Author: Jason Brough


(Video) PHT Extra: Blackhawks one loss away from interesting summer


The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t done yet. They could still come back and beat the Ducks in the Western Conference Final. Nobody’s written them off.

But whenever their season ends, even if it’s after winning the Stanley Cup, it’s going to be an interesting summer in Chicago.

Pending unrestricted free agents include three defensemen — Johnny Oduya, Michal Rozsival, and Kimmo Timonen — plus veteran forwards Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards, and Andrew Desjardins. At the same time, Brandon Saad is a pending restricted free agent, and Brent Seabrook will be eligible to sign an extension on July 1.

We discuss:

Related: Hossa’s age just one of the challenges facing Blackhawks

Wild reporter pegs Dubnyk deal at ‘well north of $3 million per’


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about free-agent goalie Devan Dubnyk and suggested a contract of three years at $4.5 million per season to re-sign with the Minnesota Wild.

PHT commenters were aghast. Way too high, they said. The media is so dumb. Why is the media so dumb? Is it because they have no brains?

So here’s a second media opinion, courtesy Michael Russo at the StarTribune:

The market for Dubnyk is basically whatever another team will pay him as a free agent (couple that with the fact there’s no obvious answer for the Wild if Dubnyk leaves).

Now, maybe Dubnyk takes less to stay in a place where he was a solid fit, but this was a $3.75 million goalie in Edmonton. For the Wild to sign him, the deal will obviously average well north of $3 million per.

Remember that Dubnyk was the catalyst in the Wild’s turnaround this season. He’s a Vezina Trophy finalist, and he probably got a few Hart Trophy votes too.

Granted, the goalie market isn’t great (for goalies) and Dubnyk wasn’t fantastic in the playoffs. The Wild could play hardball with him if they chose. But what if they ended up losing him? Do they have a fallback plan beyond Darcy Kuemper and Niklas Backstrom? Because that’s the tandem that got them in trouble in the first place.

Anyway, I’m still optimistic the two sides will find a way to get something done. He wants to stay. They want to keep him. And usually that’s enough to get pen to paper.

Related: So…what should the Wild do with Dubnyk?

Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking

2011 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

Former Flyers captain and current Flyers executive Bob Clarke hates the idea of tanking.

Like, really hates it.

“It pisses me off that teams try to lose continually to come up with the Crosbys . . . and Malkins,” Clarke tells the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“The Flyers have never intentionally tried to lose. That would put a foul taste in my mouth. Who wants to be a part of any organization like that? I wouldn’t want to be.”

Ironically, Clarke’s remarks were found in an article about the Flyers’ 40-year Stanley Cup drought. Since winning their second straight title in 1975, they’ve been to the finals five times, losing all five times.

Most recently, in 2010, the Flyers lost to a Blackhawks team that was led by Jonathan Toews, the third overall pick in 2006, on a goal by Patrick Kane, the first overall pick in 2007.

As proven this year by the Rangers and Ducks, it’s not absolutely necessary to hit rock bottom in order to assemble a team capable of contending for a Stanley Cup. But the Blackhawks, champions in 2010 and 2013, bottomed out first. So did the Kings, allowing them to draft Drew Doughty second overall in 2008, and win it all in 2012 and 2014. And yes, the Penguins did too, drafting Evgeni Malkin second overall in 2004 and Sidney Crosby first overall in 2005. They won the Cup in 2009.

Oh, and has anyone noticed how important Victor Hedman, second overall in 2009, has been in the playoffs for the Lightning, whose captain, Steven Stamkos, was the first overall pick in 2008?

That’s why management in a place like Buffalo has done what it’s done over the past couple of years. And that’s why the Flyers have, until lately, received their share of criticism for choosing quick fixes over long-term solutions. In the salary-cap era, if winning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal, there are clear incentives to — um, how did Darcy Regier once put it? — “go in a very distinct direction.”

There are no guarantees that direction will work out for the Sabres. Or the Oilers. Or the Leafs. Or the Coyotes. But until the incentives change, teams will continue to tank, whether some people like it or not.

Related: Snider says patience is ‘great with the kids,’ but not with ‘the team we have on the ice’