Hockey Hearsay compiles stories from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, 12 months a year.
REPORT: OILERS OUTBID LEAFS FOR CLARKSON
The Edmonton Journal reviews the summer roster moves Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish has made to date.
Included was a worthwhile tidbit that highly-sought unrestricted free agent David Clarkson left a seven-year offer from the Oilers on the table to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Clarkson would have made more money playing in Edmonton, but clearly has a connection with the Toronto area. The winger ended up signing a seven-year, $36.75 million contract with the Leafs.
“I’m trying to get the right piece or another piece that would start to excite me in terms of how our team is shaping up,” MacTavish said Tuesday. “The UFA pickups, I think, are going to really help us, but I would like to do one or two other things before we’re happy.
“I’m a little frustrated. I had certain objectives in mind, and I think I’m going to be able to accomplish some of those things, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to accomplish all the things that I wanted to.”
AGENT: NOEL A FACTOR IN BURMISTROV’S KHL JUMP
The Winnipeg Sun reveals the suggestion of friction between Alex Burmistrov and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel wasn’t exaggerated at all.
During an e-mail interview with The Sun on Tuesday, the Russian agent for Burmistrov conceded the relationship with Noel was one of the factors in his client’s decision to sign a two-year deal to play for Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League.
“That was one of the reasons why he left,” Yuri Nikolaev said through translator Ruslan Kim.
Burmistrov will be getting a raise, as Nikolaev confirmed reports that his client’s salary “is more than $2 million USD.”
Nikolaev wrote “of course yes” when asked if Burmistrov would consider returning to the NHL in the future.
ALFREDSSON’S DEPARTURE STINGS SENS’ MELNYK
The Ottawa Sun writes that Daniel Alfredsson’s decision to leave Ottawa for Detroit was a cold lesson in dealing with professional hockey players, even for the owner of the Senators.
“It was tough for me to learn this as an owner that, how can you do this sort of thing? But it’s sort of the way they conduct themselves and it’s accepted,” Eugene Melnyk said Tuesday at Ottawa City Hall.
Melnyk shot down suggestions that team management didn’t act fast enough to lock up their captain before other teams started sniffing around.
“That’s just not correct. We moved at (Alfredsson’s) pace. We always said we’re not going to push it. You decide whenever you’re ready and we’re prepared to talk anytime you wish to talk,” Melnyk said.
“If he’s made a decision that he believes that he can win a Stanley Cup in Detroit and the likelihood is greater than in Ottawa, that’s his decision. I don’t agree with it, but it is his decision. I think we have a great team this year and all I can do is wish him and his family all the best.”
BRUINS’ NEELY ON ‘WAKE-UP CALL’ FOR SEGUIN
CSNNE.com relays Bruins President Cam Neely’s take on the Tyler Seguin trade, as discussed on the Felger and Mazz Show.
On the big picture for Seguin: “Personally I think Tyler is a good kid. He’s got a lot of skill, but he needs to understand what he needs to do to be successful on the ice, and he needs a little understanding about what he needs to do off the ice to have a long and successful career.
“You’re dealing with a young kid, but there’s always the concern if he’ll understand what it takes to be the player, or the professional, that you’d like to see. Unfortunately what you normally see is a dramatic event in somebody’s life where it does give him that wake-up call.”
On how the perception is the Bruins may have given up too early on Seguin: “I wouldn’t classify it as a bail. We got a really, really strong return on Tyler. If it was a bail we wouldn’t have received that kind of return. We all felt it was time to see and explore what we could get for Tyler at this point in his career, and if the return made sense then we would do something.”
LEAFS’ BIGGS ADMIRES CLARKSON’S GAME
The Toronto Sun indicates the expectation for 20-year-old Tyler Biggs in 2013-14 is that he takes advantage of the guidance that new Marlies coach Steve Spott has to offer.
“I assume he will start with the Marlies, grow ownership in the group, grab the bull by the horns, make his presence (felt) early and establish a significant spot on the team in all situations and grow as a player,” Leafs director of player development Jim Hughes said.
“We would like to see his mentality grow.”
Biggs’ mobility progressed after he had lessons with Leafs skating coach Barbara Underhill last summer. While Biggs has a ways to go before he can consider making a jump to the NHL, he has an eye on new Leaf David Clarkson, who has become adept at bumping and scoring.
