Kukla's Korner Hockey
A day after trading for their rights, The Tampa Bay Lightning are close to signing Ryan Malone to a long-term year deal that will exceed $30 million and Gary Roberts to a one-year year deal that has the potential to reach $2 million, Sportsnet has learned.
An announcement could come as early as Monday.
Update 3:57pm ET (alanah): From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
...and one source, who doesn’t represent either players, but was monitoring the situation, predicted deals would get done for both players before noon on July 1, when they would otherwise hit the open market.
And Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune is also monitoring the situation on his blog.
Update 4:30pm ET: From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes,
If things keep going at the current pace, the Lightning could announce contracts for both Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts by later today. If that happens, give the Lightning credit for turning a tide that, for a while, seemed to be going against it.
Update 6:39pm ET: Again, from Damian Cristodero,
Mike Liut, the agent for left wing Ryan Malone, said his client has not signed a contract but a deal with the Lightning “is going to get done. ... I think we’ll finish it today.” That doesn’t mean it will be announced today, of course.
Update 9:29pm ET: The deal is signed, says TSN. Their headline currently reads, “MALONE INKS SEVEN YEAR DEAL WITH LIGHTNING”
Ryan Malone has agreed to a seven year, $31.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Malone, who would have drawn considerable interest from around the NHL as an unrestricted free agent, will earn between $7 and $8 million in each of the first two years of the deal.
from Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers,
NHL sources told me on Saturday night that Malone’s father, Greg Malone, has recently been offered a job with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Malone had been working as a scout with the Phoenix Coyotes. Before that, he was a scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins. While he wasn’t fired by the Penguins a few years ago, he was shown the door by management, which is where the relationship between Malone and club became frayed. Now, they could be reunited.
more on Malone…
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired the rights to left wings Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts from Pittsburgh in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2009, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced..
“We said earlier this week we would be aggressive in our pursuit of free agents in order to win and compete,” Koules said. “This trade today doesn’t guarantee anything, but we believe it gives us a leg up in our attempt to sign these two impact players.”
Update 2:05pm ET (alanah): Link above has been fixed (it was changed at the team’s website after publication). Info also available at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
added 2:35pm, via Lightning Strikes,
Roberts is 42 and had just three goals in 38 games last season while suffering from a broken leg and high ankle sprain. He has 434 goals in his career. he also wants to be closer to his family in Canada and is expected to want to sign with the Maple Leafs or Senators. But he has been a god leader throughout his career, so perhaps Melrose and owner Oren Koules can pursuade him to take a chance on the Lightning. And, in fact, Roberts had to waive a no-trade clause, so there might actually be some interest.
added 3:41pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On Saturday, when the Lightning announced that they’d paid a heavy price to acquire the free-agent rights to Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts for a weekend from the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was the new owner, Koules, quoted in the press release, not general manager Jay Feaster.
More and more, it looks as if Feaster is a lame duck, with the crazed, hands-on pair of owners seizing control of the Lightning’s hockey operations department.
more on the deal…
from Lightning Strikes,
The rumor from Canada’s TSN: Defenseman Dan Boyle could be trade bait this summer in order to free up some salary cap space.
Melrose said it was a case of the Canadian media trying to “make” the news, and added, “Danny Boyle is the guy I’m counting on to play 25 minutes a night.”
Asked about the rumor, Koules said, “I’ll answer anything that’s important” and proceeded not to answer.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
There is a riveting sideshow under way in Tampa these days, a Steinbrenner-ish quality to the way the Lightning conducts their business that comes mainly from their two new larger-than-life owners, Oren Koules and Len Barrie, who seem to know just enough about hockey to be both fascinating and a little dangerous at the same time.
Koules played junior hockey in Western Canada; Barrie was an NHLer for a short time, before both made small fortunes in film and real estate respectively – enough cash to cobble together an ownership group to buy a team that as recently as 2004 won the Stanley Cup, but four years later, was dead last in the NHL, a fall from grace so complete that it landed them the next great emerging talent, Steven Stamkos, in last week’s annual entry draft.
To former NHL goaltender Kelly Hrudey, the charismatic and articulate [Barry] Melrose is the man who saved his playing career.
It was in the midst of that memorable ‘93 season that Melrose — named Tuesday as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning — rescued Hrudey from a two-month slump the netminder thought would spell the end of his professional career.
“It was my 10th year in the National Hockey League,” Hrudey, a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, told CBCSports.ca. “He did things that probably not a lot of people would have back then. It resurrected my career and got me back on track, and I ended up playing another five years.”
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The final touches are still being worked on and nothing can be formally announced until July 1, but sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning and superstar centre Vinny Lecavalier have agreed to terms on a mega-deal that will pay him $77 million over nine years.
The annual salary cap hit to the Lightning will be about $8.55 million for the length of the contract, but the final year of the contract is said to be only for about $3 million, which means that if Lecavalier retired after eight seasons, his average salary would be as much as $9.4 million.
Former NHL player and ex-player agent Brian Lawton has been hired to be the new vice president of hockey operations for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Sources tell TSN Lawton will oversee all aspects of the Lightning’s hockey operations for new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.
General manager Jay Feaster will remain as part of the management team.
Update 11:00am ET: From CBC, notes on Bill Barber’s resignation,
All smiles at the recent NHL draft, Bill Barber knew his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning was running out.
On Wednesday, the former NHL forward tendered his resignation as the team’s director of player personnel. Barber will stay in the role until Tuesday.
“It hasn’t been a secret to anyone in the organization that the travel these past few years has taken a bit of a toll on me,” Barber, who joined the Lightning before the 2002-03 season, said in a statement.
ESPN with a video tribute to Barry Melrose who worked at ESPN for 12 years.
Watch the video below…
The Tampa Bay Lightning have place goaltender Marc Denis on waivers for the purpose of buying him out. Should he clear waivers on Wednesday, he will be bought out at that time.
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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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