It looks as if the Coyotes have given up on Radim Vrbata. It would seem that Vrbata is negotiating based on his first half – whereas the Yotes are negotiating based on the entire season. Vrbata will be a UFA, and if I were you I would quietly shop him. His situation in Phoenix was perfect.
Don't know if we have any fans from the Twin Cities here, but Matt Bugg will be appearing on KFAN 1103 AM Sports Radio Saturday morning to discuss the NHL Entry Draft. He is tentatively scheduled to come on at about 9:35. I will probably have the clip to post here.
San Jose has hired Detroit assistant coach Todd McLellan as their new head coach. McLellan was in charge of Detroit's power-play, which ranked second over the three years that he was in charge of it. From that standpoint, I would expect San Jose's power-play offense to jump. San Jose's power play already ranked 10th, so tentatively increase the expected offense by about 5% for anyone on their top six.
Kitchener coach Peter DeBoer is the leading candidate for the Ottawa job. DeBoer runs a tight ship. If he can get juniors to play like that, he can get the Sens on board. Although the offense will go down.
Anaheim signed Andrew Ebbett to a two-year, two-way contract. He is ranked 175 on my Fantasy Prospects List.
The Ducks also signed their backup Jonas Hiller to a two-year deal.
The Wild signed offensive defenseman Eric Reitz to a contract. It was a one-year, one-way deal for $500,000. He should make the team… but with the salary minimum you never know.
Here's some weird news: according to Michael Russo's Blog, Blake Wheeler is NOT interested in the Wild. Huh? The guy leaves a young, promising franchise that is coached by a legend, and he has roots in Minny… but that's not why he left Phoenix? According to Russo, he can talk to teams, but can't officially sign until July 1. Wheeler visited New York and New Jersey recently (Rangers and Devils). Apparently, he wants to experience different parts of the country. Life experience. Sounds like some high school people I knew…and to this day they still haven't settled down. You know the type. If Wheeler flourishes somewhere, it sounds like by the third or fourth year he'll tail off as his interest wanes and his wanderlust kicks in.
More from Russo: Doug Risebrough said that Bergeron would not have made it to free agency. Other teams were interested and Burke was definitely trading him.
Brian Rolston is optimistic that he will re-sign with the Wild.
The Leafs have "given up" on finding a GM. Fletcher will be GM for this season, and then coincidentally, coach Ron Wilson's former college roommate Brian Burke's contract with Anaheim will be up.
Tomas Holmstrom underwent sports hernia surgery yesterday. He will be ready by training camp.
Colin McPhee still needs to email me at