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Talbot Switches Sides and Signs in Philly

By: Tim Brennan

The Flyers continue to change up their roster as they have signed agitator Maxime Talbot to a reported 5 year deal worth $9 million. Talbot has pestered the Flyers for years as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he amassed 52 goals, 108 points and 324 PIMs in 5 seasons in the Igloo. The feisty center/winger fills the spot left vacant by rival and fellow pest Dan Carcillo. One has to wonder what GM Paul Holmgren is thinking with all these moves.

 


Flyers Sign Voracek, Lilja

By: Tim Brennan

According to the Flyers twitter account, the team has signed forward Jakub Voracek and free agent defenseman Andreas Lilja. Voracek came over in the trade with Columbus for Jeff Carter and became a restricted free agent earlier today. Lilja is a #6 defenseman who is being brought in to replace Sean O’Donnell, who signed with the Chicago Blackhawks an hour ago. Voracek scored 14 goals and 46 points in 80 games last season for Columbus while Lilja posted 1 goal and 7 points in 52 games with the Anaheim Ducks.


Jaromir Jagr Back in P.A.

By: Tim Brennan

According to the Flyers own Twitter account, the team has signed Jaromir Jagr to a one year deal. Jagr looks to make $3.3 million this season according to Darren Dreger of TSN. The Flyers seemed desperate to add a goal scorer to the lineup since they haven’t been able to get Ville Leino under contract and traded away Mike Richards and Jeff Carter a few weeks back. Jagr was negotiating a contract with Pittsburgh and Detroit earlier this week but both teams backed out prior to the start of free agency today.


Report: Andy Greene re-signs with Devils

By: Tim Brennan

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Devils have re-signed defenseman Andy Greene to a 4 year contract. Greene recorded 4 goals and 23 points while playing all 82 games in an up and down season for New Jersey. Even though he ended the year with a -23 plus/minus rating, Greene has potential as a puck moving defenseman and a building block for what the future will look like on the Devil’s blueline with Matt Corrente, Matt Taormina and recent first round draft choice Adam Larsson.


Flyers Court Couturier

By: Tim Brennan

The Flyers have chosen Sean Couturier with the 8th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. Couturier played last season with the Drummondville Voltiguers of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League posting 36 goals and 60 assists for 96 points in 58 games. The 6-4, 195 lbs. center has a great skill set and uses his size to his advantage. His offensive instincts and hockey sense are strong attributes but his forte is his ability to protect the puck while in traffic or under pressure. Scouts project that he will be a second line center who will average 60-70 points per season. It looks like Paul Holmgren found a replacement for Jeff Carter. To see what Couturier can do and will bring to the Flyers in the future, check out this video:


Flyers Revamp Roster, Trade Away Richards and Carter

By: Tim Brennan

June 23rd, 2011. This will go down as a historical day in the eyes of people who live and breath Flyers hockey.

During the early stages of the day, the Flyers traded forward Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for right wing Jakub Voracek, a 1st round pick (8th overall) in this year’s draft and a 3rd round pick (68th overall). This move was seen as a major salary dump to enable the Flyers to sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, whose rights they acquired June 7th. General Manager Paul Holmgren went ahead with a deal, signing the 31-year-old Russian netminder to a 9 year, $51 million contract that will put an annual cap hit of $5.67 million per season. Holmgren wasn’t finished however as he pulled the trigger on a trade that would send captain and franchise cornerstone Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings for hockey’s best prospect center Brayden Schenn, rugged winger Wayne Simmonds and a 2nd round pick in next year’s draft. When the dust settled, the Flyers had traded two centers earning close to $11 million combined and added a top rate goaltender.

What was Paul Holmgren thinking when he traded away two big names, signed a 31-year-old goaltender to a long-term, big money contract and basically altered the face of the franchise?

Although Holmgren was determined to land Bryzgalov, it comes as a shock that he traded both Carter and Richards. Ever since these two were selected in the first round of the 2003 draft (11th and 24th overall respectively), the Flyers brass have made it clear that these two were going to be their future stars and would become the face of the franchise. The team solidified their position by signing both to long-term deals; Richards to a 12 year deal in 2007 and Carter re-upped for 11 years in 2010.

The two were an important part of the Flyers AHL affiliate, the Phantoms, Calder Cup championship team in 2004 and joined the big club after the lockout. Richards drew comparisons to Flyers legend Bobby Clarke because of his ability to combine skill with a physical edge while Carter was deemed to be one of the team’s purest goal scorers in a long time. Both of them impacted the team immediately and proved the scouts right as Richards accumulated 133 goals and 216 points for 349 points in 453 games as a Flyer, including 23 shorthanded goals and made history by scoring 3 3-on-5 shorthanded goals for his career. Meanwhile Carter posted 181 goals and 343 points in 461 games, including two 30 goal seasons and a 40 goal season while becoming a league leader in shots year after year.

The only problem was all of this success didn’t always carry over to the post season. Richards, who has a reputation as a winner, won a championship at the junior level with the Kitchener Rangers along with a gold medal with Canada but hasn’t been as dynamic in the NHL playoffs. The past few years have shown that he hasn’t been able to step up as he pulled a disappearing act during the Stanley Cup Finals last year against Chicago, posting a measly 2 points in 6 games while recording a horrific -7 rating and did the same during this year’s semifinals versus the eventual Stanley Cup champs, the Boston Bruins. Carter has been just as unproductive during the post season, scoring 13 goals in 47 games which accounts to .28 goals per game, well below his regular season average of .40 goals per game.

Rumors have been circling Carter for close to three seasons now so it wasn’t a shock that the Flyers decided to move him. Due to the team’s strength down the middle, Carter has been moved around to all three forward positions so as to create a scoring balance. In a sense, it appeared that he was being pushed out while he was still on the team. With the emergence of Claude Giroux in the past few seasons and James van Riemsdyk’s impressive effort in this year’s playoffs, Carter was the odd man out. It also didn’t help that he goes through stretches of inconsistent play and has a propensity for turning over the puck and being lazy.

