Tag:Ryan Smyth
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 3:30 pm
 

Trade deadline primer: Will Jackets move Carter?

The Jackets might move Carter, but can they? (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

There's no time quite like the present. Isn't that what they say?

The present now just happens to be trade deadline month in the NHL. The actual day isn't for another few weeks, Feb. 27, but the whole month will be full of he said/she said, rumors that make you say hmm and others that make you say huh?

It seems like it's been a while since there were some real blockbuster deals looming in the NHL. It's not often there are teams willing to move the big names, the star players. That doesn't mean there weren't some key trades made, evident after the fact. In all, there were four players traded last February that were in the All-Star Game this season -- Joffrey Lupul to the Maple Leafs, Brian Elliott to the Avalanche, James Neal to the Penguins and Dennis Wideman to the Capitals.

There were certainly other moves that were crucial too. Just look at what the Bruins did, acquiring Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley last February, all important to their run to the Stanley Cup last season and in the case of Kelly and Peverley, the Bruins' push this season.

But none of those really stole the show. Not the way this year has the potential to. Or at least had until recently.

A little more than a week ago it looked like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Tim Gleason and maybe even Shane Doan were possible targets to move. Circumstances have changed or the teams have reaffirmed those guys aren't on the move.

Because of parity across the league partly as a byproduct of the points system in place today, there are a lot less sellers. Despite the odds of teams being five or more points back making the playoffs being long, clubs often times refuse to give in and admit they should reshuffle their organization.

It ends up with teams that should be looking to add, teams that shouldn't be looking to do anything and some teams that should probably be looking to sell all thinking the same: Let's add.

"Right now there are different teams trying to make a trade, but the problem is there are only two or three teams that are even willing to make a trade for a draft choice or prospect, meaning they don't think they are going to make the playoffs," Nashville GM David Poile told NHL.com. "What I want now versus what I can later are two different things because of the parity you have in the NHL.

More Trade deadline

One team that is painfully aware it doesn't stand a shot this season is the Columbus Blue Jackets. They are 11 points out ... of 29th place in the league. It's 23 points to the eighth seed in the West. After an offseason that saw them acquire Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski, that's a horrible disappointment. You know what that means ...

Yes, the Jackets will be sellers. And, even though they acquired him just seven months ago, all indications are that they would like to part ways with Carter. It's really been a wash of a season for him, fighting through injuries but still only scoring 10 goals with seven assists in 30 games.

“There’s talk about a lot of guys [in here] right now. Our team, with the way the season has gone -- the injuries, the standings, and stuff -- I don’t think it should come as a surprise to anybody on our team if they end up [in rumors],” Carter told the Columbus Dispatch.

The massive hurdle with Carter is figuring out how movable he is. His contract runs through the 2021-22 season with an annual cap hit of $5,272,727 (courtesy of Cap Geek). For a player that's been snake-bitten by injuries this season and hasn't seemed to want to be where he is at all this season, that becomes a tough sell, especially when you consider what the Jackets will want in return. They need everything, but primary concerns are in net and getting better on the blue line.

Still, he's only 27 and has shown with his time in Philadelphia that he can contribute a lot offensively. This will be the first season since 06-07 he didn't score at least 29 goals and more than 50 points. There could be some GMs out there willing to take the risks for the potential, which is still high.

If it does happen, it will be a not-so classic case of buy high, sell low for Columbus -- granted, low with Carter is probably still kind of high. That's not the best way to move on up in the world.

A good chunk of the rest of the Columbus roster will be available if anybody wants to take a shot, too. They'd probably love to move Steve Mason, but it's tough to envision anybody wanting him at this point. Rick Nash and Wisniewski are probably untouchables, Nash being the heart and soul of the otherwise faceless franchise and Wisniewski being the biggest player at their position of need. But the other guys like Antoine Vermette, Vaclav Prospal and more? Take your best shot.

