Tag: Marco Sturm

John Madden, Dan Boyle

John Madden’s return to the NHL might happen in Florida

We haven’t heard from former Stanley Cup winner John Madden this season but that’s likely going to change soon.

Madden has been working out lately and now with the roster freeze lifted, he’s close to coming back to NHL action and the Florida Panthers are highly interested. George Richards of The Miami Herald reports that Panthers GM Dale Tallon is interested in bringing in yet another former Blackhawks Stanley Cup winner to south Florida.

“We’re talking to everyone, and we’re listening to everyone,’’ general manager Dale Tallon said during Tuesday’s game. “We really need some bodies. We’re trying to get better and will do so anyway we can.’’

Madden is 38 years-old and played last season with Minnesota scoring 12 goals for the Wild as a third and fourth line center. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Tallon is undecided whether he’ll sign Madden, but the team’s current injury situation might force his hand.

The Panthers are going without Stephen Weiss, Marco Sturm, Scottie Upshall, Jack Skille, Sean Bergenheim, and Marcel Goc makes life hard on the Panthers. While they keep winning, it’s getting stressful and Madden would make a solid, veteran stopgap there. At least Weiss is due to be back soon, but the others have a longer road ahead of them.

Tonight’s most dramatic game is… Canadiens-Panthers?!

Montreal Canadiens v Florida Panthers

It’s a light Monday night for NHL action but tonight’s most intriguing match-up very well might be between the Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens.

Wait, what?

Yes, seriously and it’s all thanks to a soap opera-level of drama surrounding both teams. The Panthers made a stunning trade on Saturday afternoon that sent a young cornerstone player out of town and two potentially over-the-hill veterans in to “win now” as Panthers president Michael Yormark put it.

“Winning now” wouldn’t be the phrase that normally comes to mind with Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm at this point in their careers but hey, that’s their take.

Then you’ve got the Montreal Canadiens who are off to a miserable start this season and coach Jacques Martin is squarely at the center of all discussion and it’s exclusively negative. From the talk of him being on the hot seat to the open complaints about his choice to put Mathieu Darche on the power play over newly acquired Erik Cole, the Habs are in desperate need of a win at home tonight or else Jacques Martin might not make it through tomorrow with his job.

The Canadiens could use a standout game from Carey Price to help keep the wolves away from the door. While the Habs have three starting defensemen out with injuries, a highlight reel game from Price would give them both the confidence boost they’re looking for. It would also give the Habs their first win at home this year.

Panthers… Canadiens… Monday night! Can you smell the intrigue? It’s actually there this time.

Update (12:03 p.m.): Mikael Samuelsson’s Panthers re-debut will have to wait, he’s still in Vancouver getting worked out.

Gillis and Tallon speak up after today’s big trade

Mike Gillis

Today’s trade between Vancouver and Florida proved to be tonight’s big story. Canucks GM Mike Gillis got a chance to land a potential stud winger to play with Ryan Kesler in David Booth while the Panthers add a pair of experienced veterans in Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm with expiring contracts.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon giving up on David Booth is perhaps the most intriguing part of this deal. He’s 26 years-old with a potentially bright future ahead of him. He hasn’t been the same player he was looking like he was becoming since suffering a major concussion at the hands of Mike Richards two years ago, but Tallon was looking to shake things up and give Booth a chance to find his game again in a new place.

Shaking things up after just six games? All right then.

If Tallon is seeing an issue with his team and Booth was part of that, moving him now while his stock is still high is a good move. What he got in return, however is strange. With Sturm and Samuelsson he’s got two guys having bad starts to their year but their contracts are off the books after this season.

According to CapGeek.com, that gives Florida over $24 million in cap space next year. Another summer of spending on the way next year for Florida or is there a potential free agent they’re eyeballing already? Alex Semin, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Pekka Rinne are all awfully attractive potential free agents next summer.

As for Mike Gillis, the deal is a virtual no-brainer for him as he tells the media in Vancouver.

Getting Booth to team up with former Team USA linemate Ryan Kesler and to get their own third round pick back make sense. Getting that pick back also means Vancouver can dip into the restricted free agent market next summer.

The potential catch here is if Booth doesn’t get back to his old form as a 30-goal scorer again. They’ve got Booth for the next four years at $4.25 million against the cap. If he’s not producing, that contract is a grizzly bear to deal with. It’s exciting for Vancouver, however, as seeing Booth riding on a line with Kesler and Chris Higgins (USA! USA! USA!) is more exciting than seeing Sturm there with Samuelsson. A good team getting better? Vancouver makes it look easy.

Canucks and Panthers steal tonight’s show with huge trade

David Booth

There have been rumblings about trades early in the season, but getting a big one so soon is a fun surprise although the trade partners are very familiar with each other.

Vancouver acquired power forward David Booth, centerman Steve Reinprecht, and a 2013 third round pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. Booth and Reinprecht are the 10th and 11th ex-Panthers acquired by the Canucks since Mike Gillis took over as GM of the team.

