Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brian Cosetllo of the Hockey News,
Many teams rushed to lock up pending RFAs this season because they worried the Oilers or some other adventurous team was going to attempt to scoop up the best RFAs this summer. That’s not likely to happen for a couple of reasons.
First, the stronger teams are, for the most part, too close to the salary cap to be offering the likes of RFAs Corey Perry, Mike Green or Jay Bouwmeester $5 to $6 million per season. We might see one of them go, but not the entire top three.
Second, the weaker teams realize it’s largely folly to hand out that kind of money and the three or four first round draft picks as compensation it’s going to take to pry away an RFA. Sure, Edmonton did it last year, but they’re mavericks.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Here’s hoping Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey and agent Don Meehan have settled the monetary portion of Andrei Kostitsyn’s contract, because the Philadelphia Flyers have set the bar a bit higher for forwards who score 53 points.
The Flyers and Jeff Carter have reportedly agreed on a three-year deal worth $15 million. Carter, a centre, had 29 goals and 24 assists last season and was a plus-6, while Kostitsyn had 26 goals and 27 assists and was plus-15.
a little more and some Leafs talk…
“People are lying if they’re saying money’s not a part of it, but it’s not all ‘let’s go to the highest bidder.’ It’s also a case of going somewhere where you’re happy, where you want to be and where they’re committed.”
more from Campbell at Working the Corners…
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The thought of pulling on a Senators jersey again is exciting to Patrick Lalime.
“I would love to go back, for sure,” he said yesterday. “It’s a very nice place to play, they always have a very good team.
“I had a great time there and I would love to go back.”
The thought of signing the top goalie in franchise history is enticing to Senators GM Bryan Murray, who needs an affordable backup plan and is currently in the process of redecorating the dressing room with character individuals.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
“This is such an important part of the year because, really, your team is built now, between June 15 and July 15, maybe to Aug. 1,” Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said.
“A big part is building your team through the draft and then adding the necessary pieces on July 1 through free agency. Once you leave Aug. 1, other than a few guys you might sign closer to training camp, your team is pretty well built and ready to go.”
That one player signed in early July can often put a team in the rarefied air of Stanley Cup contender. Just consider the past two Stanley Cup championship teams.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sather has repeatedly said that he wants to re-sign the captain. He told The Post on Thursday that remains his position. Still, it is believed the Rangers are unwilling to offer Jagr, who will turn 37 in February, anything other than a one-year deal that would allow them to include bonuses that could be deferred to 2009-10.
“I don’t want to negotiate in the papers or speak for Jaromir, but I don’t think that’s something that would interest him at this point,” Brisson said.
“I think there will be a number of NHL teams that would be willing to give him a multi-year deal - he was the best player in the league in the first two rounds of the playoffs - but if he doesn’t get a contract that he likes, he would probably focus on the offer he has to play in Russia and finish his career in Europe.”
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
By plumping his roster with internal commodities—signings of centres Daymond Langkow and Craig Conroy, left-winger Eric Nystrom and netminder Curtis McElhinney were announced Friday—the Flames general manager is suddenly close to a finished product.
All of which adds up to . . . a quiet month?
“I wouldn’t expect anything big from our team in the first week of July in terms of outside (signings),” said Sutter. “I’m very comfortable in saying—Eric ties into that, Curtis ties into that—that some of the kids we had here, who didn’t play much, are going to play.
“And there’s one or two guys from the farm team and from the system that are going to play on our team next year.”
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
Last summer, 89 unrestricted free agents were signed to new contracts. And 24 of those deals were done in the opening 24 hours.
This year, the crop is not as deep. Aside from winger Marian Hossa and defenceman Brian Campbell, there are few marquee names available. But that does not mean the feeding will be any less frenzied.
Here are half a dozen questions that could be answered by the end of the first day:...
Who will be overpaid?
With few marquee unrestricted free agents available this summer, mid-range players such as Pittsburgh’s Ryan Malone and New York’s Sean Avery could become hot commodities.
Defenseman Duvie Westcott is on waivers, The Dispatch has learned. Once he clears waivers, the Blue Jackets will buy out the remainer of his contract.
Westcott has two years remaining on a contract that was to pay him $1.85 million per season. The Blue Jackets will be responsible for two thirds of the money owed, but they can spread it over the next four seasons at about $600,000 per.
via Small Balls, a blog at Macleans,
Who’s got tickets? To Todd Bertuzzi’s wake. The Anaheim Ducks have placed the glorified thug on unconditional waivers after only one season in sunny California (14 goals, 26 assists in 68 games). Oh, how the mighty duck has fallen. There was a time, not long ago, when every NHL team daydreamed about having big bad Bert in its line-up. Not anymore. Somewhere, Steve Moore is smiling.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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