Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Edmonton Journal,
A frustrated Lowe says the Oilers are thinking of hiring a “concierge” to look after player needs in the future, but he can’t understand why free agents won’t sign here.
He acknowledges the travel out west is harder than in the east, but he says a third of the league’s teams travelled more miles than the Oilers last year. He also knows some players don’t want to play in Canada.
At this point, Lowe’s Plan B could be to go after other teams’ Group 2 free agents with offer sheets, like 43-goal scorer Thomas Vanek or big winger Dustin Penner or centre Zach Parise, all young kids with huge upside.
from On the Islanders Beat,
If Snow made some mistakes this time around, maybe it will be a learning experience for him in his first full year on the job. As I told the angry fan in my earlier reply, Islanders fans are entitled to their feelings of frustration after so many years of poor personnel decisions and mismanagement. But the fact that Snow didn’t panic and compound whatever mistakes he made by throwing money at the wrong players to appease the fans was smart. He didn’t try to paper over his losses.
Snow’s aim is to get players he and Nolan believe are capable of competing for the Stanley Cup. He doesn’t want to make a mistake now that will haunt him for years to come
From Steve Milton at The Hamilton Spectator,
Your Intent Please: Despite the ripple of semi-news that a local group has put in an offer to buy the Nashville Predators and keep them in Tennessee, current owner Craig Leipold still has received no letters of intent.
Not from the consortium of local businessmen led by David Freedman and Herb Fritch, both executives in the health-care business. Not from William ‘Boots’ Del Biaggio III, who would reportedly move the team to Kansas City.
A letter of intent would give either of those groups the right to exclusive negotiations on buying the team.
The Nashville-based syndicate has been percolating for several weeks and Leipold said two weeks ago that he’d consider giving them a “local discount.” But their proposal is believed to be well below the $190-million figure at which DelBiaggio bowed out of the bidding in May. Waterloo billionaire Jim Balsillie won that auction with a letter of intent for an estimated $238 million, but his exclusivity ended two weeks ago.
From Bruce Garrioch,
The Senators’ No. 1 goalie in Binghamton next season might carry a huge price tag.
While it’s still two months to training camp, Senators GM Bryan Murray could be toying with the idea of sucking up Martin Gerber’s $3.7 million (all terms US) salary and sending him to the club’s AHL affiliate if Murray is unable to trade him.
While the Senators would still be on the hook for Gerber’s salary if they sent him to Binghamton, it wouldn’t count against the $50.3-million salary cap.
If Gerber’s contract is off the books, it would allow the Senators to make moves in the NHL’s free-agent market.
From Kerry Collins at The Forum,
One day after becoming the latest ex-Moorhead High School player to sign an NHL deal, [Brian Lee] the 20-year-old defenseman was still understandably excited.
“I’m ecstatic about it. I was all smiles the entire night after I signed the contract,” said Lee in a phone interview. “It really is a dream come true for me.”
Lee – the ninth overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft – was at the Ottawa Senators’ annual development camp for the past week.
He went in a college kid, and came out with a three-year deal worth $850,000 per season, if he plays in the NHL. He also has a lucrative bonus package attached and got an $85,000 signing bonus.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
A source confirmed yesterday that the 73-year-old Muckler is interested in the new senior adviser position that team owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment wants to fill this summer to give Ferguson assistance in rebuilding the struggling National Hockey League franchise into a playoff team.
Muckler will stop by for an interview session with MLSE president Richard Peddie and possibly MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum in the next two or three days.
There have been rumblings the Leafs also have interest in talking to Nashville Predators general manager David Poile. The 57-year-old Poile is under contract to the Predators until June of 2009 and it is unknown whether the Leafs have received permission to talk to Poile.
added 7/5/07, Jim Kelley of Sportsnet reporting Poile not interested in the job.
from Spector at his Fox Sports Blog,
Better get used to more surprises over the remainder of the collective bargaining agreement.
First, save yourself the shock of seeing the cap rise every year and just expect it to happen. It might not increase as much as it did this summer, when the NHLPA exercised its right under the CBA to boost the cap by five percent, but it will likely keep rising by various degrees over the remainder of the deal.
Canadian Press hockey columnist Pierre Lebrun recently said a team executive predicted the cap could rise to $62 million within the next four years.
NHLPA is listing 07/08 compensation for Hudler, see Gorilla Crouch for the details.
FYI, a few of the Wings MSMs have blogged today, no update on this…
update 7/5/07, from Mlive,
The Wings have signed restricted free-agent forward Jiri Hudler. They’ve yet to announce the deal, so the term is uncertain. But, according to the NHLPA web site, he’ll earn $880,000 next season. He made $525,000 last season.
added 7/507, 2yr deal, Wings confirm.
$880K year one and $1.15M for year 2. Thanks to a KK member for the info.
The Buffalo Sabres have re-signed unrestricted free-agent defenseman Teppo Numminen to a one-year contract worth $2.6 million, The Buffalo News reported on its Web site.
The contract was the same deal Numminen played with last season, the newspaper reported.
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