Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 31, 2008

According to the Team 1200 radio in Ottawa, the Senators are rumored to be making a coaching change as soon as tomorrow. They are also reporting rumours that the Sens have a deal in place with the Colorado Avalanche that would see the Avs sending defenseman John-Michael Liles and forward Marek Svatos to Ottawa. Brochu's take: Speculation is that forward Antoine Vermette could be involved in the package to the Avs. Stay tuned.

The Columbus Dispatch hockey blog "Puck-rakers" is reporting that the Blue Jackets have talked to the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders about trades, but the BJ's have little to offer other than draft picks. Brochu's take: None of these teams are poised to make a playoff run. Perhaps some mutual salary dumping? Source

The Calgary Herald is reporting that three scouts from the Tampa Bay Lightning were at the Calgary Flames - Minnesota Wild game Monday night. The writer adds that the Bolts don't play the Wild again this season and don't play the Flames until March. Source

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Dustin Tokarski to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The Anaheim Ducks have signed defenseman Matt McCue to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Canucks acquire LaBarbera

The Los Angeles Kings have traded goaltender Jason LaBarbera to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 7th round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Brochu's take: This is because Curtis Sanford has some injury issues, and Luongo will not be back for at least 3 weeks.

Monday, December 29, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 29, 2008

Newsday is reporting that, according to a NHL source, New York Islanders GM Garth Snow is seeking draft picks in exchange for centre Doug Weight, who has attracted trade interest from several teams. Brochu's take: Weight's name has been in the rumor mill lately, but I suspect Snow will hold on to him until closer to the deadline, where he can get maximum value for him. Source

According to the "Hockey Guy" blog on, the St. Louis Blues and Montreal Canadiens have been scouting each other closely, and Tomas Plekanec is rumored to be involved in the talks. Apparently, GM Bob Gainey is "looking to mix things up." Brochu's take: This is the first time I've seen Plekanec's name come up in trade talks. I doubt that Gainey would subtract from his roster; it's more than likely he will add someone. Source

The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Claude Lemieux to a two-way contract. Brochu's take: If Lemieux makes it back to the NHL, Kris Draper better watch out!

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed defenseman Frantisek Kaberle on waivers.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

According to Swedish sources, Finnish forward Mika Pyörälä will finish his contract with Timra in the SEL and try his luck in the NHL for the 2009-2010 season. In 32 games this season, Pyörälä has scored 10 goals and amassed 16 assists. Brochu's take: Rumours are that the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs are interested. Source

Swiss reports are indicating that the Montreal Canadiens could be close to signing forward Andres Ambühl. The 25 year old Swiss has scored 12 goals and 31 points in 34 games for Nationalliga A club Davos this season.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Weekend NHL and Hockey Rumor Roundup for Dec 27-28, 2008

This is the latest NHL and hockey rumors for the weekend of December 27-28, 2008.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Philadelphia Flyers will shop defenseman Randy Jones once Danny Briere comes back off the injury list.

Brendan Shanahan continues to skate and practise alone, while waiting for a team to call him. Shanahan has been looking for a deal with an Eastern Conference team, but sources are saying that it won't be long until he starts talking to Western Conference teams. Brochu's take: Shanahan's time is running out, but there's talk that several teams are desperately trying to make salary cap space for him. Word is that the Rangers could be back in the running.

Garrioch claimes that league sources have confirmed that Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey have talked to the Chicago Blackhawks about forward Martin Havlat. Brochu's take: Once Garrioch latches on a rumor, he doesn't let go. Remember the Ohlund to Senators rumours he had every week? Source

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN is reporting that the Washington Capitals aren't actively trying to trade forward Michael Nylander, but will listen to the right offer if someone calls. Brochu's take: The Columbus Blue Jackets are looking for a no.1 centre...could they be interested?

Lebrun also reports there is a lot of "chatter" around the league that the Toronto Maple Leafs are kicking tires on backup goalies. Source

According to Newsday, the Columbus Blue Jackets are believed to be interested in New York Islanders forward Doug Weight. Source

The Columbus Dispatch blog "Puck-rakers" reported that a Blue Jackets scout was at Saturday's game between the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres. Brochu's take: The chatter around the league is that the BJ's could be close to a trade.

The Calgary Flames has suspended forward Dan Ryder for violation of team rules and conduct detrimental to the best interests of the team. Brochu's take: Let's hope this kid can sort out his problems.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 27, 2008

Sorry about the delay! But I promise there will be another post tonight, and I will be blogging late into the night if there are any trades once the NHL Christmas trade freeze ends tonight at midnight.

According to, the Montreal Canadiens have discussed with hockey officials in France about playing a game there in the next two seasons, most likely in the 2010-2011 season. Donald Beauchamp, vice-president of communications with the Canadiens, confirmed that director-general of the Federation de Francaise Hockey sur Glace Eric Ropert met with team president Pierre Boivin in Montreal in September. The schedule is at the discretion of the NHL, but a game in Paris is possible in two years. Source

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the Blue Jackets are in trade talks with six or seven teams, and their greatest need is an offensive centre. "I still think we can make the playoffs with the team we have now," GM Scott Howson said. "But we are trying to tweak the roster for sure. We've had conversations (with other general managers) over the past week." Brochu's take: Rumors are that he could be looking at New York Islanders forward Mike Comrie. Source

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that Senators GM Bryan Murray is at the World Junior Hockey Championships and furiously discussing trade with several teams. Garrioch believes it's inevitable that forward Jason Spezza's name will pop up. Brochu's take: Ain't gonna happen, Bruce. Unless the Sens go into a death spiral, I don't see Spezza going anywhere.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone who have read this blog this year!

According to the Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, forward Marian Gaborik will be held out of the next two games, Sunday vs. Chicago and Monday vs. Calgary. Minnesota Wild assistant GM Tom Lynn chalked it up to injury precautions, but Russo believes that it's a suspicious move, given all the rumors surrounding Gaborik being traded. Russo confirmed that the Atlanta Thrashers have an interest in Gaborik, and the Wild and Thrashers have been in trade talks for the last week or so. Brochu's take: This is getting interesting. Do the Thrashers have enough in their system to get Gaborik? It's unlikely that Ilya Kovalchuk will be headed the other way. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Sport Express is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets are(were) interested in Russian forward Sergei Zinovjev. Zinovjev just signed with KHL club Dynamo Moscow for the rest of the season, but will resume talks with NHL teams in the summer. It's believed that the Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators are interested in him as well. Source

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 24, 2008

In an interview with Russian newspaper Sport Express, Maxim Afinogenov denies that he will leave the Buffalo Sabres in mid-season, but is open to the idea of playing in the KHL after his contract expires. Afinogenov wants to the stay in the NHL, but looking at all offers. "It is probably the worst period in my career, and it is difficult to do anything when you play five minutes a game. But let’s see, the deadline is soon [4 March] and then something should happen." Afinogenov said. Brochu's take: Even Afinogenov recognizes that he will be traded soon. I expect a deal to be made closer to the deadline, which will maximize the return for Buffalo. Source

The Phoenix Coyotes franchise is in serious financial straits, and it's been rumored that the NHL will take over the team. Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes' trucking business has been hit hard by the economic meltdown, and it's been reported that the Coyotes's assets and revenue have been used as collateral for a major loan. Brochu's take: Before everyone calls for the franchise to return to Winnipeg, the existing lease with the city of Glendale pretty much prevents the team from relocating. However, the league is rumoured to be negotiating a change in that lease. Source

