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!