The Blue Jackets aren't the only team known to be exploring the market. Tuomo Ruutu is a hot candidate to be moved from Carolina with the Hurricanes last in the East.

"I've heard rumors I'm going to every team in the NHL," Ruutu told Chip Patterson of the News & Observer this week. "I must be really playing well."

Obviously Ruutu isn't going to get people's gears going, but he could be a good addition for somebody, assuming the price is right. It's unlikely he's going to give any team top-six production, but he's not worthless either. One of the concerns is that he becomes a UFA this offseason, so it could be a rental situation.

The potential is endless, though. The Canucks have some expendables in their quest to bolster the roster for this year's push. Mason Raymond is a target of many. Some still think they should move Cory Schneider, perhaps the hottest backup goalie in the league. The Stars have to decide what side they're on, and if it's the seller side, Brenden Morrow could be up for grabs. The Canadiens have Travis Moen, Hal Gill and Chris Campoli. The Oilers could move Ryan Smyth again. It goes on and on.

Of course we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brian Burke always seems to find a way to get in the big trade action.

But it will probably all come back to the biggest, most obvious seller of them all in Columbus.

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

Posted on: August 31, 2011 9:45 am
 

Dail Skate: Vancouver keeps searching for rioters

By Brian Stubits

STILL SEARCHING: I guess the Vancouver police were serious about wanting to bring all of the people responsible for the post-Stanley Cup riot to justice. Some of the offenders already came forward and admitted to their deeds after the Canucks lost Game 7 and the Cup. But plenty more have gone thus far unpunished. That's why the Vancouver police have set up this website with photos of some offenders asking the public for help identifying the people so they can face their punishment.

LENGTHY NEGOTIATIONS: The Kings are still trying to find common ground with defenseman Drew Doughty, so to do so, they are reportedly giving Doughty more options concerning the length of the prospective deal. Helene Elliott at the L.A. Times has the full story, including this take from Kings G.M. Dean Lombardi: "Everything's been amicable. We're waiting to hear back from them. They said they'd get back to us in a day or two." Maybe there's an end in sight after all?

FORMAL FILING: Also from Elliott at the L.A. Times in the same Doughty story, the Kings have filed their grievance with the with the NHL over the deal with the Oilers that had Colin Fraser going to L.A. in exchange for Ryan Smyth. “The Edmonton Oilers have a few days to respond. Commissioner Gary Bettman will then decide whether to hold a hearing, though Lombardi said the Kings can request one.” So it continues.

SPREAD THE LOVE: Yesterday's Daily Skate touched on the Devils considering retiring Scott Niedermayer's number. Now the O.C. Register is wondering if the Ducks shouldn't do the same thing? Niedermayer only played five seasons with the Ducks, but he was a big reason why Anaheim brought home the Stanley Cup.

PROSPECT WATCH: Wondering how the advancement of Rangers prospects is coming along? The New York Rangers blog has an update on defensemen Tim Erixon, who insists he has a true two-way game as he makes a push for the roster. Then there's a little nugget about Dylan McIlrath as well.

A LITTLE LOVE: Bryan Little isn't seeming to have any problems getting acclimated to life in Winnipeg. He is enjoying the passion and support the hyped-up Jets fan base is showing, with Go Jets Go! chants at every turn. From the Winnipeg Sun: “The province is so pumped about having a team back, and that just gets all of us, the players, just more excited to play,” Little said.

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

Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Recent No. 1 picks going straight to NHL

By: Adam Gretz

Fans in Edmonton were able to get an up close look at their most recent No. 1 overall pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, at team Canada's prospect development camp this past week, and the early returns are very promising. He helped cap off a come-from-behind win for the White team during their Red-White scrimmage on Saturday, tying the game in the third period and then winning it with 20 seconds to play.

Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press wrote about the skills he displayed on Friday, while Oilers forward Ryan Smyth, and potentially a teammate of Nugent-Hopkins this upcoming season, called him a "nifty little player" after sitting behind the bench for the Red team during the scrimmage.

