World junior camps are approaching and some teams are getting excellent news already. Most recently, Canada found out that New York Rangers rookie Anthony Duclair will be loaned out, giving the host nation another speedy and dangerous offensive weapon in its arsenal. Finland must be happy that Dallas gave its blessing for Julius Honka to return, while Washington’s Andre Burakovsky is still a wait-and-see for Sweden. In the meantime, here are some of the other top prospects making noise in the hockey world.
Over the past few years, the San Jose Sharks have made a habit of having a bit of fun around the holiday season. Be it an infomercial for a holiday album or Joe Thornton with a dummy, the videos are always good for at least a laugh.
For this holiday season, the Sharks have given us so much more than a simple video. Oh, have they ever. Feast your eyes on ‘Holiday Sweater’, a seasonal rap performed by several Sharks, which may simultaneously be the best and worst thing to happen in the 2014-15 season: Read more
Be it Winter Classic or Stadium Series, part of the hype surrounding the outdoor events is the unveiling of new jerseys. Months ahead of the February tilt before San Jose and Los Angeles, it appears we have our first look at the Sharks new threads.
The photo, which first appeared on the aptly named hockey aesthetics blog Icethetics, shows a three-color look that we’ve never seen from the Sharks. With little history to draw from, the Sharks didn’t have many options when it came to throwback jerseys so this is a nice compromise. Read more
Around the time Jonathan Cheechoo’s career started taking a step back, a new young gun arrived for the San Jose Sharks. It was part of what you can call the Joe Thornton effect, if you’d like. Now, just six seasons after a 31-goal year, Devin Setoguchi is without a place in the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Calgary Flames waived the 27-year-old Setoguchi. On Thursday, he cleared waivers and was officially demoted to the American League’s Adirondack Flames. It’s his first time back in the AHL since 2007-08 and when he’ll be back in the NHL, it’s hard to say. Read more
The San Jose Sharks lost their fourth straight game Wednesday – this one, a feeble 2-0 defeat at home to the Flames – which meant the heat on San Jose head coach Todd McLellan is only going to increase. And with the franchise falling back in the pack in the Western Conference (their 10-10-4 record has them fifth in the Pacific Division and 10th in the West), McLellan’s six-year tenure behind the Sharks bench could be at an end.
San Jose’s players had already spoken out in support of McLellan prior to Wednesday’s loss, yet in spite of that and Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s well-earned reputation as a man who doesn’t make rash decisions, he may have little choice but to fire his coach and continue the process of remaking this team in a newer, more playoff-productive mold. McLellan is a highly-respected coach whose services likely would be snapped up in short order, but his current team has dropped seven of its past nine games and its most recent five losses haven’t come at the hands of a murderer’s row of opponents (Columbus, Buffalo, Florida, Arizona and the Flames). Wilson denied contacting former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, but if he’s intent on underscoring his off-season message of the necessity of change, pulling the trigger on McLellan will be a good beginning.
That said, de-employing McLellan isn’t going to be a cure-all for what ails them. Read more
NHL teams shopping around for veteran depth should get in touch with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. According Sun-Sentinel.com’s Harvey Fialkov, a team source claims the Panthers want to ship out some “unnamed veterans” to make room for youngsters Vincent Trocheck, Rocco Grimaldi and Quinton Howden.
Fialkov believes forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky and Sean Bergenheim are the likely trade candidates. The trio were part of Tallon’s mass acquisition of veteran talent during the summer of 2011. They become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Fleischmann could interest clubs seeking a skilled scorer while Kopecky and Bergenheim could prove worthwhile additions for those seeking checking-line help. Read more
My, what a difference one year and a massive TV contract can make.
In 2013, when American business magazine Forbes released their NHL franchise valuations, only one team was said to be a billion dollar organization: the Toronto Maple Leafs ($1.15 billion). That the Leafs were – and still are – the most valued team in the NHL comes to little surprise what with a fan base that continually shells out top dollar regardless of the outcome. It is hockey mecca, like it or not.
But Tuesday, when Forbes released its rankings for 2014, two franchises, the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, found themselves in the billion dollar club thanks in large part to a friendly bump from the NHL’s league-wide television deals plus some added money from local television contracts. Read more
As the American Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the NHL trade market has slowly returned to life. The past two weeks saw the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens swing a couple of deals, including one in which the Stars shipped defensemen Sergei Gonchar to the Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. Factor in last week’s meeting of NHL GMs in Toronto and there’s growing speculation more deals are on the horizon.
A recent six-game losing skid has the Edmonton Oilers the hot topic of trade chatter. Pascal Dupuis’ blood-clot diagnosis could add urgency to the Pittsburgh Penguins search for a scoring winger, while the San Jose Sharks recent slump has generated talk of a possible roster shakeup. Read more