Archive

Archive for July, 2012

Jul
07

Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray has been busy since the 2011-12 season ended and Free Agency kicked off on July 1. Most notably, Murray stated that winger Teemu Selanne has been weighing his annual decision of whether or not he’ll return for another season. Murray announced that he and the Finnish Flash spoke last weekend and soon thereafter stated that talks continued last week just prior to the July 4 holiday. As fans will recall, the past two seasons Selanne waited until the week before training camp to agree to another season. It’s hoped that with all the changes Murray is making to the Ducks roster, Selanne will decide sooner than this September.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau seems hopeful that Selanne will return noting that the team’s elder statesman (who turned 42 on July 3) has been skating, seems up-beat, and is in great shape. The coach feels strongly that the future Hall of Famer is leaning toward saying yes.

Should Selanne agree to return, it will be to a team that’s seeing a bit of an off-season shake-up. Murray has already announced that the team traded forward Jason Blake and that forward Nicklas Hagman will not be returning. Murray says the team also traded fan favorite Lubomir Visnovsky who led all defensemen in points during the 2010-11 season but who underperformed last season after suffering a series of injuries. Another fan favorite, defenseman George Parros, has signed as a free agent with the Florida Panthers for two years at $925,000. Also leaving the Ducks is free agent defenseman Sheldon Brookbank who signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.

New faces entering the lineup are Sheldon Souray (formerly with Dallas) who agreed to a three-year, $11 million deal and Bryan Allen (formerly with Carolina) who inked a three-year contract worth $10.5 million. Souray is particularly excited about the deal because his family lives in Southern California and he owns a home in Malibu. Souray played with current Ducks forward Saku Koivu when they were with the Montreal Canadiens and says he’s never played with a better captain. During his decision-making, Souray spoke to Koivu about the situation in Dallas and with Anaheim and was thrilled that the opportunity to play in Anaheim presented itself.

In addition to those transactions, Murray must now turn his attention to forward Bobby Ryan who has apparently told the press that he’s tired of his name coming up in reference to trade talks, so he implied that he wants to be traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. Ryan recently signed a five-year deal worth approximately $5.2 million per season, so Murray is all the more disappointed that his young winger’s comments were made to the media instead of to management. Murray said he would be speaking to Ryan soon, and fans hope he’ll be able to smooth Ryan’s feathers (pun intended).

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Jul
07

The Carolina Hurricanes announced the signing of Jordan Staal to a ten-year, $60 million contract. The centerman was actually offered the same deal to extend his contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins with whom he won a Stanley Cup. However, he passed on the offer because he was reportedly concerned about his role with the team when captain Sidney Crosby and forward Evgeni Malkin are both healthy, and a ten-year deal would have prohibited the 23-year-old from ever playing with his older brother Eric Staal, the Hurricanes’ captain.

With youngest brother Jared already in the ‘Canes organization (playing for the affiliate Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League), it’s speculated that eldest brother Eric might persuade the ‘Canes to once again try to acquire younger brother Marc so that all four Staal brothers could play for the team. However, the New York Rangers may not be willing to part with Marc and after a hit from Eric caused Marc to suffer a concussion last season, all may not be forgiven yet. Time will tell.

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Jul
07

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they have given captain Sidney Crosby a contract extension of 12 years at $104.4 million. Penguins GM Ray Shero said the team wanted to ensure that Crosby would remain a Penguin to the end of his career, so they were happy to get the deal done.

It’s been reported that the deal had been in the works for a while. However, although both sides were in agreement, according to league rules Crosby was unable to sign until July 1 since he still has one year left on his current contract.

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Jul
07

The star-studded 2012 NHL Awards were handed out on June 20 and offered a few surprises compared to previous years. Perennial winners such as Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom went home empty-handed while Boston Bruin Patrice Bergeron won the Selke Award for best defensive forward, and first-time nominee Ottawa Senator Erik Karlsson won the Norris Trophy for the best defenseman.

Another first-time winner was New York Ranger Henrik Lundqvist who took home the Vezina Trophy for Goalie of the Year, upsetting LA Kings fans who felt Jonathan Quick was a shoe-in for the prize. Kings fans were also disappointed when Kings coach Darryl Sutter lost the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year to first-time winner St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

The ceremony was held at the Las Vegas Wynn Hotel and Casino. For a list of all the winners, check here.

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