Monthly Archives: October 2010

All eyes on the blue line

The Senators aren’t the only team looking for a boost on the blue line.

League sources told QMI Agency Saturday about 10 teams are looking for help on defence as the calendar turns to November, but demand far exceeds supply.

Besides Ottawa, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are among the teams working the phones trying to land defencemen.

It was like watching the same game twice in one day.

Saw my boy’s peewee team dominate and lose in the afternoon, then watched the Maple Leafs dominate and lose in the evening.

Such is the sport of hockey.

Something has got to be Done.

Even though the Leafs have started off pretty well compared last year, there still missing some vital pieces to be considered a playoff team. Some players have been awesome, some mediocre, and some just down right terrible, actually embarrassing.

The New Jersey Devils are weak on the blueline and the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the market for a top-six forward. Shouldn’t they be talking a little Tomas Kaberle? In fact, I have heard that is exactly the case. We all know Leafs GM Brian Burke has indicated he would honour Kaberle’s no-movement clause, but we also know Kaberle gave Toronto a list of teams that he would consider being sent to in a trade. You’d have to think Burke would be able to put pressure on Kaberle to accept a deal if the Devils offered him a quality forward.

Devils GM gives coach vote of confidence

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello says he has faith that John MacLean can guide the team out of its early season slump, and that “it’s ridiculous” to suggest the rookie head coach might be fired.

Instead, Lamoriello called upon the Devils’ “top players” to raise their games after Wednesday’s 5-2 loss in San Jose left the team at 2-7-1 – its worst record through 10 games since it opened 1983-84 at 1-9-0.

Knock, knock, knocking on the Senators’ door Saturday night will be a big kid wearing a bear suit and mask who has impressively bagged a win for his team every time out this season.

Among those ready to answer, finally, is Jason Spezza.

Savard Still Several Weeks Away From Returning

There’s a lot of discussion right now regarding the Boston Bruins and how they’re going to handle their salary cap situation. They might have more time on their hands than most seem to think as center Marc Savard remains several weeks away before he’s ready to return from concussion issues.

Sources close to Savard tell me he’s passed the necessary baseline test to resume playing but has yet to begin practicing with the team. He is skating on his own but the same source tells me Savard is “Nowhere close to returning to live game action”. Trading Savard is virtually impossible considering his health issues.

Like nearly everyone else who follows hockey, Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney had heard trade rumors that he was shopping talented defenseman Keith Yandle.

“I hope it wasn’t Keith starting them, that was my only concern,” Maloney told Sporting News with a laugh.

Tambellini, Schaefer, Desbiens on bubble

The imminent return of winger Alex Burrows (left) means all the Canuck forwards who lack job security may have only one more game — Monday’s against the New Jersey Devils — to prove to coach Alain Vigneault they deserve to stay in the NHL.

Leafs talks heating up

Two weeks ago the Toronto Maple Leafs demoted Jeff Finger and his $3.5 million salary to the AHL, which served as an unofficial memo to the remaining 29 teams in the NHL: “We have $4 million in cap room now; make us your best offer.”

At first, that didn’t generate much action. But things have suddenly changed. I was told Tuesday night that things have heated up somewhat, although still no trade is imminent. I hear two unidentified teams have gained traction with the Leafs in talks.

O'Byrne, Picard on the bubble

The imminent return of defenceman Andrei Markov means Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier will be faced with his first major personnel decision since the start of the season.

If the Canadiens decide to maintain a 22-man roster, they will have an extra defenceman and that means Alexandre Picard or Ryan O’Byrne will probably have a new address next week.

The Flyers insist they are not having a hangover from last season’s remarkable playoff run.

Could have fooled us.

Their power play has been alarmingly bad, and their offense has resembled Ryan Howard in the post-season – lots of chances, but little productivity.

Are the Leafs after Brad Richards?

I’ve been told that Nick Kypreos mentioned a Tomas Kaberle for Brad Richards type rumour during the intermission last week. Is there any legitimacy or is it something Kypreos was just throwing out there? Are there any more details available? Would it require a fall in production on the part of the Dallas Stars?