Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Holland plans to stay active this afternoon, especially if Mats Sundin hits the market. There’s tremendous interest from the Wings in the 6-foot-5 forward, coming off a season in which he had produced 78 points in 74 games.
There is also some interest in Todd Bertuzzi, the enigmatic forward who played for the Wings from February to May in 2007, and whose contract was just bought out by the Ducks.
more on the Wings…
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
To me, hitting the home run for Katz would be finding a first-rate scoring star the likes of, oh, say Rick Nash to complement Ales Hemsky as the gifted playmaker heads into the prime-time years of his career.
I’m not saying that you could do that deal, specifically.
But the Oilers have a pretty good stockpile of assets that they could put on the table to get a guy who would make Hemsky complete.
If you offered up Shawn Horcoff and Joni Pitkanen from column A, and Raffi Torres and Robbie Schremp from column B, for example, shouldn’t you be able to acquire a pretty good player to be Hemsky’s first-line soul- mate here?
Pitkanen, clearly, is about to be moved.
more on the Oilers…
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
With 10 forwards fighting for spots on the top three lines and $44 million in salaries already on the payroll, the Canes are almost certainly going to have to trade a forward before they can go after the defenseman they desperately need.
“I don’t think we’ll be very active,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “Certainly there are some players there that we could consider, but I think in order to balance our team out to add the type of player we’d like to add on defense, it’d be more apt to be done through trade.”
more on the Canes…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins, who yesterday agreed to terms on a new deal for forward Petteri Nokelainen (two years, average $850,000), won’t shop in Hossa’s ‘hood. Their cap already stands right around $50 million, leaving them with slightly less than $7 million in potential shopping dollars. A tight budget and a squeezed market for top free agent talent most likely will have the Bruins cautious from the start.
General manager Peter Chiarelli, reached by phone late yesterday afternoon, sounded as if he is prepared to ignore the early wave of emotional bidding, then look to move in for a value purchase (the $2 million to $4 million-a-year range) once the market begins to cool.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
In a major test of Cliff Fletcher’s resolve to follow a patient, in-house rebuilding plan, the general manager must fight the craving to sign one or two veterans for short-term playoff hopes in favour of augmenting the current Leafs roster with some lesser known free agents, farmhands, perhaps a trade and letting the chips fall.
“There will be no temptation, but let’s get to 12:01 and see what drops,” Fletcher said last night. “We’re not expecting a big-time centre to be there, but we might look for a couple of wingers and then move someone to centre, say Nik Antropov. There are some young free agents, particularly under 30, who could play with our team for a few years and be rewarded in the end.”
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins are believed to have a five-year offer worth $7 million per season on the table for Hossa. That’s less than he will command if he ventures into free agency, but as of last night, he still had not rejected it.
While the Penguins would have preferred to have Hossa’s answer long before this, there’s reason to think they might not close the door on re-signing him even if he hasn’t committed to return by midday….
The outlook for the second-most prominent of the Penguins’ 10 unrestricted free agents, defenseman Brooks Orpik, remains as hazy as that of Hossa.
Orpik, the most consistent and punishing hitter on the Penguins’ blue line, could be in line for offers of $4 million or more per season if he makes himself available to other clubs. That’s more than the Penguins are believed to be willing to pay.
I’ve been told that the Blue Jackets will make a “significant” offer to defenseman Wade Redden, that he’s been targeted as their No. 1 priority when free agency opens at noon on Tuesday.
There are no guarantees that Redden will sign with the Blue Jackets, of course, but I’ve been told that if Redden turns down the Blue Jackets’ offer, it won’t be because of money.
I’ll take a stab: 6 years, $38 million.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
“We’re going to go after the best players,” Tallon said Monday. “If we get the right players, we’re a lot closer to being a complete team. We’re going to give it our best shot.”
Tallon said “a lot of money will be spent” around the NHL. He’s most interested in acquiring a standout defenseman. That could lead the Hawks to Brian Campbell, the top blueliner available.
from Adrain Dater of All Things Avs,
I have to agree with Giguere when he said he thinks his defense stacks up with the top 5 teams in the league. Clark, Hannan, Foote, Salei, Liles and Leopold is a pretty nice sixpack of D. It’s got two tough, nasty types (Foote, Salei), two reasonably strong, position types (Hannan and Leopold) and two offensive puck-movers (Clark and Liles).
Now, about the goaltending: I’m worried. Sorry, I’m just not a huge Budaj guy. He’s a nice kid who has done some good things. But he’s just got a lot more proving to do to me.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The biggest player available on the market is Hossa, who wants to sign with a Cup contender. Part of his future could be tied to Leafs centre Mats Sundin, who has yet to reveal his plans for next season.
The Canadiens, Red Wings, Rangers, Canucks, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets are all going to make a pitch for Hossa….
A big issue this year is with the salary cap floor moving to $40.6 million (the max is $56.7 million) teams like the Kings, Coyotes, Blackhawks and Islanders might be forced to be active….
The Jackets will make a pitch for Redden. GM Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock will try to convince Redden that Columbus is a team on the rise. The Blackhawks and Sharks are also going to pursue Redden
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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