It came as a surprise that the team traded their team captain and playmaker Mike Richards, but people within the organization might have known this was coming. There were the stories about problems within the locker room between Richards and defenseman Chris Pronger, prior to the firing of head coach John Stevens. There was also the clashing between Richards and the media after they suggested that his partying lifestyle was affecting his performance as well as the team’s performance, which led to his refusal to talk with the media. His captaincy has been called into question numerous times and there were rumors that coach Peter Laviolette and Richards didn’t see eye to eye on how the team should be run. Due to his strong bond with Holmgren, the decision to trade him more than likely came from the top. It wouldn’t surprise me because Ed Snider has always been a critical part to major decisions the organization makes, such as the Lindros debacle in 2000-01.

Paul Holmgren did an excellent job of giving the other teams what they want and supplying the Flyers with what they needed. Carter provides the Blue Jackets with a number one center that they desperately needed to gel with star Rick Nash. Carter has the potential to continue scoring 30-40 goals a season, maybe even 50. Carter joins former teammates R.J. Umberger and Scottie Upshall on a Columbus roster that looks alot better while Richards will provide the Kings with a dynamic two-way game and give the team a great one two punch at center along with Anze Kopitar. Richards will be comfortable in L.A. with close friend and former coach John Stevens on the staff along with other people who have been associated with the Flyers organization in the past such as GM Dean Lombardi, assistant GM Ron Hextall and head coach Terry Murray.

The Flyers in the meantime got alot younger with the acquistions of Voracek, Schenn and Simmonds. Schenn is arguably the best prospect in hockey and will get a serious look during training camp this summer. The future looks great with Schenn being a projected superstar center with a knack for scoring goals, playing physical and being a force in both zones. Voracek is a big winger who has great hands and good vision of the ice. He wasn’t utilized that much on the Blue Jackets so coming to Philly to play as a top 6 forward will help his development. I’m excited to see what he can do playing on the same line with fellow youngsters Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. Simmonds is a tough winger who is tailor-made to don the orange and black. His ability to use his size to his advantage and score goals means that he will be a nice fit with the Flyers system.

Only time will tell whether the moves made on this day will help push the Flyers over the edge to a Stanley Cup championship or just keep them wondering where have we gone wrong.


Final Trade Chart

A final look at the trades from this month:

FEB. 28

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Jason Arnott, F David Steckel, F
2012 second-round pick
Dustin Penner, F Colten Teubert, D
2011 first-round pick
2011 first-round pick
Bryan Allen, D Sergei Samsonov, F
Brad Winchester, F Third-round pick
Chris Campoli, D Ryan Potulny, F
Conditional draft pick
Scottie Upshall, F
Sami Lepisto, D
Rostislav Klesla, D
Dane Byers, F
Dennis Wideman, D Jake Hauswirth, F
2011 third-round pick
Radek Dvorak, F
2011 fifth-round pick
Niclas Bergfors, F
Patrick Rissmiller, F
John Mitchell, F 2011 seventh-round pick
Fredrik Modin, F Seventh-round pick
Chris Higgins, F Evan Oberg, D
2013 third-round pick
Maxim Lapierre, F
MacGregor Sharp, F
Joel Perreault
2012 third-round pick
Drew MacIntyre, G Brett Festerling, D

FEB. 27

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Brad Boyes, F 2011 second-round pick
Brian McGrattan, F;
Sean Zimmerman, D
Stefan Chaput, F;
David Laliberte, F

FEB. 26

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Bryan McCabe, D Tim Kennedy, F
Third-round pick

FEB. 25

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Alexander Sulzer, D Conditional seventh-round pick

FEB. 24

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Dan Ellis, G Curtis McElhinney, G
Alexei Kovalev, F Conditional seventh-round pick
Brent Sopel, D
Nigel Dawes, F
Ben Maxwell, F
2011 fourth-round pick
Cory Stillman, F Ryan Carter, C
2011 fifth-round pick

FEB. 21

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Alex Goligoski, D James Neal, F
Matt Niskanen, D

FEB. 19

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kevin Shattenkirk, D
Chris Stewart, F
Second-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)
Erik Johnson, D
Jay McClement, F
First-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)

FEB. 18

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Tomas Kaberle, D Joe Colborne, F
2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional second-round pick
Blake Wheeler, F
Mark Stuart, D
Rich Peverley, F
Boris Valabik, D
Craig Anderson, G Brian Elliott, G
Future considerations Derek Joslin, D
Ian White, D 2012 second-round pick
2011 third-round pick
Rights to Brock Beukeboom, D
Eric Brewer, D

FEB. 17

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Jarkko Ruutu, F 2011 sixth-round pick
Paul Mara, D 2012 fifth-round pick

FEB. 15

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Chris Kelly, F 2011 second-round pick
Aaron Voros, F Conditional seventh-round pick

FEB. 14

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kris Versteeg, F 2011 first-round pick
2011 third-round pick

FEB. 10

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Mike Fisher, F 2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional pick

FEB. 9

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Francois Beauchemin, D Joffrey Lupul, F
Jake Gardiner, D
2013 conditional pick
Patrick Davis, F
Mike Swift, C
Jay Leach, D
Steve Zalewski, C
Al Montoya, G 2011 sixth-round pick
Michael Frolik, F
Alexander Salak, G
Jack Skille, F
Hugh Jessiman, F
David Pacan, F

Dustin Penner Traded To Los Angeles

It only took 6 1/2 of TSN coverage for a big deal to break as Dustin Penner is traded to the Los Angeles Kings for Colten Teubert, 1st round pick (2011), conditional pick (2012).

