The Sharks have announced that they have signed Antti Niemi to a four-year contract extension. Another smart agent...
Corey Crawford is 7-1-1 in his last nine and he sits second in league GAA with 2.13. With the top rookie scorer on pace for just 60 points and Crawford possibly winning 12 of the final 19 games (giving him 35 wins), does he get into the Top 3 in Calder voting?
Michael Frolik is now nine games without a point in Chicago. Now it's just getting funny to watch. This is a former 45-point rookie who took his sophomore slump and turned it into a third-year disaster.
Marek Zidlicky has just one point in six games since returning to the lineup. A sluggish start,he obviously needs a few more games to find the magic.
Brad Richardson picked up two more points before he goes - from the first line, that is. That's Dustin Penner's spot I'm sure.
After a 9-1-1 run, Jonathan Quick got the hook last night, giving up six goals on 24 shots.
Milan Hejduk has two points in his last nine games.
Many in the media and blogosphere and around the web blame Dale Tallon for Chicago's tight cap situation and any bad moves/late faxes. But I think he's brilliant. He won that Cup for Chicago. And late faxed qualifying offers - do you really think GM's fax their own stuff? He fell on the sword for that one, but let's be realistic, he was protecting his assistant who screwed up. The buck stops with the GM, so in the end it's on him. But believe me, that wasn't his miscue. So he wins the Blackhawks the Cup and Stan Bowman gets the glory. Now, Bowman did well in the offseason clearing cap space, but would Tallon have dealt Byfuglien? Or would he have found a way to trade Brian Campbell? We'll never know. But in this situation, signing Brent Seabrook puts Stan Bowman in a hole that can only be dug out of again with a Brian Campbell trade/burial in the minors.
But I digress - what I mean to say is, Florida is in good hands. But I don't think they can survive the next two years having the worst team in the NHL as they slowly build their juggernaut. But if they can, their patience will be rewarded. Chicago was horrible for a few years, if you remember, but you saw the promise in them leading up to their breakout.
Jiri Hudler continues to role and I kick myself over my missed opportunity. I had a chance to sell-high on Lidstrom and acquire Hudler and Purcell. I turned that down in favor of Tarasenko and Gagne back in January. Six weeks later...both Hudler and Purcell have been going nutty, Tarasenko has only just returned from his shoulder injury suffered the day after my trade, and Gagne has been ho-hum. I'll be looking at what could have been for years to come, I think. Only Tarasenko can make me forget, if he does what I hope.
Jimmy Howard signed a two-year, $4.5 million extension yesterday, indicating that his agent has a brain. Some agents don't, you see. Such as Anson Carter's, or Evgeni Nabokov's. If you have a meal ticket, you damn well better make the most of it.
Eric Staal will play tonight, telling the News Observer that he feels good.
I don't believe Sergei Samsonov will get more than nine points down the stretch for Florida, as his NHL career winds down. Just sayin', in case you're wonderin'.
Guillaume Latendresse's return to the lineup will be delayed. The conditioning just isn't there. Look for another three weeks yet...
Good morning! I had one trade deadline, of which I am commish, last night and I have a second one today. Thus the lateness in the ramblings. I did no deals last night, but had an offer declined and I chose not to increase it any further. What was turned down: my Goligoski, Stepan, Anderson, Weiss, a second rounder in '13 for Krejci, Kaberle, Edler and Raymond. It was a deal for the playoffs, strictly points pool - he is not making our Top 8, which gets into the playoffs. I'd gain two Bruins and two Canucks, and give up some pretty kick-ass assets in my opinion. Should he have walked? He said it was a deal he would do in the summer, but for the present he felt I should pay more. I felt I was already paying more and there was no way I would do this deal in the summer - no chance. My playoff team consists of Crosby, Letang, Jeffrey, Stepan, Carter, Laich, Gagne, Crawford, Bickell, Horton, Couture, Price, AK47, Pouliot - so pretty lean for a 25-man roster. I did need the playoff help. If Calgary makes it you can add Bourque and Stajan, if Dallas makes it you can add Goligoski. Your thoughts? Should I have walked? Or was he crazy?
Look at this beauty from undrafted prospect Marek Hrivik. The 19-year-old should be a mid-rounder this summer, I would think: