Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jagr to retire?

The latest NHL and hockey rumours for April 30, 1980:

In a post-game interview after the Rangers loss in game 3 of the New York Rangers - Pittsburgh Penguins playoff series, Jaromir Jagr hinted that he may be playing his last game on Thursday. Brochu's take: In the NHL, maybe. Rumors have been swirling that he has an offer on the table to play with Omsk of the Russian Super League.

Speculation is rampant that the San Jose Sharks will fire head coach Ron Wilson if the Sharks lose their next game in Dallas.

The Columbus Blue Jacket have re-signed defenceman Jan Hejda to a three-year, $6 million contract extension.

The Anaheim Ducks signed forward Ryan Carter to a three-year contract extension.

The Dallas Stars re-signed centre Steve Ott to a two-year contract on Tuesday worth $2.85 million ($1.35 million in 2008-09 and $1.5 million in 2009-10) through the 2009-10 season.

The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Alec Martinez to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Brochu's European rumour roundup:

Forward Brad Moran has left the Vancouver Canucks organization and signed a two-year deal with Skellefteå of the SEL. Source

There are rumours that forward Erik Westrum will leave Swiss side Ambri Piotta and return to the NHL. The Calgary Flames are apparently interested.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Modo to talk to Naslund?

Here are the latest NHL and hockey rumors for April 29, 2008:

According to Swedish website HockeyExpressen.se, SEL team Modo will be talking to Vancouver Canucks forward Markus Näslund this summer to gauge his interest in playing for his hometown team. "We will pursue a dialogue and to speak with him," sporting manager Erik Holmberg said. "I spoke with him last summer before he travelled over and I have spoken little bit with his father. I didn't want to bother him during the season." Brochu's take: Naslund has hinted in the past that he wants to return to Sweden to raise his kids. Speculation has been rampant that Naslund would re-sign with the Canucks with ex-agent and now GM Mike Gillis. It'll be interesting how this story unfolds. Source

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie has denied rumors that he is preparing a bid to buy English Premier League club Tottenham. "It's complete fiction," Peddie said Monday. "We're not interested in Tottenham at all." MLSE were reported to be contemplating a £250 million offer for Spurs but that figure is understood to be well short of a bid that would be considered by the Barclays Premier League club. Brochu's take: Peddie claims that his trip to England was to observe the business practises of top football clubs. I don't buy that. Peddie knows that English clubs make lots of money overseas and is probably investigating if it would be worth it to buy a team. Source

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed forward Brett MacLean to a three-year, entry-level contract. Source

According to Ottawa sources, former Atlanta Thrashers coach Bob Hartley was in town on Monday for an interview for the head coaching job with the Ottawa Senators.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

European rumors update April 28, 2008

As promised, this is another edition of Brochu's European rumour roundup:

The Edmonton Journal is reporting that Russian team Ak Bars Kazan is rumored to be preparing to make a $4 million salary contract offer to Montreal Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn, a restricted free agent this summer. Brochu's take: It's unlikely that Kostitsyn will sign in Russia. He loves Montreal and his brother is playing there. Kostitsyn will certainly take a deal similiar in salary to stay with the Habs. Source

Columbus Blue Jackets forward David Vyborny has left the NHL and signed a three-year contract with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga. He will also function as the club's sports manager, the Czech news agency CTK reported. Vyborny's father is also the head coach of Sparta. Brochu's take: Rumors of him leaving the NHL have been reported all season. He does have an out-clause, but it's unlikely he will returning to North America anytime soon. Source

New Jersey Devils defenseman Karel Rachunek has left the NHL and signed a two-year deal with Dynamo Moskva (Moscow) of the Russian Super League. Brochu's take: I don't think Rachunek will be returning to the NHL for a third time. He's good as gone. Source

Devils forward Noah Clarke has left the organization and signed with Ambri Piotta of the Swiss Nationalliga A.

