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NHL Insider

Howson no closer to a deal for Rick Nash

Thursday, 06.21.2012 / 6:14 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

PITTSBURGH -- Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson met for nearly an hour Thursday with the agent for Rick Nash, but said he is no closer to trading his disgruntled captain than he was at the trade deadline.

Howson and agent Joe Resnick met one day prior to the first round of the NHL Draft, a day many have pointed to as the logical moment for Howson to move the greatest player in franchise history after he requested a trade during this past season.

But Howson said he's not been overly impressed with the offers coming his way.

"Uhhh, no," Howson answered when asked if he was close to accepting a trade proposal for Nash.

However, that doesn't mean the door is closed on a trade going down sometime this weekend.

"I think a lot of things can happen between now and when the draft is over," Howson said. "I'm not counting on anything. Obviously our goal is to do what's best for our hockey club, and that's how we'll keep operating."

Cup-winning Kings prepare for short offseason

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 7:45 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent


Dean Lombardi was back at work in his El Segundo, Calif., office on Monday morning with a full to-do list.

There is the NHL Draft coming up this weekend. Free agency opens July 1, followed by L.A.'s developmental camp.

Oh, yeah, there is also the matter of working out a schedule for each player to spend a day with the Stanley Cup. In other words, a June afternoon was never so wonderfully busy for the Stanley Cup champion Kings.

"So many things, going through this, are new for us," Lombardi told when asked about the shortest offseason in the franchise's 45-year history. "It really doesn't stop. Trust me …we'll gladly do it every year."

Flyers GM Holmgren puts off decision on Jagr

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 5:12 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

It wasn't too long ago that Jaromir Jagr described his return to the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers as "the most enjoyable year I've ever had" following a series-ending loss to the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Though Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren didn't rule out the prospect of re-signing Jagr, he remained non-committal Monday when he spoke to the media at the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees, N.J.

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - PHI
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 8
SOG: 26 | +/-: -5
Darren Dreger of tweeted earlier in the day that Jagr likely will test the free-agent market to see how valuable an asset he can be for a potential Stanley Cup contender after producing 54 points in the regular season and eight more in two rounds of the playoffs for the Flyers.

"I haven't spoken to Jaromir or his agent [Petr Svoboda since] within two days after the season was over," Holmgren said. "We left it at we would talk later on near the end of June. Again, we don't know what the salary cap is going to be, so there are a lot of variables that we have to wait on.

"I think Jaromir brought a lot to the team this year, and I can see him doing the same next year, so I would certainly have interest."

Penner indicates he wants to stay with Kings

Thursday, 06.14.2012 / 6:02 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Dustin Penner wants to wear the crown for at least another year.

Penner said Thursday that he wants to re-sign with the Los Angeles Kings and indicated he would take less money to do so. Penner is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Penner said of the chances of returning to the Stanley Cup champions, "I'd say they're pretty good. I want to be back." Asked if he would settle for something different in regards to his salary, he said yes.

Penner had a salary cap hit of $4.25 million this past season. He came to the Kings from the Edmonton Oilers in a 2011 trade deadline deal for a first-round pick in 2011, prospect Colten Teubert and a conditional second- or third-round pick in 2012.

Penner was not only quiet for most of this regular season, he had knee and hand injuries and a back injury and was a healthy scratch as recently as February. His play drew sharp criticism from new coach Darryl Sutter.

Salvador's future tough for Devils to gauge

Wednesday, 06.13.2012 / 5:15 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- On the list of things Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello has to figure out between now and July is what the value for the second-leading scorer among defensemen in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs is and if it will be worth keeping 36-year-old Bryce Salvador after his unexpected postseason.

Salvador, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, had no goals and nine assists in 82 regular-season games, but he contributed four goals and 10 assists in 24 playoff games to help the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final. The only defenseman with better offensive numbers than Salvador was the Kings' Drew Doughty, who had 16 points in 20 games.

"Certainly [Salvador's] offensive prowess was a pleasant surprise," Lamoriello said.

Now the decision has to be how on how much that surprise will cost them, and if it's a price worth paying.