It's still not known whether or not he's going to play in the NHL this season, but if recent history is any indicator, it would seem to be a mild upset if he didn't. Going back to 1997 there have been 11 forwards taken with the top pick in the NHL draft, and 10 of them made their debut the same year they were drafted. The only player that didn't, technically speaking, was Washington's Alex Ovechkin, and that was due to circumstances beyond his and his team's control: the NHL lockout. Had it not been for the work stoppage he would have been a lock to make his debut.

What can be reasonably expected of Nugent-Hopkins should he play for the Oilers this upcoming season? Here's a look at what the recent straight-to-the-NHL top picks have done during their rookie seasons:

Top Picks NHL Draft Rookie Season
Player Games Goals Assists Points Avg. Mins. Per Game
Taylor Hall (2010) 65 22 20 42 18:12
John Tavares (2009) 82 24 30 54 18:00
Steven Stamkos (2008) 79 23 23 46 14:56
Patrick Kane (2007) 82 21 51 72 18:21
Sidney Crosby (2005) 81 39 63 102 20:07
Alex Ovechkin (2005)* 81 52 54 106 21:37
Rick Nash (2002) 74 17 22 39 13:06
Ilya Kovalchuk (2001) 65 29 22 61 18:34
Patrik Stefan (1999) 72 5 20 25 14:48
Vincent Lecavalier (1998) 82 13 15 28 13:39
Joe Thornton (1997) 55 3 4 7 8:05

*Ovechkin's first season came after the lockout, which was a year after his draft year.

With the exception of Patrik Stefan, every one of these players has gone on to be a productive player or a star player in the NHL (the jury is still out on Taylor Hall at this point after just one season, but we like his chances).

What's a reasonable expectation for Nugent-Hopkins should he play for the Oilers this season? Well, nobody should expect Crosby/Ovechkin levels because those guys are from a different planet. But 20 goals seems like it would be a solid goal based on recent performances by other top picks, assuming he's able to withstand the physical toll of the NHL. And that seems to be the chief concern for Nugent-Hopkins; it's not his skill or ability, but simply whether or not he has the strength to do it at this point. He currently weighs in at 175 pounds according to Spencer's Canadian Press report from over the weekend. That would make him one of the smallest players in the league

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

Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Kings file grievance over Colin Fraser injury

FraserBy: Adam Gretz

The Los Angeles Kings are still arguing that the Edmonton Oilers misrepresented the health status of forward Colin Fraser prior to last month's trade that sent Ryan Smyth back to Alberta. As a result, the Kings reportedly filed a grievance with the NHL on Friday night, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

Frasher was acquired by the Kings around the time of the NHL draft in a deal that sent the veteran Smyth back to the team that originally drafted him, after he had a requested a trade that would return him closer to his home province of Alberta. The original deal was supposed to involve forward Gilbert Brule, but because the Kings had conerns over Brule's health, the deal was re-worked to include Fraser and a draft pick.

After the Kings received Fraser, the club realized he hadn't fully healed from a foot injury that sidelined him during the 2010-11 season which has been the center of controversy regarding the deal. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi claimed that the Oilers front office told him Fraser was just days away from being able to return to hockey activities, only to have the Kings learn that the veteran forward still had an unhealed fracture in his foot, among other complications related to the injury, and would require additional surgery.

He underwent surgery earlier this week to repair the fracture, while his agent, Jerry Johansen, told Elliott that his client will eventually be 100 percent, even if there is no immediate timetable for his return.

The grievance will be heard by commissioner Gary Bettman who will decide if the Oilers did, in fact, misrepresent Fraser's injury.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Kings file grievance over Colin Fraser injury

FraserBy: Adam Gretz

The Los Angeles Kings are still arguing that the Edmonton Oilers misrepresented the health status of forward Colin Fraser prior to last month's trade that sent Ryan Smyth back to Alberta. As a result, the Kings reportedly filed a grievance with the NHL on Friday night, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

Frasher was acquired by the Kings around the time of the NHL draft in a deal that sent the veteran Smyth back to the team that originally drafted him, after he had a requested a trade that would return him closer to his home province of Alberta. The original deal was supposed to involve forward Gilbert Brule, but because the Kings had conerns over Brule's health, the deal was re-worked to include Fraser and a draft pick.

