Kukla's Korner Hockey
Any signings yet, how about trades, did I miss anything overnight?
Did a player put their home up for sale, how about I saw so-and-so in the airport and he told me he is signing today with ....?
Get ready folks, we wil be hearing all of the above plus more. Do remember, some people just want your hits, the more hits, the more money they make.
We here at KK will be business as usual, providing you with the latest news the hockey world has to offer. It promises to be a busy day, so get your morning coffee and stay tuned!
Also, a big Happy Canada Day!
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The only way Montreal is not a player for Sundin’s rights, whenever he is ready to start contract negotiations, is if they win, against long odds, the Marian Hossa sweepstakes. Hossa is the top forward up for grabs tomorrow; Brian Campbell the premier defenceman; and Hossa’s long-time of suitors will include two-thirds of the Original Six teams in the NHL (Montreal, Boston, New York, Detroit), plus Pittsburgh, where he finished last season. Even Edmonton and San Jose will make overtures.
Campbell will get offers from half-a-dozen teams, beginning with the Sharks, but also including Chicago, Ottawa and Atlanta. What’ll be really interesting is what happens when Campbell makes his choice, at which point the runners-up that need a boost on the blue line will either turn to Wade Redden as a free-agent possibility, or one of a trio of defencemen that’ll be dangled as trade bait: Mathieu Schenider in Anaheim, Joni Pitkanen in Edmonton and Dan Boyle in Tampa, who starts a six-year, $40 million contract extension signed back in February with the team next season, which will include a no-trade clause (usually they kick in on July 1).
Vancouver GM Mike Gillis used to be Pavol Demitra’s agent, but that doesn’t mean the free-agent forward is automatically headed to the Canucks. His current agent, Keator, said it’s far from a done deal. “If Pavol Demitra was going to Vancouver, then why did he hire me?” asked Keator. “It’s ridiculous.” That said, Vancouver would be a nice fit for the 33-year-old right winger.
via Craig Custance of the Sporting News...
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said tonight that decisions on Sergei Brylin, Jay Pandolfo and Bryce Salvador will have to “wait until tomorrow.”...
Sosa said Salvador is prepared to start fielding offers from other teams if he isn’t signed before noon. I’d imagine Pandolfo is ready to do the same. If he or his agent had returned any of the many messages I’ve left for them in the last week, I’d let you know what he’s thinking.
I have heard that Scott Gomez and Chris Drury (Pandolfo’s former Boston University teammate) have given glowing recommendations to Rangers’ management about Pandolfo.
a little more...
from Russo’s Rants,
As of now, Brian Rolston has not signed in Tampa Bay despite the Lightning offering him a Brink’s truck, I am told. I am also being told it’s looking more and more doubtful Rolston signs, although that could change. Brian Lawton and Len Barrie are using every ounce of persuasion they have. I haven’t heard back from Rolston this afternoon, but this is further proof he wants to go to free agency. In other words, if Tampa can’t get it done, the Wild wasn’t going to get it done.
Deep down, I really think he’s praying the Red Wings come calling. That would be a dream come true for the Michigan native and childhood Wings fan. Two other big options? I think Pittsburgh and the Rangers.
more on the Wild…
Update 10:56pm ET: From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes,
Lightning owner Oren Koules said he has had one conversation with Brian Rolston about money. Koules said Rolston, whom the Lightning are trying to sign by midnight before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, is more concerned about quality of life issues.
“He’s excited about it,” Koules said Rolston’s opportunity to play with Tampa Bay. “It’s lifestyle things. He’s 35, he knows this might be his last contract. He wants to figure out where he wants his family to lives. You know what? I don’t blame him.”
Update 11:44pm ET: TSN says Rolston needs to sleep on it tonight:
Tampa Bay Lightning fans should wait before they purchase their Brian Rolston sweaters as the soon-to-be free-agent has indicated to the Lightning that he will decide Tuesday morning if he will accept the team’s offer or enter the open market.
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
His first priority? A veteran defenseman. The Thrashers ranked worst in the league last season in shots allowed and tied for worst in goals allowed. But the team won’t necessarily go after a stay-at-home defenseman.
“You can argue both sides of that,” Waddell said, adding that an offensive defenseman can help prevent shots by helping keep the puck in the other team’s zone.
The Ottawa Sun reported the Thrashers want former San Jose Sharks player Brian Campbell and could offer the 29-year-old offensive defenseman more than $7 million.
Waddell laughed when asked about that, saying he couldn’t discuss individual players and “I haven’t told anybody what we’re going to spend.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Why do you get the feeling, when watching the Tampa Bay Lightning operate these days, that it’s like seeing two kids running wild and free in a candy store?
Moreover, why do you also get the impression that those two kids, named Oren Koules and Len Barrie, aren’t doing a half-bad job, stockpiling players and generally creating a buzz for the team that they now own officially as of Monday, along with six other investors?
In case you missed it earlier today, Alanah had a similar look at the Tampa ownership group too…
from Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,
Giguere expects at least two of the Avalanche’s free agents, forward Andrew Brunette and defenseman Kurt Sauer, to sign with other teams. He hasn’t been able re-sign goalie Jose Theodore and defenseman Jeff Finger, and they’ll also become unrestricted free agents.
“One of the luxuries that we have, I think in Peter Budaj we have a very capable goaltender,” Giguere said. “We know that we have an insurance policy that we felt pretty comfortable about. We’re not going to overpay, in our mind, to (re-sign Theodore).
“We would like to get another goaltender of quality to come in. I imagine the scenario would be that Peter and another guy would come in, but I would think Peter would be the guy kind of with the reins. But we wouldn’t mind if there’s a challenge there.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via the National Post,
Unrestricted free agency is a wild ride. It’s like having a shopping cart and a time limit to careen down the supermarket aisles and stuff whatever items catch your eye as the clock ticks - the only downside is whatever you grab you pay for, and often your head should take precedent over your eyeballs.
Ask the Los Angeles Kings how they felt giving Michal Handzus a four-year, US$16-million deal last July. Or if the folks in Toronto Maple Leaf Nation felt Jason Blake deserved that US$20-million over four years that he signed a year ago.
from Matt Paulson of the East Valley Tribune,
There are a few high-end defensemen on the market such as Brian Campbell and Wade Redden, but Phoenix’s salary structure dictates signing mid-level guys such as Ron Hainsey or Andrej Meszaros. Both made under $1 million last season. They figure to receive substantial raises but could still work in Phoenix even if their salaries tripled.
If the Coyotes want to spend a little more, physical, stay-at-home defenseman Brooks Orpik would seem a good fit.
Maloney has said Phoenix’s payroll will once again be near the league minimum, which this season will be $40.7 million — the cap is $56.7 million — so that gives him at least $6 million to work with since the team’s cap hit is currently around $34 million.
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 email@example.com