The Devils already have five defensemen under contract for next season -- Anton Volchenkov, Henrik Tallinder, Marek Zidlicky, Andy Greene and Adam Larsson. Mark Fayne is a restricted free agent who likely will re-sign, giving New Jersey six NHL blueliners without Salvador, who just finished a four-year, $11.6 million contract.

Brodeur will let Devils know by July 1 about future

Wednesday, 06.13.2012 / 4:50 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur will give a firm answer about his future to Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello by July 1, the date that the free-agent market opens for business.

"Regardless of what is going to happen, whether it's me being here, or me not playing, or me doing anything else, July 1 is the date because that's when people start shopping," said Brodeur, 40, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Brodeur, though, can think of only three things that can keep him from returning to the Devils next season.

"If I play like three rounds (of golf) at 72, I might not come back," he joked Wednesday during Devils' breakup day at Prudential Center. "Don't worry about that."

At last, Devils have stability behind bench in DeBoer

Wednesday, 06.13.2012 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Of the many difficult decisions New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello will have to make this offseason, replacing the man behind the bench is not one of them for a change.

When Peter DeBoer was hired by the Devils last summer, it marked the team's seventh head coach in seven seasons -- certainly no formula for maintaining some order of continuity and consistency.

But DeBoer made changes for the better. He stressed the importance of puck battles and playing as a five-man unit, how to frustrate the opposition with a relentless forecheck, and outnumbering your opponent to loose pucks all over the ice.

The players bought in and came within two victories of claiming the organization's first Stanley Cup in nine years.

Despite end, Kovy had 'most successful season'

Wednesday, 06.13.2012 / 2:51 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Ilya Kovalchuk turned out to be everything you would expect of a world-class athlete in the second season of the 15-year, $100 million contract he signed in September 2010.

"In my NHL career, it was the most successful season for me and I'll take a lot of good things from the year and move on. You got to lose before you win something big. Hopefully this will help and we'll be even stronger next year."
-- Ilya Kovalchuk

But there's no denying the fact a lower-body injury that Kovalchuk aggravated at some point in his team's opening-round playoff win against the Florida Panthers took its toll in the end.

"I don't have the exact answer [to how limited Kovalchuk was], but I can tell you he was quite a bit under 100 percent," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Wednesday. "I could tell you that, but I can't give you [an exact percentage]. A back injury is not like a broken bone where you have a handle on it … he wasn't close to 100 percent."

Kovalchuk, DeBoer and the rest of the team discussed the season that was Wednesday at Prudential Center during the team's breakup day. It will be a long two months of reflection on what could have been.

Still, it was a season Kovalchuk admitted he never will forget.

Lamoriello, Leiweke discuss Final on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 7:50 PM / NHL Insider

Although the Los Angeles Kings spent Thursday traveling back across the country instead of celebrating the franchise's first Stanley Cup in 45 years, team governor Tim Leiweke was looking on the bright side that the team still held a 3-1 series lead following a Game 4 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

"We always thought this was going to be not only a competitive series, but we'd be lucky if we won," Leiweke said. "The series is turning out the way we thought it would, which is it could just as easily be 3-1 Jersey. They are here because they earned it, and we have huge respect -- and in fact the very essence of the Kings hockey operations is largely patterned after the lessons that [Devils general manager] Lou Lamoriello was generous enough to share with me when I was a younger lad than I am today."

Roy appreciative of chance to interview with Habs

Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 4:07 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

Patrick Roy said he had a three-hour meeting with Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin in Miami and a phone conversation with assistant general manager Rick Dudley to discuss the possibility of becoming his former team's new coach, but that it never progressed any further than that.

Roy, speaking to reporters Wednesday in Quebec City, also denied the widespread rumors that he had demanded Bergevin allow him some say on player personnel as a prerequisite for him taking the coaching job.

"None," Roy said when asked what demands he made. "People were saying I wanted a veto on the draft. I don't know the players, and I'm not going to start traveling all over Western Canada and Ontario to watch these players. Even at the junior level, 90 percent of the decisions are made by our scouts. … So I can safely say that if I was coach of the Montreal Canadiens I wouldn't start meddling in the NHL Draft. It's the same process when it comes to trades."

Roy was speaking one day after Michel Therrien was named coach of the Canadiens after a month-long search.

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