Rumor Roundup: Would a Boychuk-Yakupov trade solve two problems?

Johnny Boychuk (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins need to shed salary and address their logjam on defense remains a hot topic in this summer’s NHL rumor mill.

Much of the speculation centers on Johnny Boychuk, who will be eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. The 30-year-old blueliner will earn $3.6 million this season, while his cap hit is more than $3.3 million. Brooks Orpik signed a five-year deal this summer with the Washington Capitals worth $5.5-million annually and Boychuk could seek a comparable salary.

If Boychuk becomes a UFA, the Edmonton Oilers could be very interested in his services. He’s an Edmonton native with a strong all-around skill set that would benefit the Oilers’ rebuilding defense corps.

Boychuk, however, told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson his preference is to remain with the Bruins, calling them “my hockey family.” Considering the Bruins remain a legitimate Stanley Cup contender three years after their last championship, his reluctance to leave Boston is understandable. His future with the Bruins, however, will depend upon their cap space beyond this season. Read more

NHL logo rankings No. 9: Anaheim Ducks

Rory Boylen
Anaheim Ducks

Before we begin discussing our No. 9-ranked logo in the NHL, it’s worth pointing out again that this list was compiled by a group of seven THN staffers who debated each one. OK? Let’s go.

Somehow, the Anaheim Ducks ended up in the top 10. Actually – somehow they didn’t end up in the bottom five. The idea behind doing these rankings was to look at each one again for the first time, not taking into consideration how long it’s been in use. This list is supposed to be all about the aesthetics.

But each time I look at this one again for the first time, I still just see a duck-footed D with boring colors. Sure, there’s a little orange in there – and I like it when orange is used – but it’s buried beneath the muck. No bonus points for this one.

In our group, though, this logo got enough support to land it in the top 10. When you rank logos there is no right or wrong answer – it’s all about personal tastes and preferences. And this process showed that even this Ducks logo has its supporters. Where do you stand?

Now, someone must be able to design a better look for the Ducks, right? Please. Somebody. Anybody. Try your hand at creating a new Ducks logo, using whichever color scheme you wish, and submit your work to editorial@thehockeynews.com. We’ll share our favorite reader redesigns at the conclusion of our logo rollout after next week.

All logos from Chris Creamer’s website.

HISTORY OF THE DUCKS LOGO
In 1993, the Ducks were mighty. Literally. Originally called the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (or Mighty Ducks of Anaheim), the Disney-owned team leveraged the popularity of their hit hockey movie and used the logo for the NHL team. The Mighty Ducks movie introduced “The Flying V” and the Knucklepuck, but this team took the cartoony name and logo to the big leagues.

Overall, I’m not a fan of cartoon logos. I like a crisp bare-bones look that has sharp colors, preferably a combination not used by many other teams. Though the first Ducks logo was certainly cartoonish, the colors really stand out from the pack. And, hey, it gave us this most incredible (awful?) jersey that will always be a part of NHL history. You know what? This is the best logo the Ducks have ever used. And if they’re not going to use this logo anymore, at least stick with the green!

Anaheim Mighty Ducks

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Should these five aging NHL veterans hang in there or hang ‘em up?

Daniel Alfredsson (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

As we approach late summer, a handful of older NHL veterans remain unsigned. And that begs the question: are they not listening to Father Time telling them they’re due to retire, or are they right to hold out in the hope a job opens up for them? Let’s take a look at five such players and offer an opinion on whether they should hang in there or hang ‘em up:

Saku Koivu, C: At age 39, Koivu had 11 goals and 29 points for Anaheim last season. His Corsi-for number has fallen steadily since 2012 and his ice time has been reduced by an average of more than three minutes a game (to just 15:02 last year) since 2011-12, but remember, he’s been on a deep Ducks team that didn’t need to rely on him. In the right environment – in other words, on a playoff-bound franchise – he can provide help down the middle and on faceoffs. Hang in there or hang ‘em up? Hang in there

Martin Brodeur, G: Nobody questions why Brodeur wants to continue playing. When you’ve accomplished as much as he has and is considered one of the greatest goaltenders in hockey history, it’s only natural you’d want to stick around for as long as possible. But anyone who’s seen the decline in his game in recent years wouldn’t hold it against him if he retired. The lack of interest in him as a starter is telling. If the 42-year-old is willing to play a backup role on a contender, he might have a little bit left in the tank. If not, the writing is on the wall. Hang in there or hang ‘em up? Hang in there as a backup; hang ‘em up as a starter. Read more

Would you pay Teemu Selanne $5 million to just play home games?

