Tag:Jaroslav Spacek
Posted on: January 30, 2012 12:30 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 1:06 pm
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Tuomo Ruutu could soon be on the move

By: Adam Gretz

Less than a month away from the NHL trade deadline and rumors are quickly starting to fly.

One of the busiest teams this year is expected be the Carolina Hurricanes, as they're currently near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and have a number of players eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. One of those players is forward Tuomo Ruutu, and he could be on the move as early as this week according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and TSN's Darren Dreger.

Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford has always been aggressive when it comes to making moves, and has already made a couple this season.  A couple of weeks he sent upcoming free agent Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Joe Sova and a fourth-round draft pick, which came just weeks after he shipped disappointing defenseman Tomas Kaberle and the remainder of his contract to the Montreal Canadiens for Jaroslav Spacek. And there could soon be more where that came from.

Ruutu should be able to bring the Hurricanes a better return. In 51 games this season he has 15 goals and 11 assists, and over the past four years has scored at a rate that would average out to nearly 20 goals per 82 games. Any team that trades for him will be on the hook for the remainder of his salary cap hit, which for this week would come out to about $1.3 million for the rest of the season.

There is no shortage of contenders that could be interested, but keep an eye on Pittsburgh, Nashville or Boston, all teams that would Ruutu seem to be an excellent fit for given his aggressive forechecking and the fact at least two of those teams, Pittsburgh and Nashville, could use some an upgrade when it comes to secondary scoring on the wings.

Still, at this point it just seems to be a matter of when and where rather than if. Once that shoe falls the focus will then surely shift to Carolina's other upcoming free agents.

Also at Eye On Hockey

Gleason signs four-year deal with the Hurricanes
More Carolina Hurricanes news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:17 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 10:18 pm
 

Cam Ward's glove save robs Keith Ballard (Video)



By: Adam Gretz

The highlight of Carolina's impressive come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night was the diving, desperation glove save by Cam Ward with six minutes to play in regulation (which you can see above), robbing defenseman Keith Ballard from right in front of the net, and in the process tossing his name into the "save of the year" discussion.

Honestly, everything about that play was amazing. Had Ward not been there to make the save, it still would have been a play for highlight reels on the Vancouver side thanks to Mason Raymond's incredible individual effort to deke his way through the offensive zone and set up Ballard. Ward stopped 33 shots on the night, and that was definitely his best.

The Hurricanes fell behind 2-0 in the first period, but rallied with four consecutive goals, including a pair from Drayson Bowman, and the eventual game-winner from Jaroslav Spacek, the defenseman that was recently acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Tomas Kaberle.

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

Posted on: December 9, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: December 9, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Hurricanes trade Kaberle to Canadiens for Spacek

By Brian Stubits

This summer, the Carolina Hurricanes invested $4.25 million per season for three seasons on Tomas Kaberle, a lot of people around the NHL could only laugh, but obviously the 'Canes had faith.

Fast forward to December and the 'Canes have traded Kaberle to the Montreal Canadiens -- as first reported by Darren Dreger -- ending a very short-lived but painful era for the folks in Carolina and, presumably, Kaberle. In return, the Habs sent defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to Carolina.

“This deal brings a solid, veteran defenseman to our team for the remainder of this season and allows us more flexibility with our roster moving forward,” Carolina GM Jim Rutherford said. What he didn't say there was how happy he was he could find a taker for Kaberle.

That's a big burden off Carolina's back, $12.75 million over the next three years that the Canadiens are now on the hook for. Of course, Montreal is no stranger to bad contracts (ahem, Scott Gomez).

When discussing the deal that was signed this summer, Rutherford was about as honest as a GM can get, telling Chip Patterson of the News & Oberserver, "I should have known better." Ouch!

Meanwhile in Spacek, the 'Canes get a player making slightly less money ($3.83 million), and maybe more importantly get a contract that expires after this season.

In the end, you have to like this move from Carolina's perspective, don't you? The marriage of the two couldn't have been annulled quicker for 'Canes fans. To say that Kaberle has been a disappointment would be an understatement. In 29 games played, Kaberle is goal-less and has nine assists while sporting a hideous minus-12. One of his big responsibilities, moving the puck on the power play, hasn't been going swimmingly, either. The Hurricanes are 26th in the NHL in power play percentage.

