Toronto Maple Leafs Cut Roster By 17 Players

Wayne Primeau was one of 17 players cut by the Maple Leafs on Sunday

The Toronto Maple Leafs are one step closer to having decided their opening day roster, according to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail.

Following the team’s fifth pre-season game on Saturday, a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Leafs announced the latest list of roster cuts. The following players will not be playing for the Maple Leafs when the season opens on October 7th:

Jussi Rynnas – AHL

Wayne Primeau – released

Ben Scrivens – AHL

Keith Aulie – AHL

Jesse Blacker – junior

Brad Ross – junior

Andrew Crescenzi – junior

Mike Brennan – AHL

Simon Gysbers – AHL

Korbinian Holzer – AHL

Juraj Mikus – AHL

Jerry D’Amigo – AHL

Brayden Irwin – AHL

Marcel Mueller – AHL

Robert Slaney – AHL

Greg Scott – AHL

The Maple Leafs now have three goalies, 17 forwards and 10 defencemen remaining.

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Report: NHL to Change Regular-Season Tiebreaker

National Hockey League

According to TSN.ca (via ESPN.com) the National Hockey League will change its regular-season tie breaking rule.

The previous tiebreaker saw the team with the most amount of total wins in a tie take over sole possession of their respective position in the standings. For example: if the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils were tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference and each had 102 points, but the Sabres had 45 wins and the Devils had 44, the Sabres would take over sole possession of fourth.

The new tie breaking system is supposed to be implemented in time for the coming season.

With the new system, the team with the most amount of wins, excluding shootout wins, will win the tiebreaker.

The new rule was first proposed by Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson at the general managers meetings in March. The new rule is supposed to make hockey more of a team game, especially considering the new tie breaking system could decide who makes the playoffs and eventually wins the Stanley Cup, which almost happened last season.

After making the playoffs thanks to a shootout victory over the New York Rangers on the last day of the regular-season, the Philadelphia Flyers took the Chicago Blackhawks to six games in the Stanley Cup finals before loosing in overtime.

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.

NHL Tests Potential New Rules at Research and Development Camp

National Hockey League

The NHL has begun testing potential new rules during the research and development camp at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence. Up to 21 potential new rule changes are being tried out, including a new, much wanted, icing rule, called hybrid icing.

With hybrid icing, the risk of major injury is reduced significantly, if not gone.

Hybrid icing is a mix of no-touch and touch icing. When the defending player reaches the faceoff dot before the attacking player, the linesman will blow his whistle.

Lately, the debate about icing has become almost as popular as Tomas Kaberle trade rumors. From staying with touch icing, to making the game less entertaining with no-touch icing, it looks like the NHL may have found the median.

Here is a list of all potential new rules being tested during the National Hockey League research and development camp:

  1. Hybrid icing rule;
  2. No line change for team committing an offside;
  3. Crease reset rule;
  4. Face-off variation (face-off controlled by whistle in place of traditional puck drop);
  5. Overtime: three minutes of 4-on-4; three minutes of 3-on-3; three minutes of 2-on- 2 followed by shootout (5 players per team).
  6. Bigger crease;
  7. Verification goal line (additional line situated behind the goal line);
  8. Wider blue lines;
  9. Line changes zone in front of each bench;
  10. Face-off variations (infringement results in the offending player moving back further, three face-off dots down the middle of the ice);
  11. OT – three minutes of 4-on-4; three minutes of 3-on-3; three minutes of 2-on-2 with long line changes; followed by three shooters per team shootout (if tied after three shots then players who have shot previously can shoot again).
  12. No touch icing;
  13. Team that commits an offside infraction cannot make a line change and face-off is in offending team zone;
  14. Face-off variation: after a face-off violation, opposition center may choose his face-off opponent;
  15. Second referee located off the playing surface;
  16. Delayed penalty rule;
  17. No icing the puck while shorthanded;
  18. OT – 4-on-4 (with long line change) followed by a shootout with five players;
  19. Variations of special teams play;
  20. OT – 4-on-4 (with long line change).

The teams that competed on the ice with the above rules are almost completely made up of Canadian Hockey League players, meaning many NHL general managers, coaches and even scouts attended the tw0-day event, including Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and Senators general manager Brian Murray.

The two-day hockey camp wraps up on Thursday, August 19th in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.

Information from NHL.com was used in this post.

Report: Kaberle to Columbus a Possibility

Tomas Kaberle

According to a report by Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch, it is possible Tomas Kaberle could be on his way to Columbus.

Reed says that the Blue Jackets have “kicked the tires” in regards to Kaberle, but unless the Maple Leafs lower their asking price of a top-six forward it is unlikely the veteran defenceman will land in Columbus. Reed says that he cannot see general manager Scott Howson giving a top-six forward for a defenceman who only has one year remaining on his contract at $4.25 million.

