Friday, July 31, 2009
Zherdev: quietly on the move?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Phil Kessel and other dominos
With the addition of defenseman Derek Morris, it becomes abundantly clear that the Boston Bruins have no intention of signing Phil Kessel. Morris' $3.3 million deal puts the Bruins technically, over the salary cap. After scoring more than thirty goals last season, Kessel is looking for Tanguay-type money ($5 million-ish), therefore the Bruins will be selling.
As slow as it has been the last two weeks on the NHL transaction front, there will be headlines galore very soon as Kessel and quite a few other big money players will change teams in the month of August. The salary cap era has changed the business of hockey. There are quite a few teams at, near or over the cap who still need to round out their rosters and just as many teams with vast amounts of cap space that will welcome a few big ticket items.
Lets take a look a some of the sellers:
Boston: Technically the B's are more than $4 million over the cap. Marc Savard will be an UFA, Milan Lucic a RFA and only 3 defenseman are signed after this season. There is no room for Kessel and another player or two via waivers or trade will need to be moved. Patrick Eaves will be bought out and will then only count about 1/4 of his $1.4 million cap number, but there is more to be done.
Chicago: The Blackhawks also are over the cap by more than $4 million. The team faces the task of re-signing Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews next season. As has been mention before here, Patrick Sharp and his $3.9 million cap number seems a logical choice to move. Sharp will require a serious return in the for of draft picks or prospects.
New York Rangers: The Rangers still have more than $2 million in cap room. However, Nik Zherdev's arbitration ruling will either force the team to trade him, or accept his deal and move someone else.
Ottawa: The Senators are over the cap by a little less than $2 million. Everyone knows that they have been trying to move Dany Heatley. the Oilers trade seems unlikely now that other teams seem to be in the mix...the ground will shake when this deal does get done.
San Jose: The Sharks have less than $600k in cap space. The team has more than it's share of soft, under performing, high-priced forwards and blueliners that they would like to unload. To make matters a little more tricky, they are in need of adding forward depth and have no backup netminder to speak of. A deal must get done.
Atlanta, Buffalo, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Phoenix and Vancouver all have significant money to spend and will be active in pursuing Kessel, Heatley and all others available on the market.
Montreal, St. Louis and Tampa do not have the cap space that the others do, but will be active in making deals to improve their clubs.
What domino falls first?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Beacuse its "Canada's Game"?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Dancing Partners: Isles and Hawks made for each other?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thrashers mission: Re-sign Kovalchuk
We have been very congratulatory toward the off-season moves the Atlanta Thrashers have made thusfar. Will the signing of Nik Antropov, re-signings of Colby Armstrong and Kari Lehtonen, the trade for Pavel Kubina and drafting and signing of super prospect Evander Kane be enough to convince the newest Thrashers captain to stay for the long haul?
We will find out soon enough.
Thrashers GM Don Waddell's mission is quite clear. The fact that the Thrashers do not spend to the cap limit actually places the team in an advantageous situation should Kovalchuk decide to test the market after next season, as they will have more available money to offer than almost anyone.
Yet, as AJC sports columnist Jeff Schultz points out the Thrasher have one other thing going for them in these negotiations: Kovalchuk likes being in Atlanta.
After he was named captain last season Kovalchuk embraced his leadership role. He was involved in recruiting Antropov (something a player doesn't necessarily do if intent on leaving, no?), and all anyone needs is just one visit to the Thrashers website to see how incredibly involved Kovalchuk is in the Atlanta community.
Schultz states that "Theoretically, his new deal could pay him up to $11.2 million per season (20 percent of the NHL salary cap of $56 million). The bigger issue is term"... Kovalchuk will command a generous salary, however, I would expect that his salary may fall somewhere between Columbus' newly extended Rick Nash ($7.8 million per season) and Ilya's pal Evgeni Malkin ($8.7 million per season).
Shultz concludes that "Re-signing Kovalchuk would be step one. But it’s only step one." It is THE step. Ilya means as much to the Thrashers as any player does to any other team... Crosby, Ovechkin, Nash, you name it, he means that much.
GM Don Waddell, like Harry Potter, must not fail in his mission.
Monday, July 20, 2009
What is to become of the Coyotes?
The story begins when current Coyotes owner, Jerry Moyes, took the team into Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 5, 2009 with a plan to sell the team, which would then relocate.
