Now that the All-Star Break is behind, the NHL teams are now focusing in the last stretch drive to the playoffs. And in order to do so are trying to add the last elements that could make a difference for this drive and also for the playoff run. This difference can be achieved by adding a player or two, Those who are sellers may want to unload hefty salaries and start looking at the next NHL draft and position themselves for a solid pick. Trading Deadline for the NHL is set for the 2 March 2015.
Penguins acquire Max Lapierre
The Pittsburgh started trading early last night by acquiring fourth line and abrasive forward Maxime Lapierre from the St-Louis Blues for center Marcel Goc. Pittsburgh needed some roughness in the bottom three and the addition of Lapierre may help in that sense. Both team completed the trade after the Pittsburgh Penguins win over the Winnipeg Jets last night by the count of 5-3.
Marcel Goc was acquired by the Penguins from the Florida Panthers prior to the trade deadline last season for a fifth-round draft pick. This season Goc who also played on the third and fourth line for the Penguins scored two goals and assisted on four for 6 points in 43 games played. Goc was also a minus -2. In 605 NHL games, he has scored 74 goals and added 111 assists.
As for Maxime Lapierre, he had two goals also with seven assists in 45 games played. Lapierre is mostly known for his trash talk and abrasive style. He joined the St-Louis Blues during the off-season in 2012, as a free agent. Lapierre, 29, played in 579 games with the Montreal Canadiens, the Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks, where he was a member of the Stanley Cup finalist team against Boston. After the trade St-Louis general manager, Doug Armstrong said in a statement: “We want to thank Max and his family for their dedication to the Blues organization,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. “Max is a true professional and was a valued member of our team. We wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Martin Brodeur’s Retirement
Yesterday, future Hall-of-Famer and longtime New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur announced officially his retirement. His announcement will be made official on Thursday with a press conference from St-Louis. It has been announced also that Brodeur will take on an administrative role with the Blues as a consultant. This came a bit as a shock since most of the NHL figured he would return to New Jersey to work with general manager Lou Lamoriello.
The 42 year-olds goaltender who was signed as a free agent by the St-Louis Blues in December to back up Brian Elliott had an agreement with the Blues and also Lamoriello from the Devils to stay in St-Louis for the remainder of this season and act in an administrator role. In a comment made to TSN NHL insider and ESPN Hockey Insider, Lamoriello made this statement: “Today’s announcement ends one of the greatest careers that you can imagine, in so many different ways,” Lamoriello told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun. “Just look at his statistics, they will tell you about his career. What more can you say? He’s been an ambassador for the game and will continue to be. He’s had tremendous success both in the National Hockey League and internationally. He’s going to go down if not as the, one of the greatest goaltenders ever.”
Brodeur leaves the game leading most of the categories possible for a goalie. He leads in game won at 691, lost games at 397, games played at 1,266 and shutouts at 125. He spent 21 years with the New Jersey Devils where he won three Stanley Cups. In addition Brodeur has won two Olympic Gold medals and 4 Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender in the NHL.
Brodeur will fall in the lines of the great goalies the NHL had over the years in the likes of; Patrick Roy, Jacques Plante, Glenn Hall, Ken Dryden. This year Brodeur had a record of 3 wins and 3 losses with GAA of 2,87.
Toronto Maple Leafs status
Last night on TSN NHL Trading Insider, Darren Dreger stated that the Toronto Maple Leafs will give themselves a 6 to 8 games window coming up to see what they will do about their roster. This will determine if they will be sellers or buyers or status quo. Some of the players other teams are interested in are forwards Daniel Winnik and Mike Santorelli as well as defenseman Cody Franson.
Dreger stated that apparently the Pittsburgh Penguins made an offer for Daniel Winnik last week to Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis, who decided at the time, to wait a few more games. Since then, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired forward Maxime Lapierre from the St-Louis Blues who will fill likely fill the role the Penguins had set for Santorelli.
In the case of Cody Franson, Dreger stated that the Maple Leafs will want to make an offer to Franson but the offer expected will not reach the demands of the Franson clan. If the offer is rejected, it is expected Cody Franson will likely be traded by the trading deadline. And if so, a long list of teams will be calling Nonis t get his service. More to follow on that story…
Vancouver looking to replace Bieksa
With the loss of defenseman Vancouver Canucks to injury, the Vancouver Canucks who are in the thick of a playoff spot are looking for a defenseman capable to fill Bieksa’s spot on the blue line. Darren Dreger stated that the Vancouver Canucks reached out to the Boston Bruins who are interested in defenseman Matt Bartkowski. For the Bruins to trade Bartkowski, this would mean Boston looking for another defenseman, which they currently are to alleviate some ice time on veteran Zdeno Chara, and Dennis Seidenberg and Douggie Hamilton.
Richards landing in Calgary?
According to Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun, the Flames are looking in acquiring Los Angeles Kings demoted center Mike Richards. Francis stated in his chronicle that a source close to the Flames mentioned to him that general manager Brad Treliving team reached out to get Mike Richards
Richards a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings was placed on waivers which he cleared the next day. he will be reporting to their AHL affiliate team Manchester Monarchs, this week. Richards who had his most succesful years with the Philadelphia Flyers where established career-high’s particularly in 2008-2009, where he compiled 80 points.
In addition, the Flames are also interested in forward Tyler Toffoli or Tanner Pearson as a package deal with Mike Richards. The Flames who have more space under the salary cap would be well placed to get the players mentioned above. We also to have keep in mind that the two teams are both competing for a playoff spot, so this rumor may be just pure reader’s attention getter than anything else. Richards has only scored five goals this year with 10 assists in 47 games played this year with the Kings. He has a cap hit of 5.75 million per year for the next 5 years, a deal that was signed when he was with the Flyers.
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