Canadiens in return for Steve Qualier.  The 24 year-old Czarnik, who was drafted by the Kings in 2008, has spent 29 games with the Manchester Monarchs this season, notching five points.  In 2010-11 while with the Plymouth Whalers, Czarnik amassed 77 points in 61 games.

Quailer, who was also drafted in 2008, has played in 12 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs this season, picking up 5 points, with a plus 7 on-ice.  

San Jose and Minnesota Trade AHL Players

The San Jose Sharks and the Minnesota Wild traded current AHL players on Wednesday, with Chad Rau going to San Jose and Curt Gogol coming east to Minnesota.

Gogol is an enforcer who has racked up 149 PIM in 40 games with the Worcester Sharks this season.  Rau is a goal-scorer and set-up man who has notched 7 points in 33 games with the Iowa Wild this season.   He had 16 goals and 11 assists last season for the Houston Aeros.   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

NHL Trade Talk: Whitney, Coyotes, Seguin, Sabres, Bolland, Miller

Would Ray Whitney be a good fit with the Phoenix Coyotes? That's the suggestion in a recent USA Today article. Whitney came to the Dallas Stars after a couple years with the Coyotes.  The 41 year-old forward had 77 points in his most recent season in the desert, a mere season and a half ago.  Phoenix sits four points behind the Los Angeles Kings, fighting for that third playoff spot in the Pacific Division.  In further updated NHL movement news and notes:

  • Tyler Seguin was almost a Buffalo Sabre?  That was the case, per the Dallas Morning News.  There was apparently a deal on the table to swap Thomas Vanek to the Boston Bruins, in exchange for Seguin.  Obviously that deal fell through and Seguin wound up with the Dallas Stars, where he has produced successfully. 
  • A recent article in the Toronto Sun asks whether the Toronto Maple Leafs would consider trading Dave Bolland?  The 27 year-old center who was a member of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks last season, has been limited to 15 games in 2013-14 due to an injury suffered in early November.  He played well in those 15 games however, scoring 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists).  The question comes down to contract status, and the fact that he will become a UFA after this season.  If Toronto doesn't think they can sign him to an extension, do they trade him?  Then again, it would be very difficult to trade a player who is currently injured.   
  • There has been no contract or trade talk recently between Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres management team, according to a recent report by the Buffalo News.  Miller is set to face his Team USA coach on Wednesday evening taking to the net against Dan Bylsma and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He may also play against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday evening, the Sabres last game before the Olympic break.  





NHL Trade Notes: Oilers, Kings, Gagner, Predators, Legwand, Vanek and Diaz

It's been surprisingly quiet as we approach the roster freeze imposed by the 2014 Olympic break.  Will there be a flurry of trades and transactions prior to Friday at 3 p.m.?  In advance of any deal announcements, here is the hearsay going on around the NHL.

  • According to the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings have had very serious talks of a trade involving Sam Gagner.  The 24 year-old pivot has notched 23 points in 45 games this season, and has tallied more than 40 points in each full regular season (he had 38 in 2012-13) since joining the Oilers as an 18 year-old in 2007-08.  As noted in the Journal article, the Kings sit 29th in the NHL in goals-scored, so they could certainly use the offense that Gagner would provide.  Gagner is in the first year of a three year deal carrying a $4.8 million cap hit.  
  • Given the recent slump that the Kings have been in, the Los Angeles Daily News suggests that it's a matter of time before a trade is made by GM Dean Lombardi: "The Kings have so lacked offensive chemistry in recent weeks, it’s becoming less a question of if general manager Dean Lombardi will seek outside help but when. More specifically: Will the trade come before or after the Olympic-sized moratorium beginning at noon Friday and ending at 8:59 p.m. on Feb. 23?"  made Lombardi made some shrewd moves in recent years, acquiring Dustin Penner, and more famously, Jeff Carter in February of 2012, which led to the Kings hoisting the Stanley Cup.
  • If the Nashville Predators are indeed trying to acquire a first or second round pick for the services of David Legwand as has been suggsted, Legwand would need to sign off on the deal as he holds a no-movement clause, as noted by nbcsports.com.  The 33 year-old pivot is in the final year of a six-year contract, carrying a cap hit of $4.5 million.  He has been a strong set-up man for Nashville in 2013-14 with 29 assists in 57 games. 
  • While it was widely reported that Thomas Vanek had turned down a contract offer from the New York Islanders, there is much speculation that whether or not he is traded this season, he would like to end up with the Minnesota Wild.  Vanek played collegiately in Minnesota for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, as a key piece of the team that won the 2003 NCAA Championship.  
  • Raphael Diaz scored a goal in his first game with the Vancouver Canucks, after a trade from the Montreal Canadiens.  He will face his old team in Montreal on Thursday, Feb. 6.  

