David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail, reports that Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero doesn’t intend to make any drastic changes. He’d like to add a couple of bodies on defense, maybe re-address the back-up goaltending position. But otherwise, the core appears in place.
Shero did drop one juicy tidbit during his first public chat since playoff elimination. Desire aside, the Penguins may not be able to keep their top three centers for the long haul. Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal are in position to become unrestricted free agents in summer 2013, while Evgeni Malkin‘s current contract expires 2014. The next Collective Bargaining Agreement is expected to determine whether the club can “afford” salary cap-wise to re-sign all three or not.
“As with anything, we have to take a look over the next couple months and see exactly where we are,” Shero said. “Maybe in the next couple months we’ll have a new collective agreement and we’ll know what we’re doing.”
- ESPN is reporting that Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal is to choose on retirement by July 1. That’s when free agency begins, so it allows the Detroit Red Wings plenty of time to make adjustments once they know whether or not they’ll have their prized blue liner.
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that frstricted free agent Matt Niskanen is anxious to get a contract in place with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Vancouver Cancucks General Manager Mike Gillis defended his trade deadline dealing of Cody Hodgson to Buffalo during his end-of-season address
Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan said he saw no need to penalize Michalek but issued a warning that similar behavior will not be tolerated from Michalek in a phone call to Ottawa General Manager Bryan Murray on Tuesday afternoon.
Jiri Tlusty has signed a two-year contract worth $3.2 million to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The team said Tuesday that Tlusty agreed to a deal that will pay him $1.5 million next season and $1.7 million in 2013-14.
The 24-year-old forward had career highs this season with 79 games, 17 goals, 19 assists and 36 points. He could have become a restricted free agent July 1.
“Jiri had a very good season and showed that he can contribute as a top-end NHL forward,”said Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. “He should continue to be an important part of the Hurricanes coming off of his career year.”
In what will certainly start up NHL trade rumors, Luongo told reporters today that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause if General Manager Mike Gillis asked him to.
“It’s always been about the team first,” he said. “”At the end of the day, it’s going to be about what’s best for this team. We have a young guy in Cory Schneider who’s going to dominate the league.”
According to Ansar Khan of MLive.com, Jim Nill the assistant General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings decided to pass on the opportunity to be the next General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens because of a family illness.
“I had two great talks with Montreal; I was interested, they were interested,” Nill said. “But it’s not the right time.”
Nill had the blessing of Red Wings’ owner Mike Ilitch to move on. The 54-year-old has spent the last 14 years as an assistant under General Manager Ken Holland.
“My goal is to become a General Manager,” Nill said. “There will be opportunities down the road.”
Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the NHL will review an incident in which Ottawa Senators winger Milan Michalek appeared to kick New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi with his skate in the Rangers’ 3-2 win in Ottawa Monday.
The incident, revealed on the CBC broadcast, occurred after Ottawa scored a controversial goal in the game’s final minute.
It is unclear what the NHL’s Department of Player Safety intends to do with the information and whether Michalek will have a hearing.
The Phoenix Coyotes advanced to the second round for the first time since the franchise relocated to Phoenix from Winnipeg. The last time the franchise made it out of the first round was in 1987.
- Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune doesn’t expect to see Mattias Ohlund back on the ice next season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Having endured major knee surgery this winter, the defenseman may never play another NHL game.
- Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News argues, even if they can’t get fair value back, the San Jose Sharks have little choice but to trade Patrick Marleau.
- Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun wonders if Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault even wants to endure another season behind the bench in one of the NHL’s most pressure-filled markets.
Contracts to the Kings, Blues, Predators and Flyers for advancing to the second round of the NHL playoffs. Below are quick hits from around the league:
- Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Pavel Datsyuk are the three finalists for the Selke Trophy NHL Award which is the award for the league’s best defensive forward.
- Brian Campbell, Jordan Eberle and Matt Moulson are the three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy NHL Award. This award goes to a player who had an excellent year while still exhibiting “sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.” That’s typically measured by a players ability to stay out of the penalty box.
- Beau Schmitz has signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. Schmitz will earn $50,000 per season in the minors or $525,000 per season at the NHL level. He will also get a $50,000 signing bonus. Schmitz had 54 points and 91 penalty minutes in 62 OHL games in 2011-12.
- Columbus Dispatch reports that Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson wants his team to have a head coach that will raise expectations. ”We need somebody who can raise the bar,” Howson said. “The expectations have been too low around here, and that goes not only for the players and coaches, but for management and everybody else. We have to raise the bar, and the coach has to push the players toward that.” Interim coach Todd Richards appears to be in the running for the head coaching position, but the Blue Jackets are still weighing their options.
Update: The San Jose Mercury News’ Mark Purdy writes, “It would seem Wilson’s status is safe for a rather quirky reason. It is not actually clear who does his performance review. There is no CEO. There is no team president. There are six executive vice-presidents, including Wilson, who are listed alphabetically in the team directory. Presumably, those six vice-presidents all report to ownership but to whom, exactly?”
It seems that Doug Wilson’s job is safe for the time being.
April 22: With another early-postseason exit for the San Jose Sharks it does not bode well for either the general manager or head coach of. Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports both General Manager Doug Wilson and coach Todd McLellan could be looking for work in the not-too-distant future.
McLellan might be in more danger than Wilson. While many believe the General Manager has done a solid job stacking the Sharks with talent, the team has habitually underperformed when it has counted the most during the playoffs.