Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,
Phaneuf doesn’t have an easy contract to move because he’s being paid like a franchise defenceman despite the fact he isn’t playing like one. His salary cap hit is $7 million annually until 2021, which means if the Leafs were to move the 29-year-old, they might have to retain some salary to get a deal done — depending on what Dave Nonis and Co. get in return.
Anaheim Ducks: This one might seem like a long shot, but consider this: Ducks GM Bob Murray has made 13 separate trades with the Maple Leafs since 2009. Francois Beauchemin is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and the salaries of Sheldon Souray, Eric Brewer and Ilya Bryzgalov are coming off the books at season’s end. The Ducks will have room on the blue line and money to spend. Phaneuf could do great things playing beside Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen or Cam Fowler – three of Anaheim’s outstanding young defencemen. Phaneuf would also add some muscle to complement a smooth-skating defensive corps.
Potential trade chips: Matt Beleskey, Devante Smith-Pelly, Nick Ritchie, Shea Theodore, Nick Sorensen
four more trade destinations...
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
It’s not too difficult to make the argument that Lamoriello is the best general manager in New York sports history. After taking over in 1987, his first 25 years on the job saw the team win three Stanley Cups, make it to two more Cup finals, appear in two more Conference finals and qualify for the postseason in 22 of 25 tries. But that brings us up to 2012, when they beat the Rangers in conference finals, lost to the Kings in the Cup final — and haven’t seen the playoffs in the two seasons since.
It’s looking now to be a third season in a row, sitting 15 points out of the final wild-card spot, so maybe it was only a quarter-century that Lamoriello was granted his prescience. Or maybe what he’s doing this season, with his three-headed coaching monster — him at the helm, with Adam Oates and Scott Stevens splitting the coaching responsibilities by splitting the ice in half — is the first step in setting the team set up for the future.
But really, the first step should be conceding this year. And that means actively engaging the trade market before the March 2 deadline and getting a head start on receiving some return for a handful of veteran and expiring contracts.
more plus other NHL topics...
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
When Bettman predicted the $73 million cap, he was likely assuming that the NHLPA would, as it has done consistently in past years, opt to trigger a five per cent cap inflator.
Pushing the overall salary cap limit higher drives up the amount of money available for potential free agents - bad news for a spartan free agent class this summer that’s headed by Martin St. Louis - but it also leads to higher escrow collections for all players.
Players have become increasingly conflicted about this, several NHL player agents say.
“Players are worried about paying additional escrow,” Ian Pulver, a former NHLPA executive and current player agent said in an interview. “It’s a vicious cycle. Over the course of 10 years, players have voted to increase the cap, to ride with increasing revenue.”
Pulver said it would be a mistake not to trigger the escalator clause.
"Because there are a couple of bumps along the way shouldn’t mean the players shouldn't continue to increase the cap and force the major players — the NHL, the clubs and the NHLPA - to grow revenues. To vote against the increase of the cap because of a fear of escrow runs counter to the collective good and common sense."
Darren Dreger was on NHL Live last night and talked Toronto Maple Leafs, Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings and next year's Winter Classic.
from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report at TSN,
We're less than six weeks from the Mar. 2 trade deadline, which means all the basic chatter and 'tire kicking' will take on a more serious tone as early as next week.
There's no promise that deals will be made immediately following the All-Star break, but a number of team executives do sense that the urgency to make a move is starting to grow. ...
With that in mind, let's first take a look at the list we unveiled in Tuesday's edition of Insider Trading disclosing the initial list of players considered as trade bait with the deadline looming:
PLAYER NHL TEAM POSITION Antoine Vermette Arizona Coyotes Centre Tyler Myers Buffalo Sabres Defence Joffrey Lupul Toronto Maple Leafs Left Wing Jake Gardiner Toronto Maple Leafs Defence Keith Yandle Arizona Coyotes Defence
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
-The general belief at the start of the season, when everyone could see the dollar was going to fall thanks to the oil prices going down, was all would be fine as long as the dollar stayed above 80 cents compared to the U.S. greenback.
