Final Destination: Scott Niedermayer

12/23/2009
Anaheim Ducks v Philadelphia Flyers

Some players around the League find themselves at a career crossroad.  A crossroad with tough decisions to make regarding ongoing speculation of their final season.  Speculation whether to stay on a sinking ship and finish at the bottom of the sea or leaving one’s comfort zone in an attempt to stay on top.  Certainly no easy decision for any player

While Scott Niedermayer ponders his future in hockey he continues another solid year in his famed career.  The same cannot be said for the Anaheim Ducks, who sit 13th in the Western Conference despite coming off a come from behind victory against the Colorado Avalanche.  The team finds themselves as of this writing a mere five points behind the eighth seed.

The asking price for the captain should be reasonable, as he would strictly be a playoff rental.  However, GM Brian Murray can  acquire a potential piece or pieces to build for a brighter future in sunny Anaheim.

A quick look around the league shows there are a few teams in need of Niedermayer’s services. At 37, he still is one of the best defensemen in the game and a huge piece for a few teams looking for that extra push into serious cup contention.

Lets take a closer look at which teams could trade for Niedermayer in order to bring home Lord Stanley’s Cup.  Even though he already carries four Stanley Cup rings to his credit, every player in this league starts the season with one goal in mind.

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Doomsday in Philthadelphia

12/22/2009
Montreal Canadiens v Philadelphia Flyers

The newest question circulating around Flyer nation is…

When will Peter Laviolette step down from being the coach?

Signs of frustration are apparent, and rightfully so.  So, if the fans are that frustrated, you can imagine how the organization must feel.  Replacing a coach usually is the first attempt to  problems within a team. So when the Flyers handed Stevens a pink slip and hired Laviolette quickly signing him to a three-year contract, a fix was expected.

So Flyers nation, we can all understand frustration, but let’s get a grip.  Is there a way for GM Paul Holmgren to right the ship and avoid a season like 2006-07?  Hopefully, but I don’t think it will be either certain or quick.

I caught a story today over at Habs Inside/Out, which they reported a rumor that might make a lot of sense for both clubs involved.  Of course, if this trade was close to happening, it might not go down as such now due to last night’s Flyer game. Regardless, the trade rumored is…

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Add Marty Turco to the Trade Market?

12/22/2009
Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars

The latest live chat by Mike Heika’s Stars Blog reveals interest in Marty Turco by one team that desperately needs help between the pipes: the Philadelphia Flyers.  Turco, an impending free-agent and life-long Star, certainly would seem different outside a Dallas uniform.

As rumors swirl around a possible Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux for Ilya Kovalchuk swap, this reporter feels the Flyers really need to address their goaltending situation.  As successful as the team has been over the years, their one downfall has always been a weak goalie.  Forcing a star player, and most likely rental, to adapt in a couple of months while gutting part of the core to do so.

This year the Flyers play between the pipes struggled mightily.  Between Brian Boucher, Ray Emery and now Michael Leighton the team sports a hefty2.85 GAA and .897 SV%, certainly not statistics you would see on a Stanley Cup contender.

With rumors in Dallas leading to both Turco and Mike Ribeiro exiting the greater state of Texas, the cash strapped Stars may by default go into a full rebuild.  Beleaguered defenseman Braydon Coburn may show some interest as well as other young trade chips Mika Pyorala, David Laliberte or Darroll Powe.

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Peter Mueller on His Way to Broadway?

12/21/2009
Columbus Blue Jackets v Phoenix Coyotes

Look closely at the picture to the right, it may be the last time you see Peter Mueller in a Coyotes jersey.

The 21-year-old native of Bloomington, Minnesota continues to baffle both his coaching staff and fans alike with his minimal effort and limited offensive production.  With only one goal and six points all season, Mueller sits on the hot seat almost begging GM Don Maloney to trade him elsewhere.

If you are keeping score at home, those totals project to an impressive three goals and 18 points.

Since the inception of Dave Tippett into the coaching staff, the entire Coyotes organization seems to thrive.  Tippett implemented his system quickly as he took over in preseason with little time to spare. The system teaches his youngsters solid two-way play and evidently turned Ilya Bryzgalov into a Vezina Trophy candidate.

Meanwhile Mueller’s totals have only plummeted from a successful rookie campaign under Wayne Gretzky.  Greatly slowing down over the second portion of last season many people had high hopes the talented youngster would turn it around.  The right wing played 28 games before watching from the press box since December 14th.

So what will Maloney do with Mueller?

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Rumors Running Rampid in New York

12/17/2009
New York Rangers Headshots

It has finally come time for the New York Rangers to see the light.

Rumors circulating around the tri-state area state that if the New York Rangers are to fail in obtaining a victory tonight, long time GM Glen Sather will be handed his walking papers.

Radio personality Craig Carton, co-host of Boomer and Carton in the Morning Show, usually is not known for his role in the hockey community.  However, Carton reports that “Slats” will be relieved of his duties if the New York Rangers lose tonight’s tilt against the cross-town rival New York Islanders.

Craig told fellow co-host Boomer who the source was and in turn Boomer stated on the record  that it is a reputable source.  What Rangers fans have been calling for for quite some time now, is very close to becoming more and more of a possibility.

Larry Brooks also reported, via Twitter, that veterans Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik are healthy scratches for tonight’s contest.  What is even more puzzling is why Sather would give Kotalik a three year deal worth nine million while getting Vinny Prospal at an amazingly discounted rate.

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Rumors Surround City of Brotherly Love

12/15/2009
Calgary Flames v Montreal Canadiens

At this point the Flyers are one of the hottest topics in the league.  The team constructed to be a cup contender currently sits tenth in the Eastern Conference with 31 points in 31 games and two points back of a playoff berth.

TSN reported earlier today that the Flyers are working on a deal that for Montreal backup Jaroslav Halak.  With Cedrik Desjardins performing at an elite level in the AHL with four shutouts in 14 games  the loss of Halak may not hurt as bad.  Still GM Bob Gainey has his back against the wall as it was confirmed the 24-year-old requested a trade.  Combine that with a crowded goalie market and we are left with what? That’s right a second round pick.

The Flyers are certainly not going to move a top prospect, so rest easy Flyers fans there will be no moving Claude Giroux or James van Riemsdyk.  Perhaps the Habs can fetch a player like Mika Pyorala or David Laliberte plus a pick but the longer they wait the more attractive other goalies look.  Combine that with the Flyers claiming Michael Leighton and you have a team that actually may stand pat.

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Leighton to Philly, Ward Stays Put

12/15/2009
Carolina Hurricanes v Colorado Avalanche

We at NHLHS are proud to pat ourselves on the back.  As reported, Hurricanes backup Michael Leighton is now the Flyers backup.  Yesterday we discussed the merits of Leighton going through re-entry waivers and PREDICTED the backup going to either the Flyers or Rangers.  Really glad we got this one right.

Yesterday we also predicted Aaron Ward and PA Parenteau clearing waivers.  Both of these players did today as expected.  Ward will stay with the Hurricanes while Parenteau rejoins the Hartford Wolfpack.  The Rangers sorely missed the latter as he was responsible for both of their shootout wins and they failed to score entirely in the skills competition last night.

Ward may have some league-wide interest if he is to go through re-entry waiver at half the price (1.25 cap hit).

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-Alexander Monaghan
NHLHS Founder
thehotstove@gmail.com