Archive for March 31, 2014

Sabres Extend Ted Nolan

The Sabres have signed (formerly interim) head coach Ted Nolan to a three year extension starting in the 2014-15 season.

Nolan replaced Ron Rolston, who lasted only 20 games into his season as Sabres’ coach. Nolan coached the Sabres for two seasons back in the mid-90s.

Could Canucks Retain David Booth?

Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province wonders if the Canucks will buy-out David Booth with their second amnesty buy-out this summer (the first was used on Keith Ballard last June). Gallagher suggests that it might be wise to keep Booth over Jannik Hansen.

Booth, 29, has one year left on his contract with a salary of $4.75 million and a cap-hit of $4.25 million.

Booth is playing better as of late, but his career with the Canucks has been, on the whole, disappointing. In 127 games with the Canucks, Booth has only 49 points (25 goals, 25 assists). I think Gallagher is placing too much emphasis on Booth’s recent play and neglecting much of the sample Booth has provided the Canucks. Jannik Hansen is signed for four seasons and a very reasonable $2.5 million per year.

Leino a Buy-Out Candidate This Summer

John Vogl of the Buffalo News reports that Ville Leino is a compliance buy-out candidate this summer.

Each team is allowed two buy-outs during the compliance period ending this June. The Sabres have not used a compliance buy-out yet.

After this season, Leino has three more seasons left on his contract at a cap-hit of $4.5 million. A compliance buy-out would cost the Sabres $7,333,333 in real dollars, but nothing against the cap.

In three seasons with the Sabres, Leino has registered 10 goals and 33 assists in 131 games.

Staple: Nabokov Could Be On Isles Radar

Arthur Staple of Newsday suggests the Islanders could be interested in bringing back Evgeny Nabokov as the team’s back-up next season.

Who would be their starter in this scenario is not yet determined. The Islanders are expected to search extensively for a starting goalie this summer. Nabokov certainly isn’t getting it done in that role. Of goalies facing 900 or more shots this season, Nabokov has the 3rd lowest save percentage.

Staple says there have been no serious discussions to this point.

Will the Senators trade Spezza, Ryan, Anderson?

Lyle Richardson of The Hockey News wonders if the Senators will trade at least one of Jason Spezza, Bobby Ryan and Craig Anderson this summer.

The trio is eligible to hit unrestricted free agency after the 2014-15 season. Only Spezza has a no-trade clause.

The Senators operate on a budget south of the NHL salary cap. Although Jason Spezza’s cap-hit is $7 million, he’s only due $4 million in salary next season. That’s why I find the Spezza trade rumors puzzling, but Darren Dreger did report they were listening on their captain at the trade deadline.

Insider Trading: Iginla, Hemsky, Miller, Vanek

A recap of last night’s Insider Trading segment on TSN:

- Darren Dreger reports that the Bruins would like to re-sign Jarome Iginla beyond this season, but no official negotiations have taken place as of yet. Dreger notes that the Bruins likely don’t have the tag room to sign Iginla during the season.

- Pierre Lebrun reports that the Senators have seen enough of Ales Hemsky to know that they would like to re-sign him beyond this season, though obviously the term has to be agreeable to the Senators, who have an internal budget.

- Lebrun also says the Blues don’t intend to let Ryan Miller get to unrestricted free agency on July 1st, rather they intend to have him signed by then. However, Bob McKenzie reports the “conventional wisdom among the hockey community” suggests Miller may want to hold out to see if the Anaheim Ducks come calling in July. Miller’s wife is an actress, so living in Southern California has obvious appeal.

- Lebrun reports that, although Thomas Vanek has enjoyed his time in Montreal, he has not changed his stance about his impending free agency. He still wants to go to July 1st. Many believe that Vanek wants to play in Minnesota, where he played College Hockey with the Gophers.

- McKenzie says the teams that have the best chance of signing potential College UFA D Christian Folin are believed to be Philadelphia, Minnesota, Edmonton and Tampa Bay.

Could Stars Trade Goligoski, Daley?

In a live chat, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News suggests that Alex Goligoski and/or Trevor Daley (or maybe even Brendan Dillon) could be had for the defenseman the Stars need:

I think both Goligoski and Daley are in any conversation if it helps bring back the defenseman the Stars need. I also think the Stars believe Goligoski can be an important part of a solid group of defensemen if he is given the proper role, so he also could stay for a long time. Honestly, while they like Dillon a lot, I think even he could be had for the right defenseman in return. So they are all on the block, really.

Could the Leafs Buy-Out Clarkson?

In a problem that could have been predicted by even a broken magic 8-ball, the Maple Leafs face the potential of having David Clarkson counting against their cap long into the future at a price that greatly exceeds his value-in-use.

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News explores this issue.

He notes a couple of options–eating some of his salary to facilitate a trade and buying him out. He suggests neither is ideal, as is usually the case when a team signs a contract like this one.

He looks into a possible buy-out would look like against the cap. The buy-out would cost a $20.75 million cap charge over 12 seasons. I wouldn’t suggest a buy-out is likely in this case.


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