NHL Rumours: Is Dion Phaneuf Returning Soon?

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NHL Rumours: Is Dion Phaneuf Returning Soon?
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David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail reported that the salary cap can go up by $2.1 million if the players exercise the five percent inflator.

This is expected to happen in my opinion. After all the owners are struggling and without the inflator the cap can go down.

 

Harley Hotchkiss is trying to sell his 22 percent stake in the Calgary Flames to the other owners.

This is interesting. I wonder why he wants money all of a sudden. It is not a predicament entirely unknown to the wealthy.

 

At the Board of Governors meetings there is supposed to be talk about a potential owner for the Phoenix Coyotes, Matthew Hulsizer.

Hulsizer made his fortune in the financial industry, something close to my heart. He should be a solid owner for the Coyotes.

 

There is talk about the ownership situations of various franchises in distress, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This makes sense as they need to see how to address the problems of these financially distressed teams. As for the Leafs, my guess is this is due to the Rogers bid, which I find odd because Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has already said no.

When Phaneuf returns, which defenceman will the Leafs trade?

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The Thrashers could move to Quebec City or Winnipeg.

This is odd. The Thrashers, the Atlanta Hawks NBA team and Philips Arena are all owned by one company, and they said they are committed to keeping the team in Atlanta. I find it odd that they would consider moving.

 

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe reports that Peter Chiarelli has told Tyler Seguin he is staying with the Bruins and will not be leaving for the World Junior Championships.

This is an interesting decision. In my opinion this is the wrong decision because a team should not keep a player this talented unless they give him top six minutes. We'll see how this works out.

 

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that it may be difficult for the Rangers to keep making Todd White and Matt Gilroy healthy scratches, as it makes it difficult for the Rangers to add a player later in the year. The combined cap hit of these two players is $4.125 million.

I agree with Larry but he has to understand they cannot place Gilroy on waivers or someone will claim him. This lets the Rangers negotiate with him as an RFA. As for White, he went unclaimed some time ago, so maybe they should consider putting him on waivers again.

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Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports that once Michael Leighton's conditioning stint is over, Leighton or Brian Boucher can be placed on waivers.

This is the end result of Sergei Bobrovsky doing so well this year. Now they have a goaltender to spare, while last year the joke was that they had everything except a goaltender.

 

Matheson also reports that the Pittsburgh Penguins deny shopping Evgeni Malkin (or Sidney Crosby) for wingers.

This goes without saying. I don't know where all the speculation comes from that Malkin will be moved for a winger. This team won the cup a few years back, and they will continue to do well with the core they have intact.

 

Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star reports that Dion Phaneuf has been cleared to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He took part in his first full practice since the injury. It's unknown when he'll make his return, but most people see December 16 against the Flames as his target date. When Phaneuf returns, they will have a lot of NHL-caliber defenceman and may be forced to move one.

This is great news for Leafs fans. They can now deal a defenceman for forward help. Also their defence will be very deep if they don't. With that in mind, if Phaneuf returns on the 16th then they cannot make a trade as Burke's holiday roster freeze kicks in on the ninth.

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