The NHL clearly wants to keep the team in Arizona and contends the Coyotes could be successful staying put. The NHL removed Moyes from all positions of authority with the team after the league was caught by surprise by the bankruptcy filing.
If that were not enough, a battle between Moyes group, which includes Coyotes coach, Wayne Gretzky and the city of Glendale, AZ (the Phoenix suburban area where the Coyotes play) rages.
Glendale claims it would be financially devastated should the Phoenix Coyotes move. The city is making the payments on the $180 million borrowed to build an arena for the Coyotes. Reports also indicate that Glendale gives a $15 million annual concession to the team.
The Coyotes claim that city officials destroyed documents that showed the team had requested repeatedly, over several months, to restructure the team's lease at Jobing.com Arena, which violated Arizona law.
Additionally, a group known as the Goldwater Institute has joined in the Coyotes bankruptcy case. The Institute is suing Glendale over the city’s failure to disclose information on concession renegotiations with potential new owners. Glendale contends that all negotiations are confidential and the demand for such information is "overbroad."
Why is the Goldwater Institute involved? They currently are in the midst of another lawsuit involving the city of Phoenix and a mall development that is also disputing city concessions.
…and yet the fight branches out even further.
The bankruptcy court has set July 24 as the deadline for submitting bids to buy the team and keep it in Glendale with the sale set for Aug. 5. If no acceptable purchaser is found, the bidding will be open to prospective buyers who could relocate the franchise.
That would reopen the door for Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who has offered $212.5 million to buy the team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario. Balsillie is a minority investor with the current Moyes group, and was in the original plan to sell the team as part of the Chapter 11 filing.
Since taking control of the franchise, the NHL has announced offers by new ownership groups that would keep the team playing in Glendale.
Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of baseball's Chicago White Sox and the NBA's Chicago Bulls, with a group that includes Phoenix attorney John Kaites and Tony Tavaras, made a preliminary offer to buy the team for $148 million.
More recently, Canadian Daryl Jones told The Globe and Mail that his group, which includes businessmen from the United States and Canada, met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman last Thursday and plan on submitting a formal offer of over $140 million.
Both groups would seek a new lease agreement and a greater concession by the city of Glendale.
Before the Jones bid, the Moyes group alleged that the NHL had discouraged other bids aside from Reinsdorf’s group, and of course, both groups’ request to renegotiate the city concession has incited the Goldwater Institute action.
So now that we are caught up on all the arguments, what shall become of the Coyotes?
Commissioner Bettman is hell-bent on keeping this franchise in the Phoenix market, but why? To save face? To somehow prove that the NHL can thrive in non-traditional markets? If Bettman succeeds in his endeavor, he only dooms the next group to financial loss and delays an inevitable request to move again.
The Coyotes have marginal fan interest. As a result, low, local television revenues, an undesirable lease agreement and poor gate receipts. Bettman insists that the Coyotes could be successful with better management and more success on the ice... Yes, but realistically, how much better can it get? Bettman has to accept that Phoenix, even if all the pieces fall into place, will only ever be a marginally profitable venture. Why would any owner want that, and more importantly why would the NHL want it with greener pastures elsewhere?
The city of Glendale loses either way. If the team stays, they get to spend even more of the taxpayer’s money on concessions and still have to pay off the loan on the arena. If the team leaves they pay off said arena and have no tenant. Which nightmare do they really want?
The best solution can only be for the NHL to buy the franchise, ala MLB and the Montreal Expos. I know that it seems ludicrous to advocate anything that MLB has done, but hear me out. The league would bring the team out of Chapter 11 and operate the franchise until an acceptable buyer is found. The league could sell the team and include a relocation fee in the agreement. As a gesture of goodwill, and to avoid future trepidation by other NHL cities, the league could use the relocation fee to help the city of Glendale offset the remaining costs involved in the jobbing.com arena loan.
No other solution offers such mutual benefit.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Thrashers continue strong off-season, sign Lehtonen.
In his career Lehtonen has a 94-83-17 NHL record with 14 shutouts, a 2.87 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage in 204 games with the Thrashers.
KHL, NHL Battle Grows Even More Embarrassing
According to the NHL, Hudler is contractually obligated to the Red Wings for next season.
Hudler, a restricted free agent filed for salary arbitration, which in the eyes of the league is acknowledgement of his intent to play in the NHL next year.