Penner gives the Kings playoff experience and gives them a big bodied forward who can get to the front of the net and score some dirty goals. The Kings are now an even more dangerous team going into the playoffs as they have a ton of scoring depth.

The Oilers get a great return for Penner. They free up over $4 million on the cap, Teubert was the Kings 13th overall choice in 2008, they also receive a 1st round pick this year and a conditional pick in 2012 which will be either a second or third round pick.


Two More Trades Come Through

With about 50 minutes left a couple more deals have slipped through the cracks.

The Florida Panthers trade defenseman Bryan Allen to the Carolina Hurricanes for Sergei Samsonov.

Secondly, the Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Chris Campoli and a conditional seventh round pick in 2011 from the Ottawa Senators for forward Ryan Potulny and conditional second round pick in 2011.

Campoli is the penalty killing defenseman that the Blackhawks have been looking for and Campoli has the ability to handle the puck pretty well.


Updated Trade Chart

Since the deadline has been slow I figured I would update the trade chart.

FEB. 28

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Scottie Upshall, F
Sami Lepisto, D
Rostislav Klesla, D
Dane Byers, F
Dennis Wideman, D Jake Hauswirth, F;
2011 third-round pick
Radek Dvorak, F
2010 fifth-round pick
Niclas Bergfors, F
Patrick Rissmiller, F

FEB. 27

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Brad Boyes, F 2011 second-round pick
Brian McGrattan, F;
Sean Zimmerman, D
Stefan Chaput, F;
David Laliberte, F

FEB. 26

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Bryan McCabe, D Tim Kennedy, F
Third-round pick

FEB. 25

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Alexander Sulzer, D Conditional seventh-round pick

FEB. 24

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Dan Ellis, G Curtis McElhinney, G
Alexei Kovalev, F Conditional seventh-round pick
Brent Sopel, D
Nigel Dawes, F
Ben Maxwell, F
2011 fourth-round pick
Cory Stillman, F Ryan Carter, C
2011 fifth-round pick

FEB. 21

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Alex Goligoski, D James Neal, F
Matt Niskanen, D

FEB. 19

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kevin Shattenkirk, D
Chris Stewart, F
Second-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)
Erik Johnson, D
Jay McClement, F
First-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)

FEB. 18

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Tomas Kaberle, D Joe Colborne, F
2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional second-round pick
Blake Wheeler, F
Mark Stuart, D
Rich Peverley, F
Boris Valabik, D
Craig Anderson, G Brian Elliott, G
Future considerations Derek Joslin, D
Ian White, D 2012 second-round pick
2011 third-round pick
Rights to Brock Beukeboom, D
Eric Brewer, D

FEB. 17

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Jarkko Ruutu, F 2011 sixth-round pick
Paul Mara, D 2012 fifth-round pick

FEB. 15

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Chris Kelly, F 2011 second-round pick
Aaron Voros, F Conditional seventh-round pick

FEB. 14

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kris Versteeg, F 2011 first-round pick
2011 third-round pick

FEB. 10

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Mike Fisher, F 2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional pick

FEB. 9

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Francois Beauchemin, D Joffrey Lupul, F
Jake Gardiner, D
2013 conditional pick
Patrick Davis, F
Mike Swift, C
Jay Leach, D
Steve Zalewski, C
Al Montoya, G 2011 sixth-round pick
Michael Frolik, F
Alexander Salak, G
Jack Skille, F
Hugh Jessiman, F
David Pacan, F

Blue Jackets Trade Former First Rounder Klesla to Phoenix

The trades are coming through very slowly today but hopefully this one opens the floodgates a little bit.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded former first-round pick, Rostislav Klesla to the Phoenix Coyotes for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto.

Klesla was the first pick ever for the Blue Jackets franchise when they selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2000 NHL entry draft. “Rusty” has been plagued by injuries in his career which has limited him from becoming a big factor on the Blue Jackets blueline.  He now moves to the desert to hopefully rejuvenate his career.


Florida Stays Busy as They Ship Wideman to Washington

Florida is helping to keep the trade deadline some what interesting right now as they have made their second trade within the last hour.

They are now shipping defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Washington for a third-round pick and Jake Hauswirth.

This trade is surprising from Washington’s standpoint because they have been chasing a second line center so another deal should be coming soon for them.

Here’s Wideman’s career statistics:

Year Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM Hits BkS PPG PPA SHG SHA GW SOG Pct
2005-06 STL 67 8 16 24 31 83 N/A N/A 5 9 1 0 1 150 .053
2006-07 STL 55 5 17 22 -7 44 N/A N/A 4 11 0 0 1 94 .053
2006-07 BOS 20 1 2 3 -3 27 N/A N/A 0 0 0 0 0 28 .036
2007-08 BOS 81 13 23 36 11 70 N/A N/A 9 11 0 0 1 171 .076
2008-09 BOS 79 13 37 50 32 34 N/A N/A 6 19 1 0 2 169 .077
2009-10 BOS 76 6 24 30 14 34 100 110 2 11 0 2 2 146 .041
2010-11 FLA 61 9 24 33 26 33 75 100 8 11 0 0 1 135 .067
Career 439 55 143 199 38 325 175 210 34 72 2 2 8 893 .062



First Trade is Complete

The first trade of the 2011 NHL trade deadline is complete and more will start to trickle in as the minutes pass by

The first trade is:

The Florida Panthers have traded forward Radek Dvorak and a fifth-round draft pick to the Atlanta Thrashers for  forward Patrick Rissmiller and winger Niclas Bergfors.