“He’s a guy who has physically dominated and played with grit,” Biggs said. “You look at him these past couple years and he has really put the numbers up as well. To be well-rounded like that is definitely a goal.”
SCHROEDER’S AGENT, CANUCKS TO TALK CONTRACT
The Vancouver Sun reports Neil Sheehy, the Minneapolis-based agent for Canucks restricted free agent centre Jordan Schroeder, said he and the team mutually agreed to put off contract talks until this week.
“To be quite honest with you nothing is holding anything up,” Sheehy said. “I had a conversation with Vancouver and basically said, ‘let’s get through the free agent frenzy,’ which was on the weekend, and actually I owe them a call. I plan to call them and then I’ll know where it’s at.
“We really haven’t had discussions except that they want Jordan, and that he is going to play for them. Everything has been positive so far. We really haven’t got into contract talks. . . there was work I had to do, work they had to do. It’s not that it’s a back-burner issue, but it’s one that could wait a few days and now I think we’ll be talking soon. My guess is we’ll try and hammer something out the next few days.”
FLYERS’ SNIDER BULLISH ON TEAM’S CHANCES
CSNPhilly.com has the reaction from Flyers chairman Ed Snider as the team introduced new additions Vincent Lecavalier, Mark Streit and Ray Emery Tuesday.
On if the Flyers are better today: “I go into every season optimistic and excited. But this is very unique, to have three outstanding players on the podium at the same time that we recently signed. You don’t add three terrific players like that without getting better. We’re better, no question about it.”
On GM Paul Holmgren sticking to the plan of not disrupting the team’s core of young players: “Paul put together the plan, and quite frankly, he put it together and it even worked out better than we thought. We didn’t know that Lecavalier was going to be available when we put the plan together. Very exciting. We didn’t know that Ray would leave Chicago to come with us. We knew we wanted another goalie, we’re thrilled – [Emery] would have been the No. 1 on our list without question.
“Mark Streit, the same thing. We just think that we’re got three great veteran players here to go with our kids. We didn’t have to give up any kids, any draft picks, anything, which to me is spectacular.”
On now vs. summers from the past: “I feel better than I have in years. I feel very good about this team.”
SHARKS FANS TO SEE TECH-DRIVEN UPGRADES
In describing how San Jose’s HP Pavillion was re-christened the SAP Center Tuesday (S-A-P Center, with each letter spoken in full; not rhyming with gap), The Mercury News has an interesting arena-based tidbit for its readers.
Hasso Plattner, co-founder of SAP and majority owner of the Sharks, made it clear that although the building opened two decades ago, he doesn’t see it being replaced anytime soon.
“This is an unbelievable arena here. Look how good it looks and it’s 20 years old,” Plattner said. “It looks it opened last year. It’s like brand new. Everything is fresh, everything works.”
For now, improvements on tap are technology driven so that fans will be able to access everything from real-time news alerts to video sharing on social networks even faster than they can now. Paper tickets may no longer be necessary and mobile devices could be used to purchase concessions.
In addition, the Sharks are evaluating new SAP scouting software designed to break down player statistics and analytics to give management a new way of assessing player productivity.
WILD’S COOKE RECEIVES BOOGAARD FAMILY BLESSING
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recounts how new Wild winger Matt Cooke, who has worn the number 24 nearly his entire 1000-game NHL career, wanted to make sure it was okay to wear that number in Minneosta. The late Derek Boogaard donned that number.
“The team told me they’re OK with me wearing it because Marty [Havlat] wore it after [Boogaard],” Cooke told me. “I don’t really feel comfortable putting it on without his mum and dad’s blessing. I’ve sent emails off to them. I want to let them know that by putting it on I’m absolutely not doing anything disrespectful. It’s been my only number in the NHL, but at the end of the day, I don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt. I don’t want anyone to think that I am being disrespectful and I want to make sure I take care of that before I even entertain the thought of putting it on.”
Cooke received that blessing from Joanne and Len Boogaard Tuesday morning and will indeed wear No. 24 with the Wild.
Derek’s dad, Len, forwarded Cooke’s email to siblings Krysten, Aaron and Ryan.
