The Detroit Red Wings are making a number of phone calls trying to solve their No. 2 center situation, contacting three key free agents on Wednesday — Stephen Weiss, Mike Ribeiro and Matt Cullen.
According to MLive.com, Detroit contacted the trio on the assumption Valtteri Filppula won’t be back for 2013-14. The Finnish center hasn’t budged off his contractual demands (five to seven years, $5 million or more per season) and he’s fully expected to hit the open market on Friday.
As for the replacements Detroit has targeted…
— Ribeiro is the most productive of the three, scoring 49 points in 48 games last year, 11th-most in the NHL. Thing is, he’s 33 and looking for a five-year deal worth $5 million per, according to MLive.
— Weiss is younger (30) and a superior two-way player, but has health concerns. He missed 31 games last year with a wrist issue, and is looking for a deal similar to Ribeiro’s ask.
— Cullen is the oldest of the lot (36) but still had an effective 2013 campaign with Minnesota, scoring 27 points in 42 games. He has a ton of playoff experience and won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006.
As for Filppula, MLive suggests potential landing spots of Tampa Bay (where former teammate Steve Yzerman is now the GM) or Columbus (where fellow Finn Jarmo Kekalainen is the new GM).
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
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.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.