Kukla's Korner Hockey
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Ryan Smyth’s agent Don Meehan and Islanders general manager Garth Snow talked on Monday and are planning to talk again today, Meehan said last night. The question is whether Meehan and Smyth are using the Islanders to build the pot or whether there is genuine interest in signing up for the long haul on the Island, which probably was among the last places Smyth ever imagined himself going before the trade on Feb. 27.
“We’re having ongoing discussions,” Meehan said yesterday. “Garth is well-intentioned. We’re having good discussions, but it’s complex.”
Asked if there is any possibility Smyth would sign with the Isles before the free agent market opens on Sunday, Meehan didn’t even look at his cards before saying. “It’s too early to tell.”
Have the Islanders made a firm offer? “I won’t discuss negotiations,” Meehan said.
from the Gaylord Herald Times,
“I didn’t really know where I would go,” Weber said. “I had thought maybe the sixth or seventh round and then I heard the third, but I was very surprised when I heard my name called. I was glad my family and friends could enjoy it with me.”
Weber was happy to be drafted by the team that had spent the most time and effort scouting him. A natural rival with the Detroit Red Wings, Weber will fit in well with Columbus.
“They told me they hate the Wings more than anybody,” Weber said. “That’s good, because I don’t really care for them either.”
more on Weber…
Wings GM Ken Holland was just on WDFN radio in Detroit… Holland mentioned how scary it would be right now if Datsyuk would be a UFA.
He is confident Hasek will sign and claims Wings will have between $11-$13 million to spend. Wants to get Schneider signed and continues to talk to Bertuzzi’s agent.
Regarding Bertuzzi, said he could sign a 1yr contract with bonuses because he was on IR last year. Wings doctors tell Holland his back is 100%, but he basically missed a year of hockey. Wings feel he can be a 80 point man.
Holland was asked about Nashville, said everyone wants to see them stay. Not good for the league if they move.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The fiscal conservatives suggest that in a year when the salary cap could reach $50-million, more teams will be governed by a second set of restrictions: Their own budgets.
If enough teams cap their payrolls in the low 40s, it may be that the anticipated free-agent frenzy will fizzle in the same way the NHL trading game failed to take off at the recent entry draft.
A more broadly held view, though, is that the old rules of supply and demand will once again rule the market.
There are probably 10 teams with the need and the cash to make a free-agent splash. And if the expected bidding war for the aforementioned four players gets overheated, the feeling is that someone will overpay to get their man.
In fact, principals of both sides of the discussion - agents and general managers - question whether the term overpay applies any more.
from the Buffalo News,
The Sabres continued their tightlipped policy.
“I think that the less said the better right now, and we’ll go from there,” managing partner Larry Quinn said.
Briere is said to have received only one brief phone call. Drury’s agent, Mark Witkin, declined to update his client’s status. The Sabres’ exclusive negotiating rights to both players are set to expire. The other 29 teams can extend contract offers at one minute past noon Sunday.
Drury may have a chance to go back to where his career started if the Sabres maintain their current negotiating pace. An industry source said Tuesday the Colorado Avalanche is expected to bid for their third-round pick in the 1994 draft. Drury won the Stanley Cup…
from the Mercury News,
If Hannan has waited this long, however, it’s likely he wants to test the free-agent waters. Friends say he is not an immense fan of Coach Ron Wilson, which might affect the decision. The Sharks might be willing to give Hannan roughly the same money as Rivet - $14 million over four years - but that might not be enough, because the free-agent market has few quality defenseman.
Best guess: Hannan has played his last game for the Sharks, which is too bad. A great teammate and often a shut-down defender, Hannan played an important role in the Sharks’ ascendancy from mediocrity to Cup contender….
“People call me all the time about all the guys on our team who’ll be unrestricted free agents a year from now,” Wilson said. “And I don’t blame them. . . . I’d like to keep Patty. He had one bad series against Detroit and everybody seems to want to dump on him.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
How much do you think top NHL centres Daniel Briere, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury are going to be offered when the doors open for business and agents start fielding calls? “I hear Drury might get $8 to 8.5 million a year,” said one NHL executive, who did not want to be identified.
With the knowledge that the salary cap might be be about $50.4 million US next season, is Drury worth $8 million? Although he’s a good leader, scores big goals in the playoffs and is a strong team player, the Buffalo Sabres centre has never garnered 70 points in a season. Nevertheless, some GM might show the 30-year-old the money.
much more on UFAs…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Martin Brodeur may again wear the crown as the NHL’s top goaltender, but that doesn’t mean those in authority are willing to listen attentively to his views on the game.
The New Jersey Devils goaltender, who won his third Vezina Trophy two weeks ago, has abruptly resigned from the league’s competition committee after 18 months of frustration….
“I didn’t feel I was making a difference, and I hate wasting my time when it doesn’t seem to matter,” he said. “I brought up a lot of different points, suggested different ideas like a bigger crease, but nothing’s changed. The protection of goaltenders has just become ridiculous.
“It’s hard when nothing’s improving and your name is associated with it. I didn’t want to live with that.”
from the Niagra Falls Review,
Wayne Gretzky, is the latest and greatest to put his name on a Niagara wine, it was announced in Toronto Tuesday.
Wayne Gretzky Estate Wines, emblazoned with the No. 99 on the label, the number Gretzky wore while piling up Stanley Cups and scoring titles during his amazing run in the NHL, is a partnership with Creekside Estate Winery in Jordan Station.
I don’t know how I never heard of these guys before, but 2 Man Advantage is producing some entertaining video judging from the newest episode of their show, released yesterday. Thankfully, they dropped us an email about it.
In this episode, the guys interview one-time NHL GM Neil Smith and get some entertaining scoops on the Rangers, the origins of fantasy hockey and a wee bit of trash talk.
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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