Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
At noon on Tuesday, the chats that Don Meehan, Jarome Iginla’s agent, has had with his client’s suitors will turn into hardcore negotiations. From those dealings, Iginla could receive a two- or three-year offer that is guaranteed to trump the one-year extension the Bruins prefer.
At that point, Iginla will have a decision. He will return to Boston on a one-year, bonus-heavy contract to chase the Stanley Cup that’s given him the slip since his NHL debut in 1996, or the right wing will elect the security of a multi-year contract — with a team less powerful than the Bruins, most likely — and join his fourth organization in just over 15 months.
This is business.
General manager Peter Chiarelli will understand if Iginla walks. The No. 1 right wing, who turns 37 on Tuesday, is coming off a 30-31—61 season. Within the market’s context, Iginla is a top option among his competition. Iginla scored more goals last year than Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ales Hemsky, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Cammalleri, and Daniel Alfredsson, the other unrestricted, shoot-first wings.
Our plans are to be around all day as usual plus we hope to have an embed of Sportsnet's coverage of the day too.
Many of you know this is not a one day occurence, but rather this period carries on for about two weeks, then slows down.
News of signings and trades usually breaks via Twitter first these days so focus will be on both Sportsnet and Twitter.
Hopefully signings/trades will slow down mid-July, then it is a time for a few days of R & R.
As always, thanks for your support of KK and enjoy what is sure to be a crazy time.
Oh and watch out for those fake Twitter accounts.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Free agency ain’t what it used to be. There was a time when it was known for big teams and big dollars and big names – like that summer when the Detroit Red Wings traded for Dominik Hasek, signed Luc Robitaille and later signed Brett Hull, too, bloating their payroll to around $65 million.
That was 13 years ago.
Today there is a new system and another dynamic. Teams tend to lock up their best players, so stars rarely make it to the open market. No one can spend more than $69 million because of the salary cap, but everyone must spend at least $51 million because of the salary floor. A few teams are strapped because the cap figure came in a little lower than expected for 2014-15, but many have millions to throw at a few free agents when the market opens at noon Tuesday.
The NHL is more competitive than ever before. Free agency is more competitive than ever before. On a league-wide financial level, the owners are protected because they can’t spend more than 50 percent of revenues. If they overspend, they get back money held out of the players’ checks in escrow. But within the planned economy, more teams are involved in the bidding wars. The free agents have more options.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Monday was a difficult day for a pair of former Carolina Hurricanes. The Buffalo Sabres decided not to bother even making a qualifying offer to Jamie McBain, a restricted free agent, and the Toronto Maple Leafs initiated buyout proceedings with Tim Gleason.
Both lasted a season (or less) with their new teams after being considered franchise cornerstones here for years. Throw in the long list of players who never played another NHL game after leaving the Hurricanes – Chad LaRose, Tim Brent, Andreas Nodl and so on – and it’s another example of how Carolina’s old front-office regime continually overestimated its roster, to the detriment of the franchise.
It’s starting to feel like the new regime is at risk of falling into the same trap.
New general manager Ron Francis said this weekend his priorities during free agency, which begins Tuesday, are the fourth line and a depth defenseman.
Del Zotto is 24 years old and shoots from the left side.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Plain and simple, Parenteau wasn’t Roy’s kind of player. I won’t put words in his mouth, but the sense I got was that he just felt Parenteau was a little too one-way of a player, perhaps not intense enough too, and the Avs wanted out from under his contract. But wait, Briere is making the same salary, right? There’s no cap relief, right? Right.
But in order to move P.A., at the end of the day, they had to take back the same kind of salary. Talking to some hockey people, it’s very difficult to make pure salary-dump kinds of trades right now, with the cap set for $69 million this season. Both teams kind of dumped their unwanted guys on each other here. It doesn’t make this a very sexy trade at all, and one that might very easily be second-guessed to the rafters by Avs fans when all is said and done. The early consensus from Avs fans seems to be in disfavor of the deal, but I wouldn’t freak out much.
First off, Briere may be slowing down some, or a lot depending on whom you ask, but the guy is a battler.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Here's a look at 15 of the most interesting free agents and their possible landing spots.
Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche
Stastny is the top center on the free agent market in a summer with lots of teams looking to shore up down the middle. Chicago, St. Louis and the New York Rangers are all in the hunt for that kind of help and, while Stastny would like to stay in Denver (his only NHL home), the Avs are going to have to up their ante significantly to keep the 28-year-old. Our guess is that he's gone and, pending what happens with Jason Spezza, who wants to be dealt out of Ottawa, we're guessing Stastny ends up a Ranger.
Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
The market for defensemen has changed somewhat with Buffalo buying out Christian Ehrhoff on Sunday and the strong play of the Rangers' Anton Stralman during the playoffs. Still, Boyle is going to be in demand given his skating ability and the fact he's a proven winner. He's a right-hand shot, which makes him attractive to a team like Detroit. Does Tampa opening up all kinds of cap space suggest a reunion with the Bolts, where Boyle won a Stanley Cup in 2004? Possibly, as the Lightning will be looking to add a right-handed shot on the blue line as well, but we'll go with the Red Wings.
many more predictions...
NEW YORK – NHL Network-U.S. will deliver seven hours of analysis of the opening of free agency on Tuesday, July 1 (12:00 p.m. ET), with streaming live coverage of Sportsnet's HOCKEY CENTRAL Signing Season, starting at 11:00 a.m. ET. This marks the first time Sportsnet's coverage will be available to viewers in the U.S., following the landmark Canadian rights deal between the National Hockey League and Rogers.
“You’re never ready for it, you’re never expecting it so yeah, you’re a little bit blown away.
“You try to figure out why it’s happening and what the reasons are. But ultimately, I guess it’s not necessarily for me to know. It’s not my job to know, so I sit and I wait. And I hope that things fall into place.”
-Josh Gorges of the Montreal Canadiens on the trade talk surrounding him. Much more from Dave Stubbs of Hockey Inside/Out.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
What the Maple Leafs are in the market for right now is leadership.
Internally, that trait was identified by top members of the organization as a glaring need following a meltdown finish to the year — the third in succession if you link Brian Burke’s “18-wheeler off a cliff” to the blown 4-1 lead with 12 minutes to play in Boston to losses in 12 of 14 games down the stretch this March and April.
There is no question that a little more internal guidance and fortitude could help. However, determining which players can actually bring that element to Toronto while also contributing on the ice is no easy matter.
It must be remembered that the notion of leadership doesn’t necessarily change addresses with a player. One of the reasons the Leafs went after David Clarkson so aggressively in free agency last summer is because he was thought to come with intangible qualities like character. There was no chance to even test that line of thinking during his disastrous first season here.
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 email@example.com