Opinion: Rangers Fans Don't Want Callahan To Go

The New York Rangers' fans don't want to see Ryan Callahn traded.  Not when he can produce like he did in last night's game at home against the Colorado Avalanche.  As reported by the Daily News, Rangers' fans chanted "Cally!" in the final minute of play, happy to have their captain in Manhattan.  Will the fans' desires be heard by GM Glen Sather and lead both player and team management to compromise on a deal?  Time will only tell.  One thing seems clear however.  Callahan can lead the Rangers, and the fans want him to do so.    

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trade: Diaz to Vancouver, Weise to Montreal

The Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenseman Raphael Diaz from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Dale Weise as reported by nbcsports.com. With the Canucks facing a bevy of injuries recently, the 28 year-old veteran blueliner should bolster Vancouver's defensive corps. Diaz will be finishing up a two year deal this season which carries a $1.225 million cap hit for 2013-14. He has 11 assists in 46 games for Montreal this season.  Dale Weise has a $750K cap hit on a one year deal, after which he becomes an RFA.  The winger has 12 points in 44 games with the Canucks this season.



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blue Jackets Involved in Trade Talks with Rangers?

As reported by Reuters, the Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen declined to comment on whether his team is involved in trade talks with the New York Rangers, with respect to Ryan Callahan.  The Blue Jackets of course, made a blockbuster trade with the Rangers in 2012, sending Rick Nash, Steve Delisle and a conditional third round pick in 2013 to the Big Apple for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon, as well as the first round draft pick in 2013.  Kekalainen was not the GM for Columbus at the time of that deal, so the history of the previous deal is not extremely relevant here.

The draft pick which Columbus received from New York was used to draft Kerby Rychel with the 14th overall selection in the 2013 draft.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fraser Traded by Leafs to Oilers: Details

Mark Fraser was traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs, as announced on Friday, January 31, to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Cameron Abney and the rights to RFA Teemu Hartikainen.

Fraser, a 27 year-old left-shooting defenseman, had played in 19 games for the Leafs this season, notching one point.  He is a scrappy defender, who was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2005.  While with the Lowell Devils of the AHL in 2008-09, he racked up a hefty 152 penalty minutes in 74 games.

Fraser will give the Oilers a toughness that their coach and management may feel they have been lacking.  He is currently counted as a $600K salary hit against the cap, and will become a restricted free agent after this season.

Cameron Abney is a 22 year-old winger taken in the third round of the 2009 NHL draft by the Oilers.  He has most recently been playing with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL, registering 5 points and 64 penalty minutes in 24 contests. Abney is also a tough young player who will certainly not avoid a scrap.  Abney's contract carries a cap hit of $588,333 for 2013-14 after which he becomes an RFA.

Teemu Hartikainen is a 23 year-old Finnish-born winger, selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2008 draft.  He has seen 52 regular season games with Edmonton, picking up 13 points.  Currently, he is in the KHL, playing for Ufa Salavat Yulayev where he has registered 27 points in 43 games.  You can see a bit of Hartikainen's time with the Oilers here.



  

NHL Trade News, Notes and Just Plain Rumors

USA Today recently looked at the ten most intriguing players approaching the trade deadline this season (they also note the artificial trade deadline of Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. ET, which starts the NHL roster freeze for the 2014 Olympics).  They specifically note the "rental" players, or those who are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, 2014.  On the list are two New York Rangers, two Buffalo Sabres and two Florida Panthers.  

