Monday, February 29, 2016

New Jersey Trades Gelinas to Colorado

The New Jersey Devils have traded defenseman Eric Gelinas to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a third round draft. In 34 games with New Jersey this season, Gelinas has six points.

The 24 year old blueliner is under contract through the 2016-17 season at a cap hit of $1.575 million according to capfriendly.com






Mikkel Boedker Traded to Colorado Avalanche

The Arizona Coyotes have traded Mikkel Boedker to the Colorado Avalanche according to a tweet by Hockey Night in Canada:


In 62 games with the Coyotes, Boedker has notched 39 points this season (13 goals, 26 assists).  Set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, his full year cap hit is $3.75 million according to capfriendly.com.

The Coyotes will receive Alex Tanguay, prospects Conner Bleackley and  Kyle Wood, per a tweet from Mike Chambers.  The veteran Tanguay has 22 points in 52 games with Colorado this season.

Plotnikov Traded to Arizona Coyotes

The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded Sergei Plotnikov to the Arizona Coyotes as reported by CBS Pittsburgh.  The trade is reportedly for prospect Mathias Plachta and a conditional seventh round pick in 2017.

Plotnikov, a 25 year-old winger has played in 32 games with the Penguins this season, picking up 2 assists.  

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade for Brooks Laich

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded for Brooks Laich from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Daniel Winnik and a fifth round pick in 2016, according to USA Today.

Laich, a 32 year-old centerman, has played in 60 games with the Capitals this season, scoring seven points (1 goal, 6 assists).  He is under contract through 2016-17 after which he becomes a UFA.  His cap hit is $4.5 million according to capfriendly.com.  He is a shot blocker who plays a two-way game.


Winnik, a 30 year-old pivot, has notched 14 points in 56 games for Toronto this season.  He is under contract through 2016-17 according to capfriendly.com, at a cap hit of $2.25 million.  Here are some highlights from a few years back for Winnik:



As part of the trade, prospect Connor Carrick and a 2016 second round draft pick were also sent to the Maple Leafs.  Carrick is a right-shooting defenseman who has seen three games with the Capitals this season.  In 47 games with the Hershey Bears for 2015-16, he has 26 points.  

Kings Trade for Kris Versteeg

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Kings have traded for Kris Versteeg from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2016.

The deal was made possible under the cap by the Kings putting Marian Gaborik on injured reserve this past Friday.

The conditions surrounding the fifth-round draft pick this season are believed to be related to the number of games played by Versteeg and the success of the Kings in the playoffs, although this has not been confirmed.
The 29 year-old Versteeg has a full season cap hit of $4.4 million, of which $2.2 million is retained by a previous team of his, the Florida Panthers, according to capfriendly.com.  Versteeg is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

In 63 games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Versteeg has notched 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) this season.
The 20 year-old Zykov, who was a second round draft pick of the Kings in 2013, has played in 43 games with the Ontario Reign of the AHL this season, scoring 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists).  

Capitals Trade for Ryan Bourque

The Washington Capitals have traded for Ryan Bourque from the New York Rangers, in exchange for Chris Brown, as reported in the Washington Post.

Bourque, a 25 year-old forward who was drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL entry draft by the Rangers, has played in 56 games with the Hartford Wolfpack this season, with 10 goals and 14 assists. He's on a one-way contract which expires this summer according to capfriendly.com.  Here's a bit more on Ryan Bourque in his own words from the time when he was drafted by New York:


Chris Brown is a 25 year old pivot, drafted in the 2009 selections like Ryan, taken in the second round by the Phoenix Coyotes.  Brown saw one game of action with the Caps this season, but has played primarily with the Hershey Bears.  In 20 games with the Bears, Brown has notched nine points (3 goals, 6 assists).  Brown is on a two-way contract that expires after 2016-17 when he would become a RFA according to capfriendly.com.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Closer Look at the Justin Schultz Trade

With Justin Schultz being traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a third round draft pick in 2016, Pittsburgh will now have seven defenseman in their rotation.

The 25 year-old has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 45 games this season, and the Penguins think he could be a real asset to their team as they make their playoff push.


Schultz is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, so the Penguins will retain negotiating rights with the heavy-shot defenseman.  His offensive skill fits in with the changes the team has made under head coach Mike Sullivan, so if he fits in and helps the Penguins get to and advance through the playoffs this season, there's a decent chance he'll remain with the team long term.

Who knows what other deals might happen between now and 3 p.m. tomorrow, but it's unlikely that the Pens acquire another defenseman, without sending a current defenseman in a corresponding trade.  With Edmonton retaining half of Schultz's salary in this trade, they have a bit of wiggle room under the cap to make another deal, but not much.

According to generalfanager.com, the Pens have just over $1 million in cap room available, which means that any player they acquire will most likely be a depth-type player, unless Pittsburgh is sending a player and their salary out in the trade.  

New York Rangers Complete Trade for Eric Staal

The New York Rangers completed a trade for centerman Eric Staal on Sunday, as reported on the team's twitter feed.

Eric Staal is one of the top forwards set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.  As such, he can be viewed as a rental for the playoffs push by the Rangers.  However, he could very well click with the team, and his younger brother on the Rangers, Marc Staal, and be signed to a long term contract.

The 31 year-old has 33 points in 63 games this season with the Carolina Hurricanes.  Staal's full year cap hit is $8.25 million.  The Hurricanes will retain 50% of Staal's salary.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

More on the Jakub Kindl Trade to the Florida Panthers

Jakub Kindl was traded to the Florida Panthers by the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2017 as reported at mlive.com.

The Red Wings will also retain 15% of Kindl's salary, or $360,000.  (Kindl's salary for the full season is $2.4 million according to generalfanager.com).   The move clears a bit of room under the cap for Detroit to make further moves, as they have just under $2 million in salary remaining to be doled out.  And for next season, Detroit also clears out $2 million in salary to make additional moves.

The 29 year-old defenseman has played in 25 games for Detroit this season, notching 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and has cleared waivers twice.

This trade obviously fuels further speculation about trades that Detroit might be looking to make before Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.



Teddy Purcell Traded to Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers have traded for Teddy Purcell from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a third-round draft pick as reported by SportsNet.  The 30 year-old winger has 32 points in 61 games this season for Edmonton, as is slated to become a UFA this summer.

