Thursday, April 30, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for May 1, 2009

The Phoenix Coyotes have denied a report that the NHL has been running the franchise since February. Coyotes President Doug Moss refuted that report late Wednesday night, saying the league has not assumed control of the Coyotes. "We are not reporting to the league," Moss said. "We report to (owner) Jerry Moyes. I'm dealing with things in my area, the business side, and Donnie (GM Don Maloney) is dealing with the hockey side." Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Jaromir Jagr hasn't ruled out a return to the NHL, and if he does return, his first choice would be the Edmonton Oilers. The 37 year old still has one year left on his contract with KHL club Avangard Omsk, but wants to play with the team that offered him a contract last summer. "I was pretty excited when I heard that Edmonton pushed pretty hard for me to get (there)," Jagr said Thursday at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. "I really appreciate it. If I ever go to (the NHL), they would be my No. 1 pick because they showed the interest first. I never forget that and I respect that." Brochu's take: Anything is possible, especially given a year's time. He would be pretty dynamite on Ales Hemsky's line. Source

Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik has signed a two-year contract with Russian team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Brochu's take: Hmmm, I always thought Zednik would have no trouble securing an NHL contract. Funny enough, he was announced as a candidate for this year's Masterton trophy. Source

Colorado Avalanche forward Per Ledin has left the organization and signed a 6-year deal with Swedish club HV71. Source

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 29, 2009

The Pittsburgh Penguins have dropped the "interim" part of head coach Dan Bylsma's job title and has signed him to a multi-year contract extension.

The NHL has loaned an unknown amount of money to the Phoenix Coyotes for payroll and rent payments. The Arizona Republic online edition reported if the team fails to pay its debt, the league can take it over, according to financial records filed with Maricopa County Recorder's Office. Brochu's take: Rumors are flying that the Coyotes could possibly just fold under the economic downturn. I think Gary Bettman should bury the hatchet with Jim Balsillie and let him in. Source

With the Calgary Flames' first round playoff exit, comes the finger-pointing. There are already rumors that coach Mike Keenan will be fired, and GM Darryl Sutter's position will be analyzed and evaluted thoroughly by the Flames' ownership. New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter has been continually linked to a return to Alberta, but he remains under contract.

According to the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers have asked for permission to speak to former New York Rangers head cooach Tom Renney about their vacant coaching job. Renney has a history with Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, when they both worked for the Vancouver Canucks. Brochu's take: Tambellini will take his time. If anything, I think he will lean to a younger coach who has shown success at the AHL level. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Bouck has signed with ERC Ingolstadt of the DEL for the 2009-2010 season. Source

There's a rumor that Anaheim Ducks forward Petteri Wirtanen will leave the organization and sign with Timra of the Swedish Elite League. Source

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend rumor roundup for April 25-26, 2009

The Minnesota Wild have signed forward Carson McMillan to an entry-level contract. McMillan was the Wild's seventh round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Ottawa Senators defenseman Mattias Karlsson will be leaving the organization this summer and has signed to played with Timra of the Swedish Elite League for 2009-2010. Source

There's a rumor that former NHLer Janne Niinimaa, who played for Swiss club Langnau this season, is looking for a contract with an NHL team. Source

Dallas Stars forward Joel Lundqvist is rumored to be leaving the organization to play in Sweden, possibly with Frolunda. Source

Several Swedish teams have targeted Vancouver Canucks forward Jason Krog for the 2009-2010 season. Source

Thursday, April 23, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 24, 2009

In a press conference Thursday, Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey lashed out at Tampa Bay Lightning GM Brian Lawton for releasing the names of the players involved in a possible deal for Vincent Lecavalier. "The second half of our season was when things started to go off course and I felt the first place was when we had discussions with Tampa Bay. We had an agreement with them that I got a call early in January with a list of names from their team that they wanted to talk about, and those players ended up public because they used those names to take them to other teams to see if they could create a different trade for Vincent Lecavalier," Gainey said. "I think it was disgraceful that Josh Gorges and Tomas Plekanec and Chris Higgins have to read that stuff." Brochu's take: Lawton has denied all the speculation. It's going to be interesting in Montreal this summer, as there could be possibly a new owner, GM, coach and roster. Source

Speculation has started again about another NHL team in the Greater Toronto Area, with former player Kevin Maguire leading a group of business executives in a meeting with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. A Globe and Mail story is reporting that Daly told the Vaughn, Ontario group that the NHL is not interested in expansion or relocation at this moment. Brochu's take: This should be the biggest no-brainer in the world, but as long as Gary Bettman is in charge, we won't see another team in Toronto.

