Archive for April 30, 2014

Teemu Selanne Will Not Join the KHL

Recent speculation suggested that Teemu Selanne would join the KHL following the addition of Jokerit-HIFK to the league.

Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov, added, “For the record I think he is not going to the KHL. I think the chance of that happening is zero.”

I would have to agree. Selanne is well established in California, and he has a large family. If he still wants to play hockey, he will likely resign with the Anaheim Ducks. While he slowed down, he can still play in a minimal role if he is willing to accept that and he still has lots of leadership and experience to offer.

In the end, I expect Selanne to follow through with retirement as he has already had a stellar career and has nothing left to prove in the NHL.

Rumor: Barry Trotz to the Florida Panthers

Recent buzz suggests that Barry Trotz could end up as the new coach of the Florida Panthers. They recently relieved Peter Horachek of his head coaching duties.

When asked about Barry Trotz, GM Dale Tallon stated, “Barry Trotz is a hell of a coach.”

Trotz would fit in very well with the Panthers. His defensive system would forge a much needed identify for the team and it would help struggling Erik Gudbranson rediscover his game and perhaps develop into that Shea Weber type of player that the Panthers had hoped for when they drafted him.

Jagr Re-Signs With Devils

There will be no Jaromir Jagr sweepstakes this off-season as the UFA forward agreed to a new contract with the New Jersey Devils. Details of the deal were not yet announced.

Last season Jagr led the Devils with 43 assists and 67 points, he was second on the team with 24 goals.

Where Will Vanek Sign?

Charley Walters of Twincities.com believes the Minnesota Wild will aggressively pursue upcoming UFA Thomas Vanek, who was acquired at the trade deadline by the Montreal Canadiens.

Vanek, 30, has ties to the Twin Cities dating back to his time spent at the University of Minnesota, but the St. Louis Blues and Canadiens have also been rumored as possible long-term destinations. Of the three teams, the Wild appear to be the front-runner in terms of available cap space and overall fit.

The Minnesota Wild seem determined to capture their first Stanley Cup, having invested $196 million in free agency last season with the acquisitions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, which leads me to believe they will not hesitate to break the bank on Vanek and fill their void of a game-breaking scorer.

Will Grabovski and Kulemin be Signed as Package Deal?

Brian Stubits of CBS Sports.com reports of the possibility of upcoming free agents Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin signing with a team this summer as a package deal. Grabovski and Kulemin played five seasons together with the Toronto Maple Leafs and currently face somewhat uncertain futures.

The players share the same agent Gary Greenstein, who told the National Post during an interview that his clients are extremely close and have frequently discussed the possibility of playing together again.

In order to accommodate such a signing, both players would likely have to accept a cut in pay, and it remains to be seen if any team is interested in signing both players who have had their share of struggles in recent years despite having some success while playing in Toronto.

Of the two, Grabovski will garner the most interest from teams, especially those in desperate need of a second-line center, while Kulemin could get some offers from general managers seeking a solid two-way player who could add versatility and size on the wing.

Jagr Says He’s Staying With Devils

According to Czech reporter Zdenek Janda:

Jagr, 42, lead the Devils in points this season with 67 (24 goals, 43 assists).

Jagr is an interesting character. I believe that, today, he intends to sign a contract with the Devils. Until his signature is on a contract, however, I wouldn’t pencil him into their lineup.

Has Miller Become Expendable?

The St. Louis Blues had their playoff hopes crushed by the Chicago Blackhawks. The major question surrounding the team is whether Ryan Miller has a future with the team. He posted a lowly 2.70 GAA and a .897 save percentage. Still, Miller was not the only one to blame. The team played poorly in front of him.

Hitchcock talked to the media following the game. “he played good for us, I’m sure there are some goals that he’d like to have back, just like any goalie would. But … we win as a team, we lose as a team. My God, we gave up a breakaway for the third goal and we got seamed on the second goal. That’s not the goalie’s fault. Those are big errors,” said Hitchcock.

At the end of the game, Miller was asked about his future with the team. He replied, “I don’t know. Just have to take them as they come now. I guess I’m free to go to my sister-in-law’s wedding. That’s about it.”

Miller indicated an interest in returning to the team, but with Jake Allen on the rise, will he become expendable?

Canes Promote Francis to Exec VP and GM

The Carolina Hurricanes have promoted Ron Francis to executive vice president and general manager.

Francis, who played six seasons in Carolina and has been a part of the management team for the last eight years, is replacing long-time GM Jim Rutherford, who will remain with the team as president in an advisory role.

Change is expected for the team as rumors suggest few on the roster are safe, including franchise cornerstones Eric Staal and goaltender Cam Ward.

  

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