Purcell is now one of a few forwards which the Panthers have acquired on the Saturday before the trade deadline, previously trading for Jiri Hudler from the Calgary Flames, as well as Jakub Kindl from the Detroit Red Wings.  Purcell's full season cap hit is $4.5 million.

See some of Purcell's goal scoring highlight's from the 2014-15 season right here:

James Reimer Traded to San Jose Sharks by Toronto Maple Leafs

Goaltender James Reimer was traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the San Jose Sharks as reported by USA Today.  Also going west in the deal is forward Jeremy Morin, in exchange for backup goaltender Alex Stalock, Ben Smith and a fourth-round draft pick in 2018.

Reimer will most likely serve in a support role for Martin Jones.  Reimer is one of a group of netminders set to become UFAs at the end of this season.  The 27 year-old has a 2.49 GAA and .918 save percentage in 32 games for Toronto this season.

Alex Stalock is a 28 year-old former fourth-round draft pick of the Sharks who has gotten into 13 games for San Jose this season.  In those contests he's earned a 2.94 GAA and .884 save percentage.
Stalock carried a cap hit of $1.6 million for the 2015-16 season and is slated to become a UFA after this season.

The 27 year-old Ben Smith has played primarily at the AHL level this season.  The forward has 10 points (8 goals, 2 assists) in 14 games at that level for 2015-16.  He will become a UFA after this season unless signed before July 1.  His cap hit for the full year is $1.5 million.

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to pile up draft pick as they show that they are in a full rebuild mode right now.

Florida Panthers Trade for Jiri Hudler

The Florida Panthers have traded for Jiri Hudler from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2016 second-round draft pick and a 2018 fourth-round draft pick, as reported by ESPN.  The 32 year-old pivot has 35 points in 53 games this season for Calgary.  Hudler, who has a full year cap hit of $4 million is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.  The Florida Panthers, who lead the Atlantic Division by three points over the Tampa Bay Lightning, have plenty of cap space available as the trade deadline approaches.  According to generalfanager, that number is about $15 million.

See some of Hudler's highlights from last season here:

 

Montreal Canadiens Trade Fleischman, Weise to Chicago Blackhawks

The Montreal Canadiens have traded Tomas Fleischman and Dale Weise to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Philip Danalt and a second round draft pick in 2018 as reported by USA Today.

The Blackhawks have remained active ahead of the trade deadline on Monday, making their second deal in two days, as they previously made a trade to re-acquire Andrew Ladd from the Winnipeg Jets.

The 27 year-old Weise has a full year cap hit of just over $1 million and will become an unrestricted free agent after this season, if not signed before then by the Blackhawks.

The 31 year-old Fleischman is set to become a UFA after this season and has an annual cap hit of $750K per generalfanager.com.  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Andrew Ladd Traded to Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired Andrew Ladd in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets according to a tweet by Darren Dreger.  The Jets will reportedly get Marko Dano, a first round draft pick in 2016 and another conditional draft pick, in return for Andrew Ladd, Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser.  Winnipeg will also retain 36% of Ladd's salary.

The conditional draft pick will come in 2018 according to the Blackhawks website.  

With the Blackhawks near the top of the heap when it comes to reaching the cap, the retention of salary is a big piece to this trade.

Jay Harrison carries a $1.5 million cap hit and is set to become a UFA after this season.

Matt Fraser is set to become a RFA after this season and his cap hit is $650K for 2015-16.

Marko Dano has one more year on his contract after this season when he will become an RFA.  He carries an annual cap hit of $925K.

And I think you can say that the Chicago fans are happy to have Ladd back on their team.  (He last played for Chicago in 2009-10).

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Buffalo Sabres Trade Weber to Washington Capitals

The Buffalo Sabres traded Mike Weber to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a third-round draft pick in 2017, as reported by ESPN.  As part of the trade, Buffalo will be retaining half of Weber's salary and cap hit for this season.  

Weber is a stay-at-home defenseman and shot blocker who the Capitals felt they needed to add for blueline depth.  A 2006 second-round draft pick of the Sabres, Weber has 53 points in 341 games at the NHL level.  This season so far, he has 5 points in 35 games.  

The Capitals are near the top of the heap when it comes to reaching the salary cap this season, while the Sabres have plenty of cap space available, according to generalfanager.com.  This was most certainly a consideration in the Sabres retaining half of Weber's salary and cap hit.  

Weber is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of this season, which most likely factored into the trade.  If Buffalo really likes Weber and wants him back long-term, they will have the opportunity to sign him on July 1 (if he doesn't sign with the Capitals before that time), and they gain the draft pick for 2017 in the process.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Ryan O'Reilly Trade to the Buffalo Sabres, A Look Back

On June 26, 2015, the Colorado Avalanche traded Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, J.T. Compher and a second round pick in 2015.  O'Reilly was obviously the big piece to this trade.

After putting up 55 points in 82 games for Colorado last season, 17 of which were goals, O'Reilly has 49 points in just 59 games as a member of the Sabres this season, 17 of which are goals.  So to say he's thrived in Buffalo is putting in mildly.                                                                                                                                            
Jamie McGinn has been no slouch for Buffalo either.  His best season in Colorado was 2013-14 when he had 38 points in 79 games.  That was a .48 point per game clip.  Compare that to this season in Buffalo, where he has 27 points in 60 games for a .45 point per game mark.  Certainly hasn't regressed with his move to the Atlantic Division.                                                                                    
Zadorov, the 20 year-old defenseman, played in 60 games with the Sabres prior to his trade, notching 15 points.  Post-trade, he's seen two points in 16 games with Buffalo.  Since that time, he's been with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, where he's picked up 22 points in 38 games.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Grigorenko was a first round draft pick of the Sabres in 2012, and saw immediate action getting into 25 games in 2012-13 where he picked up five points.  Since that time, he's been at the AHL and QMJHL levels.  Colorado seems to have suited him well though, for this season he has 19 points in 54 games at the NHL level.       
                                                                                                                
J.T. Compher is a prospect still at the NCAA level with the University of Michigan.  And he's been having quite a season.  Through 28 games he has a hefty 45 points.                                                         
Colorado traded the second-round pick they received from the Buffalo Sabres to the San Jose Sharks (who took defenseman Jeremy Roy).  As part of that trade, the Sabres got the 39th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft where they took winger A.J. Greer.

