Author: NBC Sports

Flyers made offer for Marty Turco


Some interesting developments this morning as ESPN is reporting,
several times and by several different mediums, that the Philadelphia
Flyers have reached out and made an offer to impending free agent
goaltender Marty Turco. Supposedly the offer was for $2 million a year, a
far cry from the $5.8 million he made last season and certainly not the
paycut he was expecting to take.

When Turco was reached, he
acknowledged the offer before saying he’s willing to wait and see what
the free agency market shakes out to be.

This doesn’t sound right,
does it?

Technically, what the Flyers just did was tampering a
potential free agent. Technically, Marty Turco still belongs to the
Dallas Stars and other teams cannot enter into negotiations with a
player who is under contract with another team.

ESPN’s Pierre
LeBrun shakes this off and says it’s o.k., since the Dallas Stars “gave
permission” to the Flyers to make an offer to Turco. I still don’t
understand how that would work, since the Flyers wouldn’t be able to
sign him to that offer anyways, since he’s still under contract by the

One option would be that if Turco did agree with the
offer, then the Stars would likely trade his rights to Philadelphia in
exchange for a conditional draft pick. Even if that were the case, it
still feels as if the two teams are dancing on a fine line with

Talking with the media on Saturday after the draft, GM
Paul Holmgren was careful not to say anything that could be regarded as
tampering. When asked if he could negotiate with a player’s agent if he
had permission to and he was particularly vague about the answer.

going to be interesting to see how this shakes out. As far as this
actual issue stands, it doesn’t appear to be anything other than talk.
Despite the paycut he’ll have to take, Turco is going to make more than
$2 million next season; I can understand why he turned down that offer.

Americans not surprised by their presence in the 2010 draft


Campbell2.jpgFor a draft that was mostly void of big trades and heavy on rumors, the
story of the draft began to focus on the American players that were
being selected with greater frequency as the weekend progressed. After
the first round concluded, there was some confusion as to whether a
record was tied or broken for Americans drafted in the first round,
before USA Hockey sent out a release stating that yes, a record 11
American players were drafted in the first round.

According to
their release, USA Hockey does not use birthplace criteria for
considering a player American, but instead uses his developmental roots.
The sticking point in this case was Cam Fowler, a Canadian-born player
claiming dual citizenship who grew up playing in America. With that
official statement, 2010 became a banner year for hockey in the United

It was fitting, coming just months after the United States
stunned the Canadians in the World Juniors, putting an exclamation
point on the rise of American hockey over the past 20 years. When the
NHL started expanding south, placing teams in San Jose, Los Angeles,
Anaheim, Dallas, Florida, Atlanta and Nashville — this was going to be
the eventual outcome.

Young kids, growing up with hockey in their
area and never knowing that “hockey isn’t supposed to be played in the
south” develop their talents and an early age and then move up the ranks
to the US Development Program which has started to produce some of the
best players in hockey in recent years.

Toronto GM Brian Burke
says it’s not just those NHL teams that are making an impact on these
young players, but
the emergence of minor league teams as well.

“We put teams in these little towns and little cities in Louisiana
and Texas,” Burke said.

“Youth hockey springs up around them. I think that’s been just as
important in getting kids to play as the NTDP team has been.”

In all, the United States finished with 60 players drafted in 2010,
just 30 behind Canada. Of course, the ratio of players drafted to a
country’s population will always favor Canada, but it’s a great sign for
a sport in which American players have always been a strong minority.

Now, not only are Americans being drafted but some of the top players
in draft hail from the United States. Players are coming from
California, Texas and other areas generally not considered “hotbeds of
hockey development” as these youth programs gain more strength and more
talent over the years. These players being drafted now grew up with
hockey in their area, and they find nothing unusual about so many
Americans being taken in the draft now.

They also had nothing but praise for USA Hockey and the NTDP, the
program that has done so much to develop these young players into some
of the best talent in the draft. These American players that have been
together for the past few years and are now going their separate ways
formed a bond during their time with the NTDP, which was on full display
while the team won the IIHF World Juniors. Colorado Avalache
third-round pick Michael Bournival says that’s a bond that will never be

“I’ll talk to those guys the rest of my life,” Bournival said. “Every
single one of those players is like a brother to me, and that will stay
like that for the rest of my life. I have no doubt about that.”