Updated Trade Chart

FEB. 26

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Bryan McCabe, D Tim Kennedy, F
Third-round pick

FEB. 25

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Alexander Sulzer, D Conditional seventh-round pick

FEB. 24

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Dan Ellis, G Curtis McElhinney, G
Alexei Kovalev, F Conditional seventh-round pick
Brent Sopel, D
Nigel Dawes, F
Ben Maxwell, F
2011 fourth-round pick
Cory Stillman, F Ryan Carter, C
2011 fifth-round pick

FEB. 21

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Alex Goligoski, D James Neal, F
Matt Niskanen, D

FEB. 19

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kevin Shattenkirk, D
Chris Stewart, F
Second-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)
Erik Johnson, D
Jay McClement, F
First-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)

FEB. 18

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Tomas Kaberle, D Joe Colborne, F
2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional second-round pick
Blake Wheeler, F
Mark Stuart, D
Rich Peverley, F
Boris Valabik, D
Craig Anderson, G Brian Elliott, G
Future considerations Derek Joslin, D
Ian White, D 2012 second-round pick
2011 third-round pick
Rights to Brock Beukeboom, D
Eric Brewer, D

FEB. 17

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Jarkko Ruutu, F 2011 sixth-round pick
Paul Mara, D 2012 fifth-round pick

FEB. 15

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Chris Kelly, F 2011 second-round pick
Aaron Voros, F Conditional seventh-round pick

FEB. 14

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kris Versteeg, F 2011 first-round pick
2011 third-round pick

FEB. 10

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Mike Fisher, F 2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional pick

FEB. 9

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Francois Beauchemin, D Joffrey Lupul, F
Jake Gardiner, D
2013 conditional pick
Patrick Davis, F
Mike Swift, C
Jay Leach, D
Steve Zalewski, C
Al Montoya, G 2011 sixth-round pick
Michael Frolik, F
Alexander Salak, G
Jack Skille, F
Hugh Jessiman, F
David Pacan, F

Rangers Acquire McCabe for Kennedy and 3rd Round Pick

By Eric Bancker

Trade season officially started for the New York Rangers today as they acquired Bryan McCabe from the Florida Panthers for Tim Kennedy and a 3rd round pick.

The Rangers are able bolster their blueline with a very good, offensive minded, veteran defenseman. McCabe will also help the Rangers powerplay which has been horrible all season as they now sit 21st in the NHL. McCabe has 143 goals in his career, 72 of which have come on the powerplay so the Rangers are getting a legitimate powerplay quarterback for their playoff run.

Tim Kennedy was sent back in return to the Panthers. Kennedy signed a two-year deal with the Rangers this off-season but was sent to the AHL earlier this year and for fear of losing him via re-entry waivers, the Rangers decided to leave him in the minors until next season when they could call him back up.

So for the Rangers to acquire a powerplay quarterback with an expiring contract for a player that they weren’t going to call up until next year and a 3rd round pick is another great move for general manager, Glen Sather. Sather acquired Wojtek Wolski for Michal Rozsival earlier this season so he is 2-for-2 on trades so far. Glen Sather may need to be arrested for robbery because he has been able to get rid of unwanted parts for players that can immediately help this team.

Now everyone is questioning whether the Rangers still have cap space to go acquire Brad Richards and with how good Sather is at trading, I wouldn’t count them out. It was reported earlier in the week that Stars general manager, Joe Nieuwendyk, was requesting Derek Stepan, Brandon Dubinsky, and Marc Staal in exchange for Brad Richards. Now if Nieuwendyk really expects the Rangers to part with all of that for Richards then I don’t see him coming to Broadway until this summer. Now with the way Sather is with trades you may see Richards in New York on Monday for Matt Gilroy, $3.99, and a bag of chips. The Rangers best move might be to wait until July to go after Richards, that way they don’t have to part with some of their young players. Richards won’t help them win a cup this year so why sacrifice the future?

McCabe will most likely get his first action in a Rangers uniform tomorrow when the Rangers go back home to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Major Blockbuster Deal Being Discussed Between Los Angeles and Colorado

By Eric Bancker

At this point this is just a rumor but it’s one of the main things that people are talking about right now.

The Avalanche have a surplus at center and with Matt Duchene coming back in a few days from a hand injury, the Avs are rumored to be moving one of their centers. The main name being tossed around is Paul Stastny’s.

Here is the proposed trade:

Kings acquire:
Paul Stastny
T.J Galiardi
Maybe another player/pick

Avs acquire:
Jack Johnson
Jonathan Bernier
Jarret Stoll

Now again this is just a rumor but if this trade were to go down it would easily be the biggest trade so far and it would really shake up the Western Conference. The Avalanche already made a major trade when they traded for former 1st overall pick, Erik Johnson, just a few days ago.

The NHL trade deadline is just a week away and its been one of the most active deadlines in recent memory and with rumors like this it will only make the next week more and more interesting.


Penguins/Stars Trade – Feb 21st

James Neal

By: Jonathan Kovacs

There has only been one trade since the last update by Eric Bancker, but this one is worth mentioning. The Pittsburgh Penguins traded away Alex Goligoski, their talented young defenseman who has been a solid player so far in his young career to the Dallas Stars. The Stars sent promising winger James Neal and former 1st round pick in the ’05 draft, Matt Niskanen. I’d say the Penguins got the better deal here, Neal is having a good year tallying 39 points in 59 games up to this point. Niskanen isn’t bad either, he is young and still has some upside. I’m not counting out Goligoski either, but Neal has the potential to be a superstar, consider this one a win for the Ray Shero and the Pens.


Rangers Lose, Gaborik Hurt, What’s Next?

By Eric Bancker

Things can’t get much worse for the New York Rangers right now. They put together a half-hearted effort, until the 3rd period, this afternoon against the Flyers and Marian Gaborik went down with and undisclosed injury which turned out to be a concussion.

The Rangers were able to score first against the Flyers when Wotjek Wolski got one past Brian Boucher but the Rangers shutdown after that and let the Flyers take it to them.

