NHL Rumors – December 12, 2011.

Changes coming this week for the Kings? Could the Canucks shop for a tough guy? What’s the latest on Marty Turco? Read on to find out.

LATIMES.COM: Helene Elliott and Lisa Dillman report sources claim LA Kings executives are close to firing Terry Murray as their head coach, though a candidate has not been found to replace him. GM Dean Lombardi has been reluctant to make a move, but the club’s problems have mounted. Lombardi declined to comment on his plans. The Kings aren’t believed to have interest in former Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also been rumored the Kings might consider a roster shake-up via trade, but at this point in the season, when making a significant trade is difficult due to salary cap constraints, firing the coach is often the only option. We’ll see how things unfold this week.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford reports the Canucks lack of tough guys hasn’t adversely affected their performance. Botchford suggests when GM Mike Gillis talks about improving his fourth line depth, he’s referring to adding players like Christopher Higgins, whom he acquired at last season’s trade deadline, rather than adding a tough guy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The perception exists, however, the reason the Canucks lost to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final was they lacked a tough guy who could ensure players like Brad Marchand wouldn’t take liberties against the Canucks best players, like the Sedin Twins. Gillis, however, probably doesn’t buy into that theory.

DALLASNEWS.COM: Mike Heika reports former Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco has signed with an Austrian team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears to be for the short term, from December 16 to 18th



  1. They need a tough guy to handle Marshand? He’s 5’7″!!! Vancovers problem is their twin stars have no b_lls, aka heart!

  2. First, I really like how you capitalized “Sedin Twins”.

    Second, Dale Weise is working wonders on the fourth line for the Canucks. The Canucks have good depth at centre. That leaves left wing open for a “tough guy” – but if it happens, it won’t be for a goon, just a solid two-way player. If Montreal is out of the playoff hunt by the deadline, Travis Moen would fit quite nicely – but I don’t remember the last time the Canadiens were “sellers” (even if they’re 10 points back, management seems to see it fit to bring in players for a playoff push).

  3. As a Canuck fan, I am pissed about lasy years SCF. Dale Weiss is doing a denet job, but he doesn’t instill fear into anyone. A David Clarkson or a Chris Neil would have put a quick stop to Marchand speedbagging Sedin in the playoffs. When Boston inserted Thornton and he started the intmidation, the whole series changed, and those who are saying it didn’t are in denial. I hope Gillis gets us a Clarkson or Neil,. That is what we need.

  4. Filitov was loaned to Russia today. Don’t know if it’s been reported.

    I still can’t believe nobody wants Turco. I mean, even as a backup.

  5. @dynamo45

    I don’t disagree with your analysis, but I would go for Clarkson as he would be a better fit. I don’t think Neil is the right guy. However, assuming either of those were to move, what would / could New jersey or Ottawa expect back from Vancouver? NJ losing Clarkson puts a big hole in their lineup, and I can only see them losing guys like that for a rebuild, which they do not seem to leaning towards yet. Ottawa is chock a block with young guys and prospects, so would probably want someone to step into their lineup and contribute right away.

  6. However, people are forgetting that the canucks do have Byron Bitz, who is skating with the team now.

  7. Please Fire Murray . Hire Gretzky and than Trade Beriner & Penner and somepicks to Columbus for J. Carter and Bassard !

  8. I don’t buy the Marchand bully thing.There are 5 players who could straighten him out on Vancouver they just didn’t do it.

  9. The canucks do need a Clarkson, but they wont get the original. The devils would be foolish to part with Clarkson as he is not only a tough guy to play against he can also score. Burrows and Lapierre are agitators but turtle when the going gets tough. If the Canucks hope to win the cup they must address this or they will lose another final series. If the devils foolishly do trade Clarkson to the Canucks, they can expect to get Tanev, Malhotra and a pick or something similar. Perhaps they could pry Schneider away, afterall they need someone to replace Brodeur

  10. @ Durt : Did you see Turco with Chicago last year? I’m better than that and I only play goal in street-hockey, nevermind that he didn’t want to be the back-up.
    @ Dynamo : Neil and Clarkson are too expensive, and Neil is a liability. It is a fine line that separates what Thornton did in the Boston series from what Eager did in the San Jose series. The last thing they need is stupid penalties from a guy who has zero credibility with the refs. The guy I’m hoping for is St. Louis’ Ryan Reaves.
    Also, Clarkson is a guy that every team wants, and I doubt Gillis wants to subtract anybody before the playoffs.

  11. Does anyone not believe that Tim Thomas and the subsequent lack of scoring by the Canucks (8 goals in 7 games) were the main reasons they fell short. Not to mention the glut of injuries we had. I’d say toughness ranked 3rd or 4th on the list of failures and it would seem Gillis agrees.

