Say What?!? - Oct. 17
Say What?!? - Oct. 17
"If you forgot how big he is, he's 230 pounds of pure muscle, speed and competitiveness."
- Nashville coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin.
"If you forgot how big he is, he's 230 pounds of pure muscle, speed and competitiveness."
- Nashville coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin.
If defenseman Brent Burns heads to free agency, he'll generate considerable interest, including from the Oilers, who still need to improve their blueline.
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns could be the best player available in next summer's unrestricted free agent market. It remains to be seen, of course, if he tests the open market. The Sharks will likely do all they can to keep him in the fold.
If the 32-year-old Burns heads to free agency, he'll generate considerable interest. The Edmonton Journal's David Staples cites Oilers insider Bob Stauffer speculating the Edmonton Oilers could pursue the Sharks rearguard, just as they did power forward Milan Lucic this summer.
The Oilers still lack a true top-two defenseman and Burns would certainly address that need, but they'll have to pay a lot to get him. His current annual salary is $5.76 million and he could command upwards of $8 million per season on the open market.
With over $55 million invested in 17 players for 2017-18, the Oilers could afford Burns in the short term. However, rising star Leon Draisaitl is coming off his entry-level deal and could seek a significant raise on a long-term deal. In 2018, superstar Connor McDavid and promising blueliner Darnell Nurse will also be in line for lengthy and expensive new contracts. They must ensure they have sufficient cap space to re-sign those young stars.
The Oilers also won't be the only club with serious interest in Burns. A significant bidding war for his services could put him out of Edmonton's price range.
STARS NOT INTERESTED IN BROWN
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports a recent rumor had the Dallas Stars interested in Los Angeles Kings left winger Dustin Brown. However, Friedman claims that speculation was shot down.
Whoever started the “Brown-to-Stars” speculation was engaging in wishful thinking. The former Kings captain is in the third season of an eight-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $5.85 million. He also carries a modified no-trade clause indicating eight trade preferences.
Even if the Stars were on Brown's list, they have no reason to pursue him. Since 2013-14, Brown's offfensive production has dried up, managing consecutive 27-point performances (2013-14, 2014-15) and only 28 points last season. At 31, his best seasons are now well behind him. The last thing the Stars need is a fading power forward on an expensive long-term deal.
RANGERS CAN'T FIND TAKER FOR McGILRATH
Earlier this month, the New York Post's Larry Brooks reported the New York Rangers were believed seeking a trade partner for little-used defenseman Dylan McIlrath. So far, however, they're not getting much interest in the 24-year-old blueliner.
Brooks followed up this week by speculating Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is likely listening to any trade offers for McIlrath. However, the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder must establish himself as an NHL regular to bolster his value. Brooks believes Gorton would accept a third-round pick.
In his previous three seasons, McIlrath skated in only 37 games with the Rangers. Heading into Saturday's contest with the Washington Capitals, he played only one game this season. At this rate, McIlrath seems more likely to be a waiver candidate.
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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The Canadiens lost Carey Price to a severe case of the flu, but they didn't miss a beat with newly signed backup Al Montoya.
They have the best winning percentage, the best goals differential and are the only team in the NHL that has yet to endure a loss in regulation. And they have the league’s best goalie in
Al Montoya Carey Price. So it’s no wonder the Montreal Canadiens are at the top of thn.com’s first Power Rankings of this season.
Remember, folks, these are Power Rankings, not NHL standings. They reflect how the team has performed most recently and are measured in order of the team that an opponent would least like to face if it played that night. So if you’re team is low in our rankings, remember it’s because we hate your team, and probably you and your family as well.
