Rumor Roundup: Jets moving Andrew Ladd could kick off flurry of trade activity

Andrew Ladd (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

The fate of Winnipeg Jets winger Andrew Ladd remains the hot topic in the NHL rumor mill. With the trade deadline fast approaching, there’s a feeling everyone’s waiting to see where the Jets ship the 30-year pending free agent. If so, his eventual destination will have a considerable effect upon the rest of the trade market.

NBC Sports’ Mike Halford reports Ladd’s been linked to the Florida Panthers for some time. Citing a recent report from Sun-Sentinel.com, Halford notes Panthers co-owner Doug Cifu sang the praises of the Jets’ captain, noting GM Dale Tallon knows Ladd well from their days with the Chicago Blackhawks. However, Cifu didn’t say if Tallon is actively pursuing him.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun also reports of the Panthers’ rumored interest in Ladd. He believes the Jets’ asking price could start with a first-round pick and go on from there as part of a package. LeBrun wonders at what point Ladd could prove too expensive for the Panthers. Read more

Wideman’s appeal to neutral arbitrator to be heard Thursday, Friday in New York

Jared Clinton
Dennis Wideman (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman has already served more than half of his 20-game suspension for cross-checking linesman Don Henderson to the ice, but the veteran blueliner will get his chance to have the ban reduced this week.

The NHLPA announced Wideman’s appeal will be heard Thursday and Friday in New York City. Wideman, who has sat out the past 11 games, will have his appeal heard by James Oldham, who has been tabbed as a neutral arbitrator for the league since 2004.

After the incident between Wideman and Henderson occurred on Jan. 27, the league suspended the 32-year-old indefinitely. It wasn’t until after the all-star break, on Feb. 3, that Wideman was handed his 20-game ban. Wideman has already appealed the suspension to commissioner Gary Bettman, but he chose to uphold the ban, which set the table for Wideman and the NHLPA to take it to neutral arbitration. Read more

Report: Gaudreau, Flames working on extension, could be largest contract in team history

Jared Clinton
Johnny Gaudreau. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Calgary may not be front and center in the post-season race any longer, but there are more than a few reasons to keep an eye on the Flames as the regular season winds down. One of the biggest reasons is the contract status of Johnny Gaudreau, the Flames’ 22-year-old star.

Gaudreau is in the final season of his three-year, entry-level deal and Calgary’s leading scorer could be in for a big time contract extension before the season’s through. According to The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis, Gaudreau’s agent, Lewis Gross, is in Calgary to visit Gaudreau and GM Brad Treliving said he and Gross will be sitting down to talk. Treliving wouldn’t say it would necessarily be about the contract, though.

Treliving said the on-ice struggles for the Flames have put a damper on any contract negotiations of late — “(W)e haven’t been worrying about it too much because we’re trying to hop back up in the standings,” he told Francis — but that doesn’t mean Treliving won’t take this opportunity to talk deal. And if they’re looking to lock up Gaudreau long-term, there’s no reason to believe ‘Johnny Hockey’ won’t be signing the richest deal in Flames history. Read more

NHL has a long way to go when it comes to concussion protocol

Ryan McDonagh Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Whenever one of the NHL’s miscreants steps out of line, we here at thn.com usually flag the play and present it along with the headline: “Suspend him or not?” We will not do that with Leo Komarov’s elbow to the jaw of New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. We will not insult your intelligence.

Of course Komarov should be suspended for producing a textbook play ticked off every violation box of Rule 48, the one that governs headshots in the NHL. In just his second game back after missing four due to a concussion as the result of a sucker punch from Wayne Simmonds, McDonagh took a blatant and vicious elbow to the head from Komarov that will be reviewed by the Department of Player Safety. Komarov will make the trek across the Air Canada Centre to the NHL offices for a hearing and will be suspended. We’re thinking at least three games.

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Flames’ Jones scores bank shot as puck deflects off Dumba’s head and in

Jared Clinton
David Jones' shot hits Matt Dumba (via NHL)

Either David Jones is lucky or he’s someone you should watch out for around a pool table. It’s probably safe to say it’s the former after the Flames winger scored a goal that deflected off a stick, off of Wild defenseman Matt Dumba’s and into the net behind Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Jones was following the play up ice when he took a pass from Matt Stajan before firing it towards the goal. However, as Jones let his shot go, it was deflected by Wild defenseman Mike Reilly, which caused the puck to change course and go speeding towards Dumba’s face. Before Dumba could get out of the way, the puck ricocheted off of his head and changed direction again, this time into the net. You can’t make this up: Read more

Bettman and NHL refute NHLPA’s ‘confusion’ defense in Wideman case, union will appeal

Ken Campbell
Dennis Wideman (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

In his ruling upholding Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension for physical abuse of an official, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman did not mince words. Not one little bit. Not only did he not accept the NHL Players’ Association’s notion that Wideman’s actions were the result of the effects of a concussion, but he crushed it, cast it aside and argued it basically had no shred of validity.

In a 22-page explanation of his ruling that made for compelling reading, Bettman made it clear that he agreed with the suspension that was brought down by senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell. In fact, he made it clear that rescinding or reducing the suspension was not even considered. In fact, Bettman said he believed Wideman acted out of character – but was not impaired – and that was the main factor that deterred him from imposing a suspension that was even longer.

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Bettman upholds 20-game suspension for Flames’ defenseman Wideman

Jared Clinton
Dennis Wideman (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

If Dennis Wideman is going to have his 20-game suspension reduced, it’ll be up to a neutral arbitrator to do so.

The NHL announced Wednesday that commissioner Gary Bettman has ruled on Wideman’s 20-game ban for his hit on linesman Don Henderson, and Bettman’s decision is to uphold the original suspension that was handed out to the Flames blueliner. Wideman has already served seven games of the 20-game suspension.

In a full ruling, Bettman stated the NHLPA argued Wideman had suffered a concussion following the check from Nashville Predators winger Miikka Salomaki that left Wideman “confused and/or physically incapable of avoiding contact with Mr. Henderson.” Due to the concussion sustained by Wideman, the NHLPA argued Wideman should have received no discipline “because Mr. Wideman’s conduct was not deliberate and was not the result of any intent to injure.” Read more