Even though it looks like the Brad Richards sweepstakes will extend into a Day 2, there’s still been action this evening in the free agent market. Ruslan Fedotenko decided to stay put and re-signed with the New York Rangers for another season at $1.4 million. Meanwhile, a couple free agents decided sign with new teams: Daniel Carcillo signed a one-year deal worth $775,000 to play a depth role with the Chicago Blackhawks and Michal Handzus moved up the 101 freeway to San Jose by signing a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season.
Here’s what they’re saying around the league about the deals…
The New York Daily News looks at Ruslan Fedotenko returning:
“Rupp and Fedotenko have different skill sets – Rupp is more of a straight-up bruiser, while Fedotenko is an agitator and penalty-killer extraordinaire. So while they are not equivalent players, it will be interesting to see which one John Tortorella prefers to utilize alongside Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust – if, of course, those two remain linemates in 2011-12.”
Tim Sassone from the Daily Herald looks at the Carcillo deal:
“Carcillo’s signing came late in the day and should draw mixed reviews because of his reckless style and habit of taking bad penalties. But he is an energy guy and a hitter who will help protect the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.”
Sharks GM talked about Michal Handzus’ game fitting in San Jose (via San Jose Mercury News):
““He can penalty-kill and play in front of the net on the power play,” Wilson said. “He’s very professional in how he approaches the game. He is an absolute workaholic who is a fitness nut. And we’ve seen first-hand what he can do.”
Each player going to their new team should provide depth in bottom six roles. Carcillo will provide energy for the Blackhawks while their stars are depended upon to score. Handzus will try to fill the role that Manny Malhotra held two years ago for the Sharks—a role that was noticeably void this season. Fedotenko is a combination of both as he can get under the opponents’ skin and can kill penalties.
None of the deals are the sexiest moves of the day, but its moves like these that determine an average team from a good team. Their performances next season could go a long way towards helping their respective teams towards success.
Alex Burrows doesn’t want a trade out of Vancouver and he wants to make sure everyone knows it.
On Saturday, Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman reported that Burrows was potentially willing to waive his no-trade clause if a deal came up.
When asked about the report, Burrows went into denial mode.
“There’s no truth to that,” Burrows told beat reporter Ben Kuzma. “I’ve never talked to management or coaches about it.
“Last time I talked to my agent was to wish him Merry Christmas.”
Whether or not Burrows is willing to accept a deal out of Vancouver may be irrelevant.
The 34-year-old has seven goals and 16 points in 53 games this season, and he comes with a cap hit of $4.5 million dollars next season.
That’s pretty steep for a guy who’s on pace to score just 25 points this year.
If the Canucks want to find a taker for his services (assuming he’s willing to go), they’ll likely have to take a good-sized contract back or they’ll have to eat some of his remaining salary.
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Watch that three-goal burst in this video:
The two teams weren’t done then. Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 while Pavel Datsyuk scored his 900th point to make it 3-2.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
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