Tag:Calgary Flames
Posted on: March 8, 2010 3:04 pm

Odds & Ends: March 8

  • Jordan Eberle, the Edmonton Oilers' first round pick in 2008, could make his NHL debut this season. The Regina Pats, forward's junior club, are out of the running for the playoffs, and their season ends on Saturday. Eberle is expected to join Edmonton's AHL affiliate, Springfield, at that time. [Sources: Edmonton Journal]
  • Flames coach Brent Sutter is still fending off gossip suggesting his sudden departure from New Jersey and hiring in Calgary was a planned one. "[Coaching in New Jersey] became difficult because of other people, people more important than the game. Did I expect to be in Calgary after I resigned? No. It was such a quick turnaround because they were given permission within five days to talk to me. They wanted a coach in place and they had a timetable they wanted to adhere to." [Source: New York Post]
Posted on: March 3, 2010 2:58 pm

Infection knocks Souray off trade block

Rumblings earlier today suggested there were teams considering trading for an injured Sheldon Souray. TSN says chances of him moving are extremely slim.

The defenseman has checked into a hospital with an infection. The severity is unknown, but it may be serious to end his season. Souray recently had surgery to fix a broken hand suffered during a fight with Calgary's Jarome Iginla in late January.

Posted on: March 1, 2010 4:19 pm

2010 free agent lists (updated)

For those who missed our post in January, we've compiled a list of players due to become free agents this summer. We've updated these to reflect recent signings and trades that have already taken place.

Most trade rumors that have already surfaced (and will probably pop up in the next couple days) involve these players. Teams preparing for a cup run often look to add players whose contract are about to expire (i.e. Jordan Leopold) since they can be had for draft picks or little else in return.

Unrestricted Free Agents
Restricted Free Agents
Posted on: February 4, 2010 11:34 am
Edited on: February 4, 2010 3:17 pm

Three remain in Kovalchuk bidding war

Less than 24 hours after the Atlanta Thrashers announced Ilya Kovalchuk is on the trading block, the potential suitors have been whittled down to three: the Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers.

Kovalchuk spoke with the media Thursday and said he has not ruled out re-signing with Atlanta. When asked if he thought there was still a chance to get a deal done, Kovalchuk responded, "Yeah, why not? You never know." [audio, 10:17]

"It should be a good deal for everyone, not just for one side," Kovalchuk said. "I play hockey, but I've got a family and three kids, too. ... I like everything here. It's a great city, the organization did everything for me."

Waddell issued a statement Thursday afternoon recapping his negotiations with Kovalchuk, utimately stating, "we are aggressively exploring all of our options as we move forward."

ESPN's Pierre Lebrun reports Atlanta Associate GM Rick Dudley attended Wednesday night's AHL matchup between the the Devils' farm team, the Lowell Devils, and the Rangers', the Hartford Wolfpack.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post said via Twitter the Rangers would be expected to part with either Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky, with the rest of the package determined by who is the main player. If it is Callahan, New York would have to also give up Marc Staal or Michael Del Zotto. If it is Dubinsky, the Rangers would have to surrender one of the following: a first-round pick, Evgeny GrachevChris Kreider or Derek Stepan. Rangers GM Glen Sather is not prepared to do either.

Reports from Lebrun and Kings Insider suggest Los Angeles is definitely in the mix, but may be waiting for the Thrashers to lower their asking price. The Sporting News' Craig Custance, a former Atlanta beat writer, noted if the Kings are serious about acquiring Kovalchuk, they may have to part with Wayne Simmonds, whose game the Thrashers "like and respect." 

CBC's Elliott Friedman says its Simmonds who may be the player Los Angeles is not ready to part with to make this deal happen. The Kings' offer is believed to include Alexander Frolov and Jack Johnson.

According to the Ottawa Sun, Atlanta GM Don Waddell received one deal "he can stomach," but is holding out for more since the Thrashers are still vying for the playoffs.

Initial reports indicated the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers were among those looking to land Kovalchuk. Also mentioned were the Vancouver Canucks, who momentarily joined the fray and left it as quickly.

The Bruins are still interested in Kovalchuk, although their pitch to Atlanta is not considered one of the more aggressive ones, says the Boston Globe.

"It's not a done deal yet and thus far Boston really hasn't been in the thick of it," an anonymous source told the Globe. They're in it, with 7-8 other teams, but their offer hasn't been near the top."

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday the Flames not in the mix for Kovalchuk. Custance said the Blackhawks are not interested, either. The media in Calgary and Chicago, however, has been rather silent in the wake of the Kovalchuk news, so it is hard to determine whether the Flames and Hawks are truly out of the running.

Lebrun reported the Flyers were still in the mix as of last night. Reports out of Philadelphia suggest otherwise. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, team sources said there is no interest in Kovalchuk. Philadelphia has the kind of players and prospects Atlanta would probably want in return, but the Flyers would need to make significant changes to its salary cap-strapped roster. That is not something GM Paul Holmgren has indicated he is willing to do.

Last night, the Camden Courier Post reported any deal would probably involve Jeff CarterClaude Giroux and/or James vanRimesdyk. Friedman reports it is Scott Hartnell who has been mentioned in proposals, as Holmgren will not trade Carter.

