Category Archives: Rumours

Shark Bait: Thornton and Marleau Re-Sign

Two of the hottest potential trade candidates are officially off the market.

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau inked new deals to remain part of the San Jose Sharks for the next three seasons. Thornton will earn $6.75M while Marleau will earn a smidgen less at $6.66M per season.

Both players will be 37 years of age when the contracts expire.

These are great signings for the San Jose Sharks. This is a team in the thick of the competition in the strong Western Conference and they just locked up two of their best players, both of whom they could have easily dealt for a whole heap of assets while they road Couture and Pavelski down the middle.

What makes these deals beauties is the fact that they are for only three years. Most players want that big time cash out for the end of their career, usually taking them to age 39 or 40 where they will be disgustingly overpaid in their final two-three years.

Thornton and Marleau are still highly effective players in the NHL and should still be functional for the Sharks when they are in their final year of the new deals. It’s safe to assume the Sharks expect to be Stanley Cup contenders for the next several seasons and their play hasn’t suggested anything to combat that theory.

So, with all of that said, there is still a player with an expiring deal that has been lost in all of this conversation.

Dan Boyle.

San Jose had the “big 3” UFA’s heading into the trade deadline and now two of them have been awarded extensions. What does that mean for Dan Boyle? A trade perhaps?

Boyle’s play has declined but he would still be an effective player for a team taking a run at a Stanley Cup. He can quarterback a power play and give you sound defense in your own end. At his age there is nothing flashy about his play anymore but teams look for consistency in a rental and Boyle can provide that.

San Jose would get a pretty decent return on the aging blueliner and use that to continue to build on the fly like they’ve done for the past decade. A little known fact: If Detroit misses the post-season that would put the San Jose Sharks in top spot for the longest active playoff streak.

Thanks for reading!

Predators Acquire Del Zotto, Leafs/Kings Minor Swap

When Alain Vingeault came to New York it became clear pretty quickly that Michael Del Zotto didn’t fit into his plans as well as he did under John Tortorella.

After a stretch of several games in the press box, the rumours started to swirl around Del Zotto and it was all but a matter of time before the young defender was traded. That day came yesterday when the Nashville Predators sent Kevin Klein to the Blue Shirts to acquire Del Zotto’s services.

The upside clearly favors Del Zotto and the Preds, with the defender six years younger than the 29 year old Klein. Del Zotto has 112 points in 292 games with the Rangers while Klein has 79 points in 356 contests with the Predators.

Knowing now what Del Zotto was officially traded for I have to wonder why a deal wasn’t done sooner. Kevin Klein is a solid depth defender but he is by no means a savior, or an equal trade partner for a 23 year old with a lot of potential.

The Preds get the win on this one.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings made a minor deal yesterday as well.

The Leafs sent center Andrew Crescenzi to LA in exchange for forward Brandon Kozun.

Neither player has seen the ice of an NHL rink up close, but Kozun has had success in the American Hockey League with LA’s affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. Kozun has scored at least 20 goals in each of his three seasons in the AHL and appears to be on pace for a fourth.

Crescenzi has played 49 games in the AHL, scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists. He also spent part of 2012-2013 in the ECHL with the San Francisco Bulls where he had 3 goals and 11 assists in 23 games.

While it’s unlikely that either will play a prominent role with either club, I’d have to give Toronto the edge in this deal.

Rumour Tracker + Fight Of The Year

With around six weeks left until the NHL Trade Deadline it’s time to start rumour hunting.

The low salary cap will make it difficult to move a lot of players but, you never know, we could get surprised. Here are some of what’s flying around in the media.

  • Sportsnet suggests Legwand could end up wearing a different jersey for the first time in his career, with New Jersey and Washington as possible destinations.
  • Eklund reported that Olli Jokinen’s name is being thrown around the rumour mill, again, like always.
  • Matt Moulson’s name keeps appearing next to Ottawa and Los Angeles in rumours.
  • The Maple Leafs are listening closely to offers on Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri and James Reimer. Three good pieces to work with to bring back a need for the organization.
  • The Ryan O’Reilly watch is on with about a month to go before he is eligible to be dealt should Colorado want to travel down that road. It’s only logical that one of O’Reilly or Statsny gets traded for some help on the blueline. With Duchene and MacKinnon as the present and future of the middle for Colorado there is no need to keep both Stastny and O’Reilly around when both could yield a significant improvement for the defense of the Avalanche.
  • Dennis Wideman’s name keeps popping up out of Calgary in trade rumours. Brian Burke is very effective at cleaning house when he takes over a sinking ship. It’s ironic that he ends up in Calgary and ends up firing the man he goated into trades when he first took over in Toronto. The only player safe in Calgary is Sean Monahan.
  •  Tomas Vanek is most likely headed to free agency in July, so it’s up to Isles GM Garth Snow whether he wants to spend March-June trying to re-sign the star forward or deal him and try his luck when the market opens. Pittsburgh is always looking for a winger opposite Crosby/Kunitz so expect them to be rumored in every conversation about Vanek.

Two nights ago Antoine Roussel and Kevin Klein had the bout of the year. It was a flashback to the days of Rob Ray, Bob Probert and Tie Domi. Fists were flying non-stop for the duration of the fight before both players ran out of gas and ended the fight in mutual exhaustion. Here’s the video from hockeyfights.com.