Archive for July, 2010

Turco to ‘Hawks if they walk away or trade Niemi … Bieksa and Kaberle getting interest …

  • Nick Kypreos via twitter: Richard Bloch could be the arbitrator in Kovalchuk case. Wednesday could be the start date, possibly concluding on Thursday.
  • Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald: Sources are saying Antti Niemi could be getting between $3 and $4 million from arbitration, which won’t be a good number for the ‘Hawks. Before arbitration the ‘Hawks offered Niemi a 3 year, $8 million deal. 3 teams that could be interested in Niemi are the Sharks, Capitals and Flyers.
  • NHLSourcesSay via twitter: If the Blackhawks walk away or trade Antti Niemi, they have a verbal agreement with Marty Turco for 1 year, $1.5 million.
  • Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald: The Calgary Flames are currently about $2.35 million over the cap ceiling after the Ian White signing. That doesn’t include Mikael Backlund (about $1.27 million) but does include Ales Kotalik ($3 million). Kotalik could be sent to the minors or head back to Europe, both options would take Kotalik’s number off the cap. They have 8 defenseman under contract, which could mean one of them could be dealt.
  • Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald: After Blake Wheeler’s arbitration ruling, the Bruins are currently over the salary cap ceiling. They aren’t expected to buyout a player. The Bruins will most likely send a player to the minors, with Michael Ryder and his $4 million contract the leading candidate, or make a trade.

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Setoguchi getting a 1 year deal … Caps interested in Niemi? Stars and Neal waiting it out

  • Craig Custance of the Sporting News: The San Jose Sharks and Devin Setoguchi could be closing in on a 1-year deal, which could be done in the next week. They are also starting talks with Joe Thornton on an extension.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: The Dallas Stars and James Neal still haven’t been able to reach an agreement, both are playing the waiting game. The Stars could be looking for a 2 year deal in the $2.5 million range, with Neal wanting more. Possible comparables in Tomas Fleishmann and Mason Raymond signed in that range. Other RFA that could be used as comparables are Bobby Ryan, Devin Setoguchi, Chris Stewart and Patric Hornqvist.
  • James Mirtle via twitter: Reading between the lines to Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman comments, other teams may be looking into Antti Niemi’s availability.
  • NHL Sources Say via twitter: If the Blackhawks don’t like Antti Niemi’s ruling and he becomes available, the Capitals could be interested.
  • Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersberg Times: The Tampa Bay Lightning have 7 defenseman under contract, and GM Steve Yzerman could be looking for 1 more. Yzerman would like to bring Paul Ranger back, but Ranger is not ready to make a decision at this time. Ranger missed most of last season due to personal reasons.
  • Craig Custance via twitter: The Atlanta Thrashers still have some interest in bringing Maxim Afinogenov back, though negotiations may not be that active.

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Rumors involving the Toronto Maple Leafs for July 30th

  • Michael Traikos of the National Post: Six teams are reportedly still interested in Tomas Kaberle, so it looks good that Burke’s biggest asset will be moved by Aug. 15th. After the 16th Burke loses some control as the no-trade kicks back in. Kaberle could veto all deals during the season and leave a free agent, with the Leafs getting nothing in return (see Mats Sundin). This could be why Burke isn’t getting the home-run offer he’s seeking. “We’re not asking for anything,” Burke said. “We’re fielding offers. We’re either going to get an offer that makes sense for Tomas Kaberle or we’re going to keep him.” According to a Post source, the Leafs have already rejected a deal involving a top 6 forward and a draft pick. The Devils, Kings and Ducks could be waiting for the Kovalchuk saga to end before they make a move. Burke says “It’s clogging the waters,” referring to the Kovalchuk situation.
  • Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun: The countdown has begun for Tomas Kaberle’s August 15th trade cut-off date. Burke hopes the Kovalchuk situation gets cleared up quickly so some teams can turn their focus on Kaberle (NJ and LA could be involved regarding both players. Rumors to the Kings, who just lost defenseman Matt Green for 3 months, will heat up, he’ll only miss about 3 weeks of the regular season though). If the Leafs don’t get their top-6 forward from a Kaberle deal, they could go back to Marc Savard if the price comes down a bit.
  • NHL Sources Say via twitter: The Maple Leafs could be interested in James Neal of the Dallas Stars, but would have to take some salary back, Mike Ribeiro could be that guy.
  • Dave Fuller of the Toronto Sun: Scratch Columbus off the list of possible destinations for Tomas Kaberle after they avoided arbitration the other day with Anton Stralman. Now this may be true, but this team needs to make the playoffs, and an upgrade to their defense would be a step in the right direction, especially a power play quarterback.

