Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mike Knobler at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik remains in the Thrashers’ plans after a season in which he played only 65 games though he was paid $3.5 million.
Thrashers general manager Don Waddell rejected speculation the team might buy out the final year of Zhitnik’s contract.
“That’s never been talked about,” Waddell said. “We think he’ll be a big part of our future. We expect him to come back and be part of our team.”
For more of the latest rumors and signings, be sure to visit Spector.
From John Dellapina at The Blueshirts Blog,
Jagr told me again today that he hasn’t heard anything from Rangers GM Glen Sather since they spoke on the day the team broke up for the season. While such a cat-and-mouse act is long-standing standard operating procedure for Sather, it makes little sense in this case.
Not only can Jagr sign with Omsk-Avangard at any time, there seems to be little to be gained by making him sit and wonder whether the Rangers want him back. His personal experience (see: Washington 2000-2004) is that things don’t go well when he’s playing for a team that doesn’t fully believe in him. And every day that goes by without the Rangers reaching out to him has to make him wonder even more.
from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,
Nearly every weakness can be sold as strength. Before Peter DeBoer could make his first line change from an NHL bench, the successful junior coach had to persuade a potential employer to overlook his relative inexperience.
Never played at this level. Never coached at this level.
“I tried to spin it that I’m undefeated,” DeBoer said Monday of his winning interview with Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin. “I guess he bought it.”
Soon we’ll learn whether DeBoer’s players buy in, too.
from Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch,
After months of planning and strategy, the Blue Jackets’ summer of significant change is nearing the launch pad.
A trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the negotiating rights to winger Ryan Malone could be struck today or, more likely, Wednesday, NHL sources told The Dispatch
more on the Blue Jackets…
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Holland’s top priority is signing No. 4 defenseman Brad Stuart. He earned $3.5 million this past season and could get more money on the open market. But to remain in Detroit, he undoubtedly would have to take less. Andreas Lilja is another defenseman who must decide whether it is best to take less to stay or get a better deal elsewhere….
Holland has made qualifying offers to five restricted free agents: forwards Valtteri Filppula and Ryan Oulahen, defensemen Kyle Quincey and Jonathan Ericsson, and goaltender Jimmy Howard. Filppula, who turned down an offer of a long-term deal earlier this season, could be a prime candidate to receive an offer sheet from another club after July 1, which the Red Wings more than likely would match.
more on the Wings…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
A year ago, Paul Holmgren cleared enough space under the NHL salary cap to sign Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell to contracts worth a combined $115 million.
Because of those contracts and the ones he’ll need to give restricted free agents Jeff Carter, R.J. Umberger, Randy Jones and Riley Cote, Holmgren will find himself trying to shed salary while trying to add draft picks and a puck-moving defenseman at this weekend’s NHL draft.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,
With big names such as Patrick Marleau, Olli Jokinen and Marian Hossa, a pending free agent, available on the trade market and a better-than-average draft class arriving, there could be plenty of activity.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray is believed to have interest in Marleau and Jokinen.
Trade talk among NHL teams has heated up considerably as the draft approaches.
from the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Blake Wheeler, the highly-sought winger from the University of Minnesota, has advised his agent to finalize terms of a contract with the Bruins, a two-year deal that won’t be made official until July 1, in keeping with NHL bylaws that govern the movement and signing of unrestricted free agents.
from the CP,.
A year ago Igor Larionov ended up the odd man out when the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee had to consider a once-in-a-generation class of candidates.
With only four spots for five superstars, Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis and Scott Stevens each got the nod over the Russian great, whose accomplishments off the ice in breaking the barriers Soviet Union players faced in going to the NHL were just as significant as his artistry on the ice.
On Tuesday, the hall will unveil its class of 2008 and Larionov should be at the top of the list. Often described as the Wayne Gretzky of Russia, it would be a fitting honour for one of the game’s trailblazers, and ease the sting he felt at being left out last year.
from Russo’s Rants,
It looks like Calgary’s re-signed Langkow already at four years, $20 million — which the Wild wouldn’t have offered anyway. The Flames just can’t announce the deal until July 1 because it puts them over the $50.3 million cap, and the cap doesn’t go up until July 1 (like why the Wild and Bruins had to hold off on the Manny Fernandez trade at last year’s Draft; the trade put the Bruins over the cap until July 1).
This isn’t written in stone. It just appears this way because reporters in Calgary keep referring to Langkow like he’s already signed.
– As for Olli Jokinen, the Flames have bigtime interest in reuniting the Florida captain with Mike Keenan, but they would have to dump a giant salary to get him — probably Alex Tanguay.
more and some other NHL bits…
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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