Posts Tagged Jason Spezza

NHL Rumors II: Wild, Sens, Hawks, Caps, Selanne and Pens

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: (mailbag) The health of Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding may leave Darcy Kuemper as their number one. A bit of risk, but carried the team for stretches last season.

    Custance thinks the Senators waited too long to trade Jason Spezza. Moving him at the deadline would have been the best.

    Custance thinks the Blackhawks would like to move Kris Versteeg to gain some cap space, but that isn’t easy. Nick Leddy could be an option, he has value and will be getting expensive to keep.  They could move him for the right price.

    If the Senators aren’t able to lock up Bobby Ryan and are out of the playoff race, Ryan could be one of the better players that could be available at the trade deadline.

    There is no urgency for the Capitals to trade defenseman Mike Green. If they are offered the right deal for him though, they should act on it. The Red Wings are a natural fit and have the assets to make it happen.

  • Juha Hiitela: Sources saying that Jokerit (Finnish team in the KHL) have offered Teemu Selanne $10 million US to play next season. Have had also offered him $5 million just to play home games.
  • Will DePaoli of Inside Pittsburgh Sports: DePaoli thinks that Brandon Sutter’s best value to the Penguins could be as a trade chip. DePaoli adds that the Penguins may have made a mistake last July when they pulled a verbal offer to Clarke MacArthur off the table once they signed Rob Scuderi.
  • Adam Vingan: Contract between the Capitals and RFA defenseman Cam Schilling are ongoing, “nothing is imminent,” according to his agent.

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Top 10 “Value” Free Agent Signings

With how rare it is to acquire talent in the NHL, most teams find themselves coming out of the offseason with their pockets emptied by free agents and the ridiculous prices that the market sets on them.

Once free agency hits, mediocre players become hot commodities and teams usually overpay to get them.

Sometimes, however, good deals are signed and both parties come away winners.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 “value” contracts that were signed during this offseason.

Honourable Mentions:

James Reimer – Toronto Maple Leafs – Two-years, $4.6 million / $2.3 million cap hit

With career numbers of a .914 save percentage and a 2.84 goals against average, Reimer has established himself as a very capable goalie in the league. While he may not be a true number one goaltender, he is at worst a goalie who is good enough to play 30-40 games in a split role. With a two-year contract for only $2.3 million per season, the Leafs should have no problem finding a trade partner if need be.

Lars Eller – Montreal Canadiens – Four-years, $14 million / $3.5 million cap hit

Never eclipsing 30 points in any of his five seasons in the league, Eller has yet to establish himself as a reliable forward in the NHL. With that said, this past postseason Eller finished behind only Subban in scoring, with 13 points in 17 games. At only $3.5 million until the age of 29, the Canadiens might have gotten themselves a steal if that kind of production continues.

On to the top 10.

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NHL Rumors: Leafs, Hayes, Subban, Stars

  • Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs have locked up goaltender James Reimer on a two-year, $4.6 million deal, the team’s only remaining RFA is Jake Gardiner. General Manager Dave Nonis expects to have Gardiner signed by the start of camp.

“Talks are on-going,” said Nonis. “Things are going fine. I don’t see any hiccups there.”

  • Josh Rimer: Even though Reimer signed for two-years, speculation of a trade still remains as two-year deals are easier to move.
  • Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel: After coming off career highs in goals (11), assists (7), and points (18) last season in 53 games with the Florida Panthers, RFA Jimmy Hayes was unable to reach an agreement on a new deal with the team. The two parties will settle their dispute at a hearing in front of a neutral arbitrator next week in Toronto.
  • Allen Muir of Sports Illustrated: P.K. Subban is in line to make a lot of money ($10 million or more at some point during his contract), and he deserves it. The 2013 Norris Trophy winner continues to grow, both in maturity and defensively. With no other player like him in the NHL right now, Subban is the most irreplaceable player on the Canadiens.
  • L.A. Lariviere: There appears to be some progress being made on a Subban deal. When asked if any significant progress was being made, his agent responded, “we’re working on it.”
  • Mark Stepneski of Dallas coach Lindy Ruff is extremely excited about all the different possibilities for his forward group after this offseason’s acquisitions of  Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky. 

“I’ve thrown out many a napkin where I’ve scribbled down the lines and the next day they didn’t work out,” Ruff said in an interview with Stars radio host Bruce Levine on The Ticket. “I am anticipating there will be a few more crumpled ones.”