Booth was one of the Panthers young cornerstones that GM Dale Tallon refused to part with at the deadline last season hoping that he and Stephen Weiss would be the young guys needed to help turn the Panthers around. As it turns out, Tallon got to wait around for a deal that sends two veteran forwards to them instead.

At 26 years-old, Booth helps the Canucks get the forceful and younger second line power forward to team up with Ryan Kesler and give them a legitimate goal scoring threat. Booth had his career put on hold after a wicked head shot from Mike Richards back in October of 2009. So far this season, Booth has one assist and is a -6 for the Panthers. Those numbers should turn around fast in Vancouver.

Florida giving up on Booth is puzzling. Either Tallon knows something the Canucks don’t or he’s cashing out on Booth to get veterans whom he knows what he’ll get out of them. The other side of that, however, is that Sturm has looked like he’s on the wrong side of his career for the past two seasons and Samuelsson is about as streaky and moody of a player as it gets.

This deal seems like a steal for Vancouver. Taking on Reinprecht is just a formality as Reinprecht had been put on waivers by the Panthers before and is already headed to Vancouver’s AHL affiliate.

With Samuelsson and Sturm about this close to being done as productive wingers, the focus is on Booth to see what he brings (or doesn’t) to Vancouver. If Booth regains his old goal-scoring form, this is a runaway steal for the Canucks.

PHT presents: Three Duds of the Week

Scott Arniel

Every Monday, we’ll highlight (lowlight?) three of the NHL’s biggest duds from the past week.

1st Dud: Pick a Jacket, any Jacket.

Key Stats: Columbus is 0-4-1, 24th in goals for, 25th in goals against, 28th on the power play and 28th on the penalty kill.

It’s hard to pin the Blue Jackets’ woes on a single individual, but not because there’s a lack of candidates.

— Steve Mason has an .889 save percentage and already been hooked once in favor of Curtis Sanford.

— RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette and Derick Brassard have combined for one point and a minus-6 rating.

— With James Wisniewski suspended, the defensive workload has been forced upon Grant Clitsome (team-high 23:15 a night) and Radek Martinek (22:39). Just to clarify: Columbus GM Scott Howson spent $74 million on his defense this offseason, yet the high-minute blueliner is Grant Clitsome.

— After the Jackets put a season-low 15 shots on goal in a 4-2 loss to Dallas on Saturday, head coach Scott Arniel bag-skated them for an hour, a tactic that, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch, “hasn’t been used in Columbus since Gerard Gallant stood behind the bench.” Good times in C-Bus.

NB: Rick Nash (2G-3A-5PTS) and Vinny Prospal (3G-2A-5PTS) could be exempt from being picked, although Nash is the captain of this mess and Prospal has been a real penalty magnet.

2nd Dud: Marco Sturm, LW, Vancouver Canucks

Key Stats: Sturm has zero goals, zero assists and zero points. He is minus-4, however.

Vancouver’s lone notable free agent signing on July 1, Sturm was brought in on a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the hopes of 1) Recapturing the form that made him a seven-time 20-goal scorer, and 2) Being a top-six forward to start the year, given the injuries to Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond.

In retrospect, these expectations might’ve been a tad high given 1) Sturm’s torn his ACL twice since 2008, and 2) The Canucks are his fourth team in 12 months. But neither of those facts prevented the always-compassionate Vancouver media from eviscerating him after just five games!

The Province: “How much time is Marco Sturm going to get to make something happen?”

Vancouver Sun: “Sturm, a free-agent acquisition signed largely because second-liners Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond were injured in the Cup final, may be the most disappointing forward so far.”

The Province (again): “It’s nearing mid-October and we’re still unsure what it takes to get Marco Sturm going.”

The Province (yeah, again): “Marco Sturm, who had two knee surgeries the past three years, has been a bust with no points, two shots and a minus-4 rating after five games.”

On the bright side, Sturm was Vancouver’s best German-born player this past week.

[Update: One of our top-secret inside sources in Vancouver says Sturm is “likely” to be scratched tomorrow night against the Rangers.]

3rd Dud: Bryan Little, C, Winnipeg Jets

Key stats: Little has zero goals, zero assists, zero points and is also minus-4. Sound familiar?

Much like in Columbus, there are numerous people to blame for Winnipeg’s awful start (in no particular order: Ondrej Pavelec, Johnny Oduya, Dustin Byfuglien, anyone wearing a Jets jersey.) But right near the top is Little, the only member of the Jets’ first line without a point. Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd got theirs on Saturday in Phoenix.

Little’s struggles aren’t for a lack of opportunity, as he’s Winnipeg’s No. 1 centre on the power play, most active faceoff man and playing over 17 minutes a night. He just isn’t getting anything done. Case in point: Little’s only registered three shots on goal through three games, with two of ’em coming in the season opener against Montreal.

If you’d like to weigh in with your duds of the week, add ’em in the comments section below.