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Dvorak Adds Needed Veteran Presence

New Dallas Stars forward Radek Dvorak is not the same hockey player he used to be.  

PHOTO CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS

The veteran Czech enters his 16th NHL season as a reliable utility player, and now an asset of the Dallas Stars for the upcoming season.  The former Panther, Oiler, Ranger, Blue and Thrasher has gone through all sorts of team types.  Winning teams, losing teams, teams that made the playoffs, teams that didn't even come close.

The now young Dallas Stars team will come to love that veteran experience.  The former first round pick of the Florida Panthers in 1995 has had an...

Who Will Be Next To Captain The Islanders?

There have been many great hockey players who have played for the New York Islanders that were honored in wearing the C on their jersey as captain. The most recent is Doug Weight, who announced his retirement a few weeks back and has accepted a new role with the team as an assistant coach. His leadership and advice will continue to serve well in the locker room and on the ice, but it will be time for someone new to fill the void.

Many feel that Mark Streit would be fitting for the next captain. He's one, if not the most reliable veteran on the team and produces consistently as the team's offensive defenseman who quarterbacks the power play. He arguably has been one of Garth ...

Lockout 2012?

Is it too soon to be worrying about the possibility of a 2012 NHL lockout? Yes, children it is. One may ask themselves, is the NHL really, REALLY dumb enough to endure yet another season without hockey, especially when it appears that they are starting to climb their way back out of obscurity and into the public forum? With the success of American NHL teams in hotbed cities, (Boston, Chicago, etc), the charm of the Winter Classic, and the silver medal for the Americans at the Olympics in Vancouver, it wouldn't make sense to put a freeze on the growth of your product. But hey, we all have to remember that Gary Bettman is in charge of the NHL, and he ...

NHL owners open their wallets and put good sense on hold

The collective bargaining agreement between NHL owners and the players association expires at the end of next season, and it already appears certain that absurdity is in the offing.

That much was made clear by events this weekend. It was touted as "free agent frenzy", which it decidedly wasn't, just as the NHL entry draft a week earlier was about as exciting as watching the Sedin twins throw themselves to the ice in faked agony every time they feel a breeze from a passing player. There was no frenzy, just more evidence (in large amounts) that the people who own hockey teams don't deserve to be protected from themselves, so blatant and repetitive are their acts of s...

Where can Phoenix go?

Hey guys, a good friend of mine had sent me a blog post that he thought would be a good discussion for The Checking Line. Victor creates some good argument points for why Phoenix can move into either Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington.

(Victor D’Alesio – Checking Line member and reader)

With all the fun and exciting news around the NHL this off-season, it is only fitting that someone projects where the Phoenix Coyotes will end up in the years to come.  While most of the hockey world was busy following #jagrwatch (I was hoping it would be #strakawatch), I was thinking about where Phoenix should go.  In doing a little bit of research, I came up with a ...

Salary Cap Inflates Prices

Ever wonder why there has been so many ridiculously huge salary cap hits being handed out all over the place?

I guess we only have the NHL to blame.

With the salary cap going up from last year about $5 million, teams have found that they can spend more than is needed. Even looking at the signings that have happened already, there have been some major overspending. Here are some contracts handed out that I thought were a bit much:

Over Spending on Free Agents (cap hit in millions)PLAYERTEAMCAP HIT YEARSWisniewski5.56Ehrhoff4.010Cole4.54Jovanovski4.14Ericsson3.253Souray1.651Hejda3.254Leino4.56Fleischmann4.54Kopecky3.04Montador2.754Laich4.56Pardy2.02Belanger1.753Fiddler1....

Introducing: Max Talbot

The changing of the guard in Philadelphia continued on Friday as the beginning of the free agent signing period began.  One of the four deals signed on Friday included the addition of former foe Maxime Talbot. Talbot is probably most famous in Philadelphia for his fight with Dan Carcillo in Game 6 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, which saw Carcillo beat Talbot to a pulp. Following the fight, Talbot rose to his feet, placed a finger to his lips, and attempted to quiet the crowd. Following the bout, the Flyers blew a 3-0 lead that saw them lose the game and the series.

Max Talbot is a 27-year-old forward from LeMoyne, Quebec. ...

All Quiet on the Western Front

After letting Raffi Torres and Christian Ehrhoff, two guys the Canucks wanted back, walk to other teams because of salary disputes, the Vancouver Canucks haven't exactly added significant pieces to replace them. You could argue that Marco Sturm, a vetern banger and crasher who has had nine career 20 goal seasons is the replacement for Torres, but with braces on both knees going into next season, is he really dependable for 82 games?

As for Ehrhoff there has been nada to replace him so far. Sami Salo reupped with the nucks for one year, but same deal as Sturm; Salo is made of glass. Can we expect 82 games from him, plus the long playoff run this team is hoping for?

Essentia...

Isles Get Reasonable, Sign Marty Reasoner to Two-Year Deal

I decided to wait until the latter portion of the evening before I posted anything about today's action for the New York Islanders with free agency having officially kicked off at 12 PM today. Granted, the Isles typically are not the most active team on July 1st, usually making their moves in the days that follow.

For example, Snow was able to swoop up Mark Streit with a five-year deal that arguably has been his best signing in his relatively short tenure as General Manager. Dwayne Roloson was another diamond in the rough signing that many were not expecting, making him a fan-favorite and possibly the most consistent player to wear an Islanders uniform in the past two seasons be...

TCL's Free Agent Frenzy Liveblog!

 

What does the NHL have in store for us this Canada Day? Hopefully, a slew of free agent signings, maybe a couple of trades, and plenty of rumors and excitement!

George Prax and the rest of the TCL staff will be with you ever step of the way, covering this year's Free Agent Frenzy! We will begin around 11AM , and run through the entire day until all the players are signed, until the Brad Richards...