Kukla's Korner Hockey
Dan Rosen of NHL.com answers some questions from the fans....
What is the expected return for Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd, and would any teams want both if the Jets take back or retain salary?
Venturing a guess here that the return for those players is more in the form of draft picks and prospects than it is in actual NHL players. I guess it's possible that the Jets would be able to make a player-for-player trade, but that's unlikely when it comes to players who would essentially be rentals for the team they go to. They are playing on contracts that expire at the end of the season, making them unrestricted free agents on July 1. I would think that the Jets would want to continue to try to negotiate with one or both, exhaust all options before looking at the trade market. That's what they should be doing, at least.
As for a team wanting both, why wouldn't they? Ladd is an experienced leader, a 200-foot player who can score and play in all situations. Byfuglien is a weapon on the back end who can play forward too. His versatility, size and shot makes him a prize for any team that gets him. The Jets would be silly not to retain some salary on them if it means their return is better. These are expiring contracts. The cap hit won't matter beyond the end of this season. But I'm also not sure that would ever happen.
more Q & A...
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
Don't look now, but that mole hill is slowly morphing into a mountain for the Winnipeg Jets.
By dropping a 4-1 decision to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night, the Jets fell two games below the .500 mark for the first time this season.
And their timing couldn't be worse.
With a record of 15-17-2 going into a three-day Christmas break, it's still too early to suggest that the Jets are on life support.
But they better start looking for the paddles, because they're currently trailing the Nashville Predators by eight points in the chase for the second and final wild-card spot in the Western Conference standings.
Watch the game highlights below...
A stick and pucks caused a few bloody moments last night.
Jaromir Jagr takes a stick to the face.
Two more incidents below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
With the Pacific Division being as tepid as it is -- for those keeping score and waiting form them to emerge from their slumber, the Anaheim Ducks lost again Monday -- no one is really out of it in that division. And with the Eastern Conference still wide open -- another loss for the slumping Montreal Canadiens, for those wondering how much they miss Carey Price -- it's hard to discount anyone except maybe the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres, and even those teams just barely.
However, is it time to put a fork in the Winnipeg Jets? The Jets were dumped 3-1 Monday night by the Oilers despire pouring 45 shots at Cam Talbot. Winnipeg is last in the Central Division now after the Colorado Avalanche surged past them into sixth place, but the real issue is the eight-poing gap between the Jets and the second wild card spot out West. That's eight too many for my liking.
For a team with significant free agent issues looming with captain Andrew Ladd and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, the playoffs look like a longshot, and the pressure on GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to get top assets in return for Byfuglien and Ladd will mount they they aren't under contract soon.
more on the Jets from the ESPN hockey crew...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- Once the Kings are able to get an extension done with centre Anze Kopitar sometime next month, look for them to have serious discussions with Milan Lucic next. Acquired from the Bruins during last year’s roster shakeup in Beantown, Lucic has been a good fit for the rugged Kings and they have been pleased with the contribution he has made. Lucic, 27, is in the final year of a deal that pays him $3.25 million this season and if the Kings go on a long playoff run they’re going to love the sandpaper he brings.
- It could get messy in Winnipeg. The Jets aren’t close to getting unrestricted free agents Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien along with restricted free agent Jacob Trouba signed and nobody is happy the negotiations went public last week with their demands attached. The organization could be considered cheap while the players are viewed by others as greedy. This will be one of the hotspots to watch because GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has decisions to make.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
The NHL's most frugal team this season – the Jets are ranked dead-last in spending under the salary cap – is getting exactly what it paid for.
Bargain-basement results for bargain-basement spending.
Winnipeg's payroll of $59 million is not only $12.4 million shy of the ceiling, it's just $6.2 million above the floor.
Nobody else is pinching pennies as tightly his season, not even the spendthrift Arizona Coyotes, ranked 29th at $60.5 million (the teams switch places when you consider actual spending and not just the total cap hits).
Of course, spending and winning don't always correlate.
But you can't help but wonder how much of a difference even two of Michael Frolik, Jim Slater and Lee Stempniak – or the acquisition of a similar free agent last summer -- might be making.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
The Jets host St. Louis on Tuesday night, entering the evening five points out of the playoffs.
And it will be their first game since a mammoth Tim Campbell story where he reported on the initial contract demands of Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Jacob Trouba. Campbell indicated Byfuglien asked for eight years and $55M; Ladd six years and $41M; Trouba “more than” $56M over eight.
How is everyone — including the fans — going to react to all of this being out in the open?
Look, the players aren’t stupid. They know what’s going on, who’s a free agent, who needs a new contract and who doesn’t. What they generally don’t know is who is asking for what. This is…unusual. You run the risk of players looking at each other and saying, “Really, he’s asking for that?”
And, they’ve got to answer questions about it right before a game they need. To me, this is someone in Winnipeg warning the Manitoba faithful that painful choices are coming. But which ones?
There’s less worry about Byfuglien and Ladd. They’re veterans, they’ve been traded before, they’ve seen just about everything.
read on plus of course 30 Thoughts...
from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Winnipeg Jets are facing more than $152 million worth of future contract demands from three key players who are in expiring years of their contracts.
League and player sources have confirmed that Jets captain Andrew Ladd has asked for a six-year deal worth at least $41 million, that defenceman Dustin Byfuglien has requested $55 million over eight years and that defenceman Jacob Trouba wants more than $56 million over the maximum eight years allowed in the league’s CBA with its players.
It’s important to note that these numbers have been basically starting points from each of the player’s camps in their negotiations with the Jets. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has not commented at all on potential progress or stumbling blocks to talks.
George Stroumboulopoulos sits down with Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson, Tampa Bay Lightning Chairman Jeff Vinik, and Executive Chairman of the Winnipeg Jets Mark Chipman about the stress that comes from being behind the scenes of a NHL team.
Part two is below...
Buflygien received two for roughing.
Chicago broadcast is below...
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