There are rumors that New York Rangers forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau will leave the organization and play in Europe for 2008-2009. Both Malmo of the SEL and Hamburg Freezers of the DEL have expressed an interest. Source

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Andreas Karlsson is rumored to be signing for Frolunda of the SEL. Source

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed goalie Joel Gistedt to an entry-level contract. The Coyotes are also close to signing defenseman Jonas Ahnelov to a contract.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

NHL rumors update for April 26, 2008

According to The Hockey News, Fabian Brunnstrom's agent, JP Barry, has instructed all NHL teams interested in signing the 23-year-old winger from Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League to submit a one-page proposal by next Monday outlining their offer and essentially selling themselves on why it would be the best place for Brunnstrom to play. Barry will go over them with Brunnstrom shortly after that and the list will then be narrowed down to a group of five, with whom Brunnstrom will seriously negotiate.

The Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and Detroit Red Wings have all filed their submissions. The Maple Leafs, Canadiens and Red Wings are believed to be the frontrunners at this stage, while the Vancouver Canucks remain in the running. Brochu's take: Anyone else sick of all this Brunnstrom hype? It's not like this guy is the next Forsberg. There just seems to be a lot of talk for a guy that didn't play very well in the second half of the SEL season, and only managed 9 goals all year. Source

The Boston Bruins have signed goaltender Kevin Regan and forward Levi Nelson to entry-level contracts.

The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Bud Holloway to a three-year, entry level contract.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Paul Szczechura to a two-year contract.

The New York Rangers have signed goaltender Miika Wiikman to a two-way contract.

I will be posting a big European rumour update soon, so check back later today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tarnstrom to Sweden, Veilleux to Switzerland?

Here are the latest NHL rumors for April 24, 2008:

With the official hiring of Mike Gillis as the new GM of the Vancouver Canucks, speculation continues as to the future of coach Alain Vigneault and captain Markus Naslund. According to the Globe and Mail, Naslund has refused to re-sign with the Canucks if Vigneault remains the head coach. Meanwhile, Gillis is looking for more speed, grit and competitiveness. He won't be afraid of "bold moves", and is willing to entertain the idea of trading Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Brochu's take: It looks like Gillis and Dave Nonis had opposite views on how "close" the Canucks really were. We shall see how decisive Gillis is in addressing the Canucks no. 1 problem, a lack of scoring. Source

Brian Burke is staying with the Anaheim Ducks and has pledged to honor his contract to finish the 2008-2009 season. He is also working on a long-term extension with the team. Brochu's take: This won't stop Toronto-based media to continue to speculate that Burke will become the Leafs GM in one years time. For now, Burke stays in southern California. Source

According to the Puck-rakers blog, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators could be trade partners this summer. The draft will be in Ottawa in June, and there are rumors that the two teams are talking. The Jackets are quietly shopping Nikolai Zherdev and their first round draft pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Luca Caputi to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Brochu's European rumour roundup:

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dick Tarnstrom has signed with SEL team AIK for the 2008-2009 season. Source

Swiss sources are saying that Minnesota Wild forward Stephan Veilleux is being targeted by Swiss Nationalliga A club Ambri Piotta. Source

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NHL rumor update for April 23, 2008

Various sources have confirmed that Mike Gillis will be announced on Wednesday as the new GM of the Vancouver Canucks. Gillis has been rumoured as the frontrunner for the job since Dave Nonis was fired. Brochu's take: Gillis has been living in Vancouver for some time and has allegedly given advice to owner Francesco Aquilini. It would seem Gillis was the person Aquilini had in mind all along. This becomes really interesting, as Gillis is the (now former) agent of captain and UFA Markus Naslund. Source

Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz and his staff received contract extensions after an unexpected fourth straight trip to the playoffs in what began as a shaky season. The extensions for Trotz, associate coach Brent Peterson, assistant coach Peter Horachek and goaltending coach Mitch Korn were announced Tuesday by David Poile, Nashville's president of hockey operations and GM. Source

Doug MacLean is interested in the Florida Panthers head coach job. MacLean lead the Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1996. Source

Rumors continue to swirl about Brian Burke's future with the Anaheim Ducks. In a press conference on Tuesday, Burke confirmed that he has not been approached by any NHL team about a GM job. However, sources are saying that the Toronto Maple Leafs are prepared to offer a 5-year, $25 million contract.

