Goldie again – Preds signed Atte Engren to a two-year entry-level deal today. This is big news, as he’s a phenomenal Finnish goalie with great upside. Combined with recent signing of Anders Lindback, Preds continue to develop raw-skilled Euro prospects under Mitch Korn’s watchful eye.
Goldie here – the Ducks traded Mattias Modig to the Penguins for a 6th round pick in 2010. Seemed like a harmless move at first, but the Pens promptly signed Modig to a two-year entry-level deal. Still too early to analyze the impact, but it does not bode well for the future of John Curry in the Penguins organization.
According to Gary Bettman, the salary cap could go up by as much as $2 million for next season.
Negotiations aren’t going very smoothly between the Leafs and Nikolai Kulemin. Kulemin is one of my favourite players in the league, but I I owned him (I do), I’d be getting a bit worried (and I am). He apparently is seeking $3 million per year after 16 goals and 36 points last season. The Leafs have enough bad contracts as is, they can’t afford to hand out another.
Jiri Tlusty has signed a one-year, one-way contract worth $500,000. The one-way part of it is important, as it gives him a bit of the inside track at cracking Carolina’s roster for 2010-11. His qualifying offer would have been for more, but it would have been a two-way deal.
Taylor Hall won’t be doing any tests at the NHL Combine this year. He has a back injury (I’d guess from the Hamonic hit during the Memorial Cup).
Michael Jordan’s statue has never looked so good.
You know what? It’s my site (this is Dobber BTW) and I can change my mind if I want! It’s been nagging at me all week and I can’t take it anymore. Michael Leighton is on a mission. The Flyers have proven that even a 3-0 lead is unsafe, and people talk about the depth of the Blackhawks…well the Flyers are scratching players like Daniel Carcillo and they have Giroux and JVR on the third line. Not to mention the ‘curse of Hossa’. So that’s it. I’m changing my pick in the expert panel to Flyers in 6 and Pronger. Done. Why now? Because my picks for Puck Daddy are due and the more I tried to justify Chicago…I kept thinking “Philly”.
The Red Wings have signed top defensive prospect Brendan Smith to an entry level contract. Smith led the NCAA in scoring among defensemen last season with 15 goals and 52 points. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as well, and has made tremendous progress in three years at Wisconsin. Smith was drafted by Detroit out of Ontario’s Junior A ranks in the first round in 2007. Don't expect him to make Detroit's top six next season, but he probably needs only a year at most in the AHL.
He's earned comparisons to current Wing Brian Rafalski because of his skating, poise with the puck, and ability to run a power play. You can read plenty more on Smith in the 2010 Prospect Report, which is only days away!
Wisconson's defensive core this past season was incredibly deep. In addition to Smith, they had Ryan McDonagh (Montreal's first round pick in 2007), Cody Goloubef (Columbus's second round pick in 2008), Jake Gardiner (Anaheim's first round pick in 2008), and Justin Schultz (Anaheim's second round pick in 2008).
The two outdoor games next year are expected to be Washington vs. Pittsburgh (of course) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The other w