Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Josh Cooper of the Tennessean,
The Predators and Michael Del Zotto appear to be done with each other.
Calling the 24-year-old defenseman “not a fit” for Nashville, Predators general manager David Poile said he had not yet given the restricted free agent a qualifying offer, which is due by 4 p.m. Monday.
That leaves three options for Del Zotto: He either will be traded, signed to an extension or left without a qualifying offer, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
The last option seems the likeliest possibility. Last week, Del Zotto’s agent, Mark Guy, said he and the Predators had no discussions on an extension, and nothing appeared to have changed as of Sunday.
“Del Zotto is a good player. He’s a good offensive player. He couldn’t get ahead of (Roman) Josi, (Shea) Weber, (Seth) Jones and (Ryan) Ellis in the offensive situations,” Poile said Sunday. “We have all these balls in the air. We’ll see what happens.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The truth is, while MacTavish has likely reached out to about a half-dozen agents in the sell-us-on-your-team window from June 25-30, the Oilers may want to go after somebody like Buffalo Sabres defenceman Christian Ehrhoff, but everybody’s eyes lit up when the Sabres on Sunday bought out the last seven years of his contract.
Quite possibly 10 teams might be in the hunt for the German-born defender; the Oilers can sell him on playing with his countryman Draisaitl, among other things, but you can bet the Detroit Red Wings will make a huge push for him.
Ditto for the Colorado Avalanche, who are also in the Niskanen pursuit, the Washington Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Islanders and the Minnesota Wild.
Ehrhoff has been paid $22 million of the $40 million he signed for and will get another $12 mil in the buyout, so he’s made out like a bandit. Now, the teams are lining up for the 32-year-old, who can easily log 20 minutes a game, but teams may be trying to give him dollars but not term at his age — like, say, four years at $5.5-million a season.
MacTavish knows players pick landing spots in free-agency for 1) money, 2) a shot at winning a Stanley Cup, 3) location and how cold it is in the winter, and 4) where your wife wants to live.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded forward Teddy Purcell to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Sam Gagne, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced tonight.
Gagner, 5-foot-11, 202 pounds, has played in 481 career games with Edmonton, recording 101 goals and 295 points. He was drafted first overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Purcell, 6-foot-3, 203 pounds, has played in 310 games with the Lightning since being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on March 3, 2010. During his career in Tampa Bay he accumulated 67 goals and 203 points. Purcell also played in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Bolts, recording seven goals and 18 points.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin hasn’t had time to catch his breath.
Last week, Bergevin combined preparations for the National Hockey League draft with a series of continuing negotiations and there’s more discussion on the agenda heading into the opening of the free-agent market at noon Tuesday.
Bergevin has had conversations with the agents for a number of unrestricted free agents, but his immediate concern is the team’s own UFAs. Captain Brian Gionta and defencemen Francis Bouillon and Mike Weaver are in a position to test the free-agent market, and while Bergevin said he hasn’t closed the door on any member of the trio it doesn’t appear any of them will sign before the deadline.
Weaver’s agent has already said he will pursue other avenues after a lukewarm response from the Canadiens.
Gionta wants to stay in Montreal, but he could probably get more money and a longer term elsewhere. Bergevin still has to sign restricted free agent Lars Eller, but the GM has 11 forwards under contract and the list of candidates to join Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk on the No. 2 line include the Rene Bourque we saw in the playoffs, Daniel Brière, Dale Weise and Michael Bournival.
There are continuing talks with agent Don Meehan over a new deal for defenceman P.K. Subban.
Will Jason Spezza still be a member of the Ottawa Senators on August 1st?
Will Bryan Murray still be talking to the media, bemoaning the fact Spezza won't waive his no-trade clause, the one Murray signed him to, come August 1st?
If I could place a wager on Spezza staying or going, I would say he will be with the Senators in another month.
Teams know Murray has his back to the wall and offers for Spezza may continue to be less than what Murray wants in return.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
After going supervillain on that once-preciouse core, tearing out a chunk of the Canucks roster with the Kesler and Jason Garrison deals, Trader Jim Benning proclaimed he has no intentions to be “careful” as he turns toward finding the tools the Canucks are going to need to actually score some goals next year.
As it stands now, they have only two locks as top-six forwards, Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
“Some of the things we’ve done (in Philadelphia) is supply depth to our organization. Now, we want to sign guys who can make an impact,” Benning said. “We’ve cleared out money and we can be active. That’s what we wanted — so that in free agency, if we see something we want to do, we can now do it.”
“We are going to go after pieces that we think can make the team better.
Could one of those pieces be a starting goalie, say Ryan Miller?
“It could be,” Benning said. “He could be the guy.
“We want to make the playoffs next year. Our goal is to make the playoffs every year and develop young players in a winning environment.
“That’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”
from Rhiannon Coppin of CBC,
Gino Odjick surprised and delighted hundreds of fans by making an appearance at the rally held in his honour outside Vancouver General Hospital Sunday.
The Former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick has a rare terminal illness affecting his heart, and doctors say he may have as little as a few weeks to live.
"I really appreciate you guys coming. It means a lot to me," he told members of the crowd gathered near the front entrance to the hospital.
"It's pretty amazing," he said, as more fans, gathered across the street, cheered. "I'm a little bit overwhelmed, and really touched."
Below, watch as Odjick meets with the people at the rally...
Sportsnet is reporting that the Toronto Maple Leafs netminder James Reimer has requsted to be traded.
Reimer would become an RFA on Tuesday July, 1st.
What could this mean for Jonas Hiller and Ryan Miller in the coming days?
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The NHL free-agent courting period has done wonders in for creating dialog.
The problem is all the idle chatter has plugged the lines on trade talks.
"It stalls a lot of things," Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving said after completing the NHL Draft. "You look at the number of signings, the lack of signings, of players that are their own free agents. I would assume those teams that want players back have made offers, and now everybody's waiting. I don't necessarily know if the market is being driven by it, but it's slowing the market, without question."
The logjam will end Tuesday when the 30 teams open their chequebooks in the hopes of landing this year's crop of free agents.
continue for more on the Flames...
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
In the Senators perfect world, Spezza would have been dealt at the NHL draft for a package of players and prospects that the organization could sell as the next stage for the franchise. But when a possible deal with Nashville fell through because the Predators were on Spezza’s 10-team no trade list, the Senators are in limbo.
As a result, there’s plenty of uncertainty about the normal free agency decisions on what holes need to be filled, how wide owner Eugene Melnyk is willing to open his wallet and how to proceed with players who have one year remaining on their contracts.
That latter group includes Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, Marc Methot and Craig Anderson. After Spezza’s wish for a trade – the speculation is he made the request after failing to receive a commitment the team was willing to spend more freely in in pursuit of the Stanley Cup – those four are watching closely to see the next direction of the franchise.
“I don’t know, and that’s the problem,” Murray acknowledged, when asked about whether Spezza’s situation will effect his free agency options. “Always part of your decision is what can you spend and where does it fit and what do you get in return for a certain player.
“If you don’t know that, it’s harder.”
added 5:14pm, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
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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