The Los Angeles Kings have signed their 2007 NHL entry draft pick Oscar Moller to a three-year, entry-level contract. Brochu's take: Moller dominated the WHL and could make his Kings debut next season. Source

The New York Islanders have signed forward Tomas Marcinko to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Poll Results:

Who will win the Western Conference?

36 (18%)
San Jose
72 (37%)
5 (2%)
9 (4%)
27 (14%)
19 (9%)
18 (9%)
5 (2%)

Total Votes: 191

Thanks to everyone who voted in the polls!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The latest European free agent rumors

There's a lot of rumours about European free agents signing with NHL teams lately, so here's another edition of Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Swiss defenseman Goran Bezina has been scouted by the New York Rangers recently. Bezina spent the season with Geneve-Servette in the Swiss Nationalliga, and recently scored two goals in an exhibition game with Team Switzerland against Norway. Rangers scout Anders Hedberg was spotted keeping an eye on the ex-Phoenix Coyotes draft pick. Brochu's take: Rumors are that some Montreal Canadiens scouts were watching him as well. Perhaps his second stint in the NHL will be better than the first. Source

Swiss forward Beat Forster has also received some interest from NHL clubs. Brochu's take: No doubt, he will be the first NHL player with the first name "Beat". Source

The agent for Russian forward Evgeny Artyukhin has proposed a two-year deal to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The deal is believed to around $1 million a year. Brochu's take: Artyukhin bolted (pardon the pun) to Russia the last 2 years when the Lightning refused his contract demands. Given the overhaul in Tampa, he may be given another chance. Source

Defenseman Olli Malmivaara will leave the New Jersey Devils organization and play with SM-Liiga team JYP in Finland for the 2008-2009 season.

Forward Tomi Maki will leave the Calgary Flames organization and play with SM-Liiga team Jokerit in Finland for the 2008-2009 season.

Forward Janne Lahti will leave the Montreal Canadiens organization and has signed with SM-Liiga team Jokerit in Finland for the 2008-2009 season.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The latest Brunnstrom and NHL rumors

Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting now that the Toronto Maple Leafs have a "slight edge" in the Fabian Brunnstrom sweepstakes. Maple Leafs assistant GM Jeff Jackson and Brunnstrom's agent JP Barry have had discussions this week that both characterize as encouraging. The Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks are also strong in the running, while the Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators have all made late bids. Brochu's take: Dreger's been reporting later than most rumormongers about Brunnstrom, and almost all his rumors have something to do with the Leafs. Brunnstrom is expected to make his decision in the next few weeks so we'll all see by then. Source

With the elimination of the Anaheim Ducks in 6 games by the Dallas Stars, rumours are already spreading that this spells the end of Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne and Brian Burke. Neidermayer and Selanne are unlikely to return next year, and will most likely retire. Burke is still being heavily pursued by the Toronto Maple Leafs for their vacant GM position.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Swedish free agent forward Linus Videll is close to signing a two-year deal with the Nashville Predators. Videll scored 13 goals and 26 points with Sodertalje of the SEL in 2007-2008. Brochu's take: A big 6'3 winger, Videll needs to work on skating to make it in the NHL. Source

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Emery gone, Spezza for Luongo?

Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray revealed that goaltender Ray Emery will not be with the team next season. "My plan is not to have him back," Murray told reporters, "I told him (Emery) yesterday that the plan right now would be to investigate possible options for him," Murray said. "Meaning, to look for another team that is willing to make a trade." Murray also took the time to say that he will not trade Jason Spezza or Dany Heatley. Brochu's take: Emery was a major factor in the Senator's collapse this season. He will likely be gone via buyout, as few teams are interested in Emery. Source

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting a rumour of a blockbuster deal involving sending Jason Spezza to the Vancouver Canucks for Roberto Luongo. Brochu's take: Isn't this the "rumor" that Al Strachan said on CBC? Anything can happen, but there's about a 99.9995% chance that this trade would not happen. Source

Rumours continue to fly about who will become the new GM of the Vancouver Canucks. The Aquilini ownership group has already contacted Doug Armstrong, Neil Smith and John Muckler, while the frontrunners seem to be former agents Mike Gillis and Brian Lawton. The name of Kevin Cheveldayoff, the GM of the AHL Chicago Wolves, has been tossed around in NHL circles as well.

