Thanks to Spe for his first of hopefully many great posts. Now, onto the rumors (look for updates to be added throughout the day):
- In Buffalo: Max Afinogenov might stay in Russia, the team has no plans to move one of its three goalies (yet) and might not tender an offer to RFA Miro Satan, but is interested in resigning UFA defensemen Alexei Zhitnik and James Patrick (that makes sense). [Buffalo News]
- The Sens, Ducks and Panthers are interested in Gary Roberts. [Ottawa Sun]
- The Blackhawks may not tender RFA Jocelyn Thibault a qualifying offer. [Toronto Star]
- And this is possibly the least reliable and least likely to be true rumor we'll ever post here, but also the most perfect, if true. There's a report out of Prague that there is a "60/40" chance that Jaromir Jagr will stay in Russia this year to make more money. The summary (available here) notes
"Now that first-overall draft pick Alex Ovechkin has stated he'll leave [Omsk] Avangard to play for Washington this season, there's more money for Omsk to spend on Jagr, who (according to Blesk) has lost a lot of money through his businesses lately." First of all, "his businesses" is a nice way of saying gambling. But wouldn't it be great if Ovechkin's decision to come play in the NHL had the added bonus of saving the Caps millions of dollars on Jagr, while at the same time fully exposing Jagr as the whore that he is? Brilliant. Btw, I like the bolding of players names. I think I'll start using it.
- "According to NHL sources, commissioner Gary Bettman will announce next week that [Todd Bertuzzi] will receive an additional 10-20 games for his March 8, 2004 sucker-punch attack on Colorado Avalanche centre Steve Moore." [Vancouver Province] Good. The longer they keep that animal off the ice, the better.
- Don't forget that the Caps have Ottawa's 2nd round pick this year, so in addition for holding our breath for a high pick for the Caps this afternoon, let's hope for a very low pick for Ottawa (since the draft snakes from round to round this year, like a fantasy draft. Mmm... fantasy draft...).
Darren Pang has signed on to be the color analyst for the Phoenix Coyotes, noting that "[he doesn't] think the NHL will be back on ESPN next season." [Northwest Herald]
- The League is likely to cancel the 2006 All-Star Game to give players a longer break so they can compete in the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. [CBS Sportsline]