NHL meets w/ the NHLPA, Doan still running in circles & The Canucks sign Gaunce!

Rumor has it that should the ever horrid reality of yet another lockout(ahem I mean a ‘work stoppage’ as they are now referring to it) with Bettman at the helm take place, that the NHLPA is working to organize at least a few exhibition games for the fans that would involve not just NHL players, but also KHL player(Kontinental Hockey League…aka the Russian league). Negotiations begin today between the NHL & the NHLPA and go through Thursday, the NHLPA will present their counter-proposal[alternative view] tomorrow. New Year’s hope? Will the Winter Classic save this year’s NHL season from complete demise? The league has until the January 1st date to cancel the fan favourite event(not to mention canceling the game last minute…would be a low blow). Could the Winter Classic act as the brake that will save the season from being axed completely? The Winter Classic brings with it great economic benefits for the NHL(the merchandising alone for this event…special jerseys, hats, flags, t-shirts,  sweaters, etc…its endless!) and some people have already committed financially to this event. There is still time to make a deal before the Bettman imposed deadline and hopefully these next 4 days of meetings go well. Do I want there to be a full 82 game schedule next season? YES, but I don’t know about you, I would rather have a shortened season than NO season at all.

Cristobal Huet has officially ended his waiting for a goal-tending job to open up in the NHL by signing a 4-year deal in Switzerland. He’s not the only one the leave the NHL behind, Gilbert Brule has signed a one-year deal with a team in Switzerland deciding to chance a return to the NHL in a year. A one-year deal with the European league gives Brule certainty for a job next season(with the CBA in limbo at the moment) and keeps him viable when the year is over to return to the league.

The Colorado Avalanche announced the re-signing of J.S.Giguere to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million.

Rumor has it that when the Shane Doan saga finally comes to a close, teams will make take a shot at landing Brenden Morrow from the Stars…via some sort of trade, not too sure that Dallas would willing to part with him though. Rumor has it that the Detroit Red Wings are also still actively interested in acquiring Doan but is he interested in Detroit? Reality suggests that Doan does not want to leave Phoenix, but it might be in his best interest to move forward if ownership cannot guarantee that the Coyotes will remain in Phoenix.

In other news my Vancouver Canucks have signed 2012 1s round pick Brendan Gaunce to entry level NHL contract. I look forward to seeing this kid unleash his potential at training camp, pre-season & potentially playing the line-up if he gets the call from the Canucks AHL affiliation the Wolves.

As always, until next time or [later today should more drama unfold], nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

4 year deal breaker for Doan? other thoughts on this & that in the NHL

Today is yet another deadline set by Shane Doan to getting closer determining where he will play next year. Rumor has it that he is seeking a 4 year contract worth $30 million(or $7.5 million cap hit per year) before he will leave Phoenix. There has been no official statement yet as to where Doan will sign if indeed he decides to join a team other than Phoenix, but it will interesting to see which teams are willing to pay. I’m not sure why Doan keeps “setting deadlines” which is simply a way of saying “I still need more time to consider all my options”. It just makes the media go crazy until his next “setting a new deadline” announcement is made.

Philadelphia has yet to address their major issues on the blueline having lost Matt Carle to free agency, and  losing Weber to Nashville since they matched that lofty offer sheet. Still refusing to make any statements on Pronger’s status, it has many people questioning whether he will be able to play at all and what will the Flyers do to fill the holes in their defense. Philly did  however re-sign forward Jakub Voracek to a 4 year $17 million deal…a far cry from the $14 million they offered to Weber, but still a pretty good pay cheque.

Scotty Bowman and Pat Quinn are confirmed to coach the alumni game at next season’s Winter Classic between Detroit & Toronto. Anyone else wish that the Canucks would take part in one of these Winter Classic games?! How exciting would it be too see them play in an outdoor arena?! I’m not sure it ever will happen that the Canucks take part in this event, but I will say that I for one WOULD LOVE it, if they did!!

Rumor has Darryl Sutter(yes the one who led those pesky but determined Kings to Stanley cup victory in June) has stated to various media outlets that he believes that the Calgary Flames could have WON the cup every year during his time there, perhaps in 2004 that may have been true, but an interesting statement considering the franchise has missed the post-season the last 3 years(and 2 of them he was part of their coaching staff).

Questions are arising in Toronto regarding their goal-tending situation as to whether or not James Reimer will able to handle to pressure of becoming the bonafide starter, or after last year’s injuries & inconsistent performances should they look elsewhere (*******I would HATE seeing Lou in a Maple Leaf jersey or back in a Panther one with Florida!…like I have said previously I can understand the situation and Lou possibly wanting to leave the city. BUT I really don’t like the idea of him not a Canuck anymore, in fact I HATE the idea…part of me secretly hopes that he stays & steals back the reigns of starter. I really have nothing against Schneider, he’s a great athlete an impeccable goal-tender, and he deserves his own opportunities too. I’m just not sold on him as the #Canucks #1 just yet. Whatever does happen, to ME,  LOUIE will always be Canuck.

In other news Carolina has landed Alexander Semin by signing him to a one-year deal worth $7 million. It looks like Carolina is building a competitive team that aims to make the playoffs next year. They acquired Jordan Staal who is one of the best penalty killers in the league, spent the 1st six years of his career playing with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, & Geurin. Needless to say playing with his also talented brother Eric Staal next season will be yet another great opportunity for him. Carolina has also signed or re-signed the following players: Jay Harrison, Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, Marc-Andre Gragnani, & Justin Peters.

Well as the day dwindles it appears the public is no closer to knowing where Doan will sign just yet…perhaps next week if what I hear is true, we will know his destination. Until next time, we wait for the drama to continue! nuck said.

Sarah E.L.