Lou Lamoriello or Bob Murray? Who won this trade?

// December 12th, 2011 // No Comments » // ACTIVE - Bob Murray - Anaheim Ducks, ACTIVE - Lou Lamoriello - New Jersey Devils, NHL Trades, You Make the Call!

New Jersey acquires: Kurtis Foster, Timo Pielmeier

Anaheim acquires: Mark Fraser, Rob Pelley, 7th round pick (2012)

Pierre Gauthier or Jim Rutherford? Who won this trade?

// December 9th, 2011 // No Comments » // ACTIVE - Jim Rutherford - Carolina Hurricanes, ACTIVE - Pierre Gauthier - Montreal Canadiens, NHL Trades, You Make the Call!

Montreal acquires: Tomas Kaberle

Carolina acquires: Jaroslav Spacek

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said he believes Kaberle will provide the dominating power-play presence the team hoped Andrei Markov would bring.

”Andrei Markov is our quarterback, but he hasn’t played a game yet,” Martin said after the team’s practice Friday.

The oft-injured Markov underwent more knee surgery last Monday and isn’t expected back for at least another six weeks.

”The power play is a critical part of the game for us,” Martin said.

”If we can get better production out of it, maybe that can make a difference. That’s what happened my first two seasons here.”

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“I’m sorry it’s over, but it was clear I had no future in Montreal,” Spacek told Sportsnet’s Louis Jean. “I think this will be good for my career and my family.”

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Said Rutherford in a statement, “This deal brings a solid, veteran defenseman to our team for the remainder of this season and allows us more flexibility with our roster moving forward.”

Who’s the Toughest? Jeff Marek’s The Sheet

// December 5th, 2011 // No Comments » // Book Reviews, BUZZ, You Make the Call!

The Sheet

December 4, 2011, 12:02 pm

Had a lot of fun on the ‘Marek vs Wyshynski’ podcast Friday afternoon with the Brian Burke story of challenging Kevin Lowe to a barn fight (and isn’t there just something delicious about the term ‘barn fight’?) which got me to thinking a couple of things:

1 – Who do you think the toughest GM in the NHL is?

Hmmm, good one.

I think it comes down to two: Philadelphia’s Paul Homlgren and Washington’s George McPhee. McPhee is also, pound for pound, one of the toughest players to ever suit up in my estimation. Garry Howatt would top that list, but I digress.

2 – Has something like this ever happened before where two rival GMs roll up the sleeves and brush up on their Marquees of Queensbury rules?

Well, we’ve seen coaches go at it before or at least try to go at it. Jacques Demers and the late Herb Brooks tried to mix it up during a spirited Detroit-Minnesota game. Also, Pat Burns infamously tried to get at Kings bench boss Barry Melrose during the Los Angeles/Toronto 1993 semi-finals.

But those four gentlemen never actually came to blows.

Washington Capitals GM George McPhee however, was involved in one such altercation. After a preseason game against the Chicago Blackhawks, he stormed into the Hawks room and belted Chicago coach Lorne Molleken in the face. McPhee, ironically was incensed over Molleken’s use of “goon tactics” against the Caps in the game. Molleken dressed seven tough guys for the game forcing the Caps to scratch Peter Bondra and Adam Oates from the contest for fear they would get hurt. Dave Manson cross-checked Steve Konowalchuk in the head and received a one game suspension in a game that featured several fights. Washington forward Trevor Halverson suffered a career-ending concussion after fighting three times in the game. McPhee was suspended for 30 days and fined $20,000.

Another such scuffle occurred in 1957, when Maple Leafs General Manager Howie Meeker punched owner Stafford Smyth “between the eyes” after a heated exchange between the two men.

A little known story involves an owner and a skater, as former Detroit Red Wings owner Bruce Norris confronted Parker MacDonald at a team function. Apparently, Norris tried to strangle the winger before players separated the two. It is believed that Norris may have been over-poured that evening.

Brian Burke, by the way, has seen a couple of GMs almost come to blows over a player. As documented in John Farris’ excellent book “Behind the Moves: NHL general managers tell how winners are built”, Burke tells the story of a Montreal and Minnesota GM came close to slugging it out.

“In my first year with the league, I think it was 1993, we had a GMs meeting at The Ritz on Dana Point in California. I thought Bob Gainey and Serge Savard were going to have a fight. Montreal had signed a contract that Gainey, who was the Minnesota GM at the time, didn’t like. Gainey started giving it to Serge and the next thing you know they were face to face…yelling in French and English. I remember Gary Bettman saying, ‘What are we going to do? It looks like they’re going to fight.’ I said ‘we’re going to watch’. I was actually looking forward to it. (Laughs). People were pushing tables out of the way because it looked like they were going to go. Then, Bob Gainey called a (GM) meeting and kicked everyone (who wasn’t a GM) out of the room except me and Bettman. In that meeting, Gainey went right back at Savard. He felt Savard had overpaid one of his own players and (screwed) up the salary structure. To this day I’m amazed they didn’t fight.”