According to Rich Hammond of the LA Kings blog "Inside the Kings", the Kings were interested in acquiring Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, but the talks fell through earlier this week. Brochu's take: Khabibulin's strong play of late has made it hard for the Hawks to deal him. But at the same time, Khabby's value has been higher. Remember, he was on waivers earlier this season. Source

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph has played down rumors that he will retire after this season. Instead, he has concentrated on getting his games whenever possible. Source

Monday, December 22, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 23, 2008

Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish has put forward Robert Nilsson in his doghouse by putting the Swedish forward as a healthy scratch for Monday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Nilsson was benched on Friday, and was called out in the Edmonton Sun by MacTavish. "I was expecting a lot more out of him," MacTavish told the paper. "He had a great opportunity playing with our best forward (Ales Hemsky) and he just didn't show enough urgency in his game for me. That's plagued him through his career so far, the complacency and the laissez-faire attitude in which he conducts himself and plays the game." Brochu's take: This method of calling out players in the media seemed to work for Dustin Penner, who has responded offensively. But will it work again? Nilsson's name could be in trade rumors if it doesn't work out.

According to the Puck-rakers blog on the Columbus Dispatch website, there appears to be a lot of indications that the Blue Jackets could be trading as soon as the NHL Christmas trade freeze ends December 27. Writer Tom Reed suggests that New York Islanders Doug Weight and Mike Comrie would be good fits, however, Comrie's $4 million salary might be too much for Columbus' liking. Brochu's take: Weight and Comrie look like targets for NHL teams arming for the playoffs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekend NHL and Hockey Rumor Roundup for Dec 20-21, 2008

The following rumors are from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

There are apparently "whispers" in the NHL circles that the Atlanta Thrashers and Minnesota Wild are discussing a blockbuster trade that would see the Wild trade forward Marian Gaborik and defenseman Kim Johnsson to the Thrashers for forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and Colby Armstrong. Brochu's take: It's been reported earlier that the Wild and Thrashers have been in trade talks, and it's obvious that Garrioch just jumped in on this and added some likely names.

On CBC's Hockey Night in Canada intermission program, "The Hotstove", Al Strachan reported that the Ottawa Senators are still trying to move forward Jason Spezza. Brochu's take: You'd think that after signing that long extension, these type of rumors would die. But here they are. When's the last time a big contract player was traded??

Strachan also reported that the Florida Panthers are trying to move goaltender Tomas Vokoun, and the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to move goalie Cristobal Huet. Brochu's take: There's been rumors that the Panthers may be trying to shed more payroll because of the economic situation.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Stars are looking for a no.1 defenseman. There are rumors that they have called the Toronto Maple Leafs about the availability of defenseman Pavel Kubina.

Friday, December 19, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 20, 2008

The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded forward Jonathan Filewich to the St. Louis Blues for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

The Pens have also re-signed forward Maxime Talbot to a two-year, $2.1 million contract extension.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed forward Jussi Jokinen on waivers. Brochu's take: At this rate, the whole organization is going to be put on waivers.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

The Columbus Blue Jackets have terminated goaltender Fredrik Norrena's contract, after he cleared unconditional waivers. Norrena has subsequently signed a contract with KHL club Ak Bars Kazan. Source

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 19, 2008

The Christmas NHL roster freeze will come into effect today at noon, and will end December 27.

The official contract for Mats Sundin with the Vancouver Canucks appears to be a one-year deal worth roughly $9 million, pro-rated at around $5 million for the rest of the season. Darren Dreger of TSN speculates this will give the Canucks around $2.5 million in salary cap space, which will allow them to get another high impact player at the trade deadline. Brochu's take: Ahhh, no more rumor updates on Sundin...until the summer!

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Carolina Hurricanes forward Dan LaCouture has left the organization and it's believed he has gone to Russia to sign with a KHL team. Brochu's take: Not sure why TSN chose this one to report, as several players this season have left the NHL to sign in Russia. Source

St. Louis Blues forward prospect Nikolai Lemtyugov, who left the AHL Peoria Rivermen to play in Russia, has officially signed with KHL team Severstal Cherepovets. Source

Defenseman Mike Egener has left the Tampa Bay Lightning organization and signed with Swedish club Vita Hasten. Source

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mats Sundin signs with Vancouver!

Mats Sundin has officially signed a contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Brochu's take: FINALLY! Details to be released. Rumors are that he has a no-movement clause.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 18, 2008

According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, the New York Rangers are willing to move forward Chris Drury in order to make room for Mats Sundin. Dater also believes that Drury would be willing to move his no-movement clause to go this old team, the Colorado Avalanche. The San Jose Sharks are rumored to be interested in his services. Brochu's take: No one is going to pick up Drury's $7+ million contract, especially for someone who scores around 65-70 points a season. Both teams that are mentioned are navigating very close to the salary cap as well. Source

Apparently, Mats Sundin is supposed to make his decision between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers on Thursday, but his agent J.P. Barry reported that Mats may not make the decision until the weekend or even after the Christmas NHL trade freeze. Brochu's take: Sigh.

Darren Dreger is reporting that Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray may be under pressure to make moves to jumpstart his struggling club. Murray admitted that he had a call from another team about the possible availability of forward Jason Spezza, but was not interested at the time. Dreger believes that the Sens may shop the forward. Brochu's take: If the Canucks lose out on Mats Sundin, could they possibly go after Spezza? Source

The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed goaltender Fredrik Norrena on unconditional waivers. Norrena cleared waivers earlier this week, and if he clears this time, it's believed the Jackets will terminate his contract. Brochu's take: Norrena's agent is looking at jobs in Europe. Linkoping in Sweden has already denied they are interested in the backstoppper.

The St. Louis Blues have placed forward Cam Paddock on waivers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 17, 2008

Peter Forsberg wants to play in the NHL one more time, and according to the Denver Post, wants to play in the playoffs with the Colorado Avalanche. Forsberg added that he will quit hockey if it doesn't work out this time. Brochu's take: At least this will save us endless speculation as to where he would play, which was the case for the 2007-2008 season. Source

TSN's Darren Dreger reports that Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke will make his first trade as soon as the NHL's holiday roster freeze ends on December 27. Dreger speculates it could be for more toughness in the lineup, or a legitimate enforcer. Brochu's take: Not really rumors, and not really much more than what everyone else knows.

Poll Results:

Who will be the next NHL coach to be fired?

Craig MacTavish
126 (37%)
Andy Murray
28 (8%)
Dave Tippett
71 (21%)
Tony Granato
36 (10%)
Whoever's in Tampa
50 (14%)
23 (6%)

Total Votes: 334

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Monday, December 15, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 16, 2008

TSN, ESPN and Sportsnet are all reporting that the Mats Sundin sweepstakes are down to two teams: The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers. It's believed that Sundin will make a decision in the next 48 hours or sometime before Friday, which happens to be the NHL's Christmas trade freeze deadline. Sundin's agent J.P. Barry will be meeting with Canucks GM Mike Gillis on Tuesday, while Sundin is back in Sweden for "personal" reasons. Meanwhile, Barry denied a report from the Fan 590 in Toronto that Sundin has signed with the Rangers. Brochu's take: Maybe, just maybe, the Sundin saga will be over this week. All indications seem to point with Sundin signing with the Rangers, who will have to do some major lineup shuffling to fit him in. This is unconfirmed, but I hear Bob McKenzie is going on a hunger strike until Mats signs.