Szymon Szemberg, Communications Director for the International Ice Hockey Federation tells TSN the IIHF is fully involved in the dispute.
'The IIHF has been informed by the NHL about the Jiri Hudler case. Upon, this the IIHF has informed the Russian Ice Hockey Federation about the NHL's position and the case is under investigation. As this is a transfer to an IIHF member league the player will be needing an International Transfer Card (ITC), approved by the IIHF, to complete the transfer. Only upon the IIHF's signing the ITC, the transfer would be finalized and approved,' Szemberg said."
Monday, July 13, 2009
Fenway Park to Host NHL Major Announcement!
The National Hockey League will make a major announcement concerning a special event Wednesday at 2 pm ET.
What suspense! Ha! The worst kept secret in sports will officially be "revealed" today that the Boston Bruins will host the next Winter Classic on New Years Day at Fenway Park.
The only bit of mystery is the Bruins opponent. The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers were supposedly the two finalists for the gig, but wouldn't you want a natural, division rival in that spot, say like... the Canadiens if you were a Bruins fan?
Here's to hoping its Alexander the Gr8t and the B's on January One. I'll be there either way!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Tanguay still job hunting?
"There's a point-a-game player left on the NHL's free-agency market, but his camp will be patient before making a decision now that the first and second wave of signings have passed.
Alex Tanguay is an immensely talented forward looking for a new home after spending a season in Montreal. He had 41 points (16-25) in 50 games with the Canadiens last season while earning $5.375 million, his season marred by a shoulder injury.
"We're talking to several teams," Tanguay's veteran agent, former NHL goalie Bob Sauve, told ESPN.com in French on Friday. "Lots of teams have expressed interest. We've had a few offers, but not yet something that we want to firm up.
"We're going to take our time," added Sauve. "We're going to wait, not only in terms of money, but also in terms of fit."
...but that is just it, isn't it? Where does Tanguay fit? LeBrun answers part of his own question as to why: Tanguay has not been a point-a-game player for the past two years and his goal production has been in decline for the past three years.
What is his value? Certainly not the $5 million plus he made last season. Tanguay's skills are not in question, just his production... which can be quite detrimental to the health of his wallet. Tanguay should fit with a number of teams that need offensive chances and a forward who is responsible in his own end, but don't necessarily require much edge or grit on the ice.
Tanguay should offer teams a chance to prove that at 29 he is not washed up. In the right situation Tanguay could turn the tables and have teams lining up to talk to him next off-season.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The Islanders Win!
Since that time, the Islanders thrilled their fans at said party by selecting John Tavares, had encouraging meetings regarding the Lighthouse project and yesterday, held a welcoming party for the new face of the franchise. Read the whole story and see the videos on the Isles website here.
“Today feels like we are celebrating the rebirth of the New York Islanders Franchise,” exclaimed Islanders broadcaster Howie Rose. And the press conference to welcome John Tavares was underway.
Cheers rang out from the more than 500 fans in attendance at Nassau Coliseum Wednesday afternoon, as the Islanders formally welcomed their No. 1 overall draft pick. With the scoreboard lowered to the floor, fans dressed in No. 91 Tavares t-shirts and jerseys, gave Tavares a standing ovation. There were even a few fans who were wearing t-shirts that had Tavares’ likeness emblazoned on the front."
The Islanders had 500 fans show up to a Wednesday afternoon presser!
There were games last season where 500 fans was not a bad turnout! This is a franchise with a glorious history. They were a post-expansion dynasty in the 80's, but faded faster than a Devo cassette after the last of their star players moved elsewhere.
Even if years down the road, Tavares is more like Alexandre Daigle than Sidney Crosby, the Islanders may very well be playing in front of thousands of frenzied faithful, in a new arena because they had played their cards right in 2009! Again, good for them and good for the NHL.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The Man in Black... and Red
TSN this morning:
"The Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly on the verge of putting their restricted free-agent woes behind them.
According to a report in the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, the Hawks are finalizing a three-year contract worth more than $9 million with forward Kris Versteeg. The contract is similar to the one signed by defenceman Cam Barker on Monday...
The 23-year old Lethbridge, Alberta native scored 22 goals and 31 assists in 78 games for the Hawks last season while adding four goals and eight assists during Chicago's run to the Western Conference finals.
