Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sundin's Agent: "He Meant August, Not August 1st"

The Sundin saga takes another downward spiral.

J.P. Barry, Mats Sundin's agent, told the Fan 1040 AM in Vancouver that his client will be making a decision in August - likely not on August 1st, as many of us were led to believe through various reports.

''He's still taking his time, and he hasn't given us an indication or not if he's going to keep playing or not. You know, when he was speaking in Sweden about August, unfortunately a lot of people picked up 1st of August. He meant August. He meant sometime in August he would definitely decide because he'll definitely be in training camp.''

Barry also stated that 6 teams are interested in Sundin as of today, but would not divulge their identities. Apart from what we know, 4 of those teams are Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto and NYR. He said those new teams in the mix are willing to offer Mats a short-term deal, 1 or 2 years maximum, and advised him that they would need time to make cap space available to accomodate Mats' services.

Barry only told the fan 1040 that Detroit, the NHL's Sweden, was not one of the teams expressing interest.

It looks like we're in for a fun waiting game this August, as we have been all of July. At least Mats is helping to pass the time until October!

Wings Lock Up Filppula To Long-Term Deal

RFA Valtteri Filppula is RFA no more.

The Wings locked up a core piece of their future today, signing the centerman to a 5-year, $15 million deal.

Filppula, 24, played a big role in Detroit's cup quest, and scored 19 goals and 17 assists in 78 games last season.

He was a 3rd round selection of the wings back in 2002, displaying Detroit's drafting-savvy once again as they have a reputation to draft gems in later rounds.

Oh, and Filppula has one of the best names in hockey, so that's a plus as well.




Valtteri Filppula.. Awesome.

Wild Waive Winger Parrish

Mark Parrish became "a victim of the salary cap" said Wild GM Doug Risebrough after waiving the forward with 3 years still remaining on his contract.

Parrish, 31, scored just 16 goals in 66 games with the Wild last season. He would have had a cap hit of $2.65 million against Minnesota this season, which would have left them with about $2.1 million in cap space.

Should Parrish clear waivers, it is expected that Minnesota would buy out his contract, paying him two-thirds of what remains, or about $5.2 million.

The LA Kings may be interested in picking him up at his current salary as they are WAY below the salary cap floor. The Kings stand at about $29.5 million in cap salary, leaving them over $10 million away from the $40.7 million floor. The ceiling is at $56.7 million, up from last year's $50.3 million.

Another team away from the floor that could use some scoring help is Atlanta. They are the only other team along with LA to be under the floor limit, as they stand at $38.225 million. Picking Parrish up off waivers would qualify them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stamkos Signs 3-Year Entry Level Deal

Steven Stamkos has signed a standard, league-maximum $875 000, 3-year entry level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos can also earn as much $8.55-million in performance bonuses over the life of the contract.

Stamkos, 18, was the 1st overall pick in last June's entry draft. In the OHL, Stamkos tallied 100 goals and 197 points in 124 games for the Sarnia Sting. The Markham, Ontario native is currently participating in the Lightning's prospect-development camp in Victoria, B.C. Stamkos is expected to start the season in Tampa on the second line.

O'Byrne Officially Pardonned In Grand Theft Case

Ryan O'Byrne's purse-snatching nightmare in Tampa Bay has finally been put to rest.

After completing a 5-month best-behavior probation, O'Byrne appeared in court today and formally apologized to the victim once again, reading a prepared letter of apology.

"He showed us proof that he's continuing to do community service work in Canada and that he has stayed out of trouble for the last five months, so we dropped the charges."

The purse-grabbing incident occured on Feb. 11th at a Tamp nightclub, Whiskey Park. The Habs were out on their rookie dinner that same evening.

Teammate Tom Kostopoulos was also arrested that evening on resisting arrest charges. Charges against Kostopoulos were dropped a few weeks after the incident.

O'Byrne will always have a record of his arrest but won't have any conviction in the United States, which could have caused problems for his hockey career. He remains on the hook for community service in Canada.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bouwmeester Signs One-Year Deal; Latendresse: MVP?

Jay Bouwmeester and the Florida Panthers have avoided arbitration as Jay signed a one-year extension with the club.

However, Bouwmeester's name is continously involed in trade rumours, so don't completely believe that Jay will remain a Panther before season's start.
--
Guillaume Latendresse an MVP?

Latendresse scored 5 goals and added 3 assists as his team defeated that of David Perron at the "A Bout de Souffle Metro Plouffe" pick-up tournament in Magog. His team won 9-4.

Latendresse was named tournament MVP. Jason Pominville was one of the star players playing on Latendresse's team.

