Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Bob McKenzie on TSN reports that the Minnesota Wild have signed Greg Zanon for 3 year, $5.2 million total.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
The Wild’s expected to make an offer, but it’s not just a sure-thing Saku Koivu signs a deal to play with Mikko.
I talked to Mikko very early this morning my time. I got him on his boat in Turku. He did voice some concerns that he and Saku have been discussing in recent days. Saku doesn’t want to step on Mikko’s toes because this is his team now, they’ve talked about what it would be like to handle the other being criticized publicly if that were to happen and they talked about the distractions it could create if every city they went to turned into a series of Koivu Bros. stories.
He admitted it’s not a big problem and that they know that stuff would die down, but those are a few of the “cons” on their pros and cons list. On the “pros” side, the fact that it would be special for Saku, 8 1/2 years older, and Mikko to play together and that their parents would absolutely love it. He said it’s a “dream” of theirs.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Had chance to catch up with Marian Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer, on Monday. He wanted to squash, once and for all, the strange rumor that his star client had bought a house in Vancouver.
“He has not bought a home in Vancouver, that’s outlandish,” Salcer told ESPN.com. “Marian has been in Slovakia. He hasn’t been shopping in Vancouver for a home. That’s just crazy.”
It appears fairly obvious Gaborik will hit the open market Wednesday. Other than one conversation with new Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, Salcer said he hasn’t really talked much with Minnesota lately.
“They have my number, they know how to reach me,” Salcer said.
read on for some Chelios talk…
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
The Canucks don’t care where Gaborik lives because he won’t be playing for them. Not unless the winger decides he needs to re-establish himself in the NHL and signs a Teemu-Selanne-just-back-from-knee-surgery contract of $3-million for one year.
Other than that, the Canucks have no interest in him. None.
And that is hard to fathom, especially with the strong possibility the Canucks could lose first-liners Daniel and Henrik Sedin this week.
I mean, what’s not to like about Gaborik?
He has played 103 games fewer than the Sedins in the last three seasons.
He has played close to a full campaign only once in the last five seasons, while the slacker Sedins have missed seven games between them during that time.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
The sales calls will soon go out fast and furious. The Wild is going to advertise the arena, the passionate Minnesota fan base and the offensive—stress on the word offensive—system that will be installed by a young, innovative coach.
Free agency opens Wednesday, and Leipold says the Wild has the loot to throw at upper-echelon players.
The Wild struck out last summer with Marian Hossa. If Detroit’s unable to re-sign him, expect the Wild to step up to the plate and try again. Maybe it’s the Sedin twins. Maybe it’s Michael Cammalleri or Martin Havlat.
“We want to be a team that’s competing next year and we’re going to have money available to sign one of those top guys, and I’m including Marian Gaborik in that,” Leipold said. “Gaborik can still be the guy. If not, there are three, four, five other guys you would put in that category.
“We’re a team that’s got everything to offer. And we would have the cap space to do it and the ability and the desire to do it.”
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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