- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Dany Heatley was once traded for a package that included Jonathan Cheechoo. Five years later, he’s basically become him.
Heatley signed a 1-year, $1-million contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday; the kind of contract NHL teams hand out to former gunslingers in full decline, and the kind of contract former goal-scoring leaders get before their seemingly inevitable KHL deal.
He spent the last three seasons with the Minnesota Wild after the San Jose Sharks flipped him for Martin Havlat in July 2011. He was in San Jose for two seasons after demanding and approving a trade from the Ottawa Senators in Sept. 2009, ending a bitter standoff.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
Lou Lamoriello did his best to make Cory Schneider’s new 7-year, $42-million contract extension feel like the dawn of a new era for New Jersey Devils hockey.
“Cory’s not here to replace Marty. Cory’s here to establish his own identity,” said Lamoriello, as the Devils President/GM/Ruler Of All He Surveys announced the contract on Wednesday. Schneider’s deal kicks in during the 2015-16 season, as he has one more year at $4 million on his previous deal.
“We go from one great goaltender to another.”
The spectre of Brodeur haunts the organization. Not in the sense that anyone expects Schneider, 28, to replicate the Hall of Fame-worthy success Brodeur had in New Jersey for 20 years. But rather that he’s continuing the model the Devils perfected with Brodeur between the pipes: Success is created starting in the crease, and then built out.
Schneider said it’s all about “continuing a tradition of great goaltending in New Jersey,” and that he respects “what Marty has done for this organization.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Stars: Mark Lazerus from the Sun-Times joins us to talk Kane and Toews; Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News joins us to talk about their big summer.
• More news from the free agent frenzy.
• Evander Kane and the Jets.
• Other NHL news and notes.
Question of the Day: We are GOING POSTAL! Ask us anything! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek . Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have signed contract extensions through the 2022-23 season and made NHL history in doing so.
Toews and Kane inked matching 8-year, $84-million contracts on Wednesday, becoming the first two players to break the $10-million annual average salary ceiling since the salary cap was put in place after the 2005 lockout. They're the first players to make more than eight figures annually under the cap.
The Blackhawks’ stars had matching $6.3 million cap hits on their previous deals, which were scheduled to expire next summer, with unrestricted free agency beckoning.
Toews and Kane will make $10.5 million against the cap through 2022; Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was the previous leader at $9,538,462 against the cap annually through 2021. (See, Ted Leonsis wasn’t stubbornly refusing to circumvent the cap like everyone else was in 2008; he was just ahead of the curve!)
Of course, Ovechkin is a guy that gets you 50 goals. Kane and Toews have never broken 90 points; in Toews's case, he's broken 70 points once (although he was a point per game guy in the lockout shortened season).
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
Evander Kane’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for the better part of his tenure in Winnipeg. His legs are likely exhausted from trying to outpace the media that’s attempted to run him out of town for about the same duration, for such abhorrent offenses as using a stack of money as a phone and not reporting to Winnipeg Jets camp three days before it begins.
The notion that he won’t be a Jet when his four remaining contract years are up isn’t something Evander Kane has invented, nor is it a fire he’s emphatically fueled. Has he had fun with it? Certainly: Favoriting a tweet that mentioned his potential trade to the Philadelphia Flyers is tweaking the media, team and fans. But it’s hardly a public trade demand.
Rich Clune of the Nashville Predators has a simple message he wants to convey to fans, players and everyone involved in the sport of hockey:
“I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. And my life is amazing.”
Clune is a recovering alcoholic. It’s a fact he first revealed to ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside in a 2013 article, becoming one of the few NHL players to admit to his demons while still competing in the League. “I’m a recovering alcoholic. That’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to admit,” said Clune.
The Predators forward recently published a 30-minute confessional on Instaradio, a new self-publishing radio app. Some of it rehashed his journey to sobriety, and some of it chronicled his life after the ESPN piece brought him increased attention.
Why open up to the media last year?
“I wanted to take the power out of everyone’s hands that were wondering, with rumors and Internet stuff. Just say ‘this is what happened, this is what I’ve done about it’ and take the power back,” he said.
Remember summer camp?
Remember the ways they’d try to get all the campers to buy into how awesome it was to be sleeping away at Camp Idontwannabehere? The campfire sing-alongs and such?
Hockey development camps are the same deal: Trying to get a bunch of strangers to find camaraderie and make some summer memories. And this being hockey, what better way to accomplish this than with the magical whimsy of curling, a.k.a. Canadian bowling?
Here are the Detroit Red Wings’ development camp prospects sliding down the ice and sweeping their rocks in Traverse City:
Yes, that one rookie who bears a striking resemblance to Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is in fact his son Michael Babcock, who apparently inherited the charisma gene from his mother.
“Most guys haven’t played it, which is kind of shocking,” said Michael Babcock, in the most Canadian thing ever said by a Canadian.
It was around February when general manager Jim Nill started to believe that the Dallas Stars had something special going for them.
By the Sochi Olympic break, the Stars had ownership of the No. 4 seed in the Central Division. The new coaching staff had expertly integrated a number of young prospects into the lineup. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn were among the league’s top scorers. The Western Conference was the NHL’s Group of Death, but the Dallas Stars were surviving.
Then the playoffs arrived, and a first-round battle with the Anaheim Ducks. The Stars won two home games, gave the Ducks a scare and impressed Nill enough that he thought he had a case to make to ownership.
Of course, it helps that ownership had the same inkling that the general manager did.
“You go into something like this thinking you can change things and make a difference, but to see it happen is very satisfying. We have a long way to go, but we made some huge steps this year,” said owner Tom Gaglardi after the season.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
It’s obviously up to Orpik to hold up his end of the deal on the ice, to justify the 5 years and $5.5 million annually that’s been handed to him. But before that happens, it’s on people like Capitals Coach Barry Trotz to sell the move to a skeptical fan base.
“I really do. I know that [GM Brian MacLellan] has taken some heat on that,” he said.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 days ago
Dan Boyle had a better offer from the Detroit Red Wings. He had a better offer from the New York Islanders. The problem for both of those teams and others in their courtship of the free-agent defenseman: None of them are the New York Rangers.
“That’s where I wanted to go,” said Boyle in his first chat with the media since signing a 2-year, $9-million deal with the Rangers on July 1. “That’s the simplest way I could put it. Once I found out I was done in San Jose, that’s the team that kind of jumped out. That’s the team I’ve always been curious about.”
He had played in Florida with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had played in California with the San Jose Sharks. But Boyle was curious about playing in New York.
Just not with the Islanders, the team that acquired his negotiating rights from the Sharks before he spurned them for their rivals.