There may not be a player who has become more universally adored as his career has worn on than Jaromir Jagr. That’s not without reason. Everything he does, Jagr seems to be having a blast and, at 43, he pulled his best Babe Ruth impression and called his shot, saying the Florida Panthers will be bringing home the Stanley Cup in 2016.
In a tweet sent out by Jagr shortly after Chicago’s Stanley Cup win, the surefire Hall of Famer posted a picture of himself with Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and congratulated the two on their 2015 Cup victory. But he doesn’t want them to get too comfortable, because he’s coming for that Cup with the Cats next season. Read more
In the aftermath of Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s claim last Saturday the Toronto Maple Leafs were getting trade inquiries for Phil Kessel, there’s growing speculation over where the 27-year-old scorer could be dealt.
If a Kessel trade happens, Friedman believes it will be a couple of weeks before it takes place. That’s likely because the NHL draft weekend (June 26-27), where many off-season trades generally take place, is fast approaching.
Kessel, a five-time 30-goal scorer who twice reached the 80-point mark, has value on the trade market. His contract, however, is a sticking point. He has seven years left at an annual cap hit of $8 million. Factor in the projected marginal increase in the cap ceiling for 2015-16 from $69 million to $71 million and it could prove difficult for the Leafs to find a suitable deal.
Friedman subsequently appeared on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central panel to discuss potential destinations for Kessel. He notes Predators GM David Poile had interest in the Leafs right winger, but doubts Nashville is a destination now, pointing out it has young stars like left winger Filip Forsberg and defenseman Seth Jones to re-sign the following season. Other destinations could include the St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames.
TAMPA – In an effort to streamline its compensation system when executives move from one team to another, the NHL has created an unwieldy mess of a gong show. Instead of compensating teams for losing people in their organizations in whom they’ve invested considerable resources, the league’s new rule is giving compensation to teams that have fired coaches and GMs and want nothing to do with them.
And it’s wrong. I’ve personally talked to a couple of GMs who pushed for the compensation rules to be changed and they said they wanted only to be compensated for employees they lost who were still in their organizations. But when the Buffalo Sabres hired Dan Bylsma as their coach, they were forced to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a third-round pick, only because Bylsma was still under contract to Pittsburgh. Forget that he had virtually no contact with them or nothing to do with them for a year. The Edmonton Oilers were reportedly shocked they had to give up a second-rounder to the Bruins for fired GM Peter Chiarelli, the pick being a second-rounder because “in-season” for GMs includes up until the draft.
The San Jose Sharks named Peter DeBoer the ninth coach in their history Thursday. And while we’ve seen sexier hires this off-season, from Mike Babcock in Toronto to Dan Bylsma in Buffalo, DeBoer’s might be the most polarizing.
Are the Sharks dousing their tire fire in gasoline by signing a man with one playoff appearance in seven seasons as an NHL head coach? Or are they buying low on a sneaky-good bench boss who made a lot out of a little on two sputtering franchises in the past?
By the time his career is done, Jaromir Jagr could be the second highest scoring player in the NHL.
Jagr, who just finished playing at the World Championship in what he says will be his final event for the Czech Republic national team, may have turned 43 only a few months back, but he says he intends on sticking around in the NHL for at least a couple of years. Read more
We know our four teams for the Memorial Cup now. Thanks to Oshawa’s ousting of Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters, the Generals will represent the OHL, joining Kelowna of the WHL, plus Quebec (the hosts) and Rimouski in the QMJHL. So who is favored to win it all? Ah, that’s a thorny question in a tournament that often surprises. But let’s take a look at what you should know about the four worthy squads in contention.
As we pause briefly from the Stanley Cup playoffs, let’s turn our eyes over to Europe for a second, where the World Championship is down to four teams. Canada plays the Czech Republic in one semifinal, while Russia and the United States renew hostilities on the other side of the bracket.
If Canada hopes to move on, they’ll have to stop an ageless icon. Meanwhile, the Russians will have their hands full with a powerful teenager.
Major junior playoffs have reached the final series, while the AHL post-season is well into the second round. An incredibly exciting 2014-15 campaign is nearing its end, so I’m opening up the Hot List a bit to younger prospects. Like those that came before them, they are the players you’ll want to know and that we’re excited to see in the NHL one day.