Friday, July 20, 2007

Quick Hits

The Phoenix Coyotes signed former Montreal and Colorado goaltender David Aebischer to a one year deal yesterday.

Aebischer was involved in one of the weirdest trades I can remember in which he was traded by Colorado to Montreal for the unstable Jose Theodore. It looked like Aebischer was on his way to being a solid number one in Colorado until the trade, which is why I thought the trade seem odd. It was more of a lateral move than anything else, a lateral move that added salary no less. Theodore did, however, eventually play pretty well but it looks like Peter Budaj is going to be the starter in Colorado very soon regardless.

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Ty Conklin to back-up Marc-Andre Fleury.

The journeyman Conklin has proven to be a bit inconsistent in the past, which means he should fit in perfectly with the Pens.

Matthew Barnaby retires.

The fan favorite tough guy with the huge personality is finally calling it quits. He finished with 300 points and a whopping 2,562 penalty minutes in 834 games.

Eric Lindros pondering retirement.

Captain concussion is focusing on his work with the NHLPA and has yet to decide whether he'd like to come back and get knocked unconscious a few more times.

Rangers traded Matt Cullen back to his former team, the Carolina Hurricanes, for Andrew Hutchinson, Joe Barnes and a third round pick in 2008.

The Rangers had vehemently denied rumors that there were going to trade Cullen, only to turn around and do just that. However, it did open up cap space for them and if they demote Kasparaitis and his inflated salary to the minors they may create enough room to re-sign Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa. They should at least be able to retain one of them.

And now for the big one....

A few sites have reported that ESPN wants to get back into hockey

Eklund at HockeyBuzz even used the word "desperate" to describe ESPN's desire to re-enter the hockey game. While VERSUS is a moving disaster in many ways, they do have a deal for the coming season with an option for the following 3 seasons. It sounds like they may be willing to take a smaller number of games and allow ESPN and ESPN2 to carry the majority of the season. Not only would this give the NHL their largest potential audience in history, it would also help pull the sport out of network obscurity and put them back on the major sports map. You simply can't compete with ESPN's exposure and the NHL made a huge mistake going with VERSUS in the first place. Now, it looks like they may be in a position to make up for that mistake.

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