Shane O'Brien has reportedly signed a 3/yr deal with Colorado
Shane has reportedly signed a 3 year deal with the Colorado Avalanche with an annual cap hit of $2 million.
The burly defenseman intends on earning every scent of the $6 million dollar he just signed and hopes to stick in Colorado. O'Brien has bounced around the NHL up to this point in his career with the Avalanche beings his 5th team. Both Shane and the Avalanche hope that this signing will bring stability for both parties and he will be asked to help usher in young defensemen like Tyson Barrie into the organization.
Good luck Shane and well deserved.
Washington Capitals set to name Oates as new Head Coach
The former Washington Capitals player Adam Oates is reportedly going to be named as the teams new Head Coach. Oates is coming off a season backing up in New Jersey as an assistant coach and hopes to bring some of the Devils off-season success to the Caps in the 2012-2013 season.
Look for Ovechkin to have a bounce back year under the guidance of former playmaking genius Adam Oates. Oates will be second to no one available at designing schemes to his dangerous players the puck in dangerous areas. I think this signing means that the Capitals may now try and bring back Semin on a short term deal and give him another shot under Oates.
The hiring of Oates should mean a return to form for the Capitals special teams and I would look for them to have one of the most dangerous PP in the business next year. Oates should bring a winning attitude and a quiet confidence that will be a change from the Capitals past coaches, Boudreau and Hunter, who were largely known as more vocal than Oates. I think this is a good strategy for a Coach on a team where most of the star players speak a different language. Look for guys like Ovechkin and Semin to be less confused about what their rolls are on the team next year and I expect Mike Green will have a bounce back year under Oates and maybe even challenge for a Team Canada Olympic roster spot in 2014 if all goes well health wise.
Anyway Congratulations Adam Oates on your first NHL Head Coaching gig!
Breaking News: COL doesn't qualify Mueller
Peter Mueller will now be able to negotiate a contract with any NHL team come July 1st.
Mueller (as the trend continues) is an underachieving high draft pick. He was drafted 8th overall in 2006 by the Phoenix Coyotes and was since traded to Colorado in a deal that included Wojtek Wolski. Mueller has struggled with injuries this past year and will look to land on his feet somewhere else in the NHL next season.
As per @Sportsnetspec again via twitter " #Oilers qualify Gagner, Petry, Dubnyk. Peckham. And Linus Omark (surprise!). Cam Barker cut loose."
So Cam Barker will be a UFA then.
He is in kind of the same situation as Angelo in that he has always had a lot of hype being the 3rd overall selection in 2004. Since being selected he has had declining numbers and value and now at the tender age of 26 it is time for him to put up or shut up if he gets an NHL contract. Otherwise he could be playing in europe.
Here are his stats:
As @sportsnetspec tweeted earlier "Dallas does not qualify Angelo Esposito, who becomes a UFA."
Again could this be a possible Leafs free agent signing?
Angelo is a former 1st round pick (20th overall to Pittsburgh) and has bounced around the NHL farm system since. He has yet to crack an NHL roster after having been speculated to go first overall in both the QMJHL and NHL entry drafts along time ago. Neither of those panned out as in the Q draft he had said he was going to College and in the NHL draft his numbers had declined from his first year in the Q. This has kind of been the trend of his career thus far, alot of hype without fruition.
Angelo has also had declines in his AHL career since being drafted and although he is only 23 seems destined to never reach his potential. That being said if their is an empty spot on the Leafs 50 man roster this year I look for Burke to take a moderate chance on a guy like Angelo. If not Angelo then he should take a chance on another prospect that hasn't reached their potential in hopes that Dallas Eakins can mold them into a useful piece.
If Burke doesn't have an empty roster spot their is a chance another team will sign him for organizational depth or more likely he signs somewhere in Europe in the hope of rediscovering his game.
Here are his stats:
This just in as per @SportsnetSpec Blake Comeau was not qualified and thus a UFA.
Is this a possible free agent signing for the Leafs this year?
The Leafs search for a Centerman
It seems like most things have stayed the same after the 2012 NHL entry draft as far as the Toronto Maple Leafs are concerned. With the exception of a long rumored trade taking place after the 2nd draft day in Pittsburgh, the Leafs by in large stayed the course. There was talk though apres draft that the Luke Schenn for JVR trade was just the beginning of Burkes wheelings and dealings this offseason.
As for the draft itself there was one major trade that occurred with Jordan Staal, a studly center for the penguins, going to Carolina to play with his brother Eric in exchange for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the 8th overall pick in this years draft. Lauded for this deals parity of value exchanged Pittsburgh got rid of Staal a cornerstone to their franchise over the last 6 seasons and got back a somewhat lesser version of Staal in Brandon Sutter but with potential to grow behind Crosby and Malkin, they got a defensive prospect and a top 10 draft pick this year that they used to get Kris Letang's heir apparent, Derrick Pouliot. The fourth thing that the Penguins got out of this deal was cap space to chase either Parise or Suter if they get to free agency. They also unloaded Zbynek Michalek to the Phoenix Coyotes presumably to free up cap space for one or more high profile UFA signings this summer.
Part 2: The Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2012 free agent market.
Today I will discuss who the Leafs should pursue this off season in the free agent market.
You can click here
for how the Leafs roster should look after they have made their off season acquisitions.
I will start things off by saying that all the recent talk about Brian Burke quitting or getting fired is completely and utter BS. Yes he probably wants a contract extension and Yes if the Leafs fail to make the playoffs again in 2013 then he may well be a dead man walking. However until then BB's job is quite safe here in Toronto and I expect him to get his extension regardless of if the team makes the playoffs as long as they are developing good prospects.
The prospects that might buy him an extension would be Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov. As it has been reported today that Brian Burke is looking to obtain both somehow. This report comes from Yakupov and Galchenyuk's agent, the former great Red Wings player, Igor Larionov. So take this rumour for what it is, and that is just a rumour, as it could simply be a ploy by Larionov to make sure that his clients go one two in the draft this year.
But without further ado I will now present who should be on the Leafs radar in the Free Agent market this summer.
Leafs 2012 Free Agent Signings:
Currently makes: $3,500,000
Everybody knows that Ryan Suter is due for a raise this off-season from his $3.5 million deal that expires on July 1st. The question now is more; How much? What kind of terms? And where is he willing to go to get these?
I posit to Brian Burke that Ryan Suter is perhaps the most valuable free agent in the market this summer and would be a great fit on a Randy Carlyle team. Much the same way Chris Pronger was a great fit on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks team coached by Carlyle and built by Burke.