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NHL Rumors II: Senators, Wings, Leafs, Avalanche and Canadiens

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Before the Senators traded Jason Spezza to Dallas, they had been working on trading another forward. The deal may have fallen through or put on the back burner. Teams have told the Sun that Colin Greening and Eric Condra are available.
  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Red Wings right handed defenseman Alexey Marchenko will get a shot to make the big club if they don’t pull off a trade for a defenseman. The Bruins need to move one of their eight defensemen out. Senators Bobby Ryan is entering the last year of his deal and could be the next big name leaving Ottawa. The Maple Leafs could be the front-runner for Mike Babcock if he doesn’t re-sign with the Red Wings next summer.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Ryan O’Reilly is happy they didn’t have to sit through an arbitration hearing, arguing back and forth. The Avalanche were confident they would have won, but they also knew it may not sit well with agent Pat Morris and possibly O’Reilly.

    “I said to Joe, ‘If you win, you also lose,’ and that everybody would lose — the club, the player and the fans,” Morris said. “Joe was very professional about it and very prepared, as was Greg Sherman. We both knew what our upside and our downside was, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see the path to where the middle point was.

    “It’s always a positive when we create a free negotiation based on what we do as opposed to a third party.”

    Joe Sakic said it won’t be a sign-and-trade situation.

  • Mike Chambers: Before the O’Reilly signing yesterday, the Avalanche had about $8,844,000 in salary cap space. When they are able to sign Tyson Barrie, they will be very close to the salary cap.
  • Craig Morgan: Hearing that the Canadiens submitted a $1.65 salary arbitration number for Lars Eller, who submitted $3.1 million.

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The Offseason “Winners” So Far Are ….

Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.

Despite the recent drop of in activity, the offseason in the NHL is an exciting time for both teams and fans. It provides each and every team with a period to reflect on what they have and determine what they need going forward to take the next step.

Some teams hit the jackpot and land their man, while others miss out and end up signing players or making trades simply to say they did something.

Let’s take this break in the action to look at this offseason’s winners and losers.

First up, the winners ….

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NHL Rumors III: Friedman’s Final Thoughts of the Summer

  • Elliotte Friedman: Teams could be eyeing Coyotes Antoine Vermette, who has one year left on his deal. GM Don Maloney would like to sign to an extension.Have to think Ryan O’Reilly will follow Paul Stastny out of town. There is a $1.225 million salary gap in their arbitration filings, which is a less gap than what their contract talks were rumored to be.

    Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom’s linemate may depend on who their second line center is. They want to move Tom Wilson up in the lineup. Braden Holtby is their No. 1 starter. The Caps are lukewarm on the idea of trading Mike Green. They want to see how he does in Barry Trotz’s system.

    Shouldn’t be surprised if Christian Ehrhoff gets an extension after January 1st from the Penguins.

    The Islanders offered Jarome Iginla a four year contract.

    The Islanders will give Brock Nelson a shot with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

    The sale of the Islanders may have hit a snag last week.

    The Oilers are still looking for a center as they don’t want to rush Leon Draisaitl.

    Justin Schultz and Jake Gardiner could sign bridge deals.

    The Flames continue to tell teams they can take on players with a tough cap hit. The Flames would like adjust their blueline. Dennis Wideman’s name has been out there. They may have looked at Cody Franson.

    Rumors that the Canadiens asked the Maple Leafs about Joffrey Lupul. Sounding like the Leafs will keep him.

    Talk from teams that Evander Kane may start the season on Winnipeg.

    Canucks GM Jim Benning is concerned with their depth due to the heavy travel schedule. Benning on rumors that he is not a Chris Tanev fan:  “I don’t know where this comes from. I’m a big fan of his, he made big strides last year.”

    It’s thought that the Canucks and Oilers tried to trade for Blues Patrik Berglund. Berglund more likely to remain in St. Louis after the departure of Vladimir Sobotka.

    Talk that the Blues tried to trade for Jason Garrison before he was dealt to Tampa Bay.

    If Jason Spezza accepted the trade to Nashville, it would have been similar to what the Predators gave up for James Neal. (Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling)

    Ales Hemsky will start the season with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Valeri Nichushkin could lineup with Jason Spezza.

    Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Braydon Coburn rumors: “He’s a big man who can skate. Not surprised people ask about him.” Teams saying Flyers are looking at other options first.

    If he doesn’t sign with the Blackhawks, the Bruins and Penguins could be favorites to land Kevin Hayes over the Panthers.

    Dmitry Kulikov’s three-year contract with the Panthers may not mean trade rumors are over.

    Teammate said that striping Joe Thornton of his captaincy may not force him out. Thornton got the “C” when they striped it from Patrick Marleau.

    There has never been talks between the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, about returning.

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Morning Hits: Avoiding Nashville and Tanev Re-signs

  • Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Jason Spezza and Ryan Kesler are two recent players who haven’t wanted to go to Nashville.

    “I’m not going to pitch somebody if they don’t want to play for us. You have to be committed,” Poile said.

    Cooper offers some reasons as to why players may have Nashville on their “no-go lists.”

    1. Feel of an expansion team – a former players recently in an interview: “Are the Predators still rebuilding?”

    2. Shea Weber situation – the way the Preds have handled Weber hasn’t always looked good. They took him through arbitration and he’s signed an offer sheet with the Flyers.

