Easter Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 24, 2011.

The latest from ESPN, Toronto Sun and Boston Globe.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and his agent are onboard with the NY Islanders decision to toll his contract toward next season, and in return the Islanders, who had suspended Nabokov for failing to report after they had claimed him off waivers earlier in the season, will allow him to play for Russia in the upcoming World Hockey Championships. LeBrun writes the idea here is Nabokov’s stock could rise if he has a strong performance in the tournament, as the Isles will likely try to trade him this summer….The LA Kings could join the NY Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs in bidding for Brad Richards this summer..The Kings could consider giving goalie Jonathan Bernier more playing time next season. They’ve been happy with starter Jonathan Quick’s performance but they consider Bernier could have a brighter future….Kyle Wellwood has played very well for the Sharks, particularly in this year’s playoffs, and if he continues his solid performance could be re-signed by the club this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nabokov recently gave an interview to a Russian sports paper where he claimed the reason he didn’t join the Islanders this season was that he didn’t believe he could help them, adding he would have no issue with joining the team in training camp this fall. That being said, it sounds as though the Isles could try to see what he could fetch on this summer’s trade market, given the lack of depth of quality starting goalies…If the Kings do get into the bidding for Richards that could make things interesting, as the Rangers have been considered the front-runners for his services. I doubt he signs with the Leafs, unless they’re the only club to make a lucrative offer…If the Kings intend to give Bernier more playing time next season that rules out the possibility they’ll trade him this summer. And no, they won’t trade Quick this summer either, though if Bernier successfully challenges Quick next season for the starter’s job, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility Quick gets shopped at next year’s trade deadline…A lot of fans love to diss Wellwood for his soft play and doughboy physique, but he has been a strong performer for the Sharks so far int his year’s playoffs, and may indeed earn himself another contract with them, provided his salary demands are reasonable.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons doesn’t imagine the Boston Bruins or any other NHL team will be that keen to sign former Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle this summer, suggesting Kaberle is no longer a prominent player, “if he ever was one”…Simmons also dismissed the hubbub over Ilya Bryzgalov’s recent comments about not wanting to play in Winnipeg if the Coyotes move back there, defending Bryzgalov’s right as a UFA to sign wherever he pleases, adding the goalie isn’t the first and won’t be the last to decline playing there. Simmons points out part of the reason Zybnek Michalek decided not to re-sign with the Coyotes due to concern the club could relocate to Winnipeg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaberle’s stock appears to be in decline due to his poor performance with the Bruins down the stretch and in their first round series against Montreal, where his lack of offensive production has been a concern…Bryzgalov is absolutely within his rights to choose where he wants to play. The fact he was bold enough to say he wouldn’t follow the Coyotes to Winnipeg have earned him unjustified scorn, but as Simmons noted, he’s not the first and won’t be the last. Sure, there’ll be players who’ll have no problem playing there, but there will also be a number of players who’ll rather play elsewhere. Winnipeg hockey fans will have to deal with that, just as Edmonton hockey fans have had to deal with their city being low on the list of preferred destinations for NHL players.

BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports the NY Rangers will have plenty of cap space this summer putting them in position for “one of their standard summer overbids”, this time probably targeting Dallas Stars center Brad Richards, though they also have to re-sign RFAs Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Boyle, and Artem Anisimov…Jason Arnott has been a solid pickup for the Washington Capitals. He’s 36 and will be a UFA this summer. Dupont writes Arnott’s no longer worth the $4.5 million he made this season but might be able to convince another team to pay him close to that on a two-year deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be a busy summer for GM Glen Sather, but apart from perhaps pursuing one big ticket UFA I expect he’ll put just as much urgency into retaining those restricted free agents…Arnott will probably find a one or two year deal but even though he’s played well for the Capitals I believe his age, injury history and declining skills means he’ll be fortunate to earn $2.5 million per season on his next contract.



  1. WOW!!!!!!!
    bryz doesnt want to go to the ‘peg??????
    Well…..I guess that the jets should just pack it in and not bring the team back to manitoba!!!
    C’mon man!!!!
    Who cares where he wants to go?!?! He can’t win in the playoffs, and he can’t beat detroit!!
    Just sign with the KHL and get it over with…

  2. While I agree that Bernier is one of the top young goaltenders playing in the NHL and he does have a bright future, I really don’t see how it could be that much brighter than Quick who had very good numbers through the season and has at times be awesome in the playoffs, including 51 saves last night.

    With Quick only 25 years old and on an affordable contract, as well as having a pair of solid prospects in the AHL (including junior hockey’s top ‘tender last year Martin Jones) I think the Kings would be foolish to not passively shop Bernier for a scoring winger this summer. There are a couple of solid young goalies that might be available such as Schneider and Harding but Bernier is younger and arguably has more upside. The Kings should see what they can get for him and if it’s a deal that makes sense then pull the trigger. If they can’t get what they’re looking for they can always walk away knowing they have two very good young goaltenders.

