Tag: Ottawa Senators

New York Islanders v Dallas Stars

Neuvirth’s agent and Isles had ‘positive conversation,’ will resume in late June


There’s been some traction between the New York Islanders and pending UFA goalie Michal Neuvirth.

“Garth [Snow, Isles GM] and I had a positive conversation regarding Michal coming back next season to play for the Islanders,” Neuvirth’s agent, Patrik Stefan, told PHT on Friday. “The Islanders are a well built young team with a bright future. Although it was for short time, Michal enjoyed playing there and was impressed with the organization.

“Garth is well aware of what the UFA’s market for goalies this summer and he and I agreed to continue our conversation at the end of this month.”

This development is interesting on two fronts. One, in mid-May, Stefan said he hadn’t heard anything from the Islanders about his client.

Two, Stefan continued to insist his client is gunning for a No. 1 job.

“The bottom line is Michal wants to and is ready to be a starter next season,” Stefan said of the 27-year-old, adding that Neuvirth “will be one of the top goalies on the UFA list July 1st.”

If Neuvirth (.914 save percentage between Buffalo and New York last year) really wants a starting gig, it’s hard to see him going back to the Islanders. Jaroslav Halak seems firmly entrenched as the starter, coming off a year in which he finished fifth in the NHL with 38 wins, made the All-Star team and helped the Isles get back into the playoffs.

In an opening-round loss to Washington, Halak finished with a .926 save percentage and 2.30 GAA.

If Neuvirth does decide to go elsewhere, he’ll dive into a goalie market that’s flush with options.

RELATED: Need a goalie? No shortage of options out there

Fellow (projected) UFAs include Antti Niemi, Karri Ramo and Jhonas Enroth. Devan Dubnyk doesn’t figure to get to market, but stranger things have happened.

On the trade front, several names are out there. Ottawa’s shopping Robin Lehner and Craig Anderson, and Vancouver GM Jim Benning revealed he’s getting calls on Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom. The Blackhawks have three goalies under contract; what could Antti Raanta fetch them? Would the Leafs trade James Reimer?

All this could have a major impact on Neuvirth’s goal of being a No. 1 next season.

No timetable for Alfredsson, but he has interest in coaching

Daniel Alfredsson #11 of the Ottawa Senators handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 14, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Senators 4-1.
(May 13, 2013 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)

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.

Sens ink Claesson to a one-year, two-way deal

Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens

The Ottawa Senators have come to terms on a one-year, two-way contract extension with defenseman Fredrik Claesson the club announced.

The deal will pay Claesson $600,000 at the NHL level and $85,000 in the AHL.

The 22-year-old set a career high for goals (four) and games played (76) while playing with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in 2014-15. The Stockholm, Sweden native was awarded Binghamton’s “Top Defenseman” award following the 2013-14 season when he recorded a career-high 29 points in 75 games.

Claesson finished the 2013-14 season second among all AHL players with a plus-37 rating.

In 221 AHL games, over three seasons, the 6-foot, 205-pound blue liner has seven goals, 49 assists and 132 points to go along with 132 penalty minutes and a plus-35 rating.

Ottawa selected Glaesson in the fifth round (126th overall) at the 2011 NHL Draft.

Detroit parting ways with deadline pickup Cole

Erik Cole

The Erik Cole era in Detroit will be short lived.

Cole, who arrived from Dallas at the deadline but played just 11 games before suffering a season-ending spinal cord injury, won’t be brought back next season, GM Ken Holland announced on Tuesday.

Cole, 36, had a pretty nice campaign prior to suffering his injury. The veteran scored six points in 11 games with the Wings, averaging 14:39 TOI per night. Overall, Cole averaged an impressive 0.57 points per game this year between Detroit and Dallas, his highest rate since scoring a career-best 35 goals with Montreal in 2011-12.

As such, it’ll be interesting to see where he lands in free agency. Clubs looking for a veteran presence on the wing could do worse and Cole does have plenty of playoff experience, having appeared in 46 career contests while playing in a pair of Stanley Cup Finals (winning it all with Carolina in 2006).

As for Detroit, this marks the second straight year a veteran deadline pickup failed to net significant returns — last year, the club acquired David Legwand from Nashville and, after a quick start, he struggled to make an impact in an opening-round playoff loss to Boston.

Those deals could end up hurting the Red Wings down the road. For Cole, they gave up prospects Mattias Backman, center Mattias Janmark and a second-round pick in this year’s draft; for Legwand, they gave up Calle Jarnkrok and a second-rounder in last year’s draft.

Hedman’s stellar play draws attention to Olympic omission

Victor Hedman

Defenseman Victor Hedman need some time to develop into a player worthy of the expectations thrust upon him when he was taken with the second overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry, but he’s certainly been a big part of the Lightning’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.

In fact, Hedman has been playing at an elite level for a little while now and it’s gotten to the point where it’s encouraged of a reexamining of Sweden’s 2014 Olympic roster decisions. He was left off that team as they went with a defensive core of Alexander Edler, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, Johnny Oduya, and Henrik Tallinder. That group is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but was there really no room in there for Hedman?

Swedish coach Par Marts was the one to reject Hedman and he doesn’t regret that decision, per Aftonbladet. As he pointed out, it’s easy to criticize in hindsight and he argued that Hedman wouldn’t have gotten the ice time he deserved if he was put on the roster, in part because they leaned towards the defensive pairings in Detroit (Ericsson-Kronwall) and Chicago (Hjalmarsson-Oduya). At the same time though, plenty of star players go into the Olympics with the understanding that they won’t get the minutes that they’re accustomed to.

“I was surprised that he didn’t make the team,” Blackhawks defenseman Hjalmarsson said during Tuesday’s press availability. “Obviously he’s a good player.”

Hedman admitted to being disappointed, but he said it wasn’t difficult for him to switch his focus to Tampa Bay’s next game after finding out he wouldn’t make the team. Certainly he has plenty to be pleased about at this point as he took another step forward in 2014-15 and needs just two more wins to win the Cup.

Marts did leave the door open to him reaching out to Hedman over the summer. The fact that he didn’t make the 2014 team was eyebrow raising, but it will be a far bigger story if NHL players go to the 2018 Olympics and Hedman is once again left off the roster.