Tag: Jaroslav Spacek

Kirk Muller

Offseason Report: Carolina Hurricanes

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From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

33-33-16, 82 points. Fifth in the Southeast Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference.


Jordan Staal, Alex Semin, Joe Corvo, Tim Wallace, Marc-Andre Gragnani


Bryan Allen, Brandon Sutter, Derek Joslin, Jaroslav Spacek (UFA, still unsigned)

2012 Draft

Second round, 38th overall — Phillip Di Guiseppe, LW (Univ. of Michigan)

Looking back

Back in May, ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford said he planned on being a major player in both the trade and free agent markets.

He wasn’t kidding.

Rutherford orchestrated the offseason’s biggest swap (Jordan Staal for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the eighth overall pick), issued one of the biggest extensions (Staal’s 10-year, $60 million contract) and took a flier one one of the biggest question marks ($7 million for Alex Semin).

The end result was a far different team from the one that finished dead last in the Southeast.

The ‘Canes now boast a dynamic forward group, led by the projected top-six of the Staals, Semin, Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen. All six have scored 20 goals at least once in their careers while Eric Staal, Semin, Skinner and Jokinen have hit 30 before.

Rutherford wasn’t as successful bolstering his blueline, though he did return a familiar face in Joe Corvo and locked up the steady Jay Harrison at a nice price ($1.5 million per.)

Looking forward

No Eastern Conference team reshaped itself like Carolina did this offseason — up front, that is. The defense is still a question mark and much is seemingly riding on two kids under the age of 21: Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy.

Faulk played to rave reviews last season, scoring 22 points in 66 games and earning a spot on the NHL’s All-Rookie team. Murphy, the 12th overall pick in 2011, made the ‘Canes out of camp last season as an 18-year-old before being returned to OHL Kitchener. If Faulk can avoid a sophomore slump and Murphy can replicate Faulk’s rookie success, the ‘Canes will have a decent group (including  Corvo, Harrison, Tim Gleason, Joni Pitkanen and Jamie McBain.)

If not…there could be repeat moments from last season, when Carolina finished 25th in goals allowed per game (2.89).

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Hurricanes’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

In wake of Meszaros injury, Flyers defense might turn to kiddie corps

Paul Holmgren

In a conference call following news of Andrej Meszaros’ torn Achilles tendon, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren wouldn’t say if he’d explore the trade or free agent route to find a replacement blueliner.

He did say the club would look from within — and possibly rely on its youth.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids that we like,” Holmgren said. “Marc-Andre Bourdon played a lot of games for us last year. Erik Gustafsson played a fair amount. Brandon Manning got his feet wet, so we do have some kids that we like.”

Bourdon, 22, appeared in 45 games in his first NHL season, scoring 4G-3A-7PTS while averaging over 16 minutes a night. He only appeared in one of Philly’s playoff games, though.

Gustafsson, 23, was less of a factor in the regular season (30GP: 1G-4A-5PTS) but made his mark in the postseason, scoring two points in seven contests while averaging over 17 minutes of ice time.

Manning, 22, played in four games for Philly last year, spending almost all his time in AHL Adirondack.

Holmgren was further pressed on questions about trades and free agency, but wouldn’t bite.

Instead, here’s CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio on possible acquisitions:

Now the question becomes, will the Flyers go the free agent route or try to pull off a trade for a major upgrade, such as targeting Dan Boyle in San Jose.

Still left on the free agent market are Michal Rozsival, who would be an expensive upgrade, but so would a trade for Boyle, who is not a free agent.

Other free agents are Carlo Colaiacovo, Chris Campoli and Jaroslav Spacek.

Of note, the Flyers could have nearly $9 million in cap space freed up if both Meszaros and Chris Pronger open the season on long term injured reserve.

Columnist: Flyers need defensemen, not Bobby Ryan

Paul Holmgren

CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio thinks all the Bobby Ryan talk is a waste of time. If GM Paul Holmgren really wants to improve his team, he should go out and get a defenseman, not another high-scoring forward.