The San Jose Sharks have signed free agent Kevin Henderson to an entry-level contract. Henderson has spent the past two seasons with the University of New Brunswick in the CIS. Source

Look for my European update sometime later this week, it will highlight players from Europe that are rumored to be signing with NHL teams.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 22, 2009

The Dallas Stars have signed defenseman Phillip Larsen to a three-year, entry-level contract. Larsen was the Stars' fifth round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

The Minnesota Wild have re-signed defenseman John Scott to a one-year contract.

The Boston Bruins have signed free agent goalie Matt Dalton to a two-year contract. Dalton has played the last two seasons with Bemidji State University of the NCAA. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Former NHL goalie Dominik Hasek has come out of retirement to play for his hometown team, HC Moeller Pardubice in the Czech Republic. "A year ago I said goodbye to the NHL but not to hockey," Hasek said. "After a year when I was engaged in other activities I felt like returning." Hasek also has an option year after next year. Brochu's take: There had been rumors that he would sign with a KHL team in Russia, but I guess the economic situation put a damper on that. Hasek also stated he would love to play in the Olympics, when he will be nearly 45 years old. Source

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weekend rumor roundup for April 18-19, 2009

Sorry about the lack of updates, I've been watching the playoffs!

The New York Rangers have signed free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. The highly sought after free agent won the Hobey Baker award as the best college player in the NCAA.

The Nashville Predators have signed forward Colin Wilson to a three-year, entry-level contract. Wilson was the Preds' first round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Predators have also signed GM David Poile to a one-year contract extension. There have been rumors of Poile joining former owner Craig Leipold in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Wild also fired GM Doug Risebrough on Thursday. According to Darren Dreger of TSN, owner Craig Leipold had asked the Toronto Maple Leafs for permission to talk to assistant GM Dave Nonis, but were flatly denied by GM Brian Burke.

The Buffalo Sabres have decided to retain both coach Lindy Ruff and GM Darcy Regier for the 2009-2010 NHL season.

The Sabres have also signed defensemen T.J. Brennan and Drew Schiestel to three-year, entry-level contracts. Both Brennan and Schiestel were 2nd round picks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Source

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 16, 2009

The Montreal Canadiens have signed free agent forward Dany Masse to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 20-year old has spent the past five seasons in the QMJHL. Source

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed forward Viktor Stalberg to a two-year, entry-level contract. Stalberg was the Leafs' sixth round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and has spent the past three seasons with the University of Vermont in the NCAA. Source

The Edmonton Oilers have relieved Craig MacTavish of duties as head coach. "We both agree that it is time for a change," said Oilers' GM Steve Tambellini at a news conference in Edmonton on Wednesday. MacTavish will leave the organization completely. Brochu's take: It was time for a change in Edmonton. MacTavish should have no problems getting another head coaching job in the NHL. Source

According to Robin Brownlee of Oilers Nation, there are rumors that defenseman Sheldon Souray has asked the Edmonton Oilers for a trade. Brochu's take: Something is just isn't right about this rumor. Apparently, he had some concerns about the coaching staff (a problem that might have been resolved now), and he has deep roots in Alberta. Source

Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting that Leafs GM Brian Burke has already contacted both the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning about their respective top picks in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Burke has made it clear that he wants John Tavares, and will make a concerted effort to get him. Brochu's take: I think Burke wants to make a splash at the draft, but he doesn't exactly have a lot of assets to get that no. 1 pick. Source

The Ottawa Senators have re-signed forward Ryan Shannon to a one-year contract.

Monday, April 13, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 14, 2009

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed free agent forward Justin Bernhardt to an entry-level contract. The 21-year old has spent the past five seasons with the Regina Pats, Kelowna Rockets and the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. Source

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed free agent forward Robert Slaney to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 20-year old Slaney has spent the four seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL. Source

The Colorado Avalanche have fired GM Francois Giguere and team president Pierre Lacroix will take over until a replacement is found. Brochu's take: It looks like Giguere was the fall guy, as the Avs finished a dissappointing 28th in the NHL. Injuries really decimated the Avs this year, so it wasn't all Giguere's fault. Source

The Calgary Flames have placed defenseman Anders Eriksson on re-entry waivers. Brochu's take: I wonder if the Blackhawks would pick him up to spite Calgary?

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

The Tennessean is reporting that Alexander Radulov might consider a return to the Nashville Predators. Radulov is signed in Russia for next year, but also still has one year left on his contract with the Preds. Brochu's take: Like the article states, the dressing room might have problems accepting him back. I'm sure management doesn't mind at all. Source

Poll Results: (It's been awhile, so here's several)

Who was the "winner" of the NHL Trade Deadline?

Flames
64 (48%)
Coyotes
10 (7%)
Sharks
1 (0%)
Bruins
1 (0%)
Oilers
24 (18%)
Ducks
0 (0%)
Maple Leafs
4 (3%)
Rangers
11 (8%)
Other
18 (13%)

Total Votes: 133

What do you think of Alex Ovechkin's 50th goal celebration?

