Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Red Wings, Zetterberg agree to 12-year, $72 million contract - 1-28-09

The Red Wings and forward Henrik Zetterberg (above) have agreed to a 12-year, $72 million contract extension. The deal will have a salary cap hit of $6 million per season. Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe Award last season as the MVP of the playoffs and led Detroit to the Stanley Cup.

EN Says: Wow. That's a huge deal. Especially given the current economic troubles in the world which the NHL is not immune from. Depending on league revenues, the salary cap can actually fall.

That said, getting an elite all-world talent like Zetterberg for "only" $6 million per season is a steal. He could easily command $10 based on the free agent mark this past off season.

While Zetterberg's probably a pretty happy camper today, you have to wonder what former Penguins forward Marian Hossa is thinking. He took a relatively small deal with Detroit with the hopes of winning a championship and had expressed a desire to sign a long-term deal with the Red Wings. Even at a fairly cap-friendly number, Zetterberg's deal doesn't exactly bode well for Hossa's hopes to stay in Motown. The same applies to Johan Franzen who is an unrestricted free agent after this season. You don't know of any teams which could use a scoring winger or two do you?

But if anyone could find a way to hang on to Hossa, it's Detroit general manager Ken Holland. He's found a way to "brainwash" players into taking lesser contracts in order to win in Detroit. In all seriousness, Holland and company have created a winning atmosphere which players from all around the league are willing to sacrifice a bit in order to be a part of. Zetterberg's deal is the perfect example of that.

(Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

About the Rangers - 1-28-09

A preview of the Rangers.

Record: 29-16-4, 62 points. The Rangers are in second place in the Atlantic Division and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Leading Scorer: Nikolai Zherdev, 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists).

Last Game: 3-2 home win against the Hurricanes last night. Scott Gomez had a goal and an assist for New York.

Last Game against the Penguins: 3-0 road loss, Jan. 18. Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for the Penguins while Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist.

Rangers Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Gomez, he has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last two games.

Ex-Penguins on the Rangers: Markus Naslund, LW; Michal Roszival (right), D; Glen Sather
general manager; Rick Kehoe, professional scout..

Ex-Rangers on the Penguins: Pascal Dupuis, RW; Petr Sykora, RW; Kevin Stevens, professional scout.

Useless Rangers Trivia: Rozsival, a fourth-round pick in 1996, is the only member of the Penguins' draft class that year to have played the equivalent of one full NHL season during his career. He has appeared in 523 games. Eric Meloche (74 games), Boyd Kane (28) and Pavel Skrbek (12) were the only others to have even appeared in a game. Craig Hiller, the team's first-round pick, Boris Protsenko, Peter Bergman and Timo Seikkula never set one skate on an NHL rink.

Best Rangers YouTube Video We Could Find: Mark Messier - As classy as they ever came:


-Marc-Andre Fleury (15-12-2, 2.81 GAA, .910 SV%) and Henrik Lundqvist (24-13-3, 2.53 GAA, .914 SV%) are expected to start in net.

-Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Rob Scuderi and Maxime Talbot are expected to return to the lineup tonight. Not so much for Brooks Orpik.

-Hopefully you didn't pull Matt Cooke in your office scoring poll.

-It's almost do or die from here on out for the Penguins.

-The Rangers put forward Dan Fritsche on waivers. Head coach Tom Renney would like to replace him with a seventh defenseman.

-Gomez and Naslund have stepped it up as of late.

-The Staals are, in fact, brothers.

(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Empty Netter Assists - 1-28-09


-Why exactly is Mike Yeo in charge of the power play?

-Bob Smizik examines Michel Therrien's future with the team.

-Former Penguins forward Mark Johnson, the son of former coach "Badger" Bob Johnson, will coach the 2010 United States Olympic women's hockey team. Mark Johnson was also a member of the 1980 United States men's hockey team.

-Random YouTube Find of the day: Former Penguins goon Andre Roy slugging it out with defenseman John Erskine, formerly of the Islanders:

Atlantic Division

-Jamie Langenbrunner scored two goals and led the Devils to a 4-1 win at Ottawa. Teammat Travis Zajac added two assists.

-The video is a little choppy, but check out this crazy assist by New Jersey's Zach Parise last night:

-Former Devils coach Pat Burns was rather frank in discussing his latest bout with cancer. "Right now, I’m just enjoying the time left. That’s what I’m trying to do."

-Islanders forward Mike Sillinger underwent hip surgery and will miss the rest of the regular season.

-Unlike Michel Therrien circa early 2006, Flyers coach John Stevens doesn't think his defense is "soff."

