In 2010, the New Jersey Devils did their best to circumvent the spirit of salary cap rules by signing Ilya Kovalchuk to a ridiculous 17-year, $102 million contract. The Blackhawks and Canucks had attempted something similar with Marian Hossa and Roberto Luongo and the Red Wings did it with two of their own players, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen. Each of them were signed for more than a decade to bring down the cap hit.
But the deal the Devils struck with Kovalchuk, the NHL arbitrarily decided, went too far. It made a joke of the last few years of a deal Kovalchuk never would have played out. So the league stepped in, supported by a ruling from an independent arbitrator that the Devils were indeed skirting the rules, and fined New Jersey $3 million, a third round pick and the forfeiture of a first round pick from one of the next four drafts. The Devils kept or traded the pick for the first three years, so this year they would have been without it.
That is, until today. The NHL decided to lighten the punishment by refunding half the $3 million fine and allowing the Devils to pick 30th overall this summer, no matter their finish. Though they aren’t allowed to trade that pick, it’s a much better situation for the Devils to be in than their original predicament. Read more
How good is Connor McDavid? He’s not draft eligible until 2015 and he’s already at the center of the prospect world. If he was available to NHL teams this summer, he very well could still go first overall. And he’s the No. 1 reason (Jack Eichel being No. 2) why the Islanders may be wise to give Buffalo their first round pick this year to consummate the Thomas Vanek trade, despite the fact it could be a top five selection, and not risk losing next year’s. The entire draft is supposed to be deep, but McDavid stands as the ultimate prize.
And it’s plays like these that draw comparisons between McDavid and Sidney Crosby or any other quick and elite NHL scorer. Read more
Earlier this season, if you’ll recall, the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers took part in a line brawl, headlined by Ray Emery’s attack on Braden Holtby.
Makes for great debate and entertainment.
The teams have played a few times since that meeting, each one a mashing of bodies selling hate as the NHL does. But it didn’t boil over the same way it did four months ago. Not until Wednesday night anyway. Read more
The trade deadline and the day before the trade deadline ended up being much busier and way more full of big names than it has been in years. This year, finally, was not a let down as far as entertainment goes.
Martin St-Louis, Roberto Luongo, Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson were just some of the front-line players moved before 3:00 p.m. on March 5. Some teams made significant upgrades, others not to much. So what does it mean heading down the stretch towards the playoffs?
Here are our five winners and five losers of the 2014 NHL trade deadline. Read more
After the 2005-06 season, Mike Keenan made the worst trade in Florida Panthers history. Franchise goalie and fan favorite Roberto Luongo was dealt to Vancouver for an incredibly sad return of Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld. Bertuzzi was then dealt to Detroit for Shawn Matthias after spending only seven games with the Panthers.
Fans never forgave or forgot. The player most capable of leading them back to post-season glory was gone and there was almost nothing to show for it.
But Tuesday, the Panthers righted a horrible wrong that never should have happened by getting Luongo back for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias. Luongo never wanted to leave and his Florida supporters would have been happy if he finished his career in a Panthers uniform. And now he almost certainly will. Read more
In January of 2012 while a member of the Los Angeles Kings, Dustin Penner got a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons.
You see, he had just been forced to miss a game the night before from back spasms. Simple and innocent enough, until you recall when his back pains began bothering him – at the breakfast table, over a nice stack of flapjacks. That’s when it becomes hilariously unfortunate. Read more
John Tortorella’s decision to start Eddie Lack over Roberto Luongo in Sunday’s Heritage Classic restarted an awkward goalie situation that has already been put in the past once before.
With the Canucks falling further down the West’s playoff picture, Tortorella went with the hotter hand, though Luongo hadn’t played since before the Olympic break. But Sunday’s stadium game was as much a spectacle as it was a regular season NHL game, so the decision was symbolic – and distracting.
“Lu” chants and boo chants were heard as Lack struggled and the Canucks lost another one, this time 4-2 to Ottawa.
But on Monday, the two goalies were able to find the humor in their situation on Twitter. As you’d expect, Luongo got the ball rolling. Read more
Brendan Shanahan may have one of the most thankless jobs in hockey, but sometimes he has the easiest one as well.
Take, for instance, Dmitry Orlov’s foolish hit on Brayden Schenn Sunday. The Washington defenseman not only leaped into his check, which is bad enough, but he did it to a defenseless player who had his back completely turned on the play.
A suspension for Orlov was the only decision that could have been made on this play. So on Monday, Shanahan and the league handed down a two-gamer to Orlov. Read more