Custance speculates the San Jose Sharks could be a "mystery team" involved in the bidding for Kovalchuk. He notes GM Doug Wilson's history of pulling off big deals to get star players (Joe Thornton, Brian Campbell, Dany Heatley) and the Sharks' focus on the Stanley Cup after past postseason letdowns.

Be sure to keep checking back throughout the day. We're staying on top of any news that breaks. Looking for the rundown of Kovalchuk's contract situation and how he ended up on the trading block? Check out Wednesday's post.
Posted on: February 3, 2010 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 6:35 pm

Waddell to Kovalchuk: Pack your bags

Ilya Kovalchuk's days in Atlanta are done.

Thrashers GM Don Waddell met with Kovalchuk Wednesday and informed him to expect a trade within the next few hours or days, TSN reports.

"It certainly appears to be the direction the club is moving in," Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Ilya's disappointed. But we appreciate the fact they've been honest about what their plans are."

TSN's Bob McKenzie says about six teams are in the mix for Kovalchuk and that a deal may take a couple days to sort itself out.

Waddell has been busy scouting players in recent days, the Canadian Press and Journal-Constitution report.

The Canadian Press said Waddell scouted the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday during their trip to New Jersey, and took in an New York Islanders-Philadelphia Flyers game last week in Philadelphia. The Journal-Constitution confirms the latter.

The Kings are frequently linked to Kovalchuk talks due to their wealth of cap space and young prospects. The Islanders are in a similar situation, but GM Garth Snow has said he does not want to break up his team's core

Sources within the Flyers organization told Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia they are "all but out" of the bidding for Kovalchuk. A previous report in the Camden Courier Post suggested a deal would have to involve Jeff Carter, Claude Giroux and/or James vanRimesdyk.

According to Canadian network RDS, Waddell says the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are among the teams after Kovalchuk.

Blogger and former Islanders VP of Communications Chris Botta says the Bruins have made a legitimage pitch to Atlanta. Sun Media's Bruce Garrioch also notes Boston GM Peter Chiarelli stepped up his efforts to land Kovalchuk. Boston Globe beat writer Kevin Paul Dupont, however, reports the Bruins are not considered one of the serious bidders.

The Chicago Blackhawks have also been mentioned as possible suitors for the five-time 40-goal scorer. Former Thrashers beat writer Craig Custance reports this is not the case. TSN's McKenzie says the Calgary Flames, also mentioned as an interested party, are out of the mix, too.

The teams that try to acquire Kovalchuk will have to do it somewhat blindly in regards to a contract extension. Waddell will not allow other teams to negotiate a new deal for the forward prior to any trade.

Another report in the Journal-Contitution, citing local sports radio host John Kincade, says Atlanta offered their captain a long-term deal that would have paid $10 million a season. The paper notes it would have been the largest contract ever offered to an unrestricted free agent.

Journal-Constitution sports columnist Jeff Schultz, also a former Thrashers beat writer, reports Kovalchuk wanted the maximum salary allowed under the collective bargaining agreement -- 20 percent of Atlanta's payroll or $11.3 million. The captain also sought a deal in the 10-to-12 year range. Atlanta's last offer was $101 million for 12 years, which breaks down to a little more than $8.4 million a season.
Posted on: February 3, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 4:02 pm

Odds & Ends: Feb. 3

  • The Boston Bruins have placed winger Michael Ryder on the trading block. The 29-year-old has 12 goals and 20 points in 54 games this year. Ryder has one year left on his contract. [Source: TSN]
  • The Philadelphia Flyers are reportedly seeking a second- or third-line scorer and a defenseman for depth. [Source: Camden Courier Post]
  • Since trading Olli Jokinen, the Flames are weaker up the middle and believed to be planning a move to improve at center. Two possible targets are Dallas' Mike Ribeiro and Montreal's Tomas Plekanec, who are both unrestricted free agents at season's end.
  • The NHL hosted a meeting between all interested parties involved with the sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this week. Although the deal to sell the team to financier Jeff Vinik is far from complete, it is believed a significant setback would be needed to derail it. [Sources: Tampa Tribune, St. Petersburg Times]
Posted on: February 1, 2010 3:54 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2010 2:32 pm

Flames-Rangers deal in limbo

The Calgary Flames nearly matched the Toronto Maple Leafs in blockbuster deals on Sunday.

The Flames arranged a trade with the New York Rangers which would have sent forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to Broadway in exchange for Christopher Higgins and Ales Kotalik, Canadian network TSN and the Calgary Herald reports.

Rangers GM Glen Sather was ready to make the deal, but the Flames pulled back at the last moment. Calgary apparently held off because they wanted Jokinen in the lineup Monday night against the Flyers. TSN says the deal could be made official after the game. There's also talk Kotalik declined to waive his no-trade clause.

Update: The teams completed the deal early Tuesday morning.
Posted on: February 1, 2010 3:33 pm

Canes' Whitney attracting attention

Demand for veteran Ray Whitney could spur a bidding war before the March 3 trade deadline.

The Hurricanes' winger has attracted attention from the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins, Sun Media reports. The Sabres are believed to be the top contender for Whitney's services. The Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings may also join the fray.

Whitney would need to waive a no-movement clause for any trade to go through. An unrestricted free agent this summer, the forward led Carolina in scoring in two of the past three seasons.
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