Posts Tagged ‘Ville Leino’

Last season: 43-29-10, 96 points. 7th in the East, lost in the first round to Philadelphia (4-3).

Key Additions: D Christian Ehrhoff, RW Ales Kotalik, F Ville Leino, D Robyn Regehr

Key Losses: D Chris Butler, C Paul Byron, C Tim Connolly, RW Mike Grier, G Patrick Lalime, RW Mark Mancari, D Steve Montador

Offense: The Sabres offense is led by former 40 goal scorer Thomas Vanek. The Austrian only had 32 goals last year, but tied a career high with 41 assists. Derek Roy missed more than half of 2011-12 with a torn quad, but still picked up 35 points in 35 games. He’ll be ready for the start of this season. Newcomer Leino (14 goals, 53 points with Philadelphia) should fill the void of Tim Connolly nicely. Drew Stafford missed 20 games and still was able to register 31 goals. The population continues to increase in Pominville, as Jason was able to notch 20 goals for the fifth straight year. Tyler Ennis (5’9) and Nathan Gerbe (5’5) may be short, but both can play. They should both score 20 while playing with the Sabres’ top 9. Brad Boyes, acquired at the trade deadline from St. Louis, had 14 points in 21 games with the team. Versatile veteran Jochen Hecht can play any forward spot and is trusted on the penalty kill. Paul Gaustad was among the league leaders in faceoff percentage (59.6%). Pat Kaleta is the team’s main agitator and Cody McCormick is the enforcer (16 fights, 142 PIM).

Defense: (more…)

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In this roundtable, Realdeal, Cujo and Joey discuss many topics on the NHL’s offseason.

RD: So who did the best this offseason?

Cujo: I would say the CBJ but that would be very homerish of me.

Joey: I like what CBJ did, Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski fit two points of weakness.

Cujo: They got the #1 center they have always wanted, that was the biggest piece it has taken 11 years to get.

RD: They also got the top pair d-man they desperately needed.

Cujo: But you cannot rule out what LA has done this offseason.

RD: They got that #2 center that they needed, even if they gave up the best prospect in hockey.

Joey: Washington had a solid offseason. Beyond just additions but the picks they got for Seymon Varlamov were huge.

RD: I really like Washington’s moves; they got some sandpaper.

Cujo: And Tomas Vokoun cannot forget him, a solid net minder.

Joey: Yeah when I heard Vokoun signed in Washington I hung my head and said ‘oh crap’.

RD: I think people are sleeping on the effect Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer will bring.

Joey: I really think Brouwer was a good pick up, I am a little on the fence on Ward just wondering if he is riding off a playoff showing.

RD: He’s overpaid but he’ll be a solid 2nd/3rd line producer.

Joey: Speaking of overpaid is Brooks Laich worth all that money? I think time will tell on that one.

Cujo: You’ve got to pay for potential, but he nearly had his 3rd straight 50 point season. He missed it by 2 points.

RD: Is he going to get much better? I think 50-55 points is what we’re looking at.

RD: So who’s a team whose moves were puzzling or needed to do more? I’m kind of curious to see how San Jose’s plan works out.

Cujo: I think San Jose thinks they have most of the pieces they need to make a big run at the Cup.

Joey: Buffalo giving 10 years to Christian Ehrhoff, someone who has never played a game in Buffalo?

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Some quick hits from the first two days of free agency:

-The Brad Richards saga is finally over, as he chose to sign with the New York Rangers for 9 years (and $60 million).  According to reports, he turned down more money from other teams (Calgary, Los Angeles and Toronto).  The Rangers have themselves a big money center to play with Marian Gaborik now.  They also added tough guy Mike Rupp from the rival Penguins.

-Speaking of the Maple Leafs, they added Tim Connolly for two years.  Connolly has averaged .83 points per game since the lockout, but has only played in 302 games in that time.  When healthy, he can form a nice duo with Phil Kessel, but how many games he plays is the question.

-Not going to go into much about the Flyers, who were very active on Day 1, as this post sums it up pretty well.

-The Panthers were also very active, adding over $31 million in salary for 2011-12 in the since the draft.  This includes over $21 million to 6 players in free agency the last two days.  They aren’t done yet, as the team is still $1 million under the salary cap floor. (more…)

While few knew what the Flyers were going to do coming into July 1st’s free agent frenzy, Paul Holmgren had a plan. The rumors that were going around had Jaromir Jagr signing with Pittsburgh or Detroit, but both teams dropped out of the bidding this morning, leaving the Jagr Sweepstakes open for business.

With the biggest shocker of the day, Holmgren signed Jagr for $3.3 million, stunning the hockey world. The 39 year old future Hall of Famer has a career 1599 points in 1273 NHL games. He’s spent the last three years playing with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. The 1999 Hart Trophy winner has played for Pittsburgh, Washington and the Rangers in 17 NHL seasons. He’s 12th all time in goals (646) and 9th in points.

