The New York Post reports Jesper Fast could join the New York Rangers in the coming days.
“Informed sources have told The Post 21-year-old right wing Jesper Fast, the club’s sixth-round selection in the 2010 Entry Draft, is awaiting release from the Swedish Ice Hockey Association and could join the Blueshirts by the middle of next week. Fast, whose HV 71 club was eliminated from the first round of the Swedish Elite League playoffs on Thursday, is a prime candidate to play for Team Sweden in the World Championships and thus must be granted permission by the authorities in order to join the Rangers.”
The Post’s Larry Brooks suggests coach John Tortorella may play Fast on a “Kid Line” with winger Chris Kreider and center J.T. Miller. By placing Jeff Halpern on waivers claimed by the Montreal Canadiens the Rangers cleared the necessary roster space for the young Swede.
The Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday announced that coach Guy Boucher had relieved of his duties.
The decision came hours after the Lightning lost 5-3 to the Ottawa Senators, dropping them to 13-17-1, 14th in the Eastern Conference, five points out of a playoff spot.
“Guy has poured his heart and soul into the Lightning organization for these past three years and we appreciate all the work he has done,” Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement released by the team. “But ultimately I am not satisfied with the direction we are heading and I believe making a change today is in the best interest of our franchise.”
Among the rumored replaces are former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who Yzerman hired an assistant coach on the Canada’s 2010 Olympic team, and Jon Cooper, who won an American Hockey League championship with the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning’s affiliate last season, and has their affiliate this season, the Syracuse Crunch, atop the league standings.
The announced assistant coaches Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix would share the coaching duties for the Lightning’s game Sunday at the Winnipeg Jets.
The Lightning advanced to the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals in Boucher’s first season, but missed the playoffs last season. In three seasons, his record is 97-78-20.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com and TSN reported the deal is worth $6.4 million, so it carries a salary cap hit of $1.6 million through the 2016-17 campaign.
Thompson, slated to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, has six goals and 10 points in 30 games for the Lightning this season. He has been a fixture on one of the bottom two lines for the Lightning in recent seasons since being claimed on waivers from the New York Islanders in 2010.
“We’re very pleased to have agreed to a contract extension with Nate,” Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement. “He has and will continue to be a very important member of our team both on and off the ice.”
NHL Trade Rumors: Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Clowe, Dan Boyle, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators
- Joe Haggarty of CSNNE.com reports that Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is interested in adding depth at forward and possibly on the blue line but, with most teams still in contention for the playoffs, he is having trouble finding teams willing to deal. ”We’re looking for depth. It may be a top line player and it may be a fourth liner, but we’re looking for another forward,” Chiarelli told Haggarty. ”It’s as hard as its ever been or harder because of all these teams that are still in it,” he said. “Teams feel like they only need to win three games and they’re back in it
- Sun Media reporter and TSN contributor Steve Simmons said on Twitter that the St. Louis Blues have no interest in trading goaltender Jaroslav Halak. With the emergence of Jake Allen in the Blues net, some believed the Blues might look to move Halak before the deadline but St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong told Simmons, “He’s not going anywhere.”
- Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area says neither Ryan Clowe or Dan Boyle want to be traded from the San Jose Sharks. ”I hear it, like everyone else,” Clowe said of hearing his name in trade rumors. “I don’t pay too much attention to it. I’m in the same position as Boyler, I really like it here. I understand things happen, but I would obviously like to stay here, too, and see this through.”
- Ansar Khan of MLIVE.com reports that the Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland suggests he is more likely to make a trade if the Red Wings play well in their remaining games before the trade deadline. Khan says that Detroit is in the market for a top-four defenseman and scoring help on the wing but the team won’t part with any prospects or draft picks unless they feel they have a legitimate shot in the playoffs. “We got to win some games first,” Holland said Friday, prior to Detroit’s game against Anaheim. “You don’t want to throw a lot of assets at something (if) you’re not sure you’re going to (make) the playoffs. So we need to win some games.”
- The Tennessean’s Josh Cooper says that the Nashville Predators current four-game homestand will go a long way in determining whether or not Nashville will make any moves before the trade deadline. Nashville is currrently two points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. ”Our team and so many other teams don’t know where they are right now,” Predators general manager David Poile told Cooper. “Four or five wins in a row takes you in a very positive direction, and conversely if you went in a tailspin and lost four or five games, it would be very difficult for us or any other team to make the playoffs.”
Nash rocked Kopecky in the slot, hitting him high and from behind, during the third period of the Rangers’ 3-1 loss to Florida. Though Nash was not penalized on the play, many assumed he would face a suspension or, at the very least, a fine.
