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Possible Scenarios with Mathieu Schneider Placed on Waivers

12/29/2009
Vancouver Canucks v Montreal Canadiens

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:

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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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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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So Now We Have a Crowded Goalie Market

12/11/2009
Pittsburgh Penguins v Florida Panthers

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.

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Jaroslav Halak On The Block

12/10/2009
Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens

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.

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Nylander Clears Waivers, Minor Signing & Trade Rumors

12/10/2009
USA Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Orientation Camp

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.

  • Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun reports the Leafs self-imposed trade deadline has come and passed.  Earlier in the year, notably before the return of Phil Kessel, Toronto was expected to have a major fire sale.  At this point, I would expect a smaller move along the lines of the Lee Stempniak trade after the period of immunity passes.
  • Former NHL head coach Pat Burns says “Vincent Lecavalier will be traded this season.”  The article by Vincent Destouches of Corus Sports covers the entire story in which Burns mentions the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers as interested parties.  Despite the ties the former coach has to the NHL community this seems like more like speculation than inside information.  The 29-year-old is due a whopping $7,727,273 cap hit through 2020 so any deal will have to involve a number of moving parts.  The former first overall pick projects to score 16 goals and 68 points.
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