After the Kings received Fraser, the club realized he hadn't fully healed from a foot injury that sidelined him during the 2010-11 season which has been the center of controversy regarding the deal. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi claimed that the Oilers front office told him Fraser was just days away from being able to return to hockey activities, only to have the Kings learn that the veteran forward still had an unhealed fracture in his foot, among other complications related to the injury, and would require additional surgery.

He underwent surgery earlier this week to repair the fracture, while his agent, Jerry Johansen, told Elliott that his client will eventually be 100 percent, even if there is no immediate timetable for his return.

The grievance will be heard by commissioner Gary Bettman who will decide if the Oilers did, in fact, misrepresent Fraser's injury.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: July 9, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: July 9, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

DeanLombardiBy: Adam Gretz

Earlier this summer the Edmonton Oilers re-acquired one of the most popular players in recent franchise history, Ryan Smyth, in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Smyth had requested a move out of Southern California to be closer to his home in Alberta. In return for Smyth, who left the Kings with somewhat limited options, the Oilers sent them forward Colin Fraser and a seventh-round draft pick, after Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi had previously rejected a deal involving Gilbert Brule due to injury concerns.

Fraser didn't exactly have a clean bill of health either, having fractured a foot last season while blocking a shot. According to Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times, Lombardi said he knew of the injury but was told by the Oilers staff that Fraser was just days away from being cleared for hockey activities. Once the trade was completed and the Kings doctors examined Fraser, they found a number of unexpected issues, including an unhealed fracture, a cyst and a blood disorder which could keep him out for up to four months. None of this, as you can imagine, amused Lombardi.

When combined with the injury concerns to Brule in the original deal, Lombardi was left with some sour feelings toward the Oilers front office and said, via Elliot:

"The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word.”
The Oilers will reportedly not publically respond to Lombardi's comment.

This would be how relations between two teams turn sour. 

In the aftermath of the trade, when the Kings initially voiced their concerns over the injury, Oilers general manager Steve Tambelinni stood by the deal and insisted that Los Angeles knew Fraser's medical history prior to the trade and that none of it should be a surprise. The Kings, naturally, disagreed with that assessment and wanted to rework the trade. That never happened and they are now exploring their legal options.

In the meantime, it would probably be a safe assumption to think these two teams won't be involved in any deals together in the near future -- at least not until this situation sorts itself out. Or, worst case scenario, when either team (or both) has a change in its front office and the two clubs can start their relationship over with a clean slate.

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

Posted on: June 27, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 11:20 am
 

Daily Skate: Jackets need Carter, Pens power

PUT ON YOUR JACKET:: Since Columbus went out and landed Jeff Carter from Philadelphia to finally get itself a top-line center, the All-Star has been quiet and seemingly avoiding his new home. At this point, he is yet to speak to GM Scott Howson, team officials or the media. Because of all that, fans are starting to worry that it could be another situation of a prized player coming to town and wanting out before he ever gets in. Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch stresses the importance for the franchise and its fans that Carter get on board the C-bus.

Penguins POWER: One of the factors that brought down the Pittsburgh Penguins last season -- besides the injuries to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin -- was an abysmal power play. In the first-round playoff exit to Tampa Bay, for example, the Pens were just 1 of 35 with the man advantage. You don't need me to tell you that's beyond dreadful. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Dejan Kovacevic says Dan Bylsma knows as much, too, and he is already planning on multiple looks to find success. Kovacevic offers some of his own ideas, including a four-forward umbrella look.