Habs prospect Cedrick Desjardins was named goalie of the tournament.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wild, Bouchard Re-Up; Vermette, Sundin News

The Minnesota Wild have avoided salary arbitration with RFA forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

The Wild re-signed Bouchard to a 5-year, $20.4 million deal.

According to a report in the Star Tribune, there is a verbal commitment from General Manager Doug Risebrough that Bouchard won't be traded for at least two years.

Bouchard will receive $3.35 million next season, $4.25 million the following three seasons and $4.3 million in 2012-13.
--
Antoine Vermette to Vancouver? We have been reporting that rumour for about 3 weeks here, and it seems that it is coming closer and closer to becoming reality. The Sens are said to be looking for top 4 scoring help on the backend, and it seems that Vermette could be offered up in a package deal that would see either Sami Salo or Kevin Bieksa heading back to the nation's capital.

Vermette is currently RFA, and is apparently heading for arbitration. Another rumour suggests that the Sens are "afraid" that Vermette could be awarded anything between $2.5 and $3 million a season, something they aren't willing to pay for a 2nd line winger.

I would definitely give Vermette that money. He is a key contributor to the team in all aspects of the game, most importantly shorthanded.
--
Mats Sundin's decision is now rumoured to be just around the corner...and hold on to your hats, Habs fans.

Another rumour is suggesting that multiple sources are saying that Sundin is all set to make a decision on his playing career, and he just may choose a contract to sign at the same time.

The rumours ALL indicate that Mats is almost certain to accept the Canadiens' offer. One source said he would be "shocked" if Mats didn't make up his mind by Monday, and "even more shocked" if it wasn't Montreal.

With Sundin in our lineup, the Habs could make a VERY, VEEEEERY serious run at that now-elusive Cup. With the exception of Detroit, who as defending champions made NO changes to their roster, only adding Marian Hossa, of course (KARL), Montreal may just be rated as high as second in the league overall.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Canadiens Ink Yanick Lehoux

The Canadiens announced the signing of UFA forward Yanick Lehoux to a one-year contract today.

Lehoux, 26, split last season with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix affiliate) and Khimik Moscow of the Russian Elite League.

Lehoux, a career minor-leaguer thus far, has accumulated some decent numbers wherever he's played. In 315 AHL games, he's racked up 103 goals and 240 points. In junior playing in the QMJHL for Baie-Comeau, he tallied 164 goals and 382 points in 266 games, including a 135-point season.

He's only played in 10 NHL games, all with Phoenix, tallying 4 points in 10 games.

He was drafted 86th overall in 2000 by Los Angeles.

With Chipchura likely to make the big club and Corey Locke gone to Minnesota in exchange for Shawn Belle, Lehoux is expected to fill a big gap at the center position in Hamilton.

Murray Clears Waivers; Avs Re-Sign Svatos

Glen Murray has cleared waivers and will be bought out by the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins obviousl feel that Murray is passed his prime an no longer worth the annual $4.15 million salary. Also, they brought Michael Ryder in as a free agent a little under a month ago, and Ryder will make $4 million, effectively replacing Murray at the scoring winger role.

-

The Avalanche and RFA Marek Svatos have agreed to terms on a two-year contract. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

-

Mats Sundin is expected to make a decision "on his playing career" by next Friday, one week from today. This could mean that he chooses one of the contracts offered to him (Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto), or, MORE LIKELY, simply just decides whether he intends to play hockey this season or not.

It's a bit quiet in the hockey world right now, so there won't be much to update on...I recommend joing the Habs Hockey Talkey FACEBOOK group so that whenever there is a worthy article posted, you will receive a message in your facebook inbox letting you know so.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bruins Place Murray On Waivers

The Boston Bruins have placed veteran winger Glen Murray on waivers.

Murray, 35, has one year remaining on his contract that will pay him $4.15 next season. He had 17 goals and 30 points in 63 games last season.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pierre et Yvon: No More; Brunet To Replace Yvon

Cyberpresse.ca reports that Yvon Pedneault's contract expired in June, and will not be renewed by RDS, indicating an end to Yvon's 10-year colour commentary role.

Instead, Benoit Brunet will be Pierre Houde's new sidekick. Brunet, 39, is of course a former Hab himself. Brunet receives this promotion after just 3 years at RDS, working with Alain Crete and Jacques Demers as the intermission analysts.

All those Pierre et Yvon signs will now be historic artifacts. I have one of my own... this is a sad, sad day.

Click the TITLE of this article to redirect to Cyberpresse.ca 's article.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GRADUATED!