Northeast Division

-The game of the night was between the Eastern Conference's two best teams. David Krejci's goal off Shaone Morrisonn gave the Bruins a 3-2 win against the Capitals. Washington forward Alex Ovechkin had a scary collision into the boards during the second period and left the momentarily with a stinger. He eventually returned fortunately.

-A hat trick by Drew Stafford (right) led the visiting Sabres to a 10-2 rout of the Oilers. Tim Connolly had two goals and an assist while teammates Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek each added a goal and two assists. The home loss was the worst in Edmonton's history.

-The Senators recalled forward Peter Regin from Binghamton of the AHL and demoted goaltender Martin Gerber.

-Is Toronto goaltender Curtis Joseph at the end of the line?

-Maple Leafs forward and former Penguin Dominic Moore isn't exactly a fan of Wild coach Jacques Lemaire.

Southeast Division

-If you were doing some scoreboard watching on behalf of the Penguins, you were rooting for the Flyers last night. Leave it to them to fail. Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists for the Panthers in a 3-2 win against the Flyers. The win pushed the Panthers into eighth place in the Eastern Conference and two points ahead of the Penguins. Teammate Keith Ballard added two assists.

-Florida defenseman is apparently not a fan of Flyers forward Scott Upshall and his attitudes on puppy drowning:

-Panthers coach Pete DeBoer has folks thinking about playoffs in Miami.

-When did the Lightning get good? Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay in a 5-3 win against the Canadiens. Teammate and former Penguin Ryan Malone added a goal. Fire Ray Shero. The Lightning have won six of its last eight games.

-Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk downplayed his role in brining peace between Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin.

-Carolina associate coach and former Penguins captain Ron Francis missed last night's game against the Rangers due to a back injury.

-Lightning defenseman and former Penguins prospect Jamie Heward is slowly recovering from a concussion.

(Photos: Stafford-Jimmy Jeong/Canadian Press; Cullimore-Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press)

Central Division

-Rick Nash had three goals including one in overtime and lifted the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win against the Red Wings. With teammates Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom "suspended" last night, Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood was seen adjusting his new tin foil helmet.

-Nash doing his thing last night:

-The Blue Jackets activated forward Jason Chimera from injured reserve.

Northwest Division

-Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and an assist for the Wild which blasted the Maple Leafs, 6-1. Teammate Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan each had a goal and an assist.

-The Avalanche activated forward Ian Laperriere from injured reserve recalled defenseman Kyle Cuminskey from from Lake Erie of the AHL.

-Colorado forward David Jones suffered a shoulder injury last night.

-Oilers forward Sam Gagner suffered an ankle injury last night.

-Edmonton's goaltending stunk last night. Maybe the Penguins can trade Mathieu Garon back to the Oilers in exchange for say... oh... Ales Hemsky?

-Yes, that is very wishful thinking.

-The Oilers activated forward Zach Stortini from injured reserve.

-Flames forward and former Penguins goon Andre Roy avoided punishment for a throat slashing gesture. He apparently didn't make it towards anyone's girlfriend so the NHL was cool with it.

-Roy's teammate, defenseman Robyn Regehr also avoided a suspsension over a cross check to the head of Columbus forward Derek Dorsett. Dorsett didn't die so NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell didn't see a need to act on it.

-It's time for Canucks forward Mats Sundin to start doing something big.

Pacific Division

-Evgeni Nabokov made 31 saves and led the Sharks to a 3-0 shutout win at Colorado. Milan Michalek led San Jose's offense with two goals.

-Marty Turco made 25 saves and recorded his 35th career shutout for the Stars in a 2-0 defeat of the Thrashers. Steve Ott had a goal and an assist.

-Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz each scored two goals and led the Ducks to a 7-3 win at Phoenix. Teammate Bobby Ryan (right) added a goal and an assist. Shane Doan led the Coyotes with two goals.

-Sharks forward Dan Boyle suffered an "upper-body" injury in the All-Star Lame Game. Colin Campbell is expected to suspend him for 32 games.

-With Boyle dinged up, San Jose recalled defenseman Derek Joslin and Mike Moore from Worcester of the AHL.

-The Stars activated forward Fabian Brunnstrom from injured reserve and demoted him to Manitoba of the AHL for conditioning purposes.

Adams Division

-The ratings for the All-Star Lame Game were good for the NHL, but bad in comparison to other sports leagues on real television networks.

(Photo: Paul Connors/Associated Press)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Because there's not enough second guessing going on - 1-9-09

Here's one of these scoring wingers we hear so much about. His name is Bobby Ryan. He plays for the Ducks. He had a hat trick last night against the rival Kings and one of his goals came off this ridiculous move:

The Penguins passed him up in the 2005 draft to pick some flop No. 1 overall. No wonder they fired Craig Patrick.