Both teams have really seemed to fare well after this trade.  O'Reilly is doing well in Buffalo and McGinn has stuck.  The young guys that Colorado received in return are progressing well, and they have an additional propsect in Greer as well.  So I think you can call this trade a win-win for both the Avalanche and the Sabres.






Monday, February 22, 2016

Flames Trade For Shinkaruk, Vancouver Gets Granlund

The Calgary Flames have acquired Hunter Shinkaruk from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade for Markus Granlund, according to a TSN tweet.

The 21 year-old Shinkaruk, who was taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL draft by Vancouver, has 39 points in 45 games for the Utica Comets of the AHL this season. He saw one game of action with Vancouver this season as well. Shinkaruk is from Calgary and noted that it will be cool to play in his hometown.

Granlund, a 22 year-old Finnish forward, has split his time between Calgary and the Stockton Heat of the AHL this season. In 31 games at the NHL level this season, Granlund has seven points.

Toronto Maple Leafs Making Trades In Advance of Trade Deadline

With the trade deadline sitting at February 29, the Toronto Maple Leafs have decided to get a jump start on the action and begin making moves.

Of course, they had a huge trade on February 9, when they sent defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators.  And that trade fueled speculation that Toronto was going after Steven Stamkos.  The Tampa Bay Lightning GM, Steve Yzerman, quickly doused those trade speculation flames however, when he came out and said that Stamkos would not be traded.

But that didn't deter Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello from making further trades.  Yesterday, the Leafs traded Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Colin Smith and a fourth round pick in the 2016 NHL draft, as reported by Yahoo Sports.

Matthias comes to Colorado as they continue their hunt for a Wild Card playoff spot in the Central division of the Western conference.  A former second round draft pick in 2006, of the Detroit Red Wings, he had 17 points in 51 games for Toronto this season.  The Avalanche will look to Matthias to help bolster their crew of forwards and propel them into the playoffs.

He was set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2015-16 season.  For Toronto, they are looking to acquire draft picks and trade players they might not be re-signing prior to the July 1 free agency period.  Acquiring the fourth round draft pick from Colorado was no doubt key to this trade.

In addition they picked up Colin Smith, a 22 year-old pivot, who had been playing primarily in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage.  Smith had 34 points in 54 games for the Rampage this season, and will be added to the Maple Leafs prospect list while playing with their AHL affiliate Toronto Mariles.

In the Maple Leafs' second trade in two days, they acquired Raffi Torres from the San Jose Sharks, along with second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018, in exchange for defenseman Roman Polak and forward Nick Spaling, as reported by SportsNet.

The veteran Torres, who carried a $2 million cap hit for this season and will become a UFA after this season, has played in six games with the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL this season, after serving a 41 game suspension.

Roman Polak is set to become a UFA after this season, for which he carried a $2.75 million cap hit.  The veteran defenseman has 13 points in 55 games with the Maple Leafs this season.

Nick Spaling had a cap hit of $2.2 million for this season, after which he is set to become an unrestricted free agent as well.  The former second-round draft pick in 2007 has seven points in 35 games with the Leafs this season.




Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Senators Update: Paul, Zibanejad, MacArthur, Wideman

The Ottawa Senators have called up Nick Paul and if Mika Zibanejad is unable to go, Paul will make his NHL debut, as reported by TSN.  The 20 year-old winger has 17 points in 45 games with Binghampton of the AHL this season.  Zibanejad is having a strong season himself, with 35 points in 56 NHL games.  Zibanejad was ill and missed practice on Monday.  In additional Senators' notes:
  • After being concussed for the third time on October 14, 2015, Clarke MacArthur is getting jostled in practice with the Senators for the first time since the head injury, according to the Ottawa Citizen.  The 30 year old winger has played in just four games this season, after getting on the ice for 62 games last season, and putting up 36 points.  Although MacArthur is progressing well, he's being smart about his return to the ice for the Senators:  “I’ve got to be careful. I want to keep playing. If you come back too soon, if you’re not confident and you take another one, it’s game over,” MacArthur said.  “I can’t go back to that place. I just want to do it right.”
  • The Silver Seven blog takes a look at Chris Wideman and the chances that he'll re-sign with the Senators.  He's pegged as good puck-moving defenseman on Ottawa's third pairing.  And in 41 games with the Senators this season, Wideman has notched seven points (5 goals, 2 assists).  


Monday, February 15, 2016

Mike Richards Playing Against L.A. Kings

The Washington Post takes a close look at the fairly recent developments in the career of the Washington Capitals' Mike Richards.  The 31 year-old pivot had been traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Los Angeles Kings in 2011, in a deal which sent Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick to Philly.  And now, with the Kings facing the Capitals on Tuesday, Richards closes the loop on leaving Los Angeles.  The former first round draft pick of the Flyers played his last full season with the L.A. Kings in 2013-14, when he notched 41 points in 82 games.  Playing fourth-line center for the Capitals since early January, Richards is looking for his first points with Washington.  In additional Metropolitan Division updates:

  • Keith Kinkaid earned his first NHL shutout yesterday, against the Kings, as noted on the New Jersey Devils' website.  Kinkaid, who played collegiately at Union College, has been relieving Cory Schneider and getting spot starts when coach John Hynes sees fit.  He has a .918 save percentage and 2.28 GAA in 11 games with the Devils this season.  
  • The New York Islanders have scored in six straight games on the powerplay reports Newsday. In today's contest against the Detroit Red Wings, Josh Bailey scored on the man advantage to put the Islanders up 2-0.  Bailey has three such power play goals this season.   
  • Rick Nash, who has been out of the New York Rangers lineup for about a month with a deep bone bruise on his leg, is scheduled to undergo more tests this Friday, reports Howie Kussoy of the New York Post.  Nash was listed as day-to-day, but has now been moved to a week-to-week status.  The big winger has seen 45 games of action for the Rangers this season, putting in 12 goals and 21 helpers.  


