Andersson, Brunner Score Twice in Red Wings’ Rout of Canucks

Two Red Wings rookies led Detroit to an 8-3 rout of the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, as Joakim Andersson and Damien Brunner each scored twice to supply half the team’s goals.

In all, seven Red Wings had multiple points as Wings won their second game in as many nights. The twelve goals the team scored over the weekend matched their total over their previous five-game losing streak.

It was the Canucks who scored early and even carried a lead into the first intermission before the Red Wings scored five unanswered goals to end the game.

Daniel Sedin opened the scoring at 5:45 of the first period on a patient passing play with brother Henrik. The two traded off the puck several times in the Wings’ zone, looking for an opening. Henrik took it behind the net and Daniel jumped into the slot alone to take a pass and snap a shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Jordin Tootoo evened things up with 8:52 remaining in the period. Coming down the right wing, his initial centering attempt was blocked by Jason Garrison but he picked the puck back up and threw it to the front of the net again, with it bouncing off Keith Ballard before hitting the inside of the post and going in behind Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. It was Tootoo’s second goal as a Red Wing, with both deflecting in off a defender.

Niklas Kronwall gave Detroit their first lead just 1:29 later. Pavel Datsyuk prevented a Vancouver clearing attempt at the left point and drove to the net, drawing a delayed penalty. He and Daniel Cleary kept control of the puck into the right corner before sending a pass out to Kronwall at the blue line for a slap shot that deflected past Luongo.

The Canucks would stage a rally with a pair of quick goals of their own late in the period.

Daniel Sedin tied the game with 3:42 remaining in the period. Henrik Sedin sent a long pass from his own side of center into the Red Wings’ zone and off the endboards to Daniel streaking in off the left wing. Having gotten around Jonathan Ericsson, Daniel backhanded a shot past Howard from in close to make it 2-2.

Just 2:08 later, Chris Higgins picked the puck off Justin Abdelkader‘s stick in the right faceoff circle and raced behind the net for a wraparound chance that went in on the far side of Howard.

Cleary began the Red Wings’ charge with a power play goal at 2:57 of the second period to tie things back up. Brunner picked up the rebound of his own chance from the right circle and shoveled it across to Cleary, wide open to jam the puck home at the far side of the net.

The Red Wings thought they had a lead with 5:40 left in the second when Patrick Eaves knocked a loose puck past Luongo on a delayed penalty but the play was blown dead before the puck went in. On the ensuing power play, however, Henrik Zetterberg netted a goal that did count, tipping a pass in the slot from Datsyuk on the right wing through traffic and past Luongo.

After an apparent Datsyuk goal was correctly waived off for being played with a high stick, Brunner extended the Red Wings’ lead with another power play goal with 42 seconds left in the period. Kronwall’s shot from the top of the right circle was kicked out into the slot where Brunner picked it up and cut towards the bottom of the right circle, where he lifted a shot over a sprawling Luongo.

Brunner made it 6-3 at 9:36 of the third period, throwing a knuckling shot from the top of the right circle on net and past Luongo.

Andersson scored his first of the night with 3:21 remaining in regulation, rifling a shot from the top of the left circle that was tipped by the outstretched stick of Ballard to get past Luongo.

He added another to close out the scoring 52 seconds later, taking a feed from Brunner at the left side of the slot and slapping a chance past Luongo.

Luongo entered the game with the best goals-against average in the league. He stopped 20 of the 28 shots he faced on the night and dropped to tenth in the league in GAA.

Howard, who was slated to have the night off until backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson‘s groin injury resurfaced, finished the night with 18 saves on 21 shots against.

Detroit scored three power play goals on five chances with the extra attacker, plus an additional goal on a delayed call. Vancouver was scoreless on their two power play tries.

The Red Wings now head out for their first trip West of the season, facing the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

TGTW Week Four: Wings Almost Sweep Western Canadian Trip

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings opened up their first four-game Western Canadian road trip with a win in Winnipeg last week and continued their streak into Vancouver and Calgary before dropping the final game of the swing in Edmonton.

