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Category: NHL-Teams

Afternoon Line- Mike Heika

Mike Heika, Dallas Stars beat writer when asked this question in an online chat today...

Which team in the West improved the most in the first 5 days of FA, and who took steps back? (cough STL)

Calgary is a team to be feared right now. Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik are big adds, and the team has plenty of young players getting better. The Blues are in a strange place, where the pressure will make them better or make them crack. But I think Vancouver is the team that could really slide this season.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Off-Season Topics

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In reality, the NHL offseason is painfully short once you get through free agency, factor in development camps and count down the days to rookie camps.

That said, there's a lot of stuff percolating to keep hockey on the front burner as we head into the dog days of summer.

1. Will Steven Stamkos sign an extension?

Is there anyone who doesn't expect a long-term deal to get done to keep the Stanley Cup finalist Tampa Bay Lightning intertwined for the long haul with their dynamic captain, Steven Stamkos? OK, Leafs fans put your hands down. Still, the last thing general manager Steve Yzerman wants to do is have this become a "thing" by stretching it into training camp or beyond. Surely this will get done, but the longer it doesn't, the longer there will be rumblings that somehow Stamkos might consider an exit plan.

2. How will Mike Richards situation resolve itself?

The Los Angeles Kings are charting dangerous territory here by looking to dissolve Richards' contract rather than buy him out, especially as they continue to wait out Slava Voynov's situation in the face of domestic abuse charges. We get that it's a business, but the Kings' reputation, already on the rocks given the multiple off-ice issues in the past year, has the potential to take a real hit depending on how this plays out. 

continue for 8 more topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Boston Bruins Signed Three Players Today

BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, July 6, that the club has signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year contract through the 2017-18 season worth a cap figure of $2,300,000, forward Brett Connolly to a one-year contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $1,025,000 at the NHL level and forward Brandon DeFazio to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $575,000 at the NHL level.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can The New York Rangers Afford Derek Stepan?

from Sean Hartnett of CBSNewYork,

Initially, it was thought that the Rangers would be able to lock their 25-year-old alternate captain into a long-term deal slightly above $6 million annually. Buffalo giving a comparable center in O’Reilly crazy money raises Stepan’s asking price.

Stepan is an upward-trending star who is just breaking into his prime years. He has averaged 0.78 points per game over the past three seasons and has scored his share of memorable playoff goals. The question is: How far do the Rangers go to satisfy Stepan?

He is definitely worth between $6 and $6.5 million million per year. Anything above $6.5 million is an overpayment. He’s not worth Nicklas Backstrom or Anze Kopitar money. A demand of a long-term deal above $7 million AAV could force the Rangers to do the unthinkable — trade Stepan away.

Finding takers for third-pair defenseman Kevin Klein (three years, $2.9 million AAV) and/or fourth-line winger Tanner Glass (two years, $1.45 million AAV) could help alleviate the cap squeeze. Demoting Glass to the minors would force the Rangers to carry $500,000 in dead cap space, but would free up $950,000 of cap room.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+stepan

Video- Mike Babcock On The Nazem Kadri Signing

via Sportsnet,

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock has high expectations for Nazem Kadri, who has this next year to prove he’s an elite player before he gets paid like one.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Almost One Week Into The Free Agency Period

from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,

So while the free-agency market isn’t done, it’s cooled off enough that we can start handing out some report cards. According to long-standing hockey bylaws, all free-agency summaries must be presented in a winner/loser format.1 So let’s take a look back at the first few days since the market opened to see who came out ahead and who’s having a rough start to the summer.

Winners: Andrej Sekera and Michael Frolik. That Sekera and Frolik signed two of the biggest UFA deals in terms of overall money pretty much says all you need to know about this year’s market — i.e., it wasn’t very good. Both are solid players; neither would be considered a star.2 But when there’s not much available, teams pay for what they can get, and that’s what the Oilers and Flames did here. Edmonton has needed a top-pairing defenseman forever, and while Sekera may or may not actually be that, he’s as close as it was going to get this year, and that’s why he’ll make $33 million over the next six years. And a good young Flames team that was looking for some veteran help up front figured Frolik was worth $21.5 million over five years.