    3. Lack of recent success – have missed the playoffs the past two seasons. They lack an offensive superstar.

  • Elliott Pap: The Canucks sign Chris Tanev to a one-year, $2 million deal: “I would have liked a longer term deal but new GM, new coach don’t know me.”
  • Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province: Canucks GM Jim Benning on Tanev.

    “He had a good season last year,” Benning said. “He had a couple of injuries along the way, but he kind of took the next step. He’s still a young player.

    “We wanted to see another full season, another body of work this next season.

    “If he has another good season, then we’ll try to lock him up long-term.”

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Quick Hits: Gretzky and Seattle, Lazar, Ranger, Gibbons and Canucks

  • John Shannon: A source in Wayne Gretzky’s group is downplaying Gretzky’s role in trying to bring a team to Seattle: “Seattle is along way off with a lot of hurdles.” Source said: “Potential ownership groups have reached out, but we certainly haven’t aligned with anyone.”
  • CP in Edmonton Journal: Gretzky’s agent in an email.

    “As you can imagine prospective team owners from various franchises call frequently to gauge his interest in coming on board. Seattle is no different,” said Blake.

    Ken Warren: When the Senators traded Jason Spezza, GM Bryan Murray said they could consider having Curtis Lazar at center pending the arrival of a new center. There is no doubt where he’ll end up now.

  • Steve Simmons: Surprised that the Oilers haven’t signed Paul Ranger. Rangers and head coach Dallas Eakins are really tight.
  • Aaron Portzline: Before Brian Gibbons signed with the Blue Jackets, he said that three to four teams offered him a two-way contract. The Penguins were believed to be one of the teams.
  • Brian Lawton: The Canucks are probably done with free agency. Will continue working on RFAs Chris Tanev and Linden Vey. They have $4 million in cap space.

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NHL Rumors II: Stars, Devils, Stempniak and Berglund

  • Pat Pickens of Sportsnet: Stars GM Jim Nill on how the Jason Spezza trade went down.

    When it became public knowledge he wanted to be traded, like every GM in the league, I looked into what it was going to take to make a trade and get him to come to our team. We did our homework; we kept in touch. There were a lot of other situations going on around us. There was the [Canucks centre Ryan] Kesler thing going on and other pieces going on at the same time. At the draft, things started to heat up. When you get a deadline, it’s usually when things pick up in pace. Kesler got traded [to Anaheim], which took another team out of the mix. [Senators GM] Bryan [Murray] and I started to talk a little bit more, and it started to heat up some more.

    Spezza will be a UFA after next season, but the sides have talked about it.

    I’m not too worried about the contract. His agent [Rick Curran] and I have spoken, and we’re going to get Jason in here to show him around the area. I’m pretty confident we’re going to get a contract done.

    The Stars are out of the free agent market. Any roster spots will be fill internally with six or seven forwards that are very close, and four defensemen who are close.

  • Rich Chere: Devils GM Lou Lamoriello on contract extension talks with Cory Schneider: “Not yet, but I feel very comfortable saying we’ll get it done very soon.”
  • Rich Chere: Ryan Carter is still in the Devils plans, with both Lou Lamoriello and Carter saying nothing has been finalized.
  • Jeremy Rutherford: When asked about Patrik Berglund: the Blues can’t consider trading him unless they are comfortable with Lehtera/Lindstrom.

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NHL Rumors I: Blues, Stars, Richards, Canadiens, Volchenkov, Leafs and Legwand

  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: The Blues goal was to sign Paul Stastny on Tuesday, but a source added that they were going to go to back to the Senators after to see what it would take to add Jason Spezza as well. LeBrun doesn’t think they would have offered more than the Stars did. Stastny centering Alex Steen and David Backes could make up their top line.

    Saturday night, Stars GM Jim Nill was under the impression that Spezza didn’t want to go to Dallas. Once the things were straightened out, talks started again. The Stars did ask about Joe Thornton, but he isn’t ready to leave yet.

    The Islanders and Flyers were interested in Brad Richards before he signed with the Blackhawks.

    Some Canadiens were not happy to see Josh Gorges get traded. The Canadiens wouldn’t offer Brian Gionta anything more than a one-year deal, so it was easy for him to move on.

    The Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Lightning and Red Wings were interested in Dan Boyle before he signed with the Rangers.

  • David Pagnotta: If defenseman Anton Volchenkov doesn’t sign with a NHL team, he’ll head to the KHL, where he already has an offer from SKA St. Petersburg.
  • Hope Smoke: Leafs Dave Poulin: “We’ll be in the trade market and scour to see if we can fill those openings. We didn’t have to fill everything yesterday”
  • Chris Nichols: Darren Dreger: The Maple Leafs are “heavily in the mix” for David Legwand.

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