Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
From high-end forwards to a decent mix of mid-range and lower salary players, this years unrestricted free agent class has a little bit of everything.
A dozen NHL general managers, coaches and player agents have submitted their choices for the top unrestricted free agent forwards and the consensus top two picks are Marian Hossa and Mats Sundin.
While he’s used to a certain amount of celebrity as a professional hockey player, he said the attention he has received in Newfoundland is beyond what he expected.
“We all know a certain level about privacy,” Cleary said. “This is a whole new level. This is like Steve Yzerman privacy level. I’m trying to relax and go with the flow. It’s not easy. I know it sounds stupid, but I’m very inexperienced.”
more from George Sipple at the Detroit Free Press on Cleary back home, and the Cup isn’t even with him until Monday/
The Atlanta Thrashers made a move on Saturday, placing defenceman Alexei Zhitnik on waivers. The 15-year veteran was acquired from Philadelphia for defenceman Braydon Coburn on Feb. 24, 2007.
both Bertuzzi and Raycroft have cleared waviers too, more at TSN...
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired the rights to left wings Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts from Pittsburgh in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2009, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced..
“We said earlier this week we would be aggressive in our pursuit of free agents in order to win and compete,” Koules said. “This trade today doesn’t guarantee anything, but we believe it gives us a leg up in our attempt to sign these two impact players.”
Update 2:05pm ET (alanah): Link above has been fixed (it was changed at the team’s website after publication). Info also available at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
added 2:35pm, via Lightning Strikes,
Roberts is 42 and had just three goals in 38 games last season while suffering from a broken leg and high ankle sprain. He has 434 goals in his career. he also wants to be closer to his family in Canada and is expected to want to sign with the Maple Leafs or Senators. But he has been a god leader throughout his career, so perhaps Melrose and owner Oren Koules can pursuade him to take a chance on the Lightning. And, in fact, Roberts had to waive a no-trade clause, so there might actually be some interest.
added 3:41pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On Saturday, when the Lightning announced that they’d paid a heavy price to acquire the free-agent rights to Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts for a weekend from the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was the new owner, Koules, quoted in the press release, not general manager Jay Feaster.
More and more, it looks as if Feaster is a lame duck, with the crazed, hands-on pair of owners seizing control of the Lightning’s hockey operations department.
more on the deal…
from Brian Cosetllo of the Hockey News,
Many teams rushed to lock up pending RFAs this season because they worried the Oilers or some other adventurous team was going to attempt to scoop up the best RFAs this summer. That’s not likely to happen for a couple of reasons.
First, the stronger teams are, for the most part, too close to the salary cap to be offering the likes of RFAs Corey Perry, Mike Green or Jay Bouwmeester $5 to $6 million per season. We might see one of them go, but not the entire top three.
Second, the weaker teams realize it’s largely folly to hand out that kind of money and the three or four first round draft picks as compensation it’s going to take to pry away an RFA. Sure, Edmonton did it last year, but they’re mavericks.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Here’s hoping Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey and agent Don Meehan have settled the monetary portion of Andrei Kostitsyn’s contract, because the Philadelphia Flyers have set the bar a bit higher for forwards who score 53 points.
The Flyers and Jeff Carter have reportedly agreed on a three-year deal worth $15 million. Carter, a centre, had 29 goals and 24 assists last season and was a plus-6, while Kostitsyn had 26 goals and 27 assists and was plus-15.
a little more and some Leafs talk…
“People are lying if they’re saying money’s not a part of it, but it’s not all ‘let’s go to the highest bidder.’ It’s also a case of going somewhere where you’re happy, where you want to be and where they’re committed.”
more from Campbell at Working the Corners…
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The thought of pulling on a Senators jersey again is exciting to Patrick Lalime.
“I would love to go back, for sure,” he said yesterday. “It’s a very nice place to play, they always have a very good team.
“I had a great time there and I would love to go back.”
The thought of signing the top goalie in franchise history is enticing to Senators GM Bryan Murray, who needs an affordable backup plan and is currently in the process of redecorating the dressing room with character individuals.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
“This is such an important part of the year because, really, your team is built now, between June 15 and July 15, maybe to Aug. 1,” Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said.
“A big part is building your team through the draft and then adding the necessary pieces on July 1 through free agency. Once you leave Aug. 1, other than a few guys you might sign closer to training camp, your team is pretty well built and ready to go.”
That one player signed in early July can often put a team in the rarefied air of Stanley Cup contender. Just consider the past two Stanley Cup championship teams.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sather has repeatedly said that he wants to re-sign the captain. He told The Post on Thursday that remains his position. Still, it is believed the Rangers are unwilling to offer Jagr, who will turn 37 in February, anything other than a one-year deal that would allow them to include bonuses that could be deferred to 2009-10.
“I don’t want to negotiate in the papers or speak for Jaromir, but I don’t think that’s something that would interest him at this point,” Brisson said.
“I think there will be a number of NHL teams that would be willing to give him a multi-year deal - he was the best player in the league in the first two rounds of the playoffs - but if he doesn’t get a contract that he likes, he would probably focus on the offer he has to play in Russia and finish his career in Europe.”
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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