On a side note, this GMs book by Farris is one of the most fascinating hockey reads I’ve had in a long time. We’ve all read plenty of books about players, coaches, referees but there is very little if anything written about the craft of assembling and running an NHL team from a GM’s point of view. “Behind the Moves” is an enormous undertaking that transcribes just about every aspect of putting a hockey team together, told by the men who’ve done it. We’ll have Farris on the podcast very soon.

Working the Phones for a Goalie – Howson & Burke

// November 17th, 2011 // No Comments » // ACTIVE - Brian Burke - Toronto Maple Leafs, ACTIVE - Scott Howson - Columbus Blue Jackets, You Make the Call!

Looks like netminders are a hot commodity right now – both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets are working the phones:

Not knowing when James Reimer willl be able to return, GM Brian Burke told ESPN.com “He’s been day-to-day for three weeks, so at some point we have to get a goaltender in here to bridge the gap until he’s healthy

“We’re seeing what’s available and seeing what the price tag is. Obviously nothing has tickled our fancy yet.”

Scott Howson is looking for a goalie right now, but Rick Nash is not part of the deal contrary to reports.

“Not once have I ever brought up his name,” Jackets GM Scott Howson told ESPN.com .

For his part, Nash hasn’t asked to get out, either.

“Rick has never asked for a trade, contrary to what has been reported,” his agent Joe Resnick told ESPN.com . “Rick is focused on trying to turn things around in Columbus and help the team get some wins.”

If you were the GM – who would you get to mind the posts…and who would you give up?

Bryan Murray – crowded blue line

// November 10th, 2011 // No Comments » // ACTIVE - Bryan Murray - Ottawa Senators, You Make the Call!

With Senators defenceman Matt Carkner on the road to recovery after knee surgery it looks like Bryan Murray has a few weeks to decide what to do about his crowded blue line.

The Ottawa Citizen reports:

Murray won’t carry eight defencemen, so one – probably from the trio of Carkner, Brian Lee and David Rundblad – will have to be moved.

The Senators could create some temporary space by asking Carkner to accept a conditioning assignment in the American Hockey League with Binghamton – probably the smart thing to do – but eventually the problem has to be resolved.

Given that a lot of teams are looking for defencemen, it might not be hard to trade 24-year-old Lee. However, the Senators have to decide if they really are ready to give up on him.

What’s your solution for Murray’s defensman dilemna?


Rumour: Scott Howson replaced as Columbus Blue Jackets GM on Monday?

// November 3rd, 2011 // No Comments » // ACTIVE - Scott Howson - Columbus Blue Jackets, You Make the Call!

That’s the rumour on the Jackets board, and other hockey boards online.

Here’s a video from NHL.com: Howson sits down with Bob McElligott for an update on the beginning of the season


The rumour mill sites Craig Button as getting the call…if you were the owner who would you put behind the desk?

Steve Tambellini leaning to the right – Breaking News!

// November 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // ACTIVE - Steve Tambellini - Edmonoton Oilers, You Make the Call!

The Oilers this year are heavy on the right – they have five highly skilled players who are lined up as right wingers this year. Jordan Eberle, Lennart Petrell, Linus Omark, Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky (currently out with an injury).

Tambellini just announced that Linus Omark has been reassigned to the Oilers AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons – a decision that gives the Oilers some breathing room to enjoy winning with the current roster in place.

We’ll see how Tambellini decision pans out – your thoughts?

Greg Sherman faces tough decision

// October 28th, 2011 // No Comments » // You Make the Call!

Peter Mueller, the top-six left winger who missed the final weeks of the 2009-10 season and all of the following season with a concussion, lasted just three games before being sidelined again.  And concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu has been brought in.  That spells bad news for the Avs.

Adrian Dater from the Denver Post writes that the Avs have two possible remedies: Make a trade or move Landeskog up.

Looking at the trade –most general managers don’t want to give up their young assets for vetran help.  The Avs would most likely lose a top defensive prospect (Stefan Elliott, Duncan Siemens, or Tyson Barrie).  Is the risk worth it?

Moving Landeskog up –can the rookie handle the responsibility?  What does that do to the third line?

Sherman has to make the call soon – what would you do?  Pick the trade, moving Landeskog up, or do you have a better solution?

Let me know.