The Anaheim Ducks announced injury updates to their goalie duo Tuesday.
The news was good on Frederik Andersen, who is only day-to-day with leg tightness. Not so good was the news that prized rookie John Gibson is out approximately six weeks with a groin injury. Notice the word approximately. In fact, it’s possible it’s longer than that.
In any case, we hear the Ducks have begun to look at their goalie options if they indeed decide to add some insurance in goal. Obviously you’ve got unrestricted free agents such as Martin Brodeur, Tomas Vokoun and Ilya Bryzgalov out there, in addition to the trade route.
Certainly Bryzgalov is an interesting possibility given his prior history with the Ducks.
Again, the Ducks might do nothing and just wait it out, but what we’re hearing is that they’re at least looking at what’s out there.
PENS TRADE TARGET
The Pittsburgh Penguins are scoring goals like nobody’s business, and if they get their way, they’ll add another weapon before the March trade deadline.
The Pens don’t have anything in the hopper now, but when the time is right, we’re told the plan is to try and add a top-six winger to play with Evgeni Malkin. Blake Comeau has done a nice job of late on Malkin’s line with Pascal Dupuis, but in reality he’s a bottom-six forward. Pittsburgh eventually will look for an upgrade for that spot.
The chip to play is obvious: The Penguins are loaded on defense in the organization. Youngsters such as Scott Harrington, Derrick Pouliot, Philip Samuelsson or Brian Dumoulin could be put out there as trade bait, but I suspect if teams come calling on a more established NHLer from Pittsburgh’s back end, the Pens may have to listen depending on who’s being offered.
The biggest name on next summer’s UFA market is easily Jason Spezza, but whether he actually gets there remains to be seen.
The Dallas Stars plan to meet with Spezza’s camp over the next few weeks, said a source, to begin talks on what hopefully will be an eventual extension for the star center.
Vladimir Tarasenko scored what could very well end up being the goal of the year Monday night in New York, continuing his terrific start to the season.
The St. Louis Blues' leading scorer just so happens to be playing the final year of his entry-level deal, making him one of the higher-profile restricted free agents for next summer.
St. Louis management was proactive, hoping to get the ball rolling on talks for an extension before the season even started.
"We reached out in September to see if there was any interest in getting things going," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told ESPN.com Tuesday. "He said he wanted to wait until the season was over and I said, 'No problem. After the year we can discuss it then.' I’m very comfortable with the situation. He’ll be a restricted free agent and I’m sure we’ll get something done when he’s ready to talk."
Veteran agent Mike Liut, who represents Tarasenko, echoed those facts, saying as much as it sounds like a cliché, Tarasenko just wants to focus on hockey and worry about the business side after the season.
If he maintains the offensive output he’s producing now, it should be a no-brainer contract, really. The Blues went long with Alex Pietrangelo out of his entry-level deal and I think they would be comfortable doing the same if Tarasenko has a huge year. I think where a bridge deal becomes a possibility is if he cools off and puts up decent-but-not-great numbers, inviting more uncertainty and desire to see more before committing long-term.
Personally, I think I’ve seen enough. This kid has unreal natural offensive ability. He can score goals from angles and places on the ice where only a handful of star snipers can hit in this league. You don’t teach that.
SEMIN IN DOG HOUSE
Alexander Semin was a healthy scratch for a couple of the Carolina Hurricanes' games.
He’s a streaky player, so the benching might wake him up.
Clearly there isn’t a team in the league that would take on his contract, which hsa three more years after this season at $7 million each.
"The only [way] they can move him is to eat like 40 percent of that deal," said one Eastern Conference NHL team executive on Tuesday.
STATUS QUO ON KINGS' CAP
The league and NHLPA remain stuck in their positions vis-à-vis a solution to the Los Angeles Kings' cap issue with Slava Voynov, a source said Tuesday.
As we reported last week, the league is willing to get the Kings some cap relief but the players association won’t sign off due to escrow concerns. The union would like the money to be outside the system (therefore not count against the players’ share), but that’s a nonstarter for the league.