Cross Checks: Bobby Ryan
"I'm going to continue to skate with the guys ... whether it's coming back here [to South Jersey] for a couple weeks at a time. ... I think it's important to stay here [in the United States] and be part of the solution and not just run from it," Ryan told New Jersey's Courier-Post.
Ryan also seemed to have a distaste for those players who signed deals in the KHL and other leagues are not supporting the NHLPA.
"I'm going to handle things the way I think things should be handled," Ryan said, according to the report.
Earlier this summer, Ryan told the Camden Courier-Post he would be fine if the Ducks traded him because they had done nothing to prove they wanted him in Anaheim.
He later regretted the comments, telling reporters in September, “About 10 minutes after the interview, I was like, ‘Gosh, I shouldn’t have done that … It was kind of stupid,” according to the Orange County Register.
- Marian Hossa worked out on the ice with coaches for an hour on Tuesday as he continues to rehabilitate from a season-ending concussion suffered in the playoffs. (CSN Chicago)
- Avs center Matt Duchene announced on Twitter that he signed with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Elite League. (Denver Post)
- Claude Giroux hasn’t decided where he will play during the lockout, but he said he believes the lockout will end in time for the NHL to play this year. (Ottawa Sun)
- About a dozen Red Wings players have been skating at Troy Sports Center, with the ice being booked in Henrik Zeterberg’s name, but it hasn’t been decided yet which player will pay the bill for the ice time. (Detroit Free Press)
- Matt Cooke has become the Penguins fill-in equipment manager, sharpening the skates of teammates on his own machine, and the reviews are mixed on how good his work is. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- New Jersey native Bobby Ryan has been working out with some of the Flyers top players during the lockout. (Courier Post)
- The Kings brought the Cup to a 9-year-old girl who fractured her skull and bruised her brain stem while hiking in the mountains in July. (Los Angeles Times)
- Preds forward Colin Wilson is getting advice on dealing with the lockout from his father, Carey, who was a part of the 1992 NHL players strike. (The Tennessean)
- Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is preparing for multiple training camp scenarios given that there is no set date for when – or if – the season will begin. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- Carolina’s Anthony Stewart is playing in Britain’s Elite League for basically nothing just so he can get as much playing time as possible. (New York Times)
- Shane Doan has agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes but is waiting for the sale of the team to Greg Jamison to become official, the veteran told radio station XTRA 910 in Phoenix according to multiple reports. Doan confirmed in the interview that Jamison has the funds to buy the team and that the NHL has said all is good, but a lease agreement with the city must still be worked out -- again.
- Bobby Ryan told The Orange County Register that he regrets an interview he gave earlier in the summer in which he said he didn't care if the team moved him because he was the one being blamed when things went wrong.
- The Vancouver Canucks have asked all of their players --including Roberto Luongo -- to return to Vancouver next week for a charity golf tournament, according to The Vancouver Sun.
- Shea Weber has returned to Nashville and was on the ice with teammates at Centennial Sportsplex on Thursday morning, according to The Tennessean.
- Devil GM Lou Lamoriello told The (Bergen) Record that Ilya Kovalchuk has recovered from back problems that slowed him in the postseason and is in Russia working out.
The teams have had "exploratory" talks regarding Ryan, according to a source close to the situation, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has made it known that Krejci and Milan Lucic (also mentioned in recent trade rumors) are not available.
This source also indicated that the Bruins, who are on a list of teams that Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash would approve a trade to, have dropped out of the sweepstakes for Nash. There have been reports that the asking price for Nash from the Bruins was any combination of Krejci, Lucic, Tyler Seguin and prized prospect Dougie Hamilton.
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Neither Sheehy nor the Detroit Red Wings would comment on or confirm the Detroit News report that Wings GM Ken Holland flew to Madison, Wis., to meet with Suter in person.
Meanwhile, Wade Arnott, agent for Zach Parise, told ESPN.com at 6 p.m. ET that it was unlikely a decision would be made Tuesday night, although he didn't totally close the door on it.
The wait continued Tuesday morning, as Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contemplated the biggest decisions of their hockey lives.
Parise was slated to fly back to his native Minnesota on Tuesday, and it wasn’t clear when he’d have a decision made, although a source close to him thought sometime Tuesday was a probability.
Likewise, Suter remained undecided.
