The Gretzky Trade 25 years later, conflicting reports over the status of the New Jersey Devils, plus updates on Matt Duchene, Matt Moulson, Nikolai Khabibulin, Jody Shelley and more.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: has complete coverage of the 25th anniversary of “The Gretzky Trade”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As various media outlets covering the run-up to the anniversary of the trade (which occurred 25 years ago today) have observed, no other trade in NHL history has had such a lasting effect upon the league.
FORBES.COM: reported multiple sources claiming the NHL could take over the New Jersey Devils unless a buyer for the team steps in quickly. The league reportedly doesn’t want the Devils to file for bankruptcy as the Phoenix Coyotes did in 2009.
ESPN.COM: cited a league source claiming reports the NHL could take over the Devils were “inaccurate”.
NJ.COM: Devils GM Lou Lamoriello is keeping quiet on a potential sale of the club, but didn’t deny it could happen soon, perhaps in the next several days. A group led by Philadelphia attorney Andrew Barroway is still in the running and has staked $30 million to help the club pay its bills. Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris and Calgary billionaire Bill Gallacher could also have interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of conflicting reports yesterday but it sounds as though a buyer could soon be in place for the Devils, who won’t be relocated under new ownership.
USA TODAY: Colorado Avalanche star Matt Duchene helped an Ontario father successfully bid for a Zdeno Chara jersey at a charity auction to give to his daughter (a Chara fan), who’d been a victim of bullying earlier this year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the story concluded, that girl now has a new favorite player. Way to go, Matt!
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: NY Islanders star Matt Moulson said there’s been no contract talks this summer with the club. Moulson is in the final year of his current deal and will be eligible for UFA status next summer, leaving things up to his agent to sort out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders GM Garth Snow has a pretty good track record for retaining his club’s key players. Moulson is part of the Islanders core, which has grown together in recent years.Though Moulson could cash in big next summer as a UFA, it’s not a certainty he’ll test those waters, especially if the Islanders remain a playoff contender.
ESPN.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks are optimistic an ageing Nikolai Khabibulin can fill the backup role behind starter Corey Crawford.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: NHL enforcer Jody Shelley has retired, joining the Blue Jackets in a front-office role.
TSN.CA: The NHL is ready for its slate of six outdoor games this season.
NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres have signed Rick Jeanneret to a new three-year contract as their primary play-by-play voice, after which he’ll retire and be replaced by Dan Dunleavy in 2016-17. Jeanneret will begin his 42nd season behind the microphone this coming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jeanneret is a hockey broadcasting legend, but at 71 he’s getting up there and is coming to the end of his storied career. Thankfully, hockey fans in general and Sabres fans in particular have three more seasons to enjoy his unique play-by-play style. His call of Brad May’s series-clinching overtime goal over Boston in 1993 remains a classic.