June 19 2013 11:34AM
The next three weeks will be extremely exciting for hockey fans. Compliance buyouts could start as early as Monday, June 24th, or as last as Friday, June 28th, the 2013 NHL entry draft happens Sunday, June 30th and the free agent signings occur July 5th.
Between now and then we will hear some juicy rumours, witness some interesting trades, debatable draft selections and some horrendous UFA signings.
I can't wait, and thankfully we won't have to with copious speculation already circulating around the hockey world.
June 18 2013 04:13PM
The free agent frenzy officially began yesterday with reports the Flyers had signed Mark Streit to a four-year, $21 million contract. The Flyers can't officially announce the signing until they shed some salary, which should happen when they buyout Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov.
Briere is an easy buyout. His cap hit is $6.5 million for the next two seasons, but he's only owed $5 million in cash over both years. The Flyers can buy him out for only $3.33 million, while Brzgalov is a much larger hit at $23 million. Despite the massive payment to Bryzgalov you can expect the Flyers to eat that since they desperately need some cap space.
Briere will garner a lot of interest, but will Bryzgalov get another NHL deal?
June 13 2013 02:26PM
The fate of the Phoenix Coyotes could be decided within the next two weeks. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly mentioned yesterday that it is possible that Phoenix could relocate. "It certainly means that it's possible that the team won't play there next year. We're in the short strokes in Phoenix now," said Daly.
The Coyotes saga has gone on way too long, but yesterday Daly and Gary Bettman spoke openly about relocation, something they've been loathe to do. Many feel Seattle would be the obvious destination, but what if Seattle or Quebec aren't viable, could we see a dispersal draft?
It is unlikely, but if it happens some teams would get some pretty good players.
June 11 2013 01:50PM
Dallas Eakins will spend this week in Edmonton talking to Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger to see if they will be part of his coaching staff. He will also sit down with Craig MacTavish and get a sense of the roster, the strengths and weaknesses, and start planning for next season.
Eakins is very intense, he's a fitness freak and when I spoke to him on my radio show yesterday afternoon, it was clear he is a man with a plan. He wants teams to fear the Oilers skill, their speed and their physicality. Of course, the latter hasn't been a strength of the Oilers for years, and Eakins gave us some insight on how he plans to change that as well as they style and system his team will play next season.
June 10 2013 12:02PM
The Edmonton Oilers will officially announce Dallas Eakins as their 14th head coach in franchise history at a 1:30 p.m. press conference this afternoon. You can listen to it live on TEAM 1260 or streaming here. General manager Craig MacTavish made his first "bold" move of the off-season on Saturday when he fired Ralph Krueger. Hockey is a tough business, and after only 48 games, without a legitimate training camp and no preseason games, Krueger was let go.
It is hard to accurately suggest how Krueger was as a coach in that short of time, but it is clear that MacTavish felt he wasn't the right guy moving forward.