Tag:Cory Stillman
Posted on: September 8, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: September 8, 2011 10:08 am
 

Stillman to retire, move into Panthers office

By Brian Stubits

There are still a slew of veterans sitting on the free-agent market, perhaps waiting for the middle of the year for a team waiting for a lift. Cory Stillman won't be one of them.

The 37-year-old winger will instead elect to retire and move into the front office, specifically returning to the Panthers to serve in a player development role.

Mike Davies at the Peterborough Examiner (h/t to Puck Daddy) had the full story.

Stillman, 37, will officially announce his retirement at a press conference Thursday in Florida where the Panthers will introduce him as a member of their player development staff. He will work under director of player development Brian Skrudland monitoring and working with Panthers prospects from the junior ranks to the minor pros.

Stillman says he had offers to return to the NHL, including from Carolina, but he felt, for a variety of reasons, the timing was right to move onto the next stage of his life.

"I can walk away knowing I wasn't pushed out the door," Stillman said. "I could still play. When I got traded back to Carolina I was reunited with some guys and we had a good run at the end. In the end, I'm not old, but I'm getting a little older, I'll be 38 in December, and I had a career I'm very happy with. Now it's time to move on to be with my family."

Getting to make the decision on his own terms was important to Stillman who has battled injuries in recent years.

Stillman spent two and a half seasons with the Panthers before being traded to Carolina, where he once won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes, last season. He also was with the Lightning for their Cup victory in 2003-04, putting him in rarified air by winning back-to-back Cups with different teams. Let's call it the anti-Hossa.

Watching Stillman in the final few years of his career, specifically thinking of his time in Florida, this always seemed like a natural. Stillman had a professional vibe that he gave off, somebody who would work his way into an off-ice position somewhere. The Panthers saw it, asking Stillman to let them know when he was ready to retire because they were interested in bringing him back to the organization in another position than winger.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: August 24, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: August 29, 2011 2:04 pm
 

Daily Skate: National TV partners; remaining FAs

By Brian Stubits

MADE FOR TV GAMES: If you had one guess as to the most nationally televised matchup in the NHL since 1994, what would you pick? If you said Rangers-Flyers, you got it, and it's not even close. Puck The Media has compiled a list of the national broadcasts going back to 1994 and Rangers-Flyers takes the cake by eight games over Penguins-Flyers. Take a look at the whole list here. Notice a lot more mixtures containing the Rangers, Flyers and Red Wings. Earth shattering there, we know.

FREE AGENTS STILL FREE: Don't forget there are still some free agents floating out there looking for work. Guys like Bryan McCabe, Cory Stillman, Teemu Selanne and Chris Campoli haven't found contract offers as of yet. So Down Goes Brown helps the teams still shopping by providing a buyer's guide to the remaining players that is full of gems like this: Chris Campoli, the good: Is known as a puck-moving defenceman, which presumably makes him more valuable than a defenceman who insists on keeping the puck stationary at all times.

TOMAS THE TANK: The Panthers' rebuilding efforts were hardly met with universal praise across the hockey world. The majority of people outside of South Florida saw a bunch of overpriced, mediocre signings instead of impact spending. But Dale Tallon doesn't feel that way (of course not), especially about his most expensive forward addition, Tomas Fleischmann. Tallon told the Miami Herald that "[Fleischmann] hasn't reached his peak yet and numbers are just going to go up."

STILL LOOKING TO STRIKE OIL: The Oilers are still trying to work their way back up the Western Conference standings, and the best way to do that will be to get better in the defensive end. David Staples of the Edmonton Journal isn't exactly optimistic that will happen this season. Where he's holding out his hope is that the young defensemen will be better with another season because there isn't much else to inspire a feeling of blue line growth. He also has an injury update on the "lanky Yankee" Ryan Whitney.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 11:09 pm
 

What can Cory Stillman still offer?

Stillman

By: Adam Gretz


It's late July and the list of free agents that can still help your team is getting short. How short? It's the point in the offseason where a depth signing like Jason Williams is semi-exciting news.

One player that is still floating around in free agent purgatory that could still be worth a look for a club in need of some offense is 37-year-old Cory Stillman. There was a report last week from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch -- on Twitter -- that if the Blue Jackets couldn't secure a deal with Vinny Prospal they might have turned their attention to Stillman.

Other than that, it's been relatively quiet on the Stillman front. Does he still have something left to offer a team? Here's a quick look at what he has working in his favor (and what he has working against him):

1) He Can Still Score:  A somewhat underrated point-producer for much of his career, Stillman is still capable of putting up some offense when he's in the lineup and hasn't really slowed down all that much. Over the past three seasons he's averaged .67 points per game, which is only a small drop from the .71 he's averaged over his entire career. He recorded 39 points (12 goals and 27 assists) in 65 games last season split between Florida and Carolina.