They don’t need 35 more goals as much as they need 35 less on the back end. Ryan (plus-1 this season) is not on par with other two-way defensive-conscious forwards such as Mike Richards, Claude Giroux or Sean Couturier. He won’t save them 35 goals.

Yeah, they’re centers and Ryan is not, but the point is: the Flyers still have a gaping hole on the blue line and Ryan isn’t going to fill it.

And if the cost of obtaining Ryan is to further weaken the blue line – Ducks GM Bob Murray reportedly wants defensive help – then such a trade makes even less sense.

Not that Holmgren hasn’t tried to address his blue line. He pushed hard to get Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, only to fall short in each attempt.

Writes Panaccio: “That Holmgren tried so hard to get the best two defensemen out there is an acknowledgement by management that Chris Pronger will never play again in Philadelphia.”

Holmgren would vehemently disagree there (at least publicly.) And he did acquire Luke Schenn in a trade with Toronto for James van Riemsdyk.

Besides, even if Holmgren does still want to add another defenseman, his options are limited. The free-agent pool is dry, save for the likes of Michal Rozsival, Pavel Kubina, Scott Hannan, Jaroslav Spacek and Carlo Colaiacovo.

Jay Bouwmeester could possibly be pried out of Calgary, but not for free.

Related: Pronger’s health represents other big question for Flyers’ D

Blackhawks name Gauthier director of player personnel

Pierre Gauthier

Pierre Gauthier has landed on his feet in Chicago.

Less than four months after being fired as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Gauthier has joined the Blackhawks as the director of player personnel.

In an amusing twist, Chicago found itself with an opening in the front office after assistant general manager Marc Bergevin left the club to become the new GM of the Habs. The director of player personnel role needed to be filled job after Norm Maciver was promoted to assistant general manager earlier this summer.

Gauthier had a tumultuous 2011-12 season in Montreal. Most notably, in December, he fired head coach Jacques Martin and replaced him with unilingual Randy Cunneyworth, a move that rankled the team’s French-speaking fans.

Gauthier also faced criticism for acquiring defenseman Tomas Kaberle from Carolina for Jaroslav Spacek and shipping Michael Cammalleri to Calgary for Rene Bourque.

Say what you will about his work in Montreal, but you can’t question his experience. Gauthier has been GM of three NHL teams — Ottawa, Anaheim and Montreal.

He’s also made some impressive late-round draft picks, including Sami Salo at No. 239 in 1996 and PA Parenteau at No. 264 in 2001.

Here are the few, the proud, the UFA defensemen

Dennis Wideman

As Halford mentioned earlier, the list of pending unrestricted free agent defensemen is getting pretty thin. Here are the few notables that could be available July 1.

Ryan Suter – But you already knew that, so let’s move on.

Dennis Wideman – The 29-year-old has said he wants to stay in Washington, but his contract demands could be steep given the 46 points he put up in 2011-12. The Caps might be better served spending their money elsewhere. Obviously they’ll be hoping Mike Green won’t miss as much time next season, and young John Carlson could take on more of an offensive role if Wideman moves on.

Jason Garrison – Talks between the Panthers and the 27-year-old have yet to produce a deal. Though he’s best known for the 16 goals he scored in 2011-12 playing alongside Brian Campbell, Garrison brings more to the table than a cannon from the point – he’s a big guy that can play in all situations and doesn’t mind getting his nose dirty.

Matt Carle – The 27-year-old logged 25:19 per game in the playoffs and wants to stay in Philadelphia. In fact, he might already have re-signed if not for the “tagging rule” that prevents teams from exceeding this year’s salary cap in commitments for next season.

Other pending UFA d-men below the age of 35 include Michal Rozsival, Bryan Allen and Shane O’Brien.

Elder statesmen include Hal Gill, Jaroslav Spacek, Sami Salo and Bryce Salvador.

Are we forgetting anyone?

Oh, Jeff Finger. His contract’s up, too.