Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Todd Kimberely at NHL.com,
The club’s 23-man roster saw its fair share of movement. The biggest move was Gaborik leaving for the Rangers, with Martin Havlat arriving as his big-dollar replacement.
And Leipold himself has gone on record with his belief that an accelerated style of play will also boost the Wild’s profile, allowing the club to attract top-end free agents who shied away from the Wild’s previously conservative, plodding pace.
“In the past I’ve been frustrated, not knowing why those unrestricted free agents, people who have the ability to move where they want to, wouldn’t choose this as their home,” said Leipold. “I think the system might have been something that held them back. I believe Chuck feels that way ... I think this may be the missing piece. Maybe they’ll look at us in a different light now.”
via NHL Twitter,
Josh Harding re-signs with Wild
added 11:45, via Michael Russo’s Twitter,
Wild re-signs Josh Harding to one-year deal prior to arbitration hearing
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named Brent Flahr Assistant General Manager. Flahr will oversee all aspects of player development and evaluation and assist Fletcher in player personnel decisions, contract negotiations and league related issues.
“Brent is one of the top talent evaluators in the NHL and was an integral member of Anaheim’s scouting staff on their 2007 Stanley Cup team,” said Fletcher.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“It was an interesting choice,” said Koivu. “We spoke to Minnesota a few times. All the talks went well, but it was more for personal reasons that I didn’t feel comfortable ... I felt that Minnesota was Mikko’s place at this point. I wanted him to have his own privacy in a way, make his own name and his own career. I just felt there were too many risks for us as brothers and as family members to join the same team and compete for the same ice time. I felt we were better off playing somewhere else.”
more from Koivu plus Zubov is up to a new challenge and has talked to 6-7 teams…
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press, “
Obviously, there was no decision for me because the Wild decided to go a different route,” Gaborik said. “Obviously, I would consider any offer, but I didn’t get any from the new era. I’m a Ranger now, and I’m very excited about that and looking forward to that new opportunity.”
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
The team continues to be patient as free-agent center Saku Koivu takes his time deciding where he will sign. It’s not looking good with Minnesota, and it doesn’t appear to be so much about money as a concern about playing with his brother, Mikko.
“We’ve put a lot of conversations and time into it,” GM Chuck Fletcher said. “Whatever decision he makes, I’m sure they’ll be for good reasons.”
If Saku Koivu doesn’t sign and Fletcher can’t make a trade, coach Todd Richards believes Pierre-Marc “Bouchard can be that guy” at No. 2 center.
more Wild talk…
via Michael Russo’s Twitter,
Wild signs tough defenseman Shane Hnidy
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
Last night, the Wild thought Saku Koivu would be signed, sealed and delivered by this morning.
Now, it appears as if it’s going nowhere, according to sources.
Agent Don Baizley said no decision is imminent and he’d reserve comment until “the situation is resolved.”
Koivu is expected to take some time and weigh his options, but he’s got a bunch of scenarios and many teams coming at him hard, and like I said, it appears the deal with the Wild is going south.
New Jersey is one team hot after Koivu, as well as the New York Rangers, who now that they traded Scott Gomez, really doesn’t have a center to get the puck to Marian Gaborik. Anaheim likes him, too.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
I have been told by impeccable sources that Havlat has cut his list to one team — and that’s Minnesota.
According to sources, the Wild also continues to be in negotiations with free-agent center Saku Koivu, although it’s unclear how close that is. Because of the time in Finland, it could go into tomorrow.
added 10:25pm, via Darren Dreger’s Twitter,
Havlat has a verbal agreement with the Wild.
added 10:26pm, TSN link...paper work not completed, but deal in place….
added:11:07pm, Sportsnet Tracker has Havlat signed 6yrs., $30M.
added 11:16pm, from Matin Havlat’s Twitter,
Excited to be in Minny where I was welcomed and appreciated by management. The real story about what happened in Chicago to come out.
From Darren Dreger via Twitter:
TSN is reporting Gaborik to the Rangers. 5 years x $5.75 [million]
Update 5:23pm ET: From TSN—
Former Minnesota Wild winger Marian Gaborik has agreed to a five-year contract with the New York Rangers.
The Slovakian forward will earn $5.75 million per year.
Update 5.29pm ET: UPDATED SALARY—TSN corrected their story, now saying the salary amount is 5 years at $7.5 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.
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