Former Canuck Mikael Samuelsson was the hero in his return to Vancouver on Tuesday, scoring a hat trick that included the game-winning goal in the game’s final minute.  Vancouver’s Mason Raymond had opened the game’s scoring at 8:33 of the first before Samuelsson responded at 11:40.  Niklas Kronwall made it 2-1 for the Wings at 9:15 of the second.  Keith Ballard tied things back up 39 seconds into the third, then Samuelsson put the Wings ahead again at 4:47.  David Booth knotted it at three at 9:50.  Samuelsson potted the game-winner on a power play with 46 seconds left in regulation.

Jimmy Howard made 20 saves on 23 shots to get the win while Canucks’ starter Cory Schneider made 25 saves on 29 shots.

Samuelsson notched another game-winner on Thursday in Calgary, when his second-period goal put the Wings ahead in an eventual 4-2 win.  Roman Horak opened the game’s scoring for the Flames at 2:50 of the first period and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk responded just 53 seconds later.  Henrik Zetterberg put the Wings out front 1:09 later before Mike Cammalleri tied it back up at 5:19.  Samuelsson scored at 4:04 of the second to put Detroit back out in front and Danny Cleary added an insurance marker on the power play at 3:27 of the third.

Again, Howard faced 23 shots, stopping 21.  Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff made 30 saves on 34 shots.

On Saturday in Edmonton, the Oilers got out to a strong start and the Red Wings couldn’t recover.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the game’s scoring at 7:00 of the first and Ryan Whitney added another goal at 10:07.  Ben Eager made it 3-0 in Edmonton’s favor just 53 seconds into the second period, with Samuelsson finally getting Detroit on the board with 1:25 left in the middle frame.  Zetterberg pulled the Wings to within a goal with 9:04 left in the third but they’d be unable to pull even.  Howard stopped 27 of 30 shots on the night and Edmonton’s Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves on 26 chances.

After four weeks, the Red Wings sit atop the Central Division and team-leading scorer Valtteri Filppula (seventeen points) is atop the league in assists with twelve.  Howard has a 1.92 goals against average and a .914 save percentage, having made every start (though he was pulled in favor of Jonas Gustavsson at the end of the first game of the season).

The fifth week of the schedule will see rematches with the Oilers and Flames and a visit from the Minnesota Wild.

Round One Draft Notes

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t usually pay too much attention to the draft because the Wings are picking so late and so rarely that there’s no need to stay glued to it. When Detroit does pick, it’s likely to be someone you’ve never heard of and won’t hear of again until four years later when they crack the lineup and become a superstar. Works for me.

I expected the Red Wings to deal their first round pick but it didn’t happen and they took goalie Thomas McCollum from the OHL’s Guelph Storm. This was the pick they had to make with all of their goalie prospects now in Detroit or Grand Rapids. Jimmy Howard should be the backup to Chris Osgood next year and Daniel Larsson will come over from Sweden to take Howard’s place with the Griffins so before this pick, there wasn’t anyone on the depth chart beyond that.

That said, the Wings would have no problem picking up a free agent goalie if none of these guys panned out, so I would have understood if they didn’t go for a netminder.

The trades are more interesting to me than anything.

This year we have Olli Jokinen going to Phoenix for Nick Boynton, Keith Ballard and the #49 pick. I think Phoenix absolutely screwed Florida on this one but it’s not like you’ll notice in the end ’cause the Panthers will remain mediocre; I don’t think the deal makes them worse, just that they could have gotten more.

Mike Cammalleri to Calgary came first and was a surprise to me ’cause I didn’t think the Flames would be the team to get him. I saw him going out East if anywhere.

Calgary getting Cammalleri finally made Alex Tanguay expendible and he was shipped to the Montreal Canadiens. This deal had been rumored back at the February trade deadline as Tanguay for Michael Ryder but ended up being a pick-based deal. It sounds like Montreal was the only possible destination for Tanguay, who Canadiens GM Bob Gainey said “was not comfortable with the Calgary Flames.”

