Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press,
Why was there such tepid interest in Nashville?
It’s a cultural thing.
Is that anything you didn’t know going in or were you too optimistic?
Both. Nashville is a market where people who were raised in Nashville go to college in Nashville, they go back to work in Nashville. It was a little harder to break into that culture, and I should have known that. The fans in Nashville are great. They’re rabid. They’re vocal. They’re passionate. There just aren’t enough of them.
Do you consider your investment there a failure or a learning experience?
I don’t consider it a failure. I look at it as I was the caretaker there the first 10 years and I’ve now passed it off to some local guys, and hopefully they can take it to a level I wasn’t able to take it to. If the team ends up cratering and moves out, then I would say I was not successful.
more from Leipold, mostly on the team he currently owns, the Minnesota Wild…
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Marian Gaborik’s long-term future with the Wild never has been more uncertain.
General Manager Doug Risebrough told the Star Tribune on Friday that he does not expect to sign Gaborik, who is one season from unrestricted free agency, to a contract extension by the start of the season.
“Not making any headway,” said Risebrough, who last month said it would be prudent to sign Gaborik, the team’s all-time leading scorer, to an extension by next Saturday’s season opener. “I was trying to do something before the season. It’s not happening. ... It’s not going to happen by the start of the season.”
Asked if he’ll react by putting Gaborik on the trading block, Risebrough said, “That, I’ll have to determine.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
So chances are when all is said and done, with all those forces working on him, Gaborik will swallow his personal feelings and sign. But if he doesn’t, that’s when it really gets to be fun.
There’s no way Minny trades him to Vancouver. That almost certainly won’t happen given they’re in the same division. But if the team taking him in a deal can’t re-sign him, he may well consider coming here next year to meet up with old buddy Demitra. Gaborik probably wouldn’t mind playing with Marian Hossa either, but Hossa will also be a free agent next year and going for big money, so any team that wanted to pair them would have to be laying out a minimum of $18 million for the next five or six years.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
Marian Gaborik was nowhere to be seen today.
Negotiations are clearly at a delicate juncture, very delicate. The two sides are far apart, although Risebrough said he plans to keep trying to get Gaborik inked to an extension. He again maintains he has had no trade talks and doesn’t plan any in the foreseeable future.
The irony here is the big risk in paying Gaborik Ovechkin money or Crosby money or Malkin money or Staal money or Lecavalier money is he’s so injury prone.
And here Gaborik is seeking to be paid like a top two or three player in the NHL while he’s out with a strained quad aggravated on the first day of training camp.
more on the Wild…
from Russo’s Rants,
The Wild met this afternoon again with Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer. I don’t know if it’s still going on.
Risebrough said things are “crystallizing.”
He also said, “It’s time to make a decision,” but he still doesn’t know what the results will be.
Risebrough said it all will come down to guaranteed money, and once that is agreed upon, everything can work itself out.
from Spector’s Hockey,
MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE/PIONEER PRESS: both reported on the current status of Marian Gaborik’s contract talks with the Minnesota Wild, noting they’re still ongoing but Wild GM Doug Risebrough has no set timetable on these talks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect the Wild to start shopping Gaborik if he’s not re-signed by the start of the season.
more trade and signing talk…
Dany Heatley for Marian Hossa trades don’t happen everyday in the NHL. Stars aligned a few years back and Atlanta and Ottawa was able to make a star for star trade.
That likely won’t happen here if Gaborik is dealt. Sure, the Wild could likely get a strong package of players/picks back, but you’re not going to get fair value back — at least for the short-term.
Gaborik will have his choice to play most anyplace he wants next season, and he knows that. To get him to forgo that opportunity, the Wild will have to pay him, and probably overpay him. Most teams can afford to pay Gaborik $9-10 million on a long-term deal next summer.
-Michael Russo at Russo’s Rants
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
Gaborik’s appetite for staying in Minnesota has been hard to read. Never what you would call emotional, he nonetheless appears indifferent, saying repeatedly he is “willing to stay.” Although the sides are negotiating, it’s frankly hard for the layman to understand the holdup.
The bottom line is the Wild have offered the right winger a long-term contract that would make him one of the highest-paid players in the NHL, with an average salary in the $8.5 million range. And the seven-year, $57.75 deal signed Thursday by Carolina’s Eric Staal — whose potential and career trajectory is similar — seems to fortify this as a reasonable offer.
So, if Gaborik were completely sold on the Wild, wouldn’t he have signed by now?
“That’s why this is scary,” Nanne said, “because it’s not a money issue.”
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
“I have one year left on my contract. That’s all I’m thinking about. I’m going to leave everything out there, work hard and enjoy it. And I’m going to try the best I can to help the team win this year like I’ve done always.”
Told that sounds like he has decided to play out the final year of his contract and leave as a free agent, Gaborik said, “I’m not saying I’m leaving. I’m not saying I’m staying. I’m saying I have one year left on my contract. I’m leaving it up to the Wild and my agent to discuss it. But I want to be left out of it.
“I like it here. Of course, it’s been great times and experiences here. But I still have one more year on my contract. I want to be respected that I still have one year left, and I want to just focus on this year and just try to play the best I can. That’s how it is. I don’t want to think about my contract right now, and I don’t want to be put in a position where I have to talk about it.”
Summary: Represent the Minnesota Wild as the new team mascot at community relations, corporate, and marketing events and appearances
* Maintain appearance schedule working with community relations, corporate and marketing contacts with the Minnesota Wild organization
* Represent Minnesota Wild in mascot costume attending all scheduled appearances, events or programs
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 firstname.lastname@example.org