Rutherford denies reports that Pens won’t re-sign UFAs Martin, Ehrhoff, Lapierre


Separate reports emerged yesterday that the Pittsburgh Penguins will not re-sign unrestricted free agent forward Maxim Lapierre or defensemen Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff.

When it came to passing on Martin, 34, and Ehrhoff, 32, the idea was to focus on a defensive youth movement while reallocating those savings towards bolstering the Penguins’ group of wingers. That might ultimately be the path Pittsburgh takes, but Penguins GM Jim Rutherford countered those reports.

“I don’t want to cross anybody off the list because you don’t know what happens here in the next month,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Paul Martin’s agent, Ben Hankinson, also asserted that there hasn’t been any decision made yet and that returning to Pittsburgh is still a possibility.

Pittsburgh has a little under $61.8 million committed to 13 players, per General Fanager. That gives them some flexibility going into the free agent period, but signing Martin and Ehrhoff would make it difficult for them to add anyone else.

No timetable for Alfredsson, but he has interest in coaching


Daniel Alfredsson has talked to the Ottawa Senators about the possibility of joining their front office. He also watched some games with Senators GM Bryan Murray and visited the front office following his retirement to learn the ropes. However, when it comes time to determine what his next role will be in the NHL, he might end up going the coaching route instead.

“I really enjoyed coaching the boys and it was a big learning curve for me as well,” Alfredsson told the Ottawa Sun. “You know it’s easy when you see things on the ice, ‘Just do this’ but you have to be able to explain it to eight year-olds or 12 year-olds in a way they might understand it and I really enjoy that. It’s challenging, and I’m learning a lot from it too. I think I’m helping the kids become better and thinking in a different way than maybe I have with other coaches.”

He knows he wants to get back into the league at some point, but he’s not putting a timetable on it. For his part though, Murray isn’t expecting Alfredsson to make his decision before the start of the 2015-16 campaign.

In the meantime, Alfredsson will be in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards. He’ll present one of them and while he doesn’t have the details yet, his ideal would be to end up giving the Calder Trophy to finalist Mark Stone.

PHT Morning Skate: Examining Coyotes’ ongoing saga


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Will the Coyotes end up relocating and if so, where will they go? Elliotte Friedman offers his thoughts. (Sportsnet)

While we’re on the subject, how strong in the City of Glendale’s legal position? (FOX Sports)

Former Coyotes player Jeremy Roenick feels Glendale’s actions are disgusting and disgraceful. (Sportsnet)

Legendary coach Scotty Bowman talks about some of the reasons why scoring has declined in the NHL. (Vancouver Province)

Forward Janine Weber has become the first player signed by the new NWHL, which plans to have its inaugural season in 2015-16. (NHWL.co)

The Texas Stars will go into the 2015-16 campaign with a new logo. (Texas Stars)

Longmou Li is living his dream by covering the Stanley Cup Final for CCTV, which is China’s state broadcaster. (Toronto Star)

Dupuis recommended medication ‘that will allow him to play’


Pascal Dupuis’ future has been uncertain since Nov. 19 when he was diagnosed with a blood clot on his lung, but now the road ahead of him is coming into focus. In addition to working out, he’s been given the green light to start taking contact.

“The blood clot has dissolved, and the doctors have recommended a blood thinner medication that will allow him to play,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said, per the team’s website. “It’s a big step forward for Pascal, and we’re all excited for him.”

Dupuis last played on Nov. 15 due to his condition. He had six goals and 11 points in 16 contests prior to being shutdown. His return would help firm up the Penguins’ top-six as he can be slotted into either Sidney Crosby’s or Evgeni Malkin’s line.

His absence has been felt by the Penguins in each of the last two campaigns as he didn’t play past Dec. 23 during 2013-14 because of a knee injury.

NHL proceeding on basis that Coyotes will stay in Glendale


The Arizona Coyotes’ future is once again in question after the City of Glendale voted to terminate its arena-management agreement with the franchise last night.

Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc has vowed to “exhaust any and all legal remedies against the City of Glendale for this blatant violation of its contractual obligations to us.” That includes filing for injunctive relief, according to the team’s website.

On Thursday the NHL issued the following statement, per Fox Sports’ Craig Morgan:

“The National Hockey League stands by, and will fully support the Arizona Coyotes in their efforts to vindicate their contractual rights in response to last night’s outrageous and irresponsible action by the City of Glendale.

“We continue to proceed on the basis that the Coyotes will remain in Glendale and will be playing their home games at Gila River Arena.”

We will have to see how quickly the legal matters unfold. Arizona was in line for a busy summer as the squad needs to spend roughly $19 million just to get to the cap floor (if the ceiling is $71 million). However, if where the team will play in the near future is once again in question, then the Coyotes might have trouble luring free agents.