The Philadelphia Flyers made two moves to wrap up the player trades. R.J. Umberger was moved to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a late first round pick in a deal that seems to show that Columbus will not persue Pittsburgh’s Ryan Malone, as had been rumored earlier this week. Umberger had a breakout season and I’m really not sure why the Flyers would deal him.

The Flyers then picked up Steve Eminger from Washington in another deal that surprises me a little ’cause I don’t know why the Caps would want to do that trade. Maybe those last two are a sign that I don’t pay enough attention to the Eastern Conference.

Datsyuk Leads Red Wings Past Coyotes

Pavel Datsyuk scored with just 4:06 left in regulation Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes and giving the team a four-game winning streak.

The Red Wings wrapped up a season-high five game road trip with a 4-1 record, the lone loss coming in St. Louis for the first game of the trip.

Datsyuk’s goal broke a 2-2 tie late in the game. He raced down the right side of the ice on a two-on-one with Valtteri Filppula. Reaching the right faceoff circle in the Phoenix end, Datsyuk quickly stopped, allowing backchecking defenseman Keith Ballard to skate past him and create a screen for a shot over the shoulder of goalie Ilja Bryzgalov.

Kris Draper added an empty net goal to wrap up the game for Detroit.

Mikael Samuelsson had opened the game’s scoring with 4:48 left in the first period. After he missed a chance at an open net, the puck was sent around the boards and picked up by Nicklas Lidstrom. Lidstrom sent it down low to Jiri Hudler who moved it back across to Samuelsson for a chance that he made good on.

Two goals just 25 seconds apart in the second period put the Coyotes in front.

At 9:44, on an odd-man rush into the Detroit zone, Radim Vrbata sent the puck up top to Ed Jovanovski, who blasted a shot past netminder Chris Osgood, who was screened on the play.

Vrbata would score Phoenix’s second goal when awarded a penalty shot after Kris Draper poked him off the puck on a partial breakaway. Vrbata faked out Osgood on the chance, moving from forehand to backhand to score.

The Red Wings pulled even on their first power play of the game with 1:34 left in the second. Skating four-on-three, Lidstrom sent the puck down low to Datsyuk who sent it to the left circle for Brian Rafalski to one-time past Bryzgalov.

The goal was Detroit’s only power play goal on three chances with the extra attacker. Phoenix was held scoreless on four attempts, including a short five-on-three.

Both goalies faced 34 shots on the night, with Osgood stopping 32 chances and Bryzgalov making 31 saves.

The Red Wings now return back to Detroit, where they will face St. Louis on New Years Eve.

Red Wings Rebound for Win over Coyotes

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 2-1 deficeit Saturday night, scoring twice in the third period to earn a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary scored 4:25 apart early in the game’s final frame to pull the Red Wings ahead of the Coyotes, who had tallied twice in the second to overcome a 1-0 Detroit lead after the first period.

Zetterberg’s goal came 39 seconds into the period, on something of a fluke play.

Phoenix goalie Ilja Bryzgalov gloved a shot on goal at the top of the crease but couldn’t control it. The Red Wings crashed the net as the puck squirted out and Henrik Zetterberg chipped it over Bryzgalov and across the goal line.

Dan Cleary scored on the power play at 5:04 of the third to put Detroit out front. Jiri Hudler fed Cleary with a pass from the bottom of the left circle for a one-timer from the left edge of the slot, beating Bryzgalov.

Phoenix’s lead had come from goals by Daniel Winnick and Fredrik Sjostrom in the second period.

Winnick scored on a turnover by Andreas Lilja in the left faceoff circle of the Detroit zone. All alone in on goalie Chris Osgood, Winnick faked and put a shot over him, tying the game at 5:17 of the period.

Sjostrom scored with 5:40 left in middle period when a Nick Boynton shot was seemingly deflected with a high stick near Osgood and off the back boards. The puck came out in front to Sjostrom, who was all alone in front of the net. He threw a shot past Osgood to give the Coyotes their lead.

