Fear not, Bruins fans, as losing netminder Niklas Svedberg might not hurt that much after all. University of North Dakota goaltender Zane McIntyre is reportedly set to sign with Boston mere months after being named the Mike Richter Award winner as NCAA Division 1 hockey’s most outstanding goaltender.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, McIntyre, who was drafted by the Bruins in the sixth round, 165th overall, of the 2010 draft, is set to turn pro this off-season and would like to ink a deal with the team that drafted him. Read more
Though the Calgary Flames were recently eliminated from the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, they can move into the off-season feeling a sense of accomplishment. In the second season of their rebuild, the Flames confounded the experts by not only clinching a playoff berth but also upsetting the veteran-laden Vancouver Canucks in the opening round.
With a roster comprised of rising young talent (Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, T.J. Brodie, Sam Bennett) and skilled veterans (Jiri Hudler, Mark Giordano, Dennis Wideman), Flames GM Brad Treliving has a solid base upon which to continue the rebuild. With over $25 million in salary-cap space, Treliving also has the cash to add some experienced outside talent. Read more
Pending unrestricted free agents goalies Devan Dubnyk, Andrew Hammond and Karri Ramo raised their stock immensely this season. They’ll be much sought after on the open market come July 1. Chances are, however, they won’t make it to the open market if their existing teams are wise about things. Here’s a quick analysis of how the goaltending carousel will look this free agent season. Most teams are set between the pipes, but by my count five teams will need to lock down a starting goalie, while another seven teams will need backups. Read more
For weeks, speculation has built as to the destination of Boston University goaltender Matt O’Connor, an unrestricted free agent highly-regarded and hotly pursued by a number of NHL teams. The 23-year-old made his decision early Saturday afternoon, rejecting overtures from the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers to sign a two-year contract with the Ottawa Senators.
The signing of the Toronto native to a two-year deal crowds the Sens’ crease to an even greater degree than it was already. Ottawa has – for now, anyway – three netminders with NHL experience in its employ, including veteran and starter Craig Anderson, 23-year-old Robin Lehner, and recent sensation Andrew “The Hamburlgar” Hammond, and O’Connor will be aiming to get there as soon as possible. Hammond is an unrestricted free agent and Senators GM Bryan Murray could deal his rights before he hits the market, but if Ottawa plans on retaining Hammond’s services, something will have to give with either Anderson (who has three years left on his contract and a $4.2 million salary cap hit) or Lehner (signed for two more years at a $2.25 million cap hit).
But enough about the future. The present-day news is the Senators landed a big body in the 6-foot-5 O’Connor, but they also signed a young man with a big brain and every intention to make his mark on and off the ice. Read more
Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland knows his team will have a very good coach next season. He’s also pretty certain it won’t be Mike Babcock. That’s why after the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and a couple of other teams called about getting permission to speak with his soon-to-be-free-agent coach, Holland knew exactly what to do.
So last Sunday, he and Babcock took a drive to Grand Rapids to watch the Red Wings AHL team in the playoffs. Holland told Babcock teams had been calling and asked whether Babcock wanted to start negotiations on a new deal with the Wings or explore the market. And Babcock told Holland he wanted to see what was out there. Read more
American Thanksgiving must feel like a distant memory for Martin St-Louis.
During a Friday matinee Nov. 28, with his New York Rangers battling the Philadelphia Flyers, St-Louis recorded career point No. 1,000. It was a remarkable accomplishment for someone who had to overcome biases against his small stature time and again just to reach the NHL. He racked up 905 of those 1,000 points after turning 27. And with a Stanley Cup, a Hart Trophy, two Art Rosses, three Lady Byngs and a gold medal to his name, that last big milestone all but confirmed his ticket to the Hall of Fame.
St-Louis hasn’t been the same player since then, however, even though his Rangers skyrocketed up the standings in the New Year. His one-goal, one-assist effort Nov. 28 gave him nine goals and 19 points through 22 games, close to his typical point-per-game production, adjusted fairly for his advanced age and the fact he no longer had Steven Stamkos for a center. After Nov. 28? St-Louis had as many goals in December, January and February combined as he did in November. St-Louis recorded 12 goals and 33 points over his final 52 games of 2014-15. And that’s despite playing with Derek Stepan or Kevin Hayes as his center most of the time. That’s an alarming drop in production, and we can’t blame it on the knee injury that cost St-Louis eight games, as that happened in March.
Andrew Hammond is a 27-year-old goaltender who has never been, and likely will never be, this close to grabbing the brass ring. He’s coming off a mind-boggling season in which he led the Ottawa Senators charge to the playoffs. And in doing so, helped make the franchise millions of dollars in playoff revenues with three playoff home dates it otherwise would have never seen.
If Hammond were not a goaltender, he’d probably be able to walk into GM Bryan Murray’s office and demand a five-year deal worth a lot of money. The Senators would, of course, acquiesce because you can’t turn away an asset that has exhibited that kind of potential. If Hammond had scored 25 goals for the Senators instead of going 20-1-2 with a .941 save percentage, he’d likely do exactly that. And if Murray were unwilling to pay it, Hammond would easily find another team that would. Read more
The St. Louis Blues and GM Doug Armstrong have made no bones about it: whatever the price is for Vladimir Tarasenko, they’re willing to pay. In the end, that could come down to matching an offer sheet.
If the Blues can’t get Tarasenko, a restricted free agent, under contract by the time the draft comes and goes, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that another team will see the worth in locking up St. Louis’ star sniper. It’s a tactic that has been used for nearly three decades, although rarely over the past decade.
Looking back through the NHL’s history of offer sheets, though, gives us an idea of just how crazy things could get should Tarasenko ink an offer from another team. These are five of the craziest offer sheet scenarios in league history: Read more