I've GRADUATED from the Montreal Radio & Television School! That school is a great place to be if you want to learn anything and everything there is to know about becoming a radio/TV personality! The environment is great, and, no B.S about what I'm about to say: You ACTUALLY LOOK FORWARD to going to class! I know, WEIRD eh? Classes are just twice a week, for a couple of hours each day!

Off-class studio time is available for practice every other day of the week, Monday through Friday. The Montreal Radio and TV School is able to do this because it only registers 5 students per radio class, each with his/her own studio, so you get that vital hands-on training! It's unique in broadcast academia.

If you do end up applying, let Mr. Robert Vairo, former TV personality and teacher at that school, know that I referred you!

Now to kick off my career in radio! Woooooooo!

2008-2009 Schedule Released; Habs Open On Road

The NHL released the 2008-09 season schedule today, and we will take a look at the Habs schedule.

- The Habs open the season on the road, for the first three games. Thei first game of the season will be on Friday, October 10th, as they visit the Buffalo Sabres. Then, the following night, they visit Toronto, before meeting the DAMNED Flyers on Monday...sorry, still reeling.

- The actual season opener will once again occur overseas, in Europe. Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will face Daniel Alfredsson and the Ottawa Senators for a pair of games in Stockholm, Sweden on October 4th and 5th, while Vincent Lecavalier and the new-look Tampa Bay Lightning face the New York Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic on the same dates.

- The much-anticipated centennial-season home-opener will be on Wednesday, October 15th, as the Habs host Michael Ryder and the Bruins. They will play their next FOUR games at home as well.

- The Habs will play on Saturday night 23 times; 17 of them at home.

- The Habs' longest homestand: Nov 29 - Dec 21*. *They will play 10 of 11 games at home, including 7 in a row from Nov. 29 to Dec 13. The gap will be caused by a visit to Carolina on Thursday Dec. 16.

- The Habs' longest roadtrip: Feb 9- 19. They play six in a row away from home (vs. Flames, Oilers, Avs, Canucks, Caps, Pens.)

- The Habs will play six Sunday games, including a RARE 6 p.m. start in St.Louis on Nov. 16.

- The Habs will host the Sens on Hockey Day in Canada, 3 p.m. on Feb. 21st.

- Nov. 26: Habs @ Detroit.

- The Habs will play four of their last six games (all in April) on the road. They end the season on Saturday, April 11th, in Pittsburgh.

- Montreal will face each division-rival 6 times (down from 8) and each remaining Eastern Conference team 4 times, for a total of 64/82 games. The remaining 18 games will be played versus Western Conference teams for a minimum of one game against each of the 15 Western teams, plus 3 added home games vs. the Flames, Oilers and Canucks.

- STANLEY CUP REMATCH: The Pittsburgh Penguins will get a shot at revenge against the Red Wings on November 11th as the Pens travel to the Motor City to face defected-forward Marian Hossa and the Red Wings.

That's it folks! For a look at the full schedule, click http://canadiens.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=TeamSchedule . They're not playing on my birthday :( .

Pacioretty Signs Three-Year Entry Level Deal

Max Pacioretty was the standout performer at last week's development camp.

He got rewarded for it today.

Pacioretty inked a three-year deal with the Habs, and he will take part in his first training camp in September.

Pacioretty has been turning heads for quite some time now, and GM Bob Gainey has seen it all along.

'"Max Pacioretty is a young player with a lot of skills who has the potential to play in the NHL,'' Gainey said in a statement. ''We are very happy to have him under contract for years to come. We feel he is ready to make the jump to professional hockey, and we will make sure to provide him with all the resources which will benefit his long-term development as a player.''

Pacioretty was drafted by the Habs in the 1st round, 22nd overall in 2007.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

'09 Winter Classic; BIG Trade Rumour; Habs Sign 3

A few quick hits for you guys.

- The 2009 edition of the Winter Classic will take place at Wrigley Field in Chicago, as the Blackhawks will host their Original 6 rival and defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings.

This puts an end to the rumours of the final event to occur at Yankee Stadium before it's teardown being a hockey game.

- The Ottawa Sun is reporting a POSSIBLE BLOCKBUSTER 3-way deal. Here is an extract taken from the ottawasun.com :

A hot rumour in NHL circles has him discussing a three-way blockbuster with the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings, Sun Media has learned. While draft picks and other players might also be involved, the principals appear to be a group of five or six that include a couple of veteran goalies and some of the game's most promising stars.

According to insiders, Ottawa would trade netminder Martin Gerber and defenceman Andrej Meszaros to Los Angeles, the Kings would move 20-year-old centre Anze Kopitar to Chicago and the Blackhawks would propel goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and either of young blueliners Brent Seabrook or Cam Barker to the Senators.


