Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Don Maloney nearly slipped out of the building unnoticed. The sly fox had already completed a mind-bending trade that was as much about salary cap gymnastics as hockey, but he played coy when I approached him just off the draft floor.
“I made a deal,” Maloney said. “A small one.”
While that characterization was technically true, the ramifications for the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers were rather large: Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick to the Flyers for defenceman Nicklas Grossmann and Chris Pronger’s contract.
The perpetually capped-out Flyers will realize a savings of $7.28-million next season — assuming they buy out Gagner, which isn’t guaranteed — while Arizona moves $7.194-million closer to the cap floor, adds a defenceman and only takes on about $125,000 in actual salary commitments.
Working through the components of the trade, which included the Flyers retaining $500,000 of Grossmann's salary while dealing a future Hall of Famer who hasn't played since 2011, requires some heavy duty math.
What it all added up to is a creative bookkeeping maneuver for both teams.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of defenseman Chris Pronger from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Sam Gagner and a conditional fourth round draft choice in 2016 or a third round draft choice in 2017.
The 30-year-old Grossmann registered 5-9-14 and 32 penalty minutes (PIM) in 68 games with the Flyers in 2014-15. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden has recorded 10-69-79 and 288 PIM in 531 career NHL games with the Flyers and Dallas Stars. Grossmann was originally drafted by the Stars in the second round (56th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Gagner collected 15-26-41 and 28 penalty minutes in 81 games with the Coyotes last season.
via Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Hextall is trying to trade Vinny Lecavalier to gain an immediate $4.5 million in salary cap money. He's also believed to be shopping both Nicklas Grossmann and Luke Schenn, which gain him a combined $7.1 million and give him a legit chance to make a major move in free agency next week.
Hextall admitted the focus Friday was more about the draft and there was so much “stress” that he felt handling the roster might be suited to tackle Saturday morning.
In fact, Hextall thinks something could go down Saturday that offers the Flyers some much needed cap relief.
"We've talked, people have called us and they know we have a lot of defensemen," Hextall said. "I don't know how it's going to shake out or whether something happens (Saturday) or after July 1.
"I'm confident something will happen."
These type of things are best left for Day 2 of the NHL draft, Hextall said.
"The second day is a little more relaxed," he said. "I think it's easier."
The ugly cap situation, then, is somewhat mitigated by the fact the Flyers do have some young players and prospects, and a high draft pick. But this is a team playing in a city where patience has never really been popular, where there hasn’t been a Cup won since 1975 and where spending to cover up mistakes in the pre-cap days used to provide answers that simply aren’t available in the cap era.
To get out of jail, Hextall’s No. 1 job has to be to clear up the cap problem, and that might take two or three years to do. Fortunately for him, the presence of other teams in the middle of long rebuilds like Toronto, Arizona, Buffalo and Carolina means there’s plenty of evidence out there that this is what the Flyers have to do.
-Damien Cox on the Philadelphia Flyers, more at Sportsnet.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall told CSNPhilly.com that he did not submit a buyout offer to embattled forward Vinny Lecavalier, via his agent, Kent Hughes.
Hughes did not return calls for comment. Yet he has stated in the past his client has no intention of retiring. Why would he?
The 35-year-old forward had three years left on his deal with a $4.5 million salary cap hit.
Just as last summer, the Flyers will continue to attempt moving the center-turned-winger in a trade this offseason. The Flyers had two near-deals going last June at the draft. One with Florida and one with Nashville. Both fell through.
Lecavalier is due a $2 million signing bonus on July 1. Hextall has to find a trade partner on a deal that goes into effect after July 1 during next week’s NHL draft in Sunrise, Fla.
Hextall has made it rather clear in several interviews since the end of the regular season that Lecavalier will not return because, in his words, “it hasn’t worked for him and it hasn’t worked for us.”
Choosing a college coach isn't what will define Hextall's courage. He could have chosen a Labradoodle and won the same number of Stanley Cups if he doesn't have the guts to defy owner Ed Snider (or at least fool him) with a plan that will require a patient rebuilding of the roster. Snider is still wed to the patch-and-fill philosophy that kept the franchise from becoming relevant on a long-term basis under general managers Bob Clarke and Paul Holmgren. If that doesn't change, then the coach will. Again....
Coaches don't change cultures in the NHL. It isn't about the coach. Players create the culture and they are the ones who decide whether it will rise or fall. The rest is just yelling from behind the bench and putting the cones on the ice at practice.
-Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer where you can read more abou the Philadelphia Flyers.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Hakstol looks like Mike Babcock. He acts like Mike Babcock. He is a nononsense, anti-cookie-cutter coach who enjoys questioning the status quo and the way "things have always been done."
In a lot of ways, the Flyers' newest coach is Babcock Lite.
"I hope in this case we have another Mike Babcock," Flyers chairman Ed Snider said.
That the Flyers ended up with a coach whose style is similar to Babcock should not be all that surprising. After all, many thought Babcock was the Flyers' top choice to become the 19th head coach in team history. It probably is no coincidence that Hakstol was officially hired yesterday, a day after Babcock returned stateside after a week in Prague, watching the World Championships.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall declined to discuss specifics of the 31-day process to fill the vacancy that will help shape his legacy, saying only that Hakstol was the "target all along." Hakstol's former assistant, Brad Berry, said yesterday the Flyers made two unsuccessful attempts to land Hakstol before they reached agreement on the third try.
Just over three minutes long...
The press conference is scheduled for noon ET, watch it below.
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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