Archive for April, 2010

Ritter’s Rant: News And Notes From Around NHL Rinks

April 6th, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter There are more than a few players that will be retiring after the conclusion of this season, amongst them will be Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues and, perhaps even Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars. Modano is still a serviceable third/fourth line player who, in the right situation, could be a very effective player and leader. Through 56 games Modano has amassed a total of 13 goals and 28 points, while putting up a very respectable -5 rating. While Tkachuk looks to be done, he too has had a decent season, registering 13 goals and 30 points through 66 games. Like Modano, Tkachuk could fill a role for a young contending team and can still contribute on the power play (five goals this season). Whatever the case may be, both players

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Toronto Maple Leafs Will Be Very Different in 2010/’11.

April 5th, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter With the addition of the salary cap the NHL has seen a record number of players changing uniforms each offseason. The days of a player making one NHL team his home for his entire career are all but gone, in fact, more often than not, an NHL player can bank on switching teams upwards of five times. The Toronto Maple Leafs are no exception to these rules, there will be change this offseason, in fact, there will be plenty. Heading into the summer the Leafs will need to address numerous unrestricted free agents, including Garnett Exelby, Wayne Primeau, Rickard Wallin, Jamie Lundmark and Mike Van Ryn. Add that to a list that includes restricted free agents Jonas Gustavsson, Nikolai Kulemin, John Mitchell and Christian Hanson and you have a team that will undergo

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Philadelphia Flyers Face Tough Decisions This Off-Season

April 5th, 2010 1 Comment

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter The Flyers have had what can only be called an up and down season thus far. Injuries, coaching changes and inconsistent goaltending have been the major factors behind the Flyers’ lack of success as has the teams overall chemistry, or lack thereof. No question about it, the Flyers number one priority this off-season will be bringing an adequate goaltender into the fold. Given the Flyers have a total of $48,610 (all numbers courtesy of nhlnumbers.com) already devoted to 16 players it will be tough for them to acquire said goaltender unless they are able to unload a large contract as part of a trade. Another issue facing the Flyers is the number of restricted free agents they have. Daniel Carcillo, Darroll Powe, Brayden Coburn and Ryan Parent are four players that will be

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Edmonton Oilers: Shopping For Boston Bruins First Rounder?

April 4th, 2010 No Comments

Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote in his column today that he is hearing whispers that the Edmonton Oilers will try to trade for the Boston Bruins—or, in this case the Toronto Maple Leafs’—first round draft pick in this summers NHL Entry Draft. Clearly, the Oilers are banking on the Bruins ending up with the No. 1 or No. 2 overall draft pick, which would put the Bruins in the position to draft Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin. With the Oilers clearly headed to finish in the NHL’s basement the opportunity exists where they can pull a “Brian Burke” (Burke drafted the Sedin twins second and third overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft), making a bold move to acquire two richly talented prospects in the same draft, possibly first and second overall. While it is unknown what the

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Brian Burke For NHL Commissioner?

April 3rd, 2010 2 Comments

  With so many NHL fans calling for the head of current NHL commissioner Gary Bettman these days, one has to wonder just how long it will be before there is serious pressure to replace him? Bettman has served as the NHL’s Commissioner since February 1, 1993, which equates to just under two decades of work. While there are plenty of fans out there that are quick to throw Bettman under the bus it must be noted that under the guidance of Bettman the NHL has grown it’s revenues from $400 in 1993 to a whopping $2.2 billion sports industry. Bettman has also been on hand to add six expansion teams into the fold, albeit with various levels of success. Through it all Bettman has tried his best to give America what it wants, trusting in his belief that he

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Ritter’s Rant: News And Notes From Around The NHL

April 1st, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter Anyone that watched the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night witnessed Leafs tough-guy Colton Orr at his worst. Having been aggravated by Thrashers forward Maxim Afinogenov, Orr took a stupid retaliatory penalty, smashing Afinogenov in the mouth, which cost his team when he was dinged for a two-minute penalty. In this case Forest Gump said it best, “stupid is as stupid does”… Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby may be the NHL’s biggest ambassadors, but there is little question who the NHL’s biggest star has been this season. Henrik Sedin may be quiet by nature but his stats speak volumes for his being named the NHL’s MVP. With six games to go in the season Sedin has registered 29 goals and 104 points, three points better than Ovechkin, ten points

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