(Yes, I know that is the most obvious headline possible. Sorry.)
Now that the first few days of unrestricted free agency are just about done, it’s time to start checking out the players who are on hockey’s version of the “clearance” aisle. One of the more interesting players is Miroslav Satan – even if his name has barely been uttered in free agent talks or even “What about that guy?” conversations.
There are plenty of reasons why the free agent market for the funny-last-named winger is lukewarm, at best. While there aren’t any concrete stories, rumor has it that Satan wore out his welcome in locker rooms, particularly with his former long-time team the Buffalo Sabres. He’s also put up some mediocre numbers in the regular season the last few years, scoring 14 points in 38 games for Boston last season, 36 in 08-09 and 41 in 07-08. Not exactly impressive numbers for a guy who doesn’t bring much more to the table besides scoring ability.
Satan is also 35 years old, so chances are teams aren’t interested in giving him more than a one-year deal.
That being said, we’re nearing that time when general managers are eye-balling that marked-down dented can of green beans, looking for a good deal at a lowered risk. Even if it means that the moves will fail to set the world on fire.
One thing you can say for Satan is that he played very well when the Bruins needed him the most. As Marc Savard and David Krejci dealt with some injury concerns, he scored some key goals even as the team failed to finish off the Philadelphia Flyers. The 10 points he put up in 13 games qualifies as his second best playoff performance ever, only behind his 13 points in 13 playoff games with the Buffalo Sabres during the 00-01 postseason.
Sure, 13 games is a pretty small sample and Satan failed to make it happen while getting a prime opportunity skating with Sidney Crosby during the 08-09 campaign. Going into the playoffs, I thought Satan’s NHL career was over, but after producing at a near point-per-game pace, he might be able to stick in the league for another season or two.
Should your team consider making a deal with Satan? Tell us in the comments.
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.
–Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling did something incredible for a person in need. (USA Today)
–Sens forward Kyle Turris can relate to what Jonathan Drouin is going through. (Tampa Bay Times)
—Matt Duchene built a special bond with a young Avs fan who’s been dealing with cancer. (Sportsnet)
—Milan Lucic wrote a letter to Boston for The Players’ Tribune. (The Players’ Tribune)
–Devils fans say “thank you” to former goaltender Martin Brodeur:
–Take a look at Nicklas Backstrom‘s first NHL All-Star game experience. (Monumental Network)
The New Jersey Devils on Monday unveiled ‘The Salute’ — a statue paying homage to one of the greatest goalies in NHL history, Martin Brodeur, who will have his No. 30 uniform retired Tuesday at Prudential Center.
“Looking at the pictures of my career and some of the events that meant a lot to me, I always saluted the fans,” Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Devils, told the Fire and Ice blog.
“That picture, at different times, in different jerseys, actually, like with Team Canada, it all came to that same pose.”
More on the statue from the Devils:
The 900-pound bronze statue was created by renowned sculpture and artist Jon Krawczyk, who worked with Brodeur on the design. Krawczyk, a Boonton Township, N.J. native and lifelong Devils fan, who also created the hockey statue on Championship Plaza outside of Prudential Center, personally drove “The Salute” from his Malibu, Cali. studio to the arena late last week.
The Florida Panthers are fuming after their skilled 20-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov left Monday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings following a hit from Justin Abdelkader.
Abdelkader caught Barkov with a hard hit near the goal line as the Panthers player tried to move the puck up ice early in the second period.
The only call on the play was to Panthers’ blue liner Alex Petrovic for the retaliatory cross check on Abdelkader. Barkov left the game and didn’t return with an upper-body injury.
Members of the Panthers irate with the hit, and the fact there was no call.
“It was a cheap hit, I don’t know how the ref didn’t call it,” Nick Bjugstad told the Miami Herald. “It was frustrating, the whole bench felt that way. We’re not happy with it. It turned the game around. Barkov has tough shoes to fill. It looked pretty serious. We’ll see how the league handles it and I think they will. I just don’t know how it wasn’t handled on the ice.”
“You hate to lose your top player, but that’s part of the game,” added Panthers’ head coach Gerard Gallant.
“We’re disappointed to lose him. I thought it was a cheap shot but the referees didn’t see it that way and explained to me it was a clean check. It’s tough. It happens quick and we get to see the replay. I think it’ll be looked at. [Abdelkader] left his feet a little and got him in the jaw.”
The Panthers gave up three goals in the third period in a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings.
In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.
After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.
The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.
— He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.
— From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.
— Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.
He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.
Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.
The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.
The Islanders also have a game in hand.