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White-Flames heading to arbitration … Regin and Campoli at standstill with Sens … Richards staying in Dallas long-term? Redden to be waived?

  • Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun: It doesn’t appear like the Calgary Flames and Ian White will reach an agreement before their Friday arbitration case. From White’s agent, “If something happens, something happens. But we’re not counting on it”. White made $950,000 last season, where he had 13 goals and 25 assists in 83 games.
  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: It looks like both Peter Regin and Chris Campoli will be going to arbitration with the Ottawa Senators, as contract talks with both are going nowhere.
  • Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: It looks like Brad Richards will remain with the Stars, with the possibility of being one of the center-pieces the club builds around. “The Stars want to keep Richards and Richards wants to stay here.” He’d have to take a pay cut from his $7.8 million if he were to resign.
  • Douglas Flynn of NESN: Before the Bruins include Tyler Seguin and Blake Wheeler’s salary (his ruling should come out sometime today), they are pushing up against the cap. Efforts to trade Marc Savard and Tim Thomas are at a standstill. Michael Ryder and his $4 million salary could be a cap casualty. Chiarelli has said he won’t buyout players. Ryder would be a $1.33 million cap hit the next 2 seasons if they bought him out, which might not help out as much as they need. His contract may make it hard to find a trade partner. They could put him through waivers and send him to the minors. Ownership may not want to pay $4 million to someone in the minors, and there is a chance that Ryder would be unhappy and have a negative influence on their prospects.
  • Jimmy Murphy via twitter: Accroding to La Presse, if Antti Niemi’s arbitration ruling is too high, they’ll look to trade him and sign Jose Theodore.
  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: The Rangers are about $6.7 million under the cap, with Marc Staal still unsigned, and the need for possibly another defenseman. Wade Redden could be waived during camp. It’s believed that Frolov turned down a 4 year, $18-20 million deal from the Rangers to sign a 1 year deal with the Rangers.
  • Alessandro Seren Rosso of RussianHockeyFans: Alexander Radulov’s KHL contract runs out after this season, and it looks like he’ll be heading back to Nashville next year to play out the remaining year with the Predators under is old NHL contract.
  • Craig Custance via twitter: The Phoenix Coyotes are talking with the Lee Stempniak, they’d like him back at the ‘right price’.

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League to look at other long-term deals? More ‘Hawks Options … Turco to decide in 7-10 days

  • William DePoali via twitter: Gary Bettman said yesterday that if the league wins its case against Ilya Kovalchuk, they may look in to other long-term deals.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas: According to his agent, Marty Turco is going to play for a contending team next season. He has 3 potential landing spots, and will make a decision in the next 7 to 10 days.
  • Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago: The Blackhawks and Antti Niemi have submitted their written briefs before their Thursday arbitration hearing. The ‘Hawks would like to keep Niemi but it all comes down to the price. One option to save cap space would be to go with a 21 man roster (2 below the max, which most carry), with the 21st player being able to play both forward and defense. If Niemi’s salary is below $2.5 million (and Victor Stalberg is sent to minors, saving $300K) they could do that (they’d also have a $1 million cushion for injuries). If the number is between $2.5 and $3 million, they’d have to make another move. If it’s over $3 million, he may not be their starting goalie next season. Marty Turco could be an option if they lose Niemi, they might be able to get him between $2 and $2.5 million.
  • Chric Kuc of the Chicago Tribune: Niemi is likely seeking between $3 and $4 million a season, the ‘Hawks probably closer to $2 million. The ‘Hawks could accept any ruling either way, and look to trade him, or someone else.
  • Andy Strickland via twitter: The Boston Bruins are talking to Bill Guerin, but would need to make a roster move first. Penguins are still interested in him.
  • Michael Arace of the Colubus Dispatch: (written before the Blue Jackets and Anton Stralman settled before their arbitration, 1 year, $1.95 million.) The Blue Jackets will look to improve their defense, and will look via trades and not free agency. 3 options could be Tomas Kaberle, Kevin Bieksa and Sheldon Souray. Arace believes the Blue Jackets have made a pitch for Kaberle, inquired about Bieksa, and made a ‘token’ call about Souray. Nikita Filatov’s name probably would come up.
  • Tim Benz of Inside Pittsburgh Sports: Penguins GM Ray Shero hasn’t completely ruled out bringing Bill Guerin back next season, and is still in touch with him. But at the moment they are looking at young kids to fill the holes.
  • James Mirtle via twitter: Alexei Ponikarovsky signed a 1 year deal with the Kings (for $3.2 million cap hit). He wanted a 4 year from the Leafs on a ‘big ticket’ when he was with them.
  • Michael Russo via twitter: Willie Mitchell could be a possibility for the Wild, but he’s not looking to take physicals just yet.

