Report: Ehrhoff wants to play in Columbus, Blue Jackets submit ‘low-ball’ offer

Jared Clinton
Christian Ehrhoff (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Christian Ehrhoff took a one-year, $4 million dollar contract from the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2014-15 season, turning down more money because he wanted the chance to win. In 2015-16, he might have to take whatever he can get.

According to the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline, Ehrhoff, who’s still on the free agent market nearly a month after the free agency period opened, has been given a “low-ball offer” from the Blue Jackets. Ehrhoff, writes Portzline, wants to play in Columbus, but with the club having roughly $3.7 million available in cap space, they can’t afford to shell out the $4 million Ehrhoff earned this past season. So if Ehrhoff does want to become a Blue Jacket, he’ll be doing so on the cheap.

Portzline added that talks between Ehrhoff and the Blue Jackets haven’t been contentious. Rather, the two sides simply need to find a way to work something out, and the only thing that would work for the Blue Jackets right now would be a sub-$4 million salary. Read more

Eddie Lack’s new Hurricanes gear is a thing of beauty

Jared Clinton
Eddie Lack revealed his pads for 2015-16 on his Instagram account. via Instagram)

Eddie Lack has worn some amazing equipment throughout his career, but it’s hard to say if any of his gear has looked as clean or as crisp as his brand new set for his 2015-16 campaign with the Carolina Hurricanes.

In a photo posted by Lack to his Instagram page – which he runs under his nickname, EddieTheStork – he showed off the new gear. The pads feature the Hurricanes logo split across the left and right pad, which is something Lack has previously done while playing for the Vancouver Canucks and for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Read more

Bruins, Canadiens unveil logos for Winter Classic, announce alumni game

Jared Clinton
The Bruins and Canadiens will play the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium. (via Bruins/Twitter)

The Boston Bruins are getting prepared for the second Winter Classic in franchise history and at a press conference today the team and their opponent, the longtime rival Montreal Canadiens, unveiled the logos they’ll be using for the outdoor tilt.

According to TSN 690 in Montreal, the two teams will be facing off in classic style, donning jerseys that closely mirror those worn in the 1924-25 season, more than 90 years before their outdoor game is set to take place.

The Bruins logo, which utilizes an arching font over top of a Bruin, is a slight alteration of the jerseys Boston wore during that campaign, the first in Bruins history. The jerseys, according to NHLUniforms.com, were only worn for the inaugural season before Boston switched to a busy white, brown and yellow striped jersey the following campaign. Read more

Devils place Zubrus on unconditional waivers, plan to buyout contract

Jared Clinton
Dainius Zubrus (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Dainius Zubrus may have played his final game in the NHL.

New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero announced Wednesday afternoon that the club has placed Zubrus on unconditional waivers with the intention to terminate his contract. Zubrus, who has spent the past eight seasons with the Devils, signed a three-year, $9.3 million contract extension with New Jersey in July 2013.

However, after a dismal four-goal, 10-point season in 2014-15, the Devils are ready to part ways with the veteran winger. His down year, which was the worst of his career, came one season following a 13-goal, 26-point campaign, but at his age and with the miles on his career, it wouldn’t be shocking were Zubrus to retire or pursue options overseas. This past season, he saw his ice time in New Jersey slip by nearly three minutes per game. Read more

Ryan Smyth open to housing Connor McDavid, contemplating future in front office

Jared Clinton
(Photo by Andy Devlin/NHL)

Following one season away from the game, Ryan Smyth is ready to return to the NHL. But don’t expect him to be strapping on the blades.

In an interview with the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, Smyth, 39, said that he’s ready to be involved with hockey again, but he’s unsure how exactly he’ll fit in. One thing is for sure, though: he’d love to make his return as a member of the Oilers organization.

“I would like to sit down with (Oilers Entertainment Group chief executive officer) Bob Nicholson and see what they’re thinking,” Smyth told Matheson. “I want to be involved in hockey but I don’t know in what capacity.” Read more

Jonathan Bernier seeking $5.1 million in arbitration, Maple Leafs offer $2.8 million

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Bernier.  (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Jonathan Bernier is seeking more than $5 million per season in arbitration, but the Toronto Maple Leafs want to pay the netminder significantly less.

As the two sides prepare to head to club-elected arbitration Friday, the goaltender’s asking price, $5.1 million, and the Maple Leafs offer, $2.89 million, were reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. But even with roughly $2.2 million separating the parties, it’s unlikely Toronto won’t fork over the money to meet Bernier somewhere in the middle, especially considering he has earned it over the past two seasons.

While some would look at the Maple Leafs success – or lack thereof – in the past two years and place the blame on goaltending, Bernier has actually been quite steady between the pipes. Consider that since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, of the 33 goaltenders who have played at least 3,500 minutes at 5-on-5, Bernier has the 15th best save percentage in the league. Sure, that’s only slightly above average, but a contract in the $4 million range is about the going rate for a second-tier starting netminder. Read more

Cory Schneider announces mask design competition, will wear winning mask in 2015-16

Jared Clinton
offtheschneid

Gather round, amateur goalie mask designers. New Jersey Devils netminder Cory Schneider has a task for you.

The Devils announced Tuesday that Schneider, along with renowned goalie mask artist David Gunnarsson of DaveArt, are running a contest that will allow fans of all ages to submit potential designs for Schneider’s mask with the winning design being worn by the New Jersey goaltender this upcoming season.

Schneider’s mask design contest will close on Aug. 7, when he will look over the eligible entries and select five finalists to be announced on Aug. 10. The finalists will receive an autographed photo of Schneider, but the real prize is revealed on Aug. 14, when he decides which design he’ll don on his helmet for the 2015-16 campaign. Read more

Sven Baertschi gets one-year, one-way deal with Canucks

Jared Clinton
Sven Baertschi (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Sven Baertschi has suited up in a mere 69 NHL games since being selected 13th overall in the 2011 draft, but he could more than double that total next season.

The Vancouver Canucks announced late Tuesday they have signed the 22-year-old Baertschi to a one-year, one-way deal that will pay the Swiss winger $900,000 next season. The money is notable if for no other reason than it’s actually a cut in salary from Baertschi’s entry-level contract, on which he had an NHL salary of $925,000.

To say Baertschi has had a turbulent tenure in the NHL would be an understatement. Since being taken by the Calgary Flames in the 2011 draft’s first round, Baertschi has bounced back and forth from WHL to NHL to AHL and back again. Last season alone, Baertschi suited up for the Canucks, Flames, Utica Comets and Adirondack Flames, playing no fewer than five games with each club. The hope now is that he can find a permanent place with the Canucks. Read more