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed forward Dan Bertram and defenseman Mike Brennan to entry-level contracts. Both players had just won the NCAA Division I hockey championship with Boston College.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Leino and Niemi to sign with NHL teams?

Two of the top Finnish free agents out there, Ville Leino and Antti Niemi, have received offers from NHL teams and are both weighing offers.

Ville Leino is a 24 year old forward playing for Jokerit in the Finnish SM-Liiga. He led his team in scoring with 28 goals and 77 points in 55 games. In a recent interview, he revealed that several NHL teams have expressed an interest in him, and his agent said it's likely he will sign sometime this summer. He doesn't want to play in the AHL is focusing on the upcoming World Championships in Canada. Brochu's take: There's been talk that the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in the forward. He could be a relatively cheap option for teams looking for offensive depth. Expect the major media outlets to pick up this story in 3 months time. Source

Antti Niemi is a 24 year old goaltender playing for Pelicans Lahti in the Finnish SM-Liiga. It's rumoured that 10 NHL teams are interested in the young goalie, and he has recently traveled to Chicago to meet his agent and NHL executives about signing with a team. Brochu's take: The Leafs are rumored to be one of the teams, along with the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues. Source

There are also rumors from Finnish sources that Janne Niinimaa may try to make a return to the NHL for the 2008-2009 season. Niinimaa is playing for Davos of the Swiss Nationalliga A.

The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed forward Sergei Samsonov to a three-year, $7.6 million contract extension. Samsonov will receive $2.3 million in 2008-09, $2.5 million in 2009-10 and $2.8 million in 2010-11. Brochu's take: The question is, which Samsonov will show up next year? Will it be the same one who played horribly in Montreal and Chicago, or the one that played a good half season with Carolina? Only time will tell. Source

The Canes also signed forwards Stefan Chaput and Nick Dodge to entry-level contracts. Source

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NHL rumors for April 16, 2008

Publications across Canada are jumping in on who exactly will become the new GM for the Vancouver Canucks. Owner Francesco Aquilini described in his press conference he wanted someone with experience and leadership; someone with no-excuses. The Vancouver Province is reporting that Anaheim Ducks' senior VP of hockey operations Bob Murray is the frontrunner for the job. Rumors are flying around the NHL that Jim Nill, Ken Holland, Neil Smith, Brian Lawton, John Muckler and Mike Gillis are leading candidates as well. Brochu's take: This should be an interesting few months before the trade deadline. My feeling is that Aquilini will go with someone that's well established. Nill and Holland aren't going anywhere, despite idle speculation by Vancouver media, as they just signed long-term contract extensions with the Detroit Red Wings. Source

There are rumours that hotshot Swedish prospect Fabian Brunnstrom could be "reconsidering" his decision to sign with the Canucks. The Detroit Red Wings are back in the running to land him, according to MLive.com. Brochu's take: Dave Nonis was one of the main factors that Brunnstrom wanted to sign with Vancouver. Could Brunnstrom be lost because of the Nonis fallout?

The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Jamie Tardif to a two-year, entry-level contract.

The Washington Capitals have signed forward Francois Bouchard to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Tomas Popperle will leave the organization and has signed with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga for the 2008-2009 season. Source

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Lars Jonsson will leave the organization and return to Sweden for next year. Source

There are rumours that Edmonton Oilers prospect Jonas Almtorp could be returning to Sweden for the 2008-2009 season. Source

Sather as new Leafs GM?

