Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Winter Classic 2008-09 in ChiTown

According to the Chicago Tribune, it is now official that the Winter Classic will be held on January 1st, 2009, in the windy city. The Black Hawks will face the Red Wings at Wrigley Field as it was rumoured for the past few weeks.

The first edition was held in Edmonton in 2003 between the Oilers and the Canadiens. Last year, the Sabres faced the Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The news will be officially announced by the league on Wednesday.

Tambellini Resigned By Isles

Forward Jeff Tambellini will be returning to the Long Island for at least 2 more years, as he resigned with the team tonight. He got a 2 year contract worth 1.175 million dollars. The deal will see him make $550,000 in the first year of the contract and $625,000 in the second year. Tambellini, who struggled to get into the lineup with Ted Nolan as coach actually accepted less money than he got in his qualifying offer from the Isles to prove he can not only make the lineup but make an impact.

Coyotes Sign A Pair

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed left wing Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Ryan Lannon to one year contracts. Terms were not released.

Hoggan Appeared in 71 games last year with the Boston Bruins AHL affiliate Providence Bruins. He Posted 60 points and a league leading +39 in the plus/minus category.

Lannon appeared in 75 games last year with Pittsburgh Penguins AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Lannon finished with 42 points and 165 Penalty Minutes.

Troubles Ahead For The Jackets And Filatov

Now that the NHL has officially approved of the Blue Jackets' entry level contract of 1st round pick Nikita Filatov, trouble could be coming very shortly. Firstly, Filatov still has to get his Visa approved. Also, his Russian club team (CSKA Moscow)now wants $500,000 dollars a year for 3 years (the length of Filatov's entry level contract). Knowing what has happened with the whole Radulov mess, this is going to be a rough ride for the Columbus Blue Jackets, their management and of course the player going through all of this, Nikita Filatov.

Fedorov: Debt Dilemma in Detroit

In news that really doesn't qualify as news that really gets the attention of the average hockey fan, a Michigan bank filed a lawsuit on Monday towards former Red Wing and current Capital Sergei Fedorov. The Citizens State Bank claims that Fedorov stopped paying the bank on his $2.25 million loans, which were spent on a Miami condo and an 11-year old horse, and was sent a notice by the bank in May.

It will be interesting to see where this goes, and what ends up...I can't believe I almost said that!

Signings and trade rumors in Chicago

Blueliners Doug Janik and Aaron Johnson have agreed to contracts with the Hawks. Janik, 28, played for Tampa Bay last season, recording 4 points in 61 games. Johnson, played 30 games for the Islanders last year, notching a mere 2 points.

With these 2 signings the Hawks now have 10 NHL defensemen signed for next-year (Janik, Johnson, Campbell, Seabrook, Barker, Keith, Wisniewski, Byfuglien, Sopel, Matt Walker). It looks more and more that a trade is brewing, possibly involving Barker or Seabrook, as well as high-paid goalie Khabibulin. GM Dave Tallon is likely seeking depth at the forward position. Stay tuned.

Desjardins Will Be A Part Time Coach for the Flyers

The Flyers announced today that former captain Eric Desjardins will be a part time development coach for the Flyers, but only for the prospect training camp. Paul Holmgren (Flyers GM) gave him this job after he was impressed with Desjardins' numerous good observations during the end of the season and decided to create this job during the Flyers-Capitals playoff series (although by then it wasn’t announced publicly). This will be his second function within the Flyers organization, as he will still retain the role of being a scout for Philadelphia.

Avalanche sign a plethora

The Colorado Avalanche signed former Av forward Brian Willsie to a one-year contract. The 30 year-old Willsie played for the Kings last season, notching 12 points in 53 games.

The Avs also re-signed a few of their young players:
They agreed to a one-year contract with forward Cody McCormick, who registered 4 points in 40 games with the team last season.
They also re-signed tough guy Cody McLeod to a one-year contract. The 24 year-old suited for 49 games in 2007-08, recording 9 points.
The Avs also re-signed goalies Jason Bacashihua and Tyler Weiman, forwards Philippe Dupuis and Nathan Smith, as well as blueliners Darcy Campbell and Aaron MacKenzie.

Oilers Resign Stortini and Add Corazzini

The Edmonton Oilers resigned forward Zack Stortini to a 3 year contract extension. The big guy finished with 201 Penalty Minutes in his first full year with the Oilers last Year.

