All three finalists for the 2012 General Manager of the Year Award that were announced today have at least two things in common. First, they haven’t been given the resources to spend to the salary cap. Second, their teams are still alive in the playoffs.
Ladies and gentleman, we present David Poile of the Nashville Predators, Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues, and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers.
If we had to pick a favorite, it would be Poile. With all due respect to Armstrong and Tallon, this is the most important season in franchise history for the Preds, and the GM’s done everything he can to build a winner in hopes of convincing defensemen Ryan Suter and Shea Weber to make long-term commitments to the club.
In November, Poile made a strong statement when he signed goalie Pekka Rinne to a seven-year, $49 million extension.
Later on, the GM pulled the trigger on three trades, bringing aboard Paul Gaustad, Hal Gill, and Andrei Kostitsyn.
He also brought Alexander Radulov back to Nashville just before the playoffs in a transaction that was anything but simple.
Granted, Suter could still walk away this summer. And if that happens, Weber could follow the next year. But if Suter’s sincere when he says winning will take care of everything, then Poile’s done his job.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.