(L-R) Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils pose for a photo during the cocktail reception hosted by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter at The Monkey Bar on September 14, 2010 in New York City.
(September 13, 2010 - Source: Andy Marlin/Getty Images North America)

Penguins never got close to signing Parise, Suter

43 Comments

After trading away Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins suddenly had enough cap space to go after Zach Parise or Ryan Suter. The only problem is that neither player was willing to sign with Pittsburgh.

“You needed one of these guys to come back and say, ‘Pittsburgh is the place we want to play,’ and then work out the details from there,” Penguins GM Ray Shero said, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We never got to that point.”

Based on Pierre LeBrun’s information, it sounds like Parise and Suter didn’t even come close to signing with the Penguins. Parise ultimately decided between the New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild, while Suter’s final three choices were the Wild, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators.

Shero wouldn’t go into detail about the contracts presented to Suter and Parise, but he insists they were “very strong offers.”

It’s unfortunate for Penguins fans, but of all the teams that seriously pursued Parise and Suter, they’re probably in the best position. Ideally, they still want a top-tier winger to play alongside Sidney Crosby and to that end they might even attempt to acquire Rick Nash.

Still, finding the James Neal to Crosby’s Evgeni Malkin is a luxury that the Penguins are attempting to indulge in because they have the cap space to do so. Either way, they have a star-studded offense and a fair amount of depth. There’s no question that they would benefit from adding a top-six winger, but they are already a contender.

Therrien refutes report that Price is likely done for the season

Leave a comment

Contrary to a report by La Presse newspaper, Montreal head coach Michel Therrien says that Canadiens goalie Carey Price could still play again this season.

“We know what’s going on with Carey,” Therrien told reporters today. “It takes more time, obviously, than we were expecting. Like I said, he’s working extremely hard and he’s put in a lot of hours to make sure that he’s going to make that comeback. The fact that he’s working extremely hard is not to make sure that he’s going to look good this summer on the beach; he wants to come back and play for the Montreal Canadiens.”

That being said, Price does not appear close to a return. He’s yet to practice with teammates. He’s yet to even skate in goalie gear.

The Habs have 27 games left to get back into a playoff spot. They close out the regular season on April 9, less than two months from today.

Related: With Price possibly done for the season, Scrivens has Dubnyk-like opportunity

With trade deadline approaching, Canucks announce Edler out 6 weeks, Sutter 6-8 weeks

Washington Capitals v Vancouver Canucks
1 Comment

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that they’ll be without defenseman Alex Edler (fractured fibula) for six weeks and center Brandon Sutter (broken jaw that required surgery) for six to eight weeks.

So basically those two are gone for the remainder of regular season, save for possibly a few games at the tail end of the schedule.

For a bubble team that doesn’t boast a ton of depth, the injuries are significant. Edler leads the Canucks in ice time, averaging almost 25 minutes per game. Sutter, arguably their best defensive center, already missed a big chunk of games earlier in the season following sports-hernia surgery.

But GM Jim Benning still isn’t giving up on the playoffs. Yesterday, he went on Vancouver radio and suggested the Canucks could actually be buyers at the trade deadline.

Benning only has a couple of weeks to decide what to do with pending unrestricted free agents defenseman Dan Hamhuis and winger Radim Vrbata. The trade deadline is Feb. 29.

The Canucks, currently just two points back of Nashville for the final wild-card spot, have a pair of winnable games coming up. They host Toronto Saturday and Minnesota Monday.

Related: Preds entering key (and tough) stretch before trade deadline

Jets activate Pavelec from IR, send Hellebuyck back to minors

Winnipeg Jets v New York Islanders
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Winnipeg’s goalie of the future is off to continue his development in the AHL.

On Friday, the Jets activated veteran netminder Ondrej Pavelec from injured reserve and, in a subsequent move, sent rookie netminder Connor Hellebuyck back to their affiliate in Manitoba.

Hellebuyck, 22, arrived in Winnipeg with great fanfare, having starred for Team USA at the 2015 Worlds while being named an AHL All-Star as well.

This was his first-ever stint with the Jets, and it went OK — Hellebuyck posted an 13-11-1 record, .918 save percentage and 2.34 GAA — but he did struggle of late, getting hooked in two of his last three outings.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Pavelec.

His numbers prior to getting hurt weren’t any better than Hellebuyck’s — .906 save percentage, 2.82 GAA — and there will be considerable rust to knock off, given he’s been out since late November with a knee issue.

There’s also the long-term implication.

Pavelec, a lightning rod for criticism over the last few seasons, has one year left on his five-year, $19.5 million extension, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July of ’17.

It could be his last season in Winnipeg (assuming he’s not bought out of the final year of his deal), which makes one wonder what GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has in store.

It’s also worth noting there’s a third goalie in this equation: Michael Hutchinson, who’s a pending RFA.

Kuznetsov passed concussion test, expected to play Saturday

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, from Russia, celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Washington. The Capitals won 5-3. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP
2 Comments

Feel free to breath a sigh of relief, Capitals fans — Evgeny Kuznetsov is okay.

“During the end of the third period, Evgeny underwent and passed all tests pertaining to the league’s concussion protocol evaluation,” the Caps said today in a statement. “We expect him to take the morning skate tomorrow and play against the Stars later that night.”

Kuznetsov left last night’s game versus the Wild in the third period after appearing to take the butt-end of Mikael Granlund’s stick to the face.

Kuznetsov leads the Caps with 54 points.