Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports,
The last two weeks have seen rumors surface just about every day about every single free agent, just like they have at every trade deadline and summer free-agent frenzy in recent memory. Here are some of the best of the worst rumors we, as hockey fans, have had to digest and regurgitate over the last several years:
read the list for some entertainingly-bogus rumors
Incidentally, that list reminded me of that “Ryan Smyth signs with Edmonton” deal erroneously reported on Sportsnet in 2007. Quite the screw-up that was, so here’s a flashback of the day from Chris Zelkovich in the Toronto Star:
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If the cap increases approximately 7 to 10 percent annually, it will hit nearly $74M in 2011-12, which will be the final year of the CBA once the PA exercises its option to extend through that season.
In other words, no need to worry about signing players to long-term deals when there’s going to be a lockout and amnesty buyout period after four more seasons, anyway.
read on plus some UFA talk…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that they’ve “never seen it so quiet” before the NHL free-agency period begins because teams are worried they’ll be charged with tampering if they engage in anything that can be construed as contract discussions before Tuesday at noon.
While agents have always tried to get a handle on the unrestricted market before July 1, sources say Bettman told the GMs during a meeting at the Stanley Cup final in Detroit that if he caught somebody tampering, the team involved “would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
also from Garrioch,
Some executives aren’t happy. Sources say during a meeting last month at the Stanley Cup final in Detroit, NHL GMs unloaded on commissioner Gary Bettman because the cap has forced some of them to spend to the floor, irritating their stingy owners.
“We’re going to spend like crazy because we have to do that to compete,” said a league executive. “We’re still going to have empty seats and we’re going to have to battle to make the playoffs. (Bettman) sits there and everything rolls off him. He’s got Teflon skin, this guy.”
more on the UFA period…
from the Regina Leader-Post,
Mick McGeough is hanging up his striped shirt, but he’s keeping his skates on ice.
The veteran referee, who’s retiring after 20 NHL seasons, has accepted a newly created mentoring position with the league’s officials association. As a result, McGeough will be back in the fold—and back on the ice—in September when NHL referees and linesmen convene for their annual training camp.
From Scott Cullen at TSN,
While the unrestricted free agent market garners most of the attention, this summer could finally present the time for NHL general managers to actually put the collective bargaining agreement to work, using offer sheets to acquire restricted free agent talent.
Yes, the Edmonton Oilers took a lot of heat for making such offers last year—falling prey to that all-too-common hockey mishap of not knowing “The Code”—it’s about time NHL general managers played with some competitive fire when assembling their teams; the kind of fire that fans expect from the team on the ice.
Includes a chart clarifying RFA compensation dollar amounts, and a look at potential targets for offer sheets around the league.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Things sure changed in a hurry – and you wonder if the hard salary cap of $42.5 million offered by the players association just before commissioner Gary Bettman pulled the plug on the 2004-05 season wouldn’t look good to half-a-dozen teams, who now see the gap between haves and have-nots rising again every day.
In four years, the ceiling has grown from $39 million to $44 million to $50.3 million to $56.7 million, the figure jointly announced by the NHL and the players association Thursday. Not many teams want to disclose their bottom lines, but you can be sure based on all those empty seats in Phoenix and Nashville and elsewhere in the southern United States, a lot of teams in non-traditional markets are still operating in the red, even though they achieved their much-vaunted “cost certainty” in the bitter negotiations that characterized this current labor agreement.
Sources tell TSN that for the 2008-09 season, the salary cap will rise to a maximum of $56.7-million. That is a $6.4-million increase from this past season when the cap was set at $50.3-million.
The lower limit also rose to $40.7 million, the minimum each of the 30 teams must spend on player salaries.
The most an NHL player can earn in a new contract next season is $11.34 million a year.
added 2:43pm, NEW YORK/TORONTO (June 26, 2008) – The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2008-09 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $40.7 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $48.7 million and an Upper Limit of $56.7 million.
The Associated Press contributes a story today on how the value of the Canadian dollar has changed the economics of Canadian teams in the NHL, as well as throughout the entire league.
Available via NHL.com.
from Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal via the Sporting News,
“I have never been more bullish on the league,” an ebullient commissioner Gary Bettman told the audience of about 75 partners. Bettman has been commissioner since 1993, so that’s quite a statement.
Using vernacular familiar to any sports fan, John Collins, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of business and media, said: “We’ve got the mojo; now we’ve got to show we can do something with it. Pepsi knows how to sell soda, we need to convince people we know how to sell hockey on a national basis, and I think we are starting to do that.”
more and some Winter Classic talk too…
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:
Can it get any better for us, hockey fun in the summer time? All teams are at 0-0-0-0. All teams have an equal shot at the Stanley Cup. We all believe, all our team needs is a little tweak here and there, and we are on our way to hockey in June.
These are the days we have been waiting for. An opportunity exists for our team to get better quickly, giving us hope for a dream season. Some teams will go all out, making a big splash in the UFA market while other teams will continue to build from within. Which way is correct? Well, we won’t know until the games are played, but it sure is fun knowing every team has a chance to improve by signing that key player(s)!
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.
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