Pavel Datsyuk had opened the game’s scoring at 7:46 of the first on a Detroit power play. From the bottom of the right circle, Datsyuk attempted to throw the puck out front but it deflected off of defenseman Keith Ballard‘s skate and slipped past Bryzgalov.

Detroit’s two power play goals came on four chances. Phoenix was held without a goal on three power play tries.

Osgood made 24 saves on 26 shots while Bryzgalov stopped 36 of 39.

The Red Wings will see their next action on Tuesday night when they visit the Original Six rival Montreal Canadiens in their only meeting of the season.

Frustrated Wings Drop Second Straight

The Detroit Red Wings took an early lead over Phoenix on Saturday but frustration with the speedy Coyotes and the officiating quickly showed and led to a 4-1 loss, their second in a row after their record-breaking start.

Tomas Homstrom put the Red Wings out front just 2:23 into the game. Pavel Datsyuk broke into the Phoenix zone and moved to split the two remaining defenders but the puck was knocked back to Holmstrom, who skated into the slot and put a shot past Coyotes netminder Curtis Joseph. It was Holmstrom’s 100th career goal.

The Red Wings carried the play throughout most of the period but Phoenix players managed to beat them to lose pucks and block shots, keeping the score at 1-0.

With 4:01 left in the period, Chris Chelios was called for cross-checking Oleg Saprykin after another Coyote elbowed him. Chelios yelled at referee Paul Devorski and was given an additional two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Chelios continuted to argue and was finally given a ten-minute and a game misconduct, leaving the Red Wings on a 5-on-3, without one of their penalty-killers, and short a defenseman for the rest of the night.

The Coyotes evened the game with the two-man advantage as Mike Leclerc banged the puck past Chris Osgood on a rebound with 2:58 remaining.

Phoenix got a jump on the Wings in the second, outshooting them 16-8 and scoring two more goals on the power play.

At 8:22, Zbynek Michalek fired a shot from the blue line that tipped off Detroit defender Andreas Lilja and past Osgood.

With 2:34 left in the period, Jiri Fischer was called for a hooking penalty that couldn’t be seen on replay and Mike Johnson put Phoenix up by two. Kirk Maltby failed to clear the zone and Phoenix recovered to send a flurry of shots on net. Osgood came to the top of the crease to make a stop on Keith Ballard and the puck bounced out to the right circle, where Johnson picked it up and sent it into the net before Osgood could recover.

The Red Wings regained momentum in the third after killing off a four-minute penalty – two for elbowing and two for arguing with referee Chris Lee – to Tomas Holmstrom.

After getting a 5-on-3 chance of their own, it looked like the Wings had pulled to within one on a goal by Brendan Shanahan. The goal was called back, however, after replay showed that Shanahan had kicked the puck in after a series of chances from right on the doorstep.

The Wings never challenged again and Phoenix added an empty-net goal – also on the power play – by Mike Comrie.

Detroit finished the game with no power play goals on seven chances while the Coyotes scoed on four of their nine opportunities.

Osgood made 25 saves on 28 shots against. Joseph stopped 36 of 37 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings are back in action Sunday night in St. Louis.

Trade Deadline Updates: Today’s News from Around the NHL

Bertuzzi Suspended Indefinitely: (updated 6:06 EST) Forward Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks has been suspended indefinitely without pay following a match penalty assessed for deliberately injuring Steve Moore during Vancouver’s 9-2 loss to Colorado Monday night. Bertuzzi punched Moore in the head from behind, and Moore collapsed to the ice as his blood pooled around him.

Moore, who had hit Vancouver captain Markus Naslund hard enough to cause a concussion back on February 16, was taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to the hospital. Moore will miss the rest of the season with a concussion and neck fracture.

A hearing will take place Wednesday at the NHL’s offices in Toronto to determine the length of Bertuzzi’s suspension. British Columbia Provincial Police are also investigating the incident.

