Archive for April, 2009

Souray asked for a trade out of Edmonton?

via Edmonton Journal:

“I’ve been getting phone calls from here … my mum called me to ask about it. Who knows where it’s coming from?” said Souray, who has three years left on his Oilers contract and says he’s had no conversations with general manager Steve Tambellini.

Souray’s children live in Los Angeles with their mother, which might have fuelled the trade-me speculation, but when he signed here in 2007, he said he was over the moon to be coming home to play for the team he idolized as a kid.

“Our stalls aren’t even cold yet,” he said. “I’m not worrying about it (the rumour). I don’t think it deserves talking about. It doesn’t deserve a no or deserve a yes. It’s fodder for the media.

“If it was something I was feeling, I wouldn’t voice it through the media anyway.” Souray, who represented the Oilers in the all-star game and finished with 23 goals and 53 points, has been through coach firings before in Montreal. It always stings. There’s always questions in a hockey city, because people care.

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Oilers fire MacTavish

via NHL:

Edmonton Oilers General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the club has relieved Craig MacTavish of his head coaching duties.

Named the eighth coach in Oilers history on June 22, 2000, MacTavish compiled a career record of 301-252-103 (.537) in 656 regular season games over the course of eight seasons between 2000-01 and 2008-09.

MacTavish became the 36th coach in NHL history to win 300-or-more games with a 5-3 win versus the Vancouver Canucks on April 4th at Rexall Place. He finished the 2008-09 season ranked 11th in both career wins and games coached among active NHL coaches and sits 36th all-time in wins and 41st in games coached.

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Radulov to return? But where will he play?

via The Tennessean:

Word has it that Radulov might be in play again. He still has a year remaining on his contract with the Preds, which would make him Nashville’s property if he returns to the NHL. What gives?

Asked if he would welcome Radulov back, Trotz said:

“Yeah. Obviously, he’s a real dynamic guy.”

But his old teammates might not be quite so quick to embrace Radulov. Arnott, the team captain, suggested Radulov would encounter some lingering hard feelings if he returned.

“I’m sure we’d have to have a lot of talks about it,” Arnott said. “I don’t know if he’d be accepted in the dressing room after what he did. That’s something we’d have to discuss at a later point if he was thinking about coming back.”

In other words, bygones are not exactly bygones, even on a team that desperately needs a finisher around the goal. When you leave your team in the lurch by skipping the country for a big paycheck, you have a lot of explaining to do.

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Steve Stamkos, Drew Doughty and Luke Schenn named to Team Canada

via TSN:

The team’s initial roster includes three players that were selected in the top five picks of last year’s NHL draft - Steve Stamkos, Drew Doughty and Luke Schenn.

All three are just 19 years old and played together on the world junior team that won gold in the Czech Republic in 2008. They’ll be joined this time in Switzerland by 21-year-old James Neal, who had 24 goals in his rookie season with the Dallas Stars.

Canadian GM Doug Armstrong isn’t concerned about having so many young players because he’s also got veterans like Shane Doan, Dany Heatley and Dwayne Roloson.

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Avs fire François Giguère

via CBC:

The Colorado Avalanche fired vice-president and general manager François Giguère on Monday. leaving team president Pierre Lacroix to act as GM until a replacement is found.

“The results of this season are unacceptable,” Lacroix said in a release.

“We are too proud of what we have accomplished in this market to ignore where we are and what happened in just a very short period of time. Ownership and the dedicated Avalanche fans throughout the region deserve better results.”

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Diamonds in the Rough

By Peter Levi

The past few weeks hockey teams have been rushing to sign overlooked college players.  For Ottawa fans, this echoes the Jesse Winchester signing last spring.  NHL teams keep a close eye on the NCAA—it’s easy to do, after all.  Few, if any quality players are missed in the North American ranks.  European scouting, however, is expensive, and typically teams (excluding Detroit and a few others) use big tournaments to decide on particular prospects.  This means players not invited to their national teams often get overlooked.

Last season there was a big stir over Fabian Brunnstrom, the raw prospect who had been playing in the Swedish second division until his outbreak year with Farjestads.  This year teams are drooling over goalie Jonas Gustavsson, but there’s no question other diamonds in the rough are playing in the European leagues, so here are a few that NHL teams might look at:

 

Erik Moe (1988, 5’11, 194, D-R)

Team Sweden

WJC18

06

 

6

1

2

3

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timrå IK

J20 Superelit (SWE)

06/07

 

15

1

4

5

-10

75

 

2

0

1

1

+2

6

Timrå IK

Elitserien

06/07

 

44

0

1

1

-4

12

 

6

0

0

0

0

0

IF Sundsvall Hockey

HockeyAllsvenskan

06/07

 

1

0

0

0

0

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timrå IK

J20 Superelit (SWE)

07/08

 

2

0

2

2

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timrå IK

Elitserien

07/08

 

19

0

4

4

-1

4

 

10

0

0

0

0

4

IF Sundsvall Hockey

HockeyAllsvenskan

07/08

 

11

0

1

1

+2

33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Sweden

WJC

08

 

6

1

3

4

+4

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timrå IK

Elitserien

08/09

 

42

5

19

24

+11

20

 

5

0

1

1

-2

0

 

Moe played in both the 2006 U-18 championship as well as the 2008 WJC, so he’s better known than most of the players who follow.  Perhaps because of the success of Detroit in drafting from Sweden over the years, there are far fewer missed prospects in the SEL, so Moe is my only pick from there.