"When a young man is asked to commit for 13 years, why is it considered extraordinary to take a few days to make a decision? A deal will happen when it happens," Suter’s agent Neil Sheehy told ESPN.com via email Tuesday morning.
While the hockey world waits on Parise and Suter, other unrestricted free agents also wait. Matt Carle is the top UFA defenseman after Suter, and you have to think it won’t take long after Suter signs for Carle to also agree to terms with one of the teams that swung and missed on Suter.
I like Carle a lot as a player. He’s going to be a terrific consolation prize for a Suter suitor. And so, the Carle camp sits and waits.
"Patience is a critical component of this process, and we have plenty of it," Carle’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, told ESPN.com via email Tuesday morning.
- Forty-year-old Jaromir Jagr has garnered lots of attention as well. His agent, Petr Svoboda, told ESPN.com Tuesday morning that he was hoping to have his future-Hall of Fame client signed with a team by the end of the week.
- A source close to the Rick Nash situation told ESPN.com Tuesday morning that there is still nothing imminent on the trade front. Of course, Parise still hadn’t signed yet either, which is the moment the Blue Jackets were waiting for to get the ball seriously going again on that front. The suitors, I think, remain the Rangers and Sharks and potentially the Hurricanes. Carolina is not on Nash’s "list," but the Canes would love to get Nash and they’re hoping he’ll change his mind. If I’m Rick Nash, I give Carolina some thought. The Canes are a team on the rise with good young talent and, of course, the recent Jordan Staal acquisition.
- Once Parise signs, the Bobby Ryan trade talks should also heat up in Anaheim. He’s a cheaper contract to absorb than Nash, so the Ducks could really jam things up for Columbus. I still think the Flyers love Ryan. I think Anaheim wants to try to recoup a second-line center in any deal for Ryan.
- Cristobal Huet, remember him? He’s a UFA and he’s willing to come back to the NHL on bargain dollars as a backup. I’d take a chance on him. It just so happens the Winnipeg Jets still need to find a backup goalie to replace Chris Mason. I’d be all over Huet if I were the Jets.
Now four names, in no particular order: Rick Nash, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan and P.A. Parenteau.
What might surprise the casual fan is which player generated which point total: Parise with 69 points this season, Parenteau with 67 points, Nash with 59 points and Ryan with 57 points.
OK, I get it. Point totals are only a partial measure of a player’s ability. No question. And it’s clear Parise and Nash stand above in overall talent, with Ryan just a level below.
But Parenteau is an underrated player, one that has flown under the radar because he plied his trade on Long Island. You might argue he boosted his point total only because he played with John Tavares and Matt Moulson. But you could also argue Parenteau’s playmaking abilities helped Tavares and Moulson find the back of the net.
Finally, I get to my point. While you can see the reasoning in what the Columbus Blue Jackets are doing with Nash -- waiting until Parise signs, so that all those teams that struck out on him come scrambling to the Jackets with a re-energized offer for Nash -- it’s not that simple.
It might happen with some teams, but not all.
As pointed out last weekend, Bobby Ryan is another option and one that carries a better contract. Anaheim should get plenty of traction on him once Parise signs.
But even with Ryan, you have to give up good assets to get him.
There sits Parenteau on Sunday as an unrestricted free agent, available without having to give up any assets. Judging from the conversations I’ve had with a few teams over the past week, I think he’s a player that’s going to generate more interest than most people believe.
Price next?With Jonathan Quick, Cory Schneider and Tuukka Rask owners of new contracts, it stands to measure Carey Price should be the next goalie to get his turn.
That should indeed be the case, as Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has put considerable time in to negotiations with Price’s camp over the past month, and we should see a new deal for the Habs No. 1 in the near future.
Price, a restricted free agent as of Sunday, is coming off a two-year deal in which he earned an average of $2.75 million a year. He should at least double that in his new deal. I don’t think you’ll see a 10-year deal like Quick did in L.A., but somewhere from five-to-seven years is a possibility.
Rask and his agent Bill Zito, by the way, made a smart move in signing for only one year. Rask gets a chance to pump his value up by having a big year as a No. 1 goalie, which will put him in a better position to sign a better contract. Similarly, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli played this well. He’s got to know for sure whether Rask is No. 1 material before signing him to a long-term deal. Now he’ll find out.