The Rangers came alive in the 3rd period and looked like a completely different team and they threw everything they could at the net but in the end it just wasn’t enough to beat Boucher and the Flyers. Boucher was phenomenal today and out-dueled Henrik Lundqvist. Does that make you cringe Rangers fans?

The Rangers can’t seem to score as they have only scored over three goals just five times since they beat Toronto 7-0 on January 19th, which is a 13 game span.

Henrik Lundqvist has also been below average as he has allowed soft goal after soft goal, including a couple today. Lundqvist has lost confidence in himself and it’s showing and when this team isn’t scoring, like they haven’t been for the past five years, they can usually rely on him to shut the door and give them a chance but it hasn’t happened too often lately.

So with the trade deadline a week away, what do the Rangers do?

They obviously need scoring and Bryan McCabe is being looked at as a possible powerplay quarterback for the Rangers.

Filip Kuba and Chris Neil have been mentioned from the Ottawa Senators but neither one can fulfill the Rangers need for scoring at this point.

Brad Richards is off of the table now that he recently suffered a concussion so the Rangers most likely will not pursue him until the off-season.

At this point Glen Sather needs to do something and fast because the Rangers are sinking rather quickly and are about to find themselves outside of the playoff race which at this point may be a good thing with the way they have played because they don’t stand a chance of winning a seven-game series.

Most Ranger fans are calling for Gaborik to be traded but I’m sure they will all break their ankles when he starts scoring again because they will be forced to jump off of the “Trade Gaborik” bandwagon. Last time I checked the guy is a two-time 40 goal scorer, one of which was last year when he lit the lamp 42 times.

The Rangers are now showing their true identity, a rough and tough team that can out muscle you but not out score you. They are the sixth youngest team in the NHL and they aren’t Stanley Cup bound just yet. They teased us earlier in the season with the amazing run that they had but injuries and inconsistent play have helped to show that this team just isn’t ready for a deep playoff run. They still need to shred contracts, (Drury), and continue to develop their young talent so until then they just need to focus their sights on making the playoffs and they need to do that without jeopardizing their future. The playoffs are a great benchmark for this young team and it will keep the fan base happy, for now.


Rundown of Recent Trades

In case you have missed any of the trades so far this month, here is a quick rundown of the recent trades to catch you back up:

FEB. 19

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kevin Shattenkirk, D
Chris Stewart, F
Second-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)
Erik Johnson, D
Jay McClement, F
First-round pick
(either 2011 or 2012)

FEB. 18

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Tomas Kaberle, D Joe Colborne, F
2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional second-round pick
Blake Wheeler, F
Mark Stuart, D
Rich Peverley, F
Boris Valabik, D
Craig Anderson, G Brian Elliott, G
Future considerations Derek Joslin, D
Ian White, D 2012 second-round pick
2011 third-round pick
Rights to Brock Beukeboom, D
Eric Brewer, D

FEB. 17

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Jarkko Ruutu, F 2011 sixth-round pick
Paul Mara, D 2012 fifth-round pick

FEB. 15

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Chris Kelly, F 2011 second-round pick
Aaron Voros, F Conditional seventh-round pick

FEB. 14

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Kris Versteeg, F 2011 first-round pick
2011 third-round pick

FEB. 10

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Mike Fisher, F 2011 first-round pick
2012 conditional pick

FEB. 9

TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION TEAM PLAYER/COMPENSATION
Francois Beauchemin, D Joffrey Lupul, F
Jake Gardiner, D
2013 conditional pick
Patrick Davis, F
Mike Swift, C
Jay Leach, D
Steve Zalewski, C
Al Montoya, G 2011 sixth-round pick
Michael Frolik, F
Alexander Salak, G
Jack Skille, F
Hugh Jessiman, F
David Pacan, F

Turning Over a New Leaf

With the trade deadline just a week away its easy to say that the Maple Leafs have been the most active team before the deadline.

The Leafs had multiple assets that they could trade away and they spent no time in doing so.

Here’s a look at how busy the Leafs have been over the past 10 days:

February 9th: Francois Beauchemin was sent packing to his former team, the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, and a 4th round pick in 2013. The Leafs acquired the bloated contract that is Joffrey Lupul but he has been providing a spark for the team as he has three points in his first four games in a Leafs uniform.

February 14th: The next to go was forward Kris Versteeg, who never really found his way in Toronto after an off-season trade from the Blackhawks. Versteeg was traded to the Flyers for a 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick in this year’s upcoming draft. The Leafs were able to free up a little over $3 million off of their salary cap and the Flyers acquired yet another scoring threat giving them the best scoring depth in the NHL

February 15th: The next deal was a small one as the Leafs acquired Aaron Voros from the Anaheim Ducks for a 7th round pick. Brian Burke loves to have tough guys in the lineup and Voros will help Colton Orr rest his fists every once in a while as Voros can fight, not well, but he can fight.

Just as a side note the Leafs have a tendency to acquire ex-Ranger fourth liners. Colton Orr, Fredrik Sjostrom, Aaron Voros, and Ryan Hollweg, who is no longer with the team.

February 18th: The most recent trade, and most noteworthy, is Tomas Kaberle being traded to the Boston Bruins for Joe Colborne, a 1st round pick this year, and a conditional 2nd round pick which the Leafs would receive if the Boston were to either re-sign Kaberle or if they make the Stanley Cup Finals. Kaberle has been part of the Leafs for the last 12 years and it was a sad moment for him to leave the team that drafted him but after years of speculation Kaberle has finally moved on.

There was also a report from the Toronto Sun that a Leaf’s scout said that Phil Kessel’s name was being dangled in trade talks. Burke immediately denied the claims and it wouldn’t make much sense for the Leafs to move him since they paid a hefty price to acquire him in the first place.