With the Kings recently unloading Mike Cammalleri, I doubt that they would move their best centerman and future franchise player in return for an aging goalie and a solid, two-way defenseman. L.A. has a young group of defensemen in the system that is potentially one of the best if they materialize into what's expected of them. Stay tuned, though, as of course, anything can happen in the NHL. Let's also remember that Vermette's days are numbered in Ottawa as GM Murray doesn't plan to offer him the multi-year extension he is asking for, and the Sens are also trying to move Chris Neil, who is also, like Vertmette, seeking an extension.

- The Canadiens have re-signed RFA defensemen Ryan O'Byrne and recently acquired Shawn Belle. O'Byrne inked a 3-year deal (financial terms undisclosed), whereas Belle signed a one-year, two-way deal (financial terms undisclosed.)

The Habs then went ahead and signed UFA F Mike Glumac from the St.Louis Blues organization. Glumac, 28, signed a one-year deal with Montreal. He played in 75 games last season in the AHL for the Peoria Rivermen, tallying 21 goals and 28 assists. He's played in 40 NHL games, tallying 7 goals and 6 assists for 13 points, registering a +/- minus 8.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Maple Leafs Acquire Ryan Hollweg

The Leafs and Rangers swung a deal this afternoon that saw NY dispose of aggressive winger Ryan Hollweg in exchange for Toronto's 5th round pick in 2009, which belongs actually to Pittsburgh (acquired in the Hal Gill trade).

Hollweg had 2 goals and 2 assists in 70 games with the Rangers last season.

Correction: Jason Williams To Atlanta

Sorry for the false information, the source was clearly wrong about his report.

Jason Williams has NOT signed a 3-year, $1.9 m/per deal with Ottawa. Instead, Williams has signed a 1-year, $2.2 million deal with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Thanks to Pat for the lead on the correction.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Williams Signs In Ottawa; Vermette Wants Out?

The Sens have signed UFA forward Jason Williams to a 3-year, $1.9 per season deal, reports Kevin Lee of hockeybuzz.com.

The deal has also, accroding to Lee, prompted Antoine Vermette to ask for a trade. Vermette is seeking a long-term extension, and it is believed that GM Bryan Murray isn't offering it. Lee goes on to suggest that the Sens may be trying to move Vermette, along with on-the-block forward Chris Neil and maybe a draft pick to Florida to acquire RFA Jay Bouwmeester.

The Sens are also generating interest for Neil from Chicago, and it is also rumoured that Cam Barker is the requested return if any deal is to go down.

The Sens are making noise.

The Williams signing is a great one for Ottawa, Montreal could have used this guy at the point on the PP. Oh well, bring on Sundin PLEASE.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Canadiens Trade Corey Locke For Shawn Belle

The Habs have traded RFA Corey Locke to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Shawn Belle.

Belle, 23, has played in the AHL for the past 3 seasons. The 6-foot-2 235 pounder had 3 points in 74 games last season for Houston. Belle was named to the Canadian National time 4 times during his junior career. He captured gold with Team Canada's juniors in 2005.

Corey Locke, 24, never really had a chance to make it in Montreal. He played in one career game for the Habs, but was supposed to play in 2 were it not for the fact that his equipment didn't arrive in time for a game. Locke has spent the last 4 seasons in the AHL, becoming Hamilton's all-time points leader in that time.

Belle was the 30th overall pick in '03; Locke, 113th.

Report: Steve Montador Signs With Ducks

Rumours and reports are out there that Steve Montador has signed a one-year, $800,000-$975,000 deal with the Anaheim Ducks...a real steal if that's true.

Montador is heavily under-rated as a physical, shut-down defenseman, and what a coup this would be for Anaheim, who are trying to move veteran Mathieu Schneider and his hefty contract.

Shocker: Radulov Off To Russia

Alexander Radulov's flash-and-dash skill set will be on display for european fans next season.

Radulov became the latest NHLer to bolt from North America to Europe today, as the 22-year old forward signed with Ufa of the Russian Superleague on Thursday. The Russian Superleague is the existing league in Russia, not to be confused with the new Russian Continental Hockey League.

from TSN:
Radulov, who is still under contract with the Nashville Predators, said he had warned the team that he wanted to play in Russia.

"I told my bosses in Nashville that I wanted to play at home and some Russian clubs were offering me much better conditions than I had in Nashville," Radulov told the Russian media.

"They said they would call me back but never phoned. It seems that they were either not really interested in me or just did not believe I could return home. One way or another, I'm happy to come home."

I doubt they weren't interested in Raddy, but they really dropped the ball on trying to call his bluff.