- Pending UFA winger Ryan Smyth remains without a new contract as Sunday approaches. A source told ESPN.com that the Edmonton Oilers were slated to talk again with Smyth’s camp Friday.
- Two pending UFAs whose rights could still be dealt before Sunday: Alexander Semin and Jason Garrison.
- As of this past Tuesday, teams were allowed to approach pending RFAs and talk to them about offer sheets. You always wonder whether a team would dare with Shea Weber. But a source close to Weber told ESPN.com Thursday night that nothing of that nature was going on at this point. The Predators, besides, would almost surely match any offer sheet.
The Anaheim Ducks aren’t shopping Ryan as much as teams are calling on him, circling back to them after he was on the market for a while last November.
Ryan could be a good Plan B for the Flyers if they don’t get anywhere on Rick Nash.
Any deal with the Flyers from the Ducks’ perspective would have to center around Brayden Schenn, a source told ESPN.com Thursday, as Anaheim is desperate to find an upgrade at the No. 2 center position. My sense is that the Flyers have very little interest in moving Schenn. They view him as way too valuable to do that. Winger James van Riemsdyk is the player more likely to move out of Philadelphia if the Flyers make any splash over the next few weeks.
Whatever ends up developing with Ryan, and the Ducks don’t feel they have to necessarily move him, it certainly has ties to the Nash situation.
Whichever teams have interest in Nash can’t ignore the cheaper version available in Ryan.
Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, met Thursday afternoon here in Pittsburgh with Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson. It’s no secret Nash would love for this to be over as soon as possible.
The debate for the Jackets is whether they take the best possible offer this week or wait until the first week of July and capitalize on the teams that struck out on UFA Zach Parise.
What will Oilers do with No. 1 pick?
No matter what the Oilers say, I think they’d love to move down from the No. 1 spot in the draft and get something tangible in return while still picking a defenseman they covet.
The Oilers, I believe, love blueliner Ryan Murray, as well as defenseman Griffin Reinhart. Either would satisfy their top need: defense.
But if they’re still picking first overall come Friday night, can they really afford not to take forward Nail Yakupov, considered by most the most dynamic player in the draft?
"They’re in a pickle, if they move down to get their defenseman, they have to make sure they get him, there’s still a risk there," said one NHL team executive. "I think they’d really have to get something good in return for moving down to make it worthwhile."
Kane not in playThe speculation that won’t go away surrounding Patrick Kane being in play is simply not true, as far I’m told.
The Chicago Blackhawks' front office has not brought up that possibility even once, a source told ESPN.com, despite rumors to the contrary ever since Kane’s well-publicized trip to Wisconsin. And they’ve not once brought up his name with other teams.
"He’s not available," a rival GM told ESPN.com Thursday.
Speaking of the Blackhawks, you can forget rumors also linking Roberto Luongo to the Windy City. The Blackhawks can’t take on that monster contract. They’re not a player in those talks.
But one player the Blackhawks are willing to move, according to rival team executives, is defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. The 25-year-old Swede has two more years on his deal at $3.5 million per.
Ott, Ribeiro getting attentionThe Dallas Stars are getting calls from other teams on two players who garnered attention before the trade deadline: Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro.
Ott especially got traction before the deadline, but the Stars ultimately decided to hold on to him as they were sitting in a playoff spot at the time. The rugged winger, who can pot some goals, has two more years left on his deal paying him $3.2 million a year in salary but with a $2.95 million cap hit.
He’d be a good addition for a team looking to bulk up in a second-line role.
Ribeiro, deeply talented but somewhat inconsistent, has one year left on his deal paying him $5 million.
If the Stars move one or both of these two players, it’s with the big picture in mind, which is to get their core a bit younger and build the team around Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson.
Futures of Alfredsson and Selanne cloudyThe Senators hope to know soon one way or the other about the future of captain Daniel Alfredsson.
"I’m hoping to talk with him in a couple of days," Sens GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com Thursday. "We’ll see where he’s at when we talk. Hopefully by Saturday or Sunday, we’ll have had a chance to talk."
The Anaheim Ducks, meanwhile, expect to hear back from Teemu Selanne regarding his future around July 1.
Jagr updateJaromir Jagr’s future remains unanswered. The Flyers winger will be UFA July 1, and while his agent has kept close contact with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, it’s not clear at this point whether he’ll stay put or fly the coup.