Sportsnet's Doug MacLean also reported that Sundin refused a $7.5 million a year contract from the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting rumors that the Minnesota Wild and Atlanta Thrashers may be close to a trade. Writer Michael Russo reported that Thrashers GM Don Waddell attended both Wild games in California, and during the first intermission, "Waddell and Wild GM Doug Risebrough looked to be having a serious conversation", reports Russo. Brochu's take: Hmmm, definitely something to chew on. There's been a lot speculation about goaltender Nicklas Backstrom's contract negotiations...could something be up? Source

The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed goaltender Fredrik Norrena on waivers.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

St. Louis Blues forward prospect Nikolai Lemtyugov has suddenly quit the AHL Peoria Rivermen and returned to Russia. Brochu's take: I'm assuming he was frustrated about toiling in the AHL, and probably could make more money in the KHL. I will always remember him as the guy with the white skates. Source

The opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championship is to be held in Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, home of a top-league German soccer team, Schalke 04. The stadium has a potential capacity of 75,976, which would break the outdoor attendance record for a hockey game. Source

Defenseman Matt Kinch has left the San Jose Sharks organization and has signed with DEL club EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams. Brochu's take: Another fantastic name for a hockey team.

According to Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star, some KHL teams might overpay Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski next year to lure him to come to Russia. Grabovski is due to be a RFA next summer. Source

Sunday, December 14, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 15, 2008

The Dallas Stars will not allow Sean Avery to return to the team and the Stars say they won't challenge the conduct clause in Avery's contract and will explore any options for his future that are consistent with the anger management counselling he's receiving as part of his suspension. Brochu's take: Let's hope Avery cleans up his act, otherwise, he just shouldn't be in the NHL.

The Anaheim Ducks have traded forward Brian Sutherby to the Dallas Stars for the rights to forward David McIntyre and a conditional 6th round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Blues are in early negotiations with the NHL to begin the 2009-2010 season in Sweden, playing against the Detroit Red Wings. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

According to Swiss sources, Florida Panthers forward Ville Peltonen will leave after his contract expires and sign with HC Lugano of the Nationalliga A for the 2009-2010 season. Source

Saturday, December 13, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 14, 2008

There appears to be a lot of rumors coming from New York that the Rangers are on the verge of making several moves, all having to do with making salary cap space for Mats Sundin. Speculation is that the Rangers may place forwards Petr Prucha and Dan Fritsche on waivers, and will trade a high-salary player in the next 48 hours. Sundin was in New York to film a commercial, and was spotted in a box at MSG. Brochu's take: There is certainly a buzz going around the Rangers; I would keep an eye on them the next few days.

According to Pierre LeBrun of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada program "The Hotstove", the Columbus Blue Jackets will do something about goalie Frederik Norrena in the next two weeks. Brochu's take: No word yet on either a trade or waivers.

Phoenix Coyotes forward Brian McGrattan has voluntarily entered the NHL substance abuse program. No other details were released by the team or the league.

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 13, 2008

Bob McKenzie of TSN was on Team 1040 radio in Vancouver on Friday and stated that there was a rumor that the New York Rangers would send forward Scott Gomez to the Vancouver Canucks to make room for Mats Sundin. McKenzie added that the rumour was around in the summer, but has recently percolated around the NHL. Brochu's take: We shall see. The Rangers definitely have to make soom salary cap space if they want to fit in the Swedish centre.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed defenseman Mike Lundin on waivers.

The New Jersey Devils have placed forward Petr Vrana on waivers. Brochu's take: I expect Vrana to be picked up. He was one of the Devils best prospects last year.

The Washington Capitals signed goaltender Brett Leonhardt to a one-day amateur tryout contract on Friday. Jose Theodore suffered a hip flexor injury during the Capitals' morning skate, and Simeon Varlamov was recalled from Hershey, the team's AHL affiliate, to back up starter Brent Johnson. However, Varlamov was in San Antonio, and would arrive sometime during the game on Friday. Leonhardt is a Capitals website editor, and actually played goalie for Division III college team Neumann College. Brochu's take: These are great stories. Leonhardt was relieved by Varlamov at the start of the second period. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Slovakian forward and former NHLer Ladislav Nagy is not having a good season in the KHL, and may be looking to return to North America next season. Nagy has 3 goals in 28 games with Severstal Cherepovets. The Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and New York Islanders expressed some interest in the forward last summer. Brochu's take: Some players are finding out the hard way that the KHL isn't what it's hyped up to be. Expect Nagy to sign with an NHL team next season. Source

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 12, 2008

According to ESPN, there is a rumor going around that the New York Rangers are interested in re-acquiring Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery, and would like to send defenseman Michal Rozsival in exchange. Avery would then be sent to the Ranger's AHL affiliate in Hartford, which would free up salary cap space to sign Mats Sundin. Brochu's take: A very strange rumor. The Rangers really weren't interested in re-signing him this past summer, so why would they want him in the organization now? Source

According to the New York Post, Mats Sundin will be in New York City this weekend and will meet with Rangers GM Glen Sather. The hockey rumor mill is indicating that the top 2 teams on Mats Sundin's list are the Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. Brochu's take: This will be my last post about Mats Sundin until he ACTUALLY signs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Dana Tyrell to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The Miami Herald's On Frozen Pond hockey blog is speculating that the Edmonton Oilers are trying hard to acquire Florida Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. Brochu's take: The hometown microscope has not really worked for most players (case in point, Joffrey Lupul), and Bouwmeester has said in the past he doesn't want to play in Edmonton. It's also curious that these type of rumors always begin to percolate as the Panthers make their way through Western Canada. Source

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 11, 2008

The New York Islanders have placed forward Jon Sim on waivers. The Islanders blog "Point Blank" suggests that this move is the first in a series of transactions that could see several veterans being waived to make roster space. Brochu's take: A quick peep at the Islanders roster indicates there are already lots of players about to become UFAs, so they might as well wait until the end of the year. However, defensemen Brendan Witt and Andy Sutton could be possible targets for the waiver wire. Source

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has received several offers, but none that have interested him. Burke will not make any personnel moves before his self-imposed Christmas trade freeze, but has been fielding calls on players. "It's a compassionate group," he said of his fellow GMs with a laugh. "They say, `Here's the new guy, he's lost a couple of games, he's got cap room,' so I've been offered some world-class salaries. Unfortunately the players' play haven't been commensurate with their salaries." Brochu's take: There have been rumors that Burke's first priority is getting back some of the draft picks that ex-GM Cliff Fletcher has doled out. Source

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks want to free up some salary cap space for Mats Sundin, and are actively shopping forward Martin Havlat around the league. Garrioch suggests that the Florida
Panthers, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets could use a dynamic offensive player. Brochu's take: Havlat's injury-free season (so far) might be enough bait for someone to bite. Perhaps the Leafs could take on his salary for a 1st rounder? Source

According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, sources are saying that Dallas Stars co-GM Brett Hull will be moved to a smaller role in the organization, most likely as advisor to owner Tom Hicks. Brochu's take: Rumors are that Hull never went to scout minor or junior players, and missed a lot of "essential" GM duties.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 10, 2008

The Vancouver Canucks have traded defenseman James Sharrow to the Chicago Blackhawks for a conditional pick in the 2009 NHL Entry draft.

