Ritter's Rant: NHL News and Notes, Ott and Stajan Re-Up, Cote On Waivers

Mark RitterSenior Writer IMarch 1, 2010

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 15:  Riley Cote #32 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Eric Godard #28 of the Pittsburgh Penguins fight during the first period at the Mellon Arena on December 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Flyers 6-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter


Just hours after Canada celebrated their gold medal victory over the United States, the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins pulled the trigger on the first trade since the Olympic break.

In what many perceive as a depth move, the Penguins have acquired defenseman Jordan Leopold form the Panthers in return for the Penguins 2010 second-round draft choice.

Leopold, who registered seven goals and 18 assists in 61 games with the Panthers, gives the Penguins another decent shot on the power play and a guy who, on most nights, plays a solid NHL game.

The trade may very well set in motion a ton of movement. It is believed that, while unable to pull the trigger on any deals, NHL GMs were busy during the Olympic break, making phone calls and inquiring about players.  Hopefully we start seeing the fruits of their labor sooner rather than later…

Steven Ott has re-upped with the Dallas Stars for four years. It is believed the deal is worth about $3 million annually, which is about right for a player of Ott’s ilk.

Through 52 games played with the Stars, Ott has amassed 11 goals and 23 points, while posting a lofty minus-13 rating. Those that follow Ott know you cannot judge his play simply by going with the stats; he brings plenty of intangibles and is one of the best agitators in the game.

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In other news, former Toronto Maple Leaf Matt Stajan has signed a four year contract with the Calgary Flames worth in the neighborhood of $14 million.

What it amounts to is a deal that will see Stajan make about $3.5 million per. Through 62 games (mostly with the Leafs) Stajan has registered 18 goals and 45 points, ranking him 62nd amongst NHL players.

Stajan seems to have established some great chemistry with Flames teammate Jarome Iginla, something the Flames have been looking for quite some time now. Known as a quiet player that struggles in stretches, Stajan may very well be the type of player that thrives in a new environment. For the Flames sake, let’s hope this is the case.

The Philadelphia Flyers have placed 27 year old Riley Cote on waivers. Cote, who has not played for the Flyers since Dec. 21st against the Florida Panthers, has been the victim of injuries this season.

Through 12 games with the Flyers, Riley has no points and 19 penalty minutes. Known for his ability to check and fight, Riley is not likely to get picked up at this time of year; he will more likely be sent to the Flyers AHL affiliate in Adirondak.

With goaltender Ray Emery still on the sidelines and no news emerging about his status, it is being speculated that the Flyers are trying to cut payroll in an effort to bring in another goaltender to help out Michael Leighton. Cutting Cote will not help much, but he may be one piece to the puzzle.

In other news, Team Canada won the gold medal over the United States in Men’s Olympic Hockey…sorry, just can’t seem to stop writing that!

For more Olympic and NHL coverage check out my website @ (use link)


(Your source for post-to-post hockey coverage).

Until next time,