Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the 2013 Stanley Cup.

Congratulations to Conn Smythe Trophy winner Patrick Kane.


- The NHL Players Overseas for Lockout list is current as of 2:35 PM January 6, 2013.

- The 2012 Free Agents list and 2012 Free Agent Signings list are current as of 2:35 PM January 6, 2013.

- The 2011 Free Agents list and 2011 Free Agent Signings list are current as of 1:09 PM June 16, 2012.

- The Atlanta Thrashers have been re-designated Winnipeg on the 2011 Free Agents list. Any signings that were completed prior to May 31, 2011 will be listed as "Atlanta/Winnipeg." Any signings completed after May 31, 2011 will be listed as "Winnipeg."

- The 2010 Free Agents list and 2010 Free Agent Signings list are current as of 11:34 PM May 20, 2011.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Canadiens Lose Prospect Valentenko to the KHL

According to the Moscow Dynamo website, Montreal Canadiens defensive prospect Pavel Valentenko has signed a three-year contract with the KHL team. The Canadiens' AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, had just granted Valentenko a leave of absence to deal with family matters in Russia when the signing was announced. Valentenko is the second prospect the Canadiens have seen return to Russia in the past few years. Forward Alexander Perezhogin left the Canadiens two years ago to sign with Ufa Salavat after disputes over ice time and contract terms. While it is always hard for a team to lose a top prospect, the Canadiens still have plenty of quality prospect defensemen, including Ryan McDonagh, Yannick Weber, P.K. Subban, David Fisher, Mathieu Carle, and Alexei Yemelin. The loss of Valentenko won't hurt the Canadiens in the long run.

Blues Sign Goaltender Holt

The St. Louis Blues announced on Thursday that they have signed goaltender Chris Holt. Terms or length of the deal were not disclosed. Holt has played in two games so far this season with the Blues' AHL affiliate in Peoria. He has a record of 2-0-0 thus far with a .915 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average. Holt had spent the past three seasons in the New York Rangers minor league system, playing with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL and Charlotte Checkers of ECHL. The signing was likely done given Holt's strong play thus far and the Blues' current injury woes to their goaltending. Holt likely won't see any playing time in the NHL, but if the Blues continue to lose goaltenders to injury, there's a chance he could get called up.

Predators Swing Two Minor Trades

The Nashville Predators on Thursday swung two minor trades. In the first, they acquired defenseman Tim Ramholt from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for left wing Josh Gratton. In the second, the Predators acquired right wing Hugh Jessiman from the New York Rangers in exchange for future considerations. Both Jessiman and Ramholt were assigned to the Predators' AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Gratton had originally signed as a free agent with the Predators over the summer to a one year contract in an enforcer role, but was demoted to the minors during the preseason after taking too many errant penalties and unnecessary fighting majors. The two trades are likely just depth moves for their AHL affiliate, but both players could possibly see time with the team this season if injuries should start to mount.

Senators Sign Alfredsson to Four-Year Extension

The Ottawa Senators announced on Thursday that they have signed team captain Daniel Alfredsson to a four-year contract extension worth $21.6 million that also has a no-movement clause. The deal averages out to $5.4 million per season. The contract will likely keep Alfredsson a Senator for the rest of his career. Alfredsson was eligible for unrestricted free agency in July, but had option years on his current contract. According to, the first year of the contract will pay him $4 million, plus a $3 million signing bonus and a $2.1 million bonus for the removal of the option years from his old contract, which total $9.1 million. The second year of the contract will pay $4 million with a $3 million signing bonus for $7 million, the third year will pay $2 million with a $2.5 million bonus for $4.5 million, and the fourth year will pay $1 million. So far this season, his 13th with the Senators, Alfredsson has three goals and six assists for nine points in eight games played. He missed one game this season with a knee injury. This is an excellent signing for the Senators, as Alfredsson has demonstrated throughout his career that his offensive talent and leadership are extremely valuable to the team. He shows no signs of slowing down offensively and will continue to play on the Senators' top offensive line for the duration of the contract.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Panthers Sign Cullimore to One-Year Contract