The $3 million cap hit would put the Blackhawks payroll at $55.578 million for the upcoming season, the NHL's salary cap is set at $56.8 million for the 2009-10 season and the Blackhawks still need to sign a goaltender to backup Cristobal Huet. A trade to free up some money is likely to happen with Versteeg, Barker and Patrick Sharp being named as potential bait."
When a team invests $17,934,541 annually in Marian Hossa,30, Brian Campbell, 30 and Cristobal Huet, 33, that team must look at letting go a Kris Versteeg, 23, Cam Barker, 23, or Patrick Sharp, 27, who would collectively represent a cap hit of $9, 900, 000 annually.
Is it crazy to think that the long money should go to the guys short on mileage?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Flyers, Pronger Sign Extension
"It looks as though Chris Pronger may finish his career as a Philadelphia Flyer.
Pronger's agent Pat Morris said on Tuesday that his client has signed a seven-year contract extension with the team worth $35 million. The contract also includes a no-movement clause, meaning Pronger, 34, is likely to wrap up his time in the NHL as a member of the Flyers.
'I am very excited to be able to retire a Philadelphia Flyer and I am looking forward to many years with the Flyers logo on my chest,' Pronger said in a statement.
'We are pleased to have one of the NHL's premier defencemen in our organization and under contract long term,' said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. "
'When we made the trade for Chris, it was our intention to get him signed to an extension and we are glad we could come to this agreement.'"
With all apologies to Flyer fan, Paul Holmgren and Mr. Pronger, the Flyers do NOT "have one of the NHL's premier defencemen in" their organization as a result of this signing. He will be 35 next season, playing a 16th season. To his credit, his point production has remained fairly consistent over the last few seasons. Yet anyone who watched him play in the playoffs last season saw Pronger frustrated playing against skilled players, taking more than a few dumb penalties particularly against Detroit.
Now, Philadelphia does boast about physical play, intimidation and guys with a penchant for racking up suspensions... he does seem like a perfect fit for the Raiders of the NHL. However, when facing the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Semin, Gaborik or Parise in the playoffs... when it really counts will Philly boast of games won or games suspended I wonder?
Leafs Get Their "Monster" In Net.
According to sportsnet.ca, the Monster, Jonas Gustavsson has chosen the Toronto Maple Leafs over other suitors Dallas and San Jose.
"A Swedish source told Sportsnet the long awaited decision by Jonas Gustavsson is over as he's decided to start his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. An announcement is expected as early as today as 'The Monster' signed off on a 1-year, $900,000 to start the 09-10 season backing up Vesa Toskola. "
Gustavsson was widely regarded as the best goaltender not playing in the NHL. The Monster steps into a good situation now as the Leafs have added a pair of net-clearing, shot-blocking blueliners to play in front of him.
Monday, July 6, 2009
New Maple Leafs Roster Continues Turn Over
Kovalev to the Capital
He earned $4.5 million last season and became an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Senators become Kovalev's fourth NHL team. In 1,151 career games with the Rangers, Pittsburgh and Montreal, he has 394 goals and 547 assists for 941 points, while adding 1,200 penalty minutes."
Saturday, July 4, 2009
July 4: Who Still Remains Independent?
- Alex Tanguay, LW - Avs, Thrashers, Devils: Avs freed up space in the Smyth deal today. Thrashers need 1 more skilled forward, Devils replace Gionta?
- Alex Kovalev, RW - Caps, Sabres, Islanders: Caps replace Fedorov, Sabres and Isles add a skilled, veteran point producer.
- Saku Koivu, C - Wild, Ducks, Rangers: Wild have his brother, Ducks his buddy Selanne and Rangers need players signed.
- Petr Sykora, RW - Pens, Devils: the two teams who see value in Sykora's game, or the KHL beckons.
- Ales Kotalik, RW - Oilers, Devils, Rangers: Oilers keep a speedy asset, Devils and Rangers see above.
- Maxim Afinogenov, RW - Caps replace Kozlov?
- Francois Beauchemin, D - Leafs, Habs, Pens: Leafs keep adding hard-nosed players, Habs replace Komisarek, Pens Scuderi?
- Sergei Zubov, D - Blues, Rangers, Ducks, Canucks: Zubov getting up in years but all there teams still see a speedy, puck moving blueliner.
- Dennis Seidenberg, D - Canes, Jackets, Rangers: Somewhat underrated balanced d-man. All of these teams fit nicely.
