Author: NBC Sports

Denis Grebeshkov to become UFA

Not exactly “big changes” but the Nashville Predators are continuing
on their path of moving forward with a bit of a different roster next
season. Of course, this decision doesn’t exactly alter the roster all
that much.

Denis Grebeshkov appeared in just four games for the
Predators last season after being traded to Nashville. After making $3.1
million last season, Grebeshkov was not given a qualifying offer by
Nashville; this means he’s all set to become an unrestricted free agent.

There are some thoughts that he is a UFA immediately; whether
that’s true or not he’s still set to become a UFA on July 1.

to John Glennon at the Predators Insider
, the team is also
contemplating not giving an offer to forward Dustin Boyd.

was acqui­red from Cal­gary for a fourth-round pick last sea­son,
pos­ting five points (three goals, two assists) in 18 games. He made
$650,000 last sea­son, and the Preds would have to make him an offer of
at least $775,000 to keep his rights.

Boyd you could
understand, and I certainly don’t begrudge the Predators for deciding
that Grebeshkov isn’t worth over $3 million next season. But the team
needs to fill roster spots, and right now it certainly appears they are
gearing up to be busy in free agency. Of course, GM David Poile is
adamant this isn’t the case.

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    Nikolai Khabibulin's DUI case will go to trial

    1 Comment

    Bulin.jpgNikolai Khabibulin, the only goaltender currently contract with the
    Edmonton Oilers, now finds himself facing possible jail after an Arizona
    court ruled today that he will face trial for his DUI charges stemming
    from a February arrest.

    From Jim Kerr of News 880:

    lawyer for the 37-year-old was in an Arizona courtroom today
    attempting to have his client’s impaired driving charges dropped. Mark
    DuBiel argued that Khabibulin shouldn’t have had to undergo a field
    sobriety test because he had recently undergone back surgery.

    DuBiel says his client’s constitutional rights were violated and it
    would have been hard for him to pass the tests even if he was sober. The
    motion to suppress was denied though.

    Obviously, we
    don’t know all of the facts in the case, but it seems as though there
    may be solid case against Khabibulin — back surgery or not. He’s facing
    charges for speeding over 70 mph in a 45 mph zone and is charged with a
    DUI with a blood-alcohol lever of .08 or more.

    Listen, I
    understand the attempts at trying to get the charges dismissed based on a
    technicality. It happens all the time. Yet I have zero tolerance for
    drunk drivers, or even those getting behind the wheel who have had just
    “a few drinks.” That may be harsh, but if there is any chance that
    Khabibulin was driving while intoxicated then he deserves to face those
    charges in court.

    He’ll likely get nothing but probation, although
    it’s unclear what steps the Oilers or even the NHL might take as part
    of their own punishment.

    John MacLean's journey to be Devil's coach had rocky start

    Chere at The Star-Ledger
    has a great story up today on John
    MacLean’s path to becoming the first former Devils player to become head
    coach, focusing on the day in 1997 that MacLean publicly demanded a

    “I feel I’m just dying on the vine here, and
    it’s time to move on,”
    MacLean said that morning. “There has been no contract offer, and I’m
    not going to sit by and wait around for one. I talked to Lou and have
    requested a trade. I told him I won’t be coming back, that it’s time for
    me to go.

    MacLean would be traded not a week later
    to the San Jose Sharks and never again appeared in a Devils jersey
    before retiring in 2002. He was upset at the time that after 15 years of
    playing for the organization the team had focused on contract
    extensions for Scott Stevens, Martin Brodeur and Doug Gilmour and not
    with MacLean.

    Yet eventually, any hard feelings were set aside
    when MacLean was invited to be part of training camp in 2002 before
    becoming an assistant coach with the team. Said MacLean about the

    “I definitely thought I’d be back at some
    point,” MacLean said. “Things
    happen and at that time things were happening. It may not have been
    handled correctly, on my part either, but there is a lot of history here
    with me. This is where I feel most comfortable.

    “You can’t hide
    from what happened. I learned from it and from the places I went. They
    were great learning experiences for me. It shapes who you are. You just
    go on.”

    There are many who are pumped to have MacLean
    as the new coach of the Devils, hopeful he can bring a fresh approach
    to a team that has frankly grown a bit stale. 12 years ago, it didn’t
    seem that this moment would even remotely be possible.