THE CREAM OF THE CROP
1. Montreal Canadiens
2. Edmonton Oilers
3. Detroit Red Wings
4. New York Rangers
5. St. Louis Blues
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
7. Florida Panthers
8. New York Islanders
9. Pittsburgh Penguins
10. Washington Capitals
Shea Weber was supposed to represent the panacea for Montreal’s power play, but it sits 20th in the league going into tonight’s game against Philadelphia, where they’ll try Alexander Radulov alongside Weber on the point…Since Cam Talbot’s wife gave birth to twins last Wednesday, Talbot is 3-0-0 with just three goals against on 99 shots…After posting a career-low 43 points last season, Gustav Nyquist has 3-4-7 totals in his first five games…After all the talk of resting Henrik Lundqvist more this season, The Rangers played him in back-to-back games over the weekend, the second one against the worst team in the NHL…The way Nail Yakupov has thrived on the Blues’ third line, his trade from Edmonton could develop into a major steal…Not sure how many noticed, but ESPN ranked the Lightning as the No. 1…The 4-1 win over Ottawa Saturday night kicked off a six-game, 11-day road trip for the Lightning…Tough not to cheer for 27-year-old rookie Shane Harper, who had never played an NHL game before this season, but made the Panthers’ fourth-line and scored twice in Florida’s 5-2 win over Colorado Saturday…Islanders captain John Tavares said he thinks it wears him and his teammates out more talking about the bad ice at Barclays Center than playing on it. Pretty sure that’s not the case…After taking part in his first full-contact practice since suffering a pre-season concussion, Sidney Crosby has not been ruled out yet for Tuesday night’s game against Florida…Going into a four-game road trip through western Canada, Capitals coach Barry Trotz shuffled his top two lines, moving Andre Burakovsky to the top line and T.J. Oshie down to the second.
THE MUSHY MIDDLE
11. Anaheim Ducks
12. Los Angeles Kings
13. Vancouver Canucks
14. Minnesota Wild
15. Boston Bruins
16. Colorado Avalanche
17. Chicago Blackhawks
18. Columbus Blue Jackets
19. Ottawa Senators
20. Nashville Predators
Simon Despres and his concussion have been placed on long-term injury reserve, which could give the Ducks the room they need to sign Hampus Lindholm…Thank goodness for 34-year-old Peter Budaj. He’s the only healthy goalie in the Kings organization at the moment with NHL experience…As much as people seem to want to pigeonhole Bo Horvat as a third-line center, his all-round game and offensive production this year suggest otherwise…Zach Parise scored his 300th and 301st NHL goals on Saturday and needs only 40 more to pass Dave Christian for first on the all-time list among Minnesota-born players…The Bruins have yet to score the first goal of the game in any of their five games this season…The Avalanche are in the midst of a six-day break. John Mitchell is expected to be in the lineup for the first time this season Friday night against Winnipeg…Speaking of season debuts, veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival will play his first game of the season tonight against Calgary after sitting out the first six games as a healthy scratch…The Blue Jackets rallied with big wins over NHL powers after losing their first two games. A big reason for that has been the penalty kill unit, which has allowed only one goal on 11 shorthanded situations, and that was an empty-net goal…The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Senators can score plenty, but have allowed at least four goals in four of their first five games this season...Despite an attack of food poisoning, the Predators managed to beat Pittsburgh 5-1 on the weekend. Their power play is by far the best in the league.
VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE
21. San Jose Sharks
22. Philadelphia Flyers
23. Dallas Stars
24. New Jersey Devils
25. Toronto Maple Leafs
26. Buffalo Sabres
27. Winnipeg Jets
28. Carolina Hurricanes
29. Calgary Flames
30. Arizona Coyotes
The Sharks went 2-for-18 on the power play on their recent five-game road trip, but they still managed to pick up two wins…League menace Radko Gudas will be eligible to return from his six-game suspension Tuesday night against Buffalo…Ales Hemsky reinjured his groin Saturday and will miss Tuesday night’s game against Winnipeg, as will Jason Spezza, who tweaked something in practice Monday…Same old Devils? New Jersey hasn’t scored more than two goals in any of its first five games this season. And that includes two overtimes...The Maple Leafs 5-4 shootout loss to Chicago Saturday marked the fourth time in five games the young Leafs have gagged up a lead late in the third period…Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen doesn’t appear to have been hurt by missing training camp with a contract dispute. He has an assist on each of Buffalo’s four power-play goals this season…This could be a lot worse. The Jets’ only two wins this season have come back when they roared back from three-goal deficits in the third period…The Hurricanes may have to finish their season-opening six-game road trip Tuesday night in Detroit without Jeff Skinner, who wasn’t on the ice for practice Monday…The Flames are porous. They’ve given up at least four goals in four of their first six games and at least five in three of them…The Coyotes are 0-4-0 on their eastern road trip, which still has stops in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Two straight full-contact practices have Sidney Crosby in a position to make his season debut Tuesday. Crosby, 29, has missed the first six games of the season due to a concussion.
The official word from the Pittsburgh Penguins is that Sidney Crosby is a game-time decision, though it sure looks as though the game’s brightest star will be making his season debut Tuesday.
Crosby, 29, has missed all six of the Penguins’ outings this season after suffering a concussion days before the campaign began, but he was finally back participating in full practice Monday after days of skating on his own. There was further proof Crosby could be ready to get back into action Tuesday, though, as he took part in another full practice and spent time skating with linemates Scott Wilson and Patric Hornqvist.