- Jay McKee, D - Pens, Preds, Hawks: Stay at home, hitter type.
- Manny Fernandez, G - Leafs, Stars, Sharks: Whatever teams lose out on the "Monster" sweepstakes will look at the best netminder available.
- Phil Kessel, RW: The Bruins just don't have the cap space to keep him. Trade still most likely possibility.
- Jack Johnson, D: The Kings just dealt away a high priced blueliner, Tom Preissing, in the Smyth deal... to free up space to retain JJ? Johnson has been rumored in trades all off-season, particularly Pittsburgh to play with his BFF Sid, but I cannot see this working out.
On a related note, Mirtle put together a fantastic chart on all 30 teams and their remaining cap space. It is particularly interesting because he considers each teams' projected budget, not just the cap max.
If you have not been paying attention, here are the latest moves:
The Colorado Avalanche have traded forward Ryan Smyth to the Los Angeles Kings for defensemen Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing and a fifth-round pick.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ruslan Fedotenko signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract.
Ryane Clowe re-signed with the San Jose Sharks. ESPN reports that it's a four-year deal for just over $3.5 million a season.
The Vancouver Canucks signed winger Mikael Samuelsson with a three-year, $7.5 million deal. Samuelsson in an interview later stated that the "money was key." - refreshing, huh?
The Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Shane Hnidy to a one-year contract. Value not disclosed.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Getting Nash-ty out there!
Apparently, two offers have been discussed: a seven-year deal that would pay Nash between $8 million and $9 million per season, and a 10-year deal worth between $7.5 million and $8.5 million per season. A no-movement clause is expected to be included in any deal, meaning Nash could not be traded or waived without his approval." Read the rest of Aaron Portzline's story here.
The 25-year old forward has signed an eight-year, $62.4 million contract extension with the Blue Jackets. The yearly cap hit on the deal is $7.8 million."
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Day Two Moves
The Boston Bruins have re-signed forward Mark Recchi to a one-year, $1 million contract.
Free Agency Results: Day One, Part Two
Continuing our recap of the day one signings...
As Paul Harvey used to say: "and now, the rest of the story"
Re-signed forwards Steve Sullivan and Joel Ward. Sullivan signed a 2-year deal for $7.5 million is the teams' inspirational leader after battling back from two years off from injury. Ward nearly netted 20 goals last season and represents a good value.
New Jersey Devils:
Re-signed role player Andy Greene. The Devils big accomplishment was made the night before re-signing Johnny Oduya. New Jersey has been linked to Chad LaRose among others. Lou will add somebody within the next few days.
New York Islanders:
Signed goaltender Dwayne Roloson to a 2-year, $5 million deal. Roloson took over the starting job last season in Edmonton. Will he grab the reigns in Long Island too? the Isles had their day in the sun at the draft, and may look to add unspectacular vets to guide their young future stars.
New York Rangers:
Signed forwards Marian Gaborik and Donald Brashear. Gaborik was the big prize that New York was looking for. However his 5-year, $37.5 contract is typical Rangers all the way. Gaborik is a dynamite talent, but he is injury prone and played less than 20 games last season. If he cannot stay on the ice for 70+ games each year, which is highly unlikely, this will just be another free agent bomb for the Blueshirts. New York also signed a ultra-high mileage goon for 2 years in Brashear, requiring the team to pay $1.4 million each year for a guy that does little more than take penalties.
Resigned forward Chris Neil. While Ottawa waited for Dany Heatley to make up his mind (what a joke), Neil turned down several more lucrative offers to return to the Sens, inking a 4-year, $8 million contract. Ottawa needs to take control of this situation, give Heatley an ultimatum and move forward.
Signed goalie Brian Boucher and forward Ian Laperriere. Boucher returns to the team that drafted him by signing a 2-year, $1.85 million deal to compete with former malcontent Ray Emery. Laperriere ads effort and energy but not the scoring touch of the newly departed Knuble. Philadelphia has made moves this off-season, signing a new goaltending tandem, trading for Pronger, etc... but i am not sure that they are any better off for it.
Signed forward Vernon Fiddler and goaltender Jason LaBarbera. You know what you are gonna get out of Fiddler: he has scored 11 goals in each of the last 3 seasons in Nashville. LaBarbera is a capable backup. Nothing flashy here. How could there be? Phoenix needs to shore up their ownership situation. Until then only minor tinkering can be expected.
