Posts tagged “NHL

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

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.


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.


A Look at the Frontrunners for the NHL Awards

By Eric Bancker

The NHL Awards aren’t handed out  until June but with the All-Star Game voting underway it seems like the debate has started for who is going to walk home with what hardware for their mantel. Here’s a look at a few awards and who may be winning them come June.

Hart Trophy: awarded annually to the “player adjudged most valuable to his team” in the National Hockey League.

Winner: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Games Played: 22
Goals: 21
Assists: 17
Points: 38
Powerplay Goals: 10
Shots: 87

When you talk about the best players in the NHL two names come to mind, Ovechkin and Crosby, but now there is a new player in the discussion and that guy is Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Stamkos has looked amazing early on and he looks like he’s only getting better. There is also talk that Stamkos may flirt with one of the most elite clubs in NHL history, the 50 goals in 50 games club. Only five players in NHL history have accomplished this, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Mike Bossy, “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Brett Hull. Regardless of whether Stamkos reaches the 50 goals in 50 games plateau he is in perfect position to bring home the Hart Trophy.

Dark Horse: Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Games Played: 22
Goals: 8
Assists: 21
Points: 29
Powerplay Points: 15

If there is anyone that can take the Hart Trophy away from Stamkos it may be his teammate and linemate, Martin St. Louis. St. Louis is most responsible for Stamkos success as he has really helped him to grow. St. Louis is on pace for about 107-108 points, which would be a career high for him. He is one of the most underrated players in the NHL but I don’t think anyone will be able to overlook him this year.

Calder Trophy:  award given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.”Winner: Sergei Bobrovsky, Philadelphia Flyers
Games Played: 17
Record: 12-3-1
Goals Against Average: 2.21
Save Percentage: .925%

It’s only November but Bobrovsky is already becoming one of the best goalies in the NHL. The Flyers have spent the last decade looking for a goalie to take them to that next level and early on “Bob” is looking like the guy to do it. Flyers fans were excited to have Michael Leighton back as their starter after a strong playoff run last year that saw them make the Stanley Cup, but an injury has led to Bobrovsky stealing the show and stealing Leighton’s job.

Runner-up: Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes
Games Played: 21
Goals: 6
Assists: 11
Points: 17
Shots: 53

Skinner was surprise draft pick, the Hurricanes took him with the 7th overall pick in the 2010 draft and he has repaid them nicely. Skinner leads all rookies in points and he has really grown into a good player for the Hurricanes. equipped with speed and a good shot it seems like the youngest player in the NHL isn’t showing his age to this point.

Vezina Trophy: awarded annually to the National Hockey League’s goaltender who is “adjudged to be the best at this position”.

Winner: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
Games Played: 14
Record: 11-1-1
Goals Against Average: 1.46
Save Percentage: .955%

Tim Thomas’ career is like a rollercoaster for Bruins fans. In 2008-2009, he was the best goalie in the NHL and he captured the Vezina Trophy for the first time in his career. Last season he lost his job to Tuukka Rask and he just didn’t look like the same goalie as he had a sub- .500 record. Now this season it seems like Thomas is back and he is playing better than ever. Leading the league in goals against average and save percentage and there isn’t a better goalie in the game right now.

Runner-up: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Games Played: 21
Record: 13-7-1
Goals Against Average: 2.00
Save Percentage: .933
Shutouts: 4

I never thought that Carey “Swiss Cheese Glove Hand” Price would be mentioned as a Vezina Trophy nominee at any point of the season. All the comparisons to Patrick Roy were too much for him over the past three years and he has crumbled under the pressure of the Montreal fans. He was under even more pressure this season when the team shipped off Jaroslav Halak, who was the main force behind the Canadiens playoff run, leaving Price as the lone man in net but he has answered the call, for once.


Rangers Look to Rebound Tonight Against the Devils

By Eric Bancker

The Rangers are coming off a poor performance last night as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. The Rangers found themselves in penalty trouble and just got beat down by the red-hot Flyers.

Now the Rangers come into Newark to face a familiar foe in the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have had an awful start to the season. After everything they went through to acquire superstar sniper, Ilya Kovalchuk, I’m sure they were expecting better results. They are the worst team in the NHL in scoring and they are third worst in goals against and also boast the fourth worst record in the NHL at 4-9-1. They are also 0-4-1 in their own building this year.

The Rangers are now 6-5-1 and are tied with Pittsburgh for second place in the Atlantic Division. The offense has been strong for the Rangers but the defense on the other hand has been a disaster, especially the penalty kill. They will be looking to get back on the winning track against the struggling Devils

Injuries:

Usually when you talk Rangers-Devils hockey two names are brought up instantly, Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur. These games are all about these two goaltenders, low scoring affairs with flashy goaltending is the standard for Rangers-Devils hockey. Henrik Lundqvist has been a Devil killer since he came into the league in 05-06. His record currently stands at 19-7-5 with a 1.89 goals against average, the Rangers put their faith in Lundqvist to beat the Devils and he does it time in and time out. Rangers head coach, John Tortorella had this to say about Lundqvist’s success against the Devils, “I’m playing Hank against New Jersey,” said Tortorella at the morning skate Friday. “I don’t care if it’s four games in four nights, Hank’s playing against Jersey.”

Brodeur on the other hand has a record of 42-24-15-5 with a 2.10 goals against average, he has been a thorn in the Rangers side ever since he stepped on to the ice in 1991. Now Brodeur will not be able to play in this game tonight due to a sore elbow so the great goaltending matchup that everyone loves won’t be here. Now the Rangers, as well as their fans, may feel better not having to face Brodeur but there is still one problem…the Devils signed Ranger killer, Johan Hedberg this off-season. Hedberg has a record of 11-4-2 with a 2.12 goals against average, so the Rangers don’t get much of a break here.

The Rangers have had their own mash unit this season. Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, and Chris Drury have all been out for the past few weeks with injuries and Ryan Callahan can now be added to the list. The Rangers top scorer will not dress tonight as he is “too sore” to play, Callahan plays hard and his bound to get banged up but he is a really tough guy so if he can’t play then there is something really bothering him. Alex Frolov, who seems to be suffering from a case of  Chris Higgins syndrome, will most likely take his place on the top line tonight. Frolov has only two goals and five points in 12 games so far this season but being paired with red-hot forwards, Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky may help him breakthrough.

Rangers may also be without winger Ruslan Fedotenko was elbowed in the head by the wonderful, Daniel Carcillo in last night’s game. He seems to be ready to go but if he can’t then the Rangers will go with 11 forwards and seven defenseman. Todd White will also be back in the lineup tonight as well to help fill in with all the injuries to the Rangers forward corps.

Prediction:

Even with all their injuries the Rangers should still be able to beat the Devils and that’s because of one person, Henrik Lundqvist. When the Rangers need him he delivers and even if the Rangers forwards and defenseman were swapped with a pee-wee hockey team, sometimes they look like they are, the Rangers would still have a chance to win this game. Lundqvist is just that good.

Rangers win 2-1