Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
There were a frenzy of signings during Day 1 of the free-agency period. Here’s a look at the top deals so far:
The home run—Parts I and II
• Blackhawks sign defenseman Brian Campbell to eight-year deal ($7.125 million annual average), goalie Cristobal Huet to four years at $5.6 million per season…
Free-agency grade: Campbell, A+; Huet, A-
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
Flyers G.M. Paul Holmgren revealed on Tuesday evening that the club has agreed to a two-year contract extension with restricted free agent defenseman Randy Jones. Jones also took part in a conference call with local reporters regarding his deal.
Randy Jones: “I just talked it over with my agent and kind of looked at the scenario that would have been best for me. With a two-year [deal] I think it worked out the best for myself and for the Flyers.”
from Snapshots at Mlive,
Sport-Express’s Igor Larin says that the New Jersey Devils have offered Sergei Fedorov a contract…
On the Mats Sundin front, Aftonbladet’s Tomas Ros says that Sundin would prefer to stay in the Eastern Conference, though he’s seriously considering the Vancouver Canucks’ 2-year, $20 million contract offer, and Sundin’s Swedish representative, Claes Elefak, told Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom that Sundin’s merely “considering” every offer:
read on with translations…
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
While general manager Kevin Lowe said “the numbers are a little bit inflated” when it comes to the reported $9 million a year deal over a rumoured nine-year term for 29-year-old Slovakian Marian Hossa, in the same breath he added: “Daryl said from the outset he’ll do whatever it takes and spend to the cap.”
The excitement comes from a community unaccustomed to being in the bidding for the most sought-after player in the Canada Day craziness. The fear comes from paying that kind of money to a player who is recognized as more of a follower than a leader, especially if the deal takes him to age 38. That’s the kind of insanity which history suggests more teams live to regret than not.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times, ‘
‘Huet was the No. 1 goaltender in this [free-agent market],’’ Tallon said. ‘‘We like Nik, but we wanted to make sure we were good in the net. Khabby’s contract is up at the end of the year, and we’ve got a lot of young goalies who aren’t ready yet.’‘
That’s not the stance Tallon took after last season, when he declared that Corey Crawford ‘‘deserves a shot’’ after two good seasons in the minors. And Finland’s Antti Niemi came with rave reviews when Tallon signed him in the offseason.
More to the point, the Hawks probably couldn’t find a taker for the last $6.75 million on Khabibulin’s contract. They might find one as the season winds down, though, and by then Huet will be the solid starter and either Crawford or Niemi the up-and-coming backup.
We couldn’t come to terms with Cristobal Huet even though we met his ask and NOT for a lack of trying. We became very concerned that this player just didn’t want to sign with us so we had to move quickly to sign a new number one goaltender. We believe that Jose Theodore will fit in nicely in DC
-Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Hell in a handbasket.
There’s no other way to describe it. When a young man named Jeff Finger (Who?) plays one full season in the NHL, including being a healthy scratch for five of his team’s 10 playoff games, and is rewarded with a contract that pays him a mind-blowing $3.75 million (all figures U.S.) per season – a 733 per cent raise in salary – something’s seriously out of whack.
Somewhere, Bob Goodenow is giggling….
Cliff Fletcher’s no longer the caretaker. He’s in charge indefinitely and there’s a plan in place, or so he says. So we’re all trying to figure it out. Jamal Mayers was brought in because he’s a good guy, and maybe that’s the reason for repatriating Joseph, too, once again establishing the Leafs as the NHL team most likely to employ the same player twice.
from Arace on hockey… and other stuff at the Columbus Dispatch,
To quote Wally Lamb, I know this much is true: The Blue Jackets are better today than they were yesterday – and they’re a lot better today than they were last week. I don’t know if they’ll score 82 goals, but Ken Hitchcock is smiling. He can trot these guys out, ruin the game – and win at a greater clip than he did previously. He has a better team now. He doesn’t have Hossa or Jagr or Sundin. There has been no big splash. But the Jackets are better. There’s no doubt about it.
There are some fans out there who are chafing, and that is understandable. The carnival huckster is long gone, and some excitement went with him. We’ve gone from Doug MacLean, the Jerry Springer of GMs, to Scott Howson, who is vaguely reminiscent of Niles Crane.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
**From what I’ve been told, Brendan Shanahan’s agent Rick Curran received phone calls from several teams expressing interest in signing in the UFA left wing today. None of them were from the Devils.
**The Rangers are still in the bidding for Marian Hossa and Mats Sundin, but don’t have the room to sign both. Edmonton is said to have the best offer on the table for Hossa. Word is it’s for more than $9 million per season.
**If the Rangers land Hossa or Sundin, Jaromir Jagr’s days as a Ranger are likely over. There is a possibility that Jagr could go back to Pittsburgh, but it appears the market for Jagr is waiting on Hossa’s decision.
**Bobby Holik on whether the Devils’ fans will welcome him back after boing him since he left New Jersey to sign a five-year, $45 million deal with the Rangers in 2002: “I’ll tell you what, fans in New Jersey are somewhat spoiled and I don’t mean it in a bad way. They want their team to be successful. There’s nothing more important to them and because it’s been a great 12-13 years prior to last year. But if I give my best as I always had and make the team better, I think that’s all they (want). Yeah, there are going to be people who have opinions. I have opinions, too. So, we all do. And we’re all entitled to them. But the bottom line is I’m on that team to make the team better and I believe I can with whatever role they designate for me.”
more, Devils related…
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
“Claude played a big factor based on his relationship with him,” Chiarelli said. “They have a real good relationship and trust. Cam spoke about the city and the growing emergence of the Bruins, how we’re trying to turn things around. He’s seen that firsthand. He liked what he saw.”
According to Chiarelli, Montreal granted exclusive negotiating rights to Ryder to an undisclosed team prior to free agency. Chiarelli said there were at least two other teams chasing Ryder.
more on the Bruins who are at the cap max…
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