Speaking of former Penguins, the team also added C Max Talbot for 5 years, $9 million. Talbot had 21 points last year in 82 games with Pittsburgh, who he has played for the last six years. In an interview with TSN, he said, “I think it is [treason to go from Pittsburgh to Philly], but it’s the right thing to do.” He also added that players have told him “how great it is to play [in Philly]” and it’s a “great chance to win, with a great fit for me.” Talbot also said he believes in the changes the team has made over the last couple weeks. He should help the Flyers’ penalty kill, which took a few hits when the team traded both Mike Richards and Darroll Powe. The team views him as a replacement of Ian Laperriere.

The Flyers weren’t done (more…)

In a span of an hour, the Flyers broke up the foundation of the franchise. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have been together in the Flyers organization since 2003, when they were both drafted by the team. They’ll be playing the 2011-12 NHL season in different colors though, after Richards was dealt to Los Angeles and Carter to Columbus. The deals came as a shock to fans, as two of the most known Flyers were sent packing.

The Return
So, what did the Flyers get in these deals?

Jakub Voracek had 14 goals, 46 points for Columbus last year. The 6’1, 205 lb Czech was Columbus’ first rounder (#7 overall) in 2007 and has played three years for the Blue Jackets, amassing 39 goals and 136 points in 241 games.

With Los Angeles, Wayne Simmonds scored 14 goals and 30 points while amassing 75 penalty minutes. The power forward has played the last three years with the Kings after being drafted by the team in 2007. “Simmer”, as he is known, has scored 39 goals and 93 points in 240 games.

Last year, Schenn spent some time with the Kings (0-2-2 in 8 GP), Manchester of the AHL (3-4-7 in 7 GP). He spent the majority of his time in the WHL with Brandon (1-3-4 in 2 GP) and Saskatoon (21-32-53 in 27 GP). In the 2011 World Junior Championships, he tied a Canadian record for points in a single tournament (8-10-18 in 7 games).  Schenn is one of the top prospects in all of hockey.

They also received the #8 & #68 picks in this year’s draft, as well as the Kings’ 2nd rounder next year. What the Flyers plan to do with the picks remains to be seen.

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The Philadelphia Flyers acquired the rights to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov Tuesday night, trading AHL prospect Matt Clackson and a 2012 3rd round choice, along with another conditional draft pick to Phoenix.

The Coyotes won’t resign the free agent Clackson, as the Flyers had to throw a currently contracted player in the deal so they would not go over the NHL’s 50 contract limit.

Bryzgalov went 36-20-10 with a 2.48 GAA and a 92.1 save percentage in 2010-11.  He also posted 7 shutouts, compared to the Flyers 0 this season.  For his career, split between the Ducks and Coyotes, he is 156-116-35, with a career GAA of 2.53.  Bryzgalov has 23 career shutouts and a 91.6 save percentage.  In 27 career playoff games, he has gone 12-13, winning a Stanley Cup as the Ducks’ backup in 2007.  He has three playoff shutouts, all with the Ducks in their improbable 2006 run to the Western Conference Finals.  Bryzgalov failed to win a playoff series with Phoenix, losing back to back years against Detroit.

Will Bryzgalov be the answer?  The Flyers have to sign him first.  No numbers are official, but it seems he is looking for a deal for $5m to $6m.  Can the Flyers afford that type of money with their current roster? With a quick estimate at Capgeek, if Bryzgalov signs for $5.5m, and Ian Laperriere is put on LTIR, the team will have about $650,000 to fill three to five roster spots.  That won’t happen.  So someone will be the odd man out, whether that is Jeff Carter ($5.3m), Matt Carle ($3.4m), Kris Versteeg ($3.1m), another player, or a combination, remains to be seen.  It would also mean that free agent Ville Leino would not be resigned.  On Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch hinted that the Flyers and Blue Jackets could be trade partners for Columbus’ #8 pick.  Could the Flyers trade a high priced player for the pick? Possibly. GM Paul Holmgren has two weeks before the NHL Draft to see what he can do with Bryzgalov before making his next move.

If signed, the Flyers would have three goalies battling for two NHL spots next year.  Bryzgalov would surely have the #1 job, while Sergei Bobrovsky and Michael Leighton battle for the backup job.  Bobrovsky would benefit from being the starter in  Adirondack, as compared to playing only 20 games with the Flyers.  In addition, Bobrovsky’s cap hit ($1.75m) is slightly larger than Leighton’s ($1.55m), so the team could save some money there.

What happens if the Flyers can’t get a deal done with Bryzgalov? Perhaps they trade his rights to another team, like they did with Dan Hamhuis last year.  And what does this mean for the Coyotes?  They’ll have to add a goaltender, as Jason Labarbera is their only signed goaltender, and he surely won’t carry the load.