Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
The Islanders waited until Day 2 of free agency to make their splash. It was a double cannonball.
After missing out on some top targets on Tuesday, GM Garth Snow landed two quality forwards at once Wednesday afternoon, signing former Leafs wing Nikolai Kulemin to a four-year, $16.75-million deal and center Mikhail Grabovski, late of the Capitals, to a four-year, $20-million deal.
"To me, free agency is like fishing," Snow said. "You put your line in the water and you hope you get some nibbles. We got two big bites today."
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Last weekend, Ryan Johansen told The Dispatch that the Blue Jackets’ offer of a bridge contract was a “slap in the face.” Let us think on this.
A bridge contract is a short-term deal designed to set up a lucrative, long-term deal down the road. Johansen is 21. He will be eligible for unrestricted free agency when he is 26. If he signs a two-year bridge contract, he can pump up his resume and use the specter of looming, unrestricted free agency as leverage in 2016.
A slap in the face is when someone opens his or her hand and uses said hand to swiftly smack the cheek of a surprised victim.
Ah, contract negotiations. They are a hoot.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Now that negotiations between the Blue Jackets and their leading scorer, Ryan Johansen, have dragged into July, the 21-year-old center is free to negotiate with all 30 NHL teams.
That sounds terribly risky for the Blue Jackets, and nothing worries fans or agitates general managers more than the thought of a budding star — a player they drafted and developed — signing an offer sheet with another team as a restricted free agent. Johansen had 33 goals and 30 assists last season.
But here’s the reality: Offer sheets are rare, and they are rarely successful at poaching another team’s player.
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
Long-time Russian national team player Alexei Kovalyov, 41, calls it a career after 24 years in professional hockey.
“Unfortunately I have to retire because of my injuries,” he told TV channel Kanal9 at a camp in Leukerbad.
Kovalyov represented Russia and the Soviet Union at several occasions and won Olympic gold in Albertville 1992. He played in three Olympic Winter Games, three IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships and two World Cup of Hockey tournaments.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Dollar signs and a starting role sold Ryan Miller on plunging head first into the Vancouver fishbowl.
A suitable contract with sufficient term, style of play and projected linemates would determine whether unrestricted free agent Radim Vrbata would choose the Canucks or other serious suitors like the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes, who made an effort to re-sign the winger.
He chose Vancouver.
Vrbata received a two-year, $10-million-US deal from the Canucks on Wednesday night — $4 million and a $1-million bonus annually plus a limited no-trade clause — and it’s a win-win situation. The player gets a boost from his expiring $3-million deal and the Canucks get the bridge contract they needed so younger wingers like Hunter Shinkaruk and Jake Virtanen can develop and eventually transition into the lineup. Vrbata’s agent, Rich Evans of Surrey, said he had another offer for longer term, but too much added up to the right fit here.
It has been a long 60 hour stretch for me.
I wish I could say I am heading for the lake for the summer, but that is impossible for me.
I just need to re-charge a bit tonight and will be back in the morning.
If you wish to talk amongst yourselfs in the comment section, feel free to do os.
Until tomorrow and I will leave you with this... Steve Yzerman talked with the guys from NHL Live a bit earlier today to discuss the moves the Lightning made and other topis, listen/watch below...
from Trevor Greenway of MetroNews,
“In relations to the arrest of Claude Giroux (NHL player), which was not confirmed to media, MRO received calls from ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Comcast Sports, CNN, CSN PhiladelphiaSportsnet, CBC, Sun and Radio Canada, TVA, 104.7fm, Ottawa Citizen, CFRA, Metro Ottawa, 1310 news,” the media log read, which was “mistakenly” sent out to all the major news organizations in the city Wednesday afternoon.
“Also in relations to this file, Cst Soucy reached out to the Philadelphia Flyers and spoke to director of communication Zach Hill and GM Ron Hextall, They were advised that we would keep the same media line ‘we cannot confirm or deny the subject of a police investigation unless charges are laid.’ In this case no charges will be laid. The Flyers were advised of the outcome.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Trying to separate winners from losers on the opening day of NHL free agency is usually a fool’s game. Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish made the point a few weeks ago – 80 per cent of the contracts signed in free agency tend to be poor deals in the long run. Privately, most of his peers would agree. If there are any bargains to be found in free agency, they’ll occur later in the summer, when the frenzy has dissipated and the remaining unsigned players are suddenly just looking for jobs.
On opening day, it’s all about overpaying to fill in the gaps on your team – which is why the Washington Capitals paid a ridiculous amount of money – more than $65-million (U.S.) – to sign a pair of 21-minute-a-night defencemen in Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, clearly the greatest act of desperation on a desperate day.
The only way to accurately assess the impact of free agency is to wait until next June, when the smoke clears on the 2015 Stanley Cup champion.
With all the transactions in the last two days which will probably continue for the next week or so, these are both good sources to check out all the recent movement.
Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin have been reunited.
The New York Islanders have signed the two former Toronto Maple Leafs to four-year contracts.
TSN Hockey insider Pierre LeBrun reports Grabovski will receive $20 million over four years, while Kulemin's contract is worth $16.75 million.
Grabovski scored 13 goals and 22 assists in 58 games with the Washington Capitals in 2013-14. He was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs last off-season.
In 70 games with the Maple Leafs this season, Kulemin scored nine goals and added 11 assists.
added 4:28pm, Press release is 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.
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.
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