Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
This summer represents a conundrum for NHL GMs as the free-agent talent pool is especially thin compared to the past two summers. But with the salary cap rising to as much as $56 million, up from last season’s $50 million, it’s entirely likely that GMs will be forced to overpay for those free agents.
Here’s a look at the top forwards who could be available July 1:
Vancouver GM Mike Gillis will be looking to bolster the Canucks’ anemic offense with a winger that can play with the Sedin twins, and Hossa would be a nice fit there.
Sources tell TSN that for the 2008-09 season, the salary cap will rise to a maximum of $56.7-million. That is a $6.4-million increase from this past season when the cap was set at $50.3-million.
The lower limit also rose to $40.7 million, the minimum each of the 30 teams must spend on player salaries.
The most an NHL player can earn in a new contract next season is $11.34 million a year.
added 2:43pm, NEW YORK/TORONTO (June 26, 2008) – The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2008-09 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $40.7 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $48.7 million and an Upper Limit of $56.7 million.
from the CP via the Miramichi Leader,
The Anaheim Ducks star defenceman will honour the final year of his contract after once again contemplating retirement.
“Scott met with (Ducks GM) Brian Burke today and made it official,” Niedermayer’s agent Kevin Epp of Titan Sports Management told The Canadian Press. “He is coming back.”
From Darren Dreger at TSN:
Sources tell TSN the Maple Leafs approached [Bryan] McCabe’s agent, Ian Pulver before the NHL Entry Draft hoping to encourage the veteran defenceman to waive his no-movement clause to open the door for a trade.
However, this time, whether intended or not, Toronto turned up the heat and according to sources, hinted McCabe may be asked to stay home, rather than join his teammates for training camp if he wasn’t willing to change his mind.
Those close to McCabe say he will not be strong-armed and if attempts are made to force him out, a grievance will be filed with the NHL Players’ Association.
Maple Leafs assistant general manager Jeff Jackson contends there have been no threats. “Neither Cliff nor I have threatened anything,” Jackson told TSN. “We’ve had discussions with Ian Pulver about Bryan’s future in Toronto.”
from Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,
Contract talks between the Avalanche and Jose Theodore haven’t necessarily broken down, but the parties have hit a snag in their discussions.
Theodore’s agent, Don Meehan, said Thursday that the 31-year-old goalie probably would enter the NHL’s open market on July 1 as an unrestricted free agent.
The Associated Press contributes a story today on how the value of the Canadian dollar has changed the economics of Canadian teams in the NHL, as well as throughout the entire league.
Available via NHL.com.
The Calgary Flames began their house cleaning on Thursday, placing defenceman Rhett Warrener and Anders Eriksson and forward Marcus Nilson on waivers.
Nilson, a nine-year veteran, signed a two-year, $2 million contract extension with the Flames last summer.
from Mike Heika at the Dallas Star Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
Les Jackson has confirmed the Stars will have an internal budget next season and will not spend to the cap. My guess is that number is close to $52-$53 million, so it’s not like they are that far off from the cap ($55-56 million). He said Tobias Stephan will be the team’s backup goalie, and that the team expects to allow its unrestricted free agents (including Niklas Hagman) to test the market.
My guess is Hagman, Antti Miettinen, Johan Holmqvist and Brad Winchester are gone.
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Viktor Kuzkin, a three-time Olympic champion, has died after a diving accident earlier this week. He was 67.
Kuzkin won gold medals with the Soviet Union teams at three Winter Olympics from 1964 to ‘72, and eight world championships.
The Moscow-born defenceman played 169 times for the USSR, scoring 18 goals, and was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Hall of Fame in 2005.
from Edward Fraser at the Hockey News,
When I first heard about [Dan] Ellis’ new deal, I assumed the $3.5 million was his annual salary, not the two-year total. Even at $3.5 per, Ellis wouldn’t have been overpaid as a starting goalie.
So, in other words, at $1.5 million next season and $2 million in 2009-10, Ellis is a steal. And Poile, the only GM the Preds have ever known, should be applauded for the move.
The Ellis inking wasn’t the lone notch on Poile’s bedpost this off-season, either.
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.
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