Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post,
Roy, however, has long believed it's the players who set a winning tone in a locker room. One of the primary reasons the Avalanche signed 35-year-old defenseman Francois Beauchemin as a free agent is to establish an unwavering standard of professionalism with younger teammates.
"I don't believe we were a soft team, but I don't think we were a tough team to play against," Roy said. "I don't think anybody was coming into our building saying, 'Holy (expletive), tonight we have this guy from the Avs in our face,' " Roy said.
"Now, we know that Beauchemin is going to be a physical guy, Blake Comeau is going to be a physical guy and (Patrick) Bordeleau back healthy to be a physical guy. I think that's going to change our team a lot. It's going to bring the energy we were missing at times."
Many Avalanche fans hoped the team would sign Andrej Sekera or Paul Martin to help on defense. And know what? Roy bluntly admits he also wanted those players, but the Avs' refusal to offer more than a three-year contract to a free agent eliminated them in pursuit of Sekera, who signed for six years and $33 million with Edmonton, or Martin, who got four years and $19.4 million from San Jose.
from Terry Frei of The Denver Post,
Last week, word came that the Buffalo Sabres signed former Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly to a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension that kicks in after he make $6.2 million this season and takes him through 2022-23. The deal calls for him to make $11 million in 2016-17 and slide down to $6 million in each of the final four years. The annual cap hit is $7.5 million.
O'Reilly is respected for his work ethic, which stacks up with that of anyone in the NHL. Fans, media and, most important, the Avalanche "got" that his contributions go far beyond the simply quantifiable. (No, I'm not stooping to citing analytics, but offering conclusions reached by actually watching him play.) Yet the virtually universal reaction to his departure has been: Good riddance. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player so respected told so universally to not let the door hit him on the way out....
O'Reilly already had been inordinately rewarded for his contributions. The salary benchmark was raised when the Calgary Flames signed him to an offer sheet — that involved organizational spite as much as coldhearted evaluation — but the Avalanche willingly went along with it by matching and then reaching a two-year, $12 million deal with him last year minutes in advance of an arbitration heading.
The Avalanche finally had enough.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
Murray talked with O’Reilly’s agent after the trade.
“I walked over and introduced myself around the fifth pick or sixth pick,” Murray said in BB&T Center. “They got him on the phone and I spoke to him. I told them that I hoped we could start talking contract extension whenever we’re able to, and that’s July 1.”
The Denver Post reported Friday night that O’Reilly asked the Avs for an eight-year, $64 million extension.
“You know going in when you make a trade like this that negotiations are going to be starting a high number,” Murray said. “We’re fully prepared for that.”
The 6-foot, 210-pounder joins a center corps that includes Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons and Sam Reinhart. O’Reilly won 53.4 percent of his faceoffs last season and will give a boost to the Sabres, who finished last in the category at 44.9 percent.
“His hockey sense is off the charts,” Murray said. “I think he makes everybody around him better. I love his work ethic on and off the ice. I love his compete level. There’s nothing I don’t like about him.
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
added 7:29pm, Colorado release is below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Colorado Avalanche acquired the rights to pending unrestricted free agent center Carl Soderberg on Thursday, and it makes you wonder, if they can sign him, is it a pre-cursor to dealing away Ryan O'Reilly?
At least insurance, anyway.
"O’Reilly is in play, but they’ll want a boat load for him," said one rival NHL executive on Thursday evening.
Plus, you can’t imagine any team paying a boat load for O’Reilly unless they can sign him to a contract extension first. O’Reilly has one year left on his deal.
The Avs, meanwhile, didn’t waste any time trying to get Soderberg signed after acquiring his rights for a sixth-round pick from the Bruins, immediately commencing contract talks with agent J.P. Barry.
I doubt Soderberg is the last pending UFA to get dealt this weekend. Might as well get at least something for a player that’s walking away next week.
continued plus more player talk...
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, June 25, that the team has acquired a sixth round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the rights to Carl Soderberg. The 2016 sixth round pick is Boston's natural selection, as it originally belonged to the Bruins and was part of the March 2, 2015 trade between Colorado and Boston that brought Max Talbot and Paul Carey to the B's in exchange for Jordan Caron.
Soderberg has played in 161 regular season NHL games - all with Boston - and has registered 29 goals and 65 assists for 94 points. The 29-year-old also skated in 14 playoff games with 1-5=6 totals.
Soderberg was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (49th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Bruins from St. Louis on July 23, 2007 in exchange for Hannu Toivonen.
Soderberg will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2015.
added 5:08pm, Avs release is below...
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
Sakic and Roy discussed other developments and challenges with the team, including:
• Signing forward Ryan O'Reilly to a contract extension before next season begins remains a priority, Sakic said, but a trade is possible. The Avs have been negotiating with O'Reilly's agents.
"We know where they are and like I said (in April), I'd like to have him signed by the start of the season, hopefully, but right now is a time where we're focusing on the draft and free agency," Sakic said.
O'Reilly is a pending unrestricted free agent in 2016.
"I like Ryan a lot. He's a very valuable player and part of our corps," Sakic said. "My first priority would be to sign him. Obviously, we'll see where it all goes."
• Sakic declined to comment on the rumor recruitment of Russian forward Alexander Radulov, a former NHL first-round draft pick who most recently has played in his homeland.
Ryan O'Reilly appears to be on the trade block once again.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie told TSN Radio 1040 Vancouver Tuesday the Colorado Avalanche are testing the market for the centre, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
McKenzie says the odds are in favour of O'Reilly being traded, though a potential deal could hinge on a new contract.
"I think it's more likely O'Reilly will be traded at some point here he'll be traded," McKenzie said. "But at the same time, it will depend on what the deal is and the financial negotiations that go on with any contract."
McKenzie cautioned, however, a trade is not imminent ahead of the draft.
more on this topic plus additional trade talk...
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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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