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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 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…
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.
Over the last 24 hours, numerous goalies became available throughout the league. We already discussed the availability of Jaroslav Halak here, but there are a few interesting options popping up.
John Fontana with Raw Charge wonders if the Lightning are shopping goalie Mike Smith. With solid depth in the minors and a significant amount of money owed to Smith this season and next (2.4 million cap hit) it may make sense to move the talented netminder. With the 27-year-old playing six of the last nine Lightning games, it certainly makes sense that the team would be shopping him.
Likewise, the Florida Panthers listed goalie Tomas Vokoun as available according to Chris Botta of Fanhouse. Botta points out that top prospect Jacob Markstrom seems poised to join the club after this season leaving them with what they would consider two top goaltenders. Markstrom is certainly the future of the organization, but if he needs more time to develop the Panthers may have another lost year on their hands.
According to the Web Staff over at Sportsnet, the Montreal Canadiens are actively shopping Jaroslav Halak (H/T to crashthecrease.com).
The 24-year-old netminder is 6-4-0 in 11 games, including an impressive 46 save effort against the Ottawa Senators. Earlier in the year the Czech native amassed a four game win streak, an feat when you consider how injury riddled and weak the Montreal defense has been.
A quick look around the league shows a handful of teams needing depth between the pipes. The Flyers lost starter Ray Emery for six weeks leaving their team to the fate of Brian Boucher. The Oilers may have to rely on Jeff Deslauriers longer than they would like while Nikolai Khabibulin sits at home with a bad back. Pascal Leclaire remains on the sidelines as he watches Brian Elliot inconsistently block pucks.
Perhaps the most interesting rumor circulating involves Darren Helm and the Red Wings. As earlier whispered here. Does Halak really offer an upgrade to Jimmy Howard or the legendary Chris Osgood?
A quick look says no.
A few things going around the league. Nothing huge on the trade front as can be anticipated. Most rumors or big deals will not materialize until at least February when we have clear cut buyers and sellers.
Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out reports Kyle Chipchura moving to Anaheim for a 4th round pick. The second young Hab to be moved in the last two weeks, the former 1st round pick has mostly been a disappointment in the NHL.
Drafted from the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL in 2004, the Canadiens saw him as a rugged western Canadian player with offensive upside. This upside, similar to Benoit Pouliot never translated to the NHL or even the AHL level. The 23-year-old has zero points in his 18 games, leading fans to feel he is not even the third line center they hoped he could be.
Perhaps being reunited with former captain Saku Koivu gets this kid going. The once promising top-prospect will now have to work even harder just to stay in the league. Is it too early to call the kid a first-round bust? I would say five years is enough of an indicator.
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Benoit Pouliot and Guillaume Latendresse have been traded for one another respectively. Should we care? Combined the young forwards scored a paltry seven points rendering them fantasy-useless, but was it always that way? Both teams felt their players needed a change of scenery this much is clear. But do both teams see something in the players they got back. Now that is the question.
Looking at Pouliot, the 23-year-old is a skilled left wing who never really has dominated offensively at any level. Standing at 6’3″ the Ontario native broke into pro hockey with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves playing with NHL regulars Marc Staal and Nick Foligno. He averaged a little over a PPG showing that he could potentially be an NHL power forward. With these hopes the Wild took Pouliot with the 4th overall pick of the 2005 draft.
By comparison, the Canadiens took Latendresse with the 45th overall pick in 2005. Surprised that he was still on the board, the Habs moved up in order to snag what the entire Province of Quebec thought would be their chosen son. Coming out of the offense oriented QMJHL, the 22-year-old averaged 1.24 points-per-game making his draft spot a relative surprise. He would quickly be brought up to the big club, and there he would stick.