  3. I too am doubtful about Kaberle’s worth on the open market come July but there are likely GM”s out there willing to throw money at him anyways despite his declining skill set and ” soft” approach to defence

  4. I think Phoenix should get to keep the Coyotes just because of the poor sportsmanship of some of the Canadian fanbase over this ownership thing. Or, for the same reason, award the team to anywhere but Winnepeg. I know nothing about Winnepeg, but because of the kind of character these callous pro-Winnepeg fans have shown during this whole thing I have become loath to see Winnepeg get the Coyotes. I am already not a fan. I see that some hockey players feel the same. To me it almost feels like Winnepeg fans would be the type of people that would steal a lolly from a baby because you think you would appreciate it more.

    Some of you Canadian fans are disgustingly over-bloated and not at all unlike selfish, bratty, whiny, and demanding children.

    This American has always appreciated Canadians, your varied cultures, your hockey contributions, and especially your comedic contributions to the world. I, unlike some others, have always been fond of our “Neighbors to the North” for your good Canadian qualities. But…………

    I’m just hoping that the nice Canadian polish isn’t starting to wear away, nation wide, revealing an awful core of inhumanity after all this time.

    But, I still believe that God is good and that we are all born good and that the world is mostly good.
    And that “Rotten Spoiled Princess Complex of the woeful Canadian fan” isn’t inherited or aquired.
    It’s individually cultivated.

    You guys already lost it once. If nothing changes nothing changes.

    I say let Quebec have it before Winnepeg. At least find another, more deserving, Canadian City.

    I think Canada should have another team/teams, but I am now burnt on the “Peg”.

    Just my two cents.

  5. So you like Canadians, but loathe when we are patriotic? And people from Winnipeg are not supposed to want a team lest they feel the wrath of stream? Lol! I for one think Winnipeg should be third on the list of potential destinations (Quebec city and Hamilton being one and two respectively) but I don’t blame people for wanting a team…in any city. It shows they truely care about the sport.
    Ps. Your welcome for or hockey and comedic exports.

  6. Why are the only potential cities in Canada? Last I heard there were at least two big, new, empty buildings in the States, in untapped markets. Seems like the kind of thing Bettman would be into, doesn’t it?

  7. Haha so stream comes back with a smart ass comment to make up for his ignorant ignorance from before, where he got chased out of town by a bunch of hard hat, literate canadians. How long did it take you to write that once you wrote it, edited it, re-edited it, then probably got your little brother to edit it after? Are you still embarrassed about your chimerical bashing of leafs nation that you felt so inclined to write/rant about another canadian city with a more versed grammatic approach, hoping that people might take you more seriously? Maybe you should move to canada if your always thinking about us, maybe youll learn a few things too, like proper socialization skills and not making flimsy remarks about a nation you are clearly benighted about. Lol

  8. I’m just hoping that the nice Canadian polish isn’t starting to wear away, nation wide, revealing an awful core of inhumanity after all this time.

    That sentence scared me…. This is just a hockey site eh?

  9. @Bern16 Thank you! I couldn’t have put it any better. One sentence in and the lack of intelligence is overwhelming. He can’t even spell Winnipeg.

    @stream Get help. Seriously. What has any Winnipeg (or other Canadian fan for that matter) said to offend you? In the future you ought to reconsider before poorly misrepresenting the American people.

    “But, I still believe that God is good and that we are all born good and that the world is mostly good.
    And that “Rotten Spoiled Princess Complex of the woeful Canadian fan” isn’t inherited or aquired.
    It’s individually cultivated.”

    I have to say I find this comment perversely entertaining. God? Rotten spoiled princess? Get a clue man.

  10. Once again stream runs his mouth and flees the scene.

  11. Oh Stream….I was born in Toronto and enjoy dual citizenship. I am so completely embarrassed by your rant on this page! And just for fun, take a prominent Major League Baseball team and relocate them to Canada….let’s say Vancouver. Oh, and then relocate another couple….far up North….I’m thinking Edmonton or Calgary. I wonder what the reaction of American baseball fans who lost their teams would be? And I wouldn’t blame them for that reaction, just like you shouldn’t be blaming (or should I say ignorantly bashing) the hockey fans in Winnipeg!

  12. Haha thanks guys for helping me put the dirt back in the hole this idiot “stream” dug him self into again. I can’t wait for his next bird brained remark. He’ll probably try to come back with a new name like “river” to try and fool us all that its not him. But chances are the first sentence in what ever he writes next will reveal it’s just the moronic fool again. Haha

  13. I think that while Stream subjects us to less than intelligent comments, the failure of everyone to mention that Phoenix stole the team from Winnipeg in the first place might explain some of the passion and fervor that the Winnipeg fans have shown regarding relocating Phoenix.

    Such attempts by the NHL commissioner to make things work in Winnipeg were not followed through, he essentially turned away at the first sign of trouble and moved the team to Phoenix. When all is said and done they should unveil a statue (life size so it’s not TOO big) of Gary Bettman in downtown Glendale because he’s fought tooth and nail to keep the team in Phoenix, even lost millions in the process.

    What will make things awkward is if the NHL does move the team to Winnipeg, Gary Bettman will be booed at every opportunity because what he’s done is bordering on abuse. You’ve gotta know when to hold em, and know when to fold em, Gary has NO clue…