The Vancouver Canucks’ unwillingness to move center Ryan Kesler by last week’s trade deadline generated almost as much attention as the deals involving other notable stars.
It was rumored Canucks’ owner Francesco Aquilini refused to allow GM Mike Gillis to trade Kesler. Gillis quickly denied it, claiming he didn’t receive sufficient offers for the 29-year-old center. The asking price was a young center, an elite prospect and a first-round draft pick.
Tony Gallagher of The Vancouver Province reported there was six clubs Kesler would waive his no-trade clause for, but three were out of the bidding or had no interest. Gallagher also claimed the Canucks weren’t interested in an offer of Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers. CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio cited sources claiming the Flyers were simply trying to drive up the asking price for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were also pursuing Kesler.
Penguins GM Ray Shero admitted to making enquiries, but he didn’t think there was a deal to be made. Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported the Penguins offered up center Brandon Sutter, first- and third-round picks, plus the Canucks’ choice of any defense prospect other than highly touted Derrick Pouliot. Refusing to part with Pouliot was the deal breaker.
As he hones his skills alongside one of the planet’s best defensemen, Roman Josi is thankful for a pioneer, countryman and current Philadelphia Flyers blueliner who helped pave the way for Swiss players like him in the NHL.
“At first there were only goalies coming over, but the first (skater) to really make it was Mark Streit,” Josi said. “He really opened the doors for all the young players in Switzerland. He had a tough first season, but fought through it.”
Josi’s path to North American hockey was different than Streit’s, who was 27 when he played his first NHL game. Josi, 23, was drafted by Nashville in the second round (38th overall) in 2008, played a season in the American League in 2010-11 to acclimate to the smaller ice surface, then made the jump to the NHL the following season.
He’s now fully settled in Nashville and is second on the Predators in ice time behind his defense partner, captain Shea Weber.
As Rory Boylen pointed out already, the Flyers and Capitals are in the midst of a blood feud right now, but that doesn’t mean the games are devoid of skill. Check out the move Flyers captain Claude Giroux pulled on Braden Holtby to open the scoring last night.
Earlier this season, if you’ll recall, the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers took part in a line brawl, headlined by Ray Emery’s attack on Braden Holtby.
Makes for great debate and entertainment.
The teams have played a few times since that meeting, each one a mashing of bodies selling hate as the NHL does. But it didn’t boil over the same way it did four months ago. Not until Wednesday night anyway. Read more
The trade deadline and the day before the trade deadline ended up being much busier and way more full of big names than it has been in years. This year, finally, was not a let down as far as entertainment goes.
Martin St-Louis, Roberto Luongo, Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson were just some of the front-line players moved before 3:00 p.m. on March 5. Some teams made significant upgrades, others not to much. So what does it mean heading down the stretch towards the playoffs?
Here are our five winners and five losers of the 2014 NHL trade deadline. Read more
The NHL trade deadline is nearly upon us. Here’s the latest on the notable names in the rumor mill.
Ryan Kesler: Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports Kesler gave the Canucks a short list of preferred trade destinations. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers are believed among them. Kypreos notes the Canucks are reluctant to move the 29-year-old center to a Western Conference team.
Various reports claim the Canucks seek a 20- to 25-year-old center to replace Kesler, along with a first-round pick and a top prospect. The Vancouver Province’s Ben Kuzma reports the Penguins, Flyers and Detroit Red Wings are among the front-runners. Kesler apparently won’t waive his no-trade clause for the Columbus Blue Jackets, possibly because of an old feud with former college teammate R.J. Umberger. Kuzma believes the Flyers can address the Canucks’ need for a young center by offering either Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier.
The Penguins and Flyers have reportedly made offers for Kesler. It’s also believed the Flyers have interest in Canucks defenseman Alex Edler. Given the limited cap space of the Flyers and Canucks, salaried players would have to be exchanged to make the dollars fit. One wonders what effect the Canucks shipping Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers will have on the Kesler trade talks.
The St. Louis Blues’ acquisition of goaltender Ryan Miller and winger Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres has sparked speculation over how their Western Conference rivals will respond.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal wonders if the Los Angeles Kings will pursue Thomas Vanek or the more affordable Matt Moulson, or if the Anaheim Ducks will make a pitch for Buffalo’s Tyler Myers. Matheson also wonders if the Sharks have interest in the Sabres’ Christian Ehrhoff or the Islanders’ Andrew MacDonald, and mused about the Blackhawks pursuing Nashville center David Legwand or Oilers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov as a backup for Corey Crawford. Read more
Brendan Shanahan may have one of the most thankless jobs in hockey, but sometimes he has the easiest one as well.
Take, for instance, Dmitry Orlov’s foolish hit on Brayden Schenn Sunday. The Washington defenseman not only leaped into his check, which is bad enough, but he did it to a defenseless player who had his back completely turned on the play.
A suspension for Orlov was the only decision that could have been made on this play. So on Monday, Shanahan and the league handed down a two-gamer to Orlov. Read more