Stamkos Trade Not Happening Before Trade Deadline, per Yzerman

Steven Stamkos will not be traded prior to February 29.  That was made clear recently by Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager, Steve Yzerman, as reported by NBC Sports.  Yzerman was quoted as saying:
“I have said repeatedly that it is our hope to reach an agreement with Steven on a new contract at some point, and with 27 games remaining in the season, our entire organization, Steven included, wants to focus on making the playoffs.
There's been much speculation that Stamkos will be traded to his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.  And the trade of defenseman Dion Phaneuef, along with the cap space cleared by the trade, further fueled that speculation.  

Stamkos could still wind up as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  But if that happens it will most likely come via free agency this summer, rather than a trade.   

Ducks, Stars Call Ups, Injuries

The Anaheim Ducks have called up goaltender Anton Khudobin, as noted by rotoworld.com.  John Gibson has suffered an upper-body injury after colliding with the Chicago Blackhawks' Richard Panik as reported by the Sun Times.  In 14 games with the San Diego Gulls of the AHL, Khudobin has a .908 save percentage and 2.69 GAA.  The 22 year-old Gibson has a 2.11 GAA and .917 save percentage in 24 games with Anaheim this season.

Curtis McKenzie was recalled by the Dallas Stars according to the Dallas Morning News.  McKenzie will be filling the spot of Travis Moen who went on injured reserve recently.  With the Stars at the Nashville Predators, the Stars now have options at forward in the event that Tyler Seguin or Cody Eakin are unable to go.  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Florida Panthers Place Aleksander Barkov on IR

The Florida Panthers have placed Aleksander Barkov on IR, and have recalled Greg McKegg according to SportsNet.  The 20 year-old Barkov had been having an extremely strong sophomore season, notching 16 goals and 19 assists in 43 games.  He was injured on February 8, after taking a hit from the Detroit Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader.

McKegg, a third-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2010, has 9 goals and 12 assists in 41 games for the Portland Pirates this season.  McKegg was acquired by the Panthers in a 2015 trade with Toronto which saw Zach Hyman and a conditional 2017 draft pick head to the Leafs.  

Injured Reserve: Flyers, Blackhawks

Michael Del Zotto will be out long-term with an injury, according to the Philadelphia Flyers' GM Ron Hextall stated, as reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Del Zotto was injured during Saturday's loss to the New Jersey Devils, and has what is being described as an "upper-body injury".  Del Zotto has 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in 52 games for the Flyers this season.  In response to the injury, Philadelphia has recalled defenseman Andrew MacDonald from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The Chicago Blackhawks have placed forward Marian Hossa on injured reserve with a leg injury as reported by ESPN.  Coach Joel Quenneville was quoted as saying "we don't think it's serious".  Placing Hossa on IR requires him to miss at least seven days however.  Hossa has 10 goals and 18 assists for the Blackhawks this season.  In response to the injury, Chicago has called up Vince Hinostroza from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.  Hinostroza has 10 goals and 17 assists at the AHL level this season.  

Gaborik on IR, Leafs Call Up Leipsic, Morin

The Los Angeles Kings have placed forward Marian Gaborik on injured reserve as reported by the Los Angeles Times.  Gaborik suffered the injury after a knee-to-knee collision with Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers in Friday's game.  With two extra forwards, the Kings weren't expected to make an immediate call up from their AHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs. Gaborik's absence will be felt however, has he has put up 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 54 games so far this season.  In additional NHL transaction news:

  • Centerman Brendan Leipsic was called up by the Toronto Maple Leafs and immediately helped his team, scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, as reported by the Pension Plan Puppets blog.  The 21 year-old had been toiling with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL where he has 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 47 games this season.  
  • Jeremy Morin was also called up by the Leafs on an emergency basis.  The 24 year-old, as The Province reports, was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks organization on January 3, where he was playing with their AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs, to the Toronto organization, where he suited up with the Marlies for 11 games prior to this call up.  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Recalls: Panthers, Lightning, Blackhawks, Bruins

The Florida Panthers have called up forward John McFarland, who will make his NHL debut reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel.  He will become the third Panthers rookie to make their debut in the league this season, joining Logan Shaw and Connor Brickley.  The 23 year-old goal scoring forward has put up 22 points (14 goals, 8 assists) in 43 contests for the Portland Pirates of the AHL this season.  In additional NHL call ups:

  • Kristers Gudlevskis has been called up to the Tampa Bay Lightning according to Syracuse.com. The 23 year-old goaltender hailing from Latvia will be making his second stint with the Lightning, the previous time coming in 2013-14.  In 25 games with the Syracuse Crunch this season, Gudlevskis has a 2.99 GAA and .901 save percentage.  In a corresponding move, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was sent to Syracuse.  
  • The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled Viktor Svedberg for the third time this season, reports Chris Hine at the Chicago Tribune.  Svedberg has played in 16 games with the Blackhawks this season, picking up three points (1 goal, 2 assists).
  • The Boston Bruins recalled Joonas Kemppainen as reported on the WEEI blog.  The Finnish forward has played primarily at the NHL level this season, with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 36 games.  It's thought that the recall is related to the availability of Patrice Bergeron for tonight's game against the Minnesota Wild.  Bergeron was injured in a fight during Thursday's game.  

2016 NHL Free Agents - 5 Key Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) Goaltenders

There aren't many starting goaltenders who are slated to become unrestricted free agents (UFAs) this summer.  And some of them are in a platoon role currently.  But we've done the research on five of the key goaltenders who are slated to become free agents this summer, so you don't have to.  Happy reading.

1.  Cam Ward
A first round draft pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002, Ward has been a staple in net for the team since 2005-06.  As of this post, Ward has racked up a 261-202 record in net, with a .910 save percentage and 2.70 GAA at the NHL level.

Back in 2010-11, Ward led the league in games played with 74.  The following season he was no slouch in net for the Hurricanes either, playing in 68 games and winning 30 of them.  Since that time, Ward has been bitten by the injury bug quite a bit.  Over the next four seasons, Ward has played in 132 games and has won 56 games.

Ward is coming off of a 6 year contract worth a total of $37.8 million ($6.3 million cap hit).  He will be 32 years old when his contract expires this summer.

This season so far, Ward has been in net for 34 games with a 15-11-6 record, a .908 save percentage and 2.38 GAA.

