Welcome to the most important hockey day in July. It doesn’t sound so important when you write it out like that, but make no mistake, today brings us into the 2008-09 season. Rosters will start to fill up, and within a few days we’ll start seeing standings predictions.
Happy Canada Day, too.
At noon Eastern, the first free agent signings will become official. Jamie Fitzgerald and I will be working on keeping up with rumors and official signings.
Tracker - follow along and comment
10:13am - The Caps have signed Keith Aucoin.
12:13pm - The Habs have traded Mikhail Grabovski for Greg Pateryn and the Leafs’ second round pick in 2010.
12:33pm - The Canadiens have signed Alex Henry for one year, and Cédrick Desjardins for two years.
12:59pm - The Stars have signed Francis Wathier, Maxime Fortunus and Garrett Stafford each to two-year, two-way contracts through the 2009-10 season. They also signed Landon Wilson to a one-year, two-way contract for 2008-09.
1:48pm - The Hurricanes signed Dwight Helminen to a one-year, two-way contract for $475k in the NHL level and $100k in the minors.
1:59pm - The Pens have signed Ruslan Fedotenko and Miroslav Satan, each for one year.
2:08pm - The Coyotes have signed David Hale for two years.
2:11pm - The Oilers have signed Taylor Chorney to a three-year entry level contract.
2:24pm - Wyatt Smith has signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Bolts.
2:50pm - Georges Laraque has gone home to Montreal, signing a three-year deal with the Habs.
3:53pm - Avalanche sign Daniel Tjarnqvist and Chris Durno.
4:16pm - The Islanders have gone on a signing spree, giving contracts to Kurtis McLean, Chris Lee, Mitch Fritz, Peter Mannino, Mike Iggulden and Brett Skinner.
4:18pm - The Wild have signed Antti Miettinen.
4:39pm - The Rangers signed Markus Naslund to a two-year, $8 million contract and Dmitri Kalinin to a one-year contract.
4:49pm - The Florida Panthers signed Rory Fitzpatrick, Steve MacIntyre, Chris Beckford-Tseu and James DeLory. Panthers, or Amerks fans, will definitely be happy with MacIntyre.
5:11pm - The Leafs signed Dominic Moore, John Mitchell and Greg Scott.
5:32pm - In a shocker, the Canadiens have signed another Montreal native. Marc Denis signed a one-year, two-way deal.
5:39pm - The Sharks have signed Rob Blake.
5:52pm - The Blues re-sign Yan Stastny to a two-year deal.
6:43pm - The Coyotes re-sign Matt Jones.
7:20pm - The Coyotes have also signed another heavyweight, this time Francis Lessard. Both Phoenix and San Antonio will be fun to watch.
10:41pm - Brian McGrattan, recently traded to the Coyotes for a draft pick, signed a one-year deal with the team.
July 1 and 2 after the jump
It’s all about next season’s roster in the NHL right now. From the draft to free agent day, the league’s all about signings, waives and trades.
Jamie’s put together a complete qualifying offer list, with updates.
A mullet grows in Florida
Making Melrose’s job a little easier: Vinny Lecavalier reportedly signed a 9-year, $77 million contract with the Lightning.
Ear of the beholder
There’s been a lot of buzz about Sean Avery‘s Vogue internship. I never thought it was so outrageous. He’s doing something he likes during the offseason. Plus, Manhattan’s always a nice place to walk around and Fashion Week makes it even nicer. Hell, my own wardrobe is part-generic, part-NY. If you’re wondering what that means, basically if it’s all NY and trendy, it needs lots of quantity and lots of updating, meaning dropping way too much cash on clothes - unless you’re a pro athlete, then it’s easy.
Avery’s guest editing Men’s Vogue this week. He’s written a piece about what it was like starting his internship and what he’s learning.
While it’s not a bad article overall, he tries too hard to separate himself from sport:
I don’t watch sports. I don’t read about sports… I don’t hang out with other athletes… Some people question whether I’m straight; others give me compliments. Some women find it a turn-on. My teammates are very supportive and cool about my interest in fashion - sometimes they even ask for my advice on what to wear. But I’d be lying to you if I said that I don’t take some verbal abuse from opposing players for the clothes I wear, or for my interest in something - “fashion” - that I think sounds a little frightening to narrow-minded blockheads.