Speculation continues to surround about the future of Florida Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. There have been trade rumors that he may be headed to the Ottawa Senators, but GM Bryan Murray has stated he has not talked to GM Jacques Martin since the beginning of the season. Brochu's take: It's a matter of when he will be traded this season, as the Panthers are wallowing in the bottom of their conference. Source

The Anaheim Ducks have signed forward Eric Tangradi to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-assigned forward Radim Vrbata to his hometown team BK Mlada Boleslav, who are in the Czech Extraliga. Vrbata cleared waivers Tuesday. Brochu's take: An almost win-win situation. The Bolts get the underachieving forward off their cap, while Vrbata gets to escape the gongshow in Tampa.

Avangard Omsk of the KHL has cancelled the contract of ex-NHLer John Grahame. This was a reaction to allegations of alcohol abuse by Grahame, highlighted by an incident in an Omsk nightclub last week involving Grahame. Source

The KHL have ruled in favor of Russian forward Sergei Zinovjev and has allowed him to become a free agent. Ak Bars Kazan was found to have illegally cutting Zinovjev's salary. Source

Brochu's take: Just in case you are wondering, both Zinovjev and Grahame would have to clear waivers if they were to sign with an NHL team, as both have played games with their respective clubs already.

Monday, December 08, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 9, 2008

The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed forward Radim Vrbata on waivers. Vrbata had asked, and was given permission to return to the Czech Republic for "personal reason". If Vrbata clears waivers Tuesday, he will likely be assigned to his hometown team in Mlada Boleslav. Vrbata's $3 million a year contract will come off the cap, and the Lightning will not have to pay his salary. However, Vrbata's contract will still be valid, whenever he decides to return to the NHL. Brochu's take: TSN is reporting that Vrbata is citing "confidence" issues, but the blog has an insider's look on the situation and it is definitely sounds like personal reasons. (His wife being 5 months pregnant is a major point). Source

The Lightning have also placed forward Chris Gratton on waivers. Brochu's take: The Bolts are well on the way to having the NHL record for most different players on a team in a season.

The Buffalo Sabres have denied a report in Western New York Hockey magazine that majority owner Tom Golisano is looking to sell the team. Minority owner Larry Quinn has quelled the speculation, but admitted that "four or five" teams of people have called to ask if the franchise was indeed on the block. There's rumors that Canadian billionaire Jim Balsille may be one of the groups trying to land the Sabres. Brochu's take: Is there a time when a team is rumored to be for sale, that Balsille is not interested?? Source

According to the Puck-rakers blog on the Columbus Dispatch website, several scouts from NHL teams were watching the Columbus Blue Jackets-Los Angeles Kings game on Saturday. Two scouts for the Boston Bruins watched, as did one each from the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers. Brochu's take: The Stars, Preds and Hawks are probably studying their divisional rivals, but the Bruins don't play the BJs until March. The Rangers play the Kings later this month. The Canucks don't play either team until 2009. Source

Sunday, December 07, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 7, 2008

The following NHL and hockey rumors are from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

"Multiple NHL sources told Sun Media yesterday that Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell has held serious talks with several teams about the possibility of trading forward Ilya Kovalchuk." Garrioch speculates that the Montreal Canadiens have an "obvious interest" in the Russian forward. Brochu's take: If Kovalchuk is traded, Waddell would be fired shortly thereafter. I predict that Kovalchuk will stay, unless some team ridiculously overpays.

"There's a lot of talk the [New York]Rangers are looking to move either defenseman Wade Redden or Michal Rozsival. Both were signed to new deals in the off-season, but Redden, who agreed to a six-year, $39-million deal, has a no-movement clause in his contract, making it more likely that Rozsival would be dealt." Brochu's take: For the record, Redden does NOT have a no-movement clause, but a somewhat limited no trade clause where he has listed three teams he cannot be traded too. Both the hefty contracts of Redden and Rozsival make them essentially untradeable.

"The [Florida]Panthers are trying to move forward Nathan Horton. He is scheduled to make an average of $4 million on a contract that runs through the 2012-13 season, which could make him difficult to trade. Forwards Rostislav Olesz and Brett McLean can be had for a draft pick." Brochu's take: Horton would probably get interest from a lot of teams in the NHL.

"The [Edmonton]Oilers have mild interest in moving defenseman Ladislav Smid. Given a chance, he could fit the bill for the [Ottawa]Senators." Brochu's take: There's been a lot of rumors that the Senators and Oilers are discussing trades, and this should add to the scuttlebutt.

"The [Philadelphia]Flyers are looking to dump salary and might decide to see what they can get for forward Joffrey Lupul." Brochu's take: Lupul's been on the trading block for a few weeks now.

Garrioch also believes the Thrashers will move defenseman Matheiu Schneider by the March 4 trade deadline, and he has already received a few calls.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 6, 2008

According to, the Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones. The Flyers will have to make some moves very soon, as several players will be coming off the injury reserve. Source

Pierre Lebrun reports on several free agents, who are still looking at signing with an NHL team. Several have been offered two-way contracts, but these veterans are looking for a one-way deal. Yanic Perreault, Bryan Smolinski, Jocelyn Thibault, Glen Murray, Kevyn Adams, Martin Lapointe and Dan Cloutier are all looking to hook up with a club. Brochu's take: Perreault and Smolinski have the best chance of signing, but the others all have histories of injuries that may scare some suitors off. Source

The New Jersey Devils have placed forward Barry Tallackson on waivers.

The Phoenix Coyotes have placed forward Brian McGrattan on waivers on Friday. He has cleared. Brochu's take: I'm not 100% sure this has even happened.

Dave "Randy" Nonis has been named senior vice president of hockey operations of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Al Strachan of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada reported that Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon is on the hot seat, and rumors are president John McDonough wants to get his own people in the front office. The Hotstove panel also speculated that he is being pressured to make a "big move" soon. Brochu's take: Tallon is living on borrowed time in Chicago.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 5, 2008

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the Dallas Stars have previously tried to send forward Sean Avery to the minors, and have asked the AHL team Manitoba Moose if they would take him. The Moose were again asked if they would take him, and they responded that "there would be absolutely no chance" they would take him. Brochu's take: The NHL's decision on Avery's suspension should come early Friday morning. Even AHL teams don't want anything to do with Avery.

Rumors are swirling that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to get defenseman Tomas Kaberle to waive his no trade clause. The Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche are very interested in the Czech blueliner. Brochu's take: Kaberle is living his last days in Toronto, especially if he gets into coach Ron Wilson's doghouse. Perhaps a new locale will help rejuvenate his play.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Petri Kontiola, who has asked for a trade, is rumored to be leaving his team, the AHL Rockford Icehogs, and will join Timra of the Swedish Elite League. Source

Defenseman Steve Marr has also left the Blackhawks organization and has signed with German hockey club Herner EG.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 4, 2008

The Anaheim Ducks have traded forward Joakim Lindstrom to the Phoenix Coyotes for defenseman Logan Stephenson.

