Kukla's Korner

A handy-dandy ‘What your team needs’ free agency primer

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

NHL.com’s Corey Masisak offers a solid read in assessing the free agency needs of each and every one of the NHL’s 30 teams:

July 1 is a holiday in Canada, but it also is a jubilee of sorts for NHL fans everywhere. While this year’s free-agent market is considered significantly thinner than normal, there are plenty of teams flush with salary-cap space.

Those two factors could make Friday—and the days that follow—pretty unique in the recent history of the NHL. Not only with the 2011-12 campaign likely be affected by key decisions in the next 48 (or more) hours, but teams that do not spend wisely could regret it in future seasons, as well.

The last time so many teams had this much salary-cap space at the start of free agency was 2007. There was more talent available that day, but many of the huge contracts handed out then (Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Michael Nylander) soon were considered regrettable decisions.

With that note of caution, here’s a look at all 30 NHL teams (in order of where they finished the 2010-11 regular season), and what some of their top needs are as the 2011 edition of the free agent frenzy beckons. All salary-cap figures are courtesy of CapGeek.com.

Continued, and he’s spot-on in most cases.

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NHL Network to air ‘Free Agent Frenzy’ coverage

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

As an FYI from the NHL:

NHL NETWORK TO BROADCAST JULY 1 FREE AGENT FRENZY AND RELIVE THE HIGHLIGHT MOMENTS OF THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS THROUGHOUT SUMMER

NHL Live and NHL On The Fly Cover Deadline With Special Shows

NEW YORK (June 29, 2011) – With the 2010-11 NHL season complete, it’s time to focus on the upcoming campaign as Clubs begin to build their teams and solidify their rosters with the official start of the NHL’s Free Agency period on Friday, July 1.

Hockey fans can watch TSN’s Free Agent Frenzy show on NHL Network U.S. beginning at noon ET to follow all the signings and rumors during one of the most exciting days on the League’s calendar.  Hosted by James Duthie, FREE AGENT FRENZY features two panels comprised of TSN’s team of hockey experts as well as correspondents filing reports on the day’s activities from each Canadian NHL city.

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Options In Play For Cam Barker

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Wild defenseman Cam Barker cleared waivers this morning and was not immediately placed back on unconditional waivers.

However, the Wild can still place him on unconditional waivers by 11 a.m. CT Thursday and the buyout process can be enacted within the rules of the 4 p.m. Thursday first buyout period deadline.

So, in other words, Barker could still be put on unconditional waivers Thursday and still be bought out as long as he clears Friday at 11 a.m.—even though the buyout deadline is the day before.

GOT IT?

Also, after talking to a number of agents and NHL executives this morning, there are different strategies that could be in play here

continued:

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+barker

Ducks Announce Todd Marchant Retirement

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Anaheim Ducks:

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that 18-year National Hockey League (NHL) veteran Todd Marchant has retired as a player from the NHL. Marchant will join the Anaheim Ducks front office as Director of Player Development. In his new role with the club, the Buffalo, NY native will help prepare and educate Anaheim prospects to succeed in professional hockey.

“I’d like to personally thank Todd for his invaluable contributions to this organization over the last six years,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “His character and presence in our locker room will be missed, but we’re extremely grateful that he has agreed to join the front office as Director of Player Development. Congratulations to Todd and his family on a wonderful career.”

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+marchant

Columbus acquires James Wisniewski’s negotiating rights

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Updated repeatedly, most recently at 4:21 PM: Well isn’t this interesting, per the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline:

#CBJ trade for rights to Montreal D James Wisniewski
...
#CBJ give up 7th round pick in 2012. Becomes a 5th round pick if they sign him.

As we all know, just as Ehrhoff’s rights belonging to the Islanders don’t necessarily mean that he’ll sign there, this gives the Blue Jackets something like 48 hours to attempt to hash out a deal.

Update: The Canadiens confirm.

Update #2: As MLive’s Ansar Khan suggests, the Blue Jackets will obviously have to overpay to sign Wisniewski, and Portzline’s confirming the move on his Puck-Rakers blog.

Update #3: Take Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson’s comments to Portzline for what you will:

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Ed Belfour’s Hall Of Fame Case

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Hall of Fame inductions for 2011 were announced yesterday.  Inducted were Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk.  Over the next few days I want to lay out their Hall of Fame cases.  Today I will start with Belfour.

Here was the career perspective that I wrote when Belfour retired.