The Florida Panthers announced on Tuesday that they have signed defenseman Jassen Cullimore to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cullimore attended the Panthers' training camp this year on a tryout basis. Last season, Cullimore scored three goals and added 10 assists for 13 points and 38 penalty minutes in 65 games with the Florida Panthers. Cullimore was also an impressive +21 last season, a career best for him. He has played in 708 NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Chicago Blackhawks, while winning a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004. Cullimore will provide plenty of veteran depth and toughness on the Panthers' blueline. With injuries to Bryan McCabe, Bryan Allen, and Cory Murphy leaving the Panther's defense a bit thin, the addition of Cullimore will help the Panthers remain a competitive team in the Southeast Division.

Coyotes Claim Klee Off Waivers from Ducks

The Phoenix Coyotes announced on Tuesday that they have claimed defenseman Ken Klee off re-entry waivers from the Anaheim Ducks. The Coyotes and Ducks will split Klee's $1.25 million salary for the rest of the season. The Ducks had placed Klee on waivers last week with no takers. Klee had been traded to the Ducks by the Atlanta Thrashers on September 26 with Brad Larsen and Chad Painchaud in exchange for Mathieu Schneider. Last season with the Thrashers, Klee scored one goal and added nine assists for 10 points and 60 penalty minutes in 72 games. So far this season, Klee has played in three games, scoring zero points and attaining four penalty minutes. Klee brings lots of veteran depth and toughness to the Coyotes' blueline. He also brings plenty of experience to a young Coyotes team, which could benefit from his mentoring.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Capitals Sign Erskine to Two-Year Contract Extension

The Washington Capitals announced on Thursday that they have signed defenseman John Erskine to a two-year contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Erskine would have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2008-09 season. So far this season, Erskine has one assist and 11 penalty minutes in five games. This is a good move by the Capitals, as Erksine is a very tough and rugged player. He will bring lots of physicality to the Capitals' blueline over the next few seasons and will also likely protect the team's star players.

Ducks Sign Hedican to One-Year Contract

The Anaheim Ducks announced on Thursday that they have signed veteran defenseman Bret Hedican to a one-year contract worth $870,000. Last season, Hedican scored two goals and 15 assists for 17 points and 70 penalty minutes in 66 games with the Carolina Hurricanes, whom he had played with since 2002. In 988 NHL games, Hedican has 54 goals and 234 assists for 288 points and 857 penalty minutes with the St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes. Hedican will provide lots of depth and toughness for the Ducks' already deep defense and will likely take the place of Sean O'Donnell, who was traded to Los Angeles prior to the start of the season.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lightning Claim Pettinger Off Waivers, Lose Koci

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Tuesday that they have claimed left wing Matt Pettinger off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks. The Lightning will only be responsible for half his salary for the rest of the season. In 2007-08, Pettinger split the season with the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks, scoring six goals and adding seven assists for 13 points in 76 games. Pettinger has yet to appear in an NHL game this season. Pettinger will provide plenty of offensive depth on the checking lines for the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have claimed left wing David Koci off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season, Koci played in 18 games, going pointless and attaining 68 penalty minutes with the Chicago Blackhawks. He was signed as a free agent by the Lightning this past summer. So far, he has played in only one game this season and has no points. Koci attained some unwanted attention last season after he re-broke his nose in a fight with Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Koci had first broken his nose in a fight approximately a week before the game against Boston. The fight with Chara left Koci covered in his own blood. The acquisition of Koci gives the Blues another proven enforcer to compliment Cam Janssen. Koci will bring a lot of physical play and grittiness to the Blues' checking lines.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kings Sign Defenseman Greene to 5-Year Extension

The Los Angeles Kings have announced that they have signed defenseman Matt Greene to a five-year contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Greene would have been a restricted free agent in 2009. The Kings acquired Greene along with center Jarret Stoll in a trade with Edmonton during the summer for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Last season, Greene played in 46 games with the Oilers, earning one assist and racking up 53 penalty minutes. In four games so far this season, GReen has no points and seven penalty minutes. The Kings' resigning of Greene shows their intent to rebuild the club through young talent. The team has also resigned young forwards Anze Kopitar, Patrick O'Sullivan, and Dustin Brown to long-term deals over the past few months. Greene brings lots of physical play to the Kings' blueline and will continue to do so for the next five years.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Radulov Wants to Remain in Russia

According to the Canadian Press, Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov says he wants to remain in Russia and help his country grow the sport. Radulov has also claimed that he will not hold any negotiations with the NHL of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Radulov left the Predators over the summer to sign a contract with the Kontinental Hockey League. He was still under contract for one more year with the Predators. Radulov was suspended indefinitely by the Predators in September. The Predators still own his rights for one more NHL season if he returns to the league. Radulov's words clearly state his intention to remain in the KHL. It is likely at this point that he will never return to the NHL, and if he ever did, he would likely not be greeted warmly by the Predators' management and players.

Lightning Sign Defenseman Malik to One-Year Contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Tuesday that they have signed veteran defenseman Marek Malik to a one year contract worth $1.2 million. Last season, Malik scored two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 42 games with the New York Rangers. The 12-year veteran has also played with the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Vancouver Canucks. Malik will bring a wealth of experience, defensive play, and veteran depth to the Lightning's very inexperienced blueline.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rangers Prospect Cherepanov Dies During KHL Game

The hockey world received some tragic and shocking news on Monday when New York Rangers prospect forward Alexei Cherepanov collapsed on the bench at or near the end of Omsk's Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) game and died a short time later. He was just 19 years old. Efforts were made by medical authorities to get Cherepanov's heart beating again after it had stopped. According to reports out of Russia, the ambulance at the arena had left and had to be called back again. There are also reports that it took Cherepanov 15 to 20 minutes to be transported to the hospital and that defibrillators at the arena may not have been in good working order. Cherepanov had set the RSL record for goals by a rookie that had previously been held by Pavel Bure. He was drafted in the 1st round, 17th overall in 2007 by the Rangers and helped lead Russia to a bronze medal at the 2008 World Junior Championships.

Kings Claim Quincey Off Waivers

The Los Angeles Kings announced on Monday that they have claimed defenseman Kyle Quincey off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. The claiming of Quincey off waivers came soon after the Kings reported that defenseman Jack Johnson will miss three months with an arm injury sustained in the October 12 game against the San Jose Sharks. Last season with the Red Wings, Quincey appeared in six games and going pointless in those games. He has yet to appear in a game this season. The Red Wings waived Quincey in an effort to trim payroll. The team was over the salary cap prior to the start of the season and were rumored shopping Quincey and Derek Meech. With a leg injury to Chris Chelios that put him on injured reserve, the Red Wings were able to buy a little bit of time to get below the salary cap. Quincey gives the Kings a physical defenseman who has lots of potential. He will be a decent replace for the rugged Johnson until he returns from injury.

Flyers Acquire Defenseman Alberts from Bruins

The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Monday that they have acquired defenseman Andrew Alberts from the Boston Bruins in exchange for left wing Ned Lukacevic and a conditional draft pick in the 2009 Entry Draft. The draft pick will be a fourth round pick in 2009 unless Alberts resigns with Philadelphia, which will then turn in a third round pick in 2009. Alberts had become expendable to the Bruins after the emergence of defenseman Matt Hunwick. Trading Alberts also trims enough salary from their roster to be able to recall forward Vladimir Sobotka from the minors. Last season with the Bruins, Alberts had two assists in 35 games. He missed 47 games after suffering a concussion. The trade is a good one for the Flyers, as their blueline is currently ravaged with injuries. With Randy Jones and Ryan Parent sidelined with lengthy injuries, the Flyers were in need of depth on defense. Alberts will provide the team with lots of toughness and defensive depth.

