February 8, 2013
NHL notes: Tim Thomas 'at peace' with trade to Islanders
By QMI Agency
Tim Thomas was not disturbed by his trade from the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders.
In fact, it appears the 38-year-old goaltender was quite comfortable with moving on from the only NHL team he has ever played for and won a Stanley Cup with.
“I spoke with Tim to make him aware of this trade and he understood. He knew that this was the type of thing that I had talked to him about earlier on in the summer and in the fall, that this could happen,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told CSNNE.com. “He was comfortable with it and he sounded quite at peace with himself.”
Truth be told, the trade likely has no effect on Thomas. The Vezina Trophy winner announced in June that he’s taking a year off from hockey to spend time with this family.
It appears the Islanders made the trade as a way to reach the salary floor – Thomas comes with a cap hit of $5 million – without having to pay the goaltender. Even when suspended without pay, Thomas is subject to the 35-and-over rule for contracts and therefore his deal counts against a team’s salary cap.
On whether or not Thomas will continue his career at some point, Chiarelli said the goaltender’s agent told him “he’s still contemplating the idea of playing next season” while not committing to it.
KINGS TRADE FOR ELLERBY
The Los Angeles Kings, hit hard by injuries to their defence corps, acquired young blueliner Keaton Ellerby from the Florida Panthers on Friday.
With Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene out of the lineup, possibly for the season, the Kings couldn't afford to wait to make a move and Ellerby, who's played 125 NHL games with the Panthers, came at the right price. The Kings sent a fifth-round draft pick, which they acquired in a deal that sent Andrei Loktionov to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, to the Panthers.
Ellerby is a big body (6-foot-5) and a former first-round pick of the Panthers. But he's struggled with consistency, something the Kings hope will change with his move to Los Angeles.
“Very few can come in at a young age and not have those ups and downs,” Kings general manager Dean Lombardi told the L.A. Times. “Here’s a big kid, a lot of potential. He has a number of things to work on. The coaches are familiar with him. You have a fit issue in terms of his being a left shot he can play both sides.
“I hate to use the word fresh start. But go back to basics. We figured this made more sense for us instead of what else was out there.”
CAMPOLI HEADS OVERSEAS
Unrestricted free agent defenceman Chris Campoli helped negotiate the NHL’s new CBA but it appears he won’t benefit from any changes.
At least not this season.
Unable to find any takers for his services, Campoli signed with Geneve-Servette of the Swiss league Friday. Campoli confirmed the signing on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
Campoli played 43 games with the Montreal Canadiens, recording two goals and nine assists, last season. The 28-year-old has played 440 career NHL games with the Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders.
GOOD NEWS FOR YEO?
Uh, oh. That might not be good news for Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo.
Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher gave Yeo the dreaded vote of confidence Friday, telling the Minnesota Star-Tribune his coach is “doing a very good job.” The Wild have lost three in a row and are 4-5-1 on the season but Fletcher doesn't seem interested in making a coaching change.
“We’re trying to find chemistry and frankly we can’t get caught up in the angst and outside opinions and reaction,” Fletcher said. “We just have to stay focused and concentrate on doing a better job and executing at a better level. We have too many good players for it not to turn.”
The Wild, you might recall, threw a truckload of money at free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter over the summer but have struggled to score with just 22 goals in 10 games.
VISNOVSKY SET TO PLAY
The New York Islanders will likely have wayward defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky in the lineup Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Visnovsky practiced with the Islanders for the first time Friday, a day after passing a physical and being activated by the team.
“It’s good to have him back," Islanders coach Jack Capuano told reporters Friday. "He’s been skating and will fit right in. We had him in the power play today right away. He’s another puck-moving defenceman that can join the rush. We don’t generate a lot from our blueline right now … To have another puck mover is a big help for us.”
The Islanders acquired Visnovsky from the Anaheim Ducks at the draft but the Czech veteran tried to have the deal voided and wanted to stay in the KHL after the lockout ended.
Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen has been spared further punishment for his spear on St. Louis Blues winger David Perron Thursday. Franzen got a spearing major and game misconduct for his actions but won't be suspended ... Edmonton Oilers centre Anton Lander was put on injured reserve with a broken foot and is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks. The Oilers called up centre Chris VandeVelde from Oklahoma City of the AHL to take his spot ... The Calgary Flames put centre Mikael Backlund (MCL sprain) and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff (MCL sprain) on injured reserve while activating defenceman Anton Babchuk. The Flames also called up centre Ben Street from Abbotsford of the AHL ... Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi will miss Saturday's game against Edmonton – and possibly more – after his chronic back issue flared up again. The Wings called up Joakim Andersson from Grand Rapids of the AHL to replace Bertuzzi.