A couple weeks ago, a report from the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan said that Anton Volchenkov will get the most interest this off-season from the Washington Capitals. A funny thing happened along the way and thanks to the Washington Post’s Tarik El-Bashir, we get the temperature taken on the Washington Capitals possible interest on the soon-to-be free agent.
Contrary to a report out of Canada late last month that suggested the Caps are going to target pending unrestricted free agent Anton Volchenkov this summer, two sources have told me that the team does not, in fact, plan to pursue the Ottawa blue liner. The Caps “are not going to make him an offer,” one of the sources familiar with Washington’s plans told me.
So much for that. Would Volchenkov fit in well with the Capitals? Most assuredly, especially with a couple of outstanding fellow Russians on the team in Alexander Ovechkin and Alex Semin. Would he fit into head coach Bruce Boudreau’s system is a better question. There’s no doubt that the Caps could use someone whose sole focus on the blue line is playing defense and blocking shots, but would he blend in with the sort of run-and-gun thing the Capitals have going on? I somehow doubt that.
Then again, you could argue that the Capitals have enough of the puck moving defenseman thing going on with Mike Green and Tom Poti not to mention a lot going on with their youth movement in John Carlson and Karl Alzner who have both been somewhat locked into playing for Hershey in the AHL. It’s probably for the best that I’m not making the choices here because my lack of general managing skills would shine brightly. Good luck George McPhee, you’ll need it.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.
Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.
With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.
In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.