Peca Suspended Indefinitely After Making Contact with Ref

Columbus Blue Jackets' forward Michael Peca has been suspended indefinitely by the league after he made intentional, physical contact with an official on October 10. Peca had been knocked down by Dallas Stars' forward Brendan Morrow who then went on to score a goal. Peca complained to referee Greg Kimmerly about the lack of a penalty call on the play. In frustration, Peca swung his stick at the glass and allegedly hit a linesman when doing so. Peca is facing a multi-game suspension as a result of the contact. A lengthy suspension is the last thing the Blue Jackets need, as they're currently a bit depleted on their offense with injuries, especially at center. Jiri Novotny, Manny Malhotra, and Raffi Torres are all out with injuries, leaving the Blue Jackets without a lot of scoring and veteran depth. The absence of Peca just makes it worse, as he brings plenty of two-way play and veteran experience to the team.

Kings Sign Kopitar to 7-Year Contract Extension

The Los Angeles Kings have announced that they have resigned center Anze Kopitar to a seven-year contract extension worth $47.6 million. The deal averages out to $6.8 million per season. Kopitar had one more year left on his current contract and would have been a restricted free agent in 2009. His contract is the second longest in Kings history, as Wayne Gretzky signed an eight-year contract with the team in 1988. Last season with the Kings, Kopitar scored 32 goals and added 45 assists for 77 points in all 82 games. So far this season, he is pointless in two games. The signing is an excellent one for the Kings, as Kopitar has tremendous offensive skill that will only improve each season. By resigning him for seven more years, team management is demonstrating their willingness to build the team around young talent.

Canucks Sign Edler to 4-Year Contract Extension

The Vancouver Canucks have announced that they have signed defenseman Alexander Edler to a four-year contract extension. The new deal, which goes into effect next season, is worth $13 million, or $3.25 million per season. He will receive $550,000 this season under the final year of his current contract. Edler would have been a restricted free agent in 2009 and could have been a likely candidate to receive an offer sheet. Last season with the Canucks, Edler scored eight goals and added 12 assists for 20 points in 75 games. So far this season, Edler has played in two games and has one assist. This is a good move by the Canucks, as Edler has good offensive and puck-moving skills. It is very likely that he will develop into one of the Canucks' top blueliners over the next few seasons.

Penguins Acquire Zigomanis from Coyotes

The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that they have acquired center Mike Zigomanis from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for future considerations. Last season, Zigomanis played in 33 games with the Coyotes, scoring two goals and one assist for three points. Zigomanis has played in 168 games over six NHL seasons, including one game so far this season, with the Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He has 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points. After scoring 14 goals with the Coyotes in 2006-07, the team had become excited at his potential, but a poor season in 2007-08 made Zigomanis expendable. He will purely be a depth forward for the Penguins who may not see a lot of ice time this season.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sharks Assign McLaren to Minors

The San Jose Sharks assigned veteran defenseman Kyle McLaren to their AHL affiliate in Worcester on Wednesday after he cleared waivers. The oft-injured McLaren, who has played 4 seasons with the Sharks, was sent to the minors to clear salary cap space. He was set to make $2.5 million this season. After acquiring blueliners Rob Blake, Dan Boyle, and Brad Lukowich, plus the emergence of youngsters Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Christian Ehrhoff, and Doug Murray, McLaren had become expendable to the team, who had tried to trade him during the off-season with no success. If McLaren refuses to report to the minors, he could be suspended. There has been no word yet if he will accept or decline the demotion. The Sharks do lose some toughness to their blueline with the demotion of McLaren, but the rising skills of young stars and their free agent acquisitions on defense made it obvious his time with the team was limited. The Sharks still have plenty of toughness on defense without McLaren, so it's likely they won't miss his presence. His injury history and high salary will make it difficult to trade McLaren, so he will likely play most of the season in the minors, unless there's an injury on the Sharks' blueline. McLaren is an unrestricted free agent next summer, so it's possible his NHL career is now coming to an end.