Marty York of Metro News is reporting rumors that New York Rangers GM Glen Sather could be the new president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. NHL sources are saying that Sather has already been interviewed more than once for the job, and there is mutual interest from both sides. Brochu's take: Richard Peddie has said that he has not interviewed anyone, and are said to be waiting until teams are eliminated from the playoffs to talk to potential GMs. Source

Sources are saying that Jacques Martin may not accept Florida Panthers owner Alan Cohen's offer of the GM job.

The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenseman Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year contract extension. Rumours are that the deal is worth $1.5 million.

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed 2008 Hobey Baker Award winner Kevin Porter to a three-year, entry-level contract. Porter, 22, completed his senior year at the University of Michigan this season. The Coyotes also signed fellow Michigan Wolverine forward Chad Kolarik to an entry-level contract. Brochu's take: The Coyotes are assembling quite a dynamic youth core. Porter should be a contender for the Calder trophy next season, along with fellow collegiate Kyle Turris. Source

The Nashville Predators have signed forward Mark Santorelli and goaltender Mark Dekanich to entry-level contracts. Santorelli was the leading scorer of the WHL this season, scoring 27 goals and 101 points with the Chilliwack Bruins. Dekanich just completed his fourth season with Colgate University.

The Buffalo Sabres have officially signed University of Denver defenseman Chris Butler to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Canucks fire GM Dave Nonis!

The Vancouver Canucks have fired GM Dave Nonis. Nonis' team has missed the playoffs 2 of the 3 years that he was in charge. "The decision to relieve Dave of his duties was difficult,” explained Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini in a statement. "We want to thank Dave for the many contributions he has made helping to build our organization during his tenure. However, I think this important change in leadership is critical to the future of the team and the direction we need to take. It's not acceptable to our fans or to us as owners that our team isn't in the playoffs." Rumors are already flying that Anaheim Ducks GM Brian Burke could be on his way back to Vancouver to become the new GM. Brochu's take: Nonis took a lot of criticism for his lack of movement at the trade deadline, and it appears Aquilini wants to impose his will on the team. Expect a lot more changes to come, especially concerning the future of coach Alain Vigneault. Source

*** 9:42 PM PST Update *** Farhan Lalji of TSN is reporting on TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver that a decision is already made on who the new GM will be, and there are rumours that Trevor Linden could be involved in the management in some capacity.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The latest NHL rumors

Larry Brooks of the New York Post is reporting that the New York Rangers are interested in Minnesota Wild forward Brian Rolston and Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Ryder. Brochu's take: The Rangers are probably looking at replacements for Jaromir Jagr, who seems to be on his way out of New York this summer. Ryder would be the logical choice, as Rolston is a centre and the Rangers are deep down the middle with Drury and Gomez. Source

Both Darren Dreger of TSN and Scott Morrison on CBC report that highly-touted Swedish prospect Fabian Brunnstrom is very close to signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Source

Jim Matheson believes that the Chicago Blackhawks won't be able to land impending free agent Brian Campbell because Campbell likes it in San Jose with his friend Joe Thornton. Matheson believes that they will try to get Wade Redden or John-Michael Liles. The Carolina Hurricanes have interest in Liles. Brochu's take: My bet is Liles, who the Canes were trying to get at the trade deadline. Given the right offer, Campbell will go anywhere. But he really likes it in San Jose so it's likely he'll sign there.

Matheson is also speculating that New York Islanders forward Miroslav Satan would be a target of the Vancouver Canucks. Brochu's take: Another trade-deadline trade that didn't come to pass, Satan would be a much needed scorer in the Canucks lineup. His sub-par season could make him affordable in the summer. Source

The Denver Post is reporting that the Buffalo Sabres are close to signing defenseman Chris Butler from the University of Denver.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Afinogenov available?

