Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Unless a deal was reached late last night or one gets struck some time this morning—very much a possibility, either way—Antoine Vermette (and/or agent Allan Walsh) will today stand before an arbitrator opposite Senators GM Bryan Murray (and/or another team representative) as both sides pitch their case in a contract dispute over the worth of the 26-year-old forward….
The belief here is that Murray, outraged at the way the Senators disappeared meekly from the 2007-08 campaign, is still determined to do what he can to give the team more of a facelift. The belief here is that he has tried and will continue to try to peddle Vermette for a grittier player and, not wanting to be the Lightning north, attempt to give his team at least one defenceman with some offensive talents.
The belief here is that no matter what happens today, Vermette won’t be a Senator by the time the season starts.
update 10:05am, via the Ottawa Sun,
Antoine Vermette has avoided arbitration, the Sun has learned.
Sources say the Senators centre agreed to a two-year, $5.525 million contract this morning. He will make $2.525 million next season and $3 million in 2009-10.
from Brad Schrade of the Tennessean,
A copy of the confidential Aug. 31, 2007, purchase agreement between Leipold and head of the local majority ownership group, David Freeman, obtained by The Tennessean, shows exactly what Leipold had to do. The document was so confidential that Metro’s attorney, Larry Thrailkill, who negotiated the city’s lease changes with the new owners, never saw it.
The document shows how far Leipold may have had to go to get out of town. It suggests that the deal to sell the team could have fallen apart if Leipold failed to keep $30 million of his own money in the team for one year or failed to find an outside investor to put the money up. If those conditions weren’t met, Freeman and his group could have gotten their $10 million deposit back, according to the document.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Simon Gagne has a few words of encouragement for Flyers fans that have seen R.J. Umberger, Jason Smith and Sami Kapanen leave Philadelphia to play elsewhere next season.
“The way I look at it, I might be the free agent the Flyers signed this year,” Gagne said. “I wasn’t a big part of the team last year and I want to be a big part this season.”
Gagne said the concussion symptoms that kept him out of all but 25 games last season are completely gone, thanks to an innovative injection therapy called prolotherapy.
from John Glennon of Chilling Out at the Tennessean,
The Minnesota Wild’s decision to buy out forward Mark Parrish means there’s another established goal-scorer on the free-agent market, but I don’t suspect the Predators will be making a beeline for the telephone.
For starters, I think David Poile wants to get some resolution on the Alexander Radulov situation before he starts making commitments to any new forwards.
Second of all, I’m not sure Parrish is exactly what the team is looking for. On the plus side, he’s scored at least 16 goals in all nine of his NHL seasons. On the down side, he’s posted only 39 and 30 points, respectively, in Minnesota’s defensive system the last two years and – at age 31 – might be on the downside of his career.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It is great sport to engage in dog-chase-tail arguments over whether Howson extracted good value in every trade or paid too much for this free agent or that one. But to do that would be to miss the big picture, and the big picture is this:
At last season’s prices, about $18 million went out the door, all told. At this season’s prices, about $20 million was imported. Essentially, the money spent on the deals washed out—and the team was upgraded. Which is to say that Howson’s plan was an intelligent one, and well-executed.
There is a greater depth at forward. Nash, a 60-point scorer, now has a 70-point guy in Huselius on the other wing. The second li, ne looks like Fredrik Modin-Derick Brassard-Torres.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
Once upon a time, the Stanley Cup was revered in the offseason by players who had won The Mug, but with each year, the trophy has been undergoing the most unusual rituals. Most recently, in Pitea, Sweden, Tomas Holmstrom allowed his cousin to use it as a baptismal font for a christening of 7-week-old Alva Felicia. We hasten to think of what will happen to Lord Stanley’s chalice next. Or, to put it another way, Heaven help the NHL if Sean Avery ever wins it!
more from the Maven…
J.P. Barry was just on Team 1040 in Vancouver and said Sundin has yet to decide if he wants to play.
The timeframe for his decision is not August 1st, it is sometime in August. As Barry said, anytime in August, sometime before training camp starts.
Barry thinks more teams will get involved if Mats decides to play and right now it is six teams that have interest. Teams have called him and said, we will make room if you give us some time.
Barry said the Rangers are one team that will not go away and Detroit is not in the running.
added 9:22pm, from David Shoalts of the Toronto Globe and Mail,
The Canucks have that $10-million-a-year offer, but Sundin has never been motivated by money and it is hard to believe he would be willing to put up with all that travel on a non-contender.
So that may leave it between the Leafs and Rangers, who have cap room but are not a surefire Cup contender.
In any event, Sundin has to decide soon. A lot of NHL GMs are on vacation right now, but in the next couple of weeks, arbitration decisions on players will start coming in and the GMs will have to finalize their rosters. They simply won’t have time to wait any longer for Sundin’s decision.
RDS reports Bob Gainey phoned J.P. Barry, Mats Sundin’s agent, on Tuesday.
While the sports network did not reveal the substance of the conversation, a source in Sweden has sent a recording of it to Habs Inside/Out.
Gainey: If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down
If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
-Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out
Goaltender Pascal Leclaire has signed a three-year contract worth $11.4 million with the Blue Jackets, The Dispatch has learned.
The deal will pay Leclaire $3 million this season, $3.6 million in 2009-10 and $4.8 million in 2010-11.
added 5:22pm, from the Columbus Blue Jackets,
“We’re very happy to have signed Pascal to a new contract that will keep him with the Blue Jackets for the next three seasons,” said Howson. “He is an important part of our team and we think he will continue to improve and play a significant role in helping us reach our goals.”
Mike Vogel at WashingtonCaps.com sits down with Jose Theodore for a one-on-one interview.
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.
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