Some new contracts signed:


David Perron has been extended for four years by the Blues – cap hit of $3.8 million. Great to see him back and in top form after missing almost an entire season due to a concussion.


The Oilers locked up goalie Devan Dubnyk to a two-year deal worth $3.5 million per. May seem like a lot but Dubnyk has pretty good numbers (all things considered) and is a goalie to watch. It will be interesting to see how he handles 55-60 games this year. I think he’s ready for it. The two year term won’t hurt the Oilers at all, either. Dubnyk isn’t at the Rask/Schneider level, but he is a solid goalie.


I wrote a piece on Shea Weber yesterday – where things are at now, and what David Poile’s options are. Give it a read.


“Speculating on a potential return for Weber is a fool’s errand at the moment, as no one outside of Weber, his family, and his agents knows where he wants to play. However, if and when that news is made public, the Predators would be best served in maximizing the value of their asset. They justified keeping Suter during his last season because they had a great shot to make a Cup run. However, losing another franchise defenseman for nothing would cripple the organization. They need to let the Suter news sink in, talk to Weber, and figure out where he wants to play. If it isn’t in Nashville, it may be time to move on from their Captain.”

The Hurricanes are reportedly no longer interested in trading for Rick Nash after Scott Howson kept asking for Jeff Skinner in return. I don’t think Howson gets this whole negotiating thing. Sure you start high, but you are supposed to meet somewhere in the middle.


I understand he has a lot of pressure to maximize the return on his club’s only star player, but teams are going to become frustrated if Howson keeps asking for unrealistic returns.

A few minor signings yesterday:


Ruslan Fedotenko and Bruno Gervais signed with the Flyers. Fedotenko will slide in on line three or four in a depth role, while Gervais will do the same on the back end.


Calgary signed center Mikael Backlund to a one-year deal worth just over $700,000.


Backlund performed pretty well last year considering his always-changing linemates and lack of a clearly defined role.


Backlund will have a top six spot to lose right now with the Flames.


“"Mikael needs to work on his consistency and his focus in order to break through in a top six role and start to define his role on our team," Jay Feaster said in a statement.”

The Caps re-signed Mathieu Perreault to a two-year deal worth just over $1 million per season. Perreault is a full-time NHL player after bouncing back and forth. He plays with a lot of intensity and has good offensive skills, but is likely destined for more of a depth role at the NHL level.


““Even if I'm top nine forwards it's no problem because the Caps when they've been playing well in the last few years they've always had three sets of lines,” Perreault said. “Even if I'm on the third or even the fourth line, it wouldn't really matter. All I want is to get ice time and get a chance to play a little bit more. That's it.””

All organizations have them – players who contribute more than just goals and assists. Sami Salo was one of those players for the Canucks. I counted down his top 10 moments yesterday (yes, a lot of slap shots made the list).


“He battled through incredible adversity, never complained or created any problems, and delivered at a high level both defensively and offensively. He provided some memorable moments, but it is the night-in and night-out consistency, and on-ice intelligence that the Canucks are going to miss the most.”

Michael Arace pleads with Columbus to not ship Rick Nash to Detroit. Can you blame him?


“The Detroit Red Wings are in the Rick Nash derby. Please, not Detroit. Not there.

Have mercy for long-suffering Blue Jackets fans. If the captain wants out, ship him. This has dragged on long enough. It is torturous. It makes the franchise look like something even worse than a last-place team. Please, though, do not cave in to Detroit.”

Scott Howson is taking so long with this because he knows he needs to maximize the return on the only star player his organization has ever seen. Nash, at one time, was the Columbus Blue Jackets.


“There is only one scenario whereby Nash-to-Detroit would be acceptable, and that is if the Wings give up GM Ken Holland, coach Mike Babcock and a goaltender (preferably, Jimmy Howard). Absent such a weighty return, the Jackets are no closer to beating the Wings for another generation. Is that not the point, to beat them?

Howson, after five months of wrangling, has to be haggard, harried and maybe even desperate. We all want this ordeal to end. But it would go beyond farce if Nash is traded to the Wings for a parcel of prospects and picks. It would tear at the very core of a franchise that has little left at which to tear.”

With all of that being said, what would be a fair package from the interested teams? Here are a few of my thoughts:


San Jose:


Joe Pavelski, Douglas Murray, prospect Alex Stalock and a 1st round pick




Valtteri Filppula and Brendan Smith


New York:


Chris Kreider, Tim Erixon, and a 1st round pick


Again, these are just ideas. I don’t think the Rangers want to move Kreider. I’m not sure the first package would get it done. Whenever a team trades a star player for a package, it is hard to recoup full value (this relates to my quality over quantity rule for trading in fantasy hockey).