“He had a really good practice yesterday,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Crosby, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey. “He responded very well. He had a real good practice this morning. Everything’s pointed in the right direction that he feels comfortable that he’s ready to go back in the lineup. If that’s the case, then he’ll play.”
That Crosby could be making his long-awaited return to the lineup less than three weeks after he suffered the concussion is good news given his history with head injures. During a two-season period from January 2011 until the end of the 2012-13 campaign, Crosby was forced to miss 101 games due to concussions, and the concussion suffered in October marked the first time in three seasons that he had again suffered a head injury.
However, the good news was that the Penguins and Crosby were both in a spot where there was no rush for him to return to action and the proper time appears to have been taken with getting him back up to full speed. Crosby said that leading up to practices he has spent “a good chunk of days” without symptoms from the concussion.
"Ultimately to get to that step yesterday of having contact, you have to go a number of days being symptom-free,” Crosby said Tuesday, according to the Penguins Inside Scoop's Sam Kasan. “That's been the case.”
Getting Crosby back into the lineup would be a boon for the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins, who aren’t struggling but not exactly showing any signs of dominance, either. In their past four games, the Penguins are 1-2-1 and have been outscored 15-7.
"He's the best player in the world, so I think when you put him on the ice it challenges the other team to match that,” Penguins winger Carl Hagelin said of Crosby, according to Penguins Inside Scoop’s Michelle Crechiolo. “We're happy to have him back and we need to get rolling here."
Before the campaign, Crosby was named World Cup of Hockey MVP after potting three goals and 10 points in six games and capturing the World Cup title with Team Canada.
Crosby is also coming off of winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after posting six goals and 19 points in 24 post-season games, and was the league’s hottest player in the back half of the 2015-16 season. Over the final 41 games of the past campaign, Crosby registered 24 goals and 54 points. He finished third in league scoring with 36 goals and 85 points.
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Jonah Imoo and Dusty Imoo.
The AHL's Ontario Reign needed two goalies on short notice so turned to 22 year old Jonah Imoo to start between the pipes, while his 46-year-old father Dusty was his backup.
The Los Angeles Kings' goaltending woes resulted in some interesting hockey history on Saturday night.
When goalie Jeff Zatkoff was injured during practice and Jack Campbell needed to be recalled to the NHL, it created not one but two openings between the pipes for their AHL team, the Ontario Reign.
The Reign handed the starter's job to 22-year-old goalie Jonah Imoo on an emergency basis for their game Saturday night against the San Jose Barracuda. Imoo's backup goalie for the evening? His father, Dusty.
Dusty Imoo, 46, is a goalie development coach in the Kings' organization, and got to watch his son's AHL debut up close and personal, in full uniform, on the Reign bench. Jonah Imoo spent four seasons playing in the BCHL and had split last season in the Federal Hockey League and Southern Professional Hockey League before a finger injury and surgery ended his season after just three games.
Imoo stopped 26-of-31 shots and the Reign lost 5-4 in overtime but it didn't diminish the special moment for father and son.
"Old man crying, even as I think about it I kind of well up," Dusty told NHL.com. "It's emotional. It's weird. I watched him play exhibition games with us this season, the rookie games. I saw him put on a NHL jersey and it was all heartwarming to see, but this is different. . . I walked into the dressing room before anyone was there and I see the two jerseys and our nameplates."
Jonah & Dusty Imoo Take the Ice and Father and Son Goalie Duo
Earlier tonight, Jonah Imoo and Dusty Imoo took the ice as a father and son goaltending duo!Posted by Ontario Reign on Saturday, October 22, 2016
Dusty Imoo had a long career playing in professional leagues in Asia, including suiting up for the Japanese national team at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. His son's career is just beginning but got off to a memorable start.
"I found out I was starting after morning skate," Jonah said. "As I was getting undressed, one of the trainers said, 'Guess who is backing you up tonight?' And he put in another Imoo nametag in the stall next to me. I couldn't believe it. It was pretty surreal."
The Kings, of course, lost Jonathan Quick to an injury in their opening game of the season. With Zatkoff hurt, that mean both Reign goalies -- Peter Budaj and Campbell -- were recalled to the NHL. It means the younger Imoo might be sticking around a little while longer. Though that's probably not the case for dad.
“I don’t think they want a 46-year-old backup for too long," Dusty told Jim Alexander of the Press Enterprise.