Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rangers Set To Acquire Jokinen From Flames

Late Monday night the trade was made official. Full details here

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Update (Monday Evening): 
Darren Dreger reporting that "Flames-Rangers trade very much alive. Could be finalized following Calgary's game with the Flyers"
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Update (Monday Morning):

According to Bob McKenize:
It is expected that Olli Jokinen will be in the Calgary Flames' lineup when they play tonight in Calgary against the Philadelphia Flyers. Brandon Prust may also be in the lineup but it could be Brian McGrattan instead.

In any case, it is clear that the deal that looked on Sunday night as though it was agreed to - Jokinen and Prust to the New York Rangers in exchange for Chris Higgins and Alex Kotalik - is not going to happen over the course of today.

It's obviously possible the deal may not get done at all, but the mere fact that one or both players are in the Flames' lineup tonight doesn't mean for certain it won't get done either.
Mckenzie also went on to say that sources claim that Kotalik is holding up the deal is false. The source says that the Rangers were capable of making the trade but the Flames have held it up for some reason or other.

Stay tuned
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Update: As of midnight Sunday, the deal has not been completed and there are now rumors surfacing that this deal is being held up and may not be completed. No official word as to why. Some speculation that a "partial no-trade clause" that Ales Kotalik is said to have may be tying up the deal. However, Darren Dreger hinting that somehow the Flames may be delaying the deal. Larry Brooks is the latest to post his opinion, stating that it looks like Higgins was a last minute request after the teams had already worked out a deal. 

Another theory for the delay, is according to Sportsnet -  Kotalik’s limited no-trade clause lists 3 teams he can not be traded to without his permission and Calgary is one of them. So the trade is pending Kotalik's approval.
========== 


Darren Dreger of TSN saying "Expected to be Jokinen, Prust for Kotalik and Higgins."

A look at the contract situations:
  • Ales Kotalik has 2 more years left on his contract after this season, each season for $3M.
  • Chris Higgins is currenty on a one year deal that pays him $2.25M this season, he'll be a UFA come July.
  • Brandon Prust who is in the final year of his two year contract, is making $525K this season and will be an RFA this summer.
  • Olli Jokinen is also in the final year of his four year contract, currently making $5.25M and will be a UFA this summer.
Bottom line, from a Rangers perspective is they got Ales Kotalik's $3M cap hit off the books for the next two seasons. If they decide to re-sign Prust and/or Jokinen then so be it, but Sather's primary purpose here was to get some cap space cleared in my opinion.


Kotalik Leaves Rangers; Awaits Trade To New Team

Update: According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Kotalik is about to be traded to Calgary along with Chris Higgins in exchange for Jokinen and Brandon Prust [Link]
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Update: Brooks has updated the story via Twitter stating that "Rangers tentaive deal to move Kotalik fell through due to complications". We'll just have to wait and see what happens now.


Rumored that the complication is that Kotalik has a partial NMC or NTC (like I had mentioned earlier below)

------

Last week we wrote that the Rangers were shopping Ales Kotalik. It is now confirmed that this rumor was in fact accurate.

According to Larry Brooks this evening:
Ales Kotalik has left the Rangers after being told that he would be traded, The Post has learned.
Kotalik, the 32-year-old winger who was signed to a three-year, $9M free agent contract this summer, accompanied the Blueshirts to Phoenix for the first game of their three-game western tour but did not accompany his teammates here for tonight's match against the Avalanche.
Head coach John Tortorella did not inform the media of Kotalik's departure in his pre-game press briefing, only stating that the winger would be scratched for the eighth time in the last nine games.

There's going to be lots of speculating and rumors floating around until a deal gets done. At this time it's uncertain if the Rangers actually have a trade partner, are close to a deal or just simply told Kotalik that they are attempting to make a deal. One would imagine though that if Kotalik was informed that something is close to being done. Although it's possible that Sather had to discuss a possible trade with Kotalik because Kotalik has a partial "no-trade" clause in his contract.

Toronto who made two major moves earlier today could be a possible destination. After all, they don't have much depth on their roster as far as forwards go. The Rangers could be interested in Garnet Exelby, who will be a UFA this summer, who the Leafs intend to trade prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.




