Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If the cap increases approximately 7 to 10 percent annually, it will hit nearly $74M in 2011-12, which will be the final year of the CBA once the PA exercises its option to extend through that season.
In other words, no need to worry about signing players to long-term deals when there’s going to be a lockout and amnesty buyout period after four more seasons, anyway.
read on plus some UFA talk…
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
They’re willing to spend $12 million to $15 million on the following pursuits: at least two defensemen and one, maybe two, forwards.
“I would expect us to have four or five serious conversations shortly after noon,” general manager Scott Howson said. “I know in my mind what we’re doing. We have a plan we’re ready to execute.”
Howson’s biggest pursuit will be defensemen, an area of weakness for the Blue Jackets since day one.
“There’s going to be significant money spent on the blue line,” Howson said. “That’s our biggest issue right now.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that they’ve “never seen it so quiet” before the NHL free-agency period begins because teams are worried they’ll be charged with tampering if they engage in anything that can be construed as contract discussions before Tuesday at noon.
While agents have always tried to get a handle on the unrestricted market before July 1, sources say Bettman told the GMs during a meeting at the Stanley Cup final in Detroit that if he caught somebody tampering, the team involved “would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
also from Garrioch,
Some executives aren’t happy. Sources say during a meeting last month at the Stanley Cup final in Detroit, NHL GMs unloaded on commissioner Gary Bettman because the cap has forced some of them to spend to the floor, irritating their stingy owners.
“We’re going to spend like crazy because we have to do that to compete,” said a league executive. “We’re still going to have empty seats and we’re going to have to battle to make the playoffs. (Bettman) sits there and everything rolls off him. He’s got Teflon skin, this guy.”
more on the UFA period…
from Drew Remenda at the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
I think Todd Bertuzzi would look great in Teal. The Sharks need a guy who will stand in front of the net on the powerplay. Yes Ryan Clowe can do it. But the Redwings have Holmstrom and Franzen there’s no reason the Sharks couldn’t use another big man with great hands.
If I was Todd McLellan I’d be on the phone with Joe Thornton everyday-I’d even pay him a personal visit and bring along Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Potenza. I’d make it my mission to turn Joe into the leagues best Power Forward.
more from Drew including some CBA talk…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Slap Shots has learned that Sather late last week granted permission to Avery’s agent, Pat Morris, to negotiate with any interested NHL team in advance of Tuesday’s official opening of the free-agent market.
Sources confirm that not only is that process under way, but that four or five teams have indicated their interest in signing Avery to a contract well in excess of the last deal proffered by Sather to No. 16. It’s believed the Rangers have come in at approximately $1M a year less than the four-year, $16M deal Avery is seeking and will be able to get.
from Gunnar Nordström of Expressen (translated),
The pressure on Mats Sundin is on the increase. Toronto wants to know if he will play hockey in the autumn. Montreal hoping for answers before Tuesday that he will choose to continue the NHL career there.
But as it looks for day, no response from Mats before July 1, “says Sundin agent, Claes Elefalk at CAA Sports.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. :Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues plan to be fiscally responsible again this year. They signed free agent Paul Kariya to a three-year, $18 million contract last season but don’t plan to be as busy on July 1. The club is sticking with its plan of building from within.
“I think we’re going to be pretty quiet ... but you never know,” Checketts said. “What I don’t want to do is prevent somebody from getting some (ice) time out there that is going to grow and really develop into a player.”
The Blues had a payroll of $45 million last season with a $50.3 million cap, and they have committed about $48 million toward next season.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province via the National Post,
The Columbus Blue Jackets are expected to make a play Tuesday for unrestricted free agent centre Brendan Morrison, The Vancouver Province has learned….
The Jackets are rumoured to be offering a three-year deal at about US$8-million and have only US$25-million committed to 2008-09 salaries under the new US$56.7-million cap ceiling.
“Brendan has been one of the more durable and consistent centres in the league and he’s only 32,” said his agent Kurt Overhardt.
from Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers,
NHL sources told me on Saturday night that Malone’s father, Greg Malone, has recently been offered a job with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Malone had been working as a scout with the Phoenix Coyotes. Before that, he was a scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins. While he wasn’t fired by the Penguins a few years ago, he was shown the door by management, which is where the relationship between Malone and club became frayed. Now, they could be reunited.
more on Malone…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
No hard feelings.
That was the message conveyed by Andrew Brunette on Saturday when asked if he wanted to return to the Wild if it comes calling when free agency begins Tuesday….
“I don’t know what their interest level is. But if they’re interested and it falls into place, if everything was comparable, if they were in range, definitely, that’s one place I’d love to play.”
Wild officials declined to comment. The Avs plan to let Brunette test free agency, but the Wild is still not allowed to talk about other teams’ players until Tuesday.
But it’s believed the Wild is very interested in bringing Brunette back to Minnesota.
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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