Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Rocky Mountain News,
Acquiring Smyth, 31, is another huge catch for the Avalanche, which has the option of putting him on what could be a potent line with captain Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette.
“We feel we’ve really upgraded the team,” Giguere said. “We finished the year with two (regulation) losses in the last 19 games, so we felt that when the season ended, we were one of the top teams. With these two guys, we feel we’re a team that’s going to compete for the Stanley Cup.”
All of a sudden, it seems just like old times for the Avalanche, which made a habit of bringing in marquee names through trades before the post-lockout collective bargaining agreement and salary-cap system came into play.
A less than expected decline in June.
On a sidenote, KK received over 825,000 page views yesterday, so July is off to a very good start.
We also achieved a new record yesterday when 1276 people were visiting KK at one time.
To see previous month stats, start here.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Now that the Bruins have acquired G Manny Fernandez from the Wild, it’s doubtful Emery will get a Group II offer sheet. However, Emery’s agent, J.P. Barry, said yesterday he will file for arbitration by the July 5 deadline. “I know that (Murray) wanted to get through free agency and then he said we’d sit down to discuss a new deal. I look forward to having those discussions,” said Barry.
more on the Sens including UFAs they are targeting…
from the Tennessean,
The question now for the Predators — as the unrestricted free-agency period enters its second day — is whether players outside the organization will be willing to take a leap of faith as well.
Predators Coach Barry Trotz said he doesn’t think it’s so far-fetched to think some free agents would sign a multi-year deal here despite the uncertainty of the future.
“If you look at not the business part, but the hockey part, we are very appealing to a lot of free agents,’’ Trotz said. “We have a great city in terms of where to live; we have a great hockey team; and there are a lot of things we do right here.’‘
NHL.com lists the RFAs and UFAs that are still available as of this morning.
Although it seemed like just about everyone was signed yesterday, that is not the case.
Note the list- you will see the RFAs first, then the UFAs…
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
The buzzwords at the start of the annual free-agent rodeo weren’t necessarily “how much” but “how long.”
Although it’s true GMs continue to spend in a fashion very reminiscent of drunken pre-lockout spending orgies, the real twist on the free-agent game this summer is the term top-end players are commanding before they’ll sign on the dotted line.
In recent days, Philadelphia signed Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell to six-year deals, but that was just a precursor to the big deals of the free-agent season that began at noon ET on Sunday as the Flyers signed Daniel
“Nuts,” one agent said of the term. “That’s why the CBA is so good for top-end players.”
from E.J Hradek at ESPN,
If you hockey fans were looking for some wild spending, reminiscent of the good ol’ pre-lockout days, the opening day of free agency didn’t disappoint.
The big market teams, flush with an extra $6 million in cap space due to the new upper limit, were rockin’ and rollin’ on the first day of July. The Rangers, Flyers, Avalanche, Wings and Maple Leafs, as well as the champion Ducks, all made big-money pickups.
On the first day of free agency, fans around the league were either very happy (Rangers fans) or very sad (Sabres fans). It all depended on who you signed or who you lost. Happy or sad, fans should remember they don’t award the Cup in July. Or, at least, they don’t do that just yet.
from the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres lost them both. Black Sunday will go down as one of the most demoralizing days in franchise history. Gone in the span of about five hours were co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury. The popular centers signed contracts to play elsewhere, leaving the Sabres with a vestige of their very soul….
“Looking at it from Buffalo’s perspective, I’m sure they’re not very happy [Briere and Drury] have left,” Rangers General Manager Glen Sather said. “But that’s the nature of the beast.
“We have to operate within the rules of the league and to the best of our abilities. I’ve seen players leave my teams before, and it’s a complicated and tricky time. You just have to face the facts you can’t always keep everyone.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
By contrast, the Leafs’ acquisition of Blake came at a relatively modest cost, an average of $4 million per season, and at 33 years of age, the Minnesotan is considerably longer in the tooth than the likes of Briere, Gomez and Drury.
A classic late bloomer, Blake had a career season last year in a contract season, and one always has to be suspicious (see Frank Thomas) of those kinds of efforts.
But Blake’s career numbers suggest that at worst he’ll be a consistent 22-28 goal scorer, which makes him the best scoring winger the Leafs own and nicely replaces the goals that will be lost by the departure of Jeff O’Neill.
Moreover, he’s got speed to burn, very helpful for a team that’s more plodding than quicksilver, he kills penalties effectively and dangerously, something lost when Mike Peca went down last season, and he brings a bit of sandpaper to the table as well.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
The opening of the NHL free- agent market yesterday was more like a dispersal draft for the Islanders. After losing leading scorer Jason Blake, top-scoring defenseman Tom Poti and forwards Viktor Kozlov and Richard Zednik to more free-spending teams earlier in the day, they got the worst news of all at the end.
Ryan Smyth, who generated so much excitement after Islanders general manager Garth Snow acquired him from Edmonton at the trade deadline, spurned their five-year offer worth $32.5 million.
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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