"I talked to Paul a couple of days, and we had a great conversation," Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda told ESPN.com Thursday. "We’ll wait to see where the salary cap goes and then we’ll talk again. We’re planning on talking again early next week."
Jagr earned $3.3 million this past season and was productive for a 40-year-old.
"It’s not about money, it’s about the situation," Svoboda said. "He really enjoyed Philly. Nothing has changed. Both sides like each other a lot. We’ll see where it goes. We’ll see what happens between now and July 1. We’re not in any rush."
Blues' wish listThe St. Louis Blues have stabilized their ownership situation, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to spend like crazy like the Buffalo Sabres did a year ago when they got new ownership.
So forget any of those Rick Nash trade rumors. The Blues aren’t in on that.
Instead, the Blues are focused on trying to acquire a left-handed, second-pair defenseman and hope to do so before the weekend is out here in Pittsburgh. Jason Garrison of the Florida Panthers and Matt Carle of the Flyers -- both slated to be UFAs July 1 -- come to mind.
Jets talks with PavelecThe Jets met Thursday morning here in Pittsburgh with agent Allan Walsh to try and find common ground in contract talks regarding starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec.
An RFA July 1, the 24-year-old Pavelec remains unsigned, and he’s threatening to play in the KHL, where a source confirms he has an offer worth north of $5 million a year (tax-free) to play in St. Petersburg.
The Jets’ offers so far have obviously been much lower than that.
The two sides will try to iron things out this weekend in Pittsburgh.
"We’re going back and forth, and we’re hoping it’s going to get done," Jets GM Kevin Chevelldayoff said Thursday.
The Jets GM also met with Evander Kane’s camp from Newport Sports on Wednesday. Kane is also RFA July 1.
There are rumors speculating that he’s either going to be shut down for the season or that his career could be over.
That’s news to the person who manages his career.
"Sidney is doing very well, he’s training, he’s going in the right direction," agent Pat Brisson of CAA Sports told ESPN.com Friday. "The idea of retiring or shutting him down is not even in our vocabulary. Far from that."
"Absolutely zero truth to these rumors," added Penguins general manager Ray Shero to ESPN.com on Friday.
It’s status quo at this point. Shero said that there is no change from what head coach Dan Bylsma said last week: Crosby still has concussion symptoms, and there’s no timetable for his return.
Leafs' trade priorities
Brian Burke has made big deals in January. For example, Dion Phaneuf was acquired on Jan. 31, 2010, and Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner were acquired Feb. 9 last season, three weeks before the trade deadline.
"I do try to get my lineup set well in advance of the deadline," Burke told ESPN.com Friday. "I’ve never been a deadline guy. So January is when I try to make a splash."
How’s it going on that front now?
"We are listening to a lot right now, and there is a good chance something will happen, but I don’t think it’s going to happen today or tomorrow," Burke said. "This is like hunting. Sometimes when you’re hunting, you get a feeling you’re going to stumble on something, or birds are coming in and you get a sixth sense something is about to happen. I don’t sense that here right now. We’re talking to a lot of teams about a number of things -- mostly we’re listening because we like our group -- but I can’t sense if something is imminent or not. Right now I’d say it’s not."
As we always say at this time of year, that can change in one phone call.
The Leafs’ trade priority is to add a piece up front for the top-six group.
"Our forward group is small," Burke said. "If we can add some size up front, we would."
To do that, the Leafs are willing to move a defenseman, the area on the team where they have the most depth.
There have been rumors about the Leafs looking at goaltending, but Burke shot that down.
"Not a chance," Burke said emphatically. "We’re not talking to any teams right now about getting a goalie."
Leafs fans got pretty excited this week with the news that Anaheim star center Ryan Getzlaf might be available. And while Burke refused to get into specific names, you can bet the Leafs general manager would love to get re-acquainted with his former player. But at this point, I don’t see a fit given what Anaheim would want back in any Getzlaf deal. If the Leafs get in on Getzlaf at all, it’s going to be in the offseason, in my opinion.
Yzerman's to-do list
The Tampa Bay Lightning entered the weekend 12th in the Eastern Conference, seven points out a playoff spot and most notably, dead last in the NHL in goals against.