Later on he describes his job as “pure fun”.
His verbal abuse comment is simply ridiculous as that’s part of his own job on the ice. Considering he has a no holds barred reputation when it comes to topics (race, family, etc.), saying his opponents are “narrow-minded blockheads” makes you wonder what class he’s in.
As for the sexual orientation part of it, I was going to leave it be until I saw this title from Outsports, a gay-focused sports site: Sean Avery, still gayer than me. So, uh, there you go.
Back to his hockey career: John Dellapina of the NY Daily News is reporting the Rangers are set with letting Avery skate away as a free agent. The problem here is salary, not exactly an uncommon issue around this time. Avery’s agent is selling the Rangers their own record with and without Avery in the lineup:
“Their record is 50-20-10 with him in the lineup and 9-13-3 without him in the lineup,” Morris said. “And he can skate, which is needed in today’s hockey. He can hit. He can fight. He can score. He plays with passion. He would like to remain a Ranger but is prepared to leave if Glen feels differently.”
Given Avery’s off-ice interests (fashion, night life, hot ass), there aren’t many other cities Avery would be comfortable in.
Kris Newbury vs Steve Downie Dec 14, 2007
Ryan Parent vs Jay Rosehill Dec 15, 2007
Dennis Bonvie vs Darroll Powe Dec 16, 2007
Nate Guenin vs Adam Henrich Dec 15, 2007
Grant Potulny vs Ryan Potulny Dec 21, 2007
Gillies Prefers Gym To Golf
10 facts about expected Lightning coach Barry Melrose
Schenn brothers driven to succeed
Capitals choose defenseman with Bears connection
No Niedermayer decision yet
Peter Chiarelli says Bruins eyeing free agency splash
Russian league still open to signing NHL players
Criticism is water under the bridge for Beach
A Hockey Team Built on Showmanship Is Sidelined Indefinitely
TSN: DraftCentre | First Round Draft Tracker
Sportsnet: 2008 NHL Entry Draft - Round 1
Sportsline: Draft Tracker | Prospect Rankings | Prospect Profiles | History
ESPN: Draft home | Draft order | Past No. 1 picks | History
CBC: Jeff Marek’s 2008 NHL draft instant analysis
NHL.com: All draft picks
KuklasKorner: NHL Entry Draft 2008 Liveblog
First round results
7:17 PM ET: In a surprising trade, the Los Angeles Kings have sent Mike Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames in a three-way deal. The Kings received the Flames’ first-rounder this year (17th overall) and gave it to the Anaheim Ducks, along with the 28th overall pick this year in exchange for the 12th overall selection. - JC
7:19 PM ET: The Florida Panthers have traded team captain Olli Jokinen to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a pair of defensemen - Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton, as well as the 49th overall pick in this year’s draft. (2nd round) - JC
7:43 PM ET: The Montreal Canadiens have acquired Alex Tanguay and a 5th round pick in 2009 from the Calgary Flames in exchange for the 25th overall pick in this year’s draft (first rounder) and a second-round pick in ‘09. - JC
7:56 PM ET: The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders have swapped first-round picks. Toronto gets to pick 5th overall; the Isles 7th. However the Isles also get one of two combinations pending on the drafts of both teams - The Isles will receive either the 60th overall pick in this year’s draft and a 3rd rounder from this year also or the 68th overall pick and a 3rd rounder in next year’s draft. Confusing, I know. - JC
With the 2008 NHL Draft just days away, lets take a look at some of the tougher, scrappier players available. Not surprisingly, the WHL led the way especially in the first round, but the OHL and QMJHL are still well represented in early rounds.
The hockeyfights.com Content Team put together a preview of what the future holds for all the tougher players ranked by the NHL Central Scouting. Huge thanks go to them, the guys who follow the juniors and made the time to give us some insight into the players who’ll dominate discussion on this site in the future. The WHL was covered by Shawn (HordiBrusk29), QMJHL by Chris (CatatonicMoose) and the OHL by Dan (tie domi28).
