Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/25/13 at 08:18 AM ET
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Chicago’s Bryan Bickell, Michal Handzus, Viktor Stalberg, Michal Rozsival and the backup goalie Ray Emery become unrestricted free agents July 5.
Bickell, a 27-year-old bruising winger, is the biggest question mark: he had 8 goals and 16 points in the postseason entering Monday’s game. He was at his best when on a line with Kane and Toews, with a plus-5 goal differential in the first five games of the finals.
Bickell’s $540,000-a-year contract is up, and he can expect a raise to three or even five times that. Bowman said “we’re going to do our best” to re-sign Bickell....
The Bruins are just $5 million under the 2013-14 cap, and they have not signed either of their goalies — the invaluable Tuukka Rask or his backup, Anton Khudobin — who become unrestricted free agents July 5.
Rask has established himself as one of the N.H.L.’s top goalies, so his contract is likely to jump from $3.5 million a year to somewhere in the neighborhood of the $7 million that another Finnish goalie, Pekka Rinne, makes with the Nashville Predators.
That kind of money would put the Bruins pretty much at the limit, with Chiarelli still wanting to re-sign unrestricted free agents like Khudobin and the first-line forward Nathan Horton.
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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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