I think the best way to lay out a Hall of Fame case is using the Keltner List.  This is a series of questions popularized by Bill James to make Hall of Fame cases in baseball.  Here is where I write about this list of questions and more about my Hall of fame standards.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Report: It sounds like Semyon Varlamov’s leaving the NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Not good news, per Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Cheskonov on Twitter:

Varlamov’s Russian agent tells @plysenkov that Semyon picked the KHL. Didn’t name the club.
...
More details about Varlamov and the deal will be on Puck Daddy.
...
It is still unclear if Varlamov will sign with Lokomotiv or SKA of the KHL because SKA also filed an official complaint with the League.

I’ve been reading about the storyline in the Russian press, and after stating the obvious—at least half a dozen NHL teams would have lined up to trade for Varlamov—Lokomotiv Yaroslavl owns Varlamov’s rights and isn’t inclined to trade them, but as SKA St. Petersburg is both the KHL’s biggest-market club and has KHL president Alex Medvedev running its ship, SKA gets what it wants—and they want to make the biggest free-agent splash by plucking an NHL’er away from the league to play for Vladimir Putin’s team and Gazprom Export’s flagship franchise every summer.

Update: Via NHLGossip on Twitter, the Washignton Post’s Katie Carrera notes that Varlamov is a restricted free agent, which means that the NHL will not simply allow the KHL to poach a player who still technically “belongs” to the Capitals.

Update #2: here’s Dmitry Chesnokov’s Puck Daddy post.

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24/7’s main focuses for Rangers-Flyers Winter Classic? Tortorella and Bryzgalov

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

According to the Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin, HBO’s 24/7 crew will focus on two…unique…personalities as they cover the road to the Winter Classic this upcoming fall:

Calling it the worst-kept secret in hockey, NHL chief operating officer John Collins has confirmed that the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, the teams featured in the Jan. 2 Winter Classic, will be the subjects of next season’s instalment of HBO’s 24/7. The inclusion of Rangers coach John Tortorella and Flyers’ new goalie Ilya “Why you have to be mad?” Bryzgalov became slam dunks when the NHL schedule was released showing them as the New Year’s holiday attraction.
...
[W]hat advice does [Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan] Bylsma have for Tortorella, Bryzgalov and the others about to have their inner life exposed to the world?

“The first thing you think is they’re going to find me behind a closed door or see me yelling at a player… and they’re not trying to do that. They’re not hiding. You know where they’re at. If there’s situations you don’t want to be on TV or recorded, that’s there for you. I probably turned off the microphone… maybe 2 per cent of the time. They’re trying to make you look good and portray your team in a good light.”

Continued with talk about Pierre McGuire’s broadcasting future, NHL Entry Draft TV ratings and the Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection process.

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Colorado Signs David Jones

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward David Jones to a one-year contract through the 2011-12 season.

Jones, 26, shared the team goal-scoring lead with a career-high 27 goals in 2010-11.  He also set career bests in games (77), assists (18) and points (45).  The Guelph, Ontario native led Colorado with four game-winning tallies and set a new single-season franchise record with three overtime goals.

“We are pleased to have David under contract,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman.  “He was one of our top offensive players a year ago and is part of the young nucleus of this team.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+jones

Red Wings mid-day stuff: Say what no about Ericsson?; on Wisniewski and Mark Howe

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Well I don’t know what the hell to think about this: the Dallas News’s Mike Heika believes that the Stars might target Red Wings free-agent-to-be Jonathan Ericsson if he hits the open market, suggesting it’s an “educated guess” that Joe Nieuwendyk would toss money at Ericsson if/when things go south in his negotiations with the Wings, who remain the front-runner for his services:

If you want him to leave a successful place like Detroit, where he seems a perfect fit, you will have to overpay him. He made $1.25 million last season, and the guess is Detroit has him targeted at about $2 million. They are looking for a high-level defenseman in free agency to replace the retired Brian Rafalski, and they also have a couple of good young defensemen pushing up in Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith.

And that may be why Ericsson hasn’t already re-signed with the Red Wings. If he is intent on going to free agency, he is likely intent on going to a new team. Could the Stars be that team?

It depends on the price. The Blackhawks matched an offer sheet for Niklas Hjalmarsson that pays him $3.5 million for four years. Is that what it would take to get Ericsson? The Stars are paying Trevor Daley an average of $3.3 million for six years, could Ericsson have more upside? It’s an interesting discussion.

Also of Red Wings-related note this afternoon: Do the Chad LaRose and Tomas Kopecky deals make it infinitely harder for Ken Holland to keep Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller? You bet. Is today likely decision day, via RedWingsFeed, for Christian Ehrhoff? You bet. Are the Wings in the market for Brad Richards’ services, as his agent, Pat Morris, suggested to Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski? I have no frickin’ clue;

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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