Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said he’s never seen the club so well balanced with proven NHL players and prospects.
“This is the best we’ve been for average age of the team,” Nill said….
“With (Henrik) Zetterberg, (Pavel) Datsyuk, (Valtteri) Filppula, (Johan) Franzen and the core of our team, our average age has come way down. That gives us more time to develop these players to see what we’ve really got.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Wellwood, 25, will be a restricted free agent on July 1. He will then quickly become an unrestricted free agent, although Fletcher, the Leafs’ interim general manager, declined to confirm that yesterday. However, a source close to the team said there are no plans to offer Wellwood a contract.
It could be that Wellwood’s NHL career will end after just three seasons, which would be ironic.
more on the Leafs…
via Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Boston and Chicago are expected to make offers to Hossa in excess of $8 or $9 million per season. The Rangers, too, are supposedly interested.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sundin, the 37-year-old long-time Maple Leafs captain who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has made it clear New York is his desired destination. Indeed, we’re told that the Rangers New York Rangers have held conversations with both the centerman and his representative, J.P. Barry, after having received permission to do so by Toronto.
added 6:27am, from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
The Canadiens maintain exclusive rights to sign the Maple Leafs captain prior to free agency on July 1, but there is a growing feeling Sundin will let next Tuesday’s deadline pass and examine offers from the NHL at large.
In that case, count the Rangers in the hunt, as well as the Red Wings, who have about $12-million US in cap space to play with, but likely won’t pay Sundin more than their long-serving star Nicklas Lidstrom ($7.45 million).
A dark horse could be the Florida Panthers, who have an opening for a No. 1 centre and captain after Olli Jokinen was traded and an enthusiastic welcoming committee in ex-Leaf Wade Belak.
added 11:09am, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
There has been much confusion over who has been permitted to speak and/or negotiate with Sundin and when that happened.
Sources tell TSN the timeline is as follows:
- The Maple Leafs met with Sundin and his agent J.P. Barry to indicate the club has interest in bringing Sundin back to Toronto. While no formal contract offer was made, Leafs’ GM Cliff Fletcher conveyed to Sundin that the team was prepared to pay him around $7 million on a one-year deal and that they wanted him back.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Even the smug man in charge at NHL headquarters would surely agree last week was an especially bad one.
As he addressed the league’s board of governors in New York, Gary Bettman admitted he had no clue that two of his closest NHL confidants – L.A.‘s Philip Anschutz and Minnesota’s Craig Leipold – had lent San Jose banker Boots Del Biaggio a combined $17 million (U.S.) to help him pay for a $25 million stake in the Nashville Predators.
NHL owners were speechless, according to a source who attended the meeting, as Bettman grumbled he had been in the dark. Neither Anschutz nor Leipold had made him aware of the cozy back-door deal.
Update 11:56am ET: (Alanah) Reading that article a bit closer, I noticed this blurb at the bottom that seemed worth noting—
Former Bruins star Bobby Orr has filed a grievance with the NHL Players’ Association against Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, the Star has learned. Orr alleges his player agency spearheaded negotiations with the Islanders in 2006 on behalf of the goalie, but was fired shortly before he signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract extension. Orr is fighting for his agent fee.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
• Apparently Russian hockey geniuses already have forgotten that Evgeni Malkin choked in the Finals. Why else would a few Super League teams want to offer him a contract that would make him hockey’s highest-paid player by a wide margin?
• No matter which team gets him, Marian Hossa will become the most overpaid-underachieving UFA. The Bruins are believed to be one club especially interested in his services after failing to nab the Slovakian winger at the trade deadline this past season.
read on and other NHL bits…
The New York Rangers were granted permission by Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher to talk to free-agent-to-be Mats Sundin before the Montreal Canadiens were last week, Sportsnet has learned.
My opinion on this, which is only going to get bigger the next ten days, Mats doesn’t sign with anyone until after July 1st.
update 8:14pm, from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
There are other teams interested in Sundin - the New York Rangers and Detroit are believed to be among them - but Fletcher dismissed a Sportsnet report Monday that the Leafs had given the Rangers permission to talk to Sundin before giving the same opportunity to the Canadiens.
“That is absolutely untrue,” Fletcher said yesterday. “We gave exclusive negotiating rights to the Montreal Canadiens and nobody else.”
more on Sundin…
added 8:33pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The truth is, this is all happening too fast for Sundin, who doesn’t feel comfortable being pressured into deciding right now which NHL team he wants to play for because he hasn’t gone through his annual introspection of whether he is even going to play another season.
From Tom Benjamin at Canucks Corner:
Iain McIntyre tries to explain why so many stories printed in the run up to the draft turned out to be so much crap. Among other explanations - like the unsurprising revelation that general managers lie - we get this:
[T]he [Ryan Malone trade] story got ahead of the facts. That happens frequently in the Age of the Blogger, who has chewed down the standards of journalism the way the pine beetle has decimated B.C. forests.
I was one of only a few hockey bloggers when I first started with this hobby and I can say without any equivocation that the standards of hockey journalism had been decimated long before anybody considered us to be part of a new age. Bloggers haven’t really changed anything.
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet has decided not to return to the team, an NHL source has confirmed.
Tocchet is expected to join the staff of new Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, whose appointment is expected to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
from Gare Joyce at ESPN,
The best stories from the second day of the NHL draft are the dark horses, prospects who fly well under the radar. Here are three names to write down and remember.
Jesper Samuelsson (seventh round, No. 211 overall to Detroit)
The final selection in any draft is usually just fodder for a trivia question. When Detroit owns that last pick, though, you’d better make note of it. More than any other franchise, Detroit has managed to find NHL stars in the late rounds, which is like finding diamonds in a coal mine.
read on and two more dark horses…
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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