The Chicago Blackhawks have decided to walk away from Antti Niemi's arbitration awarded $2.75M contract, and have instead signed veteran free agent Marty Turco to a one-year $1.3M contract. With the Blackhawks decision not to retain him, Niemi is now a free agent goaltender on the market and should attract some immediate attention.
The Toronto Star continues to shine a light on the Kaberle front. According to Brian Burke, he has "four concrete offers" on the table and seems to be rather confident he can land a first round pick. That said, the Toronto Sun suggest that of the six teams interested in Kaberle's services, the Ducks have expressed the strongest interest.
Well, scratch another player from the Toronto Maple Leafs' list of potential top-six forwards.
Patrick Sharp is no longer an option for trade with the departures of Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel from the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to the Toronto Star's Damien Cox, the Maple Leafs have targeted three potential players to bolster their lineup heading into next season.
For starters, [more…]
Pension Plan Puppets' Chemmy has the details on why turn-coating for the Habs for the sake of returning the Cup to Canada is staggeringly ludicrous. Here's why, if you must cheer for someone (a better alternative: perusing Down Goes Brown's youtube Wendel collection for your spring-time fix), the Hawks are your safest bandwagon to board while maintaining some sense of pride and loyalty:
David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail speculates that Burke's first move this coming offseason will be to find a taker for forward Mikhail Grabovski. Shoalts explains that with Bozak and Kadri likely penciled into the team's top two centre roles, it is unlikely that Burke will opt for three undersized centres on his roster. Add in a $2.9M pricetag for a primarily offensive-mindedÂ player who scored only 35 points in 59 games, and the writing seems to be on the wall. Shoalts warns fans not to expect a hefty return: likely less than the 2nd round pick Fletcher gave up to acquire him. [more…]
With the National Hockey League's trade deadline looming, names like Alexei Ponikarovsky and Lee Stempniak are becoming increasingly popular in the Toronto Maple Leafs brass.
Fans of the Blue & White have been playing armchair general manager and have formulated a number of trades since the Olympic break. But amidst the excitement of the yearly spectacle, I'm beginning to wonder if it's in the Leafs' best interest to trade both Ponikarovsky and Stempniak.
After all, were they not serviceable players for the Leafs?
As training camp approaches, there will be no shortage of forwards rumoured to be heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for one or more of their excess defensemen. The two players currently being mentioned in the rumour mill, however, will command a little more than a spare part.
Those two players are Patrick Marleau, and Patrick Sharp.
Not a whole lot of news coming out of the NHL ranks these last few days, as the few free agents still available are playing the waiting game (kind of surprising to note that Alex Tanguay's still out there). As we try to make it through the last work day before the weekend, let's touch upon more trade speculation out of Chicago, Leaf prospect Mikhail Stefanovich, early playoff predictions and the Leafs' second annual Coca Cola Fans First Game. [more…]
Picking up on the "defenseman for a forward" trade offer that Burke received the other day, ESPN's Al Cimaglia speculated on a possible fit with the Chicago Blackhawks. After accomodating the acquisition of Hossa and the significant raises to Versteeg, Bolland and Barker, the Hawks find themselves pressed right up against the cap and still requiring a tough, stay at home defender. With Burke having up to six NHL defensive defensemen on his roster right now, Cimaglia suggested the newly acquired Garnet Exelby as a possible fit since he's young, cheap and would fit the mold of what GM Dave Tallon is looking for to round out his defense core. [more…]