“Being a part of this last year, where the United States really broke
out in the world, from 2009 under-18’s all the way up to this last
under-18, USA hockey is really getting on the map. It’s an honor to have
been a part of that and this draft year is great as well, and I’m
excited just to be a part of it.”

Every American player we talked with spoke with obvious pride of how
the sport has grown in the United States, and none were surprised at the
amount of Americans drafted this year.

As the game of hockey continues to grow in areas such as Texas,
Florida and California we’ll continue to see more and more Americans
taken high in the draft. This past year was a record year for USA
Hockey, and you can expect coming years to be just the same.

Marc Savard will waive NTC for two teams: Ottawa and Toronto


The sticking issue in all of this talk about a supposed Marc Savard trade was his no-trade clause, where he would have to approve the destination that the Bruins look to send him. There’s been speculation that the Blue Jackets were interested, as well as a number of Eastern teams.

Word comes now that reportedly Savard is willing to waive his no-trade clause, if he must, and head to either Toronto or Ottawa. Both teams make sense, as both teams are in desperate need of scoring and playmaking centers.

The sticking point, of course, is the contract that Savard currently has. With four years and $25.5 million remaining on his contract, it’s going to be tough for Boston to move him for the maximum value they’d hope to get.

Some have said that Luke Schenn could be part of a trade with Toronto, but GM Peter Chiarelli told that if teams were able to eat salary as part of these trades then deals like this would become just a bit easier.

As of now, there’s still nothing concrete on any offer that’s been made and it’s not necessarily a guarantee a trade is made before July 1. If the Bruins can’t move Savard by then, he is then allowed to name up to five teams he is willing to go to. Depending on how free agency shakes out, that is likely the course Boston takes unless a decent deal comes their way in the meantime.

2010 NHL Entry Draft: An anticlimactic weekend on the trade front

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We were promised a crazy weekend.

Heck, I was sure of it.

After a few weeks of buildup, as team officials were sure there was going to be a flurry of activity leading up to the draft, all we got was a Keith Ballard trade and Dan Hamhuis’ negotiating rights moved to Pittsburgh.

I’d say last year was crazier. Easily.

Teams needed to make salary cap room and they were needing to make trades for positions of need, before a stale free agency class hit the market on July 1. The stars were aligned, and instead there was nothing but disappointment.

When the media hit the draft floor yesterday, immediately the throng started to analyze every conversation witnessed between team officials. The tweets started to fly, as we tried to breakdown every whisper witnessed between general managers.

Perhaps they were just catching up, because the trades never happened.

There’s still a chance that we see some trades this week before free agency starts, but at this point I’m not holding my breath. The teams are just asking for too much, and with free agency looming they’d rather just take their chances with the open market.

Evgeni Nabokov trade stalling, Tim Thomas trade rumors heating up


The buzz here in Los Angeles is that the Bruins are pushing hard to trade Tim Thomas and Marc Savard, and somehow would like to package them together. That just doesn’t seem possible, especially considering their contracts, but that’s the consistent word.

At the very least, the NTC by Savard and the NMC by Thomas don’t seem to be the big hurdles they should be, as both players have reportedly revealed the team’s they’re willing to go to.


So which teams are looking at the goaltenders? The Philadelphia Flyers seemed to be making a big push for Nabokov yesterday, and when those talks fell apart Sharks GM Doug Wilson said he expected the negotiations to drag on into next week.

When asked about a potential trade for Nabokov, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren first responded with “I have no clue what you’re talking about” before going on to say that he thought that Nabokov “is going to be a free agent.” He was unwilling to talk about any potential trade, in any capacity or whether the Flyers were interested in Nabokov at all.

The other team that seems to be in on the Nabokov talks is Tampa Bay, who is also supposedly going after Tim Thomas.

I’m still not sold on why a team would trade for Thomas to take on his contract at his age, but there certainly appears to be at least some interest in the veteran.