The Carolina Hurricanes have fired head coach Peter Laviolette and have replaced him with former Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice. Maurice will become the interim head coach until the end of the season, and Ron Francis has been named associate coach. Brochu's take: A curious move, given Maurice's record with the Canes and Maple Leafs.

According to Doug MacLean of Sportsnet's Hockeycentral, the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators are rumored to be involved in trade talks. MacLean states that Mathieu Garon could be involved, while the Oilers are looking for a gritty, veteran forward. Brochu's take: Perhaps they are interested in Mike Fisher? The Senators are still looking for a puck-moving defenseman, but I'm note sure if the Oilers have any to spare.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 3, 2008

The has suspended Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery indefinitely. He will have a hearing with commissioner Gary Bettman Wednesday. Avery made some derogatory remarks in reference to Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf's girlfriend and Avery's ex, Elisha Cuthbert. "I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada," Avery said on camera this morning in Calgary. "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about. Enjoy the game tonight." Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks also said he would have suspended Avery if the NHL did not step in. Brochu's take: The hockey media have speculated that Avery has played his last game with Dallas. However, there are few options for the Stars, as Avery is hated around the league and has a relatively big contract.

Stefan Legein will return to the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. Legein had retired at the age of 19 earlier this summer because he was no longer interested in playing hockey. Legein has been working out at home in Ontario and will try to make to to the BJ's AHL affiliate in Syracuse in January. Brochu's take: Perhaps Legein thought making it in the NHL is better than working at a pizza shop. Source

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, 26 teams, including all six Canadian teams, are interested in 22 year old University of Denver Pioneer forward Tyler Bozak. Bozak has seven goals and 18 points in 15 games this season. NHL scouts are also looking at Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy, who refused 20 NHL offers last year to complete his degree at BU. The 25 year old has one goal and 9 points in 13 games this season. Brochu's take: Dreger calls this the "Brunnstrom Buzz", in reference to the media fury about Fabian Brunnstrom. BTW, Dreger did NOT start the Brunnstrom buzz. Ken Campbell from The Hockey News was the first to report about the Swedish forward. I'm just a bit tired of TSN and Dreger taking "credit" for discovering him. Source

Newday is reporting that New York Rangers forward Petr Pruch has refused a 10-day conditioning assignment with the Rangers AHL affiliate. Writer Steve Zipay believes the Rangers should trade Prucha to free up some cap space, possibly to sign Mats Sundin. Brochu's take: Rumors of trading Prucha have been around all year, but it seems no one wants him. I believe Prucha would really benefit from a new team if given more ice time. Source

Monday, December 01, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 2, 2008

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has requested and been granted permission by the Anaheim Ducks to talk to Dave Nonis about a position with the Leafs. Nonis has been a senior advisor in the Ducks organization. Brochu's take: Everybody in the NHL knew Burke would call his old buddy as soon as possible. Look for Nonis to become the new vice-president and director of hockey operations.

According to the Vancouver Province, Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman met with Mats Sundin's agent J.P. Barry in Calgary on Saturday. While the main topic of discussion was contract extentions with Mattias Ohlund, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, Mats Sundin's future was also in play. It's believed that Barry will speak with Sundin about narrowing down his choices to 3-4 teams. Meanwhile, Sundin has been skating and working out at a secret location in Southern California. Brochu's take: Sundin's ETA back to the NHL won't be until after the new year, and possibly in February. By the way, I think this blog should be called Sundin is Hockey, as almost there are daily (or hourly) Sundin rumors. Source

The word is that the Chicago Blackhawks are also aggressively courting Sundin, and GM Dale Tallon is on the hot seat to make a winner of the Hawks this season.

Marty York of the Metro News is reporting that the Edmonton Oilers "are poised to complete a significant trade and/or fire coach Craig MacTavish, likely this week. [President] Kevin [Lowe]’s just about ready to pull the trigger." Brochu's take: MacTavish has been given a vote of confidence by Lowe and GM Steve Tambellini, so I don't think he will be fired. As for the "significant trade", the Oilers need a shakeup in the worst way. The word is that the Oilers are considering putting either Mathieu Garon or Dwayne Roloson on waivers, to clear some cap space. Source

The Philadelphia Flyers have placed forward Josh Gratton on waivers.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kirill Starkov has left the organization and has signed with KHL club CSKA Moskva (Moscow). Source

Poll Results:

When will Brian Burke become the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

In the next two weeks
70 (46%)
Before Christmas
38 (25%)
After Christmas
23 (15%)
20 (13%)

Total Votes: 151

Thanks to everyone who voted in the polls! This poll ended after Burke was named GM!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 1, 2008

Al Strachan on "The Hotstove" of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast reported that the Calgary Flames are shopping Mike Cammalleri, and are looking for a rugged winger in return. Brochu's take: I doubt that he is being shopped, as his play has really picked up in the last few weeks.

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post believes that the Colorado Avalanche are still interested in Buffalo Sabres forward Maxim Afinogenov, and are still making inquiries about him. Dater also reports that interest in trading defenseman Brett Clark has been lost due to the injury to Adam Foote. Brochu's take: I'm pretty sure Dater reported this Afinogenov rumor sometime last year, but I'm not sure. There hasn't been much interest in Afinogenov from any NHL team. Source

Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily Herald is reporting that the Blackhawks are possibly shopping forward Martin Havlat, who has struggled of late. He believes that the Montreal Canadiens may be interested. Brochu's take: The Habs have been looking for a high scoring forward, but I don't think Havlat would fit into their system. Source

The following rumors come from rumor-monger extraordinaire, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

The Carolina Hurricanes are looking to shed some salary, and are shopping defensemen Joe Corvo and Frantisek Kaberle, and forward Patrick Eaves. Brochu's take: Eaves has not progressed since the trade from the Senators.

The Toronto Maple Leafs may ship defenseman Pavel Kubina to new GM Brian Burke's old team, the Anaheim Ducks. Brochu's take: The Ducks are pushing the cap, I don't think they will add another defenseman with such a high salary.

Tukonen for Hutchinson

The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded defenseman Andrew Hutchinson to the Dallas Stars for forward Lauri Tukonen. Hutchinson just cleared re-entry waivers Friday, while Tukonen is playing for Lukko Rauma of the Finnish league. Brochu's take: Tampa Bay may set the record for most trades this season!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 29, 2008

Brian Burke has been officially announced as the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is a six year contract, believed to be in the $18 million range. Highlights from his press conference are:

-Cliff Fletcher is to remain as a consultant.

-He won't make trades before the Christmas trade freeze, and has a personal deadline of 10 days before that, which means he won't make any trades until the new year.

-One of his first priorities will be to make the team tougher, which could mean acquiring an enforcer.

-No mention of Dave Nonis, who has been rumored to be named the vice-president and director of hockey personnel.

-Burke tried to acquire Mikhail Grabovski from the Montreal Canadiens while he was the GM of the Anaheim Ducks.

-From his discussions with Mats Sundin, he doesn't believe the Leafs fit the profile that Sundin has stated.

The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Bryan Helmer to an NHL contract. Helmer had been playing with the Caps AHL affiliate, Hershey Bears.

Ottawa Senators defenseman Luke Richardson has retired from the NHL. Richardson cleared waivers on Friday and will take a job within the Sens organization.

