Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
Have the Rangers found the second coming of Marc Staal? Did the Devils pull in another Paul Kariya? And with a relatively high seventh selection, do the Islanders have a third-line forward ready to skate with potential sensation Kyle Okposo?
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Thus, barring an unexpected preemptive strike via a trade, the Blueshirts will enter the free agency market with a skeleton roster, absent first- and second-line wingers and a No. 1, first-pair defenseman, and with Jaromir Jagr Jaromir Jagr , Sean Avery, Martin Straka, Brendan Shanahan and Michal Rozsival all free to solicit offers.
The GM has not made a post-season offer to any of the aforementioned athletes. And while Sather most certainly will check in with Jagr - who has heard sounds of silence loudly and clearly - and with Shanahan, it appears increasingly likely Avery will not be invited to return and that the team will seek to replace Rozsival.
From Neil Best at Newsday.com:
The Sports Business Journal reported this morning that the NHL is taking legal action against the Rangers that could result in an attempt to take ownership of the franchise away from MSG.
No, really. Or so it says here:
“The NHL has proposed disciplinary proceedings against MSG that could result in the suspension or termination of their ownership of the NHL Rangers, according to a draft letter written by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that was filed in New York district court late yesterday. The letter, part of the league’s ongoing legal fight against MSG, alleges that MSG – by suing the NHL – has violated the league constitution.”
Update 12:29pm ET: The complete text of the SBJ story has been reprinted at the Sporting News today.
Update 2:22pm ET: Press release from the NHL (below)
Update 2:39pm ET: Eric Duhatschek in the Globe & Mail’s hockey blog:
The war between the Rangers and the NHL started over who controls the rights to new media and the potentially lucrative revenue streams that it produces now and down the road. Three times, the Rangers’ lawsuits have gone to court; three times the NHL won its case. Instead of understanding the old maxim that three strikes and you’re out, the Rangers have challenged the NHL on an anti-trust basis – essentially arguing that everything the league does is unlawful.
In effect, Wednesday’s filing by the NHL is a counter-attack – what a source with knowledge of the situation described as “trying to put the Rangers at risk” after failing to abide by previous court rulings. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, passing through the lobby of a downtown hotel, declined comment. However, sources said the league was asking the court for permission to fine, suspend or in a worst-case scenario, forfeit the franchise, if it MSG persists in its action.
Update 3:45pm ET: NYR respond to the lawsuit. (noted below)
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 Stan Fischler at Game On,
If I’m Glen Sather, I tell Jaromir [Jagr] that he will be paid something in the range of a 20-25-goal scorer; what the going rate will be for that. Thus, the captain will have to demonstrate that he REALLY wants to stay in New York and is willing to accept a diminished role suitable to his age; otherwise he will not be a good fit on the club. If Jagr is not willing to accept this, then it may be a case of au revoir, old buddy.
And, guess what, it would not be the end of the world for the Blueshirts.
more… plus thoughts on Sean Avery
From Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out,
Streit’s 34 points on the power play tied Streit with Nicklas Lidstrom for second among NHL defenceman, behind Sergei Gonchar’s 46. Streit’s salary was $600,000. Lidstrom’s was $7.6 million. Gonchar made $5.5 million.
Citing the $1.875 million Francis Bouillon will make this season and $1.75 for Mathieu Dandenault, [Journal du Montréal beat man Marc de Foy] says $2.5 million would not be unreasonable for Mark Streit.
Streit’s agent, Pat Brisson, says there are no negotiations underway with the Canadiens.
Another factor: Streit prefers playing defence. There are rumours in New York that the Rangers will pursue Streit and promise him a spot on D.
From Larry Brooks in the NY Post,
The Rangers New York Rangers spent yesterday romancing a free agent right wing, and his name isn’t Jaromir Jagr.
Rather, even as No. 68 told The Post that he hasn’t spoken to general manager Glen Sather since the May 6, post-elimination breakup day, the Blueshirts were attempting to entice 21-year-old Blake Wheeler into signing an Entry Level deal with the club.
Wheeler was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004 and recently turned down their offer of an entry-level contract at the maximum allowable salary.
Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his left hip, the team announced.
Rozsival, who can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, is expected to make a full recovery in four to six weeks.
Sean Avery worried about his contract? Of course not—he’s onto more pressing issues:
“We want to get it back to the point where girls don’t worry about what US Weekly says. It’s about expressing individual style and just wearing what’s cool. I’m totally consumed by fashion. We want to help them bring their individuality back.”
According to People magazine, Avery is forming a celebrity style business with a partner.
*hat-tip to Sam Weinman at Rangers Report
From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
So, tell me: How can the New York Rangers spend the $4.5-5M it will surely take to land Pittsburgh’s heavy-hitting impending free agent defenseman Brooks Orpik following his breakout tournament, when it likely will cost around the same $5M per to re-sign Michal Rozsival ?
Yes, Rozsival had a disappointing season. But factor in mitigating circumstances - not excuses - that featured a wonky knee, an insecure response to playing out his contract and collateral concern over partner and friend Marek Malik’s downward spiral out of the lineup. Now weigh those against the upside Rozsival displayed the previous two seasons, and most notably in the 2007 playoffs. Is Glen Sather not wiser to pony up for No. 3 rather than get into a bidding war for Orpik . . . if he even hits the market, that is?
Update 1:13pm ET: Patrick Hoffman at The Hockey News has more on Rangers off-season issues, with a focus on Sean Avery.
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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