Nichols’ Notes

Nichols’ Notes – Trade Not Imminent for the Penguins

Nichols’ Notes – Trade Not Imminent for the Penguins
Chris Nichols

GM Jim Rutherford says that nothing is imminent on the trade front for his Pittsburgh Penguins.

But?

“We’re getting into the period where names are going to surface and teams are going to get serious,” Rutherford said. “If it’s a guy who’s capable of scoring a goal or a big goal, I would like to get that guy because if Sid and Geno get shut down, we need to be able to win games with our third and fourth lines.

“That’s what teams try to do to us. They try to shut those guys down. If they shut those guys down, and you don’t have enough balance on your third and fourth line where you can score periodically, then you can’t win.”

Source: Mackey/ Tribune-Review

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Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney said on Wednesday morning that he has “lots of irons in the fire” on the trade front.

With several other sellers approaching the deadline though, how does that impact his own timeline of trying to get these well-publicized deals done?

“Well, it all goes into the pot when you analyze (trying to) acquire players or trading out players,” said Maloney. “I know what we can get for almost every one of our players, in the sense of the players that we’re most focused on moving right now. To me, those deals are going to be here right at the deadline.

“So it’s almost like you have a bird in the hand over here – now can we do better. That’s sort of where we’re at right now. We’ve made it very clear over the last month or two that we are in a mode of acquiring assets. So I feel confident we’re going to help ourselves. Can we do a couple of great deals? Who knows. Maybe.

“But the deals we do will help us moving forward. We know looking at our this year we know we have to be quicker. We have to have a lot more energy into our group. We need to defend better. So all of those areas are going to be addressed. Hopefully a little bit right now at the trade deadline, but certainly in the offseason we think we can do some things to make us certainly a lot more entertaining next year.”

Source: Nichols on Hockey/ Arizona Sports 98.7

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Jon Cooper has a legitimate go-to guy between the pipes in Ben Bishop as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s starter, and attitude is such a big part of carrying that mantle.

“If you are a goaltender, you have to be mentally tough, you can’t be weak in that area,’’ Cooper said. “You are going to play 50 to 60 games a year, at least. And they are not all going to be Picassos, and the team is not always going to play lights-out in front of you.

“So, I think sometimes there can be a little more finger pointing when a goalie does not play that well than when he does play well. Sometimes people dwell on the negative. But sometimes you have to look at the positives and look at how many times our goaltenders, especially Bish as the guy who has the lion’s share of the work, how many times they have played well for us.’’

Source: Erlendsson/ Tribune

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His role on the ice may have diminished in recent seasons, but Jaromir Jagr is still the consummate professional according to Lou Lamoriello.

“Minutes, it all depends on how you look at them,” the New Jersey Devils GM said. “We haven’t been getting many power plays, but he had (17:08 in ice time) last night. He’s a professional. All he wants to do is win and contribute. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t say anything. As far as an adjustment, his work ethic and his dedication has not changed.”

Source: Gulitti/ Fire & Ice

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Good discussion here with Dale Tallon on the pipeline of youth in the Florida Panthers organization, but he also shared his thoughts on the key thing about building a winner that he learned from his time in Chicago that he’s brought to Florida.

“Well, obviously it’s character,” said Tallon. “It has to be a self-motivation. A group of 23 guys that really care and really respect each other and want to win. You can talk until you’re blue in the face and try to motivate with new Rocky-type speeches and all of that stuff and with analytics and whatever, but it all comes down to the character of the team. What’s inside their guts and their hearts and their brain and how much they want it.

“And if you get that together, if you get 23 guys thinking that way – and I see this happening with our team now. It’s really a good group that really respect and care for each other. And adding Willie Mitchell and Thornton and McKenzie and Jokinen from winning organizations has really helped probably expedite the process a little bit for these younger guys.”

Source: Nichols on Hockey/ Sportsnet 590

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Tallon has also alluded to wanting to take advantage of any number of teams who may be in a financial pickle this summer, headed into next season.

“Some teams will be cap-challenged in the summer and we’ll see what’s available,” noted Tallon. ”We have plenty of room and we have some assets that might be possible trade situations,” he said, adding, “There’s no urgency to do anything. I like the situation we’re in. We have a really strong core now and now we just have to add the right pieces to it.”

Source: Davis/ Sun-Sentinel

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The inconsistency of the San Jose Sharks is frustrating to Todd McLellan.

“We’re working to get a handle on it,” said the head coach. “We’re trying a lot of different things. But it is very frustrating. We have the skill, the ability, the tools to be a consistent team, and we haven’t been. That’s the most frustrating thing. We’ve tried a lot of different things. You can talk about it over a period of days, but you can also look within a game and the consistency hasn’t been as strong as it needs to be. We can be world beaters for one period, not so good for the next period. We’re all over the map too much, and inconsistent teams don’t win in the end. We’ve got about a month and a half to solve this problem, but in the meantime we have to bank as many wins as possible so we get an opportunity at that second season.”

Source: Rosen/ NHL.com

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The Blackhawks may or may not make any moves before March 2. But they may get defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (left patella fracture) back before the playoffs.

“Right now, if he gets healthy and gets able to play, it’s almost like you pick up a guy at the end of the trading deadline, another asset,” Joel Quenneville said. “You can never have enough defensemen. That depth is something we feel… whether he’s going to be a part of it right off the bat, we’ll see, but certainly we think he can help us at some point.”

Source: Myers/ CSN Chicago

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Jim Nill was asked about the acquisition of Jhonas Enroth, and if that was a sign the Dallas Stars were unhappy with Kari Lehtonen.

“I’ve really liked his past 10-20 games,” the GM said. “He’s going through a change. We’re trying to improve defensively and you go from 40-45 shots against per game to 25… two or three Grade A chances, from a whole lot more. Dominik Hasek went through that in Detroit. All of a sudden, you are only giving up one chance and it’s a breakaway or a one-timer. It’s a mind-set you have to prepare for.”

Source: Friedman/ Sportsnet

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It’s been more than a decade since Danny Briere was traded from the Coyotes to the Sabres. He has played for the Flyers, Canadiens and Avalanche since then, but never did make it back to skate for Arizona again.

“There’s been some rumblings. There’s been talks behind walls over the years,” Briere said. “That’s always a place I myself was hoping someday would happen, but it is what it is and I’ve always kept an eye on the Coyotes.

“It’s like your first love. You never forget it. The Coyotes gave me the chance. They drafted me, gave me the chance to play in the NHL, so I’ll always be very grateful for that.”

Source: McLellan/ azcentral

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The Buffalo Sabres will be giving UFA-to-be goaltender Michal Neuvirth “as much work as he can handle” the rest of the way, according to head coach Ted Nolan.

“If he can go three in four nights, he’ll go three in four nights. If it looks like he’s getting fatigued a little bit or if goalies have off days, it’s going to be based on that. We’re going to give him every benefit of the doubt early and let him ride as long as he can.”

Source: Moritz/ News

 

Nichols’ Notes
Chris Nichols

Chris has written about both hockey and fantasy hockey for a number of media outlets over the last 14 years, including a combined decade with Sportsnet.ca and ESPN.com. He launched NicholsOnHockey.com in February of 2014. An aversion to wearing socks sparked a move from his hometown of Edmonton to San Diego, California in the mid-’90s, and the Oilers have not won a Cup in his absence.

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