I like it!
16 (30%)
It's stupid!
16 (30%)
Don't care
20 (38%)

Total Votes: 52

Who will win the Hart Trophy?

Evgeni Malkin
18 (30%)
Alex Ovechkin
30 (50%)
Sidney Crosby
1 (1%)
Zach Parise
9 (15%)
Other
1 (1%)

Total Votes: 59

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 13, 2009

The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Johan Franzen to a 11-year, $43 million contract extension, with an annual $3.9 million salary cap hit. Brochu's take: The contract is front-loaded, with the last few years of the contract at around $1 million. These long term contracts do scare me though. We've seen a few now, but there's no knowing what these players will be 5-6 years down the road. Source

According to the New York Post, the New Jersey Devils are frontrunners to land free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy. Gilroy just won the NCAA championship this weekend with Boston University, and is now free to have contract talks with NHL teams. Source

Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire has stepped down as head coach. Lemaire has said he wants to remain in hockey and will seek another position in the NHL. He will not be returning to the Wild in any capacity. Brochu's take: There have been rumors that the players were no longer paying any attention to him. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

The Toronto Star is reporting that the Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars are the "leading contenders" to sign free agent goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Gustavsson led Farjestad to the Swedish Elite League title this season. The 6-foot-3, 24-year-old goalie had a 1.96 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in 42 games. Source

According to Russian sources, St. Louis Blues goalie Manny Legace has received offers from two KHL teams, but wants to secure an NHL job for the 2009-2010 season. Source

Reports in Sweden are saying that SEL club Rogle may be interested in signing San Jose Sharks forward Ryan Vesce for next season. Source

Saturday, April 11, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 11, 2009

According to TSN, the Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Johan Franzen to a long-term contract extension. Sources say the deal is believed to be upwards of nine or 10 years in order to keep the salary cap hit to a manageable level for the Wings. Brochu's take: More on this later as the story breaks. It's been rumored the deal could be in the $33-$39 million range. Source

The Wings have also signed free agent goalie Jordan Pearce to a two-year, entry-level contract. Pearce, 22, has spent the past four seasons with Notre Dame University. Source

The San Jose Sharks have signed goalie Alex Stalock to an entry-level contract. Stalock was the Sharks' fourth round pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and has played the last three seasons with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Source

The Atlanta Thrashers have signed defenseman Paul Postma to a three-year, entry-level contract. Postma was the Thrashers' seventh-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and scored a club-record 23 goals among a club record-equalling 84 points and led the WHL with a plus-67 with the Calgary Hitmen. Source

Friday, April 10, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 10, 2009

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-called forward Miroslav Satan from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League on Friday. Brochu's take: Hmmm, there's no word on that he cleared re-entry waivers, which I assumed he cleared if he got recalled. I'm surprised no other team picked him up to prevent the Penguins from using him in the playoffs. Source

The Calgary Flames have re-signed forward David Moss to a three-year, $3.9 million contract extension. Brochu's take: A good deal. Moss is an emerging 20-goal scorer and should improve his stats year by year.

The New York Islanders have signed forward Justin DiBenedetto to a three-year, entry-level contract. DiBenedetto was the Isles' sixth round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed free agent defenseman David Sloane to an amateur tryout under emergency conditions, according to club GM Paul Holmgren. Sloane has spent the past four seasons with Colgate University. Brochu's take: He's an injury replacement for Ryan Parent, but I guess the Flyers were really desperate to get a guy in the lineup. Source

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Geoff Kinrade to an amateur tryout. Kinrade has spent the past four seasons at Michigan Tech of the NCAA and will report to Tampa. Brochu's take: I usually don't report on ATOs, but these guys are actually signed by the NHL club and will play in NHL games. Source

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 8, 2009

The Anaheim Ducks have signed free agent forward Dan Sexton to a two-year, entry-level contract. Sexton has spent the past two seasons with Bowling Green State University. Source

The New York Islanders have signed defenseman Mark Katic to a three-year, entry-level contract. Katic was the Isles' third round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Islanders have also re-signed forward Doug Weight to a one-year, $2.2 million contract extension, with bonuses.

The Ottawa Senators have signed coach Cory Clouston to a two-year contract.

