Roster Update: Jordan Staal, Nash, Ryan, Luongo, Price, Yakupov
(6/22/12) Some significant updates from around the league on the eve of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
First, out of Pittsburgh - the site of the draft and the epicenter of everything hockey for the next two days - Jordan Staal has reportedly turned down a 10-year extension with the Penguins. Staal is going into the final year of his contract and the Penguins were looking to lock him up for the rest of his career. On a point/game basis, Staal is coming off the best season of his career (50 points in 62 games = 0.81pts/game), albeit another year marred by injury. There is media speculation that Staal is suddenly trade bait, although his unwillingness to sign may just reflect his desire for more money, or even a wait-and-see approach with the upcoming CBA negotiations.
With the draft set to commence, TSN is reporting a number of big names are on the trading block. Rick Nash, James van Riemsdyk, Bobby Ryan, and Roberto Luongo (the latter possibly going to Toronto) are all reported to be available. Over the past half decade the entry draft has averaged 6 trades in the first round alone, so expect a flurry of activity on Friday evening.
The Rangers appear to be the front-runners in any deal for Nash. The New York Times is reporting that a combination of players including Anisimov, Dubinsky, Stepan, Hagelin, Kreider, Del Zotto and/or McDonagh would be going the other way. Looking at that list of players, it appears the Rangers are willing to part with a solid young defenseman, an unproven forward, as well as an underachiever. If the Jackets take that deal, they will be getting the worse end of it. Rick Nash could score 40 goals and finish top 10 in NHL scoring if he plays for a solid franchise.
USAToday and YahooSports are predicting that the Oilers will take Nail Yakupov first overall, and we have to agree with them. Whether or not they eventually keep him, the sheer value of drafting the top rated prospect at the entry draft would be foolhardy to pass up. Meanwhile the Oilers themselves will not reveal anything.
The Nashville Predators have re-signed Brandon Yip for another season. He had 7 points in 35 games between Colorado and Nashville last season. The deal is worth $750K.
The Montreal Canadiens will likely be taking RFA Carey Price to salary arbitration. Sportsnet is reporting that a long-term deal is on the table, "somewhere in the $40 million range," but if it fails to go through the Habs will pursue a one- or two-year option via arbitration.
And a final note for all Battle of the Blades fans: former contest winners Craig Simpson and Jamie Sale are now married. Simpson played 10 seasons in the NHL and now broadcasts on HNIC, while Sale won gold with former husband David Pelletier at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Their flawless pairs performance is best remembered for being initially awarded the silver medal, after which an about face took place and oddly two gold medals were awarded. It was never made official, but misconduct (cheating) amongst the judges is alleged to have taken place.