Maxim Afinogenov looks likely to be dealt in the off-season. "It’s something we really have to look at with Max," said Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier. "He’s a great guy. I have only good things to say about him, but he may well be one of these players who’s ready for a change." Brochu's take: I expect Afinogenov to get a lot of interest from offense-starved teams in the summer. He's still capable of 25 goals and 70 points, and at his salary that is quite comparable to other players. Source

The Edmonton Oilers have re-signed defenseman Tom Gilbert to a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Gilbert will earn $3.5 million next season with a $1.5 million signing bonus, $3.5 million in 2009-2010, $5.5 million with a $1.5 million signing bonus in 2010-2011, $5 million in 2011-2012, $3.5 million in 2012-2013, and $3 million in 2013-2014 for a salary cap average of $4 million a season. Brochu's take: A big overpayment by Lowe. Gilbert has had one good season in the NHL and now he's a $4 million defenseman. Perhaps Lowe feared that Gilbert would get a RFA offer sheet, however he had the funds to match any offer. Source

The Oilers have also re-signed forward Robert Nilsson to a three-year, $5.5 million contract extension.
Nilsson will earn $1.5 million next season and $2 million in each remaining season. Brochu's take: Now this is great signing by Lowe. Nilsson is key to the Oilers youth movement and should improve his offensive stats next season.

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed draftee Nathan Davis from the Miami University of Ohio to an entry-level contract. Source

Friday, April 11, 2008

NHL rumors for April 11, 2008

Jacques Martin will not return as the Florida Panthers coach for the 2008-2009 NHL season. Team owner Alan Cohen confirmed to season ticket-holders that Martin will not return as coach, but may stay as the GM. Possible coaching candidates include Guy Charron, Mike Kitchen, Randy Cunneyworth, Bob Hartley, and Pat Quinn. Brochu's take: With Martin still with the GM job, could Olli Jokinen be on the way out? Or will Martin be able to find a coach that Jokinen can along with? Source

The Edmonton Oilers are rumored to be signing draft pick Taylor Chorney after he finishes the NCAA tournament. His team, the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, are in the Frozen Four. Source

The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. Zatkoff had finished his junior season with Miami University of Ohio. Brochu's take: The Kings now have an overflow of goaltenders in their system. Both Dan Cloutier and Jason LaBarbera have one year remaining on their contracts, while Cloutier has been rumored to be the recipient of a buyout this summer. Look for the Kings to shop one of these goalies. Source

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NHL rumors for April 10, 2008

Sergei Samsonov is happy with the Carolina Hurricanes, and would like to re-sign with the club. He could potentially earn a better contract in the summer, but given his luck with other teams, Samsonov may consider otherwise. Brochu's take: The Hurricanes were only picking up half of Samsonov's $3.5 million salary, and it's likely he'll ask for something in the $2-2.5 million range, as he almost maintained a point-a-game average with the 'Canes. Source

The New York Islanders have signed forward Rob Hennigar to a two-year, entry-level contract. Hennigar was a CIS All Canadian with the UNB Varsity Reds. Brochu's take: I expect that many NHL teams will start to look at players coming from Canadian universities more closely. Source

The New Jersey Devils have signed goaltender Jeff Frazee to a two-way contract. Frazee was the second round choice of the Devils in the 2005 NHL entry draft.

Brochu's European rumour roundup:

CSKA Moscow is rumored to have offered New York Islanders backup goaltender Wade Dubielewicz a one-year, $1.8 million contract.

New Jersey Devils defenseman Karel Rachunek is rumoured to have signed a contract with Dynamo Moscow for 2008-2009. Source

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Joakim Lindstrom is rumoured to be returning to Sweden to play with Skelleftea in the SEL. Source

Dallas Stars forward Marius Holtet has signed with Farjestad of the SEL. Source

NHL rumors for April 9, 2008

According to the Buffalo News, the Sabres want to sign Ryan Miller to a long-term contract extension, but the question is, does he want to? Miller wants to meet with management to see the direction of the franchise before he commits to any new deal. Brochu's take: Miller's seen some of the best players on his team leave year after year; Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Brian Campbell. Will Buffalo open the bank to sign him?

The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Frazer McLaren and defensemen David MacDonald and Mike Moore.