So sending him out of town is a nice move for Carolina, regardless of what they net in return. Quite honestly, the return isn't all that much but another bad contract. Spacek, 37, has been limited to just 12 games this season and has just three points to speak of. Still, the deal doesn't seem bad for Carolina at all.

"I think that trade is good for me," Spacek was quoted by Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS. "I hope it will be a good one for the Hurricanes."

From a Montreal perspective, however, I'm left scratching my head a bit. What do the Habs stand to benefit from taking on my payroll for a longer commitment for a player that is, even nothing else, past his prime?

"There are no dangers, only opportunities," Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier said about the skepticism of landing Kaberle. No dangers? Really?

It should have been warning enough that this now makes four teams in the last calendar year for Kaberle having begun last season with the Maple Leafs before being traded to the Bruins and joining them for the Cup run. He then signed this offseason with the Hurricanes, who couldn't wait to undo the move.

I'm sure he'll be welcome with open arms by the Montreal faithful hoping the team can turn things around (where's that damn sarcasm font button?).

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:52 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Another surgery for Andrei Markov

By: Adam Gretz

Andrei Markov's return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup is being delayed once again, as it was announced by general manager Pierre Gauthier on Saturday that the defenseman will undergo another "minor surgery." He is expected to miss "a few more weeks."

Markov hasn't played for the Canadiens this season and hasn't appeared in a game since mid-november ... of 2010. Since the start of the 2009-10 season he's been in Montreal's lineup just 52 times due to various injuries, including the knee injury that's kept him on the shelf for the first two months of this season.

Even with all of the injury problems in recent years the Canadiens had faith that he would be able to help them not only this season, but also in future seasons, signing him to a three-year contract extension over the summer worth $5.75 million per season. Needless to say, it hasn't worked out to this point. And that has been the theme of the Canadiens 2011-12 season, especially on the blue line, as their defense has been crushed by injuries all year.

Along with Markov, the team has also been without Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill and Chris Campoli for extended periods of time, and it's obviously had a rather large impact on the on-ice product. Montreal enters play on Saturday at the bottom of the Northeast Division with a 10-11-5 record, while also winning just three of its past 10 games.

Its power play, which is quarterbacked by Markov when he is in the lineup, is currently 26th in the NHL converting on just 11.8 of its chances.

More Montreal Canadiens News Here

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

Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Jaroslav Spacek to return for Montreal

Spacek1By: Adam Gretz

Finally, some good news for the Montreal Canadiens. Well, some potential good news anyway.

When the Canadiens take on the Florida Panthers on Monday night they will be getting one of their injured defenseman back as Jaroslav Spacek is expected to be in the lineup for the first time since the second game of the season when he went out with a rib injury in a 5-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Canadiens, plagued by injuries for much of the season, especially on their blue line, haven't won since that night in Winnipeg and carry a five-game losing streak into Monday's home game with the Panthers. That losing streak has caused a bit of a panic in Montreal, and head coach Jacques Martin seems to be sitting on the hot seat whether it's justified or not. When you've been without two of your top defensemen for all but two games of the season, as well as missing players like Michael Cammalleri and Chris Campoli, some struggles should be expected. Maybe not as many as they've had over the first two weeks, but some.

In the absence of Markov and Spacek a lot of the pressure has fallen on P.K. Subban and he's struggled so far, recording just two assists in seven games. A disappointing start for a player that scored 14 goals to go along with 24 assists as a rookie just a year ago.

Peter Budaj is expected to start in goal for the Canadiens, giving Carey Price the night off. Scott Gomez, out with an upper body injury, is not expected to play.

In other news, the Panthers will be without Mikael Samuelsson in this game as he's still in Vancouver dealing with some soreness according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Samuelsson, of course, was acquired over the weekend, along with Marco Sturm, in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward David Booth.

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 10:37 pm
 

Canadiens injury woes continue

By: Adam Gretz

PITTSBURGH -- In what seems to be a nightly routine for the Montreal Canadiens, they lost another player to injury on Thursday night.

