Tag: Tim Thomas

Jim Nill

Could Dallas be a big player this week?


For all the rumors and speculation being bandied about, things have been awfully quiet out of Dallas over the last week or so.

And perhaps that’s intentional.

Last year, his first on the job, Stars GM Jim Nill let his actions to the talking — he acquired the rights to Sergei Gonchar and inked him to a $10 million deal, orchestrated the Tyler Seguin blockbuster and acquired Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff within weeks of being on the job.

The result? Dallas made the playoffs for the first time in five seasons and Nill received four first-place votes as NHL GM of the Year.

Nill should be watched with great interest as he readies for an encore performance. Calgary GM Brad Treliving has already tabbed this as “volatile of a draft week as we’ve seen in recent memory,” and it’s clear all 30 NHL clubs hold the potential to do something big.

Earlier this week, PHT spoke with Jarret Bousquet of Titan Management, the agent for Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Cody Eakin. While he did confirm he’s spoken with Nill about new deals for both clients — Dillon and Eakin are pending RFAs — it sounds as though extensions aren’t imminent as the Stars are intently focused on the draft and UFAs right now.

Makes sense, given how Dallas is positioned at the moment.

Nill’s spent this offseason mostly clearing the decks — he used one of the club’s two compliance buyouts on defenseman Aaron Rome and informed veterans Ray Whitney and Tim Thomas they wouldn’t be brought back. The Stars also made an offer to versatile center Vern Fiddler, which was rejected as he plans to test free agency.

As such, Dallas now has 15 players under contract for next season at around $48 million — meaning it has roughly $22 million in available space. Nill has played coy about what sort of budget he’s working with (“We’re not a cap team or a floor team,” he told the Dallas Morning News) and it’s clear from last summer he’s got the green light to be aggressive and make big moves.

At this point, it’s probably worth mentioning the guy who signs Nill’s cheques — Dallas owner Tom Gaglardi. This past year was Gaglardi’s first full 82-game season as owner since purchasing the club in November of 2011 and while snapping the club’s playoff drought pleased him, Gaglardi sees it more as the first step in turning things around. He hasn’t been shy about doing whatever it takes to accelerate that process — from the new uniforms to aggressive ticket marketing plans to reconnecting with the club’s history (remember the epic Mike Modano jersey retirement ceremony?) — and he re-iterated as much following the team’s opening-round loss to Anaheim.

“It was a special moment, because I know how important it is to make the playoffs, and the fans know that too,” Gaglardi explained. “That’s the first step, and you want to take it as soon as possible, because everything gets accelerated after that.”

So yeah. Maybe keep an eye on Dallas this week.

Bruins’ Tuukka Rask wins Vezina Trophy


Tuukka Rask has taken the 2014 Vezina Trophy as the National Hockey League’s top goaltender.

The award comes on a special day – the eight-year anniversary to the day when the Boston Bruins acquired Rask from the Toronto Maple Leafs, as per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. Rask finished the season with a league-leading seven shutouts and a .930 save percentage, which was second among goalies. He also recorded 36 wins in the regular season.

Here are the voting results for the award:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th)

1. Tuukka Rask, BOS 103 (16-6-5)
2. Semyon Varlamov, COL 90 (9-13-6)
3. Ben Bishop, TB 32 (1-6-9)
4. Carey Price, MTL 26 (2-3-7)
5. Jonathan Quick, LA 9 (1-1-1)
6. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 5 (1-0-0)
7. Steve Mason, PHI 3 (0-1-0)
8. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ 1 (0-0-1)
Kari Lehtonen, DAL 1 (0-0-1)

In the end, 16 of 30 league general managers took Rask as their top choice for the Vezina. It is Rask’s first Vezina Trophy of his career.

Here’s a list of the Vezina winners and second-place finishers since 1990:

Year Winner Runner-up
2014 Tuukka Rask, Bos. Semyon Varlamov, Col.
2013 Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ Henrik Lundqvist, NYR
2012 Henrik Lundqvist, NYR Jonathan Quick, L.A.
2011 Tim Thomas, Bos. Pekka Rinne, Nsh.
2010 Ryan Miller, Buf. Ilya Bryzgalov, Phx.
2009 Tim Thomas, Bos. Steve Mason, CBJ
2008 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Evgeni Nabokov, S.J.
2007 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Roberto Luongo, Van.
2006 Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy. Martin Brodeur, N.J
2004 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Miikka Kiprusoff, Cgy.
2003 Martin Brodeur, N.J. Marty Turco, Dal.
2002 Jose Theodore, Mtl. Patrick Roy, Col.
2001 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Roman Cechmanek, Phi.
2000 Olaf Kolzig, Wsh. Roman Turek, St. L.
1999 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Curtis Joseph, Tor.
1998 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Martin Brodeur, N.J
1997 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Martin Brodeur, N.J
1996 Jim Carey, Wsh. Chris Osgood, Det.
1995 Dominik Hasek, Buf. Ed Belfour, Chi.
1994 Dominik Hasek, Buf. John Vanbiesbrouck, Fla.
1993 Ed Belfour, Chi. Tom Barrasso, Pit.
1992 Patrick Roy, Mtl. Kirk McLean, Van.
1991 Ed Belfour, Chi. Patrick Roy, Mtl.
1990 Patrick Roy, Mtl. Daren Puppa, Buf.

UFA of the Day: Chad Johnson

Boston Bruins v Winnipeg Jets

Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Chad Johnson

With Boston’s signing of Niklas Svedberg, Johnson’s time as Bruin is effectively over. The 28-year-old is coming off a solid season (17-4-3, .925) as Tuukka Rask’s backup, but will now have to join a crowded group of UFA goalies, all looking for a limited number of spots.

“I am excited for the next opportunity to prove more and more,” said Johnson in an email to CSN New England. “I love to win, and be a part of a winning environment. I obviously would love to be able to help a team win a lot of hockey games. I am looking for a chance to really have an important role with a team.”

Ideally, Johnson would like to be in a situation where he could at least challenge for the starting job. The Washington Capitals are looking for a backup to Braden Holtby, who still has a few things to prove. The Jets don’t yet have a backup for Ondrej Pavelec, the subject of intense scrutiny in Winnipeg. Calgary is perhaps another option. Maybe Dallas, too.

The challenge for Johnson, or should we say for his agent, will be convincing a team that he’s a better option than Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Thomas Greiss, Justin Peters, Tim Thomas, Ray Emery, and the list goes on. Because despite Johnson’s solid 2013-14, he’s only had one real season in the NHL. And besides a few appearances versus the Kings, his game log isn’t exactly loaded with top-quality opponents. Plus, he had the luxury of playing behind the Bruins’ defense.