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Leafs Acquire Giguere In Second Trade of Day

In Toronto's second move of the day, the Ducks and Leafs completed a trade.

According to ESPN:
The Leafs also acquired veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere from the Anaheim Ducks for Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala.
To read more about their other trade with Calgary for Dion Phaneuf, click here


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TSN Says Phaneuf Traded to Leafs

Huge Trade this morning. Not often you see much NHL news on a Sunday morning, but this could be one of the bigger trades of recent years if it is confirmed (which it's expected to be shortly).

According to Darren Dreger, via Twitter, Dion Phaneuf (who has been rumored for a few weeks now to be on the trade block) was traded to the Maple Leafs.

According to Dreger the deal is as follows:
Phaneuf, Sjostrom and Auley to Toronto for Hagman, Stajan, Mayers and White
The Leafs also pulled off another major trade today with the Ducks, acquiring J.S. Giguere. Click Here for the details of that move


Great Tickets at StubHub.com!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fire Sather Rally & Petition

 Update: The "Fire Sather Rally" is being held at 5 PM on the East Side of 7th avenue between 31st and 32nd Streets in front of the FUSE Building.
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You probably have heard about the "Fire Sather" Rally scheduled for Sunday, March 7th on the steps of MSG. There is now a petition online for disgruntled Rangers fans to sign, to voice their displeasure for the way the Rangers have not only performed this season, but for more than a decade. Here is the contents of the petition:
Dear James Dolan,

For the past 10 years, loyal Rangers fans around the world have watched our beloved team go nowhere due to the leadership of the clubs President and General Manager, Glen Sather. Our franchise has been in a state of disarray for 10+ years, and there is no end in sight. This here petition is being signed by Rangers fans around the globe who are asking you to remove Mr. Sather from his job, and to replace him with someone who will restore our hockey club to the top of the NHL with hopes that we will become Stanley Cup Champions. This petition is being signed by people who want Glen Sather removed whether they are attending the rally March 7th outside Madison Square Garden or not. Remove him please James!

Yours Truly,

Loyal Rangers fans around the globe. 
 Sign the "Fire Sather" Petition (takes literally 2 seconds)

Video: Hedberg Makes Funniest Save of The Season

I saw this video last night and it's been making its way around the internet this morning, so I figured I'd post it. It happened in the game Thursday night between the Atlanta Thrashers and Philadelphia Flyers in the third period.

[H/T Kukla's Korner]

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Video: Chris Neil Destroys Eaton!

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

NHL Trade Rumors

  •  Kevin Allen of USA Today says "The Atlanta Thrashers have not given any team permission to talk contract with Ilya Kovalchuk's agent and they aren't planning to do so." If this is the case, then I have to wonder how reluctant Waddel is to actually trade Kovalchuk at this point. Waddel is likely to get much more in return if a prospective trade partner can talk to Kovalchuk and come to a handshake agreement that this will be more than a rental.

  • Jamal Mayers [The Star] and Garnet Exelby [Sporting News] are both likely to be moved by the NHL Trade Deadline. Mayers and Exelby will both be unrestricted free agents this summer.

  • With Kari Lehtonen returning from injury within the next week the Thrashers will have three goalies on their NHL roster. Don Waddel expects to make a move, possibly a trade. "Lehtonen, Johan Hedberg or Ondrej Pavelec will be on the block." [AJC]

  • The Hurricanes are reported to be trying to move Ray Whitney and Niclas Wallin, who each have clauses in their contract regarding movements. Matt Cullen is also said to be on the trade block.


Rent Textbooks

Did Versus Confirm ESPN's "We're Not Straight" Headline?

If you remember back in October we had the hilarious headline that ESPN had ran which showed a picture of Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom above the headline "We're Not Straight."

Have a listen to what was said on the Versus telecast the other night:



[H/T Puck Daddy]


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gaborik Autograph Signing Moved To March 8th


New York Rangers right winger Marian Gaborik will be signing autographs on Monday, March 8th, 2010 from 6:30–8pm at Buddy’s Sports Corner (sports store located in Paramus Park Mall) Paramus, NJ.

Autographed Gaborik jerseys retail for over $500 and pucks over $60 through NHL.com or Steiner Sports

The autograph signing was originally scheduled for January 28th but has since been changed.


Video: Ovechkin Slap Shot To The Face!