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Alexander Frolov signs with the New York Rangers

TSN: Alexander Frolov has reached a 1-year deal with the New York Rangers. Frolov will take a $1 million pay cut, signing for $3 million.

Frolov turned down a 4 year, $20 million contract from the KHL. He wanted to play 1 more season in the NHL before deciding his long-term future.

In 536 career games he’s scored 168 goals and added 213 assists for 381 points.

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Coyotes Sale in Trouble? Wheeler, Niemi Heading to Arbitration … Frolov to Rangers

  • Rebekah L. Sanders and Cecilia Chan of the Arizona Republic: The city of Glendale is saying the Ice Edge Group have not complied with the terms to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes. Ice Edge and the NHL say the deal is going forward. The group were to submit financial documents to gain exclusivity on negotiations with the city, but haven’t sent all documents, 5 weeks past the imposed deadline. Glendale and Ice Edge had hoped to have negotiations closed by the August 6th. Ice Edge believe they have submitted the documents that meet the requirements. The city claims the exclusivity rights are done, so in theory, they and the NHL, could entertain other offers. Bill Daly shot down rumors on Friday that the deal was in trouble.
  • James Mirtle via twitter: Antti Niemi’s arbitration date is set for Thursday. If he is awarded more than $3 million, Mirtle thinks they should walk away and sign either Turco or Theodore.
  • Helene Elliott via twitter: After Kovalchuk and another move fell through for the LA Kings, the Kings went back to Alexander Frolov, he said no.
  • Michael Obernauer of the NY Daily News: Alexander Frolov’s agent has said that they have a 1-year deal in place with the New York Rangers. Another source said they weren’t quite there yet. Frolov was close to heading to the KHL, but he wanted to stay in the NHL. He’ll take a short deal this summer, in hopes of getting a long term next year.
  • Douglas Flynn of NESN: Blake Wheeler and the Boston Bruins are set to go to arbitration today. Wheeler had a cap hit last season of $2.825 million including bonuses. The Bruins could use David Perron’s 2 year, $4.3 million as a comparable. Wheeler’s agent could use Nikolai Kulemin’s 2 year, $4.7 as a comparable, with Wheeler having better numbers over the last 2 years. Clarke MacAthur was awarded $2.5 million with lesser numbers that Wheeler, the Thrashers walked away.
  • James Mirtle via twitter: According to Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya’s agent, Don Baizley, they are still deciding on whether to play or not.
  • Roman Augustoviz of the Star-Tribune: Nick Leddy, acquired by the Blackhawks from the Wild for Cam Barker last season, should decide in the next week if he’ll be turning pro and leaving the Gophers.

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NHLPA files grievance … NHL Rumors involving Frolov, Ponikarovsky, Sutton, Wheeler, Stralman

  • Media release from the NHLPA stating they’ve filed a grievance against the NHL for the rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk-New Jersey Devils contract.
  • Darren Dreger via twitter: August 1st is when the Maple Leafs could be pushing clubs to make their best Tomas Kaberle offer, if not, he could remain a Leaf.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: The Avalanche are about $8 million below the $43.8 cap floor, with RFA’s Peter Mueller and Chris Stewart left to re-sign. There is no rush to sign the two, but it’s expected to happen at some point.
  • Chris Botta via twitter: It’s down to 2 western teams for Andy Sutton’s services, could be finalized this week.
  • Jimmy Murphy via twitter: The Bruins and Blake Wheeler will be going to arbitration tomorrow as they were unable to to get something done beforehand.
  • Aaron Portzline via twitter: The Columbus Blue Jackets have requested a 1-year arbitration ruling for the Anton Stralman hearing, giving them the option to walk away from the contract if they are not happy with the ruling.

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Frolov getting interest from Rangers and Kings … Other Russian FA’s … Tampa Bay Lightning talk

  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Frolov’s agent has said the Rangers are very interested, and the LA Kings have shown interest in the last couple days.
  • Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: SKA of the KHL are interested in Alexander Frolov, Maxim Afinogenov, Denis Grebeskov and Ilya Kovalchuk according KHL President Medvedev (who owns the team).
  • The Hockey News video: Ryan Dixon, Ryan Kennedy, and Adam Proteau talk about the Tampa Bay Lightning. How Yzerman will fill out the roster, Victor Hedman’s development, Vinny Lecavalier, and Brett Connolly.