In other NHL trade news and rumors:

  • Matt Moulson, who has been traded once this season, will be out through the Olympic break according to the Buffalo News.  So any trade prior to the February 7 roster freeze is most likely ruled out, due to a recent upper body injury.  With the Sabres likely out of the playoff race, and Moulson becoming a UFA on July 1, he was certainly one of the offensive players to consider when assessing the trade market for Buffalo.  
  • Trade talk continues to swirl around Ryan Callahan and the New York Rangers.  According to TSN and Darren Dreger, at least one team was given permission to speak with Callahan's agent recently.  The St. Louis Blues are rumored to have interest in Callahan.  But there is also a camp of thought that believe Rangers' GM Glenn Sather, while keeping his options open, wants to sign Callahan sooner rather than later, but not necessarily at the asking price of $42 million over seven years.  
  • The Ryan Miller trade talk continues to swirl as we approach the Olympic break and the trade deadline.  Teams that are in playoff contention, who have also been mentioned as serious suitors for Miller's services include:  the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals and the Minnesota Wild.  The Blues have been going with Jaroslav Halak as their number one netminder, and they have been performing very well, closing in on Chicago for the Central division lead.  Halak currently sits tenth overall in GAA at 2.22, while Miller is 25th at 2.59.  But the Blues are known to have one of the best defensive corps around, and the GAA is not purely indicative of each netminders skills, particularly in high stakes contests.  The Washington Capitals have played three goaltenders this season (Holtby, Neuvirth and Grubauer), but could be looking for a netminder with Miller's resume to solidify their chances at a playoff spot this season.  And the Wild have two fairly strong netminders, but neither have been in net on a consistent enough basis to call them a bona fide number one.  
  • As noted on the ECHL website, New York Islanders' defenseman Andrew MacDonald could be a coveted asset as the NHL trade deadline approaches.  The 27 year-old left-handed defenseman has a strong 23 points in 57 games for New York this season.  His skill in setting up teammates to score, as well as his very affordable (by NHL standards) contract will have several cup contending teams looking for his services.   

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ruhwedel Recalled by Buffalo

Chad Ruhwhedel has been recalled by the Buffalo Sabres from their AHL affiliate Rochester Americans.  The 23 year-old defenseman has played in 34 games this season for Rochester, notching 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists).  Ruhwedel was previously with the Sabres in December of last year, but did not see ice time.  He leads all Rochester defenseman in points.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau Sign Extensions with Sharks

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have both signed three-year extensions with the San Jose Sharks, according to NHL.com.  Both Thornton and Marleau were previously set to become unrestricted free agents after this season.

Sharks' General Manager Doug Wilson expressed his sentiments about these two players, as quoted on the team's website:
“Patrick and Joe continue to perform at an elite level in the National Hockey League and, most importantly, they make the other players around them better,” said Wilson. “They both made it very clear that they wanted to stay in San Jose and we were able to agree on contracts that fit with our team building philosophy.”
 Joe Thornton continues to be a leader in assists on a team that is continually competitive.  He is coming off of a three-year, $21 million contract and will be entering a three-year, $20.25 million contract on July 1, 2014.

