Movements in the world of hockey Sunday:
National Hockey League
NEW YORK RANGERS-Agreed to terms with F Dane Byers.
Movements in the world of hockey Sunday:
National Hockey League
NEW YORK RANGERS-Agreed to terms with F Dane Byers.
Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton popped up earlier this week in the NHL rumor mill, but a more likely trade candidate is Dennis Wideman.
Calgary Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton popped up earlier this week in the NHL rumor mill. TSN's Pierre LeBrun reports there's talk the 23-year-old blueliner could be available.
LeBrun said he doesn't think the Flames are shopping Hamilton. While at least one team inquired into the defenseman's availability, LeBrun said talks didn't get far.
The Flames acquired Hamilton from the Boston Bruins prior to the 2015 NHL draft, re-signing him to a six-year, $34.5-million contract. Since joining the Flames, his performance at times was inconsistent. However, they appear committed to keeping him on their blueline.
A more likely Flames trade candidate is veteran defenseman Dennis Wideman. The 33-year-old is eligible for unrestricted free agency next July and doesn't have a long-term future in Calgary. He has a full no-movement clause, but the Flames could ask him to waive it if they're out of playoff contention by the March 1 trade deadline.
WITH LINDHOLM SIGNED, WHAT HAPPENS TO FOWLER?
Prior to the Anaheim Ducks re-signing defenseman Hampus Lindholm, there was a report linking him to a deal with the Colorado Avalanche and captain Gabriel Landeskog. As noted by Chris Nichols of Today's Slapshot, TSN's Darren Dreger said the Ducks and Avalanche had a conversation involving the two players, though Ducks GM Bob Murray wanted nothing to do with trading the 22-year-old blueliner.
With Lindholm finally under contract, any talk of swapping him for Landekog is put to rest. However, this isn't the first time Dreger's mentioned Landeskog as a possible trade candidate this year. On June 30, he reported the Ducks and Avs had discussed a Landeskog-for-Lindholm swap.
Landeskog surfaced again in the rumor mill later in the summer. On July 30, Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Sun included the 23-year-old left winger among five players the Canucks should pursue in the off-season.
So far, however, there's no indication out of Denver the Avs are willing to put their captain on the trade block. He's in the third season of a seven-year, $39-million contract and his $5.5-million cap hit isn't easy to move, especially this early in the season.
Landeskog's no-trade clause doesn't kick in until 2018-19, so he can be dealt anywhere this season without his permission. His performance through 2016-17, and that of the Avs, could determine if he becomes a trade chip.
It'll be interesting to see if the Lindholm signing puts an end to the Cam Fowler trade rumors that were flying around since late-June.
The Ducks freed up some cap space for Lindholm's new contract by placing concussed defenseman Simon Despres and his $3.7-million annual cap hit on long-term injury reserve. However, they must find cap room for Despres when he's ready to return to the lineup.
Throughout the off-season and into October, trade chatter linked the 24-year-old Fowler ($4 million cap hit) to the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings. That talk could be muted for now, but will likely flare up again when Despres is ready to return to the lineup.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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Some of the teenagers playing in the NHL this season have made decisions about their futures easy with their fine play. It's not so clear-cut with others, though.
The Year of the Teenager continues in the NHL, which means a lot of teams will be faced with some vexing decisions in the next week or so. Or not. With the 10-game threshold for burning a year on entry-level deals coming closing in, some of those decisions have already been made and the players aren’t going anywhere. Rather than list the players among to top 10 rookie scorers who are still teenagers, it would probably be more efficient for us to rhyme off the ones who are not – William Nylander, Devin Shore and Jimmy Vesey. Perhaps at no time in its history has the league boasted such a wealth of young talent.
And the line between staying and going, at least at this point in the season, is becoming clearer for a lot of young players. Obviously, the notion that Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs is going anywhere other than on the next road trip is laughable. Travis Konecny has proved he deserves a much longer look in Philadelphia and it would be a surprise if Anthony Beauvillier is sent back to junior anytime soon.
Part of the reason for that is because those outside of the NHL make a bigger deal of the 10-game threshold than those inside it. The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that any player 18 or 19 years old is considered to have played a full professional season if he plays 10 or more games in the NHL. (To be clear, he has to play in 10 games, not simply be on the roster for 10 games.) But the important distinction to make is that 10-game provision only counts for burning a year off his entry-level contract. It does not accrue a season for the purposes of unrestricted free agency. The player has to play 40 games before that happens, so the teams actually have quite a bit more time to make a decision. A player such as Jakob Chychrun would be one that would fall into that category. As long as he proves he belongs in Arizona's top-six defensemen, he'll be around. But if his play falls off, the Coyotes effectively have a half a season to determine what to do with him.
And in some cases it might actually be beneficial to burn that year on a player’s contract. Take Sean Monahan for example. In his first year with the Calgary Flames, he played 75 games, scoring 22 goals and 34 points. Then he followed that up with back-to-back 60-point seasons that led to a seven-year deal worth $44.6 million dollars. If the Flames had returned Monahan to junior hockey in the first year of that deal, he’d be entering his third year of the contract this season and who knows how much more the Flames would be paying for him after this season? On the other side of the coin, that year in the NHL likely prepared him much better and led to him being able to score 60 points each of the past two seasons. There’s no real right or wrong with it.
Which is why teams don’t get too worried about it when it comes to players who are playing regularly and producing. Where it becomes much more of a dilemma is with a player such as Dylan Strome of the Arizona Coyotes. Strome has scored 240 points in just 124 games of junior hockey last season, but found himself a healthy scratch for the fourth time in seven games when the Coyotes played the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night. Joining him in the press box was Lawson Crouse, a 19-year-old with a man's body whom many thought would be NHL-ready this season.
The Coyotes have a real dilemma on their hands with Strome. They know they’ll get killed even more than they are if they keep throwing a rookie-heavy lineup out there every night. So with Strome, do they keep spotting him in every other game, which would buy them a little more time before sending him back to junior? And even if they do, is there anything to be gained by having Strome dominate at the junior level? But do you keep him around for this season and have him in spot duty, then risk the embarrassing proposition of perhaps sending him to the minors next season?
And what of players such as Pavel Zacha and Matthew Tkachuk? Mikhail Sergachev has played just three of eight games for a Montreal Canadiens team that finds itself in first place overall and has an abundance of veteren defensemen. Those are the ones where the next week or so are going to provide the most difficult decisions for NHL teams. The ones at the top of the rookie scoring race and those who are making regular contributions probably aren’t going anywhere for the time being.
Tuukka Rask posted two stellar one-goal against performances in consecutive outings before hitting the sideline, and hamstring and groin issues are reportedly keeping him on the shelf.
Tuukka Rask’s bout of general soreness turned into a lower-body injury, and after three consecutive games on the shelf, there could be some cause for concern after a report that the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 netminder is potentially dealing with injuries to both his hamstring and groin.
During an interview with CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, former TSN analyst Aaron Ward said that he was told Rask is dealing with the injury stemming from the Bruins’ opening night victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rask sat out the game following opening night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which was when the “general soreness” was first announced by Bruins coach Claude Julien.
“What I heard was that it was left leg, and that at first it was hamstring and then I was told it’s possibly hamstring and groin,” Ward told Haggerty. “You’re always concerned when you’re a goalie and it’s your legs, right? It’s the push-off.”
What’s surprising, though, is that Rask was able to come back after the initial injury in order to play a pair of outings, first against the Winnipeg Jets and then against the New Jersey Devils. Rask stopped 62 of 64 shots over the course of those two outings, picked up the win in both games and before he was sat down by the Bruins he was boasting a 1.67 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.
Ward said he believes the Bruins are simply trying to be cautious when it comes to Rask, though, in order to ensure he doesn’t further injure himself and wind up on the sideline longer than the Bruins could have expected.
However, it’s become evident that the Bruins will need Rask back in order to start piecing together a stretch of victories. Since Rask has gone down with injury — and with the three-week injury to backup Anton Khudobin following shortly thereafter — Boston hasn’t won a single game and has allowed 14 goals against in three games.
Subban got the call to start the first Rask and Khudobin-less game for Boston, but it was an ugly outing that saw him allow three goals on 16 shots over less than 31 minutes of work. After being pulled, McIntyre came in for cleanup duty and allowed two goals on 17 shots. McIntyre’s performance was enough to earn him a look in Wednesday’s game against the Rangers, but he allowed five goals on 31 shots in the loss.
So while the Bruins may not be pushing Rask for his return quite yet, a few more blowout losses and GM Don Sweeney might have to consider looking outside the organization for a stopgap in goal if Rask isn’t ready to go.
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Watch Kunlun Red Star defenseman Zach Yuen become the first Chinese player to score for the KHL expansion team.
Zach Yuen made some history Thursday, becoming the first Chinese player to score for the KHL’s Chinese expansion team, the Kunlan Red Star.
In his 23rd game of the season, Yuen redirected a pass from teammate Tomas Marcinko eight minutes into the first period for the game’s only goal. It was his third point of the season and the Red Star went on to beat Amur 1-0 for their 11th win of the season.
Yuen is one of four Chinese players to have suited up for the Red Star this season, but is the only one averaging more than five minutes of ice time, logging just over 11 minutes per game.
Yuen was the first ever defenseman of Chinese descent to be drafted when the Winnipeg Jets made him a fourth-round pick in 2011. The 23-year-old blueliner had a three-game stint with the Toronto Marlies in 2013-14 and played three seasons in the ECHL before he signed with the Red Star this summer.
Although he was born in Vancouver, both of Yuen’s parents were born in China and immigrated to Canada.
In 2015, New York Islanders’ sixth-round pick Andong Song became the first Chinese-born player drafted to the NHL. Song moved from Beijing to North America at age nine and is playing this season with the USHL’s Madison Capitols.
The Beijing-based Red Star are now 11-12-0 on the season, and currently sit one point back of a playoff spot in the KHL’s Eastern Conference.