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Canucks to be $4 million over cap … Devils could get fined … Stralman-Jackets far apart

  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: The league did try to get a maximum of 5 year and 7 year contracts in the last CBA, but the PA wouldn’t go for it unless they were granted other terms. If the Maple Leafs found takers for Jeff Finger and Mikhail Grabovski, their free cap room number would be about $8 million. The Vancouver Canucks could be about $4 million over the cap after Mason Raymond’s arbitration case this week.
  • Mark Everson of the NY Post: There is the possibility that the NHL will fine the New Jersey Devils a $1 million (up to $5 million) for circumventing the CBA. Kovalchuk could get between $250,000 and a $1 million fine. The NHLPA has until tomorrow afternoon to file a grievance.
  • Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The Blue Jackest and Anton Stralman are about $1 million apart, arbitration is set for Wednesday. If Stralman’s ruling is too high, the club may walk away.
  • Craig Custance of the Sporting News: Paul Martin took a 5 year, $25 million deal from the Penguins on July 1st over other offers from Los Angeles, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Toronto.
  • Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News: The Sabres continue to talk with Tim Kennedy, his arbitration hearing is set for July 27th. The Sabres don’t have any trade talks going on at the moment.

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Salo out, Bieksa staying? Ryan and Wisniewski still unsigned … Kariya to the Kings?

  • Craig Custance of the Sporting News: Don’t wait for Bobby Ryan to sign an offer sheet with someone. “Bobby wants to remain in Anaheim and they want him there,” Guy (Ryan’s agent) told Sporting News. The Ducks would match most offer sheets.
  • Eric Stephens of the OC Register: James Wisniewski is set to go to arbitration on August 3rd. Wisniewski’s agents wouldn’t rule out the possibility of getting something done before the 3rd. Bob Murray, the Ducks GM, expects to go to arbitration. Last year, the sides signed a 1 year deal before to avoid the process, but don’t look for that to happen this year.
  • The Vancouver Province: Sami Salo will be out for at least 3 months with a torn achilles tendon while playing floorball (similar to floor hockey) in Finland.  The Canucks have 9 defenseman locked up, 6 make more than $3.25 million.
  • Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun: With Salo out until Christmas, the Canucks may not be able to live without both Salo and Kevin Bieksa. Canucks GM Mike Gillis had hoped to swap Bieksa for a top 6 forword, but may now have to look to free agency to add some scoring.

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Options for ‘Hawks if Niemi isn’t back … Stars would match most offer sheets for Neal

Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago: There hasn’t been much progress between the Chicago Blackhawks and Antti Niemi. Niemi’s arbitration date is set for July 29th (arbitration dates for all players). They could still trade him before the arbitration date, walk away from the ruling if they don’t like it, or possibly trade him after they accept the 1-year deal.

Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago: Blackhawk options if they lose Niemi: Corey Crawford could be the “best and most likely option.” Some organizational members liked him better than Niemi, and he makes $800,000. Marty Turco has already turned down $2 million a season from Philly, so he might be too expensive for Chicago. A lower salary for a chance to win the cup could sway him. Turco is talking with a couple teams, and has turned down more than Philly. Jose Theodore had a great record but a bad GAA last year, his career is on the tail end, and he’d have to take a big cut from his $4.5 salary (which he’d have to do anyways if he wants to stay in the NHL). Vesa Toskala (not if they want a shot at winning the cup next year) has a winning record every season except for last year. Would have to take a pay cut from $4 million. Has options in Europe if no one in the NHL wants him. Ray Emery could be cheap option, but he’s coming off hip surgery.

Helene Elliott via twitter: Ducks GM Bob Murray and Teemu Selanne have talked this week, and plan to speak again next week, no decision yet on if he’ll return or retire.

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: The Dallas Stars would match reasonable offer sheets for James Neal, if he were to sign one. If the deal was front loaded, it might be difficult, but they would probably find a way to do it. If the offer was for over $4.638 million, they might consider taking the 2011 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks (compensation for signing RFA’s). If RFA’s are not signed by Dec. 1st, they are ineligible for the remainder of the season.

Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersberg Times: The Tampa Bay Lightning have shown mild interest in Aaron Asham. Asham could bring some toughness.

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Colorado have been checking out Andrew Cogliano’s availability.

Dmitry Chesnokov via twitter: Dmitry thinks that Alexander Radulov could be back in the NHL next year (2011-12).

Aaron Portzline via twitter: Nikita Filatov and Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel will speak in the next couple days. Arniel says “I’m going to let him do most of the talking, but I’ll have something to say at the end of the conversation.

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