2) Playoff Experience: Stillman has earned two Stanley Cup rings in his career, one each with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes, and was a point-per-game player during his postseason run with the Hurricanes during the 2006 playoffs, finishing second to only Eric Staal for the team lead in scoring. Playoff performance is always something teams are looking for, and Stillman is a veteran performer that's had his share of success in the postseason.

3) Potential Salary Cap Value: In the salary cap world value is everything, and Stillman, coming off a contract that saw him earn an average annual salary of $3.5 million could come at an affordable price. If you can get a 40-50 point performer on the cheap at this point in the offseason, you're probably lucky.

The two biggest things working against him, however, are his age (37, and turning 38 in December), and the fact he's had a difficult time staying healthy in recent years. He is still productive, but the key part of point No.1 above is the "when he's in the lineup" part. Over the past three seasons Stillman has appeared in just 186 out of a possible 246 regular season games, and has played more than 65 games just twice over the past six years.

Still, for a contract in the $1.5-$2.5 million range it would certainly be worth a shot at this point in the summer for a playoff team that needs a veteran winger that can provide some offense.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 23, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Vinny Prospal signs with Columbus

By Adam Gretz

When the Columbus Blue Jackets lost Kristian Huselius for four-to-six months after an injury he suffered while lifting weights, it was pretty much assumed that general manager Scott Howson would be bringing in another forward to help replace him. On Saturday, Howson announced -- via his own Twitter feed -- that the club had signed free agent Vinny Prospal to help fill a top-six spot in the lineup.

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports it's a one-year deal worth $1.75 million (plus bonuses).

There weren't many strong forward options remaining on the free agent market, but Prospal is probably among the best of the bunch. In 29 games last season with the New York Rangers, the 36-year-old winger scored nine goals to go with 14 assists after missing the first half of the season with a knee injury. He is just one year removed from a 20-goal, 58-point effort.

He's not likely to completely replace Huselius from an offensive standpoint at this point in his career, but for one year and that cap hit it should be a solid addition to a Columbus lineup that's already seen a boost thanks to the offseason additions of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski.

For his career, Prospal has scored 227 goals in 978 games with six different teams (Ottawa, Philadelphia, Anaheim, Tampa Bay, New York and Florida).

If you remove Teemu Selanne from the list (he's either going to play for Anaheim or retire), the free-agent forwards still available ranked by point total from last season are Sergei Samsonov, Cory Stillman, Alexei Kovalev, Rob Schremp and John Madden.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 13, 2011 8:32 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 10:36 am
 

Blue Jackets' Huselius could miss 4-6 months

HuseliusBy: Adam Gretz

The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up what should be a huge upgrade to their offense earlier this summer by acquiring Jeff Carter from the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, due to some bad luck over the weekend, they lost another player that should have been one of their other top six forwards when Kristian Huselius tore a pectoral muscle while lifting weights in Sweden, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.

General manager Scott Howson said, via Portzline's Puck Rakers blog, that Huselius is expected to miss four to six months, which could keep him out of the Blue Jackets lineup until January.

Huselius is entering the final year of a four-year contract -- that pays him $4.75 million per year -- that he signed prior to the 2008-09 season. He was limited to just 39 games last season due to injury, scoring 14 goals.

Now that that Columbus has another hole on its top lines for a large chunk of the season, the search now turns to the remaining free agent market and anybody that could potentially step in. The options are not promising. Looking at the forwards still available, and ranking them by goals scored in 2010-11, the top 10 players are as follows: Teemu Selanne (31), Antti Miettinen (16), Alexei Kovalev (16), Nikolai Zherdev (16), Sergei Samsonov (13), Rob Schremp (13), Cory Stillman (12), John Madden (10), J.P. Dumont (10) and Brad Winchester (10). Yikes.

Selanne, even at age 41, can obviously still play at a high level as shown by his 31 goals last season, but he is not an option (Selanne is either playing for Anaheim or he's retiring). Madden doesn't really fit seeing as how he's a checking line center as opposed to a goal-scoring winger, and the Jackets have already been through the Nikolai Zherdev experience.

Stillman is a reliable veteran that has been on a pair of Stanley Cup winning teams, while players like Samsonov and Schremp might offer the faint hope of a boom-or-bust signing.

There's never a good time to lose one of your top offensive players -- especially when it's two weeks into the free agent signing period in what was already a weak group -- when all of the best players have already been picked over.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 4, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

NHL free agency is unilke any other sport's. Within the first few hours -- first day at the latest -- the majority of the free agents, let alone impact players, are off the market. But not all of them.

Atop the list of players still looking for work is Tomas Kaberle. A bit maligned in Boston for the team's power-play struggles, it's not as if Kaberle isn't still good at what he does. Last season for the he had four goals and 43 assists.

