Kukla's Korner

Sabres Could Be A Much Different Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Anxiety is intensifying as the deadline approaches because incoming contract proposals could blow away anything the Sabres can put together. Also on the brink of unrestricted free agency are forwards Adam Mair, Michael Ryan and Dainius Zubrus, defenseman Teppo Numminen and goalie Ty Conklin.
Sources close to the team say Mair is close signing a multiyear extension. The Presidents’ Trophy winners are making a push to sign him before Sunday.
The signing of Mair, however, would do little to quell the angst surrounding the futures of Briere and Drury, players who accounted for more than 20 percent of the team’s winning goals in the regular season and 35 percent in the playoffs.

more

Filed in: Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Thinking Center

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Record,

The Rangers are focused on re-signing unrestricted free agent-to-be Michael Nylander, who arguably has been the biggest post-lockout bargain in the entire league as he’s flourished alongside Jaromir Jagr while making just over $2 million per year.
He’s likely to command in the neighborhood of $4 to 5 million per year over three or four years.
The Rangers also are very much in the mix for either Buffalo’s Chris Drury or the Devils’ Scott Gomez, both of whom become unrestricted free agents Sunday as well and plan to test the open market. Mark Witkin, Drury’s agent, said earlier in the week that it was too early to comment on his client’s situation.

more

Filed in: New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kings Plan To Pursue Top UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,

I asked Lombardi about the fact that the Kings have been attached to many of the top free agents out there and asked him if it was safe to say that they would be aggressive when the signing period begins.
``When you use the word aggressive, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be persuing some of those (high-profile) names,’’ Lombardi said. ```That being said, it’s all about the right player for the right price when you get to free agency. Sometimes you get into talks and you throw a big (salary) figure out there and you end up saying, `What did I do?’ and you have buyer’s remorse. You have to take the emotion out of him. On the other hand, I’m certainly not going to sit here doing nothing.’‘

read on for more on the Kings…

Filed in: Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Try To Lock-Up Their UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit News,

General manager Ken Holland continues to negotiate with agents for goalie Dominik Hasek; defensemen Mathieu Schneider and Danny Markov; and forward Todd Bertuzzi.
“I expect we’ll keep talking to all of them up until the last day,” Holland said this week.
A deal with Hasek could be struck today, probably a one-year contract worth from $2 million to $2.5 million.

more

Filed in: Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Where They Could Land

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Here’s 15 to look at, how much they could get and where they could go.
1. Centre Daniel Briere, 28, Buffalo Sabres
Hard to believe Phoenix once traded this kid to Buffalo for Chris Gratton because they wanted to get bigger. He’s the flashiest of all of the free agents, capable of 50 goals and 100 points. The Flyers will make the strongest pitch for him because Don Luce, the former Sabres’ scouting guru, now works for Philadelphia, and Briere’s good friend, Martin Biron, is the Flyers goalie. How much will it cost? Eight million dollars.

read on for the other 14…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sens Have Little Money To Play With

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

It’s more likely Ottawa will focus on the second tier of free agents.
That could include forwards like Bill Guerin, Robert Lang or Dainius Zubrus..
Murray, who replaced John Muckler on June 18, is in a difficult spot.
The Senators have spent about $42 million on 16 players for next season and that’s before a raise for goalie Ray Emery has been factored into the equation.
The Senators would like to keep centre Mike Comrie, who made $3 million last season, but Murray has indicated he just doesn’t have the money. Expect to see the Maple Leafs and Capitals make a pitch for Comrie.

more

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Wings Have To Choose Between Schneider and Smyth?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

So, Sunday’s July the first; and July the first starts the Summer of Smyth.  And the Summer of Smyth better culminate with that frigging hippie eating cheddar in Hockeytown.  What seemed unlikely to the pessimistic among you now has a bit more reality attached to it.  The 50.3 Cap has given the Wunderkind some breathing room.  But a few million dollars doesn’t mean a stress-free existence for our boy Kenny.  Nope, he’s got some decisions to make; and one of them just may be the toughest of his tenure as genius behind the dynasty.

Could it come down to a choice between Mathieu Schneider and Ryan Smyth?  If so, who do you shell out the bucks to?  Ponder that while I dig a bit.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Get Ready

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Salary cap or no salary cap, the hottest candidates usually go first — and this year, Brière, Chris Drury, Ryan Smyth and Scott Gomez should all be gobbled up within the first 48 hours of what some call the NHL’s silly season for prices that could reach $8-million (U.S.) or more a season.
Brisson likens the anticipated bidding war to “a game of musical chairs” and says that, nowadays, an agent needs to be aware of how many seats there are for a player of a certain type. For example, if eight teams have a need for a No. 1 player and there are only three on the market, the action on them figures to be fast and furious.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Don’t Be Shocked

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

There seems to be some “drama” coming from the announcement of the cap ceiling announced today.  By now you know the cap is set at $50.3M.
Last week at the NHL Draft I talked with numerous GMs and team officials and they all told me the cap would be very close to $50.5M, which I reported.

Now all of the sudden, “drama” is unfolding, teams are in a panic because they thought the cap would be set at $52M.
Don’t believe it, just more garbage to collect website hits.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Toskala Extension Agreed Upon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Howard Berger was just on Fan590 radio in Toronto and mentioned an extension is in place for Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala.
The extension cannot be announced until July 1st.
I missed the terms, if anyone gets them, feel free to post…

added 5:22pm, 3 year deal with an option year per Fan590, no $$$ given…

Filed in: Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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