Rumor Roundup: Trade talk still surrounding Oilers, Coyotes begin youth movement

Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers

During a “state of the franchise” press conference last Friday, Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish announced no major changes were planned for his floundering club. His comments, however, haven’t put to rest the trade speculation which has dogged the Oilers for weeks.

Leading up to MacTavish’s presser, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claimed the Oilers and Boston Bruins were revisiting trade talks and speculated Jordan Eberle could’ve been the topic of conversation. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports previous discussions between the two clubs involved Johnny Boychuk (who’s now with the New York Islanders) along with center Chris Kelly and either Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban. Read more

Five franchise players who finished their careers with other teams

Mats Sundin Vancouver Canucks

There’s been a lot of talk about legacy lately with Daniel Alfredsson signing a one-day deal to retire as an Ottawa Senator, and Martin Brodeur joining the St. Louis Blues after serving as the face of the New Jersey Devils for two decades.

It’s odd to see Brodeur with the Bluenote on his jersey and mask, and it was strange to see Daniel Alfredsson skating for the Detroit Red Wings last season.

But as hurt as some fans were by the Brodeur and Alfredsson defections, the history books will still remember them for what they accomplished with the franchises they came to represent.

We saw that already in Alfredsson’s retirement ceremony in Ottawa on Thursday, and we’ll see it again with Brodeur when he hangs up his pads.
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Rumor Roundup: Martinez deal could leave Kings facing cap crunch

St. Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings recent re-signing of defenseman Alec Martinez to a six-year, $24-million contract extension leaves them with over $60 million invested in 14 players for 2015-16. There’s growing speculation over what GM Dean Lombardi will do to address this situation.

If the salary cap stagnates for next season they won’t have much room to re-sign such notables as Justin Williams, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Jarret Stoll. Looming on the horizon is a new contract for top center Anze Kopitar. He’s signed through 2015-16 and become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2016. Read more

Forget Toronto. It’s time to troll Boston for the Tyler Seguin trade

Matt Larkin
Tyler Seguin, left, is dominating the league just like he was projected to do when picked second overall in 2010. (Getty Images)

It’s funny how the Phil Kessel trade produces the same cycle of debate, year after year.

Tyler Seguin gets hot, Bruins fans taunt Maple Leafs fans for the trade that sent Boston the pick that became Seguin No. 2 overall in 2010.

Phil Kessel gets hot, Leafs fans smugly remind Bruins fans Kessel is among the game’s pre-eminent goal scorers and thus was worth every asset surrendered.

Bruins fans remind Leaf fans to include Dougie Hamilton in the discussion. Leaf fans fall awkwardly silent.

Enough already. There’s nothing more to say. Kessel is a truly elite sniper, albeit an inconsistent one, and the Leafs paid dearly to get him. In the end they got a player who may end up their all-time leading goal scorer in exchange for what were unknown commodities – draft picks – at the time. Seguin is every bit the star he was supposed to be on draft day, and Hamilton has the makings of a franchise defenseman. Every major player in the trade is excellent at hockey. We get it.

And besides, there’s one significant detail that makes the entire “THANK YOU KESSEL!” debate moot: Tyler Seguin doesn’t play for Boston anymore. It’s time we turned our attention to the trade that made him a Dallas Star. And it’s time for Stars fans to rachet up their “THANK YOU ERIKSSON!” chants.

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Rumor Roundup: Several teams may be looking to make moves before holiday freeze

Jordan Eberle (Getty Images)

While anticipation over possible moves by the floundering Edmonton Oilers dominates the NHL rumor mill, others clubs could become active in the trade market between now and the NHL Christmas trade freeze, which commences at midnight on December 19.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would like to add “heaviness” to his roster to bolster his club’s size and strength on the puck. In a recent response to reader e-mail regarding possible trade targets, Haggerty lists Winnipeg’s Evander Kane and Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle as options, though the asking price could be more than the Bruins are willing to pay. Read more

THN Analytics: comparing NHL greats with new historical data

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Bruce Bennett)

For many decades, the comparison of great NHLers has primarily been in the hands of storytellers, a case of trophies, or a rudimentary set of statistics. The concerted efforts of a community of researchers, The Hockey Summary Project, has helped open us up to much finer details of these players’ careers, and granted us the opportunity to create new points of comparison.

One big area of comparison, that transcends things like era scoring effects and rink counting bias, is looking at the proportions of shots and assists taken in the games the player participated (% of Team Shots and % of Team Assists – or %TSh and %TA, respectively). Quantifying contribution this way gets us a lot closer to how important a player can be to a team’s possession performance. Why shots and assists rather than goals? For one, the idea is to better capture how a player contributed to possessing the puck; going beyond goals (which are still counted as shots) gives us more evidence the player was an important part of the team’s puck movement. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Blueliners plentiful in upcoming UFA crop

Marc Staal (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

ESPN.com’s Craig Custance recently listed his top-20 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2015. What’s notable about Custance’s list, apart from the lack of genuine superstar talent in next summer’s UFA market, is that it’s dominated by defensemen.

The notables include Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin, Boston’s Adam McQuaid, Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, Pittsburgh’s Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin, Toronto’s Cody Franson,Washington’s Mike Green, the Rangers’ Marc Staal and the Islanders’ Johnny Boychuk. Read more

Rumor Roundup: To make room for young guns, Panthers veterans could be up for grabs

Fleischmann Kopecky featured

NHL teams shopping around for veteran depth should get in touch with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. According Sun-Sentinel.com’s Harvey Fialkov, a team source claims the Panthers want to ship out some “unnamed veterans” to make room for youngsters Vincent Trocheck, Rocco Grimaldi and Quinton Howden.

Fialkov believes forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky and Sean Bergenheim are the likely trade candidates. The trio were part of Tallon’s mass acquisition of veteran talent during the summer of 2011. They become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Fleischmann could interest clubs seeking a skilled scorer while Kopecky and Bergenheim could prove worthwhile additions for those seeking checking-line help. Read more