Now it looks like a dream the dollar will hover above 80 cents, with economists expecting it to fall to 75 cents, or likely even lower before bouncing back, and a return won’t be until the end of 2016.
With luck, it won’t fall to 62 cents like we saw in ’02.
The preliminary salary cap for the 2015-16 season was around US$73 million — and there are plenty of teams that will have an interesting time dealing with that (hello, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins) — but now the talk is it could be at $71 million....
- Could it actually be the year the St. Louis Blues hoist the Cup? That team sure isn’t lacking anywhere and now has the offence to go with the grit and size.
- What’s the bigger surprise: The Flames have the best intra-divisional record among Pacific clubs (14-4-1) or the Los Angeles Kings are 2-12 in overtime/shootout decisions?
more salary cap talk and other hockey topics...
ALL-STAR GAME QUICK HITS
* This year marks the first time NHL All-Star activities are taking place in Columbus. The Blue Jackets and Columbus previously hosted an NHL signature event, welcoming thousands of NHL fans and executives to the city for the 2007 NHL Draft. Three 2015 NHL All-Stars were selected in that draft, all going in the first round: Patrick Kane was selected first overall (CHI), Jakub Voracek was taken seventh overall (CBJ) and Kevin Shattenkirk was picked 14th overall (COL).
* The 2015 NHL All-Star with the most career appearances in the midseason classic is Rangers forward Rick Nash, who will be skating in his sixth career game. Following Nash is Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who will play in his fifth NHL All-Star Game.
* Eleven 2015 NHL All-Stars are under age 25. Thirty-one have yet to celebrate their 30th birthday.
* The youngest NHL All-Stars are 20-year-old Filip Forsberg (NSH, 8/13/94) and 21-year-olds Zemgus Girgensons (BUF, 1/5/94) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM, 4/12/93). The oldest is 38-year-old Patrik Elias (NJD, 4/13/76).
NEW YORK / TORONTO (January 23, 2015) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today announced a North American partnership with GoPro, the maker of the world's most versatile camera and enabler of some of today's most immersive and engaging content. The agreement is GoPro’s first with a major professional sports league. As part of this unprecedented partnership, the NHL will use GoPro’s innovative equipment and expertise to deliver hockey fans never-before-seen perspectives of the game and the talents of the top players in high-definition video content during national and regional game broadcasts and across the digital and social media platforms of the NHLPA, NHL and GoPro.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
- Best wishes to the game’s second-winningest coach, Al Arbour, who’s in tough shape medically and living in Florida. Arbour (782 wins) coached the New York Islanders to four Stanley Cups, and was quiet and understated, but always had his players on their toes. Arbour used to have sneak weigh-ins. Guys like Bryan Trottier, Billy Smith, Clark Gillis and Potvin, stocky or heavy-looking, could be in trouble. A player like Bob Nystrom? Nothing.
- The Washington Capitals have a manhole-sized decision to make on unrestricted free-agent Mike Green since he’s the No. 5 defenceman making $6.25 million. John Carlson is No. 1, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and Karl Alzner are the others in the top four. They’ve got Carlson and Niskanen who can play the point on the power play. They don’t want Green walking for free, but there’s no way they’ll give him that dough to keep him. Niskanen got $5.7 million a year last July on the open market. Washington could deal Green for possibly a second-rounder at the trade deadline, but they also might keep him for seven or eight home playoff games and say 11 years in the organization is a healthy return on a draft pick. The Capitals have Dmitri Orlov to plug into a No. 5 hole when he gets healthy and Canadian junior star Madison Bowey (Kelowna Rockets) coming.
- Have the years caught up to Patrick Marleau? Or is this a one-off, an awful scoring year for the longest-serving San Jose Shark? He has eight goals in 47 games, only five of them five-on-five. Swedish call-up Melker Karlsson has seven goals in 18 games.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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