WHO WANTS THE Coyotes?: The Coyotes, the city of Glendale, Ariz., and the NHL are still looking for a buyer to keep the team in the desert, but they have had more problems selling than Wile E. had chasing the Roadrunner. Matthew Hulsizer was close to acquiring the team in the past, and he's still in the mix. And, according to the Phoenix Business Journal so are Jerry Reinsdorf (who had seemingly withdrawn from the process) and an unknown third party. The two-year sales saga is far from over.

TWO FOR ONE: Hot on the heels of the NHL returning to Winnipeg, there is already talk of another team coming to town. The Calgary Sun suggests the idea of adding a Western Hockey League team to Winnipeg makes a lot of sense, noting that the WHL has long wanted to get back into the 'Peg and the two-team look has worked very well in Calgary and Edmonton.

WELCOME BACK: Ryan Smyth is now officially back with the Oilers and while he doesn't have his position on the team defined yet -- second or third line? right wing or left? -- GM Steve Tambellini knows what role Smyth will fill. Edmonton is expecting Smyth to come in and play the mentor role, teaching and leading by example, something Tambellini wanted to find for his young team. "I can't see any reason why Ryan won’t be a huge part of that. He's experienced. He understands this community. He understands where we are as an organization right now," Tambellini said.

SAND STAR: Tim Thomas has reached icon status in New England to the point people are making sculptures out of the guy ... in sand, that is. Check out this photo from the Master Sand Sculpting Competition of Thomas protecting the cage. It's no wonder he was almost unbeatable all year, look how big he is in the net.

-- Brian Stubits

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


Posted on: June 24, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 6:54 pm
 

Possible trades to look for at the NHL Draft

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren got a head start on the trading at the NHL Draft, usually a very busy day of activity not only in the drafting, but in the player swapping. So before the GMs all gather on the same floor, here are some names that might have a different jersey by night's end.

Robyn Regehr: The Flames defenseman has reportedly been asked to waive his no-trade clause by the team, which is still awaiting word. That's because Calgary apparently has a deal in place to send Regehr to Buffalo, but some other suitors might be waiting in the wings, too. Regehr is a physical defenseman who brings plenty of grit and size (6'3, 225) to any blue line.

Kris Versteeg: Holmgren cleared enough room to sign Ilya Bryzgalov Thursday and is still under the cap to try and re-sign Ville Leino, Andreas Nodl and Darroll Powe. But just to help get everybody he wants on board, there might be another move or two to make, starting with Versteeg. Rumors begin swirling on Thursday that Versteeg had been traded to Florida, reunited with the GM that drafted him in Chicago, Dale Tallon. While those were false, there might still be some smoke to that fire. His contract calls for just over $3 million for next season before becoming a restricted free agent.

Ryan Smyth: The L.A. Kings veteran was rumored to be seeking a return to Edmonton, where he spent the majority of his career. The fit in Edmonton might not be ideal. But he could still be on his way out of town as Calgary continues to look more and more like the landing spot for Smyth, be it at the draft or after. Either way, it seems certain Smyth won't be back in Tinsel Town.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Brian Burke is always one of the busiest GMs at the draft, and this year figures to be no exception. “I’m not reluctant to move those firsts, based on the depth we’ve added the past couple of years,” Burke told the Toronto Sun. “If we can trade those picks and get better now, we’re going to." The names of Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Dion Phaneuf have been thrown out as potential targets in the past, especially for JSG after the Leafs signed James Reimer to a new contract earlier this offseason.

Florida Panthers: While the Panthers are looking to keep adding through the draft and thus don't seem too interested in getting rid of draft picks, they have a long ways to go before even hitting the salary cap floor of $48 million. According to capgeek.com, the Cats are only at $18 million committed for next season, which means they have to add a ton of salary, which could be ideal for any teams looking to unload some higher salaries.

Expect there to be a lot of trade activity in the next two days with the free-agent class this year not being a very strong contingent. A lot of teams looking to add that missing player or two could find the trade market a lot more suiting to their needs.

-- Brian Stubits

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


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