According to Katie Strang of NewsDay, Islanders defenseman Jack Hillen "suffered a broken jaw and damaged teeth; had surgery last night; will be out 6-8 weeks."





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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rangers Headlines On A Sunday Morning




Saturday, January 23, 2010

Are the Rangers Targeting Dion Phaneuf ?


Rumors have been flying around Calgary for a few weeks now that Dion Phaneuf has requested a trade. This rumor has been adamently denied by the Flames GM Darryl Sutter.

Darryl Sutter and his brother Ron, a scout for the Flames have been at the last two Rangers game (Tampa and Philly). Of course, when you see a General Manager scouting a team the rumor wheel is going to start turning, especially when one of that team's star players is rumored to have requested a trade. But, if there is a trade in the works, is the player involved Dion Phaneuf?

The Flames are believed to be seeking some offensive depth and as rumored earlier in the week, Rangers forward Ales Kotalik may have requested a trade. Could the Flames be interested in Kotalik? I find that hard to believe, considering that Kotalik hasn't been productive and has two years left on his contract at $3M per season.

Of course, immediately everyone is going to say that this isn't happening just because Phaneuf and Sean Avery couldn't play on the same team. If anything stops the trade from happening (if it is in fact in the works) it will be because the Rangers don't want to part with Brandon Dubinksy. Whether Dion Phaneuf and Sean Avery become best friends is an afterthought in Sather's mind. Should it matter? Maybe. But, Sather has some recent history of doing things like this that you wouldn't expect.
  • Sather brought Sean Avery back to New York when it was clear that John Tortorella didn't want Avery in New York.

  • Then there's the whole Donald Brashear destroying Blair Betts in the playoffs last season and then signing for the Rangers just a few months later. 
I for one don't see the Rangers making a huge trade like this. I've always viewed Phaneuf as being overrated, but there's no denying that he is a large physical presence on the blue line. That's something that the Rangers haven't had since Jeff Beukebook hung up his skates. The question is, what exactly would Calgary want in return?

The Flames and Rangers have already played their one game scheduled for this season. Unless of course, the Flames are scouting the Rangers in anticipation of meeting them in the Stanley Cup Finals. (I kid!)

For more on the Phaneuf to Rangers rumor check out today's Larry Brooks article

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are The Rangers Shopping Kotalik?


Yesterday Blueshirt Banter had an article that reported that Ales Kotalik is rumored to be on his way out of New York. Metro Hockey has added a little more gasoline to the fire, by doing some speculating of their own.

As of now this is nothing but a rumor, but it certainly makes sense for the Rangers and for Kotalik. As a result of the contract that he signed this summer, he's making $3M/yr for the next three years. When he signed this summer, many Rangers fans (myself included), hoped that Kotalik would be a good signing for the Rangers as he has a wicked slapshot and could man the point on the power play. Unfortunately, more often than not, that slapshot misses the net, or gets blocked and leads to shorthanded odd man rushes the opposite way.

Tonight will be the fourth straight game that Kotalik has been a healthy scratch and the reports in the New York papers are that Kotalik isn't happy and doesn't understand why he's being singled out. He's clearly not happy and the rumors are that if he's not traded, that he would leave to play in Europe. If this were to happen, the Rangers would be off the hook for the $3M cap hit per season (similar to Radim Vrbata leaving Tampa last season).

Strangely, Vrbata and Kotalik have the exact same contracts and this analysis from TSN when Vrbata left to play in Europe last season would also apply to Kotalik:
The free-agent winger, who was signed to a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract in the off-season is apparently heading home to the Czech Republic to finish the season there. The Lightning will apparently not be responsible for paying him for the balance of this season but the contract will remain in force for the second and third years should he choose to return to the NHL.
Basically, if Kotalik decided to leave the NHL to play in Europe, the Rangers would not be responsible for paying him or for his cap hit as long as he remains in Europe.

Who are the likely trade partners? With two seasons left on his contract after this season at $3M per season, moving Kotalik may be easier said than done. However, a team like Atlanta, could be interested.

Sheldon Souray is another player who has been rumored for weeks now to be on his way out of Edmonton. But, would Edmonton want Kotalik back (he finished last season there)?  Souray is under contract until after the 2012 season and has a cap hit of $5.4M. If the Oilers were willing to trade Souray to New York then Souray would have to waive his no trade clause. The Rangers would also have to include other players in the deal or make another move because of salary cap issues.


