Trade rumblings getting loud in Chicago


With the Chicago Blackhawks entering the summer in the middle of another salary cap crunch trade speculation is once again starting to pick up around the team.

On Friday night Jay Zawaski of 670 The Score in Chicago reported that he has heard there is “a good chance” that a core player — not Jonathan Toews — from the team will be moved soon, and that it probably will not make the team better in the short-term, speculating that it would be a move to cut salary or restock the prospect cupboard.

On Saturday, Scott Powers of The Athletic followed that up by saying neither Brent Seabrook or Artem Anisimov have been asked to waive their no-trade clauses.

Seabrook and Anisimov would seem to be the two obvious names to keep an eye on given their contract status and standing with the team. Let’s be honest, when it comes to core players the Blackhawks are probably not going to trade Toews, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin or Duncan Keith, and you could probably add starting goaltender Corey Crawford to that list, especially after the team already traded Scott Darling this offseason.

Seabrook still has seven years remaining on an eight-year, $55 million contract which is almost certain to become an albatross on the Blackhawks’ cap well before it expires.

Even worse, he has already shown signs of slowing down and does not seem to be the player he was a few years ago. That also means it would probably be a difficult contract to move and would not net a huge return in terms of assets. That would certainly fit with the “not make the team better in the short-term” description.

Anisimov is a more interesting possibility because he has thrived since joining the Blackhawks after coming over in the big Brandon Saad trade two years ago. A second-line center that can score 20 goals and play a strong all-around game is a pretty good asset to have and one that a lot of teams would have interest in, especially given that Anisimov has a pretty fair contract for his level of production. His name has surfaced in trade speculation before.

After the Blackhawks were swept out of the first-round of the playoffs by the Nashville Predators an angry Stan Bowman promised changes this offseason, and given that the Blackhawks are once again pressed to the salary cap it is almost certain that somebody of significance is going to be traded off of the roster.

It’s just a matter of which player, and when.

Canucks name new head coach of AHL affiliate

Leave a comment

The Vancouver Canucks have finally settled on a head coach for their AHL affiliate.

Today, Trent Cull was named new bench boss of the Utica Comets.

Cull replaces Travis Green, the new head coach of the Canucks.

“Trent is a passionate head coach with significant AHL experience,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said in a release. “He understands the development path of a young player, including the challenges they face, and has been a part of many successful organizations. Trent is a teacher with a positive, energetic work ethic. We’re excited to welcome him and his family to our organization.”

The past four seasons, Cull has been an assistant coach for AHL Syracuse. The Crunch made it all the way to the 2017 Calder Cup Final, where they lost to Grand Rapids.

Cull, 43, has never been a head coach in the AHL, though he did hold that role for three years with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves from 2010-13.

It’s believed the Canucks’ first choice for the Utica job was Rocky Thompson. However, Thompson chose instead to become head coach of Vegas’ AHL affiliate in Chicago.

Construction worker dies after fall at Detroit arena


DETROIT (AP) A worker has died after falling 75 feet at the Little Caesars Arena worksite north of downtown Detroit.

Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner David Fornell says the 46-year-old man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Other workers had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation which first responders continued. The man was taken to a Detroit hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Fornell says officials were told the man was an electrical worker and may have fallen from a catwalk. He says the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration likely will investigate.

The arena will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons. It is scheduled to open this fall.

More on the story from the Detroit Free Press

Habs extend De La Rose — one year, $725,000

Leave a comment

Montreal secured some forward depth on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Jacob De La Rose.

De La Rose, 22, was taken 34th overall at the 2013 draft and has appeared in 64 games for Montreal over the last three seasons. He had a nice debut for the club in ’14-15 — appearing in 33 regular-season contests, and 12 playoff games — but has since spent the majority of his time in AHL St. John’s.

That might not be the case moving forward, however.

De La Rose’s deal is worth $725,000 (per TSN) and, importantly, is of the one-way variety. There could be more opportunities at forward next season. Montreal has already said it’ll pass on bringing back UFAs Brian Flynn and Dwight King, and it’s unclear if the club will get a deal done with Alexander Radulov.

It’s also unclear what GM Marc Bergevin plans to do with Alex Galchenyuk, who’s been the subject of numerous trade rumors.

Even after bad season in Buffalo, Kulikov generating strong interest as UFA

Leave a comment

Dmitry Kulikov had a bad season in Buffalo. There’s no debating that.

Not only did the defenseman struggle statistically, finishing minus-26 with just two goals and three assists, he also had trouble staying healthy, appearing in just 47 games for the Sabres.

But despite all that, Kulikov seems to be generating plenty of interest as an unrestricted free agent. Presumably, the hope among his many suitors is that he can bounce back, so long as he’s put in a better situation.

Kulikov is still just 26. And before he was traded to Buffalo a year ago, he’d had a number of respectable seasons with the Florida Panthers.

It’s why the Sabres were so happy to get him.

“He’s a good player,” then-GM Tim Murray said last June, per “I like guys that are honest, I like guys that are hard to play against, I certainly like guys that can make a tape-to-tape pass, and with our forwards, I think if he can make a tape-to-tape pass, good things are going to happen in transition with the skill and speed we already have here, so he’s just a great fit.”

Of course, it wasn’t a great fit, and Murray is no longer the GM.

As for Kulikov, there’s “about a dozen” interested teams, according to his agent. Ottawa and Winnipeg are believed to be among them.