Signed forward Michael Rupp. Versatile, tough guy Rupp signed a 2-year, $1.65 million contract. Rupp's signing probably indicates that the Pens will look to move resident pugilist Goddard. Pittsburgh has been busy concentrating on bringing back their own. look for Pittsburgh to stay in the hunt for Scuderi and Fedotenko, but GM Ray Shero will have plan B at the ready if those re-signings fall through.
San Jose Sharks:
Re-signed defenseman Kent Huskins. San Jose acquired Huskins from the Ducks at the trade deadline and then he promptly went down for the rest of the season with a broken foot. The Sharks want to see what they got in the big blueliner. Don't expect San Jose to do much other than look to add some grit to some of the forward lines.
St. Louis Blues:
Signed goalie Ty Conklin. The Blues get a much needed experienced backup at $1.3 million for the next 2 seasons. I expected the Blues to be much more active yesterday, and I have not heard anything on what they might be trying to accomplish in free agency regarding the talent still available.
Tampa Bay Lightning:
Re-signed defenseman Lukas Krajicek and signed defenseman Mattias Ohlund and forward Matt Walker. Walker signed for 4 years, $6.8 million and provides Tampa with some two way effort, but the splash was made with defense. Ohlund, 7-years, $26.25 million. Tampa gets a power play QB and a veteran leader, but is on the hook until Ohlund is 39 years old! Time will tell and who knows what is going on in the Lightning camp?
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Signed defensman Mike Komisarek and forward Colton Orr. Traded Pavel Kubina and the rights to Tim Stapleton for defenseman Garnet Exelby and forward Colin Stuart. GM Brian Burke vowed to improve his team's toughness and made the moves to do so. Komisarek was the big signing. The rugged, shot-blocking specialist signed a 5-year, $22.5 million deal. Toronto also made a solid move by adding the bone-crunching Exelby and big wingers Orr and Stuart. No matter what you may think of the moves, Toronto has a set course and have already set the wheels in motion to being a very physical team. Toronto still faces questions regarding their scoring ability and goaltending. If they are indeed able to land Swedish netminder Jonas (Monster) Gustavsson, they could find themselves on the fast track to contending.
Re-signed forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin and signed Aaron Rome. Vancouver started the day with big news. they were able to retain the twins with identical 5-year, $30.5 million contracts. The Canucks nearly had to do this top six forwards are hard to come by and with the competition out there waiting for their services, the team signed them for a workable rate. Vancouver will certainly be seeking to compliment this signing after an encouraging campaign last year.
Signed forward Mike Knuble to a 2-year, $5.6 million deal. the Caps were expected to be quiet, but signing the guy they wanted worked to perfection. The quick and easy man-shopping
trip is now likely over as the Caps don't have much room to maneuver. Not much needs to be tinkered with on their high octane machine.
Free Agency Results: Day One, Part One
There were some very busy bees yesterday and some that just sat by a watched the action. Here are the first day tallies and reports for each team:
Re-signed defenseman Scott Niedermayer and forward Erik Christensen. Niedermayer inked a 1-year deal at $6 million and Christensen's terms were undisclosed. Neither signing was unexpected and both were solid, but short-term moves.
Traded defenseman Garnet Exelby and forward Colin Stuart for defenseman Pavel Kubina and the rights to RFA forward Tim Stapleton. The Thrashers swapped size and grit for speed and skill. Fan favorite Exelby was, by far, their hardest hitter and Stuart a big, young winger. However, in return Atlanta got a power play QB in Kubina, who can lug the puck and a diminutive Stapleton who has some considerable speed. The jury is out on this trade until we can see what plan the Thrashers have for this off-season.
Signed forward Steve Begin and re-signed Byron Bitz. Role players. No movement on Kessel.
Signed defenseman Steve Montadore for 2-years, $3.1 million. Solid, budget conscious moves. Montadore seems to get a little better every year.
Re-signed Erik Cole to a 2-year $5.8 million deal. Cole had no intention of leaving the 'Canes and they NEEDED to do this.
Signed forward Fredrik Sjostrom and re-signed defenseman Adam Pardy. Jay Bouwmeester counts here as well as he made all the headlines the night before. Landing the big ticket, Jay Bo gives the Flames a powerful and potent blueline, but Calgary will have to hope that their younger forwards Moss and Bourque can step up for the loss of Mike Cammalleri.