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Montreal Buys Out Georges Laraque

According to Habs Inside/Out the, George Laraque is no longer a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Georges Laraque is no longer a Canadien, RDS reports.

The network reports that the Canadiens will pay his salary through the end of the season, but he's effectively gone now.
A quick look at CapGeek.com shows that Laraque is under contract until after the 2010-11 season and is currently making $1.5M per season.

There were rumors earlier this season that Laraque would finish his career in the KHL. Let's see if Laraque gets another chance in the NHL or will head over to Russia. At 33 years years old, and a recent history of back problems, it looks like Laraque's NHL days may be behind him.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

List of the 2010 UFAs

The list contains every UFA for the summer of 2010 who had a salary of $1M or more in 2009-10

Lidstrom, Nicklas
Niedermayer, Scott
Kovalchuk, Ilya
Marleau, Patrick
Kariya, Paul
Turco, Marty
Nabokov, Evgeni
Jokinen, Olli
Kubina, Pavel
Gonchar, Sergei
Johnsson, Kim
Theodore, Jose
Toskala, Vesa
Demitra, Pavol
Blake, Rob
Martin, Paul
Click here for more

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Burrows Accuses Ref of Personal Vendetta

The NHL will have to investigate the allegations made by Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows after Monday night's game against the Nashville Predators. Burrows claims that prior to the game one of the referees (Stephane Auger) approached him during warmups and threatened that he was going to "get him back" because of an incident that occurred during a game back in December which embarrassed Auger.

For full details of the allegations by Burrows [click here]

As NHL agent Allan Walsh said this morning "IF the Burrows allegations are true, it is a black mark on the entire League. Imagine if Van misses the playoffs by 1 or 2 points."

Larry Brooks' take on the matter is right on in my opinion: "Anyone who watched the way referees called games involving Sean Avery last year knows about officials working with their own agendas."

To a certain extent, a referee is human, he's going to have personal opinions of certain players and these opinions may sway his judgment on a particular play. If a referee sees someone that he doesn't like getting an extra punch to the face he might turn the other way or might be quicker to blow the whistle if that same player "bumps" a goalie. But, if the allegations being made by Burrows are true, this is much worse. This is a premeditated decision by a referee to pay back a player, to make calls against him, to cost that player's team the game.

I for one hope that the NHL actually looks into this allegation. Fining Burrows and then going on with business as usual is not the answer. Hopefully the NHL does more than just throw out the cliche press release of "we're looking into the allegations." 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Video: Dion Phaneuf on TMZ Singing Drunk?

Last week Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators got some publicity from TMZ because he got engaged to Carrie Underwood.

This week, it's Dion Phaneuf's turn to get some time on the TMZ website. Looks like Phaneuf was having a little bit of fun on a night out right before Christmas. Nothing wrong with that!




On a side note: I'm assuming this was before he was told he wasn't making Team Canada




Sunday, January 3, 2010

News From Around The Hockey World

  • Kevin Allen of USA Today has a look at a Team USA "B" Squad.

  • The Edmonton Oilers are arguing with a Calgary restaurant owner over a $18,000 bill on New Year's Eve.

  • Are the Rangers spoiled? John Tortorella thinks so.

  • Miroslav Satan who hadn't played competitive hockey since last June, was named to the Slovakian Olympic roster this week. Satan signed with Boston on Saturday.
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Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Olympics: Team USA Named

Goalies: Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres; Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Defensemen: Erik Johnson, St. Louis Blues; Jack Johnson, Los Angles Kings; Mike Komisarek, Toronto Maple Leafs; Paul Martin, New Jersey Devils; Brooks Orpik, Pittsburgh Penguins; Brian Rafalski, Detroit Red Wings; Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators.

Forwards: David Backes, St. Louis Blues; Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings; Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers; Chris Drury, New York Rangers; Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks; Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs; Jamie Langenbrunner, New Jersey Devils; Ryan Malone, Tampa Bay Lightning; Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils; Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks; Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche.

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Team USA IIHF 2010 Swift Replica Navy Hockey Jersey Team USA IIHF Pullover Hoodie