Listings of the best available NHL free agents, Martin St. Louis retires and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
Notable remaining NHL free agents.
NHL.com: Jon Rosen lists the top remaining NHL free agents heading into this weekend. Notables include Cody Franson, Alexander Semin, Joel Ward, Johnny Oduya, Chris Stewart, Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Boyes.
BLEACHER REPORT: My ranking of the best available UFAs by position.
St. Louis, Souray, Clemmensen retire.
SPORTNET: Martin St. Louis yesterday announced his retirement after 16 NHL seasons. St. Louis won two Art Ross Trophies (2004 and 2013), the Hart and Pearson (now Lindsay) Trophies (both in 2004) and was a three-time winner of the Lady Byng Trophy (2010, 2011, 2013). He won a Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, with whom he spent most of his NHL career and had his greatest seasons. He scored 391 goals, 642 assists for 1,033 regular season points. He also tallied 42 goals and 90 points in 107 playoff games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 5’8”, 180-pound St. Louis proved that a small player can still achieve greatness in today’s NHL, when so much emphasis is placed on much larger players. His greatest season (2003-04) came during what’s now remembered as the NHL’s “Dead Puck Era”, when scoring was hampered by slow-footed behemoths engaging in uncalled obstruction masquerading as defensive hockey. His numbers are worthy of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Defenseman Sheldon Souray and goaltender Scott Clemmensen also announced their retirements. Souray amassed 109 goals and 300 points in 758 NHL games, including two 20-plus goal campaigns. His career, however, would be hampered by injuries. He last played in the NHL in 2012-13. Clemmensen played 191 games, finishing with a record of 73-59-24, with a career goals-against average of 2.79 and save percentage of .905.
Notable NHL headlines.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Slava Voynov pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse in Los Angeles Thursday “as part of a deal to resolve the case stemming from an incident with his wife last year.” He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, three year probation, must complete a 52-week domestic violence prevention program and perform eight hours of community service.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voynov could still face immigration issues stemming from this plea, which could adversely affect his NHL career. He’s currently under indefinite suspension with pay from the Kings. No word when that will be lifted, though it could be upon completion of his jail sentence.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: During a recent interview, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. had some unkind words to say about former Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, who’s now GM of the Penguins.
SPORTSNET: The NHL and KHL failed to reach a new transfer agreement for next season. Both leagues are still vowing to respect each others’ player contracts.
STLTODAY.COM: In addition to trading T.J. Oshie to Washington yesterday, the St. Louis Blues also re-signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a two-year, $2.1 million contract, and inked UFA center Kyle Brodziak and defenseman Peter Harrold to one-year deals.
NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers signed goaltender Jason LaBarbera to a one-year, two-way contract.