The New York Islanders have placed defenseman Thomas Pock on waivers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 28, 2008

Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting that once Brian Burke is officially named the new president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he will start shaping the team in his mode. The rumor is that defensemen Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina could be on the trading block, despite their no trade clauses. Alex Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov are also believed to be considered trade bait. Brochu's take: There has been no "official" signing of Burke, yet. As for Burke, there is a widely reported (but wrong) notion that he likes to build a team with North Americans and not Europeans. Don't forget he made a trade during the 1999 NHL Entry Draft to draft the Sedins.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Forward Michal Birner has left the Anaheim Ducks organization and has signed with Pelicans Lahti of the Finnish SM-Liiga.

There are rumours from Sweden that Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Fredrik Norrena may be signing with Linkoping. Norrena is currently the odd man out in Columbus. Source

There's also a rumor that forward Mikael Renberg will come out of retirement and play with Swedish Elite League team Frolunda. Source

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 27, 2008

The Florida Panthers have traded forward/defenseman Wade Belak to the Nashville Predators for forward Nick Tarnasky.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have put Andrew Hutchinson and Jason Ward on re-entry waivers on Thursday.

The Columbus Blue Jackets placed forward Kirill Starkov on waivers Wednesday. He has cleared.

The Ottawa Senators have placed defenseman Luke Richardson on waivers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 26, 2008

The Montreal Canadiens have some interest in Russian forward Sergei Zinovjev, who wants out of his KHL team Ak Bars Kazan. Zinovjev is reportedly unhappy with his coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and has stated he wants to move teams, although Ak Bars could refuse to let their star go. Brochu's take: For more on Zinovjev's situation, read here. Source

According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, barring a complete turnaround, Brian Burke will be announced as the new president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs at a afternoon press conference on Saturday. Sources say that MLSE has yet to make a formal offer, but has given Burke and his lawyer a "term sheet". A six-year deal (including what is left of this season) worth about $3 million (U.S.) per year and with the same level of autonomy that was guaranteed in writing to Toronto Raptors' GM Bryan Colangelo appears to be the offer, along with certain bonuses. Brochu's take: The longest love affair in NHL history is about to be consummated. Burke will have a national audience when he make it formal this weekend. Source

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News is reporting that several teams have inquired about young forward Jamie Benn. It's been speculated that the Stars might make some moves in the near future to shake their team out of their dissappointing start. Source

The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded center Wyatt Smith to the Phoenix Coyotes for future considerations.

Chicago Blackhawks forward prospect Petri Kontiola has asked for a trade. In a Finnish interview, he states that he wants to play in the NHL and feels that the AHL is longer a place for him. Source

Monday, November 24, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 25, 2008

According to Bob McKenzie's blog on, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher may not be done with moves, and more trades could be coming in the next few weeks. Both coach Ron Wilson and soon-to-be Leafs GM Brian Burke denied any involvement in the trade. Brochu's take: Both Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo have been in Wilson's doghouse all season, so it's not surprising that they were traded. It appears Fletcher wants to go out with a bang before Burke takes over.

Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail believe the Ottawa Senators should wipe the slate clean and fire GM Bryan Murray. Simpson blames Murray for all his personnel decisions, and suggests that Steve Yzerman or even Pierre McGuire should be the Sens new GM. Brochu's take: Simpson sounds like he has an axe to grind against Murray and former Sens GM John Muckler. Yzerman has a comfy position in Detroit and may not be quite ready for full GM duties. McGuire has been approached by many teams in the past, but seems happy with his position at TSN. Source

During the FSS broadcast of the Carolina Hurricanes-Florida Panthers game Monday, New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello was spotted taking in the game in a luxury box with Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr. Brochu's take: The Devils play the Panthers Wednesday. But they don't play the Canes until January. Perhaps a little bit of scouting?

According to sources in Montreal, Canadiens assistant GM Pierre Gauthier has been spotted at the last 2 games of the AHL Springfield Falcons, the Edmonton Oilers affiliate. The rumor is that they are looking at forward Rob Schremp. Brochu's take: The Canadiens are looking for bit more punch in their offense, and Schremp could fit that role.

The Columbus Dispatch Blue Jackets blog "Puck-rakers" is reporting that "former Blue Jackets assistant general manager Jim Clark is in the building. He's now scouting for the Ottawa Senators. The interesting part of this, of course, is that the Senators are scouting the Blue Jackets ... again." Brochu's take: The Senators scouting staff have pretty much been setting camp in Columbus; you have to wonder when a trade will happen. Word is that the Sens are interested in Jason Chimera. Source

Stempniak for Steen, Coliacovo

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded forward Alex Steen and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to the St. Louis Blues for forward Lee Stempniak. Brochu's take: The Leafs have made another blunder here. Steen, while currently struggling, has lots more potential than Stempniak, who has not established himself as a steady scorer in the NHL. Colaiacovo's injury history makes him questionable, but he definitely has the talent to be a top-4 defender in the league.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend rumor roundup for Nov 22-23, 2008

Here's the latest NHL and hockey rumor update for this weekend:

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun speculates that the Montreal Canadiens might be willing to shop forward Alexei Kovalev in order to fit Mats Sundin into their lineup. GM Bob Gainey has renewed his interest in the Swedish free agent after previously stating that he will was no longer pursuing him. Brochu's take: The Sundin rumors are amping up again.

Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis still has that 2-year, $20 million offer on the table for Mats Sundin, but if he can't sign him, the Canucks could make a pitch for Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza. Brochu's take: Could. However, given that the salary cap will go down next year, and the Canucks are comfortably under the cap, they might hesitate on adding a long term, expensive contract.

The Calgary Flames are shopping defenseman Adrian Aucoin. Source

The Buffalo News' Bucky Gleason is reporting that the Sabres should get rid of forwards Maxim Afinogenov and Tim Connolly, as well as defenseman Henrik Tallinder if the Sabres are to make the playoffs. Brochu's take: Afinogenov has been on the market for quite some time, but no one has been biting. Connolly's well-known injury troubles will scare off potential suitors. Tallinder's probably the only one that could attract some interest. Source

Garrioch on his blog stated that the Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in Sens defenseman Christoph Schubert. No word on what may be coming back though. Source

Saturday, November 22, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 22, 2008

The Colorado Avalanche have reclaimed forward Jesse Boulerice off waivers from the Edmonton Oilers.

The New York Rangers have placed forward Patrick Rissmiller on waivers.

The Florida Panthers have placed Wade Belak on waivers.

The St. Louis Blues are desperate for some offensive help, and are rumored to be interested in acquiring Philadelphia Flyers forward Joffrey Lupul. There's also some interest in Washington Capitals forward Michael Nylander, who has been linked to the Chicago Blackhawks for some time.

Brochu's European and Asian rumor roundup:

Forward Claude Lemieux, who was trying to make a comeback to the NHL, is now rumored to be signing a contract within the next two weeks with the Worcester Sharks, the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate. Lemieux played a few games with the China Sharks of the Asia League, but has now left the team. The China Sharks are also affiliated with San Jose. Brochu's take: If this rumor is true, than he's one step closer to his goal.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Prestin Ryan has left the organization and has signed with Adler Mannheim in Germany.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 21, 2008

There's a rumor floating around tonight that the Chicago Blackhawks have traded defensemen Brent Sopel and Dustin Byfuglien to the Washington Capitals for forward Michael Nylander. Byfuglien was a late scratch from tonight's Chicago Blackhawks-Dallas Stars game. Brochu's take: Bob McKenzie of TSN reported that this deal was very close to happening, and it might have happened tonight. Stay tuned.