On the same night they had one of their leading offensive players, Michael Cammalleri, return to the lineup, the revolving door of injuries continued to swing during their 3-1 loss in Pittsburgh. Center Scott Gomez left the game early in the first period after playing just a little over two-and-a-half minutes.

He did not return, and head coach Jacques Martin said after the game that it was an "upper body injury" and that he will be re-evaluated on Friday.

The veteran center has been logging around 17 minutes of ice-time per game this season for the Canadiens but has recorded just one assist through their first five games of the season. At various points thoughout the night the Canadiens were down to just 10 forwards as Gomez's injury was joined by brief absences by Max Pacioretty and Andreas Engqvist. Both players eventually returned.

"Obviously he's a big part of the team," said Canadiens forward Brian Gionta of Gomez. "But they're [Pittsburgh] missing some big guys, too. Injuries are not an excuse."

Excuse or not, the Canadiens have definitely had the injury bug take a bite out of their lineup in the early parts of the season. Cammalleri's return on Thursday was just his third game of the year. He said he felt OK in his return and that he will "have to get used to it a little bit, but it felt good." They've also lost a number of defensemen to injury including Jaroslav Spacek and Chris Campoli. Campoli managed to play just one game after he was signed to help add depth to their already depleted blue line.

Andrei Markov, the team's best defenseman, has yet to appear in a game this season -- after playing in just seven a year ago -- due to complications from his offseason knee surgery. The Canadiens are now 1-4-1 on the young season, but we also haven't had an opportunity to see them at full strength.

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

Posted on: October 9, 2011 8:54 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 8:56 pm
 

Habs' Cammalerri, Spacek injured in win over Jets

By Brian Stubits

It wasn't all good for the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night in Winnipeg.

They played the ultimate party poopers and tried their best to wreck the atmosphere in the Hangar (as they are starting to call the MTS Centre). It was a sounds 5-1 win for their first two points of the season. However it cost them a couple players, perhaps for some time.

Mike Cammalleri, who will go down as the first player to score an NHL goal in the MTS Centre, left the game soon after. It was a scary situation as he returned to the bench and immediately was looking to get off the ice, clearly in same pain. Since there is no exit from the bench but instead in the corners, he had to have play stopped before he could leave. Eventually he was helped off the ice in a hurry, favoring his leg.

As you can see, he was slashed by the skate of teammate Yannick Weber. TSN says the cut is likely going to sideline Cammalleri for up to two weeks.

Also in the first period, the Canadiens lost Jaroslav Spacek for the remainder of the game with what was described as an upper-body injury. If he's out for any time at all, it's going to hurt the Habs. They are already thin on defense with Chris Campoli's injury and Andrei Markov still not back as he recovers from a knee injury that cost him the end of last season. They just can't really afford for much more to go wrong with the defense at this point.

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

Posted on: October 8, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Canadiens could lose Campoli for 'months'

CC1By: Adam Gretz

The Montreal Canadiens picked up Chris Campoli in an effort to boost their depth on the blue line, in large part because veteran Andrei Markov is still having some complications with his knee injury that sidelined him for much of last season. Unfortunately, the signing of Campoli, which took place just two weeks ago, has only managed to add to their injury problems on defense, as the veteran managed to make it through just one regular season before having to be sidelined himself. 

According to head coach Jacques Martin, Campoli could be out of the lineup for "months" as a result of a lower body injury he suffered in Montreao's season-opening 2-0 loss to Toronto on Thursday. He played just 11 minutes and was reportedly spotted on crutches after the game. There's no word yet as to what sort of injury he suffered, but based on the potential timeline for his return it's obviously a serious one.

He was availablle as a free agent after the Chicago Blackhawks walked away from him in arbitration, allowing him to hit the open market. He remained unsigned until Sep. 26 when the Canadiens signed him to a deal worth a little over $1 million. He recorded four goals and 17 assists with the Senators and Blackhawks last season.

The Canadien's depth on the blue line is going to get a serious test in the early going until Markov is ready to return, and all of the pressure will fall on P.K. Subban, Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges and Yannick Weber to carry the workload.

Photo: Getty Images

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com