Ward has performed admirably this season.  However, given his age and his current cap hit, it's fairly safe to say that the next contract he receives will be for a much lower AAV.  The Hurricanes might want to hang on to Ward.  They know what they are getting in a goaltender here.  And he most likely will not be moved prior to the trade deadline as the Hurricanes are not out of the hunt yet.

2.  James Reimer
Playing in the hotbed of hockey, there's been much talk, and speculation about Reimer's future contract possibilities with the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as other NHL teams.  The facts say that Reimer is top 20 in GAA with a 2.30 mark, and top 10 in save percentage with a .926 mark.  Reimer has held up his end of the bargain in net this season, and he's making the Maple Leafs very strongly consider re-signing, or extending him, prior to July 1.


In either case, his current cap hit of $2.3 million is bound to increase next season.  No matter what NHL team he is playing with.

3.  Chad Johnson
Chad Johnson has been a journeyman goaltender in the NHL up until this season.  He seems to have caught on with the Buffalo Sabres.  As of this post, he's seventeenth in the NHL in save percentage with a .918 mark.  His goals against average of 2.44 is nothing to sneeze at.  His cap hit of $1.3 million is relatively affordable as well.  If he's not looking for a big bump in pay, it wouldn't be surprising for the Sabres to re-sign Johnson to a short-term extension.

4. Karri Ramo
Ramo has been in net for the lion's share of the Calgary Flames games this season.  Getting into 37 contests for Calgary, Ramo has put up a 2.63 goals against average and .909 save percentage.  The 29 year-old goalie, who turns 30 on the first day of free agency this summer, has been with the Flames since the 2013-14 season, and is coming off a one-year $3.8 million contract.

5. Jonas Hiller
The other half of the Calgary goaltending duo, Hiller has not played as much as Ramo in net this season.  Still, the 34 year-old Swiss native can still play the game.  Playing the majority of the Flames' contests last season, Hiller put up a 2.36 GAA and .918 save percentage.  Those are starting goaltender numbers.  His numbers have not been as stellar this season, hence Ramo taking the majority of the starts in net for Calgary.  The question is, can Hiller continue to put up those numbers, and what salary numbers will he be looking for in 2016-17?  His current cap hit is $4.5 million, and it will almost certainly be lower than that, for whichever team he suits up for next season.





IR: Ramo, Stewart, Catenacci

The Calgary Flames have placed goaltender Karri Ramo on injured reserve (IR) as reported by The Hockey News.  Ramo suffered the injury when his leg was trapped between the goal post and Joonas Donskoi.  Jonas Hiller replaced Ramo in net and sealed the Flames' victory.  The timing of this injury is not great for the Flames' playoff hopes, or for Ramo's contract situation.  Hopefully Ramo is able to bounce back quickly, for Calgary's sake.  Ramo is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and a strong close to the season would bode well for Ramo re-signing with the Flames.  In additional injury news:

  • Chris Stewart was placed on IR by the Anaheim Ducks with what is expect to be a broken jaw according to the Los Angeles Daily News.  The 28 year-old winger was injured in a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.  Stewart had been playing well, putting up 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 47 games for Anaheim this season.  While Stewart is on IR, Nick Ritchie has been called up from the San Diego Gulls of the AHL.  Ritchie has 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists) in 33 games for the Gulls this season. 
  • Daniel Catenacci of the Buffalo Sabres has been placed on IR as reported by ESPN. Catenacci was on the receiving end of a bone bruising hit by Radko Gudas of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Catenacci had recently been called up from the Rochester Americans where he had put up 16 points in 36 games.  He had seen three games at the NHL level before being placed on IR this season.  With Catenacci sidelined, the Sabres have called up Philip Varone.  The 25 year-old Varone has split time between the Sabres and the Americans the past few seasons.  He has 26 points in 38 games with Rochester this season, while notching two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in five games with Buffalo.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

NHL Call Ups: Koekkoek, Budaj, Gravel, Mueller

Slater Koekkoek was called up by the Tampa Bay Lightning as reported by Joe Smith in the Tampa Tribune. Koekkoek's recall was necessitated when Jason Garrison was diagnosed with a lower-body injury which will sideline him for 3-5 weeks.  Koekkoek has played primarily with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL this season, putting up 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists).  Garrison, who was injured in Monday's loss against the Ottawa Senators, has seven points this season for the Lightning (4 goals, 3 assists).  In additional NHL call ups:
  • The Los Angeles Kings have called up netminder Peter Budaj, as was speculated on LA Kings Insider.  Budaj has spent all of this season with the Ontario Reign of the AHL and has put up a stunning 1.58 GAA in 38 games played.  The team has also called up defenseman Kevin Gravel  from the Ontario Reign.  Gravel has notched 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) this season with Ontario.  
  • Mirco Mueller was called up by the San Jose Sharks as posted on Fear the Fin.  It's thought that the call up was made due to the injury suffered by Brenden Dillon against the Chicago Blackhawks.  The 20 year-old Mueller has played in 10 games previously this season with the Sharks. He saw 39 games of action with the Sharks last season when he put up four points (1 goal, 3 assists).  The Sharks are now carrying eight defensemen on their roster, the youngest of whom is Mueller.  




Columbus Blue Jackets: Murray Extension, Defense Contract Situation

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Ryan Murray to a two-year contract extension as reported by ESPN.   The deal is reportedly worth $5.65 million in total.  The 22 year-old blueliner has 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) in 56 games for the Blue Jackets this season.  Murray ranks first among all Blue Jacket defenseman in points so far this season.

Columbus is in a fairly good position with their defenseman for next season.  The have two restricted free agents (RFAs) in newly acquired Seth Jones, as well as Dalton Prout, and one unrestricted free agents (UFA) in Justin Falk, coming up this summer.

The 21 year-old Jones, acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators earlier this season in exchange for Ryan Johansen, is coming off his entry level contract after this season.  With the Blue Jackets this season, Jones has played in 15 games and has 8 points.  His salary and cap hit are very low compared to his value, as he's still on his entry level contract.  Expect a big bump in the numbers for Jones this summer.