It is still no foregone conclusion that he won't be back in Beantown next year. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said before free agency opened that Kaberle would test the waters, but that they would continue negotiations.

Or perhaps he could be on the radar of the Rangers down the coast. New York still needs a little bit of help on the back end and Kaberle could be a nice fit. If he doesn't make sense cap wise (the Rangers have $15 million but multiple restricted free agents left to sign) then they could stick with Bryan McCabe at a cheaper rate.

Regardless, there is still some useful talent to be had. Here's a look at the best available.

Forwards

Jason Arnott: He's a bit long in the tooth, but Arnott can be a solid veteran center for any team in the market. Scored 17 goals with 14 assists last season between New Jersey and Washington.

Jamie Langenbrunner: It will be interesting to see what role teams think Langenbrunner can fill at this point. Saw a drop of 19 points between 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Antti Miettinen: He has a little bit more youth than most of the players still up for grabs and he can provide some decent scoring. Last season with the Wild he had 16 goals, the season before he had a career-high 20. However, he could be KHL-bound.

Vaclav Prospal: Prospal played only 29 games last season due to injury, but was pretty darn productive in that time for the Rangers when the 36-year-old had nine goals and 14 assists.

Sergei Samsonov: Samsonov found a little spark after being traded to Florida at the end of last season, tallying three goals and 11 assists in 20 games for the Panthers. There is probably a home on a third line somewhere for him.

Teemu Selanne: The suspense here isn't where he will play, it is if he will play. Selanne will sign with the Ducks if he decides he'll play another season, if not it's off to the world of retirement. Still very productive with 31 goals and 49 assists last season.

Cory Stillman: Like many of the guys on the list, he is a veteran with plenty of experience but can still wield the stick a little. Stillman had 12 goals with 27 assists last season between Carolina and Florida.

Nikolai Zherdev: Zherdev has youth on his side compared to the rest here at just 26 years of age. Didn't have an incredibly productive year (and played just 56 games) with Philly last season, but with an increased role he could show more of the form that saw him score 23 and 26 goals the previous two seasons.

Defensemen

Scott Hannan: Hannan is a solid own-end defenseman who will find a home somewhere for teams looking to lock down in the back end. Because of his lack of offense (one goal, 10 assists last season) he should come at a pretty cheap price for whoever signs him.

Tomas Kaberle: After spending 11 seasons in Toronto, Kaberle could be joining his third team in three years if he doesn't return to Boston. He is still young enough (32) that he can get a pretty nice contract from some team.

Bryan McCabe: One of the better power-play captains a few years ago, McCabe still does a good job commanding the special teams. He won't command anywhere near the same contract he's coming off of and should be an affordable offensive option. Still very possible he could return to the Rangers.

Brent Sopel: Like Hannan, he's more of a defenseman's defenseman, a guy that will block shots and do his best to keep the puck out of the net. Teams interested in him won't be in the market for a top-four defenseman, but that doesn't mean he has no value, his plus-6 last season in 71 games for the Habs evidence.

Goaltenders

Ray Emery: I thought Emery might be one of the goalies teams would target, but now he and the rest of the guys on this list are left in a tough spot as the goaltender market dried up pretty quickly and the need isn't big. But Emery should find a home.

Pascal Leclaire: Leclaire could be out of luck for NHL jobs, perhaps waiting until the middle of the year when some team is looking for depth. The concern with him is the injury history as he has struggled to stay healthy for his whole career.

Marty Turco: After years as the starter in Dallas, Turco has now been pretty much relegated to a backup, playing last season behind Corey Crawford in Chicago. Could be a midseason acquisition for teams searching for some depth and experience.

By Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 11:00 am
 

'Canes keep Pitkanen, face decisions with others

The players are flying off the free-agent market and the season hasn't even begun. You can add Joni Pitkanen to the list.

The Carolina Hurricanes locked up their young defenseman with a three-year contract at $4.5 million annually before he could test the open waters. The 28-year-old has spent the past three seasons in Raleigh with the 'Canes, scoring five goals with 30 assists last season.

"Joni has been a very important part of our defense as he plays in all situations," GM Jim Rutherford said. "He plays a lot of minutes, and is one of the top puck-movers in the league. We are very pleased that he wanted to return to the Hurricanes."

If he were to hit free agency, he was set to be one of the most coveted defensemen available. Instead, a rather bare market becomes even less inviting for the spenders.

"He's a guy that plays a ton of minutes in all situations, is a big, strong guy, and, if you look at the free agent list for defensemen, he was near the top of it," Rutherford said. "We thought he would want to test the market, but he really loves playing here and I really appreciate what he did to make that happen."

