2010 NHL Draft, free agency and trade news/rumor roundup


There’s a lot of news flying around today as we get ready for the
draft tomorrow night in Los Angeles and with the latest blockbuster
trades and contract signings, things are starting to get really

We won’t get into a whole lot of detail here, as
there really isn’t a lot available, but here is a roundup of what’s
floating out there right now. We’re probably missing some as well, but
these are the big points.

– With Patrick Marleau’s contract
extension, the free agent market for first-line centers has dried up.
This has made the market for centers via trade heat up, and it’s likely
we see some trades including big-name centers going down soon. Jason
Spezza is actively being shopped and word has it that Marc Savard is as
well (NTC notwithstanding). The price for these players has gone up
however, as the sellers certainly have the upper hand.

– A trade
involving Mike Ribeiro is looking more and more imminent. The Dallas
Stars aren’t going to just give him away, but there are some defensemen
out there available and more teams need centers than are being made

– Rumors have been flying all day long regarding Tomas
Kaberle, as can be expected. Brian Burke is actively shopping the
defenseman here in LA, although the supposed trade with Edmonton doesn’t
look to be anything more than a loose rumor (perpetuated by the team,
no less).

– The other thing to keep an eye on is the goaltending
position, as Tim Thomas’ agent has been given permission to speak with
teams about a trade. Thomas has a no-movement clause, and the Bruins
need to free up some cap space. You also wonder what they might be able
to get in return, as there are going to be a number of goalies available
in free agency as well.

– It looked like Michael Leighton could
have been on his way out of Philadelpha, but Tim Panaccio is saying that Paul
Holmgren is meeting with Leighton’s agent today. The Flyers aren’t
completely out of the woods yet, salary wise, but certainly have a bit
of room to sign Leighton if they feel that’s a better option than free

– I’m still doubting we see many more trades involving
first round picks, as the price gets more expensive with each trade.
Still, there are persistent murmurs that the Leafs are looking to get
back into the first round and with Tomas Kaberle as a bargaining chip
it’s certainly possible.

Anything we missed? Let us know by
emailing us at prohockeytalk(at)gmail(dot)com.

Preds still haven’t found their scoring touch

Mike Fisher
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The Nashville Predators got off to a relatively good start this season, but something seems to have happened to their offense over the last six games.

Prior to Nov. 20, the Preds had only been shut out once in their first 17 games. Since then, they’ve been blanked three times and have just six goals in their last six contests.

If you remove Mike Fisher from the equation, the numbers are even more dreadful.

Fisher’s scored three of those six goals, while Filip Forsberg, Shea Weber, James Neal and Mike Ribeiro have none.

After Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Buffalo , here’s what coach Peter Laviolette told the Tennessean: “I thought we could’ve had more gas, to be honest with you. The energy just wasn’t there; maybe the second period had something to do with that or the road trip, which was a long trip. I’m not making any excuses, but I think when we play at a higher tempo that’s when we’re at our best, and we had more to push in that area tonight.”

The first game back home after a long road trip is typically a difficult one for most teams, so we’ll see how the Predators respond on Tuesday night when they host Arizona.

A month to remember: Duchene lighting it up in November

Matt Duchene, Nick Holden
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It wasn’t too long ago that a report surfaced saying that the Avalanche were willing to listen to offers on forward Matt Duchene.

When a player’s struggling and rumors start swirling, one of two things tends to happen.

Either the player involved lets it affect his on-ice performance in a negative way or he’s motivated by the trade talk and turns his struggles around.

Instead of pouting, the 24-year-old rolled up his sleeves and got to work.

In October, Duchene scored a goal and an assist in 10 games, but things changed in a hurry when November rolled around.

The Avs forward has picked up at least one point in 11 of 13 games this month.

Duchene has 11 goals and nine assists in November and he still has a game to go before the calendar flips to December.

“Obviously, things completely flip-flopped,” Duchene told the Denver Post. “That’s the coldest start I’ve ever had and things are good right now. Obviously, I know it could go right back, I could go cold again, that’s just the nature of the game. You just have to work every day to keep it going. The most important thing is to be able to provide offense and help the team win.”

PHT Morning Skate: A bride can have her burger and eat it too

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

A woman in a wedding dress was caught eating a burger during Saturday’s game between the Stars and Wild. (Above)

Team Europe has a number of quality goaltending options to chose from ahead of next fall’s World Cup of Hockey. (NHL.com)

Watch as some players on Nashville’s roster try to guess the lyrics to different country songs:

Former goaltender Eddie Johnston sits down for a Q & A with ESPN.com’s Shelly Anderson. (ESPN)

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher got into a “Twitter war” with former NHLer Jim Kyte. (Puck Daddy)

Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference made a generous donation to a Syrian refugee fund. (Huffington Post)

Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien

We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.