Brochu's European rumour roundup:

Anaheim Ducks forward Geoff Platt is rumoured to be signing with SCL Tigers of the Swiss Nationalliga A.

Detroit Red Wings forward Mark Cullen is also rumored to be signing with SCL Tigers.

New Jersey Devils defenseman Olli Malmivaara is rumored to be signing with JYP in Finland.

Vancouver Canucks forward Brad Moran is rumoured to be signing with Skelleftea of the SEL.

Poll Results:

Who will win the Steven Stamkos sweepstakes?

Los Angeles
115 (47%)
Tampa Bay
59 (24%)
13 (5%)
St. Louis
8 (3%)
25 (10%)
4 (1%)
16 (6%)

Total votes : 240

What would you like to see added to Brochu is Hockey?

My analysis ("Brochu's take")
27 (43%)
More polls
5 (8%)
Top 10 lists
19 (30%)
Non-rumor posts
7 (11%)
4 (6%)

Total votes : 62

Thanks to everyone who participated in the polls!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Canucks to make big off-season changes?

Vancouver Canucks GM Dave Nonis pledged for changes during his press conference on Monday. Nonis called missing the playoffs unacceptable and promised significant changes this summer. He expects to address the scoring issue with either trades or free agent signings. Brochu's take: With nearly $15 million potentially to spend, this should be a busy off-season for the Canucks. If they can trade one of their defenseman like Kevin Bieksa or Alexander Edler for some scoring, they could return to the playoffs. The Carolina Hurricanes were one of the 7-8 teams interested in Edler, and rumours could escalate this summer. Source

The Dallas Stars have re-signed defenseman Nicklas Grossman to a two-year, $1.95 million contract extension.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Grant Clitsome to a three-year, entry-level contract. The Clarkson University product was the Jackets’ 12th pick, 271st overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft. Brochu's take: Clitsome will join Darren Puppa and Ron Tugnutt as the best dirty sounding names in NHL history.

The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Steve Zalewski to an entry-level contract.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Karel Pilar will leave the organization and play for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in Russia. Pilar spent the majority of the 2007-2008 season with the AHL Chicago Wolves. Source

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Stanislav Lascek has signed with HKm Zvolen of the Slovak Extraliga. Lascek had been playing with the ECHL Mississippi Sea Wolves. Source

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hockey rumors from all over

The following NHL rumours come from the intermission program "The Hotstove", during CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast:

Analyst Al Strachan believes there is "gossip" that the Vancouver Canucks could trade Roberto Luongo to the Ottawa Senators for Jason Spezza. Strachan believes that the rumors and speculation that Luongo wants out of Vancouver is distracting him. Brochu's take: Luongo clearly stated that he does not want out of Vancouver and is happy. But Strachan believes otherwise so it must be true. ;-)

Pierre LeBrun brings up the rumor around the trade deadline of the Florida Panthers asking for Daniel and Henrik Sedin in exchange for Olli Jokinen. LeBrun believes with the uncertainty of the Panthers management, this deal could be revisited in the summer. Brochu's take: I expect the Canucks to make a strong push for Jokinen sometime around the entry draft, as Jokinen and Luongo are good friends.

The latest from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

Garrioch believes that both Toronto Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice and Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford will be fired in the off-season. Brochu's take: Well, that isn't hard to speculate.

Garrioch believes that Minnesota Wild forward Pavol Demitra will not re-sign with the club because he prefers a warmer destination. The Tampa Bay Lightning could be interested. Brochu's take: I didn't know Garrioch was so in tune with Demitra's personal preferences. Demitra will probably stay in Minnesota, as he gets along with friend and fellow Slovak Marian Gaborik.

The Edmonton Oilers will shop goaltender Dwayne Roloson. Brochu's take: The Oilers could use up the money freed by trading Roloson to get some more experience in the lineup.

The Ottawa Senators are planning to re-signing captain Daniel Alfredsson to a long contract extension once July 1st arrives.

