Kukla's Korner Hockey
And if it were a question of money, it’s not as though the Avalanche has to move a contract to get under the salary cap or anything. They’re the third-lowest spending team in the league at $51.7 million and with the salary cap almost certainly rising significantly next season, the Avs are going to have to at least get to the floor.
And if they’re going to make moves like this just to save some bucks, what’s the point of even competing in the NHL in the first place? It was budget moves that got the Avalanche in this trouble in the first place and had them mired in the dregs of the NHL for a lot of years.
-Ken Campbell of The Hockey News on the Downie/Talbot trade. Read more on the trade.
Talbot, 29, has two more years on his deal with a cap hit of $1.75 million annually. Surely the Avs aren’t thinking about shaving a little money off the bottom line while the team is finally creating some positive buzz after years of being a nonfactor in that market. Surely ownership wouldn’t be that shortsighted.
-Scott Burnside of ESPN also on the trade. More from Burnside on this topic.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has acquired forward Maxime Talbot from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Steve Downie.
Talbot, 29, has appeared in all 11 games for the Flyers this year, tallying a goal and one assist. A native of Lemoyne, Quebec, Talbot has recorded 77 goals and 77 assists for 154 points in 515 career games between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He has also skated in 77 career playoff games, totaling 39 points (18g/21a).
“Maxime is a veteran forward who has won a Stanley Cup and has a lot of NHL experience,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “We look forward to him bringing that experience to our club.”
Benoit Pouliot received a five minute major for boarding, a ten and game misconduct for the hit.
Talbot did return in the early part of the 3rd period.
I don't believe there was any intent to injure on the play and it just seemed to be the type of play that just happens at times.
Watch the hit below...
added 9:41pm, YouTube version added below...
from Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News,
"We're not far off at all. How many points are we out, six?" Giroux asked rhetorically. "To think of the start that we had and we're that close . . . we never thought about not making the playoffs. We've got to go game by game and we will make the playoffs."
After using the weekend to reboot after the brutal 1-7-0 beginning to the season, the Flyers went back to work with a practice that resembled (huff, puff) training camp. The Flyers are at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, but they can still see the playoffs on a clear day.
So what if they are off to the worst start in franchise history and the team is scoring less than the 40-year-old Virgin. So what if the new coach's up-tempo system needs to be learned on the fly. Giroux, zero goals and three scrawny assists, will focus his mates on what can be done during the remaining 74 games.
"It's good to get your mind off it a little bit and kind of relax," Giroux said. "It was go, go, go and then [after being 1-7], panic button. I think we were playing like that, too. We'll reflect on how we were playing. We'll do more video [work]. I think [the break] is good for us."
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
They aren't a particularly tough team to play against at the Wells Fargo Center with a 1-4-0 home record this season.
They aren't exactly an exciting team to watch, as evidenced by the growing number of empty, burgundy seats at home games. The most interesting thing about this season so far is that the 2014 draft is being held in Philly.
They aren't a fast team, despite being pushed to skate more and more daily by Craig Berube.
They aren't even that talented a team, just look at their 1.38 goals-per-game through the first eight contests and the numerous holes on their roster. They are more sandpaper than finesse.
More than anything, though, perhaps the most troubling fact about the current state of the Flyers is that their future is muddy. Who are they?
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Fans are angry - not just because the team isn't winning and isn't entertaining, but because of a lack of a 60-minute commitment. The Flyers disappeared for an entire period in a lot of games last season, and that head-scratching trend continued in Thursday's 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh. It's one thing to have a lackluster period in a midseason game in, say, Buffalo. But to be embarrassed in a second period - the Penguins had a 17-5 shots advantage and looked as if they were on a power play for almost the entire 20 minutes - in a home game against your bitter archrivals?!
The knee-jerk reaction is to blame the general manager for the Flyers' fall - from a Stanley Cup finalist in 2010, to winning one playoff round in 2011 and 2012, to missing the playoffs in 2013 for just the second time in the last 18 seasons, to this 1-7 disaster.