Prout, a sixth round draft pick of the Blue Jackets in 2010 has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 39 games with Columbus this season.  He'll be coming off of a two-year, $2.15 million contract this summer.  Expect that his numbers will go up slightly as he is a restricted free agent.

Justin Falk has split time this season between Columbus and the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL.  Falk signed a one-year two-way deal with Columbus last year, and was waived in October.  After clearing waivers he spent time with Lake Erie.  This season he has four points, all assists, in 20 NHL games. Falk will most likely test the open market this summer when his contract with the Blue Jackets expires.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blues Update: Schwartz, Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk

Jaden Schwartz will be returning to the St. Louis Blues this Friday, according to a post by Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy.  The 23 year-old pivot had been out of the Blues lineup since October when he suffered a fractured ankle.  The young centerman's game had been trending upward over the past two seasons, with point totals of 56 and 63 respectively.  Schwartz's return to the ice comes at a key time for the Blues, as they currently sit in third place in the Central Division, looking to maintain their playoff spot.  In additional Blues notes:

  • Kevin Shattenkirk has stepped up to wear the Blues' assistant captain's "A" that the injured Alex Pietrangelo wears, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  With Pietrangelo on injured reserve, Shattenkirk has joined the top line defensive pairing with Jay Bouwmeester.  Shattenkirk has put up 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists) in 46 games for St. Louis this season.  He is a top-line defenseman that due to the Blues' normal depth at the position plays on the second line usually.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa Senators

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators, according to a tweet by the Senators.  In addition to defenseman Phaneuf, the Senators will acquire forwards Matt Fratin, Casey Bailey and Ryan Rupert, as well as defense prospect Cody Donaghey, in the trade for forwards Colin Greening, Milian Michalek, Tobias Lindberg, defenseman Jared Cowen and Ottawa's second pick in the 2017 NHL draft, as reported on the Senators website.

GM Bryan Murray was on TSN 1200, where he stated that this trade was about acquiring a "hard working, competitive leader" and shoring up their back-end with Dion Phaneuf.  Murray also stated that Phaneuf is expected to be in the Senators' lineup tomorrow night.

There will be no salary retained by either team in the trade.  Phaneuf is currently under contract through the 2020-21 NHL season.  His contract is front-loaded in salary, carrying a cap hit of $7 million annualy.  In seven seasons with Toronto, Phaneuf had 196 points in 423 games.

Milan Michalek is a big piece in the players coming to Toronto.  The 31 year-old winger hailing from the Czech Republic has ten points in 32 games this season (6 goals, 4 assists).  The goal scorer is under contract through the 2016-17 season, after which he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).

Tobias Lindberg is also a player of intrigue for Toronto.  The 20 year-old forward has 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists) in 34 games this season in Binghamton.  Lindberg is under contract through 2017-18, after which he would become a restricted free agent (RFA).

Colin Greening is a goal scoring forward who has been playing with Binghamton.  In 41 games at the AHL level this season, he has 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists).

Defenseman Jared Cowen has 4 assists in 37 games with the Senators this season.  The 25 year-old blueliner is under contract through 2016-17, after which he becomes a RFA.

28 year-old scoring forward Matt Fratin, heading to Ottawa, has 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists) in 47 games for the Toronto Marlies this season.

Forward Casey Bailey has played a bit with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but has been primarily with the Marlies.  This season in the AHL, the 24 year-old winger has notched 18 points (4 goals, 14 assists).

Ryan Rupert is a 21 year-old pivot who has put up 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) in 29 games with the Toronto Marlies this season.

Cody Donaghey is a 19 year-old defenseman currently playing in the QMJHL for the Moncton Wildcats where he has 11 points (1 goal, 10 assists) in 15 games.  

Minnesota Wild Call Up Reilly, Central Division News

The Minnesota Wild have called up defenseman Mike Reilly reports Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.  Reilly was needed for defensive depth, with Jared Spurgeon injured.  Reilly has 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) in 40 games at the AHL level this season.  He's previously been with Minnesota for just a few games previously this season.  The good news for Spurgeon is that the injury doens't appear to be major, with no injured reserve in the near future.  That said, in order to make room on the roster for Reilly, forward Tyler Graovac was assigned to the Iowa Wild.  In additional Central Division news and notes:

  • This story has already become wildly popular as it should have, but in case you haven't heard it, read in the Chicago Daily Herald how Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling made a huge positive gesture and helped one man get back on his feet.  
  • The Winnipeg Jets have signed defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year deal worth $38 million, making him the third highest paid defenseman in the league (when his new contract kicks in, based on the current salary situation).  The top defenseman available in the UFA market is now off the shelf.  
  • The St. Louis Blues are marking fifty years as an NHL organization writes Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Former Boston Bruins GM Lynn Patrick was hired to start the talent search for the "expansion" franchise.  Two of his first hires were future Hall of Famers Scotty Bowman and Cliff Fletcher.  
  • The Colorado Avalanche will be playing at home and are determined to avoid a winless homestand writes Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.  The Avs are still in the hunt for a wildcard playoff spot with 58 points, tied with the Nashville Predators.  

Injured Reserve: Blues, Maple Leafs

The St. Louis Blues have placed defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on injured reserve, and he will be out of the lineup for at least three weeks, reports ESPN.  The 26 year-old blueliner suffered a knee injury when colliding with Charlie Coyle of the Minnesota Wild on Monday.  Pietrangelo has 23 points (3 goals, 20 assists) in 55 games for the Blues this season.  In additional NHL injury news:

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed Joffrey Lupul on IR.  He did not travel with the Leafs on their current road trip to the Western Conference, according to the Toronto Sun.  He will be out at least four games, with his earliest eligible return date being February 15.  It's unclear what the injury is, but it is being referred to as a "mid-body" injury.  With Tyler Bozak and Shawn Matthias also injured, the Leafs have called up Josh Leivo, Mark Arcobello and Rich Clune from the Toronto Marlies.  Leivo and Arcobello are having very strong seasons with the Marlies, with Leivo earning a point per game, and Arcobello coming in above that mark.  Clune's stats at the AHL level are nothing to sneeze at either, as he has recorded 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 30 games this season. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Byfuglien Signs Extension With Winnipeg Jets

Dustin Byfuglien has signed a five-year, $38 million extension with the Winnipeg Jets according to a report by TSN.  Byfuglien was arguably the top defenseman set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.  Instead, he'll be locked up with the Jets through 2021-22 at a cap hit of $7.6 million.  His previous contract, also for five years, carried a cap hit of $5.2 million.  The right shooting defenseman has 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 52 games this season.  The 30 year-old native of Minnesota will be extending his time with his second NHL team (Atlanta Thrashers became the Winnipeg Jets; Byfuglien started his career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2005-06). Some Twitter reaction to the contract extension:

 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Subban Injury Update

Following up on an earlier story regarding an injury suffered by Boston Bruins goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban during warmups for a game against the Portland Pirates in the AHL, ESPN reports that Subban has suffered a fractured larynx and will be out indefinitely. Subban had been called up from the Providence Bruins to Boston as recently as February 1, when backup netminder Jonas Gustavsson was placed on injured reserve with an elevated heart rate.