Sticking with the Red Wings – Ken Holland, after missing out on Ryan Suter, would “rather go with the kids."


“Our focus going back to last year was to be positioned for this summer. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to add a high-profile player or two. But I think we have a lot of good pieces in place, and we have some players ready to take bigger roles. We’ll explore the marketplace. We’ll explore trading. We’ll move on.”

Players ready to take bigger roles… Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyqvist, for sure. Who else? I hope he doesn’t mean Jonathan Ericsson, for the sake of Wings fans. Ericsson the good is a very solid two-way defenseman who can play 20 minutes, but Ericsson the bad is a defensive liability prone to turnovers and poorly timed rushes up the ice. Still has yet to figure the consistency thing out.


Do the Wings turn their attention to Shea Weber?


I don’t see Weber re-signing with the Predators. He wants to win. Losing Suter is a huge loss. Weber is reportedly still bitter about the arbitration process that he underwent last summer. The Predators could throw the kitchen sink at him, but something tells me he wants to move on.


And if he does, the Predators can’t afford to lose a top defenseman for nothing, again (Dan Hamhuis and Suter). Weber could fetch a royalty in return, but it may come down to him forcing his way to a team he wants to go to, like Jordan Staal in Pittsburgh. Weber with a contract extension signed is worth immensely more than impending-UFA Weber.


Trade targets like Jay Bouwmeester and Paul Martin make sense, although the Penguins are likely keeping Martin now. Keith Ballard is another name it keep in mind – he is a good defenseman who hasn’t fit in at all with the Canucks. He was a #2 in Florida when the Canucks acquired him, but he has struggled to hold down a role. Even as someone who watche 75+ Canuck games, it is a tough one to figure out. He skates well, reads the play well, and plays with a lot of snarl for a little guy.


On the Forecheck takes a look at replacing Suter in Nashville. A really good read here.


“On Opening Night 2011, the Predators' bottom pairing was Teemu Laakso and Jack Hillen, who contributed nothing on special teams (or at even strength, really). This change in roster dynamic necessitated that Ryan Suter and Shea Weber play on the top power play and penalty kill units.

This season, however, the Predators will, by all indications, feature Ryan Ellis and Hal Gill as their third pairing. Ellis and Gill, besides being a hilarious sight gag due to their height discrepancy, are two of best specialists for their respective special teams duties. With his much superior shot, Ellis is already probably a better PP defenseman than Ryan Suter. And Gill, while no #20, is a very good fit for the Preds' passive PK system that relies mostly on shot-blocking and forward clears.”

Raw Charge takes a look at the Matt Carle signing in Tampa Bay.


“While it's obvious Carle will be in a top-4 rotation with the likes of Eric Brewer, Victor Hedman and newly signed defenseman Sami Salo, it remains to be seen how exactly the Lightning defense will be made up this year. The Bolts had gone out of their way to acquire defenseman Brian Lee and Keith Aulie at the 2012 NHL trade deadline, but now it would look like one of the two may be bound for Syracuse to begin the 2012-13 season.

At the same time, Tampa Bay has just added a defenseman that was +4, +30, and +19 in the past three seasons (respectively) with the Flyers. And seeing he will be all of 28 when the NHL season starts (if it starts on time.... No pressure, Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr), the long-term investment is a sound one. Especially in light of the types of contracts being signed by free agents so far in the 2012 off-season.”

Carle will fit in nicely there. Was he overpaid? Yes, most UFA contracts are above value. An open bidding process is meant to drive demand up. And when supply (puck moving defensemen) is limited, it is only a natural occurrence for prices to rise. However, the Lightning are a much better team today than they were yesterday.


What do the Leafs do with Cody Franson? He did OK there last year in a very sheltered bottom pairing role, but he apparently doesn’t want to re-sign if it means he will be a frequent healthy scratch again. Do the Leafs move him and try to get some value back?


In Lou We Trust says goodbye to Zach Parise. I own a Parise Devils jersey (one of a few jerseys that remain in my collection), and he has been my favorite player in the league for the past four or five years.


“So for now, we say goodbye to Zach Parise. Feel what you want; react as you are. Parise made the choice he felt was best for him and I know it hurts. Do know that feeling will pass. As great as he was, Parise is not and never will be bigger than the New Jersey Devils. Still, at some point, please thank him for the time, the plays, and the goals you've scored in New Jersey. We shall see him again on November 11, 2012 at the Rock - as the opposition.”