The former Quebec Rempart added that it was unlikely that the Predators would be able to demand his return to North America, as the NHL had no transfer agreement with either the Russian Superleague or the new Continental Hockey League at the time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Official: Demitra A Canuck; Straka Gone Overseas

Pavol Demitra has officially put ink to paper after weeks of speculation that he would join the Vancouver Canucks.

Demitra signed a two-year, $8 million deal. He expects Vancouver to be a contender this year and for years to come.

--

Martin Straka is following some of his peers and heading to Europe; however, this time, it's not to the Russian Continental Hockey League.

The 35-year old, who played for the New York Rangers the last three seasons after joining the NHL in 1992, will also take the post of manager-general for HC Lasselsberger Plzen of the Czech league, the club said on its website.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One RFA Down, One To Go: Gorges Signed

Josh Gorges, arguably the team's most improved player last season, is no longer a RFA.

Gorges, 23, signed a three-year, $3.3 million extension with Montreal. The length of the deal caught him a little by surprise.

"From where I started with the Montreal Canadiens to where I am now, I've taken steps forward," Gorges said from his off-season home in Kelowna, B.C. "The team gave me an opportunity to play and has shown faith in me."

"I didn't know what to expect. I was shocked at three years. They said they wanted me and it fit well for me."

The Canadiens acquired Gorges and a 2007 first-round draft pick (Max Pacioretty) from the San Jose Sharks in return for defenceman Craig Rivet and a fifth-round pick on Feb. 25, 2007.

The only RFA remaining is Ryan O'Byrne. The Habs have an estimated 7,506,366 remaining of cap space... Mats Sundin, you're still welcome here!

Caps Retain Fedorov; Emery Off To Russia, Peca Staying Put

The Washington Capitals re-signed 37 year old veteran Sergei Fedorov to a one-year, $4 million contract. Fedorov was acquired by the Caps at the trading deadline from Columbus; he helped Washington to its improbable playoff appearance.

Ray Emery has signed as well, however, not in the NHL.

Emery signed a one-year deal with Atlant Mytishchi of the new Russian Continental Hockey League. The deal, according to TSN, is reportedly worth in excess of $2 million plus bonuses.

Mike Peca has re-signed with his club, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Peca signed a one-year, $1.315 million deal.

In other news:

  • Caps re-sign RFA Brooks Laich - three-years, $6.1 million.
  • Thrashers re-sign Eric Boulton.
  • Maple Leafs reportedly on the verge of signing Swedish defenseman Jonas Frogren of Farjestad. Frogren, 27, had just one point and 38 PIM in 47 games last season and is reputed to be a stay-at-home-type defencemen. Frogren was initially an eighth-round draft pick of the Calgary Flames in 1998.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blues Sign Canucks' Bernier To Offer Sheet; Matched Quickly By Canucks

The Canucks responded in a flash!

St. Louis tried force-feeding Vancouver a taste of their own medicine today by signing RFA Steve Bernier to a $2.5 million offer sheet, but the Canucks quickly matched the offer to re-sign the RFA.

Last week, the Canucks tendered an offer of the same sort to Blues RFA David Backes, which was matched also within the day by the Blues.

Classic case of 'anything you can do, I can do better'.

Senators Add Jason Smith

Jason Smith, free agent defenseman from the Philadelphia Flyers, has signed a 2 year deal with Ottawa.

The 14-year National Hockey League veteran has acted as team captain in each of his last six NHL seasons, including 2007-08 with the Philadelphia Flyers and the previous five seasons with the Edmonton Oilers.

Habs, Halak Reach Agreement

TSN is reporting that the Montreal Canadiens have signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two-year contract worth $1.55 million that will see him get paid $750,000 in 2008-09 and $800,000 in 2009-10.

Halak, 23, will begin his third season in the NHL this fall. In 2007-08, he played six games with the Canadiens, posting a 2-1-1 record, a 2.11 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. He played in 28 games with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs, posted a 15-10-2 record, a 2.10 goals against average and maintained the AHL's second-best save percentage (.929). He was selected 271st overall in 2003.

The Habs must now focus their efforts on re-signing RFA's Josh Gorges and Ryan O'Byrne.

Morrison To Anaheim; UPDATE: Demitra To Canucks?

Former Canucks center and current free agent Brendan Morrison has agreed in principle on a one-year deal worth $2.75 million with the Anaheim Ducks.

Pavol Demitra is rumoured to also be on the verge of signing; it appears that his signature will be on Canucks documents.

UPDATE: Demitra went on record today saying: "The Canucks are my #1 choice." Canucks GM Mike Gillis was his agent once, and they are good friends. "I want to play for a team that is going to win, [one] who is going to compete for the playoffs and the Stanley Cup."

Not so sure if the 'Nucks will even make the playoffs this year, Pavol...but best of luck to you.

Canadiens sign Ryan Flinn

Habs GM Bob Gainey has signed yet another enforcer.

Ryan Flinn has signed a one-year, two-way contract with Montreal. Flinn will be assigned to Hamilton, and will be a backup plan should Georges Laraque suffer an injury. Here is the press release:

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL -- Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Monday the signing of free agent right-winger Ryan Flinn to a one-year, two-way contract (2008-09). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Flinn has seven seasons of AHL experience along with three seasons in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings (2001-02, 2002-03 and 2005-06). In 2007-08, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound winger played in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons and the Hershey Bears, collecting four points (three goals, one assist) and 135 penalty minutes in 41 games.

The New Jersey Devils’ fifth-round selection, 143rd overall, at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Flinn joined the Edmonton Oilers organization as a free agent on July 17, 2007.

Flinn, 28, played four seasons in the QJMHL from 1996 to 2001, with Laval, Acadie-Bathurst, Halifax and Cape Breton.

Still Not Done...

The Tampa Bay Lightning are still not done this summer.

And Mark Recchi isn't done, either.

Recchi and the Lightning came to an agreement on a one-year, $1.25 million contract that could reach $1.5 million with incentives. Recchi split last season with Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

The move is the latest for the Lightning, who have been overly active this summer thanks to a change in ownership. They seem 100% focused and intent on moving out of the Eastern Conference's cellar. Quick list of added players: Malone, Roberts, Vrbata, Carle, Hall, Prospal, Kolzig and Recchi. Quick list of players gone: Boyle, Lukowich, Gratton.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bertuzzi Will Try To Re-Ignite Career

Todd Bertuzzi is back in Canada, and this time around, he'll be joining Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames.

Bertz signed a one-year deal with the Flames worth $1.95 million, according to TSN.

"Todd is a proven scorer with the ability to play both wings," said Flames GM Darryl Sutter in a statement. "He expressed to us that he wanted to play in Canada and that desire along with signing him to a one year deal was important to our philosophy. He wanted to play on a good team and it fit our money. Additionally, our captain, Jarome Iginla, was a strong supporter of Todd and wanted him on our team."

Canadiens Development Camp Begins Today

FROM JULY 7 -12 AT THE CENTRE SPORTIF CANDIAC – LES 2 GLACES

30 players to take part in the Canadiens Development Camp

MONTREAL (July 4, 2008) – The Montreal Canadiens announced today that 30 prospects will participate in the team’s annual development camp from July 7-12, at the Centre Sportif Candiac – Les 2 Glaces (10 Radisson, Candiac), on the South Shore of Montreal.

The Canadiens prospects will first take to the ice on Monday, July 7th, at 2:30 p.m. The development camp consists of on-ice sessions every morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with the exception of Tuesday, July 8th with on-ice testings will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Off-ice conditioning sessions are also scheduled every day.

19 of the 30 players at camp are Canadiens draft selections, including four of the five players from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft held last June in Ottawa. The group also includes first round picks Ryan McDonagh, Max Pacioretty and David Fischer, defensemen Mathieu Carle, PK Subban and Yannick Weber, as well as forwards Benjamin Maxwell and Olivier Fortier.

Here is the list of 30:

BEAUREGARD, Thomas RW AHL Contract Cincinnati (ECHL)
BOISVERT, Erik LW Try-Out Sacred Heart University (ATLANTIC)
CARLE, Mathieu D 2006, 53rd Hamilton (AHL)
CONBOY, Andrew LW 2007, 142nd Omaha (USHL)
DESHARNAIS, David C AHL Contract Cincinnati (ECHL), Hamilton (AHL)
FISCHER, David D 2006, 20th University of Minnesota (WCHA)
FORTIER, Olivier C 2007, 65th Rimouski (QMJHL)
JOHNSON, Patrick LW 2008, 206th University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
KISHEL, Scott D 2007, 192nd Sioux Falls (USHL)
KRISTO, Danny RW 2008, 56th USA Under-18 (USDP)
MAXWELL, Benjamin C 2006, 49th Kootenay (WHL)
MAYER, Robert G Try-Out Saint John (LHJMQ), Switzerland (WJC)
McDONAGH, Ryan D 2007, 12th University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
MISSIAEN, Jason G 2008, 116th Peterborough (OHL)
MONAHAN, Alexandre LW Try-Out Victoriaville (QMJHL)
PACIORETTY, Max LW 2007, 22nd University of Michigan (CCHA), USA (WJC)
PAQUET, Philippe D 2005, 229th Clarkson University (ECAC)
PATERYN, Greg D Transaction (TOR) Ohio Jr. (USHL)
QUAILER, Steven LW 2008, 86th Sioux City (USHL)
QUATTROCCHI, Joseph G ------------------- Smiths Falls (CJHL)
RUSSELL, Ryan C Transaction (NYR) Hamilton (AHL), Cincinnati (ECHL)
STEJSKAL, Joe D 2007, 133rd Dartmouth University (ECAC)
SUBBAN, P.K. D 2007, 43rd Belleville (OHL), Canada (WJC)
TESTWUIDE, Jon Paul D Try-Out Denver University (WCHA)
TESTWUIDE, Michael RW Try-Out Colorado College (WCHA)
TORP, Nichlas D 2007, 163rd HV 71 Jonkoping Jr. (SWITZERLAND)
TROTTER, Brock C Free Agent Denver University (WCHA), Hamilton (AHL)
WEBER, Yannick D 2007, 73rd Kitchener (OHL), Switzerland (WJC)
WHITE, Ryan RW 2006, 66th Calgary (WHL)
WYMAN, James T. RW 2004, 100th Dartmouth University (ECAC), Hamilton (AHL)