He did receive a phone call Friday from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, multiple sources confirmed, but the NHL’s Department of Player Safety felt the hit fell below the threshold of supplementary discipline.
It is not immediately clear what absolved Nash from a fine or ban, but it is believed the principal point of contact may have been his saving grace. Nash left his feet to connect on the hit but nailed Kopecky in the back and shoulder first.
The New Jersey Devils added a veteran forward for the stretch run, acquiring Matt D’Agostini from the St. Louis Blues on Friday for a conditional fourth- or fifth-round draft pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
The Devils will also receive a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015.
The 26-year-old right wing has one goal and one assist in 16 games this season.
D’Agostini was a sixth-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 2005 NHL Draft. In 254 NHL games over parts of six seasons for the Canadiens and Blues, he has 45 goals and 91 points.
- Dan Rosen of NHL.com spoke to a few NHL general managers with the deadline looming. Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier stated that he would listen to calls on every player on the club’s roster. ”I don’t think it’s a case of making players available or not available; it’s that you’re trying to improve the club and the focus goes beyond this season,” Regier told Rosen. “It’s that simple, so you have to be open to anything that’s going to do that.” Three members of the team’s core, forwards Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek and goaltender Ryan Miller all have one year remaining on their deals after this season, and could garner a great deal of interest. In the same article, Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren stated that despite the fact the Flyers were not having the season they expected, he was not looking to add for a playoff run, but would be open to making a hockey deal. ”We’re fairly far back right now,” Holmgren said. “If there is something there that will help us now and in the future I’d probably do that, but I’m not looking for anything.”
- John Boruk of CSNPhilly.com believes that the Philadelphia Flyers should explore the trade market for 27-year-old defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who has one-year left on his contract after this season for $4 million. Boruk goes on to state that there are a lot of teams that could use defensive help, like the Ottawa Senators, and Flyers rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers.
- According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com, the Dallas Stars have some tough decisions to make the deadline looming. The club is sitting one point out of eighth place in a very crowded Western Conference playoff race, but they have three pending unrestricted free agents in Jaromir Jagr, Brenden Morrow and Derek Roy that would command a great deal of interest in the trade market. LeBrun states that he believes that Morrow won’t return to the Stars next season, and feels that club might be able to get a first or second rounder and a prospect for Roy, who might be priced out of what the Stars can afford in light of the Ryan Getzlaf contract.
There’s no lack of interest, that’s for certain. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, and Detroit Red Wings are all said to be keen on acquiring Jarome Iginla ahead of this season’s trade deadline. However, ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun insists the captain of the Calgary Flames is driving the car solo when it comes to whether he’s moved out of Alberta or not.
“He decides where he goes if he goes and that decision (is) coming in the next couple of weeks,” LeBrun maintained Thursday evening
ESPN’s Barry Melrose believes Iginla wants to be dealt to a Stanley Cup contender to get “one more kick at the can”, so to speak. If the Flames appear down and out in the coming days, look for all sides involved to massage a transaction in the most pleasant manner possible. One that won’t paint anyone as the “bad guy”. And while Melrose suggests Iginla’s style of play may best suit the Bruins, the opportunity to compete with his Team Canada linemate in Sidney Crosby could be mighty tempting as well.
- Ken Campbell of The Hockey News insists there could be changes made in the coaching department of the Tampa Bay Lightning skaters aren’t putting in the necessary effort for their bench boss. ”Those who follow the Lightning closely claim that is not the case, but the point might be moot. In the two years since his team came within a goal of going to the Stanley Cup final, Guy Boucher has been unable to cajole any kind of consistency of effort out of his group.” Campbell suggests Lindy Ruff or Jon Cooper could get the call to replace Boucher in the offseason.
- The Miami Herald reports Alex Kovalev has quietly retired as a player in the NHL. According to GM Dale Tallon, Kovalev signed his retirement papers and is no longer a member of the Florida Panthers.
- Dan Boyle’s name persists as one of the hottest available deadline targets and ESPN’s Katie Strang believes the New York Rangers have definite interest in the 36-year-old blueliner. Strang notes that Marian Gaborik would be a good fit for the San Jose Sharks in return, but that his $7.5-million cap hit makes him a difficult addition for a lot of teams. Another hindrance to a possible Boyle-to-the-Rangers scenario is the possibility that Boyle’s list of possible trade destinations may not even include the Rangers.
- While rumors surround Dallas Stars center Derek Roy and the possibility of him getting dealt for a second time within the span of a year before April 3, the 29-year-old is taking the rumors in stride. “I understand the situation, and you never know what can happen, so I just concentrate on my game,” Roy told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s fine, honestly. I just try to work on my game, and everything will figure itself out.