Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/27/14 at 01:34 AM ET
TSN's posting double doses of Insider Trading videos due to the massive amount of pre-draft trade talk, and I should've known better than to simply post the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's update on Jason Spezza's situation without looking for a rumor-related column on other Sun newspaper sites (the Ottawa Sun doesn't always post articles on his columnist page in a timely manner).
The Toronto Sun posted Garrioch's wining-and-dining update, and I need to say this out loud: while this summer's class of unrestricted free agents-to-be is particularly thin, I have the sinking feeling that we're going to see more classes like these--where second-line players and second-pair defensemen are the ones who hit the market and make top-player money, serving as the main source of player-value inflation (as yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika suggested).
The wining-and-dining period is great in terms of allowing teams to explain their expectations for players, and vice versa, but the number of offers these players are receiving over the course of consecutive days are driving up their asking prices considerably (of course, there are no numbers being exchanged ), and I really get the feeling that we're going to see Paul Stastny and Matt Niskanen become $7 million players come July 1st.
Anyway, here are Garrioch's updates regarding Stastny...
The Colorado Avalanche centre is on a lot of radar screens with more than 10 teams making calls to his camp to see where he stands.
While the Avs want to keep Stastny in the fold, they may have a tough time if he’s got that much to think about, especially with so many teams in need of centres going into the draft.
“The talking period has made it really interesting for free agents because they can hear what is out there and then decide what they want to do,” said a league executive Thursday.
A guy taking advantage of the interview period for free agents is former San Jose defenceman Dan Boyle. While he had his rights dealt to the Islanders by the Sharks earlier this month, New York GM Garth Snow is hoping to move Boyle to get a pick in return before Saturday. Lots of teams have interest in Boyle because he’s the type of blueliner that can help any power play. The Tampa Bay Lightning has shown interest in bringing Boyle back. His asking price won’t be cheap: It’s believed Boyle saw the two-year, $5.5-million the Dallas Stars gave to Sergei Gonchar last spring and wants the same kind of money from any team he signs with
Thomas Vanek will also have no shortage of destinations to choose from on July 1. A day into the talking period for UFA’s and the Montreal winger already has had eight teams express interest. With Marian Gaborik getting a seven-year deal from the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, the bar has been set for the term of Vanek’s deal. Yes, the Minnesota Wild has made a call on Vanek and that makes sense because that’s where he makes his off-season home. Many believe Minny is the front-runner
And there's more, including a suggestion that Dale Tallon's going to bring another former Blackhawk into the Panthers' fold:
Given the fact the Leafs and centre Dave Bolland are so far apart on a contract, it would appear he’ll move on as a UFA. Many believe, given his relationship with Dale Tallon and the fact the Panthers have money to spend, Bolland could be headed for Florida. It’s believed Bolland is seeking a seven-year deal at more than $5 million per year. Several teams have already spoken with Bolland’s camp and he’ll have plenty of options
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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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