Those are big deals, although that doesn’t necessarily make them bad deals.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Looking Ahead To Arbitration

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

Gustav Nyquist, Detroit – Coming off a two-year deal that paid him less than $1 million per season, Nyquist is definitely getting a bump. But if the Red Wings are canny, they’ll point out that his season was a bit of a step back from his insane 2013-14 campaign.

Stats matter a lot in arbitration and Nyquist’s were down this year. His relative Shot Attempts (aka Corsi) ranked 15th on the squad at -0.6, down from third the year prior (4.3). The sly Swede’s points per game also dropped and while the success he had in 2013-14 may have been unsustainable, it sure would have resulted in a bigger contract had it occurred this season instead of last.

Derek Stepan, New York Rangers – It would be easy for Stepan’s agent to start arbitration proceedings by simply stating, “Game 7, OT against Washington” and doing a mic drop, but unfortunately that’s not how the system works. Instead, Stepan’s reps can simply point to the stats, which indicate that the gifted center played some of the hardest minutes on the squad, placed near the top of New York scorers and was one of the most dangerous penalty-killers in the NHL with five shorthanded points, just one off the lead.

Then they can point to Ryan O’Reilly’s new contract in Buffalo and say “this.”

Of all the players listed here, Stepan’s situation may be the most contentious, since New York has limited cap space and Stepan could easily win $7 million, maybe even $8 million in front of an arbitrator.

more players...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

It helps that the Jets have a decent economy, new building and well-heeled bosses with an appreciation for the long term. “We have an ownership group that is extremely committed to doing things the right way,” Cheveldayoff said. “From Day 1, they’ve viewed drafting and developing as an investment, not as an expense. When you get into the boardroom and start dealing with budgets and things like that, the easiest thing to cut is something you don’t see. You barely see the amateur scouts because they’re on the road all the time and it’s an easy cut. But in that aspect, we’ve never been shortchanged.”

Everything is set for the Jets to have a future full of serious Stanley Cup runs. With a management team that has finally begun to address the present, while keeping an eye to the future, the Jets are on the precipice of something special.

We’re predicting a Stanley Cup in 2019. After all, when you’ve waited as long as Winnipeg has to get your team back, what’s a couple more years to bide your time for the top prize?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Colorado Avalanche Had Enough Of Ryan O’Reilly

from Terry Frei of The Denver Post,

Last week, word came that the Buffalo Sabres signed former Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly to a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension that kicks in after he make $6.2 million this season and takes him through 2022-23. The deal calls for him to make $11 million in 2016-17 and slide down to $6 million in each of the final four years. The annual cap hit is $7.5 million.

O'Reilly is respected for his work ethic, which stacks up with that of anyone in the NHL. Fans, media and, most important, the Avalanche "got" that his contributions go far beyond the simply quantifiable. (No, I'm not stooping to citing analytics, but offering conclusions reached by actually watching him play.) Yet the virtually universal reaction to his departure has been: Good riddance. I'm not sure I've ever seen a player so respected told so universally to not let the door hit him on the way out....

O'Reilly already had been inordinately rewarded for his contributions. The salary benchmark was raised when the Calgary Flames signed him to an offer sheet — that involved organizational spite as much as coldhearted evaluation — but the Avalanche willingly went along with it by matching and then reaching a two-year, $12 million deal with him last year minutes in advance of an arbitration heading.

The Avalanche finally had enough.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+o'reilly

Morning Line- Kevin Paul Dupont On Matt Beleskey

"I really don't know what to tell you, [Matt Beleskey] has had one good year. Was it a great year? No. This reminds me in some ways of Marty Lapointe, when they gave Marty Lapointe five years, $25 million and were expecting a whole lot of Marty and he was a 'C' player. I hope this guy is a 'B' player."

-Kevin Paul Dupont via CSNNE where you can read more from Dupont.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+beleskey

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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