NHL Notes: Senators, Subban, Crosby


The Ottawa Senators have called up forward Ryan Dzingel as reported by the Ottawa Sun.  Dzingel, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL entry draft by the Senators, has 36 points (12 goals, 24 assists) in 44 games with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL this season.  Dzingel was on the ice on Saturday night after his call up and earned an assist with a plus-2 on ice for Ottawa as they dropped the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1.  Dzingel is in the second year of a two-year contract worth $1.8 million overall.  He will be an RFA after this season.



Nick Paul was also called up by the Senators for insurance if Kyle Turris wasn't able to play against the Leafs.  According to the North Bay Nugget, Turris was able to play leaving Paul as a healthy scratch for the game.  Turris had missed the previous six games prior to suiting up against the Leafs.  The 2013 draft pick of the Senators, Paul has been playing with Binghamton this season, notching 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 43 games for the team.   In additional NHL news and notes:




  • Goaltender Malcolm Subban of the Providence Bruins took a puck to the throat in warm-ups for a game against the Portland Pirates and was admitted to the hospital, as reported by ESPN.  Subban was originally slated to travel back with the team after the game, but was kept in the hospital overnight as a precaution according to a tweet from Sportsnet.  

  • Sidney Crosby earned points number 900, 901 and 902 in the Pittsburgh Penguins comeback win against the Atlantic Division leading Florida Panthers on Saturday night.  Crosby became the 10th fastest to reach the 900 point mark.  






Saturday, February 6, 2016

Panthers Call Up Defenseman Regner

Defenseman Brent Regner was called up by the Florida Panthers and will make his NHL debut tonight when the Florida Panthers face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Miami as reported by the Sun-Sentinel. In 43 games for the Portland Pirates of the AHL, Regner has 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists). Regner 's services were needed as Erik Gudbranson is hurt with what is being called an upper body injury.






Minnesota Wild Place Brodin on IR, Recall Graovac

The Minnesota Wild have placed Jonas Brodin on injured reserve with a broken foot suffered on February 4, and will be out 3-6 weeks according to a report by Fox Sports.  The left-shooting defenseman who was selected with the number 10 overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft has six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in 50 games for the Wild this season.  In a corresponding roster move, Minnesota has recalled Tyler Graovac from their AHL affiliate Iowa Wild.  Graovac, a pivot, has put up seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 19 games for Iowa this season.  

Flyers Updates: Cousins, Couturier, Outdoor Game

The Philadelphia Flyers have recalled center Nick Cousins as reported by The Morning Call.  The pivot who has been playing with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL, and leads that team in points with 38 (12 goals, 26 assists) has previously spent time with the Flyers this season.  In additional Flyers news:

  • Second line centerman Sean Couturier will be out for about four weeks with an undisclosed lower body injury as reported at philly.com.  The 2011 number 8 overall draft pick has 24 points (9 goals, 15 assists) in 40 games for the Flyers this season.  Being out for four weeks will cause Couturier to miss the team's next 14 games
  • The Flyers will play the Pittsburgh Penguins outdoors in a battle of Pennsylvania next season according to a report by Scott Burnside of ESPN.  The game will likely be played at Heinz field according to the report, but it isn't clear whether the game will be the Winter Classic or part of the Stadium Series.  

Sabres Call Up Catenacci

The Buffalo Sabres have called up Dan Catenacci as reported by The Buffalo News.  Taken in the third round of the 2011 NHL draft, this will be Catenacci's first call up to the NHL and he deserves it.  As Sabres coach Dan Bylsma is quoted in the News article:
" You earn the opportunity to come up and play," Bylsma said. "To me, there's no question. Me watching him last week and the reports" from Rochester coach Randy Cunneyworth and staff  "is Dan has been one of the best, if not the best, at his game the last 10 or so games and earned the right to come up here. That's what it needs to be."
Catenacci's call up was precipitated by an injury to Marcus Foligno suffered in Thursday's game against the Boston Bruins.  The 23 year-old pivot will be on the fourth line with David Legwand and Nicloas Deslauriers. Catenacci has 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 36 games with the Rochester Americans this season. 

Stars Place Spezza on IR, Recall Faksa

The Dallas Stars have placed veteran pivot Jason Spezza on injured reserve, as reported by ESPN.  Spezza went headfirst into the boards absorbing a hit from the Colorado Avalanche's Francois Beauchemin.  There is no timetable for Spezza's return to the ice.  Spezza has been a key cog in the Colorado offensive machine this season, putting up 40 points (18 goals, 22 assist) in 52 games.

With Spezza on the shelf, the Stars have recalled center Radek Faksa from their AHL affiliate Texas Stars. Faksa has been producing for Texas, notching 26 points (15 points, 11 assists) in 28 games this season.  He has previously been with Dallas this season as well, getting into 18 games and putting up 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist).  Faksa is currently under contract to the Stars for three years (through 2016-17) at a total value of $4.2 million, after which he will become an RFA.  


Friday, February 5, 2016

Capitals Moves: Carey, Carrick, Sill, Ness

The Washington Capitals have recalled Paul Carey and Connor Carrick from their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears, while assigning Zack Sill and Aaron Ness to the Bears, as reported by the Washington Post.

Carey, a left-shooting left winger has put up 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games for the Bears this season, while having previously appeared in two games for the Capitals.  Carrick, a right-shooting defenseman who was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL draft by Washington, has notched 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists) in 39 games for the Bears.  He has previously played in 3 games with Washington.