Ryan Kennedy
Teemu-Selanne-DD

Finland’s Jokerit club is embarking on a brave new adventure in 2014-15, leaving the Nordic nation’s Liiga in favor of the Russian-based KHL. It’s an odd fit, considering the origins of the Molotov cocktail, but the Helsinki squad is going for it. And according to some Finnish authorities, Jokerit is trying to lure icon Teemu Selanne back into the fold more than two decades after he left for Winnipeg.

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Frederik Andersen has a new goalie mask and it’s Lego

Ryan Kennedy
Frederik-Andersen

The Anaheim Ducks are expecting big things out of 6-foot-4 netminder Frederik Andersen this season and at the least, the Danish national will gain a lot of young fans with his new mask. Designed by the legendary Dave Gunnarsson, Andersen’s new cage is Lego inspired, which makes sense since the incredibly popular building blocks were invented in Denmark. Check it out:

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Announcement of Selanne’s number retirement ceremony reminds us why we love him

Adam Proteau
Teemu Selanne (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL will be a poorer place this season without the on-ice presence of icon Teemu Selanne, who retired at the end of last year after a 21-year, first ballot Hall of Fame NHL career. But fans will have another chance to let the gentlemanly Finn know how much they appreciate him when the Anaheim Ducks retire his No. 8 before a January 11 game against his former Winnipeg Jets team.

No one would argue Selanne deserves the honor, as he became one of the most universally beloved NHLers in the modern era. Here are three reasons why he became such a hockey treasure:

1. His skill. Let’s face it, if Selanne wasn’t such a wizard with the puck – his 684 career regular-season goals place him 11th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scorer’s list, and his 1,457 points in 1,451 games are good for 15th overall all-time in league history – we wouldn’t have invested nearly as much time and effort into following him over the years. But he was an incredible force, as this video recap demonstrates:


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Prospect Watch: Anaheim’s Matt Berkovitz brings to mind Ryan Suter

Ryan Kennedy
Matt-Berkovitz

While the state of Wisconsin has produced numerous excellent NHLers in recent years, from Phil Kessel and Ryan Suter to Joe Pavelski, it’s a rarity to see a player drafted straight from the dairy state’s high school ranks.

Long the domain of Minnesota, high school hockey in the Midwest was turned on its head at the 2014 draft when defenseman Matt Berkovitz of the Ashwaubenon Jaguars was selected 123rd overall by Anaheim. Later on in the fifth round, three Minnesota products went in a row when Luc Snuggerud, Tyler Nanne and Miguel Fiddler heard their names called. But for once, Wisconsin high school held the bragging rights, even if Berkovitz didn’t intend on using them.

“I don’t try to hold it over anyone,” he said. “I’m just happy to be picked.”

Sounds like “Midwest nice” is alive and well in the youngster. And it’s fine that Berkovitz doesn’t want to ruffle feathers off the ice, because he’s sure to make an impact on it in the future. During the season, one NHL scout told me that the Jaguars star reminded him of Ryan Suter thanks to the way he skates without wasting motion. Like Suter before him, Berkovitz has committed to the University of Wisconsin, but first the youngster plans on suiting up in the United States League for the Chicago Steel.

Berkovitz could have joined the Steel this past season, but felt the timing wasn’t quite right.

“I don’t think I was mature enough,” he said. “I didn’t like my situation there as much as I thought I would, so I thought the Elite League in Minnesota, with Team Wisconsin, was a good league to prove myself in. I wanted to dominate there before moving on to the USHL.”

The Upper Midwest High School Elite League takes place before the regular high school season and features all-star teams from around Minnesota, Shattuck St-Mary’s prep school and a few other entries, including Team Wisconsin, where Berkovitz led his squad’s defense corps with 13 points in 21 games.

“I’m a reliable two-way defenseman who can move the puck well,” he said. “I can play solid defensively and create a lot of offense.”

Needless to day, Berkovitz wouldn’t have been waiting until the fifth round of the draft if he was a finished product – the youngster does need to get stronger, in scouts’ minds. But he does have a good 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame to build on and that skating acumen is hard to teach. Chicago missed the USHL playoffs this past season, but will return young scoring ace Robby Jackson (2015 draft) and 2014 Blackhawks pick Freddy Olofsson, a left winger originally from Sweden.

After that, he’ll head back to his home state of Wisconsin to play for a Badgers program that has churned out NHL defensemen over the years, from Jake Gardiner and Justin Schultz to Ryan McDonagh and of course, Ryan Suter.