Sportsnet’s Luke Fox reports that newly-appointed Canucks GM Jim Benning is open to an upgrade in goal.
Both Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks two goalies at present, both posted save percentages below league average last season.
Fox notes that Ryan Miller, Ilya Brygalov and Tim Thomas are among goalies to hit the UFA market this summer. Ryan Miller is clearly the class of the UFA goalie market, but with St. Louis out of the running, it appears his suitors may be dwindling.
Tim Thomas has an interesting relationship with Vancouver and its fans. Ilya Bryzgalov and the Vancouver media seems like an…. interesting match.
According to Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun:
Burmistrov signed a two-year deal with Ak Bars last season, but the Jets were reportedly hopeful of enticing Burmistrov to exercise his NHL out-clause to re-join them for the upcoming season.
According to Dean Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, he believes that the Pittsburgh Penguins new GM has his work cut out for him.
- Dan Bylsma must be fired and replaced with a new coach. This will breathe life into the players and a new system will do wonders.
- He suggests trading Kris Letang who has a monster eight-year $58 million contract that is about to kick in.
- Trade James Neal for a hard-nosed player. He believes that Neal is expendable and that the Penguins need to move away from perimeter players and play a grinding game.
- He wants the team to retain Matt Niskanen and make him an assistant captain.
- Let Brooks Orpik and Jussi Jokinen walk.
All of his points are valid, but I do not believe they should trade both Letang and Neal. They should trade one or the other and Marc-Andre Fleury should be added to the trading block. He is an overrated goaltender who has proven nothing except the ability to collapse in big games.
Craig Custance of ESPN lays out his suggested course of action for the Canadiens, after their impressive playoff run ended (insider paywall).
Custance suggests the team signs P.K. Subban to a long-term deal, bring back Brian Gionta and Andrei Markov, and cut Rene Bourque and Thomas Vanek loose.
Custance suggests that the Habs will need to fork over $8M+ annually on an 8 year term for Subban, which seems reasonable for an elite defenseman like Subban. Subban has two more seasons of RFA seasons before he is UFA eligible. After a frustrating playoff season, Vanek and the Habs parting ways seems an inevitability.
Custance suggests trading Bourque because his value ought to be superficially high because of his strong playoff run. I’m not sure NHL GMs are quite that reactive, however.
Andrew Berskshire of SBNation suggests the Habs should try to poach Anton Stralman from the team that knocked them out of the playoffs:
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports:
The Oilers are almost surely looking at Pittsburgh free-agent Deryk Engelland, hoping to sign him in July. He’s tough and he can play wing too.
Jonathan Willis, meanwhile, looks at why signing Engelland would be a bad move for the Oilers.
Engelland, 32, had 6 goals and 6 assists in 56 games with the Penguins last season.
Pittsburgh Penguins insider and analyst William DePaoli believes that the team has interviewed Julien Brisebois, Jason Botterill, Tom Fitzgerald, and Pierre McGuire for the vacant GM position. He tweeted:
All four are excellent candidates. However, deep inside, for comical value, I think Pierre McGuire deserves his chance as GM of a team. Imagine the headlines with him commanding the Pittsburgh Penguins. In all seriousness, he would be a great candidate because of his knowledge of prospects, a department that the Penguins are sorely lacking in.
The Blue Jackets have announced that they’ve extended head coach Todd Richards existing contract for two seasons, through 2016-17.
In two seasons as the head coach of the Blue Jackets, Richards has coached them to a 85-70-16 record, including the second playoff berth in franchise history this season.
Jaromir Jagr stated that his most recent game with the Czech Republic’s national team was his last international game. Following the game, Czech hockey reporter Zdenek Janda tweeted:
Jagr feels as if he doesn’t fit into the teams system anymore and he is content with playing in the NHL, in a more possession based game, so long as he is still a productive member of whichever team he plays for. If Jagr has another productive season, I would not be surprised to see him return to the NHL for another year, but his international hockey career is over.