Canucks Stack Up for Playoffs: (5:58 EST) The Vancouver Canucks put through a flurry of deals just before the deadline, hoping to provide the missing pieces of the playoff puzzle. Their biggest deal was to acquire left wing Martin Rucinsky from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Martin Grenier and the rights to unsigned draft pick RJ Umberger. They also acquired left wing Geoff Sanderson from the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a third round draft pick in 2004, and gained left wing Sylvain Blouin from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Rene Vydareny. On defense, the Canucks picked up Marc Bergevin in exchange for a 2004 seventh round draft pick. (So many left wings…. could they be expecting to not have Todd Bertuzzi for the playoffs?)

Preds Fine-Tune Roster at Deadline: (5:49 EST) The Nashville Predators continued to adjust their roster in hopes of their first ever playoff run by acquiring defenseman Shane Hnidy from the Ottawa Senators for a third round pick in the 2004 draft and sending Stan Neckar to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2004 sixth round pick. Neckar knows the Lightning well- he played for them for parts of the previous three seasons.

Kings, Thrashers Swap Wingers: (4:23 EST) The Los Angeles Kings made a minor deal Tuesday at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Jeff Cowan from the Atlanta Thrashers for Kip Brennan in a swap of left wings. Cowan, 27, has played 58 games this season, recording career highs with nine goals and 15 assists. “Jeff is a big, physical winger who forechecks well and is strong around the net,” Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. “We like his work ethic and feel he will be a real good fit for our team.”

Sharks, Bruins, Sabres Complete 3-Team Deal: (updated 4:19 EST) The San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres have completed a three-way swap of two centers and a defenseman. Defenseman Jeff Jillson, originally a Shark, was traded from Boston to Buffalo. Buffalo sent center Curtis Brown to the Sharks, who sent defenseman Brad Boyes to the Bruins.

The deal was followed by another three-way trade with the same teams. Buffalo sent defenseman Andy Delmore to San Jose for a ninth-round pick in 2005, and the Sharks sent Delmore to Boston for future considerations.

Sabres Obtain Grier: (4:16 EST) The Washington Capitals continued to trim the payroll before the deadline by giving up veteran right wing Mike Grier to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for 19-year-old Czech prospect Jakub Klepis. “Mike Grier is one of the finest individuals we have ever had in Washington. It was difficult to trade Mike, but as we look to the future, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to acquire Klepis,” Capitals general manager George McPhee said. Klepis has 4 goals and 9 assists in 44 games this season with team HC Slavia Praha in the Czech Republic.

Isles Pick Up Karpovtsev: (3:30 EST) The New York Islanders acquired defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fourth round draft pick in 2005. Karpovtsev is expected to add depth at the blue line and help fill the hole left when defenseman Radek Martinek sustained a broken left ankle which will keep him out for the rest of the regular season.

Jackets, Pens Make Deal: (3:27 EST) The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired center Brian Holzinger from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for left wing Lasse Pirjeta in a trade deadline deal between teams that will miss the playoffs. Each player, however, should help his new team to improve for next season.

Rangers Restock Depleted Team: (3:06 EST) The New York Rangers have been trading away most of their higher-level players for prospects and draft picks in a desperate effort to dump salary. They filled two holes in the lineup by picking up forward Sandy McCarthy (formerly of the Boston Bruins) and center Mike Green (formerly of the Florida Panthers) from waivers Tuesday afternoon.

Blues Acquire Savage: (3:01 EST) The St. Louis Blues picked up left wing Brian Savage from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for future considerations. In a separate deal, the Coyotes gained defenseman Tom Koivisto from the Blues in return for other future considerations.

Stars Sign Sekeras: (2:24 EST) The Dallas Stars signed free agent defenseman Lubomir Sekeras of the Swedish Elite League through the end of this season. Sekeras, formerly of the Minnesota Wild, will join his new team as soon as his immigration paperwork is completed. “This signing gives us eight capable defensemen as we head into the playoffs,” said Dallas general manager Doug Armstrong.

Sekeras will join trade acquisitions Chris Therien and Valeri Bure as the newest members of the Stars.

