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Seven Key Players (and Coaches) Dumped After Winning a Stanley Cup

August 12th, 2010 No Comments

  Photo Credit: Paint It Blackhawks Today’s NHL world of salary caps, hidden bonuses, and strict roster regulations make it impossible to not understand why even the best players are often relegated to the free agent market. But when teams dump stars just weeks after they helped the franchise win the NHL’s biggest prize, the Stanley Cup, it’s clear that a loyalty’s broken. However, this has been done by more than a few of just the past 13 Cup Champions (1997-2010), and the most recent titlist, the Chicago Blackhawks, have truly re-opened the wound. Following several major trades with the Atlanta Thrashers and one very notable arbitration hearing, a number of major contributors in the Hawks’ Cup run are now unwelcome in Chicago, whether it was their choice or not. Since 1998, though, five more major players have gone through similar situations as many

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Carolina Hurricanes Training Camp Position Battles to Watch For

July 23rd, 2010 No Comments

As a summer of surprises around the NHL rolls on, the Carolina Hurricanes have begun to quietly fill out their roster. All of the Hurricanes’ restricted free agents heading into the offseason have been signed. In addition, 15 players have been inked to one-way contracts for the upcoming season. However, with nearly $12 million left in cap space, Carolina has plenty of room to fill the remaining holes in their depth chart. Many of the new-look Hurricanes players are also younger than those who were starting in their places last season. Carolina has moved up from the second-oldest team in summer 2009 to the seventh-youngest team in the NHL today. Additionally, only four contract holders for the ‘Canes are above the age of 30 (Erik Cole, Sergei Samsanov, Tom Kostopoulos, and Joe Corvo). This plethora of prospects translates into a

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2010 NHL Free Agency: Ranking the Top 25 Remaining Free Agents

July 20th, 2010 2 Comments

The wait for Ilya Kovalchuk to sign has finally ended. Yesterday, the 27-year-old winger announced a jaw-dropping 17 year deal with the New Jersey Devils, where he finished the 2009-2010 season. Like expected, Kovalchuk’s decision, which had been keeping NHL fans and experts alike on the edge of their seats for nearly three weeks, stirred the league into yet another “Free Agent Frenzy”. Just hours afterwards, Philadelphia traded longtime Flyer forward Simon Gagne to Tampa Bay for defenseman Matt Walker and a fourth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers needed the deal to free up much-needed cap space, but Gagne’s addition creates an intimidating foursome of forwards for the Lightning, too, with Gagne added to the trio of Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, and recently re-signed Martin St. Louis. On another note, one team that was reportedly

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NHL Free Agency: Carolina Hurricanes Team Report (July 16 Edition)

July 16th, 2010 No Comments

Despite a period of silence surrounding the Carolina Hurricanes over the past week since they signed Joe Corvo, several minor signings have began to fill out the depth chart for the ‘Canes new minor league affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. Carolina’s official website, as well as plenty of other sources, report that 26-year-old defenseman Bryan Rodney, 24-year-old goaltender Justin Pogge, and 24-year-old center Nick Dodge have all been signed to new contracts by the Hurricanes. All three had become restricted free agents on July 1st. Bryan Rodney, the only of the three to make an NHL appearance for Carolina last season, was inked to a one year deal that will pay him $525,000 at the NHL level in the upcoming year. Rodney was a significant part of the Albany River Rats’ defense last season in both the regular season and playoffs, as well

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NHL Trade Rumors: Six Teams Interested in Trading for Tim Thomas

July 14th, 2010 No Comments

You don’t have to be from Boston to know who Tim Thomas is. After finishing the 2008-2009 regular season with an impressive 36-11-7 record, .933 save percentage, and a 2.10 goals-against average (GAA), Thomas led the top-seeded Bruins into the playoffs with confidence. Although Boston was surprisingly knocked out of the postseason by Carolina in the conference semifinals, Thomas’ efforts were still enough to earn him the Vezina trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender. But this past season, the 36-year-old Thomas took a plunge for the ages. Despite a still-decent .915 save percentage, Thomas was just 17-18-8 with 104 total goals allowed by midseason, just 10 fewer than he gave up in all of the previous year. By then, Thomas was seeing fewer and fewer starts, and by spring, the veteran was using up $5 million in cap space on

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NHL Free Agency: Joe “Scorvo” Corvo Returning To Carolina Hurricanes

July 8th, 2010 No Comments

Joe Corvo is returning to Raleigh. After being traded to Washington at the 2010 Trade Deadline in a deal that sent a 2011 second rounder (eventually traded to Philadelphia for Jonathan Matsumoto), prospect Oskar Osala (in the AHL), and defenseman Brian Pothier (now a free agent) to Carolina, Corvo is once again coming back to a place where he just might have prospered most. The 33-year-old powerplay specialist was inked to a two-year, $4.5 million contract Wednesday afternoon by the Carolina Hurricanes; perhaps a deal that will finally settle Corvo down for the remainder of his career. After being drafted in the fourth round, 83rd overall, by the Kings in 1997, at the age of 19, Corvo didn’t even begin play for Los Angeles until the 2002-2003 season. However, the American defenseman blossomed there, progressing from 50 games and 12 points in ’02-’03 to 72

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