It doesn’t take high-end sleuthing skills to figure out a top defenseman and a netminder top Tampa’s wish list. GM Steve Yzerman made a minor move Friday, acquiring defenseman Brendan Mikkelson from the Calgary Flames in exchange for forward Blair Jones. But he’s got bigger moves in mind if at all possible.
"We’re always trying to improve the team, particularly when our record hasn’t been great," Yzerman told ESPN.com Thursday night.
"I think I look at both, short term and big picture," Yzerman said. "I’m not going to do something out of desperation that’s going to hurt us in the long run, by trading draft picks and a good prospect or something like that. Any deal has got to make sense for us long term. So that makes it tricky."
The aging Dwayne Roloson has struggled this season, and backup Mathieu Garon is just that, a backup. So the Bolts will need to find a true answer in goal. I’d be surprised if Tampa didn’t inquire about either Cory Schneider in Vancouver or Jonathan Bernier in Los Angeles -- among other young options -- but again, those types of deals seem to adhere themselves more toward the offseason. It just so happens the Canucks are in Tampa on Tuesday. I’d be shocked if Yzerman and Vancouver GM Mike Gillis didn’t at least have a coffee together ...
A top-four defenseman has been on Yzerman’s list since October. But teams just don’t deal those guys away.
"Nobody is trading a top-four defenseman -- nobody, unless you want to trade a superstar to get one," said Yzerman. "Otherwise, nobody is trading a top-four defenseman. They want those guys, and they need them."
Ducks GM makes headlines
Anaheim GM Bob Murray made some waves earlier this week with his comments to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register and Hall of Fame columnist Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times, saying that other than Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, any other player on his roster was available.
Murray, frustrated by his team’s dismal display this season, didn’t back down from that sentiment Friday morning.
"What I said is what I said," Murray told ESPN.com. "Right now I’m listening to everything. It would be very difficult to make the type of deals I want, but I’m listening for sure. I still think we have a decent core here, but we’re maybe going to have to change a piece or two."
Odds are, especially if it’s a trade involving Ryan Getzlaf or Bobby Ryan, it might wait until the offseason around the June entry draft so that more teams can be involved in the bidding and more pieces can be involved.
"But sometimes blockbusters happen at the trade deadline," Murray said. "You never know."
Know this: Murray is going to be ultra-patient with this. He’s not in a hurry and he’s not interested in a total rebuild. He won’t do that to his fans, he said. If he makes a big move or two over the next year, it’s going to be to make the team better both in the short term and long term.
Fact is, almost every team in the league has either already called about Getzlaf or certainly will. But not all of them have the goods to get in on the top floor of those discussions. My belief is that Murray would want a young core player or two in return. Not every team can deliver on that.
Just guessing here, but two clubs that I believe would possibly have a fit for the Ducks are Buffalo and Philadelphia. The Sabres need to do something given how their season has gone, and whether it’s Getzlaf or Ryan, that would be a statement deal for Sabres GM Darcy Regier. The Flyers need a defenseman more than anything with Chris Pronger’s season-ending injuries. Given Murray’s statement that basically everyone is available on his roster, if I were Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, I’d be kicking the tires on either Lubomir Visnovsky or Toni Lydman ...
Blackhawks' wish list
Chicago GM Stan Bowman has been working the phones since late November looking to see what’s out there to help his Cup-contending squad.
But it takes two to tango, and right now there’s nothing imminent, despite his preference to get it done long before the trade deadline, Bowman told ESPN.com Friday.
Specifically, Bowman said Friday, he would like to acquire a 4-5 defenseman as well as a center that could play in his top-six group.
"We’re kind of looking for a guy that is playing top four on another team but maybe on our team doesn’t have to play in that role," Bowman said. "We’d like to upgrade on our third pairing."
Up front, while the Hawks have tried Patrick Kane at center and they know Patrick Sharp can also play center, they’d like to bring someone in to play center behind Jonathan Toews.
"Ideally, I’d like to find a center man," Bowman said. "It doesn’t have to be a top center man, but somebody that can play and complement top players."
If the Hawks can’t find a natural center, they’d settle for a winger that can play in the top-six group, Bowman said.
"We don’t have a lot of holes," Bowman said. "I like our depth in youth as well. These kids we have can play."
But he’s looking for short-term security and depth, which is what all contending teams need to do.
Lupul's dream season
Joffrey Lupul entered the weekend sixth in NHL scoring with 45 points (18-27) in 40 games, a stunning comeback season for a player whose career was threatened by serious back issues during his time in Anaheim.