Additions:
Joffrey Lupul
Jake Gardiner
4th round pick (2013)
1st round pick (2011)
3rd round pick (2011)
Aaron Voros
Joe Colborne
1st round pick (2011)
Conditional 2nd round pick (2011)

Subtractions:
Francois Beauchemin
Kris Versteeg
Conditional 7th round pick
Tomas Kaberle

There’s no doubt that the Leafs have been busy and with nine potential new assets added to the organization, you can see that they are building toward their future. What else is in store for the Leafs? No one knows for sure but with Brian Burke in control there will be no shortage of speculation from the fans and media on what his next move will be.


Rangers Moving on From Souray, Set Sights on Kaberle and McCabe

As the trade deadline draws near one thing is for certain for the New York Rangers, they need scoring and they need it badly.

The Rangers have now dropped six straight and the offense has looked atrocious, averaging exactly two goals a game.

The team’s superstar, Marian Gaborik, has seemingly dropped off of the face of the earth. Gaborik hasn’t scored a goal since January 24th against the Washington Capitals. After scoring 42 goals last season, he has only scored 16 goals in the 43 games he has played this year which is far below average for the five-time 30 goal scorer.

The Rangers have been relying on players like Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust to bail them out offensively but now that well has dried up and the Rangers playoff hopes are starting to die of thirst.

So with the trade deadline just two and a half weeks away the Rangers will be looking to gear up for a playoff run. The Rangers were reportedly interested in Oilers defenseman, Sheldon Souray, and were ready to trade for him before a few of the Rangers scouts reported that Souray was “Too slow for the AHL much less for the NHL”. All talks of acquiring Souray have died down and now the Rangers will turn their focus to Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe.

Tomas Kaberle has been a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs for his entire 12 year career. Kaberle is not a flatout goal scorer from the blueline but he knows how to distribute the puck to his teammates. Kaberle averages 36 assists a season and is on pace for 49 assists this season. Kaberle has always been known as a powerplay quarterback but the one thing that drives Leafs fans up a wall when it comes to Kaberle is his hesitation to shoot the puck. Kaberle will most likely be on top of the Rangers shopping list over these next two weeks.

Bryan McCabe is the opposite of Tomas Kaberle, he has always been known for his ability to shoot the puck and to rack up large goal totals from the blueline. McCabe isn’t as much of an offensive threat like he was just a few years ago but he could still add quite a bit of offense to the team which, as I mentioned before, they need horribly.

The nice thing for the Rangers is the fact that both Kaberle and McCabe have contracts that expire this upcoming off-season. The Rangers will have about $15 million to spend this off-season with the current roster they have. The main problem for the Rangers is that they will need to re-sign three main pieces to their young core as Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Artem Anisimov all have expiring contracts and will be due for a raise.

The Rangers have recently shredded two big contracts off of the books (Rozsival and Redden) but they still have one bloated contract left and that would be the $7 million cap hit that Chris Drury carries. Chris Drury’s offense has evaporated completely and at this point of his career he is a third or fourth line player who is best suited for penalty-killing duty. The best thing for the Rangers to do is to buyout Drury’s contract this summer which would save them roughly $9 million of cap space over the next two years. Now the best case scenario is if Drury decides to retire this off-season which means they wouldn’t have to pay any of his contract on the cap, but it seems very unlikely that he will choose to do that.

Not only do the Rangers want to prepare themselves for the playoffs but they also need to look ahead to this off-season as they need to make sure that they can re-sign their young players and also have the ability to land a big fish in free agency, such as Brad Richards. The Rangers aren’t usually conservative at the trade deadline and Glen Sather is a wizard when it comes to making trades so I’m expecting him to make moves that benefit the team over the next few months of the season and that benefit them once the off-season rolls around.


Rangers Starting to Get Healthy as the Trade Deadline Nears

The Rangers have been through hell and back over the last month and a half. A team that has notorious with being able to stay healthy over the past couple of years has been decimated by injuries this season. The Rangers have been without a huge portion of their roster for most of the season.

Here’s a quick rundown of the notable injuries the team has been forced to overcome:

Marian Gaborik–  Injured October 15th, missed 12 games. Now its no surprise that Gaborik got injured but the team relies on Marian so heavily as when he is healthy there is no sniper that is quite as lethal.

Ryan Callahan – Injured December 15th, missed 19 games. Callahan broke his hand blocking a shot in mid-December against the Penguins. Callahan was the leading scorer at the time and of course Cally is a heart and soul player that the Rangers desperately need. He was finally able to return to the lineup on Tuesday, expect him to be a key piece to the Rangers stretch run puzzle.

Brandon Dubinsky- Injured…to be honest no one has a clue when he was injured. He played through a fracture in his leg for as long as he could but he eventually needed to be taken out of the lineup, he missed five games before returning on Tuesday.

Erik Christensen- Christensen has been out since December 30th with a strained MCL and is time on the injured list is coming to an end as he could be back in the lineup within the next week or so.

Ruslan Fedotenko- He was originally out of the lineup with a separated shoulder but now an appendectomy has him sidelined for another 3-4 weeks.

Vinny Prospal- Prospal has been out all year with complications from his surgically repaired right knee but he is now coming back into the lineup tonight against the Devils which is huge, especially for Marian Gaborik.

Now Callahan and Dubinsky were able to return to the lineup on Tuesday against the Penguins and now they get Prospal back tonight. The team now sits in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with 62 points, only two points out of 5th place which with a win against the Devils tonight it would move them into a tie for 5th place in the East.

The Rangers are getting healthy at just the right time, we are now just 25 days from the NHL trade deadline. The Rangers also only have 29 games left in the regular season and they are going to need to get healthy and stay healthy to make a strong stretch run to the playoffs.