Also on Tuesday the Hurricanes re-signed Patrick Dwyer to a two-year deal.

They are the first of many decisions the Hurricanes have to make in the coming weeks. At this time, they have just five forwards under contract at the NHL level. Cory Stillman, Erik Cole, Chad LaRose and Jussi Jokinen are all unrestricted free agents come Friday while Brandon Sutter is on the restricted list.

Rutherford, holding little back, said things aren't going well with LaRose, Cole or Jokinen.

"For Erik and Jussi, this is about money to them," Rutherford said. "I'll use the same quote that I always use this time of year. You have players who say the right thing publicly about wanting to stay, but what they forget to add is, 'Unless I can get more money somewhere else.'

"That may very well be what happens, and in that way I understand their position."

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter or @BrianStubitsNHL

Posted on: April 9, 2011 10:45 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 1:31 am
 

Hurricanes lose control early, miss playoffs

Let's be literal when it comes to the phrase “destiny is in your own hands.”

By definition, that can't happen. Destiny is not controllable. Just look at the Carolina Hurricanes, who were a win away from a playoff berth entering Saturday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Hurricanes responded -- well, they took the ice at least at the RBC Center -- with a listless first period and never recovered en route to a 6-2 loss. Instead of the playoff returning to Raleigh, it will be the New York Rangers who get to face the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.

“I didn't feel the tension (early), but it mounted when it got (to a) two (goals),” Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice told reporters after the game. “Simple things became difficult to do. . .  I think there was a chance (that Carolina) was in shock at 3-0. We felt alright going out and had come off the good night and then, boom. It happened so fast that you're shell-shocked a little bit.”

The 'Canes could not solve lanky Lightning goalie Mike Smith, who only had one victory in 10 games against Carolina. (That one victory did come March 26, the ‘Canes only regulation loss in their previous 10 games.) Smith made 42 saves, had one assist and came a couple feet away from scoring with 'Canes goalie Cam Ward pulled in the closing minutes of regulation.

Not bad for a goalie who will likely begin the playoffs on the bench in deference to the more veteran Dwayne Roloson

The Lightning built a 3-0 lead in the first period off goals by Dominic Moore, Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos. It became a 4-0 lead midway through the second period off a Brett Clark tally. 

By the time the ‘Canes got on the board with 7:29 left in the second via a Cory Stillman power play goal, the game was basically unsalvageable. 

What a difference 24 hours makes. The ‘Canes cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers a night earlier, a game that put them into a position to earn the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference a couple different ways. A Rangers loss to New Jersey would have made the Lightning-Hurricane game moot. Instead the Rangers earned a 5-2 comeback victory over the Devils to set up a win-or-golf game for the Hurricanes. 

Still, Maurice said he’d take the disappointment of just missing the playoffs over being an also-ran. 

“It should make it harder (to take),” Maurice said. “It should make it more painful. The more you invest in something, the more painful it should be when it goes away from you. Still, we’d much rather be in a situation where we fought as hard as we could to get to this point and have to go through the pain of this result than if we would have let it slip away a month ago.”

With the end of the season, teams usually start to list the injuries they have hid the last several weeks. The first was captain Eric Staal, who Maurice said suffered a pulled groin three weeks ago. 

“It got to a point last week (that) we weren’t certain we were going to have him in the lineup,” Maurice said. “He played so very well on limited legs and produced points.”

With Saturday’s loss comes the end of a stellar season by rookie Jeff Skinner, a favorite for the Calder Trophy. Skinner had an assist to bring his point total to 63, the highest of any rookie.  His 31 goals were the third-most goals by a rookie, trailing New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner (34) and San Jose’s Logan Couture (32). 

Soon the ‘Canes will assess who will be around next season. Forwards Erik Cole, Chad LaRose, Stillman and Jusi Jokinen, along with defenseman Joni Pitkanen will be unrestricted free agents. Maurice, who is in his second stint as Carolina’s head coach, even addressed if he might be back. 
“(General manager) Jim (Rutherford) will make his assessment,” said Maurice, who took the ‘Canes to the playoffs after he replaced Peter Laviolette during the 2008-09 season. “I’m very proud of the way the team has performed this year.” 

It didn’t take long, however, for Luke DeCock of The News & Observer to point the blame: 
Someone’s going to have to answer for this. Surely it will be coach Paul Maurice, who hasn’t taken a team he has coached for a full season to the NHL playoffs since 2002 and who cannot account for a loss Saturday that cost the franchise millions of dollars.

No matter how highly owner Peter Karmanos and general manager Jim Rutherford regard Maurice, even they must see that it’s time for a change. Maurice is a good man and a good coach, but the past two seasons haven’t measured up, and Saturday’s flat-line with everything on the line defies explanation.

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Associated Press
 
 
 
 
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