Matt Carle

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Tampa Bay Lightning Players Hopeful But Preparing For Worst

The players union seems steadfastly united as 250-300 members are expected to meet in New York, today and tomorrow. Lightning players planning on attending are Adam Hall, Nate Thompson, Mathieu Garon, BJ Crombeen, Brian Lee, Matt Carle and Marc-Andre Bergeron.

The NHL and the NHLPA have plans to meet this morning at 10:00 a.m. despite still remaining far apart. If the two sides don’t reach an agreement, the lockout will officially start at midnight on Sunday.

The Lightning players are preparing for a work stoppage. In that case, they will not be able to enter the Tampa Bay Times Forum or any other team facility.

Bolts beat reporter Damian Cristo...

Tampa Bay Lightning News and Notes: CBA Tough Talk, Paul Ranger Found, Mathieu Garon's Health and More

Here are some Hockey Bay tidbits to hold you over until training camp opens…hopefully.

An NHL work stoppage is nearing reality as the September 15 deadline is fast approaching. A group of Lightning players continue to work towards the scheduled September 21 training camp opening, assembling most mornings at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, Florida for informal practice. Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone, Adam Hall, Eric Brewer, Marc-Andre Bergeron, BJ Crombeen, Sami Salo, Mathieu Garon, Dmitri Korobov and free agent Brett Clark are regulars at the morning skates.

These union members are upset that the basis of the league's proposal cuts the players' share of hockey-...

Free Agency 2012: Zach Parise and Ryan Suter Both Sign With Minnesota Wild

The two biggest free agents on the market this summer have made their decision, and their decision is Minnesota.

It was announced early Tuesday afternoon that both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild, both for 13-year, $98 million deals.

Parise, the former captain of the New Jersey Devils, scored 404 points in 502 games over seven seasons with the Devils. After suffering from a season-ending injury last season, he had a successful comeback season, with 69 points in 82 games. He led his team to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, where they ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Kings.

Free Agency 2012: Philadelphia Flyers Make Offers to UFAs Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Matt Carle

According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi, the Philadelphia Flyers have made offers to unrestricted free agents Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Matt Carle. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun confirmed Carchidi’s report.

All three UFAs have been rumoured to be targeted by the Flyers, especially defensemen Suter and Carle.

Parise, one of the elite forwards in the league, is one of the top sought-after free agents this summer. After playing in just 13 games in the 2010-2011 season due to injury, he posted 69 points in 82 games during the 2011-2012 regular season, and another 15 points in 24 games during the playoffs.

Free Agency: The Carolina Hurricanes Need Help On Defense

If you follow the Carolina Hurricanes, you know that they need more help on defense than just about any other team in the Southeast division. In fact they have been amongst the worst teams in the NHL at preventing shots on goal, not to mention that they are atrocious at the penalty kill.

Rebuilding a team's defense is always a long-term process and with quite a few young players working their way through the system, the Canes' defense corps is a work in progress.

Carolina's management has a few pieces in house that they can turn to but they must get it done in free agency if they are going to complete this roster and get it shaped up by the start of the NHL se...

Islanders Have Tough Off-Season Decisions to Make

With the New York Islanders heading into another off-season without a playoff berth, the team will look to solidify its young core through the NHL draft, trades, and signings of free agents. (Robert Kowal/Flickr)

While the Isles might not be fortunate enough to land Nail Yakupov in this year's NHL Entry Draft, the team should focus on trying to scout the best defenseman out of this year's draft. Names like Trouba, Dumba, Rielly, Murray, and Reinhart are headlining the list of premier d-men that will be available to the Islanders come draft day in June.
Drafting a young defenseman will probably be the right choice for the Isles, but one can't simply ignore that New York has holes to fill for the 2012-2013 NHL Season. Mike Mottau, Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton, and Steve Staios tried to do their jobs as veteran rearguards, but it was painfully obvious on certain nights that the Islanders' d-men were simply outmatched. If the Islanders want to stay in contention in a highly competitive Atlantic Division, then General Manager Garth Snow must exhaust all of his resources toward signing or acquiring a top 4 defenseman.

One-on-One With Matt Donovan

Matt Donovan is currently in the second half of his first full season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 50 games played, the 6 foot, 202 pound defenseman has registered six goals and 25 assists for 31 points while maintaining a +11 rating.

Donovan has quickly become one of the Sound Tigers most reliable and contributing defenseman, playing with others such as Aaron Ness, Calvin de Haan and Ty Wishart. Selected 96th overall in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Donovan has been developing nicely. He had spent two seasons with the University of Denver before making his transition from college life to that of a professional hockey player. His best year with Denver came in 2011 where he scored 32 points from the blue line in 42 games.

On the depth charts, Donovan looks as if to be one of the most well polished blue liners that the Islanders organization has groomed through their farm system. If he continues his play, this could be the last time Connecticut locals will see him in a Sound Tigers jersey.

He and I talked about that possibility this afternoon over the phone.

Without their leading scorer, Flyers offense doesn't skip a beat

Nothing was going to stand in front of the Flyers tonight; not even the absence of the NHL's leading scorer.

With Claude Giroux back in Philadelphia nursing a concussion, the Flyers offense erupted in a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals on the road. It was the first Flyers win in Washington since the 2009 season.

Stepping into the centering role on the Flyers hottest line was eighth round draft pick Sean Couturier. Without Giroux, the top line didn't skip a beat when Scott Hartnell found twine for the sixth straight game, giving the Flyers an early 1-0 lead.

Hartnell's tally was his 15th on the season, good for second on the Flyers.

But it was also a milestone goal for the 29-year-old left-winner. It was the 200th goal for Hartnell, who tossed a soft shot at the net that got through Washington goalie Thomas Vokoun's five-hole.

It's time for Bob and Bryz to step up

In Part 1 of a two-part series, John Russo discusses what's in store for the Flyers goaltenders the next month and a half.

With a rough December that will see 10 of the Flyers 13 games on the road heading into the Winter Classic, this could be a make-or-break situation for the Flyers this season.