Now as for the NHL trade deadline, the Rangers are players every single year when the deadline rolls around and this year will be no different. The main piece that they will look to add will be the likes of Brad Richards from the Dallas Stars. This move seems to be unlikely because the Stars are 3rd in the West and I don’t see them moving one of their main offensive weapons at the trade deadline unless it’s for a huge return. The Rangers’ best bet is to wait until July when they can offer him a contract when he is unrestricted free agent, that is if he doesn’t re-sign with the Stars first.

Other names that the Rangers might pursue:

Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes. Cole has 13 goals, and 17 assists in 51 games this season. Cole would be a nice addition for the Rangers to add as he has plenty of experience in the playoffs including a Stanley Cup ring in 2006.

Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the Calgary Flames? No, it’s not that they suck. The first name that comes to mind is Jarome Iginla. Iggy has been the face of that franchise for the past decade and I’m sure the Rangers would love to add the superstar to their lineup. Iginla has scored at least 28 goals in the last 11 seasons and at least 30 for the last 9 seasons. If the Rangers are going to acquire any big name at the deadline then I except Iginla to be that big name.

Tomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This guy’s name has been involved in trade rumors for the past couple of seasons and now it seems as though it could finally happen and the Rangers could use a powerplay like himself. With Del Zotto having an off-year, the Rangers would really benefit from having a strong offensive defenseman at their disposal.

Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils. Now I don’t see a scenario where Parise gets traded to the Rangers but it is fun to entertain the idea. If the Rangers were to land Parise then it would give them a young superstar to pair with Gaborik and give the Rangers a lethal one-two punch.

As usual the trade deadline will be active and full of excitement. For all the coverage and breakdown of every deal and rumor make sure you check in right here at Atlantic Division Hockey.





Rangers Shopping Alex The Not So Great?


By Eric Bancker

Alex Frolov’s short time as a New York Ranger has been painful for everyone involved. Frolov inked a one year/$3 million deal with the Rangers this past offseason in the hopes of adding some offense to the stale blueshirts attack.

Frolov started off somewhat strong, collecting five points in the first month of the season. Since November 1st, Frolov has only tallied seven points, four of which came in a 8-2 thrashing of the Edmonton Oilers. He hasn’t contributed on the powerplay either, as he has only one point on the powerplay so far this season.

Alex has been bounced around in the Rangers lineup, at first finding himself on the top line but he has now been banished to fourth line duty. This is very similar to what happened to him last year in Los Angeles. Frolov was benched because of lazy play and lack of production thus prompting the Kings to give him a one-way ticket out-of-town.

The Rangers have been able to have success without Frolov being at his best though, as they now sit in a tie for 5th in the Eastern Conference. Although there a numerous reports that the Rangers would like to add Dallas Stars center, Brad Richards, for their playoff run. Every single year Rangers fans have heard the rumors of Richards coming to New York but a deal was never worked out, but that could change this season, although it seems unlikely. The Stars are currently at the top of the Western Conference and its hard to imagine them trading a player of Richards caliber.

It seems as though Frolov has run out of time in New York as multiple news outlets, including the Ottawa Sun, are reporting that Glen Sather has been shopping the Russian winger. There is only one problem though, there aren’t many takers right now for Frolov. Ottawa has apparently kicked the tires on a possible deal but it doesn’t seem like there is even any sort of ground work for a deal to this point. Frolov was recently asked in an interview if he was going to ask for a trade, he said that he felt as though it wasn’t the time just yet. Sather doesn’t seem willing to wait for Frolov to ask for one.

Moving Frolov may not be easy but if there is one thing that Glen Sather is good at, and I’m positive that this is the only thing he is good at, is that he is a wizard when it comes to trades. He has the ability to ship bad contracts out-of-town, e.g. Scott Gomez.


New York Rangers Quarter Report Cards

Since the season is now a little past quarter of the way done I decided its time to take the Rangers back to school and give them their first quarter report cards.

Artem Anisimov
Games Played: 23
Goals: 7
Assists: 8
Points: 15

Grade: A-

 

Comments: Anisimov is having a solid sophomore campaign and he has been really successful with his new linemates, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. This trio is the only line that hasn’t been juggled by coach John Tortorella because of their success. Anisimov helped offensively while Marian Gaborik was out of the lineup with a dislocated shoulder. Anisimov will look to continue on his great start and hopefully become a top-line center for the Rangers.

Sean Avery
Games Played: 23
Goals: 1
Assists: 8
Points: 9
Grade: D-

Comments: I’m not sure why Rangers fans still love this guy so much, it truly baffles me. Avery has become less and less effective over the past few years and he is more of a pain to his own team than anything else.  He’s a bad teammate, and he’s a bad hockey player, do I really need to say more?


Martin Biron
Games Started: 7
Record: 5-2-0
Goals Against Average: 2.15
Save Percentage: .917%
Grade: A-

Comments: Biron had a rough season last year as a member of the New York Islanders but the Rangers knew all along that they wanted him to be the backup for Henrik Lundqvist. Biron has been great in net and other than a beating by the Thrashers in October he has really looked good in every game. Biron is providing stability for the Rangers in-goal since Henrik Lundqvist has been shaky this season.

Derek Boogaard
Games Played: 18
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
Points: 2
Penalty Minutes: 33

Grade: D-

Comments:
He scored his first goal in over four years….thats about the only positive thing Boogaard has done all season. Boogaard is getting paid $1.65 million a year to fight and he has done that but he isn’t worth the green that he receives, he’s also been a healthy scratch a few time already this season.


Brian Boyle
Games Played: 23
Goals: 10
Assists: 1
Points: 11
Grade: B+


Comments:
If someone would have told me that at the quarter mark of the season that Brian Boyle would have just as many goals as Alex Ovechkin I might have died from laughing so hard, but here we are and its a reality. I’m not trying to make fun of Brian Boyle, I like the guy, but he’s not the goal scoring type although he has always been a player that had the potential to do some great things. He’s on pace to score 30 goals, any Rangers fan will take that from Boyle.