“I read the e-mail and I greatly respect Matt for what he said in it,” brother Ryan Boogaard told The Star Tribune in an email. “I texted my dad and told him I have no issues with it. I’m very impressed with Matt for what he did by reaching out to my parents. He didn’t have to do it as he could have just worn #24, but he thought of Derek and our family before doing so. I knew that someone would eventually wear #24 and I was not expecting them to reach out to us, so when Matt did, I could not have been happier.”
FLAMES’ KANZIG BRAWNY AND SMART
The Calgary Herald observes how at six foot six and 240 pounds, one Flames prospect’s dimensions are the natural starting point for any conversation.
“When people see me, they see my size,” said Keegan Kanzig, 18. “But I do think I’m a smart player. But people don’t think or talk about it much because they’re too busy talking about how big I am. So people don’t notice (the hockey IQ).”
Which is exactly what Tod Button, Calgary Flames director of amateur scouting, had emphasized after selecting Kanzig at the National Hockey League draft June 30.
“A huge defenceman,” Button said that night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., “but the first thing we noticed about him? We thought he understood the game very well and that he had high character, high intangibles. Off the ice leadership. On the ice leadership. He’s a great teammate. For us, it was an area we talked about — getting rough and tumble on the back-end — but he’s got a good brain, too.”
KHABIBULIN BRIDGES GAP FOR HAWKS IN NET
The Chicago Sun-Times points out there will be an expected transition period for Blackhawks goalie prospect Antti Raanta. He’ll be getting used to the North American game after having played in Finland.
That was a big reason the Hawks decided to sign 40-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin to replace Ray Emery as Corey Crawford’s backup last week.
‘‘I’m ready for that,’’ the 24-year-old said of the NHL and his preparation this summer. ‘‘And if I have to go to the AHL, I’m ready for that, also. . . . I just have to take the pucks and try to be the No. 1 goalie in Rockford and in the NHL sometime.”
PETROVIC PART OF PANTHERS’ NEXT WAVE
The Miami Herald recalls how the plethora of big, mobile defensemen like Erik Gudbranson, Dmitri Kulikov, Alex Petrovic, and 2012 first-round pick Michael Matheson prompted the Panthers to go for center Aleksander Barkov over Seth Jones.
Petrovic, the 209-pound, 21-year-old, already knew going into this offseason he would need to fill out more.
“Putting on five or 10 pounds before coming up to this fall camp, getting stronger and not losing speed — you don’t want to gain too much weight and get slower,” he said. “You still want to be pretty explosive.”
WILL DUMBA STICK WITH WILD?
The St. Paul Pioneer Press notes Wild prospect defenseman Mathew Dumba projects as a two-way blueliner, but he is more advanced offensively so far.
Last season, 19-year-old Jonas Brodin was a defensive star for the Wild. But he was an anomaly for a teenage defenseman.
“No question, for most defensemen out of juniors, their offensive game is often ahead of their defensive game,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “Matt has a lot of skill. He passes puck like a pro already. And he has a physical dimension. Defending NHL players is the bigger test, though.”
There is room for him on the Wild this season if he is ready.
WHAT THEY’RE TWEETING ABOUT
Great day on the lake today after two ice sessions and a workout. pic.twitter.com/1ocmMVd5Vv
— Ryan Kesler (@Ryan_Kesler) July 10, 2013
— Michael Kostka (@Kostka85) July 10, 2013
2 of the greatest people I've ever had the pleasure to meet got in to the Hockey Hall of Fame today!! Congrats Chelly and Neider #WORLDCLASS
— Sheldon Souray (@SSouray) July 9, 2013
— Colby Armstrong (@armdog) July 9, 2013
Lots of talk today about @GeorgesLaraque comments, For those who don't know me, I'm not into engaging in negativity, especially via twitter
— George Parros (@GeorgeParros) July 9, 2013
Thanks to all my twitter fans who have had my back though! I'll do it on the ice, you can do it socially! #donedeal
— George Parros (@GeorgeParros) July 9, 2013
— Adam Cracknell (@ACracknell79) July 10, 2013
Thanks to everyone for the congratulatory tweets. Love the support.
— Andy Miele (@Andy_Miele) July 10, 2013