Islanders Claim Thompson Off Waivers from Bruins

The New York Islanders announced on Wednesday that they have claimed center Nate Thompson off waivers from the Boston Bruins. Thompson last played in the NHL during the 2006-07 season with the Bruins, appearing in four games and going pointless. He has spent three season playing with the Bruin's AHL affiliate in Providence. The Islanders get a promising forward for their rebuilding team in Thompson. He has the potential to be a physical, scoring forward, something the Islanders are in desperate need of.

Sharks Resign Plihal, Semenov to 1-Year Contracts

The San Jose Sharks announced on Wednesday that they have resigned left wing Tomas Plihal and defenseman Alexei Semenov to one-year contracts. Both players had been in the Sharks' training camp on tryouts. Last season, Plihal played in 22 games, scoring two goals and adding one assist for three points with the Sharks, while Semenov, who suffered numerous injuries, also played in 22 games with the Sharks last season, scoring one goal and adding three assists for four points and 36 penalty minutes. Plihal will likely play on the Sharks' 4th line, where he will provide decent offensive depth. Semenov brings the Sharks' defense lots of toughness and plenty of veteran depth.

Stars Place Zubov on Injured Reserve

The Dallas Stars announced on Tuesday that they have placed veteran defenseman Sergei Zubov on injured reserve. Zubov is out indefinitely while he recovers from hip surgery. Last season, Zubov saw limited play due to injuries, playing in only 46 games and scoring four goals and 31 assists for 35 points. The loss of Zubov is a serious blow to the Stars' defense, as he provides lots of offense and veteran depth to the blueline. The Stars could look to within to replace Zubov, as they did that last season when he was injured.

O'Sullivan Resigns With Kings for 3 Years

The Los Angeles Kings announced on Tuesday that they have resigned center Patrick O'Sullivan to a three-year contract, believed to be worth an average of $2.925 million per season. Last season, O'Sullivan played in 82 games, scoring 22 goals and adding 31 assists for 53 points with the Los Angeles Kings. O'Sullivan had become the subject of trade rumors over the past few weeks as he was holding out for a short-term contract with the Kings, who wanted to resign him long-term. O'Sullivan missed the Kings' training camp while holding out. The resigning brings the Kings up to the salary cap minimum, which likely means the Kings may not make any more roster moves as the team wants to operate as close to the cap floor as possible. O'Sullivan is quickly emerging as one of the Kings' top offensive forwards. He should provide solid offense for the Kings when the 2008-09 season begins this week.

Ducks Reclaim Lindstrom Off Waivers From Blackhawks

The Anaheim Ducks announced on Tuesday that they have reclaimed left wing Joakim Lindstrom off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Ducks had originally acquired Lindstrom in a trade over the summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blackhawks had acquired Lindstrom off waivers from the Ducks only a few days ago.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thrashers' Pavelec Won't Report to Minors

According to the Sporting News and, the Atlanta Thrashers' top goaltending prospect Ondrej Pavelec will not report to the team's AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. Pavelec was assigned to the Wolves on Saturday. According to Pavelec's agent, the young netminder was promised by Thrashers' GM Don Waddell that he would never be held back when he was signed two years ago. Pavelec's agent claims that the goalie has not been given a fair chance to make the team. Right now Pavelec is considering offers from Russian teams and expressing interest in being traded to another NHL team. It appeared Pavelec would spend another season in the minors after the Thrashers resigned backup goaltender Johan Hedberg over the summer. Pavelec is the second NHL player in a week to refuse to report to the minors. Ottawa Senators forward Brad Isbister refused to report to the team's AHL affiliate in Binghamton after being assigned there and now the Senators are exploring options to loan Isbister to a Russian team. Losing Pavelec could be costly to the Thrashers, as he showed promise last season when he covered for Hedberg and Lehtonen when they were both injured. If the Thrashers and Pavelec can't come to some sort of agreement, there would be no shortage of NHL teams looking to acquire his services, as he has lots of potential to becoming a top-noptch goaltender.

