Kukla's Korner

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Overpaying

from the Tampa Tribune,

So much for a salary cap restraining owners and general managers. The first week of free agency in the new NHL looked more like the old NHL when it comes to bidding for players. For some general managers -- Philadelphia, maybe? -- it was business as usual. For others -- Columbus, Nashville, Atlanta -- it was as if they were kids let loose in the candy store for the first time. And how about the teams that once cried poor -- Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Edmonton -- all of sudden dipping into their wallets like they had a reserve built up during the lockout. The new lay of the land looks an awful lot like the old landscape -- teams are still overpaying for players. Two things have become crystal clear in the past week -- teams are still trying to understand how to play under a salary cap and owners made a monumental mistake with one clause in the new collective bargaining agreement.

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The Bar is Set

Rick Nash, $5.4 million per year for five years!!! He just turned 21 years of age. Season Totals: 2003-04 80 game played 41 goals 16 assists 57 points -35 +/-. Again, $5.4 million a year!!! Will this throw the UFA market into disarray next year and for years to come? What happens when arbitration rolls around, will this contract be the measuring stick for future contracts? I have a feeling there are a lot of GMs not too happy with this contract.

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A Fresh Start

from the Dallas Morning News via the Mercury News,

All you have to know about the new NHL is that Chris Pronger could have been an unrestricted free agent next summer and instead decided to sign a five-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton! While it took almost 15 months to change the financial landscape of the NHL, it took only five days to change the picture on the ice. Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer went from New Jersey to Anaheim. Hart Trophy winner Peter Forsberg went from Colorado to Philadelphia. Norris and Hart Trophy winner Pronger went from St. Louis to Edmonton. Stanley Cup-winning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin went from Tampa Bay to Chicago.

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B’s and Flyers Co-Favorites

from the Boston Herald,

After a wild week of player acquisitions by both teams, the Bruins are co-favorites with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference - as far as one veteran scout is concerned. ``Everybody is talking about what Edmonton did and what Philly has done,'' the scout said. ``But I think Boston has to be put right in with those teams as far as what they've done to help themselves have a run at a good season and a run at the (Stanley) Cup. They certainly have committed to spending money.''

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NHL Fantasy League

from USA TODAY,

Welcome to the NHL fantasy league. That's what this dumping and signing frenzy resembles. Teams with loads of cap room are totally remaking their rosters with other teams' overly expensive castoffs. It's exciting and fun. Who said the new WHA is dead? And who's ready for a Columbus-Pittsburgh Stanley Cup final? Anyway, without further ado, some thoughts on the recent goings-on in the NHL:

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Colorado Signs Brunette

The Colorado Avalanche has signed forward Andrew Brunette to a two-year contract.

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Whitney to Carolina

Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have agreed to terms with left wing Ray Whitney on a two-year contract. As per club policy, further terms of the deal were not released.

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Carnival of the NHL

Check out the 4th edition of the "Carnival of the NHL" at On the Wings. I do appreciate the mention there and hope to one day host a "Carnival" at Kukla's Korner.

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Nash Signs a New Deal

per TSN but no link yet on ESPN, ESPN reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed restricted free agent forward Rick Nash to a five-year contract worth $27 million US. update 6:31pm, The Blue Jackets are expected to hold a news conference on Monday to announce the signing.

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Palffy a Pen

via TSN, Zigmund Palffy is the latest free agent forward to land with a new NHL team, signing on with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It is a three-year contract worth $13.5 million US

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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