After taking a glance at the schedule at noon, I ran out for lunch with an old friend and some errands. Who knew I would miss a bustling afternoon of hockey action ... on June 22nd?!?
Instead of multiple posts, it would probably be best to wrap it all up in a one-stop shop so here we go:
Florida's Nathan Horton was traded with Greg Campbell to Boston for Dennis Wideman, the 15th overall pick this year and a third rounder next year.
Boston got better while Florida jumpstarted their new look/rebuilding process. Wideman was jeered throughout much of the season in Boston for not living up to the standard he set in 2009 but still is a capable defenseman. Horton, who just looks like a Bruin, will bring his scoring tough to Beantown and could make for the perfect center to go with Milan Lucic. Considering Horton only had three goals in his last 10 games against the Rangers, Boston adding him isn't a huge concern. It is quite likely the asking price was too high for Sather's taste and, frankly, I don't think he is fast enough for Torts.
Scott Niedermayer retired.
As much as it hurts to say this about the former Devil, Niedermayer was one of the best defensemen of this generation and should be included in any discussion of the top-15, maybe top-10 all time. Ray Bourque was just as great of a passer, just as great of a defender - but he wasn't a winner like Niedermayer. When it is his turn to be eligible for the Hall, there could be no dissension. (Unlike this year ...)
Hockey Hall of Fame voters selected Dino Ciccarelli, women's players Cammi Granato and Angela James, Detroit Red Wings executive Jimmy Devellano and the late Daryl Seaman.
This is a disgrace. The lone NHL player to get entry to the Hall is not best remembered for his play on the ice but for getting mad that he was a sportsman and shook Claude Lemieux's hand. Sure he was a above-average power forward for a long amount of time but the Hall should be for star players who left an impact on games and Dino wasn't and he didn't. The women getting in is silly, considering they play at a high school boys level but hey, the people want equality so I guess they should get in. Fine. My issue is that it is easier for the old boys club to select women than it is for them to select Russians - that is just shameful. That they didn't put Pat Burns in is worse. Seaman got in because another Calgary owner, Harley Hotchkiss, happens to be the Director of the Hall ... how about that? Then again, they are putting Seaman in posthumously, I guess they are waiting to put Burns in the same way. As for Jimmy D, let's face it, the entire Red Wing front office deserves to be honoured after turning that franchise from '80s also-rans to the archetype for the league.
Tomas Plekanec re-signed with Montreal.
Plekanec helped the Canadiens and my fantasy teams tremendously this season. You know why he was on some of my teams? Because I knew he was in a contract season. You would think that the Habs would realize that too, but they still foolheartedly gave him a six-year, $30 million deal for a season of inspired play. What the over/under is until Canadien fans get pissed at him and beg for him to be traded? This coming New Years?
Brooksie said that the Rangers will not extend a qualifying offer to Enver Lisin.
It really was of no surprise that the Russian speedster would return. As I said in the Facts of Life, Enver rarely had a consistent role and that can cause havoc on experienced players, much less a kid with less than two seasons of NHL experience.
Pat Quinn washed his hands of the Edmonton mess and handed it to Tom Renney.
That Quinn was able to make it through all of last season with his grace and reputation intact is a tribute to the man. Now it will be Renney's turn. As a friend pointed out and I've written here many times in the past, Tom doesn't necessarily coach to win but not to lose. For a young team trying to get their skates under them, that will be enough to buy them some time until they are ready to break out and contend.
San Jose told Evgeni Nabokov 'thanks for your service but don't let the door hit you on the way out.'
A great regular season goaltender who couldn't win the crunch-time games, Nabby will find work and a payday elsewhere, that is for sure. Atlanta seems perfect for him as he wouldn't have to worry about crumbling in the playoffs with them but I could see Stevie Y adding him, hoping for Khabibulin 2.
Pittsburgh re-signed Matt Cooke.
Greeaaaaaaat. Three more seasons in the Atlantic Division for the head-hunting pain-in-the-ass. Just great.