Walker Out Six Weeks After Hand Surgery

The Carolina Hurricanes learned on Monday that they will be without forward Scott Walker for six weeks after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand. The Hurricanes are already without forward Justin Williams for at least three months after tearing the Achilles tendon in his right foot. The Hurricanes will lose some toughness and veteran depth with the injury to Walker and some scoring with Williams out. It's possible the Hurricanes could look to the trade market to replace those players or even some of the remaining veteran forward free agents. If the team is looking for replacements for Walker and Williams, it might be better for them to look to the waiver wire over the coming days for help as teams trim down their rosters for the start of the regular season, as it would not cost the Hurricanes a roster player. They could also look to their minor league prospects to replace the injured players.

Canucks Aquire O'Brien and Ouellet from Lightning

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that they have acquired defenseman Shane O'Brien and right wing Michel Ouellet from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Lukas Krajicek and right wing Juraj Simek. Ouellet had been on the trade block for some time, even being waived last week by the Lightning, while O'Brien popped up in the rumor mill in recent days. In 77 games last season with the Lightning, O'Brien had four goals and 17 assists for 21 points and 154 penalty minutes. He played in Tampa Bay's first game against the New York Rangers in the Czech Republic over the weekend. Ouellet played in 64 games last season with the Lightning, where he scored 17 goals and added 19 assists for 36 points. He had recently been demoted to the Lightning's AHL affiliate in Norfolk. In 39 games last season with the Canucks, Krajicek scored two goals and nine assists for 11 points. Simek has yet to play in an NHL game. In Krajicek, the Lightning get a defensive blueliner with some experience, though it does not help out their defensive situation since they had to trade O'Brien. Only time will tell if the Lightning will make another move to acquire another defenseman. They may want to consider looking at Bryan Berard or Richard Matvichuk for depth, as both players have recently been released from training camp tryouts. The Canucks get another very physical defenseman in O'Brien, giving them one of the toughest bluelines in the Western Conference. The Canucks also get some scoring depth they've been seeking with Ouellet. However, they demoted him to the minors after the trade was announced, which will not help the Canucks' lack of scoring if Ouellet sits in the minors.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ducks Claim McIver Off Waivers from Canucks

The Anaheim Ducks on Saturday announced they have claimed defenseman Nathan McIver off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks. Last season with the Canucks, McIver had no points and 52 penalty minutes in 17 games. In two season with the Canucks, McIver has played in 18 games and scored no points while amassing 59 penalty minutes. The Canucks are pretty deep in defensive talent so McIver was not likely to see much playing time this season with the team. The Ducks get a very physical and rugged defenseman in McIver. Given the Ducks current depth on defense, McIver may not see much playing time on their team either.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blackhawks Claim Lindstrom Off Waivers from Ducks

The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Friday that they have claimed right wing Joakim Lindstrom off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks had acquired Lindstrom over the summer in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Last season, Lidstrom played in 25 games, scoring three goals and adding four assists for seven points with the Blue Jackets. This is a decent move for the Blackhawks, as Lindstrom has the potential to become a top-six winger. If that is the case, the Blackhawks will have added another top-notch young player to their roster.

Stars Claim Janik Off Waivers from Blackhawks

The Dallas Stars on Thursday claimed defenseman Doug Janik off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season, Janik played in 61 games, scoring one goal and adding three assists for four points and 45 penalty minutes with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Janik had signed with the Blackhawks to a one-year contract over the summer. Looking to add veteran depth to their defense, the Stars have now gotten that with Janik. He likely will not play many games this season with the Stars, but will be a physical presence on the blueline if he does.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chelios and Finger Out With Injuries

The Detroit Red Wings learned on Thursday that defenseman Chris Chelios will miss the next six weeks with a fractured bone in his leg. Chelios sustained the injury when he blocked a shot during the Red Wings' 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on September 29. The Red Wings signed Chelios to a one-year contract in September with the understanding that he will play a limited role on defense this season. The Red Wings lose some veteran experience and toughness with Chelios out of the lineup, but he could easily be replaced with Kyle Quincey or even Derek Meech.

