The weekend means hockey links and gossip emerge at a furious pace. I'll post what I have now, and update this post a couple times this weekend as new stuff comes out.
Carolina Post Game
In case you missed it, Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post wrote a terrific piece in his Fancy Stats blog on Thursday, praising the Sedins as the NHL's Forgotten Superstars.
Fluto Shinkawa has an interesting piece this weekend on a collaboration between Marc Kapsalis, a midget coach in Chicago, and RPI to create a safer system of hockey boards. He also touches on Cory Schneider's refusal to consider shrinking the size of goalie pads, as he works with the competition committee to shrink other aspects of goalie equipment. He's concerned smaller pads will mean increased wear on goaltender's hips.
We have a trade to announce. Anaheim sent Carl Hagelin, the player they received from the Rangers for Emerson Etem, to Pittsburgh for David Perron and the now much traveled Adam Clendening.
The intrigue around the John Scott trade builds. Yesterday, Bob McKenzie suggested the trade was partly engineered to keep Scott out of the All-Star Game. Scott had refused the league's offer of a trip to Nashville for All-Star Weekend, if only he'd pull out of the game. Adrian Dater of Bleacher Report backs this up, and thinks everyone got what they deserved, except Scott. Puck Daddy works the conspiracy angle.
Down Goes Brown presents his Friday grab bag. Field of Schemes updates the battle over public funding for CalgaryNext between Gary Bettman and Mayor Nenshi with a Bettman radio interview for the ages.
Anze Kopitar signed an eight year extension with the Kings today. My dim hopes of him reaching UFA have finally been dashed.
Kopitar year by year: $14 mil, $13 mil, $12 mil, $11mil, $8mil, $8mil,$7mil,$7 mil. No move clause immediately and first 4 yrs.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 16, 2016
John Shannon gives me some hope that re-signing Kopitar doesn't mean the Kings will cut Lucic loose, tempting Jim Benning to bring him to Vancouver.
With Kopitar deal finally announced, Kings will now turn their attention to re-signing Milan Lucic.— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) January 16, 2016
The Jonathan Drouin saga drags on. He doesn't yet have a point playing for Syracuse. Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune says talks are heating up, and the Lightning are looking for a right-shot defenseman and a young player with term. The Fourth Period cites multiple sources saying the Lightning and Blues have discussed a multi-player deal, perhaps including Ben Bishop and Brian Elliott, presumably since Tampa can't take on salary in a Drouin trade.
Saturday Evening Update
Bruce Garrioch is out with his Sunday rumor, innuendo and gossip column, including this Canucks tidbit:
The decision by the Canucks to send LW Chris Higgins, 32, to the club’s AHL affiliate in Utica this week left many wondering what’s next for Vancouver? If the Canucks are going to move Higgins, who had only two goals and three points in 25 games with the Canucks this season, they’re going to have to eat some of his $2.5 million salary left next season. GM Jim Benning made this move because the club wants to give the kids a chance. If there’s a youth movement taking place in Vancouver, you have to wonder what’s going to happen with RW Radim Vrbata, 34, D Dan Hamhuis, 33, and 27-year-old D Yannick Weber. All three are UFAs on July but Hamhuis is out with facial fractures after taking a puck in the face in mid-December. He could help somebody down the stretch
Garrioch also said that Ryan Kesler's six-year, $41.25 million extension with Anaheim is going to set the bar for talented forwards becoming UFAs this July.
Coyotes GM Don Maloney is shocked, SHOCKED people think the John Scott trade had anything to do with the All-Star Game. Don Cherry thinks the voters who put Scott in the All-Star Game should be ashamed, since Scott has now gone from playing six minutes a night in the NHL to pulling in an AHL salary in St. John's.
The HNIC Saturday Headlines discussed more on John Scott, Kris Russell, Eric Staal, and Jim Rutherford dismissing concerns at taking on Carl Hagelin's contract, saying the Penguins expect to compete for a championship this year. I guess if they don't, he'll leave the salary cap hell for someone else.
Sunday Morning Update
Larry Brooks' Sunday column includes a lot of Islanders' notes; he thinks the Islanders are one deadline acquisition -- a winger to play with Tavares -- away from winning the East. He includes notes on the Canucks-Panthers fracas (and a nice dig at Denis Potvin), John Scott, NHL parity, and the probability that the Canadian dollar's fall would make the NHLPA decline the 5 percent salary cap escalator. I wonder if the Canucks, with money coming off the books at the end of the year, could profit off another team's salary cap hell?
Edmonton extended Cam Talbot for three years this morning. Elliotte Friedman says it's for about $3.5 million a year.
The funny and unique Maria Bamford was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night. Enjoy!