When he got to Toronto almost a year ago (Feb. 9), he was nowhere near the player he is right now.
"Physically I’m in better shape, I’m stronger, I’m playing pain-free, which is obviously a big bonus," Lupul told ESPN.com this week. "When you have success, your confidence starts growing, and I’m definitely making plays now that I wouldn’t have made a year ago; it wouldn’t have crossed my mind. It’s nice to have that confidence. You just want to keep things rolling now and keep playing that way every night."
Lupul’s parternship with Phil Kessel has produced one of the more lethal 1-2 punches in the league. Lupul said opposing teams key on Kessel, which opens up ice for him. That’s a big bonus, he said.
Perhaps defenses will soon realize Mr. Lupul is worth covering, too.
Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun debate how the Ducks' coaching change will affect Bobby Ryan's future in Anaheim:
Burnside: Good day, my friend. You had a late story Wednesday night with the late-breaking news that the Anaheim Ducks had put coach Randy Carlyle out of his misery and replaced him with Bruce Boudreau. Surprised? I guess I'm not; from the moment we learned Boudreau had been fired in Washington early Monday, I wondered how long he’d be out of work long given his successes at revitalizing a down-and-out Washington team.
I spoke to Boudreau on Tuesday and asked him how he would respond if he got a call right away. (Some coaches need to decompress a bit, but not Boudreau, who is manic about work.) “I would probably want to do it right away,” he said. Guess he got his wish, as he'll be headed west to try to pull off Miracle Part Deux.
The Caps were in last place when he took in November 2007 and led them to the top of the Southeast Division and a playoff berth. The Ducks are way better than their record suggests, but it's a pretty big hill to climb. What say you?
LeBrun: We weren’t kidding on Monday during our Faceoff video when we suggested Carlyle could be next after the firings of Boudreau and Carolina’s Paul Maurice. The sense I was getting out of Anaheim suggested the Ducks were thinking long and hard about a coaching change, which was a big departure from how they felt just 10 days ago. But the two weekend losses to Chicago and Toronto were a tipping point, and the players looked like they had no interest in playing for Carlyle on Sunday especially.
Despite the fact Carlyle that had two more years on his contract past this season and the Ducks are a frugal operation, GM Bob Murray delivered the news to him about 40 minutes after the game last night. Then Murray met with the team leaders. The hope, of course, is Carlyle quickly finds NHL work and his contract is then off-set. Carlyle won’t be unemployed for too long; he’s a great coach. But every coach has his time expire after too many years in the same place. The message gets stale. It was time for a fresh one in Anaheim, and the energetic Boudreau will certainly bring that.
Burnside: Well, I was ranting about this yesterday in our podcast, but I'm pleased the organization gave Murray leave to make the change as opposed to simply looking at the bottom line. Good for the Ducks and, ultimately, for Randy Carlyle.
So how long before the Carlyle-to-Toronto rumors surface? The Leafs hung with red-hot Boston for a couple of periods, but were ultimately outclassed in a 6-3 loss. The Leafs are another team that can't afford to let a good start go to waste. I’m not suggesting that Toronto coach Ron Wilson is in trouble, but with Carlyle’s strong connections to GM Brian Burke, who hired him en route to a 2007 Cup win in Anaheim, it won't take much to get the rumor tongues wagging.
LeBrun: There’s no question Burke is a big fan of Carlyle, but he did send out a tweet this morning in a likely attempt to stop those rumor tongues: “Sad to hear about Randy Carlyle. But our coach isn't going anywhere!”
It’s going to be an interesting dynamic now here in Toronto. Wilson's deal expires at the end of this season. Furthermore, the Leafs view AHL coach Dallas Eakins as a possible future head coach for them, as well, so there’s a lot to chew on for Burke, et al, in the coming months.
As for the Ducks, I think this move buys them more time to make sure they make the right kind of deal if they want to trade Bobby Ryan. I know teams were calling again yesterday; there’s no shortage of interest. But my sense is the Ducks were going to be extremely patient on that front and only make a deal they believe is a home run. The asking price is very high, as it should be for a 24-year-old power winger.