The list is ordered by NHL Central Scouting ranking.
Sean Avery has taken a lot of heat, or at least a lot of verbal jabs, for his internship at Vogue magazine this summer. It wasn’t much of a surprise after reading about his love of fashion in the NY Times, or after seeing Avery take Brendan Shanahan along to Fashion Week last fall:
I’m from New York, I get it.
However, there’s a line in the sand, and Avery just crossed over it:
“I’m bringing the European flavor back to America,” he says, “and I’m rocking a straight Speedo all summer.”
Hey, he could wear Jason Giambi’s gold thong for all I care, just cover the thing up.
I was pulled offline the night of the Stanley Cup win for the Detroit Red Wings, so no rush back for reporting on that, as any hockey fan who didn’t know the Wings won must be living in a hole.
The Penguins, both of the Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton variety, were the losers. It’s bittersweet for Pens and Baby Pens fans. The double-loss is tough, but you know your teams are young and skilled, and should be good for quite a few years.
“There was one scene that I happened to get one of the smaller guys on the Leafs and there was a brawl scene that took place to the right of Justin Timberlake,” Probert says. “I was supposed to make it as realistic as I could and knock his helmet off. Anyways, it was an uppercut and I kind of dinged him in the eye and he was sporting a shiner for the next week or so.
“He was kind of happy about it. He was like, ‘Look what I got from Probie.’ He had the bragging rights that he took a punch from me, and I thought that was pretty funny.”
Bolts want Tocchet
The content team has been busy preparing draft day previews and coverage, along with free agent day coverage.
Tough call for the Hall
Oilers 1990 Stanley Cup ring goes for US$72000 on hockey auction site
Off-base Leafs add good coach
Wild bruisers play nice
Hossa is poster boy for free-agent cap busters
Bonvie looks back on colorful career
Move on, and make the right moves
Disappointed Pens know roster will change
Nothing’s better than overtime in the playoffs, but when the Cup can be grabbed with just one goal, it’s as nerve-racking as it gets, outside of it being game 7.
The Pens came out hard, taking a two-goal lead, but playing like they should be winning by a good five. The Wings then became dominant. Somehow the Penguins’ young legs just can’t keep up with the Red Wings through an entire game. The Wings climbed back into it, and then over the Pens, taking a one-goal lead in the third. With just 35 seconds left, Maxime Talbot tied it up, deadening the Detroit crowd temporarily.
There were some weak penalties called in the first couple of overtimes. I know the refs need to stick to the rulebook, but at the same time, it’s just not the kind of game you want to see end due to a questionable call. In the third OT, Jiri Hudler got careless with his stick, catching Rob Scuderi up high. You can’t ignore blood, and Hudler was whistled for a double minor. Petr Sykora needed only 36 seconds this time around to capitalize on the power play and force a game six.
Some decent ratings should be in the NHL’s future.
In more of a smiler, Georges Laraque‘s extensive charity work was profiled by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“Not 10 seconds ago I was sitting here thinking, ‘Oh my God, I did his last movie with him,’” Kelly Carlson said Tuesday when asked about Sydney Pollack’s death.
Carlson said she had just returned to L.A. from Toronto, where she has been visiting her boyfriend, former NHLer Tie Domi.
Shame about Pollack, a very creative man, but I had no idea Kelly Carlson was dating Domi. Yes, this Kelly Carlson. Go Tie.
What Up, Niko?
I’m assuming he wasn’t showing any of it off during this game 3, second intermission interview, when he was auditioning for a part in GTA 5. That whole “I’m from Russia” thing is a ruse. He is, in fact, from Liberty City.
Nathan Smith vs Nathan Oystrick Jun 1, 2008 (AHL Calder Cup)
Too much Sidney? Here are 10 things you may not know
Refresher course: Getting to know the Stanley Cup
Glen Sather thinking cap with Jaromir Jagr, Sean Avery offers
Greetings from the NHL GM meeting
Surely NBC couldn’t eclipse CBC on Cup final
To the mountaintop and beyond, NHL-style
Quebec sports minister fights to eliminate hockey brawls
Campbell might not fit on Flyers
Penguins role players watch, wait