*excerpts taken from habsinsideout.com

Friday, July 4, 2008

Jagr Off to Russia; Boyle, Bernier & Rivet Dealt


Not only will he pack his bags, but he'll be padding his wallet.

And buying a heavy duty safe, too.

Jaromir Jagr has signed a two-year, reported $35 million deal to play for Avangard Omsk in the Russian Hockey League. Jagr's agent, Pat Brisson, confirmed the move Friday afternoon.

"Jaromir signed a letter of intent with the Avangard Omsk Hockey team of the Russian CHL on or about 3am EST this morning. I won't comment on the terms of the agreement at this time.It was a very difficult but personal decision to make in light of the many NHL teams interested in his services. He is grateful to the NHL and especially the Rangers in recent years."

Speculation is that Jagr, who is reputedly a gambler, is settling on the highest-paying deal because he may have unpaid debts. Of course, that is all hearsay and rumour, but is not entirely impossible of course.

Jagr played for Avangard Omsk during the 04-05 lockout season.

---

The Tampa Bay Lightning made another move today, trading away defenseman Dan Boyle to San Jose. The deal, not officially completed yet, is reported to be in exchange for defenseman Matt Carle, a 1st and 4th round pick, and a prospect.

The Lightning are also rumoured to include defenseman Brad Lukowich in that deal.

The trade is now in paperwork mode with the NHL. Apparently, the manner with which the trade was completed was inaccurate, as Dan Boyle has a no-trade clause which must be waived in writing prior to the completion of any deal. The deal should become official soon.

In more trade news, RDS is reporting that the Buffalo Sabres have dealt RFA Steve Bernier to the Vancouver Canucks for 2nd and 3rd round draft picks. The Sabres then acquired defenseman Craig Rivet and a 7th rounder from SJ for 2nd rounders in 2009 and 2010.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Habs Acquire "Heavyweight Champ" On Busy Day

"Big Georges" and Mike Komisarek will not hunt each other any longer; instead, they'll hunt together.

The Canadiens were a very busy team Thursday as they completed 1 trade, 3 free agent signings and an AHL affiliate re-signing.

The Canadiens' biggest move was signing UFA winger and hometown boy Georges Laraque to a 3-year, $4.5 million deal. Laraque, arguably (almost undisputedly) the league's top enforcer, weighs in at 260 lbs. and measures 6-foot-3.

"It’s been a few years now that I’ve been imagining what it would be like to play for the Canadiens," admitted Laraque via conference call from his Edmonton home. "I was born in Montreal. My whole family lives in Montreal. I knew that I wanted to play here not at the tail-end of my career, but in my prime."

"I know my role and I hope to make the jobs of certain teammates easier," explained Laraque, who boasts over 1,000 career penalty minutes. "Having played against him, I know that a guy like Mike Komisarek is much more useful when he’s on the ice and that he shouldn’t really feel the need to drop his gloves out there. I want to take that pressure off Mike’s shoulders and give players like Max Lapierre and Steve Begin the chance to play their physical game without worrying about someone going after them."

The Habs also signed in UFA goaltender Marc Denis to a one-year, two-way contract, meaning that Denis can be demoted to and promoted from Hamilton without clearing waivers. Denis, another hometowner, becomes a backup plan in such case that Jaroslav Halak doesn't get a deal inked before the start of the season. Halak is currently a restricted free agent.

--from earlier...--

Toronto GM Cliff Feltcher says that "Grabovski will be expected to slot into a center position immediately" after acquiring the disgruntled centerman from Montreal. The Canadiens received 5th round, 128th overall draftee from last month's draft Greg Pateryn, D, and a 2nd round pick in 2010.