Burnside: I think it's going to be interesting to see what happens personnel-wise now that Boudreau is behind the bench. Ryan picked up an assist in Wednesday’s win over Montreal and was moved away from his usual linemates, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. When it came to mixing and matching lines, Boudreau always had a lot of options when he was in Washington with the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin (when he was tuned in), Nicklas Backstrom, etc.
In Anaheim, does he go back to the Big Three and hope they'll turn a corner with a new voice in their ear, or does he try to find some balance on a team that ranks 29th in goals per game? I'm with you, though, I'll be surprised if Ryan is moved, at least in the short term, given the coaching change, unless a team is prepared to overpay in draft picks and prospects. Doesn't make sense to make a trade that tells the players this season is toast. Will we be talking about Ryan being on the move a month from now? Perhaps, but I doubt if it happens now.
LeBrun: Let me be clear, I’m not saying I don’t think Ryan will move, I think there’s still a real chance of that. I’m just saying the coaching change allows Murray to breathe and focus on the offers he’s getting instead of feeling rushed into that kind of move. But I think if he gets the kind of offer he wants, he could still move Ryan. OK, my friend, enjoy your game tonight in Washington, where the rival Penguins visit. Let’s see if we can go through a whole day without another coach being fired. Three coaches gone in three days and one of them already re-hired. What a week!
Ducks general manager Bob Murray was slated to take in the Islanders-Sabres game in Buffalo on Tuesday night after spending the weekend in Syracuse, N.Y., for pro scout meetings.
The hockey world awaits his next move with his team near the basement of the standings.
Will he fire his coach or make a big trade? Either one is a possibility.
The Ducks are listening to offers for Bobby Ryan, sources confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday. But really, "they're listening on a lot of guys. They have to at this point," another source said.
It's not that the Ducks are actually shopping Ryan, but rather the rest of the league phoning Anaheim and, more often than not, inquiring about the star winger, sensing that Anaheim might be willing to shake up their roster.
There's a difference between shopping a player and listening to offers for a player -- the Ducks are in listening mode.
One NHL source told ESPN.com that Carolina and Anaheim had a chat about Ryan, although given his $5.1 million salary, it's not likely the budget-conscious Hurricanes can pull it off. Fact is, there would be no shortage of teams interested in Ryan if the Ducks do ultimately decide to go that route.
The asking price in any Ryan deal would likely revolve around a young defenseman, a young forward and possibly a high draft pick -- in other words, a big package involving two to three pieces.
As for head coach Randy Carlyle, as late as last week, I would have told you he was as safe as safe can be despite his team's struggles. But I'm not as confident about that now. I think with the losses continuing to pile on, the Ducks have been forced to reconsider everything -- including the coaching.
Miller clears the airRyan Miller doesn't want out of Buffalo.
A weekend note in the Edmonton Journal by respected hockey columnist Jim Matheson caused a stir with some fans in Buffalo, with the veteran writer saying he kept hearing that Miller wouldn't mind if the Sabres traded him.
Some Sabres fans reached out to me via Twitter asking me what I knew. Well, I put the question right to Miller himself whether it was accurate that he may want a change of scenery.
"That is not true at all, and I have never made any comment concerning my status with the team," Miller told ESPN.com via text message Tuesday. "I am proud of being a Sabre for all we have accomplished, and I am excited about the new chapter Terry and Kim Pegula have inspired. I am working hard to get healthy and build my game back to where I want it so I can start to contribute to an effort to build a championship team."
Iginla's futureThere's been much debate already in Calgary this season about Jarome Iginla's future. It's a delicate situation. He's arguably the most popular player in franchise history, and the owners of the team adore him.
GM Jay Feaster needs Iginla to approve any trade given the players' no-movement clause and, just as importantly, needs his owners' blessing. And that's if Feaster himself decides it's the best route of action.
If and when Iginla decides he's finally ready for a change -- and on Tuesday he told Calgary media that he hasn't changed his stance on not wanting to be traded -- you can bet the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins will be among the teams sniffing that one out. The B's won't be alone, of course, but a source confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday that the club would have some genuine interest in bringing Iginla on board should a trade possibility ever come to pass later in the season.
Iginla has one more season left on his deal, paying him $7 million.
NBA labor deal's impact on NHLBasketball owners were able to drive players down from 57 percent of revenues to around 50 percent in the recently agreed-upon labor deal. And you better bet NHL owners were paying attention with the league's collective bargaining agreement set to expire next Sept. 15.