This guy won’t replace Lidstrom or fill in for Suter, but he’s ready to play in the NHL:



Boom goes the dynamite:


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Comments (11)add comment

sentium said:

... The Wings are turning Ericsson into a stay at home defensive dman, so hopefully the turnovers won't be THAT bad going forward.
July 06, 2012
Votes: +1

sanstanya said:

@Bender I see no reason why Howson shouldn't be fired immmediately regardless of how this plays out.

But to be clear, I do not think Howson should settle on a return. He absolutely has to get top value out of Nash. But if it's my team trading for him I'm not interested in giving up the asking price. And there's way more than stats here to consider in my opinion. Heatley has topped 50 and I maybe wouldn't touch that unless it's damn near free.

Nash is super talented to be sure, but there's always been something missing with him to me. The "it" factor or whatever.

That said, Kreider straight across the Rangers probably should do but it's not an option. But giant packages including 2 good to great players + high picks and prospects thrown in? hellz no! In my opinion, at $7.8M in this market with this cap you have to be the guy that drives the bus. I just don't see Nash doing that. He's a high-end complimentary "passenger" in my eyes. Would love if he proved me wrong though.
July 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Bender said:

Nash I totally disagree Isle B. and sanstanya. If you could get Nash straight up for Kreider then Howson should be fired immediately. Sure you save cap money that can be used on other free agents, but there is no guarantee that you get the guy you want (Doan) or that you aren't forced to overpay to get that player. Nash is a player who scores consistantly and is just entering his prime at age 28. He has averaged 33 goals over the past nine years on a brutal team, and scored 40 twice. The last time he scored 40 was in 08/09, where the next highest point total on the team belonged to Kristian Huselius! He is 6'-4", 220 lbs, and add him to a line with Brad Richards and he's a lock for 40, but could score up to 50. There is no way to justify not trading a rookie like Kreider who is unproven and hasn't even played a regular season game yet.
July 06, 2012
Votes: +0

angus said:

... Bourque plays LW, too.
July 06, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

number54 said:

Montreal's LW Situation Why has nobody commented on the situation in Montreal?! They've now got 8 RW's under contract (Prust, Armstrong, Bourque, Cole, Gionta, White, Blunden, Gallagher) and only Moen & Pacioretty on LW. My personal opinion is that Moen has no business playing in a top-6 role, which leaves at least one gaping hole to plug. I'm not really sure how it's possible that the front office hasn't gone gangbusters trying to bring in Nash or Semin, but something along those lines needs to happen if the Habs intend on being a competitive team. Right now, they're playing with two 2nd lines and two 4th lines.
July 06, 2012
Votes: +0

sanstanya said:

Nash Isle B. - -I agree, though I can't stand the Rangers so seeing them overpay in assets and cap for Nash won't hurt my feelings.

Gaudett - having grown up a Habs fan from birth that deal would hurt my feelings. Not sure I could do Plekanec or Subban straight across for Nash, nevermind that massive package. Yeah I just said that. As far as I'm concerned he's the Canadian Semin. Sure, he won't go play in the K, but what is he really worth to a franchise? Not buying the hype at all.
July 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... I wouldn't trade Kreider straight up for Rick Nash. Kreider stepped right onto the NHL ice and scored a bunch of goals in the playoffs and was arguably the Rangers' most dynamic offensive player. If I was running that team, I'd much rather see what he can do for an encore to that debut than just deal him away for a 30-goal scorer that makes 8 million a year and then use the money saved on another player like Shane Doan.
July 06, 2012
Votes: +0

angus said:

... I'd keep Rinne (more proven), but he drops from a top 3 fantasy goalie to the 7-10 range.
July 06, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Steviek35 said:

Rinne Part 2 Also, assuming Weber goes elsewhere, in a H2H limited keeper [keep 8 and I only plan to keep 1 G), would you keep M. Smith over Rinne at that point? (G cats= W, GAA, SP%)
July 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Steviek35 said:

... Jeff,

What happens to Rinne's value if Weber joins Suter out the door?
July 06, 2012
Votes: +0

Gaudett said:

Arm chair GM Looking at your reasonable offers for Nash makes me think about:

Plekanec, Subban, 2013 2nd rounder, 2014 1st rounder.

Of course I don't think Montreal is on his list, but it should be.
July 06, 2012
Votes: -3
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