The Edmonton Oilers have placed forward Jesse Boulerice on waivers.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed forward David Koci off waivers from the St. Louis Blues.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist is rumoured to be signing with Swedish club Rogle. Tjarnavist has been a healthy scratch for the Avs inevery single game this season. Source

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 20, 2008

According to the New York Rangers blog on, there were several scouts at the Vancouver Canucks-New York Rangers game. The Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and the Phoenix Coyotes each had one scout, while the Los Angeles Kings, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders had two each. Brochu's take: Several of the East coast teams can be explained. However, there are rumors there are several NHL teams are interested in Petr Prucha, who has been a healthy scratch for a lot of games this season. There's also been a lot of speculation that the scouting teams are looking at Mattias Ohlund, who everyone knows by now is a UFA this summer. Source

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 19, 2008

Sorry about the late update today, I will make another one tonight.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that GM Bryan Murray could be stepping up his pursuit of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund, noting "Canucks GM Mike Gillis and assistant Lawrence Gilman were on the list of scouts for last night's Ottawa Senators-New York Rangers game". Brochu's take: Gillis did admit to looking at both the Sens and Rangers closely, noting their "makeup". Source

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Minnesota Wild GM Doug Risebrough was scheduled to attend the recent Ottawa Senators-New York Rangers game but could not make it. "Ottawa and the Rangers are two teams that could make sense for a potential Marian Gaborik trade. Bryan Murray, Ottawa’s GM, loves making blockbusters, and Rangers GM Glen Sather is buddy buddy with Risebrough," writer Michael Russo wrote. Brochu's take: Nothing will be done until Gaborik comes back from injury, but this is something definitely to chew on. Source

Bob McKenzie of TSN reported on his blog that there are rumors that the Minnesota Wild are very close to trading forward Marian Gaborik.

McKenzie is also reporting that "the Chicago Blackhawks, according to multiple NHL sources, have a standing deal ready to go at a moment's notice to acquire veteran center Michael Nylander from the Washington Capitals." The rumble is that the Hawks will ship out goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, but there appears to be a shortage of suitors. Source

The St. Louis Blues have claimed forward BJ Crombeen off waivers from the Dallas Stars.

The Minnesota Wild have placed defenseman Tomas Mojzis on waivers. He has cleared.

The Detroit Red Wings have placed forward Darren McCarty on waivers. He has cleared.

The Blues have also placed forward David Koci on waivers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 18, 2008

The Colorado Avalanche have re-signed forward Paul Stastny to a 5-year, $33 million contract extension. The yearly salary cap hit is $6.6 million. Brochu's take: A bit of a hometown discount, as there were rumors some NHL teams were going to offer him a lucrative offer sheet (>$7 million).

The Dallas Stars have put forward BJ Crombeen on waivers.

Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish ripped into undeachieving foward Dustin Penner on Sunday, saying that "you can't throw gratuitous ice-time at a player that's inconsistent." Penner has been benched for the last two Oilers game, and MacTavish questions his competitiveness and fitness. Brochu's take: You have to wonder how long Penner will last in Edmonton. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Swiss Nationalliga A club ZSC Lions Zurich is rumored to be interested in signing Carolina Hurricanes goalie Daniel Manzato for the 2009-2010 season. Source

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 17, 2008

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning are not finished with personnel moves, and is willing to move anyone not named "Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Paul Ranger and Andrej Meszaros." Brochu's take: Is the equipment manager available?

The New Jersey Devils might be interested in Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Olaf Kolzig, who is available. Brochu's take: GM Lou Lamoriello will hold on for a few Weekes, (pardon the pun) but if the goaltending does not get better he will make a move.

"League sources" are saying that Florida Panthers have told GM Jacques Martin to cut $3 million in payroll, re-sign impending UFA Jay Bouwmeester and make the playoffs. Brochu's take: Good luck with that. Bouwmeester wants out of Florida and it will happen sometime this season, and most definitely in the off-season.

The Edmonton Journal is reporting that the Colorado Avalanche are willing to move forward Tyler Arnason. Brochu's take: Not much interest in an underachieving forward.

The Pittsburgh Penguins had placed forward Paul Bissonnette on waivers Friday and has subsequently cleared.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Free agent defenseman Bryan Berard has officially signed a one-year contract with KHL team Vityaz Podolsk/Chekhov.

New York Rangers defenseman Andreas Jamtin has officially signed with Swedish club Linkoping. Source

Poll Results:

Do you like the new look of Brochu is Hockey?

140 (55%)
114 (44%)

Total Votes: 254

Thanks for the feedback everyone! And for those who voted no, feel free to send me an email or leave a comment on what you didn't like!

Sydor traded for Boucher

The Dallas Stars have traded Phillipe Boucher to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Daryl Sydor.

Friday, November 14, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 15, 2008

The Tampa Bay Lightning have fired head coach Barry Melrose. Associate coach Rick Tocchet has been named interim head coach. Brochu's take: The Lightning franchise is a complete joke right now. It looks like Al "The Spaghetti Salesman" Strachan was right after all. I'm looking forward to hearing all the humble pie that Mike Milbury and the media are going to eat once Strachan goes on The Hotstove tomorrow.

Anaheim Ducks CEO Michael Schulman filed paperwork with the National Hockey League earlier today that would grant all teams permission to speak with former GM Brian Burke.

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports that scouts from the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and the Toronto Maple Leafs" attended the Tampa Bay Lightning-Detroit Red Wings game on Thursday.

There have been a lot of rumblings and rumors that the Dallas Stars will make some major changes if the team does not improve their play in the next few weeks.

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, there were three Colorado Avalanche scouts at the Ottawa Senators-New York Islanders game. Senators GM Bryan Murray wants Av's defenseman Jordan Leopold and the Avalanche are interested in Antoine Vermette. Brochu's take: The Sens have been looking for a puck moving defenseman for quite some time now. Source

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 14, 2008

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, "a report out of Columbus indicated the Blue Jackets have targeted [Ottawa] Senators defenseman Chris Phillips and the talk is GM Scott Howson has contacted [GM Bryan] Murray. Phillips has a no-movement clause in his contract and would have to approve any deal." Brochu's take: There's been a Sens scout at every Columbus home game this season, so you never know. There have also been scouts looking at Nikita Filatov, who's currently in the AHL. Source

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks are closing in on a deal with the Washington Capitals to acquire Michael Nylander. Brochu's take: One of the summer's "hottest" NHL rumors, Nylander still has a no-movement clause. The Hawks are still pushing the salary cap. Source

TSN is reporting that Carolina Hurricanes' GM Jim Rutherford was formally offered the dual position as president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs in August of 2007, at which time John Ferguson Jr. was still in place as the GM of the team. Rutherford ultimately refused the offer to stay with the Canes. Brochu's take: This kind of news is never good for the parties. It looks bad for John Ferguson Jr, and it looks bad for the Leafs. Going behind the back of a GM never looks good. Source

The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman John Carlson to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The Philadelphia Flyers have placed defenseman Lasse Kukkonen on waivers.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Janne Niskala has officially signed with Frölunda of the Swedish Elite League. Niskala was given permission to play in Europe after passing through waivers. Source

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 13, 2008

Brian Burke has stepped down as the GM of the Anaheim Ducks. Senior vice president of hockey operations and assistant GM Bob Murray has been promoted to general manager. Burke will remain on as special consultant to CEO Michael Schulman, but has been given a one week "break" which he can discuss and freely negotiate future employment opportunities as a GM in the NHL. TSN mentions it is now very likely that he will become the new GM and president of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brochu's take: The longest rumor in the history of GM rumors can finally come true. Some in the media continue to speculate that the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks could also be pursuing Burke, but Toronto makes too much sense. It's close to his children, and his wife can easily get a broadcasting job in Canada. Source

It appears Jason Blake is already wearing out his welcome in Toronto, only in his 2nd year of a 5-year, $20 million contract. Blake does not have a no trade clause, but his contract and age essentially makes him untradeable. The Leafs have the option of trading him, demoting him or buying out his contract. Brochu's take: He's untradeable as the writer states. Demoting him would be another option, but I really don't see a buyout considering the Leafs already have Darcy Tucker's dead cap space on the books. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Kevin Allen of USA Today is reporting that free agent defenseman Bryan Berard is close to signing a one-year deal with Vityaz Chekhov of the KHL.

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is citing a Swedish source that Peter Forsberg recently had another operation on his oft-injured foot. Brochu's take: He's tried different doctors, and even different skates. Maybe Forsberg should go dip his foot in the waters of Lourdes? Source

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roman Wick: This year's Fabian Brunnstrom?

According to Swiss reports, several NHL teams have been scouting Swiss forward Roman Wick, and there are rumors that he could be the next "Fabian Brunnstrom." (ie. the next hyped European free agent prospect.) Wick plays for Kloten Flyers, and was originally drafted by the Ottawa Senators 156th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, but was never signed to a contract. Wick's agent Christoph Graph said to "It is not a rumor, it's true: We are bringing Wick next season into the NHL." Up to 20 NHL teams have been scouting the Swiss forward, including the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings. Brochu's take: He could become this year's overhyped European prospect. However, Wick does have two years in the WHL under his belt. With the early success of Brunnstrom, more and more NHL teams are scouting the European leagues for unknown talent. Source

According to Bill Meltzer's blog on, forward Patrick Thoresen wants to come back to the NHL next season. Thoresen is currently leading the Swiss Nationalliga A in scoring while playing with HC Lugano. "My goal is to play well enough to get a 1-way contract and become an NHL player again," Thoresen said. Brochu's take: He could be a nice player to pick up. However, he has to be put into a top-6 role to succeed. The Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers are reported interested in re-aquiring the Norwegian. Source

Oilers claim Boulerice off waivers

The Edmonton Oilers have claimed forward Jesse Boulerice off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche. Boulerice was playing on an AHL contract with Colorado's affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters. Brochu's take: A replacement for the injured Steve MacIntyre, I assume.

Defenseman Keith Carney has retired from the NHL. The 38 year old, who last played with the Minnesota Wild, had a few NHL teams interested in his services but decided to spend more time with his young family. Source

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed defenseman Josef Melichar on waivers, as per the TSN ticker.

Monday, November 10, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 11, 2008

According to the Inside the Kings blog from the Los Angeles Daily News, the Kings may be shopping Brad Richardson or John Zeiler due to roster inflexibility. The two players are currently on one-way contracts and have been healthy scratches for most of the season. This also explained why the Kings did not pick up Buffalo Sabres forward Matt Ellis on waivers, even if they were interested. Brochu's take: I had reported that the Kings picked up Ellis on waivers, sorry about that. Ellis has cleared and has been sent to Buffalo's AHL affiliate. Source

The Colorado Avalanche has terminated the contract of forward Scott Parker for insubordination. Parker refused an assignment to the Av's AHL affliate Lake Erie Monsters and now is an unrestricted free agent. Brochu's take: He's not going to get much interest, especially with this kind of "insubordination." Source

According to the Puck-rakers blog on the Columbus Dispatch website, Ottawa Senators scout Nick Polano has been at every Blue Jackets home game this season. Aaron Portzline dismisses the Jason Spezza rumors, however he notes that an asking price of Nikita Filatov and a no.1 draft pick would "start the conversation." Brochu's take: An interesting tidbit about that Sens scout. I wonder who he's looking at, considering Filatov is in the AHL right now. Source

The Colorado Avalanche have placed forward Jesse Boulerice on waivers.

The Detroit Red Wings have placed forward Aaron Downey on waivers, according to the TSN ticker. Brochu's take: I think this is the second time this season.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weekend rumor roundup for Nov 8-9, 2008

It's been a busy week for NHL rumors, so here's what's been happening this weekend:

Larry Brooks of the New York Post believes that the Toronto Maple Leafs are already shopping defenseman Jeff Finger, who was signed to a four-year, $14 million contract this past summer. Brochu's take: Finger just came off the injury list, and they want to trade him? Source

Al Strachan reported on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada intermission program "The Hotstove" that the New York Islanders are shopping forward Mike Comrie around the league. Source

Pierre LeBrun also reported that the Detroit Red Wings are close to re-signing Henrik Zetterberg. The deal is rumored to be $7 to $8 million a year and the length could be up to 10 years.

The Denver Post is reporting a rumor that the Montreal Canadiens may trade goalie Jaroslav Halak to the Colorado Avalance for defenseman Brett Clark. Brochu's take: The salary cap implications don't make much sense here. At this time, Halak is no better than Budaj or Raycroft. Source

According to Slam Sports on, there has been an Atlanta Thrashers scout following the last three games of the Edmonton Oilers. Brochu's take: Maybe they were looking at one of their 3 goalies? Source

Jim Matheson reports that a trade of Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Pascal Leclaire, defenceman Rostislav Klesla and either a first-round draft pick or a forward like R.J. Umberger would at "least tweak Ottawa's interest." Brochu's take: Is this a real "rumor", or is just a fantasy proposal like you see on message boards? Bloggers aren't the only ones making stuff up, folks.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Nov 9, 2008

Here are the latest rumors from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

There appears to be a logjam in net for the Atlanta Thrashers and it's believed that goalie Kari Lehtonen is available. Both Garrioch and Al Strachan of HNIC are reporting that GM Don Waddell is shopping the 23-year old Finn around the league. Garrioch speculates that the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers will make inquiries. Brochu's take: The Flyers are pushing the cap as it is, so they won't get him. The Wings will stick with Osgood for this season at least.

The Florida Panthers are looking more and more likely to be dwelling in the division cellar, which has fueled speculation that Jay Bouwmeester will be traded. The Ottawa Senators are interested, but the asking price is forward Antoine Vermette. GM Jacques Martin has coveted Vermette for sometime. The Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks are also interested. Brochu's take: Martin's time in Florida is running out, and if he does deal Bouwmeester this season, he won't have a job for long.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are shopping defenseman Christian Backman, forward Jiri Novotny and goalie Frederik Norrena. Garrioch believes there's not much interest in any of them. Brochu's take: For once, I agree with Garrioch.

Garrioch also believes that the Ducks will shop forward Bobby Ryan if they can't find a way to get him into the NHL. Brochu's take: I don't think that's a particularly good reason to shop a young forward.