Ness and Sill had just recently been brought up to Washington for some time at the NHL level.  Sill was brought up for some depth when Marcus Johansson was hurt and Alex Ovechkin was suspended due to missing the All-Star game, while Ness provided depth when fellow blueliner Taylor Chorney was ill with flu-like symptoms.  

Fehr on Injured Reserve, Sundqvist Called Up for Penguins

With Eric Fehr placed on injured reserve, the Pittsburgh Penguins have called up center Oskar Sundqvist, as reported by Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Sundqvist, a right-shooting pivot from Sweden has 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in 39 games at the AHL level this season.  This will be his first time at the NHL level.

Fehr was injured during the Penguins' 6-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday evening, and had to be helped off the ice.  Fehr's absence will be felt largely on the penalty kill, where he had the second highest amount of minutes logged by a forward on the team behind Matt Cullen.  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NHL Moves: Subban, Gustavsson, Ness

The Boston Bruins have sent goaltender Malcolm Subban to their AHL affiliate in Providence, with Jonas Gustavsson now cleared to return, as reported by NESN.  Gustavsson had been sidelined due to an elevated heart rate in his last on-ice performance, for which he wound up in the hospital overnight.  He was cleared by the Bruins' medical team for full on-ice participation. In 15 games for Boston this season, Gustavsson has a 9-3-1 record.  It's expected that Gustavsson will be the back up for Tuukka Rask as the Bruins face the Buffalo Sabres tonight. In additional NHL transaction news:

  • Defenseman Aaron Ness has been recalled by the Washington Capitals as reported by the Washington Post. Fellow defenseman Taylor Chorney had been experiencing what were termed flu-like symptoms, necessitating the call up of Ness.  In 8 games with Washington previously this season, Ness has two assists.  Chorney tried to play in the Capitals previous game on Tuesday evening, but after receiving an IV he was able to struggle through just under 5 minutes of ice time before being ruled out for the third period.  

Red Wings Recall Jakub Kindl

The Detroit Red Wings have recalled defenseman Jakub Kindl as reported in the Detroit Free Press.  According to team General Manager Ken Holland, Kindl was being called up as a reserve for Thursday evening's game against the Florida Panthers.  The 23 year-old blueliner has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 23 games this season.  He was placed on waivers by the Red Wings before heading to their AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins. At the AHL level he has 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) in 9 games.  Kindl has one more year remaining on his contract, carrying a $2.4 million cap hit, after this season, after which he would become an unrestricted free agent (UFA).  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jaden Schwartz To Come Off IR?

Jason Brough of Pro Hockey Talk reports that the St. Louis Blues have sent Ty Rattie to their AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves today, and that this move could portend the return of Jaden Schwartz from injured reserve.  Schwartz has been on IR since suffering a fractured ankle in a practice drill last year.  The 23 year-old winger had a very strong season offensively in 2014-15, notching 63 points (28 goals, 35 assists) in 75 regular season games.  In seven games prior to his injury this season, Schwartz picked up 4 points.  Schwartz is set to become an restricted free agent after the current season. As with the vast majority of restricted free agents (RFAs), it is very likely that Schwartz will re-sign with the Blues.  The question will be whether Schwartz is able to return to form and continue the production he had prior to his injury. The Blues do not have much room under the cap currently, but they will have several players with expiring contracts this July, which should free up the room to sign Schwartz appropriately.  

Calgary Flames Recall Nakladal

The Calgary Flames have recalled right-shooting defenseman Jakub Nakladal from their AHL affiliate Stockton Heat, as reported by CBS Sports.  The native of the Czech Republic has played in 35 games at the AHL level this season, notching 14 points (2 goals, 12 assists).  With Dennis Wideman suspended for 20 games, Nakladal will help fill the void on the blue line.  (Wideman's suspension comes after a hit to linesman Don Henderson that sent him sprawling to the ice.  Wideman was hit and looked a bit rocky just prior to trying to leave the ice and hitting the linesman).  In additional Calgary Flames news and notes:

  • The team's website reports that another personnel decision will need to be made with 23 year-old left wing Micheal Ferland ready to come back from an injury. It's reported that Ferland is likely to be activated prior to the team's game tonight.  In 37 games with the Flames this season, the Manitoba native has eight points (2 goals, 6 assists).  
  • According to the Flames' site, defenseman Mark Giordano needs only one assist to reach the milestone of 200.  The Toronto native has notched 199 assists in 558 career regular season games, all with Calgary.  The veteran blueliner could easily double that number of assists with Calgary, if he stays through his contract term which concludes in 2021-22.  

Philadelphia Flyers Updates: Neuvirth, Stolarz, Couturier

With netminder Michal Neuvirth being placed on injured reserve for 7-10 days with what is termed a "lower body injury", the Philadelphia Flyers have recalled goaltender Anthony Stolarz from their AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms as reported on the Flyers' website.  Neuvirth, prior to this injury, had won four of his last six starts, dating back to December 15.  Stolarz was available in the Flyers first game back from the All-Star break, backing up starter Steve Mason.  In 29 games at the AHL level this season, Stolarz has a .915 save percentage and 2.45 GAA.  In additional Flyer notes:

  • Bob Brookover writes at philly.com about the impact that Sean Couturier has on the Philadelphia Flyers. The left-shooting pivot drafted number 8 overall in the 2011 NHL draft has 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) in 39 games this season.  With Couturier in the Flyers lineup they have a record of 20-12-7 and with him out of the lineup they are 2-6-1.  That speaks to the value of his play.  Couturier signed a contract extension which will take him through his current contract ending after this season and into six more years expiring in 2021-22.  His extension carries a cap hit of $4.33 million annually.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers are near the top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) of the heap when it comes to available room beneath the salary cap.  According to generalfanager.com the Flyers have just over $4 million of cap space available. As the trade deadline approaches on February 29, what the Flyers do in terms of making a trade will depend on where management sees the team heading.  If they put up a decent February and are in the hunt for a position spot, they'll push the cap limit and make an acquisition.  It would not be surprising if they acquired a to-be unrestricted free agent with goal-scoring ability in return for draft picks.  

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