Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Realistically, not all clubs are going to hit the cap. Still, all it would take is an average of $45 million, a figure certainly not out of the realm of possibility, and even before the dust from the lockout has settled the whole exercise is shown to be a travesty.
To those of you who sense some sort of déjà vu in that $45-million number, perhaps it’s because that’s the figure Bettman turned down when he shut down the game.
However, all that is irrelevant now and the free agents are happy for it. So are the big-money teams.
They can get back to doing the kind of spending they were doing before the lockout.
from the Pioneer Press,
The Minnesota Wild traded longtime goaltender Manny Fernandez to the Boston Bruins today.
The Wild, who wanted to unload Fernandez’s $4.33 million salary after signing goalie Niklas Backstrom to a two-year deal this spring, are expected to receive 6-foot-1, 192-pound forward Petr Kalus plus a future fourth-round pick in the NHL draft.
added 8:17pm, via Russo’s Rants,
Official word from the Wild is that no trade has been made, but the NHL source says the trade will become official tomorrow. More to come.
added 10:01pm, A little more from Russo’s Rants,
The trade can’t be announced before midnight because the Bruins’ cap number is at $41 million. Manny’s cap number is $4.33 million. That would push the Bruins over the $44 million cap. Remember, the cap doesn’t increase to $50.3 million until after midnight.
So as long as nothing falls through, this is just a technicality.
via the St. Louis Blues,
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the team has signed center Keith Tkachuk.
“We are excited to be able to bring a player of Keith’s caliber back to the St. Louis Blues,” said Davidson. “Keith played great hockey under Head Coach Andy Murray last season and we are thrilled to have him wearing the Bluenote again.”
As for Sheldon Souray - the biggest fish in the free agent pool among defensemen this summer – his Canadiens’ dressing room stall remains intact, and Habs fans hope it stays that way.
With Gainey and the Canadiens holding exclusive negotiations rights with Souray until noon on July 1, NHL teams licking their chops waiting to speak to the All-Star defenseman may want to hold off a little while longer before stitching Sheldon’s name to their jersey.
read on about other UFA dmen…
Kukla’s Korner will, of course, be updating all free agent news as it breaks after the deadline tomorrow. However, there are a variety of other ways you can keep on top of things.
Here are six good sources of UFA news for your viewing, listening and online entertainment for July 1st
#1. TSN / TSN Broadband / NHL Network - Free Agent Frenzy Show
Airing Sunday July 1, from 11am to 2pm ET and 6pm to 7pm ET.
The program is being produced partly as a celebration of Canada Day, NHL style. Only available in Canada that we know of right now. (more here)
Update:NHL.com will be streaming the feed from the NHL Network online. Excellent news for U.S. fans!
#2 Spector’s Trade Rumors
Can’t ever forget Spector. Watch for breaking news and analysis all day long.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Instead, look for the Thrashers to focus on second-tier centers, including Detroit’s Robert Lang, Minnesota’s Todd White or Alexei Yashin, whose contract was bought out by the Islanders. If Kozlov doesn’t sign, Atlanta could be in the market for a higher-priced center like New York’s Michael Nylander.
Right now, the Thrashers have 12 players under contract for more than $31 million. They have extended offers to restricted free agents Garnet Exelby, Jim Slater and newly acquired forward Chris Thorburn. The three likely will be on the opening night roster.
That doesn’t leave a lot of spending money for free agency if the Thrashers stick to a budget similar to last season’s – around $40 million.
read on... and the Thrashers are hoping Kozlov will be back…
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Losing Smyth obviously would be a major blow to the efforts of general manager Garth Snow and coach Ted Nolan to restore the credibility of the Isles as a franchise that is serious about winning. But even if they convince Smyth to stay, they have a lot of other big holes to fill on a roster that is likely to bear little resemblance to last season’s eighth-place finisher in the Eastern Conference.
Having bought out top center Alexei Yashin and virtually kissed top scorer Jason Blake goodbye, there’s also a strong possibility they will part ways with top-scoring defenseman Tom Poti, resurgent forward Viktor Kozlov and fourth-line enforcer Arron Asham. They previously severed ties with forwards Richard Zednik and Randy Robitaille, defenseman Sean Hill and goaltender Mike Dunham, and they failed to make a qualifying offer to restricted free agent forward Andy Hilbert…
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
For teams near desperation for a top six forward, is it wise to isolate one player, make a hard offer and await his decision?
Or is the strategy of pressuring the player to make his decision quickly more appropriate in light of the fact this year’s group of free agents drops off after the top four or five guys?
It’s a tough call.
from the AP via the Globe and Mail,
Sabres executive Larry Quinn had one last piece of advice to offer as the team’s co-captains, Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, gathered in Los Angeles to prepare for the start of NHL free agency.
Landing the most lucrative contract does not necessarily guarantee anyone playing for a winner, the Sabres managing partner said Saturday.
“I think you have to ask yourself, ‘Do you want to win?’ Free agents who went for all the money last year didn’t win, with one exception, Scott Niedermayer,” Quinn said, referring to the Ducks captain who won a Stanley Cup in his first season with Anaheim. “There’s a lot of situations where it didn’t help the player in a competitive situation, because it affects the team’s ability to have players around him.”
continued... some late UFA talk with a Sabres slant…
On this Saturday before UFA Day, what are you hearing?
As you know, KK is not the rumor type site, but today and tomorrow are special days so lets hear what you have to say.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org