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The term ‘odd man out’ could be used to describe a three headed goalie tandem, but not in the case of the goaltending carousel in Philadelphia.
The Flyers, with Ray Emery ready to return, boast three goaltenders with NHL experience with no defined starter and backup role . These next week games should make the next week in Philly quite interesting. But for now, we have an odd man in.
Who stays, who goes? Who starts and who sits?
The team brought Emery in during the off-season to be the number one goaltender. In his first NHL game in over a year, he shut out the Carolina Hurricanes, putting faith in the controversial starter. At a reasonable 1.5 million cap hit, GM Paul Holmgren played a high risk, high reward gamble with his available space.
That gamble seemed to pay off, until Emery’s 14th start, where he suddenly fell into a massive slump. The slump would later reveal itself as a torn muscle in his abdomen region, an injury which actually occurred three weeks prior to its announcement.
If you’ve read past work on this situation, where I’ve sited points from Canadian radio or other articles around the blogosphere, you would know that the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes keeps going.
Late last night, via twitter, conversations came up that Kovalchuck and the Thrashers have hit a point in contract talks with most speculating the drama will conclude by week’s end. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN stated in an article on Saturday that the new year would have some critical news in the Kovalchuck endeavors. Well, all signs are pointing to LeBrun’s speculation as accurate.
Supposedly Kovalchuk will sign a deal with the Thrashers worth between 8 million and 11 million per year in the range of a 10-12 years. This signing would be great news for the Thrashers organization and bad news for 29 other teams that hoping to acquire the Russian sniper with a tempting package.
Kovalchuck’s agent Jay Grossman and Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell met this weekend during the World Junior Hockey Championships and with the team presenting a deal to Grossman. Now the decision rests on Kovalchuk’s shoulders. Does he want to stay in Atlanta, a place he publicly stated he loves? Do his his fears of relocation trump this supposed love affair?
There are still other scenarios however.
As we approach the midway point of the 2009-10 season in the National Hockey League, many questions remain unanswered.
Which teams are serious about playoff contention? Who needs a massive upgrade to make the push from a bubble team? Which team should sell off the year and attempt a mini-rebuild?
Those are some thoughts circulating the League as we take a look at the state of all teams around the NHL. Now, when perusing through certain rosters some names that could bring in returns which would benefit a team in need of depth.
Today, we look at the defensemen around the NHL likely to be moved by the March 3rd, 2010 trade deadline. As a side note, be sure to tune into “The Hockey Guys” on deadline day as there will be an all day live event with a live chat room for discussion on all the rumors and news as it breaks in the NHL.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun recently reported that the New York Rangers are shopping wingers Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.
The Rangers brought in both players this past off-season to bolster their offense with hopes that they would fit into coach John Tortorella’s system. GM Glen Sather hoped they would fill holes and perform at levels, but at this point both have vastly disappointed. Now Sather looks for alternative options to “beef” up his top six in order to gain a bigger presence up front, something Kotalik should provide.
What do I mean?
The Rangers want size in front of the oppositions crease in order to create more traffic to generate more offense.
When the team they signed Marian Gaborik they had one goal in mind: the Stanley Cup playoffs. Currently, the Rangers sit on the outside looking in, knowing some tweaking in the line up is a must.
Tortorella simply cannot work with the mix of forwards he currently has. Outside of Gaborik, most of the team fail to put together a consistent effort. We know the personality of Mr. Tortorella, a fiery, intense coach with a limited tolerance. The team’s current players show they cannot play his system properly.
It is time to make a change.
Earlier today, the Vancouver Canucks placed veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider on waivers. Team 1040 AM Vancouver interviewed head coach Alain Vigneault about the team’s recent play and their decision to place him on waivers.
Both the Canucks and Schneider mutually felt waivers was the best route to take. According to reports the team attempted to trade the veteran for the past month, but there were no buyers.
In this cap constrained era of the new NHL his hefty cap hit of 2.75 million is quite the amount to absorb, so most teams should pass on a waiver claim. Now, the speculation changes to the veteran getting put on re-entry waivers, in which a team would absorb roughly a 1.25 million cap hit. Let the rumors begin as to which GM decides to pick up the phone and contact Canucks GM Mike Gillis should he place Schneider on re-entry waivers. As a veteran of 22 seasons and experienced powerplay quarterback, the 40-year-old could help a team in need of depth.
A brief run down as to who might go after his services should he go on re-entry waivers:
The latest from Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun discusses the injury to Daniel Alfredsson as well as the need to replace his production in the lineup. After sustaining a hit from Craig Adams on Wednesday, the Senators captain expects to miss a few weeks with a bum shoulder. The 37-year-old joins pivot Jason Spezza and wing Nick Foligno in the press box as they continue to recover from their own ailments while Chris Neil, Shean Donovan and Pascal Leclaire all returned to the lineup a mere three days ago.
Although center Josh Hennessy initially gets a call up, the rookie definitely is not and will not be the solution. If this team is to stay within the playoff picture they must make a move quickly and patch the gaping hole in their top six.
Garrioch may be onto something for once with his article. The controversial reporter discusses the merits of trading for Christopher Higgins or Alexander Frolov, both impending free agents after the season.