Will James Neal holdout?
As of right now, negotiations are still on between RFA forward James Neal and the Dallas Stars. However, a holdout is looking more likely than a contract right now since a)Neal is looking for a nice raise b)the Stars are on a budget and c)the club is looking for a new owner (If the team was sold by now, Neal would have been signed a while ago).
As mentioned in my previous article, the Stars are stacked on the left wing and Neal is certainly expendable. I believe the Stars would be better off trading away Neal for a stud defenseman at this point. It would be a win for the Stars in my book.
It looks as if Patrice Cormier could have a chance at making the Atlanta Thrashers this season as several sources are reporting that the Thrashers believe his ready to make the jump. Cormier, one of the main pieces of the Kovalchuk trade, is a great team player, a leader, and possibly a game changer. Look for Cormier to break into the Thrashers line-up soon. They need leadership and Cormier could do just that.
A number of reports are saying that Wade Redden's fate has been decided by Rangers management. Bar any on-ice miracle, Wade Redden will be in the minors by October.
Another RFA from Dallas, Matt Niskanen is a defenseman that the Dallas Stars cannot afford to lose. The Stars barely have a steady defensive corps and losing Niskanen would be a huge blow to their crop of blueliners. Fortunate for Stars fans, reports are saying that Niskanen should be re-signed soon. The only hold up is the murky ownership situation that will hopefully be resolved soon.
Ales Kotalik hasn't had a healthy and productive season since 2005-06 as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. Ever since, Kotalik has digressed every year. Just last season, he was put on waivers by the Calgary Flames.
Is he still in their plans? Surprisingly, yes. There have been reports saying that Kotalik is not the one on the way out and that the winger will be given every chance to succeed on the team. It seems as his spot on the team is his to lose right now.
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!
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