Kukla's Korner Hockey
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Coverage of NHL news and information will be thorough through mid-July. It is not easy work but part of what we do here at KK.
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BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, June 30, that the team has signed Adam McQuaid to four year contract extension through the 2018-19 season at an NHL cap figure of 2.75 million per year.
In his sixth season with Boston, McQuaid competed in 63 games, recording one goal and posting six assists with 85 penalty minutes. In total, the 28-year-old blueliner has played in 283 games at the NHL level -- all with Boston -- racking up 9-34=43 totals, while amassing 430 penalty minutes.
McQuaid has also appeared in 54 NHL playoff games with the Bruins, where he has posted two goals and six assists with a combined plus-13 rating in 54 matchups. McQuaid was a member of the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup winning team.
The 6’5”, 209-pound native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was originally selected by Columbus in the second round (55th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. On May 16, 2007, McQuaid was acquired by Boston for a fifth round draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Long-time Washington Capitals blueliner Mike Green, a two-time Norris Trophy runner-up with 360 career points, tops TSN's Top 40 unrestricted free agents list as he looks for a new home for the first time in his NHL career.
Defence appears to be the deepest position of available talent, with Cody Franson, who played for the Maple Leafs and Predators last season, Andrej Sekera, who finished the year with the Kings after a trade from the Hurricanes, and battle-tested veterans Johnny Oduya, Francois Beauchemin and Paul Martin all on the market.
There are also appealing options for teams looking to bolster their depth on the wings, topped by 22-goal scorer Matt Beleskey, who is set to depart the Anaheim Ducks. Michael Frolik, a 27-year-old left winger who had 19 goals for the Winnipeg Jets last season, is also expected to garner a lot of interest.
A team that fancies itself one piece away from a Stanley Cup might want to give Justin Williams, aka Mr. Game 7, a call. The veteran right winger with three Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy on his resume is not expected to return to the Los Angeles Kings.
continued (includes Top 40 UFA list)
from Andrew Gross of The Record,
It’s certainly not upscale shopping.
Which is not to say the unrestricted free agents class of ’15 is a dud, just not star-studded.
Teams can begin signing UFAs at noon on Wednesday and the window to start discussing deals opened Friday.
A good representation of the risk-reward offered in this market is Capitals defenseman Mike Green, once one of the most feared — he had 31 goals and 42 assists in 2008-09 and 19 goals and 57 assists the following season — offensive-minded blue-liners in the NHL. He’s still just 29 and has a hard slap shot despite injuries diminishing his production. Green still had 10 goals and 35 assists in 72 games this past season.
The Predators’ Cody Franson might be a cheaper alternative for teams seeking a point-producing defenseman while the Ducks’ Francois Beauchemin, 35, might be the steadiest blue-liner available in a group that includes ex-Devils Johnny Oduya, 33, who just won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks and Paul Martin, 34.
via Pierre LeBrun tweets,
Interesting dilemma for teams trying to unload high-priced talent. Do you make your best pitch today before the UFA market opens tomorrow?
Or, as some are thinking, do you sit back and wait after first few days of UFA business and circle back to teams that strike out there...
Those are the kinds of conversations teams are having right now.... it's not your usual NHL off-season, that's for sure.
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Bryan Murray, the Senators’ general manager, and Tim Murray, his counterpart with the Buffalo Sabres, got a lot of business done in and around the NHL draft, including a fascinating trade between their respective clubs: goaltender Robin Lehner, once considered a future cornerstone of the Senators, moving to Buffalo along with veteran centre David Legwand in exchange for a first-round draft pick. That pick was used to selected highly regarded American centre Colin White, 21st overall.
What a weekend it was for Tim, who cut his teeth working alongside his beloved uncle in Anaheim and Ottawa, and took bold steps in rebuilding the last-place Sabres, a team that now includes Jack Eichel, the second overall selection, centre Ryan O’Reilly, a two-way standout for the Colorado Avalanche, former 67’s forward Jamie McGinn, plus forwards Evander Kane (trade) and Sam Reinhart (2014 draft) from earlier transactions.
What a week it was for Bryan and the Senators, who stole the show at the NHL Awards — three nominations, Erik Karlsson winning his second Norris Trophy, and the entire organization shining brightly in the glow of Jonathan Pitre’s inspiring story, which was first told in the pages of the Citizen.
From the bright lights of Vegas to the beaches of Florida, Murray continued to make sensible moves to fine tune his Ottawa roster, including the trade of Eric Gryba to Edmonton, enabling the organization to pare down to seven defencemen (plus AHL Binghamton star Chris Wideman, who was re-signed to a one year, two-way deal Monday).
from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
There were boos when Chris Pronger first arrived in St. Louis, the product of fans liking Brendan Shanahan — the player the Blues traded away to get him — more than they liked him. There was the time he took a puck to the chest and his heart stopped on the ice. There were the concussions that ended his career prematurely and finally, there was the bylaw change that made him eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame before he had officially retired from the game.