Francis Waives No-Trade Clause: (1:25 EST) Veteran center Ron Francis waived his no-trade clause and was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In return, the Carolina Hurricanes recieved a fourth-round draft pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Francis, the now-former Hurricanes’ captain, had refused to accept a trade until today. The Vancouver Canucks were also interested in acquiring him, but Francis did not want to play in the travel-intensive Western Conference. He will provide veteran leadership to the Maple Leafs in their playoff run.

The Leafs also acquired left wing Chad Kilger off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.

Rangers Continue to Sell: (1:00 EST) The New York Rangers continued their fire sale, sending defenseman Greg DeVries to the Ottawa Senators for Karel Rachunek and Alexandre Giroux. DeVries was signed by the Rangers before the start of this season and was one of their more consistant defensemen. Rachunek was one of the Senators’ top defensemen and will be one of the pillars of the rebuilt Rangers’ defensive corps. Giroux, a center, has not played in the NHL this season.

Avs on the Move: (12:00 EST) The Colorado Avalanche made two deals in the hours leading up to Tuesday’s 3:00 EST trade deadline. Most notably, Colorado acquired goaltender Tommy Salo from the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday in exchange for the rights to defenseman Tom Gilbert. The Avalanche also acquired Edmonton’s sixth round pick in the 2005 draft as part of the deal. The 33-year-old Salo has never won a playoff series, but has lost four times to the Dallas Stars in the first round.

Colorado also sent defensemen Derek Morris and Keith Ballard to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for center Chris Gratton, defenseman Ossi Vaananen, and the Coyotes’ second round pick in the 2005 draft.

Leafs Sign Johansson: (12:00 EST) Defenseman Calle Johansson came out of retirement to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the remainder of this season. Johansson retired from the Washington Capitals in August of 2003. He holds the Capitals’ all-time records for points (983), assists (474), and power play goals (51) by a defenseman. Financial terms of the deal with Toronto were not disclosed.

DetroitHockey.Net writer Clark Rasmussen contributed

NHL Free Agent Scene Finally Roars to Life

After two days of inactivity on the NHL’s free agent front, the silence was finally broken Thursday with four major signings and a three-way trade.

The free agent market opened one minute after midnight on Tuesday morning but the only major move made between then and Thursday was Philadelphia’s signing of goaltender Jeff Hackett from the Boston Bruins.

Thursday, some of the big-name free agents finally found homes as teams finally opened up their checkbooks. The Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings were the big spenders of the day, both picking up players in an attempt to claim one more Stanley Cup before the NHL lockout expected to begin in the summer of 2004.

Colorado bolstered an already impressive forward corps with the addition of former teammates Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya.

Kariya, embittered by the fact that Anaheim, the team he captained for many years, failed to make him a qualifying offer, signed with the Avalanche for only $1.2 million for one season. Selanne also signed a one-year deal, reportedly worth $5.8 million. Both players accepted less than their market value for the chance to play together and compete for the Cup.

Detroit began their attempt to shift to a more defense-minded system with the signing of former Dallas captain Derian Hatcher. Hatcher, a native of the Detroit area, did not receive an offer from the Stars before accepting the Red Wings’ five year deal. The contract is reportedly worth $30 million over its lifetime.

The Columbus Blue Jackets made the first foray into big free agency spending in franchise history, signing tough checking forward Todd Marchant away from the Edmonton Oilers. Marchant was coveted by many teams, including the usually-big-spending New York Rangers, but accepted less money from the Blue Jackets than he had demanded from the Broadway Blueshirts.

After the free agent deals of the day were done, a trade shook up the rosters of three NHL teams.

Colorado, desparate to find roster space for Kariya and Selanne, dealt center Steve Reinprect to the Buffalo Sabres for defensive prospect Keith Ballard. The Sabres then packaged Reinprect with blueliner Rhett Warrener in a deal with the Calgary Flames for former Avalanche center Chris Drury and center Steve Begin.

The long summer still has time for the many star free agents available to find a home. Sergei Fedorov, who has announced that he will not return to the Red Wings, is reportedly in talks with several teams. Rangers captain Mark Messier and top defenseman Brian Leetch are both still available. Detroit’s Luc Robitaille and Anaheim’s Adam Oates are also still on the market.