-Dave Molinari's recap from last night. The Predators had five goals total in their previous four games.

-The Nashville Tennessean's recap. Ryan Suter and the Predators had doubts.

-The Associated Press' recap. Sidney Crosby said his team didn't deserve to win.

-Imagine this. The Predators made some line switches... and won the game!

-Sanford Myers of the Tennessean has a solid photo gallery of the game.

-Here's "Walt Steiggers'" introduction to last night game:

-Ahh. Stereotypes.

-Jordan Staal got paid.

-Ron Cook likes the deal for a few reasons.

-Sidney Crosby needs to move out of Mario Lemieux's basement.

-No other Penguins were selected to the All-Star Lame Game. The complete rosters can be viewed here.

-Crosby will have a hockey facility in his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia named after him.

Atlantic Division

-Scottie Upshall had a goal and an assist for the Flyers in a 3-1 defeat of the Wild. Martin Biron made 27 saves in the win.

-Today's "Rick DiPietro's injury" story is brought to you by Greg Logan of Newsday.

-Devils defenseman Colin White returned to the lineup after missing five games due to an "upper-body" injury.

-Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist finally made an All-Star Lame Game.

Northeast Division

-Marc Savard's 700th career game saw him collect a goal and two assists for the Bruins in a 6-4 defeat of the Senators.
Teammates Chuck Kobasew, David Krejci and Michael Ryder each had a goal
and an assist. Chris Kelly and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an
assist for Ottawa.

-Boston's Shawn Thornton had a pretty good tilt with Ottawa's Chris Neil last night:

-Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens in a 6-2 rout of the rival Maple Leafs.
Patrice Brisebois had three assists while teammates Maxim Lapierre and
former Penguin Alex Kovalev each added a goal and an assist. Fire Craig

-Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski had an absolute meltdown last night that resulted in him shoving an official:

-It's nice to see Toronto's new goon Brad May is already taking cheap shots at opponents:

-Bruins forward Phil Kessel's snub from the All-Star game means he'll be missing out on a $212,500 bonus.

-Boston recalled forward Martin Karsums from Providence of the AHL.

-Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle said he would waive his no-trade clause if he were asked to by management.

Southeast Division

-Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves and led the Thrashers to a 4-0 shutout win at New Jersey. Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist while former Penguin Colby Armstrong added a goal. Fire Ray Shero.

-David Booth had a goal and an assist and led the Panthers to a 4-2 win against the Hurricanes. Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves for Florida. Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason suffered a leg injury.

-The Capitals are mad about the All-Star Lame Game.

Central Division

-Niklas Kronwall had three assists while teammates Dan Cleary, Pavel
Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and former Penguin Marian Hossa each added a
goal and an assist for the Red Wings in a 6-1 rout of the Stars. Chris Osgood made 22 saves for Detroit.

-Check out this hit by Niklas Kronwall on Dallas' Mike Ribeiro:

-The Blue Jackets put goaltender Pascal Leclaire on injured reserve due to a bum ankle. Goaltender Dan LaCosta was recalled from Syracuse of the AHL.

Northwest Division

-Ryan Smyth and Wojtek Wolski each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche which edged the Blackhawks, 2-1. Andrew Raycroft made a career-high 43 saves for Colorado.

-Is Raycroft Colorado's top goaltender?

-Daymond Langkow had a goal and two assists while teammates Rene
Bourque and Mike Cammalleri each added a goal and an assist for the
Flames in a 5-2 win against the Islanders. Adrian Aucoin recorded two assists against his former team while Miikka Kiprusoff made 24 saves in the win.

-The Flames recalled forward Mikael Backlund from Sweden's national junior team.

-Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo practiced for the first time since injuring his groin during a 3-1 win in Pittsburgh, Nov. 22.

-Vancouver recalled forward Jannik Hansen from Manitoba and demoted forward Alexandre Bolduc.

-Wild defenseman Martin Skoula is dealing with an illness.

Pacific Division

-Shane Doan and Steven Reinprecht each had two assists for the Coyotes who edged the Lightning, 3-2. Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 saves in the win. Jeff Halpern lead Tampa Bay with a goal and an assist.

-Dustin Brown, Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar each had a goal and an assist and led the Kings to a 4-3 win against the rival Ducks. An earthquake actually occured during the game but there was no damage.

-Kings forward Oscar Moller is dealing with a broken clavicle.

-The Kid Line came through for the Coyotes last night.

-Folks in Canada are still pretty bitter over the fact that Phoenix has a hockey team.

-Dallas' goaltending has been awful this season.