It’s been no ordinary path to enshrinement for Pronger.
“I think nothing I’ve done has been the easy way,” Pronger said Monday after he was announced as part of the Hall of Fame’s 2015 induction class. “This would follow suit. I’m excited and proud to be part of this group.”...
“He was a warrior out there on the ice,” Lidstrom said Monday. “You knew he would play more than half the game. He was a tough guy to play against. Whether he was on the power play or killing penalties, he was going to be one of those players you had to beat to beat St. Louis. Those were great battles. It was like a playoff game every time we played.”...
Pronger acknowledged Monday that, with the changes in the rules since he broke in, there isn’t really anyone in the league who plays the way he did, which he admitted might not be a bad thing.
“With the evolution of the game and now with more medical research,” he said, “we understand hits to the head, illegal hits to the head, better. Most of the guys in the game today have gone through this in junior or college hockey and there’s a much greater awareness of the ramifications that result in hits like that. It’s hard to put into words other than the fact the game isn’t played that way anymore. It’s played with more regard for fellow competitors. We grew up in a different time and age. We did what we had to to win a hockey game. Now it’s so much more difficult to play on the edge the way I did.”
from Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune,
Housley said on a Monday teleconference that he was in Arizona when he got the news, visiting his son, Wilson, who attends Arizona State.
An assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, Housley had just returned from last weekend’s NHL draft in Florida.
“We were just about to sit down for lunch, and the Hockey Hall of Fame called,” said Housley, whose 1,232 points were the most by an American-born NHL player until ex-North Star Mike Modano passed him in 2007. “I knew it was the call to be elected.
“I’ve been patiently waiting, and there have been so many great players before me that have been inducted. To finally get that call, it’s still surreal, the shock. It’s a lot of emotions that I can’t describe, but it’s something I’m very, very excited about.”...
Housley’s wife, Karin, said the family had no idea that Phil would get the call this year.
“To be honest, we are still shocked,” she added. “He’s on cloud nine, overwhelmed with phone calls and texts of [congratulations].”
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports that whatever happened that spurred the Los Angeles Kings to terminate Mike Richards' contract happened last Saturday:
Dean Lombardi showed up for Round 1 of the NHL Draft in a good mood. Los Angeles was the proud, new employer of Milan Lucic, with the GM excitedly discussing the various ways his lineup could utilize the power forward.
But something happened later that lacked complete context until the Kings terminated Mike Richards’ contract on Monday afternoon.
Midway through the opening round, the emotion changed at the team’s table. According to several sources, that was the moment the organization found out about something that occurred on or around June 17, further muddling Richards’ situation.
Lombardi was discussing possible trade scenarios with Calgary and Edmonton, so he got up to personally notify GMs Brad Treliving and Peter Chiarelli. From what I understand, no transaction was close, but this ended any chance of a move.
In their release, the Kings announced they “exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Mike Richards for a material breach of the requirements of his Standard Player’s Contract” and would not have any further comment.
In a brief filed to the NHL and the NHLPA, the team referenced Section 2(e) of the SPC, which states a player agrees “to conduct himself on and off the rink according to the highest standards of honesty, morality, fair play and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey generally.”
Friedman continues, discussing the means by which Richards can grieve the termination and the Kings' cap benefit...
from Michael Traikos at Canada.com,
“Certainly there are players who can help teams,” Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “But they’re not franchise players.”
And yet, that may not stop some teams from paying them franchise dollars. Supply and demand can make general managers do funny things. And a shallow talent pool has suddenly made big fish out of a number of mid-level free agents.
“I don’t like to overpay. That’s not in our vocabulary,” said Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney, who on the weekend traded for Chris Pronger, who is no longer playing because of injuries, but still has a cap hit of 4.9-million, in order to reach the salary-cap floor that will rise in 2015-16 to $52.8-million from $51-million.
“We can’t chase it. You sign bad deals and a year from now you’re like, ‘Why did we do that?'”
Chances are someone will pay (or overpay) for Green or Beleskey. Someone will get caught up in the frenzy and sign a contract they will soon regret. Which is why smart general managers might be better off doing what Brian Burke did several years ago: Accept a chance to visit Canadian troops in Afghanistan on July 1 and wait for the free-agent dust to settle.
“I had a bunch of general managers tell me that they’re not going for the flavour of the month. They have no appetite for that,” said agent Rick Curran of the Orr Hockey Group, who represents free agent defenceman Christian Ehrhoff. “What they do want is the guy they’ve been looking at and following for the last six months and are hoping that for one reason or another he doesn’t re-sign.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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