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Forwards Linus Omark and Johan Harju, who have played well for Lulea of the Swedish Elite League this season, have decided to sign with Dynamo Moskva (Moscow) of the KHL for the 2009-2010. The respective draft picks of the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning were expected to sign with their NHL teams, but agent Patrik Aronsson has confirmed the transfer. Brochu's take: Omark has been the talk of the hockey world with his outrageous shootout goal on Youtube. They'll both get top-6 minutes in Russia, something they would never get in North America. Source

Swiss reports are saying that the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks have expressed their interest in forward Andres Ambuhl. Amb├╝hl has an exit clause in his contract with HC Davos if he signs an offer from outside of Switzerland. Brochu's take: NHL teams have been keeping an eye on him for sometime. Click here for more on Ambuhl. Source

Monday, April 06, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 7, 2009

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in Las Vegas Monday to promote the 2009 NHL Awards Ceremony, to be held at the Palms Resort & Casino for the next three years. Although Bettman said he is not opposed to expanding the NHL to Las Vegas, he admitted it would not happen anytime soon. "Some league will be here," Bettman said. "Somebody's going to be first, but the stadium/arena issues, I think until they resolve, will preclude any serious consideration." Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said he believes either the NHL or the NBA will move a team to Las Vegas once the city finds a way to build an arena. Brochu's take: The whole Vegas expansion has certainly been taken off the front burner, as the arena deal with producer Jerry Bruckheimer has been called off, and the current economic situation has scared off investors. But I do think at some point they will have a team there. Source

The Detroit Red Wings have signed free agent forward Francis Pare to a two-year, entry-level contract. Pare played this season with Detroit's AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Source

The Minnesota Wild have signed defenseman Marco Scandella to an entry-level contract. Scandella was the Wild's second round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Source

Sunday, April 05, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 6, 2009

According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks are the frontrunners for the services of free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy. Gilroy cannot sign with an NHL team until his Boston University is eliminated from the Frozen Four tournament. Brochu's take: Any team wishing to sign Gilroy should be wary. He is 24, which excludes him from entry-level contracts, thus making him a free agent. While there has been more focus on college free agents this year (cough cough Toronto media), the vast majority of signings don't pan out. Source

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Joe Vitale to a one-year contract. Vitale was the Pen's seventh round pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Vancouver Canucks have signed free agent defenseman Evan Oberg to a three-year, entry-level contract. Oberg has spent the past two seasons with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Source

Brochu's European rumor roundup:

Colorado Avalanche forward Per Ledin is rumored to be signing with Swedish club HV71 this summer. Source

Washington Capitals defenseman Staffan Kronwall is rumored to be signing with Timra once his contract expires this summer. Source

Friday, April 03, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 3, 2009

The Boston Bruins have re-signed goalie Tim Thomas to a four-year, $20 million contract. Brochu's take: That's a lot of money for an older goalie. What's going to happen to Tuukka Rask? Source

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed free agent forward Tyler Bozak to a two-year, entry-level contract. The contract could be worth up to $4 million if reaches all the bonuses. Source

The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Joe Finley to a two-year, entry-level contract. Finley has spent the past four seasons with the University of North Dakota and was the Caps' first round pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Pittsburgh Penguins have free agent goalie Brad Thiessen from Northeastern University. Source

The Los Angeles Kings have signed free agent forward Patrick Mullen to a two-year entry-level contract. Mullen is the son of NHL Hall of Famer Joey Mullen, and has spent the past four seasons with the University of Denver. Source

The Dallas Stars have signed forward Luke Gazdic to a three-year, entry-level contract. Gazdic has spent the past three seasons with Erie in the OHL. Source

The St. Louis Blues have signed forward Aaron Palushaj to an entry-level contract. Palushaj, 19, was drafted in the second round, 44th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Source

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

NHL and Hockey Rumors for April 2, 2009

According to the LetsgoDU blog, Denver University free agent forward Tyler Bozak will be signing a contract with an NHL team in the next day or two, and the teams on the top of his list are the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche and the New York Islanders. The Columbus Blue Jackets were in the running, but the Bozak camp has told them he is not interested. Source

The NHL have disciplined the Toronto Maple Leafs for their handling of defenseman Jonas Frogren last summer. Sources say the Leafs have been fined $500,000 for paying Frogren a $755,000 signing bonus which violated the CBA. The Maple Leafs will also have to pay an additional penalty in the form of a fourth draft pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Frogren's contract will not be affected. Brochu's take: What a cruel April Fool's joke on the Leafs, except it's no joke and a very serious matter. Source

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed forward James van Riemsdyk to a three-year, entry-level contract. He had been playing at the University of New Hampshire for the past two seasons and was the Flyer's 2nd overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Washington Capitals have signed forward Stefan Della Rovere to a three-year, entry-level contract. Della Rovere was the Caps' seventh-round choice, 204th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Matt Generous to a one-year, entry-level contract. Generous has played the past four seasons with St. Lawrence University and was the Sabres' seventh-round pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Source

The Los Angeles Kings have signed free agent forward Corey Elkins to a one-year entry-level contract. Elkins spent the past four seasons with Ohio State University. Source