On “Radical” Realignment

By now, we all know about the weird situation that exists with Atlanta’s move to Winnipeg and the Jets remaining in the Southeast Division for one more year. This temporary geographical unacceptability harkens back to 1980-81, when the Flames departed Atlanta for Calgary, or when the Norris Division contained Montreal and Los Angeles.  With the hot rumors swirling about the National Hockey League’s plans to realign the divisions after the upcoming season, why not examine some of the possibilities? As we have reported before, the Red Wings have had an informal deal in place since the last major re-alignment in 1998, that they …

Holmgren’s D-Day conference call transcript

Q: How did this progress so quickly? “Well, I think probably what got the ball rolling for a lot of talk over the last 10 or 12 days was the acquisition of the negotiating rights for Ilya Bryzgalov.  That set the wheels in motion.  Most teams probably viewed us as trying to sign Ilya – we did come to an agreement today – and I think that got the ball rolling.  I know over the last few days, I spent a lot of time talking particularly with both Los Angeles and Columbus, and that culminated in what happened today.” Q: …

Fruits of labor: Bryzgalov finally signed

The coup de grace of Paul Holmgren’s D-Day blitzkrieg has come to fruition, as the Flyers have signed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to a multi-year contract. Philadelphia obtained the rights to the 31-year-old from Phoenix two weeks ago and,  by  dealing both former 2003  first-round picks in Mike Richards and Jeff Carter earlier in the day, the club created enough cap  space to  ink the pending unrestricted free agent to a reported nine-year contract worth $51 million. The NHL announced earlier in the day that the salary cap for 2011-12 will increase to $64.3 million. Bryzgalov  made  $4.5 million in  2010-11 …

Captain Richards dealt to Kings

In yet another blockbuster move, captain  Mike  Richards is captain no more, traded to  the  Los  Angeles Kings  in exchange  for forwards Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, as well as a second-round draft pick in 2012. “Yeah, I was…I got a call early in the afternoon from my agent. He just kinda gave me the rundown of what he knew and how everything progressed. I started hearing more and more, but I actually ended up hearing about it on the internet. At first I was shocked, and then I was excited,” said Richards of those tense minutes this afternoon as …

More breaking news: Jeff Carter traded to Columbus

…and the day keeps on getting interestinger. The  Philadelphia  Flyers  have begun to clear the necessary cap space to sign their franchise goaltender, dealing high-scoring forward Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The  deal, announced  Thursday afternoon,  will see  forward Jakub  Voracek as well  as Columbus’  first-round (eighth  overall) and  third-round pick  (68th overall) in Friday’s entry draft head to Philly. Carter,  26, completed his  sixth NHL season with 36 goals and 66 points in 80 regular-season games. For a second consecutive season, he was slowed by injury in the playoffs, collecting just one goal and one assist in …