Also, the Toronto Maple Leafs have learned that defenseman Jeff Finger could miss the first week of the regular season with a foot injury. Finger sustained the injury in Toronto's opening preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres, and the injury is taking longer to heal than expected. Finger signed a four-year contract with the Maple Leafs during the first week of free agency this past summer. With an opening on Toronto's blueline, there is speculation that 2008 first round pick Luke Schenn could start the season with the team. Schenn has had a good preseason and training camp thus far, making him a good choice to replace Finger. The Maple Leafs will lose a bit of toughness and experience with the absence of Finger, but it will not be for long. Schenn will be an adequate replacement until Finger returns.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Balsillie to Make Play for Share of Predators

According to, who used files from The Globe and Mail, Research in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie is going to make an attempt to buy William (Boots) Del Biaggio's share in the Nashville Predators. Balsillie is likely to have competition for the share, which is valued at $23.5 million. In June, Del Biaggio attempted to sell his share in the Predators to Balsillie, but was denied by the league after it was learned he had been accused of loan fraud. Del Biaggio, who has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, was attempting to liquidize his assets by selling his share to Balsillie. In 2007, Balsillie attempted to purchase the Predators for $220 million with the intention of moving them to Hamilton, Ontario, but the deal fell through. He even went as far to start a season ticket campaign in Hamilton for the "Hamilton Predators" in the event that he was able to purchase and relocate the team. In 2006, Balsillie put in a bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins, but withdrew his bid when the NHL told him they were going to restrict his control over the team. By attempting to acquire a minority share in the Predators, Balsillie is likely hoping that he could one day move up to a majority owner and attempt to relocate the team. Balsillie is very intent on purchasing an NHL team and moving them to Canada, as his actions suggest with failed attempts to purchase the Penguins and Predators. The problem here is NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Over the last 15 years, Bettman has expanded the NHL and moved existing teams into non-hockey markets. Two of the relocations involved Canadian teams moving into the United States. When Balsillie announced he wanted to move the Predators to Canada, Bettman balked at the fact, preferring to see the team get moved to Kansas City or Las Vegas. Despite the rising demand from hockey fans in Canadian cities such as Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Quebec City for an NHL team and the rise in the Canadian dollar over the past year, Bettman would rather push the NHL into markets that do not have a strong interest in hockey. With the NHL struggling to find fans in markets such as Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami, Nashville, and North Carolina that do not have an avid interest in hockey, what makes Bettman think franchises in Kansas City or Las Vegas would fare better? It is time for Bettman to wake up and realize that some Canadian cities could have better markets than those in the Southern and Midwestern United States. In a time where the NHL is trying to win back fans, Balsillie is only looking to help the NHL achieve its goal.

Radulov in Breach of Contract, According to IIHF

According to and files from the, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has found Alexander Radulov in breach of his contract with the Nashville Predators. However, he will not be suspended by the Federation. Over the summer, Radulov signed a three-year contract with Salavat Yulayev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League with one year still remaining on his current contract with the Predators. The KHL claimed the move was legal because at the time, there was no transfer agreement in place between the NHL, IIHF, and KHL. The KHL has agreed to have the Radulov case settled through binding arbitration, though they want the hearing held in Russia. The NHL has accepted arbitration in the matter, but had requested it take place in Switzerland, the home of the IIHF. The KHL has yet to respond to the NHL's request. As I mentioned before, Radulov's sole reason for defecting to the KHL appears to be monetary. He is the latest player to fall to the greed of an expensive, lavish contract. The longer he defies the NHL, the less likely he will be greeted back warmly by the Predators and their fans.

