Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Michael Peca finally has a job.
But Bryan Berard, the first overall pick in the 1995 NHL entry draft, has swallowed his pride and will be going to the Islanders as a training camp invite, literally begging for a job.
And how about Jeff Friesen, Mike Johnson, Jeff O’Neill and Danny Markov? They’re all veteran free agents still waving the “Needs Work” sign with only a few weeks left before National Hockey League camps open.
The NHL free-agent landscape is going through a transformation. While there’ll always be a market for big names like
Peter Forsberg, there’s a whole group of seasoned pros who are feeling the crunch, mostly due to the salary cap.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Heading into 2007-08, however, a considerable number of teams have far more cap space and thus more flexibility should the need arise early in the season to bolster roster depth.
Twenty-five of the NHL’s 30 teams presently sit well below this coming season’s $50.3 million cap.
Of those, nine clubs — Atlanta, Buffalo, Carolina, Los Angeles, Minnesota, N.Y. Islanders, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay — have payrolls presently around the mid-point range ($42.3 million) between the cap’s $50.3 million maximum and the $34.3 million minimum.
However, those teams have self-established cap ceilings and aren’t expected to spend much more over what they’ve presently committed to this season’s payrolls.
Two teams, Columbus and Florida, are currently well below the mid-point but also aren’t expected to spend much beyond $40 million in payroll.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
What’s left is a collection of unrestricted free agents whose best days are clearly behind them, but can still contribute to a team that might just need a little something extra to clear that last hurdle. There are also a handful of restricted and unrestricted free agents who, because of contract issues or various “reputation issues (injuries, character problems or the like), might be obtainable for teams willing to take a risk.
It’s not necessarily a bargain bin, but what follows is a Sportsnet.ca non-inclusive list of discounted, disrupted, discouraged or just dissed players who might help your hockey team (or perhaps your hockey pool if you or your favourite general manger can get them to the table on time.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Ah the lazy, hazy days of summer — sunshine, a hint of fall in the air, back-to-school sales … and NHL general managers, in a bargain-hunting mode, making one last pass at the free-agent market, with training camps less than a month away.
This week, two of the most respected players that had slipped through the cracks, found work — Trevor Linden and Michael Peca, who agreed to one-year deals respectively with the Vancouver Canucks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Linden received $600,000 in base salary; Peca will get $1.2 million as soon as he passes his physical; and both contracts include incentives that could increase their eventual take-home day, depending upon how their seasons unfold.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
In the coming days and weeks, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is going to be asked to make difficult decisions on two prickly issues, decisions whose ramifications may reverberate around the league for years.
Both decisions involve how to deal with men who have run afoul of the law. Both will require Bettman to balance the desire for good public relations with what is right and just, and possibly even compassionate.
First, there is the issue of what to do with disgraced assistant coach Rick Tocchet, who pleaded guilty to a variety of gambling offenses and was ordered to serve two years of probation last week.
continued and Scott’s second issue is Mark Bell…
from Black Athlete,
I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever seen or been privy to a hit-and-run situation, you know that the act itself is tantamount to attempted murder when alcohol is added to the equation.
I’m amazed that an advocacy group like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) isn’t after Bell’s ass with the same passion as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in Vick’s case.
For Bettman to make light of these incidents is to imply hockey has no problem—and the treatment in both issues further gives the impression ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the ice.
Bettman’s laissez-faire attitude says “No problem—because ‘our guys’ aren’t troublemakers like those in those “other leagues”—and there are no moral issues in conflict with our athletes.”
Meanwhile, 50 years since the first black player, Wilie O’Ree, laced up his skates for the Boston Bruins, the NHL still wants to pretend that Black folks in America aren’t worth cozying up to sell their game to.
via the Blueshirts Blog,
Michael Peca will not be a Ranger this season.
Agent Don Meehan confirmed moments ago that the Rangers did not make Peca a contract offer.
Meehan said that he expected to complete negotiation on a one-year deal for the 33-year-old center within a couple of hours. Columbus appears to be the city where the former Islanders captain will be playing his home games this season.
added 9:06pm, On the front page of the Columbus Dispatch but no link yet- Peca expected to sign
added 9:08pm, Link now working,
Michael Peca is likely to sign a contract with the Blue Jackets either late tonight or early Wednesday.
It’s a one-year contract with incentives, according to a source.
As of 8:45 p.m., Peca’s agent, Don Meehan, was negotiating with Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson over the final details.
added 10:57pm,, The same link from the Dispatch now stating Peca has agreed to terms with Columbus.
from Blue Notes,
The Mike Peca saga will end tomorrow.
Don Meehan, the agent for the free-agent center, who the Rangers had in for a physical and talks with brass last week, said his client will choose Tuesday about which team he’ll play for this season.
“He’ll make a decision (Tuesday),” Meehan said during a brief phone call last night of Peca, 33, who played just 35 games last seaon after breaking his right leg in late December while skating for the Maple Leafs.“It’s down to a few teams.”
added 6:18am, from the NY Daily News,
Asked whether Sather wants to sign Peca, agent Don Meehan replied: “I’ve been trying to figure that out. I’ve tried to reach him (yesterday and Sunday) and can’t. And I’m working with time constraints now. I’ve got to find out where he stands.
“We’re probably going to force the issue by (today). If I can’t reach him (today), we’ll just go our separate way.”
from Expressen- rough translation follows:
NHL star Janne Niinimaa has [received] a serious inquiry [from] the Swedish championship finalist [Linköpings HC].
“[We may have] the possibility [to recruit] him so is he clearly interesting,” Linköping’s says sports manager Johan Hemlin.
...“We have contacted his agent, but they await enough [for] few [contracts] really from NHL first,” says Hemlin.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
I’m not sure why, but I’m always drawn to the offensive storylines each season presents—contrary thinking for a former goalie, I know—and to looking at the state of the Original Six franchises. Maybe if you replace “former” with “old” goalie, you’ll get to the root here, but anyway, here are some of the things I hope happen during the 2007-08 season:
Original Six Prominence: With the Rangers making the bold offseason signings of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez, they should be in the mix atop the Eastern Conference all season long.
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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