Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Bolts Report,
Free agency kicks off around the NHL on Sunday and while the Lightning are not expected to be a major player, they could go fishing into the free agent pool in search of a forward and/or defenseman.
read on... Tampa plans to reach around $44M in salaries and they have $38M on the books now…
from the East Valley Tribune,
“Everything we do now is thinking long term,” general manager Don Maloney said Friday. “It’s just good for us. ... It’s going to help us get better in September and December and February rather than just patch and fill and maybe look a little bit better on paper in July.”
So when the free-agency bidding begins Sunday, Phoenix won’t be raising its hand, attempting a big splash by signing the likes of Daniel Briere, Chris Drury or Scott Gomez, players expected to receive in the neighborhood of $7 million a season.
“It doesn’t make sense to add one high-priced centerman or defenseman,” coach and managing partner Wayne Gretzky said.
“We are entering free agency looking for value,” Maloney added.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
“What this does is not only escalate what the top players in the game will make, but brings up the bottom end, too,” an NHL general manager said. “Under the old [collective agreement], the minimum salary was around $175,000. But how many players made that much? None.
“At the other end, now a player can make as much as $10.06-million under the cap [it was $8.8-million in 2006-07].
“I’m not sure any of the unrestricted free agents this summer are worth that. But it gives room for teams to inflate the market.”
That’s why a talented player such as Brière this week spurned a five-season, $25-million offer from the Buffalo Sabres to test the market. The same is the case for Sabres co-captain Drury, Detroit Red Wings defenceman Mathieu Schneider and Smyth.
much more on player movement plus the Wings may be hosting the outdoor game…
from the OC Register,
“I would predict confidently not to expect much of anything,” Burke said Friday. “We’ll be shopping at Kmart.”
Still, there is always the possibility that Burke’s cell phone could be among those ringing Sunday.
With Niedermayer and right wing Teemu Selanne — another 2005 free-agent addition who has led the club in scoring each of the past two seasons — still considering retirement, the Ducks do have some significant potential openings. Burke is expected to listen if representatives of any of the top available free agents make overtures, but more likely the Ducks will wait to see what Niedermayer and Selanne decide, and then deal with whatever situations arise.
from the Boston Globe,
“I’m not going to be an aggressive player,” said Chiarelli. “With where we are on the cap, we’ll sit back, wait, and see what’s out there. We’ll address the couple areas where we believed we can be improved upon. We’ll see how the days unfold.”
read on to see who the Bruins may be targeting…
from the Daily Herald,
“I think we’ll get something done,” Tallon said. “We offered him a fair contract, so I’m hopeful.”
At one point it was believed there was no chance the Hawks would re-sign Handzus, who was thought to be seeking a four-year contract in the neighborhood of $16 million. It’s not known exactly what the Hawks have offered, but it might be as high as $3.5 million to $3.8 million a year for at least three years.
Someone should tell the Detroit Free Press they don’t need a late shift man at the sports desk tonight…
When can NHL players sign?
Unrestricted free agents can sign with any team of their choosing as soon as the market opens. It isn’t unusual for deals to be done mere minutes after midnight.
Players can’t sign until noon EDT on Sunday…
from the Buffalo News,
Anxiety is intensifying as the deadline approaches because incoming contract proposals could blow away anything the Sabres can put together. Also on the brink of unrestricted free agency are forwards Adam Mair, Michael Ryan and Dainius Zubrus, defenseman Teppo Numminen and goalie Ty Conklin.
Sources close to the team say Mair is close signing a multiyear extension. The Presidents’ Trophy winners are making a push to sign him before Sunday.
The signing of Mair, however, would do little to quell the angst surrounding the futures of Briere and Drury, players who accounted for more than 20 percent of the team’s winning goals in the regular season and 35 percent in the playoffs.
from the Record,
The Rangers are focused on re-signing unrestricted free agent-to-be Michael Nylander, who arguably has been the biggest post-lockout bargain in the entire league as he’s flourished alongside Jaromir Jagr while making just over $2 million per year.
He’s likely to command in the neighborhood of $4 to 5 million per year over three or four years.
The Rangers also are very much in the mix for either Buffalo’s Chris Drury or the Devils’ Scott Gomez, both of whom become unrestricted free agents Sunday as well and plan to test the open market. Mark Witkin, Drury’s agent, said earlier in the week that it was too early to comment on his client’s situation.
from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
I asked Lombardi about the fact that the Kings have been attached to many of the top free agents out there and asked him if it was safe to say that they would be aggressive when the signing period begins.
``When you use the word aggressive, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be persuing some of those (high-profile) names,’’ Lombardi said. ```That being said, it’s all about the right player for the right price when you get to free agency. Sometimes you get into talks and you throw a big (salary) figure out there and you end up saying, `What did I do?’ and you have buyer’s remorse. You have to take the emotion out of him. On the other hand, I’m certainly not going to sit here doing nothing.’‘
read on for more on the Kings…
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