Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Imagine the surprise of J.P. Barry, the agent for the Sedin twins, when he hopped on a plane headed to Stockholm on Sunday evening and saw none other than Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis on the same flight.
Surprise because the agent figured talks were likely dead after a weekend meeting in Montreal that didn’t produce anything. Barry arrived in Stockholm on Monday to prepare his star clients for free agency.
“We met at the draft with [Gillis], there was no counter-proposal and we basically wished each other good luck,” Barry told ESPN.com on Monday from Sweden. “It was like, ‘Call me if you want to.’”...
n Stockholm, Barry and CAA Sports Stockholm-based agent Claes Elefalk were set to meet with the twins later Monday.
“We’ll discuss the state of our negotiations and also our preparation for free agency at the same time,” Barry said.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Booed mercilessly in nearly every NHL arena except his own, Pronger is perhaps the league’s most misunderstood individual. Certainly, he has crossed the line at times, as eight career suspensions attest, but fans who are convinced that Pronger is nothing but evil are severely misguided.
Pronger himself often fuels the perception that he is a bad guy, perhaps as something of a defense mechanism and undoubtedly to place further fear into the heads of opponents. Brief interactions with Pronger can definitely leave the wrong impression, as evidenced by an incident after one Ducks road game against the Minnesota Wild.
With a collection of reporters nearby, Pronger loudly stated that anyone interested should gather around because he was going to speak only once. Those who knew him thought nothing of it. It was just Pronger being Pronger.
1st Overall Pick John Tavares throws out the first pitch at the Yankees/Mets game on Sunday at Citi Field.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
The Canucks don’t care where Gaborik lives because he won’t be playing for them. Not unless the winger decides he needs to re-establish himself in the NHL and signs a Teemu-Selanne-just-back-from-knee-surgery contract of $3-million for one year.
Other than that, the Canucks have no interest in him. None.
And that is hard to fathom, especially with the strong possibility the Canucks could lose first-liners Daniel and Henrik Sedin this week.
I mean, what’s not to like about Gaborik?
He has played 103 games fewer than the Sedins in the last three seasons.
He has played close to a full campaign only once in the last five seasons, while the slacker Sedins have missed seven games between them during that time.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
For a lot of hockey fans, Christmas really comes in July—July 1, to be exact. That’s when the NHL free agency market opens for business.
But while fans are like kids—dreaming of winning Stanley Cups if only their team can sign the “right” players—general managers are the parents who deal with the facts of life … they have to make sure any newcomers fit into the salary structure and mesh with the players they already have.
The doors to hockey’s shopping season swing open on July 1. Here’s a look at 50 of the top potential free agents—15 defensemen, 25 forwards and 10 goaltenders.
At the top of each position, John lists Bouwmeester, Hossa and Khabibulin. Read on for the complete list…
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
The Red Wings weren’t sure if Jimmy Howard was ready to play 25 regular season games in the NHL last season. They hope he’s ready now.
The Wings have decided not to offer a contract to Ty Conklin, who ended up playing 40 games last season and winning 25.
The Wings are out of options with Howard, who has played four seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League. Howard, signed through 2010-11, is due to make $717,700 this season.
For some reason, I see Holland dangling Howard in some trade talk in the next few weeks.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
In sending a third- round selection in next year’s Entry Draft to Los Angeles for fourth-line center candidate Brian Boyle, Rangers general manager Glen Sather traded his team out of the possibility of getting Boston’s dynamic Phil Kessel on a Group II free agent offer sheet.
Maybe the cost of the contract plus the cost in compensation wouldn’t have been worth it and maybe it would have. Maybe the cap-stressed Bruins would have matched, but maybe they wouldn’t have or couldn’t have.
But if the Rangers had kept their third-round pick, they’d at least have been in position to offer Kessel, the 21-year-old right wing who scored 36 goals in his third NHL season, an offer sheet for approximately the $5.5 million he’s seeking but won’t get from Boston.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
With his client’s first shot at unrestricted free agency only a couple of sleeps away, Bryon Baltimore won’t let it be known where Jay Bouwmeester stands.
At least not to the media in regards to negotiations with the Calgary Flames.
However, Baltimore was willing to shoot down any rumours of a deal already being in place between the Flames and the defenceman.
One infamous Internet site claimed yesterday a deal with a cap hit of US$6.3 million was in place, which had tongues wagging among Flames fans.
“I can dispel that rumour,” Baltimore said from Edmonton. “We have not agreed to anything because we haven’t even talked yet.”
Remember folks, THAT blogger only wants site hits so be prepared for stuff like this in the next few days. Also, someone should ask him about his ‘breaking’ story of the Lightning drafting Ashton Carter (yes I know it is Carter Ashton, but he didn’t) on Friday night. I would point it out to you on his Twitter and website, but he deleted both posts.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
My money is on Marty Biron or Ty Conklin being the next Avs’ starting goalie, with Boods as the backup.
There was a report in the Ottawa Sun today, too, saying Sakic will play one more year. The paper has a one in two chance of being right, but I have not heard that as a fact from my people, so we’ll keep waiting to see.
read on for some ‘Monster’ talk…
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition),
The final list of unrestricted free agents won’t be finalized until Wednesday morning after teams take final stabs at keeping their players. Marian Gaborik appears to be one of the players who will test the free-agent waters, but Minnesota Wild rookie GM Chuck Fletcher will make a final attempt.
“Every pending UFA – we’re just a few days away – why wouldn’t you look over the fence and see what’s on the other side,” Fletcher said. “I’m just not sure which way the free-agent market’s going to go. I really don’t know. We certainly haven’t closed any doors and [Gaborik and his agent] tell me they haven’t either. Maybe something gets done before and maybe there are conversations afterwards, but it’s all speculation at this point.”
Besides Bouwmeester, Gaborik, the Sedins and the aforementioned Habs, some of the bigger names that could be available on Wednesday include: Nik Antropov, Todd Bertuzzi, Rob Blake, Mike Cammalleri, Martin Havlat, Marian Hossa, Brian Gionta, Mike Knuble, Derek Morris, Mattias Ohlund, Joe Sakic and Steve Sullivan.
Also note, teams must make qualifying offers to their RFAs by 5:00pm ET Monday.
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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