Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Matt Paulson of the East Valley Tribune,
There are a few high-end defensemen on the market such as Brian Campbell and Wade Redden, but Phoenix’s salary structure dictates signing mid-level guys such as Ron Hainsey or Andrej Meszaros. Both made under $1 million last season. They figure to receive substantial raises but could still work in Phoenix even if their salaries tripled.
If the Coyotes want to spend a little more, physical, stay-at-home defenseman Brooks Orpik would seem a good fit.
Maloney has said Phoenix’s payroll will once again be near the league minimum, which this season will be $40.7 million — the cap is $56.7 million — so that gives him at least $6 million to work with since the team’s cap hit is currently around $34 million.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Left wing Mathias Tjarnqvist, an unrestricted free agent who was one of the Coyotes’ top penalty killers a year ago, became a victim of the numbers game on a young team, and it appears doubtful that he will be returning.
The NHL free agency period begins Tuesday, and Tjarnqvist, along with the team’s other UFAs, forward Radim Vrbata and Craig Weller, will be testing the open market.
General Manager Don Maloney continues his talks with Vrbata’s agent, Rich Evans.
via Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes on Wednesday traded a fifth-round pick in 2009 (acquired from Boston last season) to the Ottawa Senators for big right wing Brian McGrattan.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes’ two first-round draft choices from a year ago have a chance to benefit from the trade that brought Olli Jokinen from Florida for defensemen Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton.
Center Kyle Turris, the third overall pick in 2007, will be able to gain a lot of insight from one of the high-powered centers in the NHL and not have to rush his learning curve.
Defenseman Nick Ross, the 30th pick, has a better opportunity to work his way onto the roster at training camp.
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet has decided not to return to the team, an NHL source has confirmed.
Tocchet is expected to join the staff of new Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, whose appointment is expected to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In a largely uneventful weekend that featured more tweaking than blockbuster dealing, the Canadiens emerged with top-six forward Alex Tanguay and the possibility of perhaps adding Mats Sundin, two pieces that may help them derail the emerging powerhouse coming out of Pittsburgh.
In the end, the greatest gains may have come in – of all places – Phoenix, where the Coyotes picked up a new No.1 centre, Olli Jokinen, and then landed three prospects with famous pedigrees, one of whom they believe can play almost right away.
from David J. Neal of the Miami Herald,
Unfortunately, it’s not as if the Panthers get a massive upgrade. Boynton, once a potentially good defensemen, now lays on the second-pair plateau and has missed significant time two of the past three two seasons because of injury. Ballard’s only 25, young for a defenseman, yet don’t expect him to blossom into Scott Niedermayer.
Boynton and Ballard join defenseman Bryan Allen, whom the Panthers got when they traded goalie Roberto Luongo to Vancouver; center prospect Shawn Matthias, whom they got from Detroit for Todd Bertuzzi, the big piece in the Luongo deal from Vancouver who played only eight games for the Panthers; and Vokoun, who came to the Panthers for a package that included the conditional pick the Panthers got from Detroit for Bertuzzi.
That’s what the Panthers have from their Steal to Start the Century.
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.
– Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that Blake Wheeler, selected by the Coyotes in the 2004 Entry Draft, has rejected the Coyotes contract offer and will become an unrestricted free agent.
“We offered Blake a contract which was both commensurate with his draft position and far exceeded any guaranteed contract he can receive, under the current CBA, with any other team,” said Maloney. “He has decided, however, that becoming a free agent is in his best interest.
“We are very happy with the compensatory pick we will receive for Blake not signing, which will be the fifth pick in the second round. This is a very deep draft and we now have five picks in the first two rounds, which is very exciting.”
You can cross the Great One’s name off the list of potential candidates to take over the hockey operations of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wayne Gretzky will be staying in Phoenix.
“I have always been a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and wish them luck in the future. Right now my focus is on the Phoenix Coyotes and developing our young talent,” Gretzky told NHL on TSN’s Darren Pang.
Gretzky was responding to rumours linking him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team he grew up cheering for in Brantford, Ontario.
added 4:22pm, Here is the rumor…
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