Holmgren is the one who gave the crazy contract to Ilya Bryzgalov (nine years, $51 million). The Flyers ate the final seven years of the deal, costing the franchise $23 million.
Holmgren is the one who traded away last season's Vezina-winning goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky - though, from here, more blame has to go to Laviolette for the way he lost confidence in him in the 2011 playoffs, causing a panic signing of Bryzgalov.
Holmgren is the one who has assembled an offensively inept team, while traded-away players such as Jeff Carter, Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, and Mike Richards are flourishing around the league.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Out of shape, out of practice, and already out of the playoff picture. That describes a Philadelphia team that is naked, searching for a blanket that can only come from two places this early in a season: within, or from some other flailing franchise like Buffalo and Edmonton. And that’s where the fun begins.
You have to go back, like, 25 years to find 10 impactful trades conducted in the month of October, but this year could be different.
In Edmonton, where the Oilers are similarly mired at 1-6-1, GM Craig MacTavish promised bold moves when he took the job, and has all kinds of roster needs. The Oilers have the scoring wingers that Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren seeks—Ales Hemsky, Nail Yakupov—and a shopping list that includes size and grit (Wayne Simmonds), a defenceman (Braydon Coburn), or a young centreman with some size (Sean Couturier).
In Buffalo, Sabres fans are literally showing up at games and chanting for GM Darcy Regier to be fired. Regier has a pending UFA in Tomas Vanek who could be the Flyers’ short-term fix, and his Sabres are 1-7-1. He’d take some youth, even if it meant taking a few more dollars back in the bargain.
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
More and more, the Flyers' start this season looks less like a funk than a gross miscalculation.
They tried their butts off last night.
They're just not good.
They don't go to the net, they miss easy bunnies like the empty net Brayden Schenn managed to avoid last night, they cough up pucks behind their own net like Braydon Coburn did in the third period, leading to the punctuating goal Sidney Crosby scored.
They commit penalties that are less about stupidity, and more about making up for a lack of ability. And they lean on their desperate play after falling behind as a tonic for their malaise, conveniently ignoring that their opponent was playing to protect that lead and wait for the inevitable mistake, which eventually came last night, and usually does.
Rather than luck and bounces, it boils down to this: On their current active roster, they have two playmakers. One is Giroux, who set up their only goal in the final seconds of the second period after checking the clock above him. The other, at least right now, is goaltender Steve Mason, whose acrobatics have masked this team's impotence even amid an awful start.
Unfortunately he also has as many goals as 14 other Flyers - which, thus far, is none.
What happened to all those “steps forward” Berube and his players kept referencing this week? What happened to the supposedly improved five-on-five play? Simply put, the Flyers looked impotent through too much of Thursday’s game. They were hardly able to break out of their own zone, let alone create pressure on Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, through its first 35 minutes. Even when they weren’t on the penalty kill, they were stretched thin in their own zone for minutes at a time.
-Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly after the Flyers lost to Pittsburgh 4-1 tonight. More observations on the loss from Baicker.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Vanek, a rugged 6-foot-2, 207-pounder who is one of Buffalo's cornerstones, could bring the Sabres several prospects (Scott Laughton? Nick Cousins? Oliver Lauridsen?) and/or draft picks.
He would feel right at home with the Flyers because he was winger Michael Raffl's linemate with Austria at the 2013 IIHF World Championships.
"I've never seen anybody play like he does in front of the net," Raffl said after the Flyers practice Wednesday in Voorhees. "He's unbelievable."...
Yes, it would be risky to acquire Vanek - whose $7.1 million cap hit would cause the Flyers to make some auxiliary moves, like including Andrej Meszaros in the deal, to free cap space - because he could sign elsewhere after the season. The Flyers need to take that risk. Roll the dice and make re-signing him a priority. The cap is going up after the season, and the Flyers will have Kimmo Timonen ($6 million) and Meszaros ($4 million) coming off the books.
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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