Author: Mike Halford

Mikkel Boedker

Boedker open to staying with Coyotes, but ‘it’s their turn to show what I mean to the team’


After failing to agree to a long-term pact, Arizona and Mikkel Boedker agreed to a one-year, $3.75 million deal in early July. The deal allowed the two sides to avoid arbitration and extend their relationship — but it remains to be seen if Boedker will remain with the Coyotes beyond this season.

“I’m open for anything,” the Danish speedster told Fox Sports Arizona this week. “It obviously puts a lot of pressure on me this season but I think it’s their turn to show what I mean to the team.

“In some ways, it will be interesting to see, but I have to perform on the ice.”

According to agent Jarret Bousquet, Boedker, 25, was hesitant to sign long-term because of the constant uncertainty of the Coyotes’ future in Glendale.  Bousquet also suggested that Boedker could score as high as $5 million annually on the open market as a UFA, which could be why the camp was content to ink a one-year pact (Boedker will be a UFA when this current deal expires).

The expectations are for Boedker to reach new offensive highs this year, especially after a good ’14-15 campaign in which he scored 14 goals and 28 points in 45 games, missing the second half of the season with a ruptured spleen.

Should he post big numbers, an equally big payday could be in his future.

The Coyotes can begin to negotiate an extension with Boedker in January.

McDavid, Eichel headline NHLPA Rookie Showcase

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

This year’s NHLPA Rookie Showcase won’t be lacking star power.

The top two picks at this year’s entry draft — Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Buffalo’s Jack Eichel — will be in attendance, along with 38 other prospects that’ll descend upon Toronto on Tuesday, Sept. 1 for photo ops and media availability.

The list of invitees, per the players’ union:

Connor McDavid (Oilers), Jack Eichel (Sabres), Dylan Strome (Coyotes), Mitch Marner (Maple Leafs), Noah Hanifin (Hurricanes), Ivan Barbashev (Blues), Chris Bigras (Avalanche), Oliver Bjorkstrand (Blue Jackets), Madison Bowey (Capitals), Connor Brown (Maple Leafs), Michael Dal Colle (Islanders), Nikolaj Ehlers (Jets), Robby Fabbri (Blues), Zach Fucale (Canadiens), Nikolay Goldobin (Sharks), Ryan Hartman (Blackhawks), Connor Hellebuyck (Jets), Julius Honka (Stars), Kasperi Kapanen (Maple Leafs), Ronalds Kenins (Canucks), Slater Koekkoek (Lightning), Dylan Larkin (Red Wings), Sonny Milano (Blue Jackets), Samuel Morin (Flyers), Mike Matheson (Panthers), Michael McCarron (Canadiens), Josh Morrissey (Jets), Brendan Perlini (Coyotes), Nic Petan (Jets), Emile Poirier (Flames), Shane Prince (Senators), Ryan Pulock (Islanders), John Quenneville (Devils), Mike Reilly (Wild), Nick Ritchie (Ducks), Travis Sanheim (Flyers), Mackenzie Skapski (Rangers), Brady Skjei (Rangers), Shea Theodore (Ducks) and Jake Virtanen (Canucks).

This will mark the seventh year the PA has gathered rookies for its annual event. Last year’s Rookie Showcase featured 33 players, including Calder Trophy winner Aaron Ekblad and fellow finalist Johnny Gaudreau.

‘I hope my agent does a good job,’ says veteran Kennedy, still looking for work

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Islanders

For the first time in a long time, Tyler Kennedy is without a team.

“I tried my best last year,” Kennedy, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I did everything I could to have a good year, and things didn’t really work out.

“I hope my agent does a good job. I have a lot of faith in him.”

Kennedy, 29, had a rough ’14-15 campaign, one that began in San Jose — where he never fit in Todd McLellan’s plans — and ended on Long Island, where he sat for over half of the Isles’ opening-round playoff loss to the Caps.

Now six weeks into the free agent period, Kennedy is without an NHL contract, a situation he’s unfamiliar with. Pittsburgh’s fourth-round pick in ’04, Kennedy has traditionally been a regular contributor — he helped the Pens capture a Stanley Cup in ’09 and had a really solid campaign the year following, scoring a career-best 21 goals and 45 points in 80 games.

After being traded to San Jose, he signed a two-year, $4.7 million deal — the richest of his pro career — only to see injuries and ineffective play render him something of a financial burden.

Now, he’s just looking to catch on somewhere.

“I’ve got nothing to lose,” Kennedy said. “It might be good for me. Less pressure on me. I was making a little bit of money there, felt like I had to produce.

“Now I feel like I can do out there and play my game, my skating game.”

Former Stars, Avs F Vincour returns to KHL

Colorado Avalanche v Calgary Flames

Tomas Vincour is on his way back to Russia.

Vincour, who split last season with Colorado and its AHL affiliate in Lake Erie, has joined KHL team Sibir Novosibirsk on a one-year deal, per the club.

Vincour, 24, returned to the NHL last season after a brief overseas stint with Ak-Bars Kazan in ’13-14. The Czech forward appeared in just seven games for the Avs, scoring one point, but performed reasonably well at the AHL level, scoring 23 points in 38 games.

He was not given a qualifying offer this summer.

Originally a fifth-round pick by Dallas at the 2009 draft, Vincour was never able to replicate the success he had with the Stars during the 2011-12 campaign, when he scored 10 points in 47 games and finished second on the team in rookie scoring.

Going home again? Sens, Havlat talk training camp PTO

Florida Panthers v New Jersey Devils

Martin Havlat could be on his way back to Ottawa.

Per the Sun, the Sens have reached out to Havlat’s agent, Allan Walsh, about possibly bringing the 34-year-old UFA to training camp on a professional tryout.

If it happens, Havlat would reunite with the organization that took him 26th overall at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. The Czech winger burst onto the scene a year later — scoring 42 points in his rookie campaign, earning a Calder nomination — and enjoyed some of his best times in the Canadian capital, scoring a career-high 31 goals during the ’03-04 campaign (Havlat was a point-a-game player that season, with 68 in 68.)

Havlat’s departure from Ottawa was a tad acrimonious. As a pending RFA in 2006, he told the club he’d only sign a one-year deal in order to test unrestricted free agency the following summer. That forced Ottawa to ship him to Chicago in a three-way deal that netted the Sens an underwhelming return.

Injuries have limited Havlat in recent years. He was bought out by San Jose following the’13-14 campaign and, last season, scored just five goals and 14 points in 40 games with New Jersey.