    The types of physical players that have any sort of impact in the players are those that also contribute either offensively (Marchand) or defensively (Bolland). Toughness for toughness sake (Chris Neil) has limited benefit. To really boost the Canucks’ physical & skilled quotient you’d want to be looking for a Backes or Clowe type, but these guys come at a premium. Short of a major trade (likely involving Schneider) we’d be unlikely to bring in anyone of significance. Unless we fleece Florida again…

  12. I agree with you Alex. Toughness was the 3rd or 4th reason they lost. You don’t necessarily need a tough guy to win a cup, you jus need team toughness. Everyone has to stick up for each other. Vancouver is full of players who pretend to be tough when your heads down or your backs turned and your near the boards, but once a real tough guy gets in their faces they curl up and whine.

  13. After the Sunday evening football game on NBC, they went to a local sports show. They did a recap of Southern California sports and when they got to the Kings, they said that Murray was going to be fired this week. I don’t typically take any hockey news that comes from locations south of Detroit as credible, but take it for what it’s worth.

  14. I know Canuck fans will throw a plethora of reasons they didn’t win last year, and don’t get me wrong, most are definitely valid. They came darn close to taking home the Holy Grail last year, but I definitely think that toughness had a lot to do with the Bruins taking home the mug. I know that a lot of players were playing broken, but that’s just general play in the playoffs; you can always assume 80% of a team is not playing at full (additionally I don’t like the whole “our team was injured! We should have won!” for VanCity last year… The Sedin’s were healthy as horses… they were just getting man-handled game in/out).

    I personally can’t think in recent (key word) memory, a team that’s skilled and yet physically dominant like the Bruins are. I mean, 2 Canuck players were lost DURING the finals in direct result of physical play. One was trying to keep up with the physical play of Lucic, and the other almost got his back broken by Boychuk.

    I do however, think the time of the pure enforcer is done in the NHL. There’s so much skill out there, that there’s is absolutely no reason to just have a guy in your lineup to play 4:30 minutes a game, have one fight and then sit the rest of the game. I do believe there’s still room for a fighter, but he has to play two roles. One of course is enforcing the game, making sure his boys are A) charged up B) protected. The other one must be either grinding (out there, getting a great forecheck going; causing havoc in front of the net, pinning tired lines, good for 15-25 points a year) or devastating/agitator/pest (When he’s on the ice, you’re not crossing the neutral zone with your head down, he’s causing the other team to do stupid things because of the way he’s playing, drawing penalties, getting the great players off their game).

    That’s just my opinion. I do agree Vancouver needs some toughness though; watching them cry to refs once anything happens on the ice makes me a sad panda instead of taking matters into their own hands and protecting their own.

  15. Not a chance Vancouver will win cup until they add a TOUGH – SCORING winger to put next to Ryan Kessler. That would take the heat off of the #1 line.

  16. KIngs should trade Drew Doughty (Overrated) & Dustin Penner to Winnipeg for Evander Kane & Dustin Byfuglien
    Kings should trade Drew Doughty,Jonathan Bernier & Jarret Stoll to Colubums for Rick Nash, Derick Brassard & Steve Mason
    KIngs should Trade Jonathan Bernier & Dustin Penner to New Jersey for Zach Parise
    KIngs need help badly !

  17. I have been saying it for the last 2 weeks…..Kings need to make a change and it will happen this week.

  18. @alforducks

    You’re absolutely right. I’ll add to your point that the Sedins play like punks. I remember specifically one of the Sedins skating in on Tim Thomas, slashing him, then when one of the Bruins defensemen shoved him, Sedin dove like Greg Louganis.

    If you’re going to play like a tough guy, then see it through. As much as I REALLY don’t like Correy Perry (Kings’ fan), at least if you get in his face he’ll punch you back.

  19. The Canucks did add a tough scoring winger to the Kesler line. His name is David Booth. He’s now injured 4-6 weeks.

  20. @Kingsfan 1980

    Your last trade listed above, Bernier and Penner for Parise is one that I’ve been saying for like 6 months. This trade makes sense for both teams. The only catch is that we’d need to make sure Parise is signed or will sign. I’m not giving up Bernier for a playoff rental. Also, Penner is actually starting to play better. I’m starting to like him.

  21. OR Kingsfan1980 can stop dreaming Evander Kane not going anywhere and if you want overrated Big Buff is where its at. Personally I think Buff should have been kept as a winger.

    By the way Drew Doughty NOT overrated he is having a tough go of it this year and shouldn’t have held out. There would be about 25 teams lined up outside the GM’s door looking for that trade if he was made available. Being from the east coast I haven’t had a great deal of exposure to Doughty or LA in general but all I can remember about the Olympics a couple of years ago was Doughty routinely looked like the best D-man out there for both teams every game Canada played. I believe he gets back to that if not this season definitely next.