The Oilers did not stop there. The Oilers also added forward Carl Corazzini to a 1 year contract. Corazzini finished with 60 points last year with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

Murray To Kings Imminent

According to a few places around the web, the L.A. Kings are close to hiring Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Terry Murray as Head Coach. The deal is imminent.

Here is a quote from ESPN Radio's Andy Strickland:

"Sources tell me the Kings are close to announcing Flyers Assistant Head Coach Terry Murray as the next Head Coach of the LA Kings. No one on the Kings staff has been notified of such hire.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi has been busy interviewing candidates the last few weeks.

Other names the Kings have been rumored to be interested in include Mike Sullivan, Kevin Dineen, Randy Cunneyworth, and current Kings Assistant Mike Johnston."

Stay tuned.....

Fritsche Signs with NYR

After acquiring Dan Fritsche from the Columbus Blue Jackets, the New York Rangers have signed the 23 year old defensemen. Details of the signing were not released. In 206 games with the Blue Jackets, Fritsche recorded 29 goals and 34 assists and was a -14.

Dallas Drake hangs his skates

After a 16-year career and his first Stanley Cup, the veteran forward announced his retirement.
Drake recorded 6 points in 65 games last year with the Wings.

Drake has 177 goals, 300 assists and 885 penalty minutes in 1,009 regular-season games. He also has 14 goals, 19 assists and 79 penalty minutes in 90 playoff games.

DiPenta heads to Sweden

Rearguard Joey DiPenta signed a one-year contract with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League. The 29 year-old DiPenta played in 23 games with the Ducks last season, notching 5 points. He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2006-07.

Lightning Town Hall Meeting...

This afternoon the Lightning will hold a celebratory Town Hall Meeting at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. The meeting will be the platform for players, fans, and employees of the Bolts to acknowledge the signing of Vinny Lecavalier to his monster 11 year $85mil lifetime contract. Local and national rumblings have also suggested that Lecavalier will be named captain of the team.

Although Vinny will be the main attraction at the meeting, there will also be a Q&A session with the new owners. The Q&A session has come under much scrutiny by the fans and media since it seems as though the questions wont be asked by the fans in attendance. Instead the questions will come from user submitted questions composed on the teams website. This giving the ownership the opportunity to sift through and discard any controversial questions such as: the Dan Boyle trade or the apparent neglecting of the blueline.

More on the recap of the Town Hall Meeting, Bolts defense, and the Bolts future later...

Jackets trade Lindstrom to Ducks

Forward Joakim Lindstrom was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for a conditional draft pick depending on the number of games he plays next season. Lindstrom played 25 games last year with Columbus, recording 7 points.

Shanahan Talking To The Rangers...Just The Rangers

According to the Vancouver Province despite rumors that the Vancouver canucks had offered forward Brendan Shanahan a contract worth 2 million dollars, Shanahan's agent has declined those rumors. Shanahan's agent stated Brendan Shanahan Has Not Been In Talks With Any Other Team except for the New York Rangers. There was nothing said about the Shanahan To Russian league rumors but if he fails to sign with the Rangers I could either see him going back to the Red Wings for a small amount of money or to the Russian League to play under a familiar coach in Barry Smith who was an assistant coach with the Red Wings during Shanahan's Tenure.

Stephane Veilleux Fires Agent

It's not well recorded how many players are negotiating without legal representation, but at least one more player joined those ranks yesterday. Stephane Veilleux, a 26 year old RFA, fired his agent after waking-up another day without a contract. Veilleux was not gifted with great instincts or deft hands. His talents are speed, good size and a great big heart. Talents highly valued in the world of Jacques Lemaire. Apparently frustrated, Veilleux decided that saying, "Yes, I will skate hard and hit anything that crosses my path and defend my teammates whenever and wherever for whatever you want to pay me," is easier to say than to do. Especially, after reading on a daily basis how well the "Prospects" camp is running.

My take: I would like to hear that Stephane gets $1,500,000/year for three, but this is a business and the grunts know their job and the pay is acceptable at any number. If Stephane gets $1,250,000/year for two, he should consider hanging up the skates and get himself a briefcase and some clients.

Sundin gone fishing?

According to Le Journal de Montréal, contrary to reports suggesting that Mats was going to make a decision later this week, the Swedish centre is not quite ready to make a decision just yet.
Sundin is gone fishing with his family this week and will not be available to talk about his future in the NHL. The 37 year-old veteran notched 78 points in 74 games with the Leafs last season before becoming a UFA on July 1st.

My take: Sundin will not make a decision before his wedding later this summer, so let's stop talking about him for a while.







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