Grabovski, 24, had 9 points in 27 games for Montreal. The native of Potsdam, Germany became disgruntled on the Habs' roster after sitting out most of the season as a healthy scratch.

Last season, Pateryn, 18, in his first campaign in the United States Hockey League, led the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets defencemen with 27 points (3 goals, 24 assists) in 60 games. He also led his team with 145 penalty minutes. The Royal Oak, Michigan native was also named to the Eastern Division Team in the USHL Prospects/All-Star Game and received USHL Defensive Player of The Week honors in March.

Pateryn, 6-2, 212 pounds, will join the University of Michigan for the 2008-09 season.

The Canadiens also signed tough guy D Alex Henry and AHL goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.

Henry, 28, suited up for the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League last season. He recorded 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) and was second on the team with 142 penalty minutes. He was one of only two defensemen to play in all 80 regular season games. Henry spent the past two seasons in the Nashville Predators’ organization after signing as a free agent on August 21, 2006. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound defenseman played 175 NHL games with Edmonton (3), Washington (38) and Minnesota (134).

C├ędrick Desjardins, 22, had a tremendous season in 2007-08 - his second as a professional - as he led the ECHL Cincinnati Cyclones to the Kelly Cup. The Cyclones also won the league’s regular season title with a 115-point campaign. Desjardins posted a 16-4-2 record, had five shutouts, maintained a 1.92 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in only 22 games. He led all ECHL goaltenders during the playoffs with a 1.84 goals-against average, posting an 11-4 record and a .939 save percentage in 16 games. Desjardins also played 12 games with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs last season (4-4-1, 3.04 GAA and .909 save percentage).

In his second consecutive appearance in the Memorial Cup in 2006, he led the Remparts to the tournament championship. He was named the Memorial Cup Top Goaltender and was also named to the tournament’s All-Star Team.

*with extracts from canadiens.com

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rangers Acquire Zherdev In 4-player Deal

Look out: Cherepanov and Zherdev may be linemates in the very near future.

The fellow Russians are now on the same team in NY as the Rangers traded defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman to Columbus for forwards Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche, as reports TSN.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

NHL Free Agent Signings (Flames sign Bertz)

Here are the major signings and trades, in no particular order:


  1. Wash re-sign Mike Green, sign Jose Theodore.
  2. New Jersey re-sign Bryce Salvador and David Clarkson, sign Brian Rolston, Bobby Holik.
  3. Detroit sign Marian Hossa, re-sign Brad Stuart, sign Ty Conklin.
  4. Pittsburgh re-sign Marc Andre Fleury, Brooks Orpik, Pascal Dupuis, Mark Eaton. Sign Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko, Matt Cooke
  5. Anaheim re-sign Corey Perry.
  6. Tampa Bay sign Radim Vrbata, Olaf Kolzig and Adam Hall. Trade to acquire Matt Carle and picks/prospects from SJ.
  7. Minnesota sign Andrew Brunette, Owen Nolan & Antti Miettinen; trade to acquire Marek Zidlicky.
  8. Colorado sign Andrew Raycroft, Darcy Tucker. Re-sign Wojtek Wolski.
  9. Toronto sign Jeff Finger, Curtis Joseph and Niklas Hagman.
  10. Chicago sign Brian Campbell, Cristobal Huet.
  11. Ottawa sign Alex Auld.
  12. Buffalo sign Patrick Lalime.
  13. Edmonton trade to acquire Gilbert Brule and Erik Cole.
  14. Carolina trade to acquire Joni Pitkanen.
  15. Florida sign Cory Stillman.
  16. New York Rangers re-sign Michal Rozsival, sign Wade Redden, Markus Naslund & Dimitri Kalinin. Trade to acquire Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche.
  17. New York Islanders sign Mark Streit, Doug Weight.
  18. Boston sign Michael Ryder.
  19. Vancouver re-sign Curtis Sanford.
  20. Calgary trade to acquire Rene Bourque. Sign Jarome Iginla, Jim Vandermeer, Curtis Glencross.
  21. Dallas sign Sean Avery.
  22. Atlanta sign Ron Hainsey.
  23. Ottawa sign Jarkko Ruutu, re-sign Shean Donovan.
  24. Columbus trade to acquire Fedor Tyutin, Christian Backman and Raffi Torres. Sign Kristian Huselius, Mike Commodore.
  25. San Jose sign Rob Blake. Trade to acquire Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich.
  26. Montreal sign Georges Laraque, Marc Denis.
  27. Russian team Avangard Omsk sign Jaromir Jagr.