My guess, based on a bit of chatter with industry sources, is that the NHL will try to reduce the players' share from the current 57 percent to below 50 percent. That's the most direct and impactful way of minimizing player costs in the next CBA. The NBA deal's limit on term for contracts will also interest NHL owners.
But it takes two to tango. The NHL Players' Association, led by executive director Donald Fehr, isn't going to roll over. After all, the players feel they gave up a lot last time around by agreeing to a salary cap, so you can expect the players will want some serious givebacks in return for lowering their share of the revenue pie -- if they agree to lower it at all.
The players' biggest bugaboo with the current system is escrow. Other items the players may focus on include the 35-and-over rule, walk-away rights for salary arbitration and the NHL disciplinarian/appeal process.
The next CBA will be a big topic next week in Pebble Beach, Calif., when NHL owners meet for the Board of Governors meeting. Yes, realignment will be the lead item as owners try to resolve that tricky issue, but a full CBA update and discussion will also be among the agenda items.
The NHL and NHLPA are expected to commence labor talks sometime after the All-Star Game.
Anaheim may have lost to Nashville in Friday's Game 5, but no hockey fan will be forgetting Bobby Ryan's third-period goal any time soon.
If you missed it, stop what you're doing and watch this clip. It's sick!
ESPN's Barry Melrose and Matthew Barnaby weigh in on Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan, who was suspended two games for stomping on the skate of Nashville defenseman Jonathon Blum in Game 2 of the teams' Western Conference quarterfinal series Friday night.
See why our experts don't agree on the NHL's decision Saturday:
Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks: It's been a roller-coaster ride for the Ducks through the first quarter of the season, but, as of writing this, the Ducks were in the top eight in the Western Conference and Ryan has been doing his bit with six goals in his past six games. He's regularly logging more than 23 minutes of ice time a night and has taken over the team lead in goals with 13. His plus-10 rating is best among Ducks forwards.
Andrew Raycroft, Dallas Stars: Yes, Kari Lehtonen is "the man" in Dallas, but having an able backup is often the difference between making the playoffs and not. Right now the much-traveled Raycroft is giving the Pacific Division-leading Stars top-flight relief goaltending. Raycroft has won three of his past four starts, including stopping 37 of 38 shots in a 2-1 victory over Washington on Thursday night. He has stopped 89 of 91 in his past three wins, and one expects he will continue to get work with performances like that.
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals: Nine games without a goal ties Ovechkin's longest stretch without denting the twine since becoming an NHLer. He went nine games in 2008-09 without a goal, too. Now, the Caps' captain is still collecting points with eight assists over that period, and the Capitals remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, but his lack of goal production is troubling in a relative sort of way. It's worth noting that in 2009, Ovechkin rebounded to win the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award) as league MVP.
Sergei Gonchar, Ottawa Senators: A lot of heat on Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston, but what about the Sens' big signing of the offseason, Sergei Gonchar? Well, not much going on there. Gonchar, so important to the Pittsburgh Penguins' success in the past four years, has not scored in 10 straight games and has added two lonely assists over that period as the Senators' descent in the Eastern Conference standings continues unabated. Between Gonchar and Alex Kovalev -- with two goals in his past 12 games -- that's a whole lot of money going down the drain. Kind of like the Sens' season.
Barry Melrose picks his four stars of the night: Philadelphia's Claude Giroux, Toronto's Colton Orr, Anaheim's Bobby Ryan and Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.
- Maple Leafs enforcer Orr scored the winning goal after knocking over Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen. Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 1 »
- Jeff Carter scored a goal and had two assists, and Philadelphia survived a third-period flurry to win. Flyers 6, Sabres 3 »
- Alexei Kovalev scored twice and added an assist, combining with Erik Karlsson for the fastest two goals in Ottawa history. Senators 5, Coyotes 2 »
- Brendan Morrison scored two goals and Alex Tanguay netted the shootout winner for the streaking Flames. Flames 5, Oilers 4 (SO) »
- Ryan scored twice and Teemu Selanne got his 611th NHL goal to back Jonas Hiller's 35 saves in Anaheim's victory. Ducks 5, Stars 2 »
- Mason Raymond scored 28 seconds into overtime to save the Canucks after giving up a goal late in regulation. Canucks 4, Avalanche 3 (OT) »