Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

Antropov News, Guerin Returning?Tkachuk Numbers

June 19, 2009, 2:43 PM ET [ Comments]
Andy Strickland
St Louis Blues Blogger •1380 ESPN • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Tkachuk gets $2.15 million for the 2009-2010

The Pittsburgh Penguins have expressed interest in bringing back Billy Guerin. There is a good chance Guerin re-signs before July first.

The Rangers and Nik Antropov are having some preliminary discussions as they would like to re-sign the 29 yr old sniper, but in reality there is very little the Rangers can do unless they move some bodies.

I’m told Antropov is seeking a 4-5 yr. deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $4-5 million per season.

Sources inform me that Antropov has cut ties with agent Don Meehan.

Despite recent reports I’m told Vancouver is not interested in trading for Danny Heatley.

A big question will be whether or not the Carolina Hurricanes will be able to re-sign RFA Jussi Jokinen? Carolina has several other players they would like to re-sign including Chad Larose, Anton Babchuk, and Tuomo Ruutu. Don’t be shocked if Carolina is forced to trade away Jokinen’s negotiating rights if they are convinced they cannot keep him.

I know everybody has hopped on the Swedish train heading into the NHL Entry Draft but don’t forget about Russian D-man Demitri Orlov who is expected to be taken in the first round. Orlov finished in the top 10 in the bench press at the recent NHL combine and can flat out pound it.

It’s good to see the NHL has given Phoenix GM Don Maloney the go ahead to begin taking care of his off-season business.

A big question is how much money do the Coyotes have to work with? What kind of budget is the organization working with here?

One theory I am hearing is that the league will encourage Phoenix to put together a quality team to give the franchise an opportunity to get back into the playoffs. The bottom line is the Phoenix Coyotes need to win, it’s time to make the post-season.

The NHL wants to make the Coyotes as attractive of a franchise as possible in order to attract potential buyers. The NHL understands the better the team, the greater the value of the organization, not to mention a competitive team could entice fans to actually support the club.

This all could be a smokescreen being put out by the club but it certainly makes some sense to me.

In the meantime the Coyotes are trying to sign some of their potential free agents.

Keith Yandle is one of those guys who has received an offer from the club but will likely continue discussions. Yandle is a guy who could attract an offer-sheet. He’s capable of running a power play and won’t cost nearly as much as a D-man who can run the PP in the open market.

Looking at Yandle’s stats I found it very interesting that he has registered 37 points in his first 100 games played in the NHL.

That’s pretty good considering guys like Norris Finalist Mike Green recorded 19 points in his first 100 games, Brian Campbell 26 points, and Shea Weber 47 points.

Look for Phoenix to try and re-sign Scottie Upshall as well.

I know goaltender Jonas Gustavsson is being courted by numerous teams but there is also another European goaltender that has caught the attention of several NHL teams.

Rob Zepp is a 27 year old goaltender who has won the Championship over in the top league in Germany the last two years. He is now looking to come back home and has an out clause in is contract as long as he signs by July first. Dallas, Colorado, Vancouver, Anaheim, and Toronto have all expressed some level of interest.

Word is Toronto goaltender coach Francois Allaire is very high on this prospect who will likely compete with the German Olympic team in 2010 even though he is a Canadian. Zepp played his junior hockey in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers and was the Captain of his team in Plymouth as the goaltender. It may be worth it to take a shot on a mature 27 year old goaltender who, you never know, could be the next Tim Thomas?

For those who missed yesterday's story....http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Andy-Strickland/Blues-and-Tkachukl-Very-CloseSedins-Returning-Ri8230/5/21613

Blues Clues!

It's looking like the Blues and D-man Mike Weaver will be going their separate ways this summer. The Blues could have interest in bringing Weaver back for another year, but he is likely looking for a multi-year deal which he will have to achieve through free-agency.

Weaver had a great season in St. Louis and both sides are equally as happy from what they were able to get out of one another. The Blues are pretty much telling Weaver that if he were to return to St. Louis he would likely be the 7th D-man which means he would probably be a healthy scratch on opening night.

I would be surprised if he returned to the Blues.

He’s been around long enough to the point where many GM’s around the NHL are plenty aware of the type of player Mike Weaver is.

Minnesota is a potential destination for Weaver who once played with Head Coach Todd Richards and GM Chuck Fletcher was in Pittsburgh when Weaver was there. Oilers GM Steve Tambellini was in Vancouver in 2007-2008 when Weaver was Canuck. He’s not a bad player for a GM looking for a D-man who blocks shots, can kill penalties, and doesn’t turn the puck over.

Keith Tkachuk re-signs for 1 year worth $2.15 million.

The Blues had some interest in Swedish Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson who is no longer on the Blues radar. I'm told he was in Dallas as recent as yesterday.

More to come,

Andy Strickland

[email protected]
Join the Discussion: » Comments » Post New Comment
More from Andy Strickland
» Remembering Pavol Demitra
» Andy Murray Lands Head Coaching Job
» Deadline Coming for Interested Buyers to Place Formal Offers
» Paul Kariya Retires
» NHLPA Investigating Nashville for Sending Out QO's Late