Chicago Black Hawks:
Signed prized winger Marian Hossa and forwards Tomas Kopecky and John Madden. Hossa was the signing of the day. Chicago inked Hoss to a 12-year, $62.8 million, front-loaded deal. Twelve years! Although they added a premier player, took two away from rival Detroit and added a fantastic face off man in Madden, the Hawks paid by having to let key players go in the process. Havlat, Walker, Pahlsson and Khabibulin all moved elsewhere yesterday. Chicago now possesses an impressive array of forwards, but it will be absolutely vital that mega bucks defenseman, Brian Campbell and netminder Christobal Huet play much than they did last season if they are going to be serious contenders in the West.
Columbus Blue Jackets:
Signed forward Sammy Pahlsson and goaltender Mathieu Garon. Both deals were reasonable, if not unspectacular. Pahlsson brings some skill and two-way ability, while Garon gives the Jackets an experienced backup to their super-sophomore, goalie Mason.
Signed goaltender Craig Anderson and forward David Koci. Anderson, who played extremely well last season in Florida, agreed to a 2-year, $3.6 million deal and will be counted upon to assume the staring job in Denver. The mammoth 6'6", 238 lb., Koci brings...ummm, shade? Anderson was an excellent and economical signing for the 'lanche. Low risk, high reward!
Nada. A surprise really. I expected them to be uncharacteristically busy yesterday. Nope.
Detroit Red Wings:
Lost players to Chicago and St. Louis. Not like they need anyone.
Signed netminder Nikolai Khabibulin and re-signed Jason Strudwick. the Oilers waited around all day to see if they could convince Dany Heatley to accept the trade to play there. No dice. Yet they did upgrade at goaltender, bringing in the super streaky "Bulin Wall" at a reasonable $15 million over 4 years.
Re-signed forwards David Booth and Radek Dvorak and signed goalie Scott Clemmensen. Booth is a gifted scorer and maybe Florida's most important player. Locking him up with a 6-year, $25.5 million contract will seem a huge bargain down the road. Dvorak is a known commodity and fills a role at minimal cost. Clemmensen provides an excellent fill-in at goaltender when needed. It will be interesting to see how the team handles losing Jay Bo.
Los Angeles Kings:
Nothing at all! They tried and tried at all the big names and came up empty.
Signed forward Martin Havlat and defenseman Greg Zanon. Havlat will essentially be replacing Gaborik for a lesser fee. The winger signed a 6-year, $30 million contract. Zanon gives the Wild a girthy, physical presence at an acceptable rate of $1.93 per season for 3 years. Minnesota will continue to make more moves in the next few days, as they are known to be pursuing Ruslan Fedotenko and Rob Scuderi.
Signed forwards, Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri and defensemen Hal Gill and Jaroslav Spacek. The Canadiens spent their money! After trading for Scott Gomez and his $7.357 million cap hit, Montreal added Cammalleri's $6 million for the next five years and Gionta's $5 million over the same term. That is more than $18 million each year for just 3 guys! Gill and Spacek give the Canadiens size and veteran leadership. Cammalleri was easily their best move, but even he is no guaranteed success! Montreal need to hit home runs with this money and they fell short of the fences. After his stint with the Rangers, I just don't see how Gomez lives up to his pay rate. In Montreal that is a bad, bad thing! GM Bob Gainey might have just punched his ticket out.
"Wild" Day Comes To a Close
Forward Chris Neil agreed to a four-year, $8 million contract to remain with the Ottawa Senators. Neil, reportedly turned down offers from the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Montreal, Toronto: Turning Over a New Leaf?
Mo' Money, Mo' Money, Mo' Money!
Roloson took over of the starting job and appeared in 63 games for the Oilers in '08-'09, posting a 28-24-9 record with a 2.77 GAA and 1 shutout.
For Sale: Who is Buying, the first 2 hours...
The 32-year-old Swede had 6 goals and 19 assists in 81 games with the Canucks last season.
No Deal: Heatley Rejects Trade
After the 1st, the bonus payment cannot be transferred in cash considerations to a new team, which means Ottawa loses $4 million in cap space whether Heatley is traded or not.
It appears that the fork... has been stuck to Ottawa, and they may very well be done trying to trade the disgruntled forward until the trade deadline next season.
It is now free agent time... there will be a hurricane of activity by the afternoon! Stay updated here.