Scoring Stats Goals Assists Ice Time
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV SH PP S S% ATOI
1997-98 18 BOS 55 3 4 7 -6 19 3 0 0 1 3 0 1 33 9.1 0:00
1998-99 19 BOS 81 16 25 41 3 69 9 7 0 1 17 0 8 128 12.5 15:21
1999-00 20 BOS 81 23 37 60 -5 82 18 5 0 3 29 0 8 171 13.5 21:18
2000-01 21 BOS 72 37 34 71 -4 107 17 19 1 5 27 0 7 181 20.4 21:45
2001-02 22 BOS 66 22 46 68 7 127 16 6 0 5 30 0 16 152 14.5 19:59
2002-03 23 BOS 77 36 65 101 12 109 22 12 2 4 43 0 22 196 18.4 22:33
2003-04 24 BOS 77 23 50 73 18 98 19 4 0 6 38 0 12 187 12.3 21:38
2005-06 26 TOT 81 29 96 125 31 61 18 11 0 6 54 2 40 195 14.9 21:20
2005-06 26 BOS 23 9 24 33 0 6 6 3 0 2 15 1 8 60 15.0 21:33
2005-06 26 SJS 58 20 72 92 31 55 12 8 0 4 39 1 32 135 14.8 21:15
2006-07 27 SJS 82 22 92 114 24 44 12 10 0 5 48 0 44 213 10.3 20:19
2007-08 28 SJS 82 29 67 96 18 59 18 11 0 5 41 0 26 178 16.3 21:24
2008-09 29 SJS 82 25 61 86 16 56 14 11 0 3 37 0 24 139 18.0 19:28
2009-10 30 SJS 79 20 69 89 17 54 15 4 1 2 42 2 25 141 14.2 19:51
2010-11 31 SJS 80 21 49 70 4 47 10 9 2 3 25 0 24 149 14.1 19:52
2011-12 32 SJS 82 18 59 77 17 31 14 4 0 2 39 1 19 156 11.5 20:28
2012-13 33 SJS 48 7 33 40 6 26 5 2 0 1 0 0 0 85 8.2 18:23
2013-14 34 SJS 50 6 47 53 14 10 4 2 0 1 32 1 14 60 10.0 19:02
Career 1175 337 834 1171 172 999 214 117 6 53 505 6 290 2364 14.3 19:18
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/24/2014.

Patrick Marleau has been a consistent goal scorer and a cornerstone of the Sharks franchise.  He is in the top 20 in the goals-scored category for this season, and sits behind only Joe Pavelski on the team.  The 34 year-old winger is coming off a four-year, $27.6 million contract, and will be entering a three-year, $20.0 million contract.

Scoring Stats Goals Assists Ice Time
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV SH PP S S% ATOI
1997-98 18 SJS 74 13 19 32 5 14 12 1 0 2 13 0 6 90 14.4 0:00
1998-99 19 SJS 81 21 24 45 10 24 17 4 0 4 18 0 6 134 15.7 15:11
1999-00 20 SJS 81 17 23 40 -9 36 14 3 0 3 16 0 7 161 10.6 14:11
2000-01 21 SJS 81 25 27 52 7 22 20 5 0 6 20 0 7 146 17.1 16:17
2001-02 22 SJS 79 21 23 44 9 40 18 3 0 5 18 0 5 121 17.4 14:04
2002-03 23 SJS 82 28 29 57 -10 33 19 8 1 3 15 0 14 172 16.3 18:31
2003-04 24 SJS 80 28 29 57 -5 24 19 9 0 5 16 1 12 220 12.7 18:12
2005-06 26 SJS 82 34 52 86 -12 26 13 20 1 4 28 0 24 260 13.1 19:56
2006-07 27 SJS 77 32 46 78 9 33 18 14 0 9 23 0 23 180 17.8 18:34
2007-08 28 SJS 78 19 29 48 -19 33 12 7 0 2 10 0 19 185 10.3 18:14
2008-09 29 SJS 76 38 33 71 16 18 22 11 5 10 24 2 7 251 15.1 21:21
2009-10 30 SJS 82 44 39 83 21 22 28 12 4 6 26 0 13 274 16.1 21:13
2010-11 31 SJS 82 37 36 73 -3 16 24 11 2 9 20 1 15 279 13.3 20:47
2011-12 32 SJS 82 30 34 64 10 26 20 10 0 8 19 0 15 251 12.0 20:29
2012-13 33 SJS 48 17 14 31 -2 24 10 6 1 3 0 0 0 150 11.3 19:07
2013-14 34 SJS 50 21 26 47 11 12 13 7 1 2 17 0 9 183 11.5 20:37
Career 1215 425 483 908 38 403 279 131 15 81 283 4 182 3057 13.9 17:15
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/24/2014.

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