Day two of Brendan Shanahan’s 2011 North American Tour (Shana-Aid? Shanapalooza?) saw the NHL’s discipline czar stay in Nashville to speak with the visiting Detroit Red Wings, writes Ansar Khan of MLive.com.
So, what was the meeting all about?
“Just going over what he’s seen so far in the first quarter of the season, showed some of the illegal hits and some of the legal hits,” said Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom. “Just letting us know what [the NHL] is looking at when there’s a questionable hit. It helps the players having a chance to see how [the league] is looking at things and what we can do to prevent some of those hits.”
The meeting also allowed Shanahan to get reacquainted with some familiar faces. He spent nine years with Detroit before leaving in 2005-06, but many of his former mates are still with the team: Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Dan Cleary, Niklas Kronwall, Valtteri Filppula and Jimmy Howard. So yeah, like half the roster.
Not that this “familiarity” would have any bearing on Shanahan’s role as the league’s chief disciplinarian. He’s got strong ties to other organizations as well — St. Louis, New Jersey, New York (Rangers) — and it’s not like the Wings give him tons of material to work with anyway. Detroit is almost always one of the NHL’s least-penalized teams and hasn’t employed a dedicated fighter since Brad May in 2009-10.
In fact, the suspension handed down to Brendan Smith in the preseason — for an illegal check to the head of Chicago’s Ben Smith — was the first fine or suspension given to a Wings player in four seasons.
[Note: Detroit’s clean record may go back even further than that, but suspension records prior to 2007 are kind of spotty.]
Bolts avoid arbitration with Namestnikov — two years, $3.875M
Tampa Bay has avoided Friday’s scheduled arbitration hearing with forward Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing to a two-year, $3.875M deal on Tuesday evening, per ESPN.
Namestnikov, 23, had a breakout campaign last year, scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 80 games — all career highs. The former first-round pick also appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bolts, scoring a goal and three points while helping the club to the Eastern Conference Final.
Coming off a one-year deal in which he made $874,125, the diminutive Russian gets a nice pay bump with this latest contract, and a bit of security with the two-year term. He should play a fairly integral role next season, coming off a year in which he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals, with Tyler Johnson.
But while tonight may be about Namestnikov, it’s another Russian forward in Tampa Bay that everybody now has their eyes on — Nikita Kucherov, the playoff scoring sensation that declined to file for arbitration, but still requires a new deal.
Given some of the big-money contracts GM Steve Yzerman has handed out this summer — namely those to Steve Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn — the Kucherov negotiations are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
Talks ongoing between Wild and Dumba, meeting expected soon
A good puck mover with offensive skills — and a right-handed shot — Dumba is definitely a commodity. What’s more, logic suggests the Wild could opt to move him, given the long-term financial commitments to fellow defensemen Ryan Suter (signed through 2025 at $7.53 million), Jonas Brodin (2021 at $4.16M), Jared Spurgeon (2020, $5.18M) and Marco Scandella (2020, $4M).
Minnesota has some other young defensive prospects in the system, too.
There’s former Gophers standout Mike Reilly, Miami of Ohio product Louis Belpedio and Gustav Olofsson, the 46th overall pick in ’13 that’s been honing his game in AHL Iowa (and made his NHL debut last season).
Though he’s slowed down in recent years, Rosehill has long been known as an extremely active fighter. At no time was this more evident than during the ’08-09 campaign, when he fought a staggering 33 times (yeah, thirty-three) while playing for AHL Norfolk.
Rosehill last played in the NHL during the ’13-14 campaign, scoring two goals in 34 games for the Flyers — while racking up 90 PIM.
Here’s an example of some of his most famous handiwork:
As mentioned above, the EIHL has landed a few notable ex-NHL fighters. Cam Janssen, Kevin Westgarth, Paul Bissonnette and Tom Sestito have all played there.
Kurtis Foster, who appeared in over 400 games during a 10-year NHL career, is hanging up his skates to enter the next phase of his hockey life — coaching.
Foster, 34, has rejoined his former junior team in OHL Peterborough as an assistant coach, per the Examiner. The decision comes after Foster spent the last three years playing overseas in the KHL and, most recently, in the German League.
The 40th overall pick in 2000, Foster is often remembered for a horrific leg break while playing for Minnesota during the 2007-08 campaign, in which his femur was shattered by Torrey Mitchell after Mitchell tried to prevent an icing call.