 

Ilkka Heikkinen (1984, 6’2, 194, D-L)

Lukko Rauma

SM-Liiga

04/05

 

48

0

2

2

+5

8

 

9

0

0

0

-3

0

Lukko Rauma

SM-Liiga

05/06

 

55

5

10

15

-6

46

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lukko Rauma

SM-Liiga

06/07

 

55

7

17

24

+10

71

 

3

0

0

0

0

0

HIFK Helsinki

SM-Liiga

07/08

 

51

11

26

37

+6

96

 

7

0

2

2

+1

6

HIFK Helsinki

SM-Liiga

08/09

 

54

8

26

34

-2

22

 

2

0

1

1

-1

0

 

A consistent contributor in the Finnish league, Heikkinen is still young enough to be considered a prospect.  Despite consistent performance at the pro level, like so many Europeans he has lacked exposure in large tournaments which contributes to his obscurity.

 

Jussi Makkonen (1985, 6’4, 207, LW) 57-27-32-59 SM-Liiga

Team Finland

WJC

05

 

5

2

2

4

0

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TPS Turku

Jr. A SM-Liiga

05/06

 

2

0

0

0

+1

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TPS Turku

SM-Liiga

05/06

 

55

5

11

16

+2

32

 

2

0

0

0

0

0

TPS Turku

SM-Liiga

06/07

 

56

10

10

20

+1

32

 

2

0

0

0

0

0

TPS Turku

SM-Liiga

07/08

 

30

5

3

8

-2

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HPK Hämeenlinna

SM-Liiga

07/08

 

12

1

6

7

-4

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HPK Hämeenlinna

SM-Liiga

08/09

 

57

27

32

59

+17

24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                 

 

Playing in the 05 WJC, Makkonen is coming off a career year (and player of the month honours in March).  The big Makkonen should receive a few phone calls from GM’s this spring.

 

Markus Nordlund (1985, 6’5, 207, D-L)

Lukko Rauma

SM-Liiga

06/07

 

11

1

3

4

+2

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KalPa Kuopio

SM-Liiga

06/07

 

13

0

0

0

+1

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FPS Forssa

Mestis

06/07

 

13

2

11

13

-17

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lukko Rauma

SM-Liiga

07/08

 

51

1

11

12

-3

10

 

3

0

2

2

+1

2

TPS Turku

SM-Liiga

08/09

 

56

9

14

23

+1

26

             

 

There’s never a shortage of teams that want big defenceman, and Nordlund fits that bill.  Like most big men, it has taken him awhile to fully develop.

 

Tero Koskiranta (1984, 6’1, 213, LW)

Blues Espoo

SM-Liiga

06/07

 

36

0

2

2

-2

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HC Salamat

Mestis

06/07

 

11

4

3

7

-1

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blues Espoo

SM-Liiga

07/08

 

35

2

3

5

-4

22

 

9

0

0

0

-2

4

HC Salamat

Mestis

07/08

 

15

5

3

8

+1

49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SaiPa Lappeenranta

SM-Liiga

08/09

 

55

18

22

40

+4

54

             

 

A breakout year on a bad team (second in team scoring), Koskiranta is worth a look.

 

Oleg Piganovich (1985, 6’5, 220, D)

Khimik Voskresensk

Vysshaya Liga (RUS-2)

06/07

 

29

2

10

12

+23

46

 

9

0

1

1

+2

16

Traktor Chelyabinsk

Russian Hockey League

07/08

 

56

22

7

29

-11

173

 

3

0

0

0

-1

2

Traktor Chelyabinsk

KHL

08/09

 

47

2

18

20

0

117

             

 

After breaking the Russian record for most goals in a season by a defenceman (22), Piganovich did not score at the same rate this year, but still put up good numbers and lead his team in blueline scoring.  If Piganovich’s skating is up to par, he’s worth an offer from the NHL.

 

Evgeny Ketov (1986, 6’0, 176, RW)

Team Russia

WJC

06

 

6

0

1

1

+3

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lada-2 Togliatti

Pervaya Liga (RUS-3)

06/07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lada Togliatti

Russian Hockey League

06/07

 

53

14

10

24

+13

20

 

3

0

1

1

+1

0

Lada Togliatti

Russian Hockey League

07/08

 

54

15

10

25

-4

59

 

4

1

4

5

+3

0

Lada Togliatti

KHL

08/09

 

39

14

10

24

+5

26

             

 

A member of the 06 World Junior team, his 2006 draft report described him as “A good skater with speed, balance and acceleration … A power forward who protects the puck very well … has a fair shot … effective checker who uses his speed to his advantage when checking … likes to play physical … has a very good work ethic – comes out to play on every shift.”  Ketov seems to have turned a corner in his performance, as he lead the offensively challenged Togliatti in scoring.