    Bernier/Penner would NEVER get it done for Parise who wants Penner the guy is junk. Bernier of course has value but a little something would need to be added.

  22. If your team is getting pushed around by a 5’7 frenchman…you have bigger problems than fourth line depth!

  23. It;s easy for the Bruins to play tough if they have a free penalty pass. I;ll save my argument relating to this for another time and a better thread.

    I am not going to discount the fact that toughness was an issue ( one of several) for the Nucks in the SCF, but that problem has been addressed and we just aren’t seeing it yet due to injuries.

    As someone pointed out early, Byron Bitz is now skating with the Team, Volpatti is hurt and so is Pinnizotto. These are big strong boys that can actually take a shift and not just a punch.

    There is no way Gillis would be dumb enough to trade Schneider for Clarkson, and Tanev is likely off the board as well.

    If there is a deal out there- it;s likely Neil and his Big contract (relativley speaking) for a decent draft pick or 2. I don’t think he would be a liability to the Nucks. He’s forced to play a certain way in Ottowa to offset the lack of depth and talent. Their still young. If all he had to do was play a 4th line shift and deal with things as they need to be dealth with, it would be all good IMO. He’ll get his respect, but he doesn;t need to command it for the balance of the team. Besides, it;s good if they take some liberties, we do have one of the best PP’s in the league.

  24. The main reason the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Final was because they couldn’t score on Thomas, and the secondary reason they lost it is because of the fact that the Canucks went into that series already limping and they simply withered away under the Bruins relentless physicality as the series wore on.

  25. Im sorry but I don’t see where the Bruins have a free penalty pass. This has been said more than once on this site I don’t get it. I saw a good amount of Phantom calls up at the Bell Centre during the 1st RD last year against the Habs. It also continued this regular season. I agree with bweb55 if Brad Marchand is pushing around half your team in the SCF you REALLY have some issues as a team.

  26. It’s pretty likely that the Bruins could have won without the refs’ help, but we’ll never know. Maybe you shouldn’t let Marchand push you around, but then, there is a rulebook and he broke the rules about 100 times each game. I guess maybe they thought that the rule book would come into it. He just got fined for a slewfoot, which must be pretty confusing to him since he was allowed to do it all through the playoffs. I wonder why every member of the media and everyone idiot parrot on the internet isn’t calling Niskanen a diver. Yeah, it probably should be Thomas’ cup, but it will always be Coley’s cup.
    (Do any of the B-town knuckle-draggers ever defend the refs, or just slander the Nucks?)

  27. @Chris

    Bernier and Penner might not get it done under normal circumstances, but New Jersey is going to have cap issues and difficulty signing Parise. I’m not saying that they can’t do it, but he’s going to get paid a lot. But the main reason it’s a doable deal is that Parise is a UFA at the end of the season. Bernier is a potential franchise goalie and Penner is merely cap relief (though he is playing better).

    If the Kings traded Bernier and Penner for Parise, and then Parise walked as a free agent on July 1st, unless the Kings are getting fitted for rings, Lombardi would look like a complete idiot.

  28. you dont lose the final 2 games of the cup because you didnt have a tough guy.

  29. Can’t believe what I’m reading the reason Vancouver lost was Boston wanted it moreThomas was 10 times better than Luongo and Vancouver was soft. Had nothing to do with rules when either team broke them they got a penalty. Tired of hearing that Boston gets off free it’s a joke. Easy to blame someone else Boston was best team during playoffs period. Watch the game for what it is and cheer on your team and when they play the Bruins hold on to your hat and hope no one gets hurt cuz the Bruins play hockey the way it should be played.

  30. L.A way overpaid for Penner .it would take alot more than Penner and Bernier to get Parise like 2 1st rd picks anyway . I dont see a market for Penner at his current cap hit on his own but packaged with Bernier or say maybe Voynov you could pickup a player the level of a Kulemin of the leafs or Stafford of the Sabres with a contract coming back as well to fit the cap .

  31. I believe that people are missing the point if they think Vancouver needs toughness in the form of Neil or Clarkson. Marchand did his job and was impactful in keeping the skilled players from doing their job. That’s what having a gritty player brings you. Getting a player with toughness to counter another team’s grit doesn’t solve this problem. The Bruins had more overall team toughness. One player, as good as he is at his job, doesn’t make skilled players less skittish. As others have said, this wasn’t the only reason the Canucks lost to the Bruins – losing Kesler’s full capabilites exposed the Sedin’s vulnerabilty to being shutdown without a good second line. They say that defense wins championships, I’d argue that its balance in the lineup – which is why a team has 20 players, third and fourth liners need to rise up at the right time. While the Canucks only missed out by one game, it seems to me that they have mistaken “edginess” (read Burrows and “LaPuke” Lapierre) for team toughness.

