Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
TSN asked a group of 12 general managers, coaches and player agents to submit a list of the 10 defencemen expected to generate the most attention on Tuesday.
Needless to say, Campbell and Redden are 1-2.
The Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks are in on the hunt, however many more teams are expected to join the bidding when the market opens.
Michal Rozsival ranks high among general managers in search of a ‘go-to’ defenceman. Rozsival chews up big minutes and can score, a combination that guarantees he’s a hot commodity.
A day after trading for their rights, The Tampa Bay Lightning are close to signing Ryan Malone to a long-term year deal that will exceed $30 million and Gary Roberts to a one-year year deal that has the potential to reach $2 million, Sportsnet has learned.
An announcement could come as early as Monday.
Update 3:57pm ET (alanah): From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
...and one source, who doesn’t represent either players, but was monitoring the situation, predicted deals would get done for both players before noon on July 1, when they would otherwise hit the open market.
And Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune is also monitoring the situation on his blog.
Update 4:30pm ET: From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes,
If things keep going at the current pace, the Lightning could announce contracts for both Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts by later today. If that happens, give the Lightning credit for turning a tide that, for a while, seemed to be going against it.
Update 6:39pm ET: Again, from Damian Cristodero,
Mike Liut, the agent for left wing Ryan Malone, said his client has not signed a contract but a deal with the Lightning “is going to get done. ... I think we’ll finish it today.” That doesn’t mean it will be announced today, of course.
Update 9:29pm ET: The deal is signed, says TSN. Their headline currently reads, “MALONE INKS SEVEN YEAR DEAL WITH LIGHTNING”
Ryan Malone has agreed to a seven year, $31.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Malone, who would have drawn considerable interest from around the NHL as an unrestricted free agent, will earn between $7 and $8 million in each of the first two years of the deal.
via Sports Network,
The Philadelphia Flyers signed defenseman Steve Eminger to a one-year contract Sunday.
Eminger was acquired by Philadelphia along with a 2008 third-round pick from the Washington Capitals on June 20 for a first-round pick in the 2008 draft.
“Steve is a young two-way defenseman that will fit in nicely with our group,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
If the Canadiens end up blue-balled and spurned in their wooing of Mats Sundin, signing Brian Rolston would be a great consolation prize.
Rolston was in the final season of a three-year Minnesota Wild contract that paid him $2.432 million per. He’s probably available in the $4 million to $5 million range.
more on Rolston…
Were it not for the salary cap, we’re watching Crosby, Fleury and Malkin walk to the Rangers or Maple Leafs after six or seven seasons simply because of money. The Penguins would become like the Pirates and essentially operate as a glorified farm team for franchises with deeper pockets. It would be an endless cycle of drafting high, developing prospects and eventually dealing them to the Red Wings and Flyers for prospects or draft picks.
You might be feeling down seeing some of your favorite players leave town this way, but you should realize this is happening for reasons that are beneficial for teams like the Penguins. It’s just a little bit ironic as well.
more on the Penguins cap situation from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters…
from John Vogl of Buffalo News,
“We’ll be above the midpoint,” Regier said. “How far above, we’ll wait and see. We have some room, not a lot of room.”
The midpoint is $48.7 million, so expect the Sabres to spend about $50 million. That gives them more than $10 million to play with. Some will go toward their five restricted free agents: Paul Gaustad, Daniel Paille, Steve Bernier, Clarke MacArthur and Mark Mancari. The Sabres also are interested in extending the contracts of goaltender Ryan Miller and captain Jason Pominville.
But if there’s an unrestricted free agent the Sabres want, they have the ability to pay for him.
So, who’s out there that fits the Sabres’ needs on the blue line and in goal? Orpik might top the list. The 6- foot-2, 219-pounder is the physical presence the Sabres lack. It helps that he grew up in East Amherst, where his family still lives.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Their top three defensemen are locked up for at least two more seasons, 10 regulars up front are all signed, and starting goaltender Chris Osgood has been secured for another three years. In all, the Wings have 16 players signed for roughly $41 million, leaving them significantly below the $56.7-million salary cap for the next season.
“The cap is designed to spread the players around,” general manager Ken Holland said last week. “We won the Cup and for the most part, we’ll be able to keep our team together, which is pretty hard to do.”
from Wayne Fish at phillyBurbs,
He insists there are ways to be creative. But that’s basically GM-speak for possible salary dumps — either the trade of another veteran or getting another older player such as Derian Hatcher to join Sami Kapanen in retirement.
Even though Holmgren has added four defensemen in the past week (including Tuesday’s deal for Janne Niskala of Nashville), only one of those (Steve Eminger) has NHL experience.
So it’s pretty safe to guess that the Flyers would like to add another mobile defenseman with NHL time before the dust settles. For that to happen, Holmgren is going to have to be “very creative.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Darcy Tucker, a Calgary Flame.
Love it or hate it, it might just be a perfect fit.
No, it hasn’t happened yet and, no, we’re not suggesting it absolutely will.
But you can bet it’s a possibility—an intriguing one—GM Darryl Sutter is looking into as he prepares for the start of the free agent freeze Tuesday.
After all, Sutter tried to trade for Tucker just a few years back.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
A viewer’s guide to a few of the key free agents, factors at play, and some things we might see, or expect to see, when the bidding begins:
What’s up with Hossa? - At this point, it looks as if Slovakian right wing Marian Hossa will sleepwalk into offers of $8 million a year or more, and according to a variety of sources, he is leaning toward signing with a club that can be considered both a short- and long-term contender. In other words, welcome to Detroit. But don’t discount the Rangers or Canadiens trying to convince him they’re in the Cup hunt for keeps, too. Boston’s chances: slimmer than the teenage Gretzky.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org