 

Konstantin Makarov (1985, 5’11, 194, RW)

Salavat Yulayev-2

Pervaya Liga (RUS-3)

06/07

 

11

4

8

12

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salavat Yulayev Ufa

Russian Hockey League

06/07

 

3

0

0

0

-1

2

 

1

0

0

0

0

2

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk

Russian Hockey League

07/08

 

55

12

19

31

-5

76

 

5

3

0

3

0

4

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk

KHL

08/09

 

44

17

16

33

+13

30

             

 

A member of the 03 World Junior team, Makarov lead his team in scoring this season, outplaying and out producing veteran players on the squad.  A 2005 scouting report says “Makarov is a strong skater with a good top speed…average first step and acceleration…possesses a very accurate shot”.

 

Evgeny Lapenkov (1984, 6’3, 211, F)

Khimik Voskresensk

Vysshaya Liga (RUS-2)

05/06

 

51

21

23

44

+16

130

 

6

2

1

3

-1

4

Lokomotiv-2 Yaroslavl

Pervaya Liga (RUS-3)

06/07

 

6

2

7

9

+3

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (Torpedo)

Russian Hockey League

06/07

 

35

3

9

12

-2

26

 

1

0

0

0

-1

0

Metallurg Novokuznezk

Russian Hockey League

07/08

 

52

7

19

26

-2

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk

KHL

08/09

 

54

19

13

32

+17

45

             

 

Lapenkov’s numbers have constantly improved, and this year he placed second in scoring behind Konstantin Makarov (above).  A big man, he could attract some interest in the off-season.

 

Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev (1983, 6’2, 191, LW)

Motor Barnaul

Vysshaya Liga (RUS-2)

05/06

 

48

15

22

37

+2

56

 

3

2

1

3

+2

2

Team Kazakhstan

WC

06

 

6

1

1

2

-1

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk

Russian Hockey League

06/07

 

15

0

2

2

-2

26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazakhmis Satpaev

Vysshaya Liga (RUS-2)

07/08

 

28

8

9

17

+3

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barys Astana

Vysshaya Liga (RUS-2)

07/08

 

22

8

10

18

+13

39

 

7

4

3

7

+4

4

Barys Astana

KHL

08/09

 

53

12

21

33

+7

48

             

 

Vadim played in the 01 WJC and the 06 and 09 WC (division 1 finals this year), he’s spent most of his career playing in the Russian second division in Kazakhstan until KHL expansion this season.  Given the opportunity to play against stronger opposition he’s demonstrated his skill.  Playing on the second line, Krasnoslobodtsev put up good numbers and is worth a look.

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Wings sign Franzen for 11 years

via TSN:

Johan Franzen and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed to a long-term contract extension.

The deal is for 11 years in order to keep the salary cap hit to a manageable level for the Red Wings. The deal is worth $43 million and the average annual salary for the cap is $3.9 million.

“We are thrilled that Johan will remain a member of the Detroit Red Wings,” general manager Ken Holland said in a media release. “His production over the past year and a half, both regular season and playoffs, has been remarkable and we feel, at 29 years old, that he is just now entering the prime of his career.”

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Senators sign Cory Clouston to a two year deal

via TSN:

Cory Clouston can consider his audition as head coach of the Ottawa Senators a success.

The Senators signed the 39-year-old to a two-year deal Wednesday, removing the interim tag he held since taking over after Craig Hartsburg was fired on Feb. 2.

With the team’s run of 11 straight post-season appearances having come to an end after a dismal start to the season, owner Eugene Melnyk and general manager Bryan Murray sought to lock up the man who’s had a hand in its recent turnaround.

“Cory’s come in and done a remarkable job really,” Murray said during a news conference at Scotiabank Place, where the Senators play their final home game Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils. “He’s made (the players) accountable.

“We’re watching a team now that will make it very entertaining for the fans and maybe even give (the media) something nice to write about once in a while.”

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Doug Weight signs one year extension with Islanders

via NHL.com:

The Islanders have signed center Doug Weight to a one-year contract extension. In his first season with the Islanders, Weight is third on the team in scoring with nine goals and 26 assists for 35 points despite missing 29 games due to injury.

Weight originally signed with the Islanders as an unrestricted free agent on July 2, 2008. The contract runs through the 2009-10 season.

“Long Island has been a wonderful place for me and my family,” Weight said. “It was an easy decision to come back for another season. The Islanders have been a first-class organization and I’m looking forward to helping our team continue its development into a contender.”

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Tim Thomas re-signs 3yrs $5.2M per year

via Boston Herald:

Tim Thomas, in net for Boston’s 50th win of the season last night, yesterday agreed to a multi-year contract that will keep him with the Bruins for at least three more seasons.

According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the deal will pay the 34-year-old backstop approximately the $5.2 million-per-year earned by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, age 36, who last month became the game’s all-time winningest goalie.

Thomas, signed as free agent in 2002 by former Bruins general manager Mike O’Connell, is on the books this season, the last of a three-year deal, for $1.1 million.

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