Friday, April 04, 2008

NHL rumors for April 5, 2008

According to the Pipeline Show Blog, Edmonton Oilers prospect Rob Schremp has been given an offer to play in Finland. Earlier in the week, it was rumored that Swedish teams were talking to his agent, but that was denied. However, there have been approaches from a SM-Liiga team to Schremp's Sweden representative. Brochu's take: If Schremp does take an offer from Europe, I can see the Oilers trading his rights. Source

Edmonton Journal writer Curtis Stock reported on his blog that the Calgary Flames are rumoured to have re-signed forward Daymond Langkow to a 4-year, $20 million contract. The contract also involves a no trade clause. Stock also reported that this effectively ends Kristian Huselius's tenure in Calgary. The Oilers are reported interested in signing Huselius. Brochu's take: Langkow was one of the top centres in the potential UFA market. However, the Flames are starting to get near their cap for next year and rumors will fly about who will get traded. As for Huselius, he could get $5-5.5 million on the open market. Source

The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Justin Abdelkader to a three-year, entry-level contract. The Wings are also rumored to be signing prospects Anton Axelsson, Dick Axelsson and Daniel Larsson.

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed forward Andreas Nodl and defenseman Michael Ratchuk to entry-level contracts on Friday. Both will report to the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms.

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Joe Fallon of the University of Vermont to an entry-level contract.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed free agent forward Stefano Giliati to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

NHL rumors for April 3, 2008

Has Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mats Sundin played his last game in the NHL? According to the Toronto newspapers, there's a possibility that Sundin will retire in the summer. Sundin has said he will evaluate his future in the summer, and interim GM Cliff Fletcher has a"feeling" that Sundin would re-sign with the Leafs. Brochu's take: Despite being 37-years old, Sundin has not slowed down in point production. I predict he will wait for the Leafs to finish their summer reconstruction and sign in late August.

According to Swiss newspaper Blick, Atlanta Thrashers forward Darren Haydar may sign with HC Lugano of the Swiss Nationalliga. Brochu's take: Haydar, a very productive AHL player, has never been able to stick with an NHL teams. He's been getting some offers from Switzerland and he could probably make more money in Europe.

The Florida Panthers have signed defenseman Jason Garrison to an entry-level contract.
The 6-2, 220-pound Garrison recently completed his junior season at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he recorded five goals and nine assists in 26 games. Source

The Minnesota Wild have signed forward Ryan Jones to an entry-level contract. Jones spent the past four seasons at Miami University in Ohio, where he amassed 90 goals and 57 assists in 161 games. Jones is also one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker award. Source

The New York Rangers have signed forward Ryan Hillier to an entry-level contract.

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed defenseman Nick Ross to an entry-level contract.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hawks to get top dman, forward?

Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon expects to get approval from chairman Rocky Wirtz to spend what he needs in free agency starting July 1. "We need a top-notch defenseman and a top-notch forward," Tallon said. "I could see (adding) two free agents and two kids. But whatever we do won't be just for next year. Any additions will be for the long term, too." Brochu's take: The crop of top defenseman includes Wade Redden, Brian Campbell and John-Michael Liles. The only real "top-notch" forward is Marian Hossa. The Hawks have a lot of cap room and I expect them to sign one of these players. Source

The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Bryan Lerg. The 5'10, 175-pound Michigan State forward has 20 goals and 19 assists in 42 games this year for the Spartans. Lerg signed a two-year deal worth $962,000, with $175,000 in bonuses. Brochu's take: The Oilers continue to gather top college age talent. However, they are getting close to their maximum of 50 NHL contracts. Source

The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Davis Drewiske to a multi-year, entry-level contract. Drewiske, 23, had 21 points in 20 games with the Wisconsin Badgers.

The New York Islanders have signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a two-year, entry-level contract. In 41 games this season with Colorado College, the 5-11, 200-pound native of Minnesota had six goals and 31 assists for a Division I-leading 37 points among defensemen. Brochu's take: With the salary cap, many teams are now snapping up the young talent in the college ranks more than ever. Hillen will get a few games in the NHL this season to show his stuff. Source