Archive for June, 2014

10 players to watch as NHL free agency begins (The Associated Press)

By at 30 June, 2014, 4:18 pm

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is predicting a busy day once NHL free agency opens on Tuesday, simply because teams began talking to agents and players days ago. ”On the afternoon of July 1, things are going to happen quickly.” Thomas…

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Montreal trades Briere to Avalanche (The Associated Press)

By at 30 June, 2014, 3:55 pm

MONTREAL (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens have traded veteran forward Daniel Briere to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and a fifth-round pick in 2015 draft on Monday.

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Will Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson return to Long Island? (Puck Daddy)

By at 30 June, 2014, 3:10 pm

Last season, GM Garth Snow traded popular first-line winger Matt Moulson and a first-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for Thomas Vanek, who played the same position but was seen as an offensive upgrade. The Islanders failed to make the playoffs and cut bait with Vanek when he wouldn’t sign long term, trading him to the Montreal Canadiens. Moulson, meanwhile, was traded by Buffalo to the Minnesota Wild. Now, Moulson is an unrestricted free agent whom the Wild will likely let walk, potentially to make room for … Vanek, who is also an unrestricted free agent but whom the Wild will only sign for a short-term deal. 
Once more, with feeling: Moulson needs a home and so might Vanek if he’s not down with a short-term deal with the Wild.
Could either of them end up back with the New York Islanders?
It’s an interesting spot for these players, for two reasons. First, because the Islanders have shown a willingness to throw money at players who give them the time of day. Second, because good luck trying to find a player with John Tavares’ offensive credentials with whom to play on another team.
Moulson was a 0.73 points per game player in 304 games with the Islanders, a higher PPG average than with the Kings, Wild and Sabres in smaller samples. Vanek was a 0.94 PPG player in 47 games with the Islanders.
So has Tavares run into Snow’s office slamming his stick on the desk, demanding one of them come back on his wing?
It might not matter with Moulson. As Arthur Staple notes, the relationship between him and the Islanders is like a cocktail of bad blood and harsh reality, in that Moulson might not have been back anyway had he not been traded.
What about Vanek? He never slammed the door on the Islanders after turning down a 7-year, $50-million contract. As his agent Stephen Bartlett said on KFAN: “He made a decision a year ago that he wanted to test free agency.
And so he did. 
What he finds as a UFA will determine whether he’d give the Islanders another glance. Tavares is a draw, and he knows the organization now. It’s also not a place where his postseason flop becomes his calling card – just getting the Islanders to the playoff again would be the first mission.
It comes down to whether the money is still there (maybe) and whether the Islanders’ commitment to term would trump a “show me” contract from another team.
Because it’s not about the money. If it was, he’d still be an Islander. 

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Ducks acquire C Thompson from Tampa Bay for picks (The Associated Press)

By at 29 June, 2014, 11:49 pm

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks acquired center Nate Thompson from Tampa Bay on Sunday night in a trade for two draft picks.

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Panthers take Ekblad with No. 1 pick in NHL draft (The Associated Press)

By at 28 June, 2014, 9:05 am

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — – Aaron Ekblad felt confident at No. 1, ready to move from the top of the draft straight to the NHL. ”I can step into the NHL next year,” he said. The Florida Panthers sure hope he’ll ready in a hurry to become part of a promisin…

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Panthers take Ekblad with No. 1 pick in NHL draft (The Associated Press)

By at 28 June, 2014, 1:50 am

Aaron Ekblad felt confident at No. 1, ready to move from the top of the draft straight to the NHL. ”I can step into the NHL next year,” he said. The Florida Panthers sure hope he’ll ready in a hurry to become part of a promising nucleus they expect…

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The deals that did (Kesler, Neal) and did not (Ekblad, Spezza) go down at the 2014 NHL draft (Yahoo Sports)

By at 27 June, 2014, 9:49 pm

2014 NHL draft: The Florida Panthers decided the offers weren’t good enough for the No. 1 overall pick, so they selected defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Ryan Kesler and James Neal were moved in draft-day trades, but the deal for Jason Spezza still hasn’t happ…

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Canucks start draft-day trading early with 3 deals (The Associated Press)

By at 27 June, 2014, 8:42 pm

The Vancouver Canucks were busy early on NHL draft day, sending star forward Ryan Kesler to Anaheim, and defenseman Jason Garrison to Tampa Bay as part of three trades hours before Florida chose Aaron Ekblad with the No. 1 selection Friday night. Whil…

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Islanders select forward Dal Colle with No. 5 pick (The Associated Press)

By at 27 June, 2014, 8:17 pm

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The New York Islanders held onto the No. 5 pick in the NHL draft, and came away with forward Michael Dal Colle on Friday night.

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