It seems like every day that passes makes Joe Nieuwendyk's trade deadline moves look a little bit more fortunate for the Dallas Stars. The latest news being the impending free agency of Michael Ryder. It was no secret within the organization that Ryder would become a free agent on July 5th, and would more than likely not be remaining with the club beyond that point.
The Stars acquired Erik Cole in that trade with Montreal, a swap that certainly made Marc Bergevin look crafty and shrewd at the time. Ryder was one of the Stars most productive players. Cole was one of Montreal's albatrosses. At the end of the day, Montreal got a handful of games from Ryder that amounted to very little, while the Stars got a serviceable veteran roster player that hasn't been the most productive, but fills his role well.
Look for Michael Ryder to be one of the most in-demand players this summer, in a market that could be littered with players with local ties. Depending on what the New York Rangers do with Brad Richards, we might see Richards, Mike Ribeiro, Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Michael Ryder and Jaromir Jagr all finding new (or old) teams in July.
You can read more about Montreal's decision to cut Ryder loose at [CBS Sports].
Speaking of Jarome Iginla, his Pittsburgh Penguins are about to take on the Boston Bruins on Saturday, in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals. After the media decided to go all 2000 Presidential Election at the trade deadline with Iginla's rights, most of Boston went to bed assuming that Iginla was going to be in a Bruins sweater in these playoffs. Instead, Iginla nixed that trade and ended up in Pittsburgh instead. According to the Calgary Sun, he expects to hear it from the crowd. [Calgary Sun]
The Bruins/Penguins series just might give the Red Wings/Blackhawks game seven a run for it's money, in terms of viewership on the NBC Sports Network. NBC reported that the series finale racked up the highest ratings of any game in the history of their network. It was also the highest rated non-finals cable game in eleven years. [NBC]
The Big Three prospects for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft all just signed endorsement deals with Reebok/CCM, to help the company push it's CCM products back out into market prominence. Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones, and Jonathan Drouin met with the media at the NHL Combine in Toronto, and discussed their new endorsement deals, among other things. [Winnipeg Free Press]
The Sarnia Sting are in the market for a new head coach and general manager, after firing Jacques Beaulieu yesterday. The club didn't release an official statement on the reasoning behind his departure, but did specify that it was not due to his performance of official duties. It probably had something to do with his multiple counts of assault he picked up in April. [TheObserver.ca]
Mark Messier might be following in Patrick Roy's footsteps as former-legend-turned-coach, with the New York Rangers. The Daily News is reporting that Messier is one of the serious candidates for the job, despite the plethora of experienced coaches that are available this summer. [Daily News]
In arguably the most absurd story of the day, the CHL is considering a ban on European netminders in their league, in hopes of improving the stable of goaltenders for the Canadian National team. They blame the influx of Finnish, Swedish, Czech, and Russian goalies in the three major junior leagues for Canada's lack of a Vezina trophy candidate or top draft pick. Oy. [TheStar.com]
Today's video is a compilation of mic'd up players from the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Always worth the watch.