Kaberle, who has been rumored in trade talks for the last two years or so, scored seven goals and 42 assists last season in all 82 games. The 32-year-old native of Rakovnik, Czech Republic has played for the Maple Leafs his entire career, scoring 80 goals while adding 402 assists and posting a +/- rating of +27 in 820 regular-season games.

He has also appeared in 77 playoff games, scoring six goals with 22 assists.

Kaberle’s contract consists of a window in which the Maple Leafs can trade him between the 2010 draft and August 15th, meaning that Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has little time left to trade him.

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. You can also follow Lukas on twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.

BREAKING NEWS: Kovalchuk Contract Denied by Arbitrator

Multiple news outlets are confirming that arbitrator Richard Bloch has sided with the National Hockey League in the Ilya Kovalchuk case.

Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils was originally rejected by the NHL on July 21st due to salary cap circumvention. With the way the deal was structured, Kovalchuk would make $6 million in the next two seasons, $11.5 million from 2012 to 2017, $10.5 million the next season and $550 000 in the last five seasons. If Kovalchuk were to play all 17 years of his contract, he will be 44-years-old by the time it expires.

Kovalchuk has spent the majority of his eight year career with Atlanta but was traded to New Jersey before the Olympics last season.

With the decision, Kovalchuk now returns to the free agent market and is eligible to sign with any team.

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. You can also follow Lukas on twitter @lukas_bib for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.

Report: Nikita Filatov Returning to NHL

According to Yahoo! Sports, Nikita Filatov will be returning to the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets after spending most of last season in Russia.

He was frustrated with then head coach Ken Hitchcock last season, who did not like the way Filatov played. The young russian often found himself planted on the bench, which made him decide to leave for his home land.

Hitchcock’s firing may have something to do with Filatov’s decision.

NHL Rumors and Rumblings: Kaberle Trade Imminent, Blue Jackets No Longer Interested

Tomas Kaberle

Andy Sutton, Glenn Metropolit, Marty Turco, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Andrew Ladd, Domonic Moore and Shaone Morrisonn all found new homes during the week that was, while Todd White was traded to the New York Rangers and Erik Johnson re-signed with the Blues for two-years.

Despite all of that, the Washington Capitals remained the busiest team. It all began when Maxime Talbot fired shots at Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin. “I just hate the guy” said Talbot. “He’s a real (expletive).”

The team also re-signed 26-year-old, 23-goal scorer Tomas Fleischmann before acquiring tough guy D.J. King from the Blues for prospect Stefan Della Rovere.

Yes, it was another busy week in the National Hockey League. Here is a look at some of the things that could go down in the coming seven days.

Tomas Kaberle trade imminent?

The National Post (via Montreal Gazette) is reporting that a Kaberle trade could be imminent, but Brian Burke says that part of the delay is due to the Ilya Kovalchuk situation. Once Ilya Kovalchuk officially signs with a team, Tomas Kaberle will be the most sought after player available. Kaberle’s no-trade window ends August 15th.

Sharks, Bruins want to bring back Thornton, Chara

The Boston Globe is reporting that the San Jose Sharks would like to re-sign Joe Thornton before the end of the 2010-2011 season. In the same report, the Globe’s Craig Custance says that the Boston Bruins would also like to re-sign their star player, Zdeno Chara, before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Blue Jackets no longer interested in Kaberle?

The Toronto Sun’s Dave Fuller is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets will most likely stop pursuing Tomas Kaberle. The re-signing of Anton Stralman may have something to do with that.

However, the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline is reporting that the Blue Jackets are still looking at adding another defenceman to the team.

Richards likely staying in Dallas

Mike Heika from the Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Stars want to keep Brad Richards and he wants to stay in Dallas. Richards has been linked to trade talks with the Maple Leafs and is in the final year of his contract.

Aaron Asham’s status

PortageOnline.com has reported that Vancouver and Edmonton have shown interest in Aaron Asham. The 31-year-old wants to return to Philadelphia, but the Flyers have very little cap space remaining.

Detroit, Maltby still talking

The Detroit News is reporting that the Detroit Red Wings and Kirk Maltby are still talking. Maltby’s agent Anton Thun told the news “It’s been a phone tag. At this point, Kirk’s preference is clearly to play for the Red Wings.”

Avalanche negotiating with Mueller, Stewart

The Denver Post is reporting that the Colorado Avalanche are still in talks with young forwards Peter Mueller and Chris Stewart. Mueller and Stewart are both 22 and both made $850 000 last season. Mueller scored 13 goals while adding 24 assists in 69 games last season, while Stewart scored 28 goals and assisted on another 36 in 77 games.

Information from TheFourthPeriod.com, SpectorsHockey.com and TSN.ca was used in this post.

If you don’t want to wait until Tuesdays to find out all the latest rumors, follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_bib for rumors and news as soon as they’re reported.