Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/02/05 at 01:21 AM ET
Most teams and several players agents said they thought the two most prominent unrestricted free agents, Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund, both of Sweden, would sign as a package - much the way Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne signed together with Colorado two summers ago. The primary difference is that Forsberg, who has played nine seasons with Colorado Avalanche, and Naslund, who has spent the last eight-plus seasons in Vancouver, have different agents. Kariya and Selanne shared the same agent when they signed with the Avalanche. But Naslund's agent, Mike Gillis, said last night that a package deal was not a prerequisite to sign his client. "Unless a team came up and decided that it would have to be a package deal, that's when it would be really considered," Gillis said in a telephone interview. "I only represent Markus Naslund. It will become an issue only if teams want to make that happen. Until then, it's not an issue for us." "I haven't heard from the Rangers at all," one prominent agent said last night. "It's not the traditional free-agent market teams that we're hearing from." If the Rangers are not in the market to sign Forsberg and Naslund, they are probably not going to try to re-sign Brian Leetch, whom they traded to Toronto in March 2004. Leetch had spent nearly 17 seasons with the Rangers and is the most accomplished defenseman in franchise history. Instead, the Islanders made the 37-year-old Leetch an offer, but Leetch has apparently already declined. The Boston Bruins were also believed to be interested in signing Leetch, who played a year at Boston College. Niedermayer's agent, Kevin Epp, said Niedermayer had not ruled out the possibility of re-signing with the Devils.
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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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