  32. “Bruins play hockey the way it should be played”
    After the whistle?

  33. I think that Vancouver could get Clarkson for Raymond and either a pick or prospect or another player…. Raymond and Clarkson are about the same salary….Clarkson is underestimated as a player…he can score, and he’s tough as nails… and he can be used on the PP as well…and if anybody takes liberties…he can more than answer the bell..he can ring the other guys as well…

  34. Bernier and Penner for Parise only makes sence for LA. Bernier is a decent goalie but there are going to be better ones available (Corey Schneider) and Penner plays like a Russian, with no heart and when he feels like it. there is just no emotion or heart in that guy. Hope he enjoys the money he’s getting because he’ll never see it again.
    NJ would be out of their minds to make such a bad trade.

  35. Chris, did you watch the SCF and the series leading up it?

    There are several instances where there was what I would call favorable decisions made on behalf of the Bruins. I wouldn’t say it’s “THE” reason they won, but most certainly a pretty big factor. The #1 Factor was clearly the play of Tim Thomas.

    Having said that, you have to wonder how Chara escapes a suspension for the Pacioretty hit. You know what side the benches are on and you know there is stantions which are obviously marked and have been for years by a couple of big blue lines and the red one in the middle.

    But aside from that, Ference on Halpern. Watch the replay, you tube it. Ference said he didn;t see him there, I;d say he not only saw him, but took his opportunity to level him.

    In the B;s vs TB series, TB was killing them on the PP, but game 7 rolls around and the Whistles go in the pocket. Not a single power play, not one, have you seen Boston play? Geuss they were just careful?

    Horton get;s into it with a fan , squirts him with water, nothing. Now I’m not gonna pretend that should carry the same discipline as what Rypien got for grabbing a fan in Minny, but you may want to ask John Tortarella if he;s a bit confused as to why it was different for him.

    And on the subject of Horton, you should you tube the hit Rome layed on him, In reverse it the greatest hit ever, but the fact it was done TO a Bruin and not by a Bruin, seemed to change the complexion. It wasn’t late , it was inside 2 seconds, and he was straddling the red line when he let that pass go and was down at the Blue. I bet if you compared Lucic’s hit on Miller this year and the Rome on Horton hit you wonder if there was any logic in the world.

    And really, how long did the Nucks have to wait for the Bruins to get here to play? Anybody know how many times that has happened in history? Geuss they had some injuries and some pull to have it happen like that. Almost like the #1 seed didn’t get the benefit of being that. If your a succesful team and manage to do away with your opponent in 5 to get to the SCF and it takes the other team 7 games and a week you tell me who more often than not would benefit from that. A team that was playing games at an intense level, or one that got to sit and wait and scrimmage?

    Like I said- I am not saying these are the only reasons, because they’re not, but to sit there and say we’re winers makes me wonder how guilty you feel cause you know the truth. Just ask a Montreal fan about it, hell ask Jordan Tootoo.

  36. TJ, that stuff happens in every game, every series, every season.

    Clearly you need to pay more attention because the Bruins get phantom calls on them all the time, just like any other team.

    Matt Cooke got nothing for the hit on Savard – so throw out your Chara argument. Total head hunting, he knew what he was doing.

    Your Halpern theory is flawed – Steckel didn’t get suspended for the exact same type of play.

    Almost every game 7 in NHL history is “let them play” mentality.

    Domi only got a fine for spraying a fan. 1000 bucks, hardly a punishment for a millionaire.

    The Horton his is debatable either way, so I’m not going to bother saying you’re wrong because I’m not sure you are. It was a borderline hit, though.

    The saying is true: Haters gonna hate.

  37. Bs for life

    Your simply pointing out similiar situations on an individual basis. I was reffering to an entire team not receiving the discipline it likely deserves on a consistent basis, and supported it with several examples. At some point you;d have to drawn a line and wonder how many of these instances need to occur before a reasonable doubt is cast as to whether or not there is any favorable stuff going on.

    I am not a hater, and I did say in my posting I thought Thomas’ play was the #1 factor in the series. I was merely pointing out the fact that this stigma follows the Bruins around much like the Stigma of the Canucks being the most “hated” team in the league. Opinions are like armpits, everyones got a couple .

    BTW- you really should consider an apostrophe between the B and the S – I almost had to discount your comments on principle, but you sound like your a reasonable person from the tone of your response.

    Cooke was trash when he was here- Shoulda got that guy out of the league long ago, but I feel the same about Ference. The fact Steckel got nothing baffles me everytime I see the hit.

    I long for the old days, Where there was a price for people taking liberties, we probably wouldn;t even be talking about any of this if Probert was cruising around .

    But I also think the 2 referee system is way more trouble than it;s worth.