Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Travis Yost of TSN,
In terms of big unrestricted defencemen left, it’s about Jason Demers and Dan Hamhuis. That lack of depth is not going to stop teams from combing through the rest of the pool. After all, each team is going to carry seven or eight defenders, and most rosters right now need at least one extra body.
The question that generally comes up in these instances is really about differentiation. How can you spot a capable fifth defenceman and isolate him from a group of six or seventh defenders? It’s not an easy exercise – certainly not as easy as we have it with forwards, where individual point scoring can reasonably capture player talent by itself.
One of the things I use for differentiation purposes is the application of multi-year z-scores, which lets us grade defencemen against one another using multiple criteria. To me it’s a necessary exercise, particularly since our evaluation of defenders really does need to span multiple performance metrics.
Here, we will use z-scores to compare individual defencemen against all other league defenders another using six statistical measurements: team relative impacts (both for and against) on shot differential and goals, individual point scoring, and individual shot generation.
Almost seven minutes of bloopers...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
This is courting period and the Edmonton Oilers, thanks to Connor McDavid's franchise-altering impact, have a better shot these days at doing just that.
Like many teams this week, the Oilers have invited players to visit their city and sell them on the market and team, and on Tuesday pending unrestricted free agents Milan Lucic and Jason Demers were scheduled to be in town to do just that, sources told ESPN.com.
That's a normal part of this UFA speaking window and it doesn't mean the Oilers have a leg up. But they're certainly doing their best to sell themselves to potential UFA targets.
We told you last month about Edmonton's strong interest in Lucic, GM Peter Chiarelli knowing the hulking winger well from his Boston Bruins days together, and Lucic is intrigued, given the possibility of riding shotgun with No. 97 on the up-and-coming Oilers.
But Lucic will certainly consider several offers that will be on the table come Friday because the winger is seen by most as the No. 2 UFA, behind Steven Stamkos.
As for Demers, he's in demand as well, agent Bob Sauve saying Tuesday that several teams have already called about the Dallas Stars blue-liner whose contract expires Thursday at midnight.
more plus Habs interested in Dale Weise and Vladimir Sobotka possibly returning to the Blues...
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The Stamkos camp, led by agent Don Meehan of Newport Sports, essentially controls the situation. They’ve had an open interview period to speak with rival teams since Saturday and also enjoy the protection of a no-movement clause in the player’s expiring deal.
As a result, they would have to be central in orchestrating the first sign-and-trade agreement in NHL history.
For teams looking to add Stamkos there may even be a benefit to completing that sort of maneuver with the Lightning. They would have to part with an asset, sure, but it also offers the chance to lower the player’s eventual cap hit by spreading it over eight years rather than the maximum seven they could offer on the open market.
(If Stamkos’s price is $80-million over the length of the deal, for example, that amounts to an $11.43-million annual cap hit on a seven-year contract and $10-million on an eight).
from John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal,
After five years of on-again, off-again negotiations, Fox Sports and the NHL finally have reached an agreement for in-market streaming, according to several industry sources....
The streaming deal is wrapped into other deals involving rights outside of a team’s home market. All told, Fox is paying an annual rate in the low eight figures combined for the streaming and outer-market deals, sources said....
The NHL deal is significant in that Fox Sports now has in-market streaming deals with all the big sports leagues that offer it. It signed its first in-market streaming deal with the NBA three years ago and completed the MLB deal earlier this spring. It has not released any consumption information or adoption rates for its local NBA or MLB streams, so getting a sense of viewer interest has been hard to gauge.
The NHL breakthrough came in recent months as some of Fox Sports’ linear TV NHL deals were expiring. Fox was in the midst of negotiating a new outer-market rights deal for its RSNs — a deal that enables Fox to carry, for example, Kings games in Los Angeles’ “outer market” of Hawaii and Blues games in St. Louis’ “outer market” of Kansas City.
Fox and the NHL also were negotiating around the NHL’s planned new Las Vegas franchise and coverage areas. Fox carries Ducks and Kings games in the Las Vegas market, but will have to give up rights to that market when the new team starts in 2017. By contract, Fox was due to get a rebate from the teams since it was going to have to scale back its distribution from Las Vegas.
from Case Keefer of the Las Vegas Sun,
He’s concluded that Las Vegas is going to be able to land a pair of “really good goalies” supplemented with a strong defense.
“It’s what the draft is giving us,” Foley said. “I’d love to have offensive powerhouse, juggernaut like the Penguins, but it took them a long time to get there. We’re going to have to work our way into that.”
Immediate offensive help could come from the pool of unrestricted free agents. The team must spend 60 to 100 percent of the salary cap, expected to be somewhere from $74 to $75 million, on the expansion draft.