Washington Capitals 2008-09 Outlook


Jose Theodore, G (Signed as a free agent, previously with the Colorado Avalanche)

Matt Cooke, LW (Signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins)
Steve Eminger, D (Traded to the Philadelphia Flyers)
Cristobal Huet, G (Signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks)
Olaf Kolzig, G (Signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning)

2007-08 Season Finish: 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 94 Pts.
2007-08 Playoffs: Lost 4-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers in Quarterfinals

2008-09 Prediction: 1st Southeast Division, 3rd Eastern Conference

The Washington Capitals were one of the most improved teams in the NHL during the 2007-08 season. After a slow start that saw the Capitals in last place in the Eastern Conference and the league in early November, Bruce Boudreau was brought in to replace Glen Hanlon as head coach. The Capitals had a strong finish to the season, just managing to squeeze past the Carolina Hurricanes for a playoff spot, and as a result, became the first team in NHL history to make the playoffs after being in last place in the league at any point during the same season. The Capitals figure to be a competitive team in the Eastern Conference during the 2008-09 season, especially with their highly talented offense. Alexander Ovechkin, one of the premier stars in the league, gives the Capitals lots of goal-scoring talent, offensive skills, and an excellent shot. Youngsters Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom bring lots of offensive potential, passing skills, and goal-scoring talent. Michael Nylander and Viktor Kozlov provide the Capitals with plenty of veteran depth and offensive experience, while Sergei Fedorov gives the team a decent two-way forward with good offensive skills. Matt Bradley and Donald Brashear give the Capitals two physical forwards with lots of gritty play, while Chris Clark provides plenty of toughness and goal-scoring skills to the forward lines. Brooks Laich and Tomas Fleischmann give the team two offensively talented forwards who can score goals, while Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr bring decent offensive depth to the Capitals. David Steckel and Quintin Laing also bring plenty of offensive depth and experience to the team. Prospects Chris Bourque, Francois Bouchard, and Oskar Osala will look to make the team at training camp on their fine offensive skills and potential. While the Capitals have plenty of young talent on offense, the addition of another veteran forward for depth could be beneficial to the team.

The Capitals defense did not change much over the summer, with the only departure being Steve Eminger via trade with Philadelphia, and should be just as competitive during the 2008-09 season as it was in 2007-08. Mike Green, who enjoyed a very productive season in 2007-08, is fast becoming the top player on the Capitals defense with his fine offensive skills and physical play. Tom Poti and Brian Pothier both provide plenty of offensive talent and toughness to the Capitals' defense, while Jeff Schultz brings plenty of offensive upside to the blueline. John Erskine gives the Capitals a rugged defenseman with lots of toughness, while Milan Jurcina brings plenty of defensive depth to the team's defense. The Capitals will likely see prospects Karl Alzner and Sami Lepisto vie for a roster spot at training camp on their fine offensive play. The addition of a veteran defenseman to the blueline could be beneficial to the Capitals young defensive corps.

The Capitals' goaltending changed completely following the 2008 playoffs, with trade deadline acquisition Cristobal Huet signing with Chicago and long-time starting goaltender Olaf Kolzig signing with Tampa Bay. Upon losing the two goaltenders, the Capitals immediately signed Jose Theodore via free agency. Theodore, who struggled during the 2006-07 season, greatly improved his game last season with the Colorado Avalanche. Theodore gives the Capitals solid depth and experience in goal. Brent Johnson, who was the Capitals' backup goaltender until the acquisition of Huet, will return as the backup for the 2008-09 season. Johnson gives the Capitals solid depth and veteran experience in goal. Prospects Simeon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth could challenge Johnson for the backup role at training camp on their fine goaltending skills.

  • Lots of talented young players on offense.
  • Plenty of physical bodies on defense.
  • Solid, experienced goaltending.


  • Could use a little more veteran depth on offense.
  • Need more veteran depth on defense.

Sabres Claim Ellis Off Waivers from Kings

The Buffalo Sabres announced on Wednesday that they have claimed left wing Matt Ellis off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. In 54 games last season, Ellis scored three goals and added five assists for eight points with the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings. The Kings claimed Ellis off waivers from the Red Wings in February. Claiming Ellis was likely done for depth on offense, especially with Paul Gaustad out for the next 3-4 weeks after having thumb surgery. When Gaustad comes back from injury, Ellis could get demoted to the minors, unless injuries start to mount for the Sabres on offense.