The Sabres and Blues consummated the first blockbuster transaction of the NHL’s trade deadline season Friday night when Buffalo dealt star goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to St. Louis in exchange for goalie Jaroslav Halak, right winger Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a first round draft pick in 2015 and a third round pick in 2016. The mammoth deal immediately vaults the already-impressive Blues to the very top of bona fide Stanley Cup frontrunners, but also serves the 30th-place Sabres well in their rebuilding project under new GM Tim Murray.
Murray’s savvy decision to pair up Miller and Ott allowed him to maximize the return for the two biggest organizational cards he had to deal. But certainly in Stewart (who is under contract through next season) and perhaps in Halak (who will be an unrestricted free agent after this year), he has the ability to make further moves and bring in longer-term assets. And he adds another first-round draft pick to an arsenal that likely will include two first-rounders in the 2015 draft (their own, as well as the Islanders’, presuming the latter defers the first-rounder they owe them in the Thomas Vanek trade). As well, he also brings in Carrier, a 19-year-old Quebec Major Junior left winger the Blues drafted 57th overall last summer, to the team’s prospect pool. Read more
For adventurous foodies, Iceland has some of the world’s most daring dishes. Among them are singed sheep’s head, rams’ testicles and a mixed dish of sheep intestines, liver and lard tied up in a sheep’s stomach (kinda like haggis).
But by far the most olfactorily offensive, however, is hakarl, a traditional Icelandic meal of fermented Greenland shark that has to rot in the ground for six months before it’s even eatable for humans. It smells of ammonia and is chased with a local spirit called “Black Death,” just to take the taste away.
Imagine that and you’ll approximate how bad the Sharks stink up the ice whenever they visit the Sabres. Read more
The trade status of New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan and defenseman Dan Girardi continues to attract considerable interest around the NHL. New York Post columnist Larry Brooks reports there were no contract talks between Rangers GM Glen Sather and the pair’s representatives during the Olympic break. He claims Sather is willing to move the pair before the trade deadline rather than risk losing them for nothing to free agency.
TSN’s Darren Dreger said he was told it’s “99 percent guaranteed” Callahan will be traded, noting rumors have linked him to the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning. Dreger claims there’s still some discussion between Sather and the Girardi camp, but if he’s unsigned by March 5 he’s also all but certain to be dealt.
It’s believed Callahan seeks a seven-year deal worth $6.75-million per season, while Girardi wants around $6-million per season. Dreger’s colleague Bob McKenzie claims there’s a difference of $500,000 per season in what Girardi seeks and what the Rangers are offering.
John Scott gets called a lot of things.
Some say he’s a goon. Some say he’s a caveman. Some call him a suspension waiting to happen.
But one thing John Scott is never called is an NHL-caliber hockey player. Read more
With the NHL trade deadline a week away, Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly is concerned the Philadelphia Flyers defense isn’t strong enough to get them into the playoffs. He feels they lack an impact defenseman, but acknowledges the difficulty of landing one by the trade deadline.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said he likes how his blueline has played this season. He admits “it’s not a sexy defense,” but praised their performance. Holmgren adds he’s on the lookout for anything that could help his team, but he doesn’t foresee making a major trade. When it comes to trades, Holmgren has a history of saying one thing and doing another. One shouldn’t dismiss the possibility he’s looking around for blueline depth.
Panaccio suggests New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald would be “a very nice upgrade for any club,” noting his $550,000 salary is very affordable. Other options are Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, Dallas’ Trevor Daley, Edmonton’s Nick Schultz and Calgary’s Dennis Wideman, though Panaccio observes they all carry substantially higher cap hits.
We’ve been anticipating a Ryan Miller trade for a year or more, but there was always this faint hope that maybe, possibly, perhaps he would be open to re-signing with Buffalo if the right trade wasn’t there.
But after last night’s media scrum with GM Tim Murray, those faint optimistic hopes were cut off at the knees.
“No interest? I don’t know if he has no interest,” Murray said about the possibility of an extension. Then came the dagger: “I know what I think his first choice would be. I don’t think signing here is his first choice at his age. We’re where we’re at, we’re the 30th place team. But I wouldn’t say he’s got no interest.” Read more
This year’s trade deadline lands on March 5, which is just over a week away. There are a lot of names being churned through the rumor mill right now, but you and I both know that once the player is dealt your odds of acquiring him from a fellow owner start to become slim. And even if he’s still available, the price of said player goes up.
So you have to roll the dice a bit and try to land the player before he gets traded. But that’s not without its risks. First of all, he’ll actually need to be traded. Secondly, he’d need to go to a team that would actually help his production (i.e. linemates and ice time). Read more
The Olympic break is over and after all the hype and celebrating, you may be a little unfamiliar with the NHL’s most pressing storylines. If so, here are five you should be keeping an eye on:
1. Canucks Tailspin. Vancouver headed into the Olympics as the coldest team in the league – losers of seven straight and eight (all in regulation) of 10 games. They’re banged up, although both Henrik Sedin and Kevin Bieksa have been practicing and could return soon, but that’s no guarantee they’ll pull the team out of this slump. The Canucks are one point out of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference, but they’re also only three points ahead of 12th-place Nashville. Four of their first five games after the break are against teams ahead of them in the West (St. Louis, Minnesota, Phoenix and Dallas) – and if they lose further ground, it will be fascinating to see what GM Mike Gillis does at the March 5 trade deadline. Read more