Foley hints it might fall on the lower end, as he’s impressed by the projected set of free agents and believes he won’t have trouble luring players to Las Vegas.
“We’re going to have money to spend, so we can look at who’s out there,” Foley said. “I’m twice this age, but I don’t want a bunch of 35- or 36-year-olds that play a couple years, and then they’re done. We’ll have some veterans on the team to help the younger guys, but we need to be a younger-oriented team.”
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Aside from being seemingly the best on-ice fit, the Lightning, which is believed to have offered Stamkos an extension worth $8.5 million annually, holds a couple x-factors over other suitors — there's no state income tax in Florida and the Lightning is the only team that can offer him an eight-year contract (others only seven).
As a Tampa Bay Times analysis in January showed, Stamkos could net nearly the same annually after taxes in Tampa Bay at $8.5 million as $10 million in New York (Rangers, Islanders), presuming he'd be a New York City resident; Stamkos would make more over the length of the deal in Tampa because of the extra year. Stamkos would net $500,000 less annually than a $10 million deal with Detroit, another strong suitor, but, again, more over the length of the deal.
And Stamkos' hometown Maple Leafs, due to a 53.53 percent combined federal/provincial tax rate, would have to offer him $12.37 million annually over seven years to net the same as he'd make over eight years at $8.5 million in Tampa, according to national sports tax guru Robert Raiola, the director of the Sports and Entertainment group at PKF O'Connor Davis, who has professional sports clients throughout the country.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Frans Nielsen stillis Islanders property and there still seems to be a better chance than not that he will remain with the Isles. A report Monday indicated Nielsen had turned down an Islander contract offer worth $5.5 million per season. Sources had indicated in the past week that the two sides had moved closer on a deal, one that was likely to be six or seven years in length to keep the average annual value below that $5.5 million number and keep Nielsen in an Islander uniform for the rest of his NHL career.
Things change daily, even hourly, when it comes to the free-agent frenzy, so one side or the other could have altered their stance. But last I heard, $5.5 million per was not the right number and the sides were closer on a deal....
Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin
Kyle Okposo and Matt Martin are headed elsewhere, that much is certain. There’s been no contact between either player’s representative and Garth Snow of late.
A source indicated over the weekend, when the unrestricted free agent contact period began, that a slew of teams had already reached out about Okposo, who could be the prime Plan B for teams that don’t land Steven Stamkos or simply the Plan A for some other clubs. The Jets, Blues, Red Wings, Wild, Sabres and Kings have reached out. Expect the Panthers and Canadiens to do so as well, though it’s believed that Okposo would rather head closer to his Minnesota home than north to Canada.
Martin’s reported suitors included the Rangers (gasp!) and the Leafs. The Rangers make sense from Martin’s perspective -- he loves the New York area, his longtime girlfriend Sydney Esiason has strong ties here -- but from the Rangers’ side it would mean shuffling some pieces around to make room....
more on each of the above plus other names...
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Monday that the team has agreed to terms on a six-year contract with forward Andrew Shaw.
Acquired on Friday from the Chicago Blackhawks, Shaw scored 14 goals and registered 34 points in 78 games last season. He also was a standout during the playoffs, posting six points – including four goals – in six games.
“We are very pleased to have agreed to a long-term deal with Andrew Shaw. As I mentioned last Friday following his acquisition, we are adding a solid character player to our team, a reliable player who plays with grit and a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks over the past five seasons. Andrew will add more leadership to our team. I had the opportunity to discuss with him over the past few days, and I sense his determination and excitement in joining the Canadiens’ organization for many years to come,” said general manager Marc Bergevin.
A five-year NHL veteran, the Belleville, ON native won the Stanley Cup twice in Chicago, hoisting the coveted trophy in both 2012-13 and again in 2014-15.
from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche will buy out veteran defenseman Brad Stuart and not replace him or recently traded defenseman Nick Holden with marquee free agent defensemen, general manager Joe Sakic said Monday.
Because of Stuart’s age, 36, his buyout won’t provide salary-cap relief, leaving $3.6 million on the books. But the Avs will save $1.2 million in cash, according to GeneralFanager.com...
Before trading Holden to the New York Rangers on Saturday, Sakic said the Avs won’t make a big splash when free agency begins, and he said that remains the plan after informing Stuart that he will not be with the team next season.
Sakic reiterated his plan to give increased ice time to 21-year-old defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Chris Bigras and offer 2011 first-round draft pick Duncan Siemens “every opportunity to try and make this team.” In addition, the Avs have high hopes for defenseman Eric Gelinas, who was acquired from New Jersey in March.
read on including a contract staus on Nathan MacKinnon...
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org