Ryan Callahan
Games Played: 22
Goals: 5
Assists: 12
Points: 17
Grade: A-

Comments:
Heart and soul player, future captain, the only name that can come to mind is Ryan Callahan. This guy has always flirted with becoming a good offensive player and this year. You can combine that with his hitting ability and willingness to block shots and you’re getting someone who is becoming a complete player.

Erik Christensen:
Games Played: 22
Goals: 3
Assists: 5
Points: 8
Grade: C+ 

Comments: Christensen was a waiver pickup last season and he was very helpful for the Rangers coming down the stretch. He re-signed with the Rangers and has been solid so far this season. He isn’t a big offensive contributor and he’s okay on defense and he can win face-offs. Nothing spectacular but a good third or fourth line center.

Michael Del Zotto
Games Played: 23
Goals: 2
Assists: 5
Points: 7
Grade: C-

Comments: Del Zotto had a great rookie season but so far he has looked lost in his second season. He has been okay offensively but his defense has been very poor and at times he looks like he’s still a rookie out there. The Rangers need him to return to the form he was in last season.
 

Brandon Dubinsky
Games Played: 23
Goals: 12
Assists: 7
Points: 19
Grade: A


Comments:
To put it plain and simple, Brandon Dubinsky has been the best forward on the Rangers. After a few years of getting 40 points and not really showing signs of breaking out he has finally broken out and has been having himself a great season. He is the most consistent player the Rangers have and they will look for him to improve on his already impressive numbers.

 

Steve Eminger
Games Played: 21
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
Points: 2
Grade: D

Comments: I have no idea why Eminger is still on the team, he’s a mess out there on most nights. He isn’t going to contribute on offense but his defense has been bad. He can throw the body around which is nice but, much like the rest of the Rangers defense, he is out of position a lot but I guess he has gotten a little better since the beginning of the season but, what do you call getting a little better than atrocious? 
 

Ruslan Fedotenko
Games Played: 23
Goals: 4
Assists: 7
Points: 11
Grade: B-

Comments:
Fedotenko was a late signing but he has been a nice addition to the Rangers lineup. He appears a bit snake bitten at times but he doesn’t give up and he has been getting a lot of chances, expect him to cash in on more of his opportunities as the season moves along.

Alex Frolov
Games Played: 23
Goals: 5
Assists: 6
Points: 11
Grade: C-

Comments: Alex has been anything but great so far this season. When the season opened up, a lot of people thought that Rangers had a nice combo with Frolov and Gaborik but with Gaborik getting hurt early in the season and being out of the lineup it seemed like he took Frolov with him. Frolov has been playing better since Gaborik came back but he just doesn’t seem comfortable. The chances are there for Frolov but either he misses the net, shoots it back into the goalie, or he doesn’t get enough on the shot.

Marian Gaborik
Games Played: 11
Goals: 4
Assists: 6
Points: 10
Grade: B-

Comments: Gaborik has been doing well since he came back from his shoulder injury but his numbers are a bit deceiving since he had a hat-trick against the Oilers so his numbers look a little better than they really are. Gaborik may still be feeling discomfort in his shoulder, but it’s only a matter of time before Gaborik starts lighting the lamp on a nightly basis.

Matt Gilroy
Games Played: 16
Goals: 0
Assists: 3
Points: 3
Grade: D-

Comments: Gilroy is having another rough season, the former Hobey Baker award winner is having a tough time adjusting to the NHL. But at the age of 26, he is running out of time to get adjusted. Gilroy’s contract expires at the end of the season so if things don’t change he may have to look for a new home which won’t be easy to do.

Dan Girardi
Games Played: 23
Goals: 2
Assists: 11
Points: 13

Comments: Girardi has been the Rangers best defenseman so far this season both offensively and defensively. He leads the Rangers in blocked shots and he is the main reason why the Rangers lead the league in blocked shots as team. Girardi got a big contract extension this off-season and he has earned every single penny, not too bad for a guy who was an undrafted free agent.

Henrik Lundqvist
Games Played: 16
Record: 7-8-1
Goal Against Average: 2.90
Save Percentage: .910%
Grade: C

Comments: Oh boy, its tough to see Lundqvist struggling early on in the season. The guy who has been the backbone of the Rangers for the last 5 years and he is now turning to his team to help get him out of this slump, the only problem is the team hasn’t answered the call. Lundqvist is too good and too competitive to stay down for much longer, once he gets going it’s going to be lights out for the Rangers opponents.

Brandon Prust:
Games Played: 23
Goals: 0
Assists: 6
Points: 6
Grade: B

Comments: Prust has been the spark plug that he was last season. The guy doesn’t give up and he isn’t afraid to drop the gloves. Prust is a fan favorite in New York and for good reasons, he’s been great.

Michael Sauer
Games Played: 17
Goals: 0
Assists: 3
Points: 3
Grade: C+

Comments: Sauer has had a rough transition from the AHL to the NHL but he is starting to get the hang of playing defense in the NHL. Sauer will continue to grow and learn as the season goes on.

Marc Staal
Games Played: 23
Goals: 3
Assists: 3
Points: 6
Grade: C

Comments: Talk about the most overrated player on the team, Staal is not as good as everyone claims. The only good defensive plays he makes are right after he turns the puck over and too many times he has been caught pinching in the offensive zone which leads to odd man rushes the other way. Staal needs to be more responsible in the defensive zone and not worry about scoring goals.

Derek Stepan
Games Played: 23
Goals: 5
Assists: 8
Points: 13
Grade: B-

Comments: Stepan has come back to earth after getting a hat-trick in his first NHL game. He has still been pretty good considering as he is second in rookie scoring behind only Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes. Stepan is still learning and before you know it he will be a valuable weapon for the Rangers.