Rumor Roundup: Could Dion Phaneuf become an Oiler?

Dion Phaneuf

Could the Edmonton Oilers have interest in Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf? Sportsnet’s Damien Cox claims former Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli had interest in the 30-year-old Phaneuf prior to this season’s trade deadline. With Chiarelli now in Edmonton, Cox speculates the Oilers could be suitors for the Leafs captain.

The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples disagrees, noting the Oilers could use Phaneuf’s skills on their blueline but not his lengthy and expensive contract. The rearguard has six years remaining on his deal at an annual cap hit of $7 million.

With several players (Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Mark Fayne, Benoit Pouliot) carrying expensive long-term deals, Staples notes adding Phaneuf would create a cap crunch for the Oilers in a few years when younger Oilers (Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl) will be seeking raises. Read more

Are Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry best 1-2 draft punch in NHL history?

Ryan Getzlaf (left) and Corey Perry  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When fans of the Anaheim Ducks watch games such as Thursday night’s thrashing of the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of their playoff series, there’s a good chance they thank their lucky stars that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are under contract for the next four seasons. (Oh, and if you happen to have both of them in a playoff pool, you’re probably clicking your heels together today as well. Click-click.)

They’re also probably pretty happy that Perry had such a poor showing in the CHL Prospects Game in 2003 and that Getzlaf was likened to “a poor man’s Patrick Marleau,” in THN’s Draft Preview that year. Because if not, Getzlaf would not have tumbled to 19th and Perry to 28th in that year’s draft and the Ducks would not have had the chance to take them. Read more

Prospect Hot List: Jack Eichel suiting up for Team USA again

Jack Eichel

Once again, Team USA has won the world under-18s thanks to a roster made up almost entirely of NTDP kids. Though one interesting takeaway from the tourney was goaltending. The Americans went with underager Evan Sarthou of WHL Tri-City, while Canada had a tandem of underagers in Moose Jaw’s Zach Sawchenko and Saginaw’s Evan Cormier. Sure, 2015 looks like a thin goalie draft, but this was a pretty interesting trend. With that point behind us, let’s look at some of the other prospects making noise in the hockey world right now.

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Rumor Roundup: Penguins, Jets, Canucks all face changes in off-season

Dustin Byfuglien. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

As the opening round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs draws to a close, speculation is slowly emerging over the off-season plans of several eliminated teams.

The early playoff exit of the Pittsburgh Penguins by the New York Rangers suggests significant changes could be in order. Despite rumors earlier this month suggesting Evgeni Malkin or even Sidney Crosby might be dealt this summer, Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Penguins president and CEO Ron Morehouse said the duo would return next season. So will embattled GM Jim Rutherford and coach Mike Johnston.

Morehouse cited an injury-riddled blueline corps among the factors behind his club’s first-round elimination. He said ownership intends to build around core players like Crosby and Malkin.

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How fast can the Vancouver Canucks re-tool for the future?

Vancouver's Bo Horvat (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

If Vancouver’s first-round series loss to underdog Calgary proved anything, it’s that the Canucks have some work to do if they hope to return to the upper echelons of the Western Conference. As is stands now, the franchise is in a bit of limbo, since the Canucks have a nice development pipeline going, but a lot of contracts already spoken for as well. So how fast can they re-tool?

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Watch and listen to Flames’ Matt Stajan score series-winning goal while mic’d up

Matt Stajan (Todd Korol/Getty Images)

One of the great things about the playoffs every season is the NHL putting microphones on players to capture the audio from down on the ice. And every so often, they happen to mic up the perfect player in the perfect game. Case in point: Matt Stajan was mic’d up for Game 6 and scored the goal that clinched the series victory for the Calgary Flames late in the third period.

The goal itself is highlight enough — a perfectly placed wristshot that found the top corner behind Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller — but listening to the Flames crowd explode from ice level after Stajan’s shot hits the back of the net is outstanding. Check it out below: Read more

Canucks offense comes alive too late, Flames take first-round series in six

Sean Monahan celebrates with Jiri Hudler (Todd Korol/Getty Images)

While they weren’t huge underdogs coming into the first round, the Calgary Flames six-game series victory over the Vancouver Canucks could be considered somewhat of an upset. But it wasn’t so much the Flames that beat the Canucks as it was the Vancouver offense that let their team down.

Through the first five games of the series, the Canucks registered just 10 goals and failed to take advantage of any defensive lapses the Flames had shown. For much of the season, Calgary was a subpar possession team, finishing in the bottom five of the league, while Vancouver fared much better, placing in the top 20. If there was anything the Canucks could have relied upon to take the series, it was that eventually the run of play would tilt hard enough in their favor that goals would come.

However, over the course of a seven game series, even favorable underlying numbers couldn’t do much to rectify a Canucks attack that failed to find holes in the Flames’ goaltending when it mattered most. When this series is looked back upon, it won’t be Vancouver’s choice to start Eddie Lack over Ryan Miller that changed their fate, but rather the Canucks’ inability to capitalize on their opportunities. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Would Lucic for Hall or Eberle help both teams?

Milan Lucic (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers winning the 2015 draft lottery continues to resonate in the trade rumor mill. Their recent hiring of former Hockey Canada honcho Bob Nicholson as CEO and former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli as GM and president of hockey operations provides further speculation of major off-season moves for the Oilers.

Joe Haggerty of CSNNE noted these factors while suggesting there’s a good chance Oilers top-line wingers Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle could be available. He feels the Bruins should consider offering up power forward Milan Lucic for Hall or Eberle.

Haggerty believes Lucic’s style of play is something the Oilers need. He also notes the 26-year-old left winger’s friendship with Oilers captain Andrew Ference, which dates back to the Ference’s days with the Bruins. With Lucic eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, Haggerty feels Edmonton could be just the place where he could land a big payday. Read more