Kukla's Korner Hockey
This from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
The NHL lockout was supposed to restore a degree of fiscal sanity to the NHL, right? And in so doing perhaps restore a little good faith between the league and its players – remember “Thank You Fans” stencilled outside the blue lines? – and the money-gouged if unfailingly loyal spectators.
So since Sunday noon, NHL clubs have spent a half-billion – billion – dollars on salaries, locking up players for as long as eight years with strategies that have defied explanation, common sense and logic on many fronts.
Make sure to read some of the comments left there…
If last year is any indication, many deals were announced on July 4th.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Meanwhile, the next time the NHL and the NHLPA go to the mattresses, the board of governors would do well to instruct Gary Bettman to forget the salary cap and cap the calendar instead. Fifteen years for Rick DiPietro, eight years for Briere, seven years for Gomez - it’s absurd.
Go back to the NHL record books seven or eight years ago and look at the number of players who were stars then, but are half-forgotten now.
Like to have Pavel Bure, anyone? Alexander Mogilny? Donald Audette? Jeremy Roenick? Michael Peca? Owen Nolan? Jose Theodore?
Put it this way: Signing free agents is a crapshoot and the longer the deal, the more crap in the chute.
much more... and note to Jack, there is hockey talk in the States, you just have to know where to find it.
Spector points out the Devils and Souray talk plus other UFA bits including Kozlov in the Lone Star state…
From Steve Keating at Reuters,
With most of the top players signed, sealed and delivered, teams continued to pick the bones of the NHL free agent market on Tuesday.
After two furious days of signings that included $50 million deals for Daniel Briere (to Philadelphia Flyers $52 million for eight years) and Scott Gomez (New York Rangers $51 million for seven years) teams were left scouring for bargains and scraps.
Most of the action on day three of the free agency period involved teams looking to plug holes left by the loss of their own unrestricted free agents.
from Al Strachan af Fox Sports,
And what do we see? Exactly the opposite of what Bettman intended when he introduced his fatally flawed salary-cap system.
The big-money, big-spending, big-market teams are back in the spotlight with a vengeance, even though Bettman shut down his league for a year and all but killed its support in the United States to prevent such an occurrence.
There was all that talk about “the level playing field” and “making the small-market teams competitive” and “bridging the gap” between the poor and the wealthy.
Spector has some early evening talk regarding Yashin and Jovanovski…
Today’s European, given a choice, likes to cut four or five hours off of that trip to the homeland, and can do that by staying on the east side of the continent. And older players—Nylander will be 35 when the season begins—want nothing to do with a Western travel schedule.
As the fight to revamp the NHL schedule ramps up this season, that element and its effect on free agency will play a key role in discussions to have eastern-based teams travelling outside their time zone a lot more than they do currently.
Beyond travel concerns, some people will always be drawn to major markets like New York, Toronto and Los Angeles. It’s human nature. And when you’re dealing with young, often single hockey players, choosing to play in Tampa Bay or Buffalo is awfully tough when the big boys are calling on the other line.
via Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider,
I spoke to Dainius Zubrus’s agent, Jerrold Colton, this morning. The Caps did not pursue him seriously and he doesn’t expect that to change, especially with Michael Nylander now in the fold. Colton did say that Zubrus has some offers from other teams and is currently weighing his options. Something could be announced today.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
(Jeremy) Jacobs is considered an owner who will continue to fight for Bettman against more liberal members of the NHL. Last week, he spoke on a variety of topics that are important to the NHL.
Q: It seems the price of free agency, regardless of the cap, is going up. It’s possible for clubs to spend well over the cap during any given year if contracts are front-loaded because all contracts are averaged. Are you worried about this becoming a trend?
A: This is what I [mean] when I say people are learning this agreement. Sure, you are going to see some of this. We may have to turn around and change that going forward. But you [have] got to live with what you got right now in this agreement.
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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