For more information regarding our move, please read the two last post published below.

04 July 2007

2007 Free-Agent Frenzy Live-Blogging Event Part 4

WE'RE BACK FOR PART 4!
Thanks to the lovely Sherry and Bethany for filling in for me yesterday!

Also live-blogging: Battle of New York,
We Want it Bad


DID I MISS SOMETHING?
If I did or if you just want to talk hockey, email me at bbrblog@gmail.com

I'm back, let's get Part 4 of this live-blog under way!
------------------------------------
Alright everyone, open up your emails and send me your team's lineup as you would put it right now, I'm very interested to see how teams will look next year, especially the ones that lost big.
All submissions will be posted. Once again, my email: bbrblog@gmail.com
Well, we do need something to talk about on this red-dead day!
-------------------------------------

7:42 PM Folks, Bethany will take over from me at 7:50 PM, she's lotsa fun and you'll probably be happier with her around than tired and ol' grumpy me, just a heads-up! Don't go away though, we're not signing off until 9:30-10:00 PM!

7:30 PM Cwgatti sends in his 07-08 Rangers lines:
Straka-Gomez-Jagr
Avery-Drury-Shanny
Hossa-Cullen-Callahan
Prucha-Betts-Orr/Hollweg

Rozival-Malik
Tyutin-Girardi
"Big Head Poti"Mara-Staal

I call him " Big Head Poti" because he IS Tom Poti, only with a really big head. The Rangers are gonna sign all these guys. Shanny is gonna come in at 2mil per + bonuses (read 4mil, only 2 of which are against the cap), Henke will get a long term deal with the $$$ backloaded. Avery will get a similar deal. But I would not rule out a trade involving Montoya, packaged with "Big Head" or Cullen, to free up some space. Hossa and Straka will interchange on the first line depending on health/performance.

It is very difficult to offer a RFA contract. You have to HAVE the picks, Sather would have time to make a move or beat the offer in the end. On top of that, it is not a very good move by a GM, because of the perception of said GM raiding a team of its assets (kind of like that hostile offer that Carolina offered Fedorov while he was with the Wings).

The Overlord will get it done. Trust me.

7:25 PM A few minor signings to report:
The Ducks have re-signed defenceman Maxim Kondratiev to a 1-year contract, they got this guy for Petr Sykora from the Rangers 2 years ago.
The Coyotes have signed forward John DiSalvatore to a 1-year contract, terms were not disclosed.
The Islanders have signed former Coyotes top prosepct, Matt Spiller.
The Oilers have signed defenceman Allan Rourke to a 1-year contract, Rourke played with the Isles' minor-league team in Bridgeport last year.

7:14 PM
Robert sends in the following comment on the Rangers and their cap:
All this "concern" about the Rangers lineup and cap situation is wishful thinking on the part of Rangers haters. Everyone keeps forgetting that Jagr only counts 4.1 million against the cap, because the remaining 4.2 million is charged against the Caps. We still have about $13 million left under the cap. Plus, Shanahan has said numerous times that he only wants to play for the Rangers and will sign a contract that works best for the team. And, Lundqvist's agent has already said his client will not even consider signing an offer sheet from another team, because he knows that the only intent any rival GM would have in extending such a offer sheet would be to cripple the Rangers cap situation. As for Hollweg, he will rotate with Orr on the 4th line like he did last year. The Rangers D is not great, but it is easily good enough for them to compete. Young Defensemen like Tyutin and Girardi are developing and we have Mark Staal ready to make the team this year and Bobby Sanguinetti coming up in the next year or two. We lost to Buffalo because we didn't score enough goals, not because of our D. Our top 2 lines are much better than last year, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Also, why do people keep saying that this is the same old Rangers? Signing Drury was a no-brainer. And, were we supposed to sign Nylander instead of Gomez? Wouldn't giving $5 million per year for 4 years to a 35-year old whose best days are behind him be the same old Rangers? At the conclusion of his 7-year deal, Gomez will be younger than Nylander is now, and he ia a better player. So, all of your faux concern for the Rangers isn't necessary, but that's ok, if these deals do work out, you guys can always resort to whining that the system isn't fair. Maybe instead of a salary cap "Small Market" Bettman can shut down the league for another year and just eliminate all franchises from any major U.S. cities.

I agree with what you say as well, but, you have to admit, the Rangers are looking like the big-market team they were in the old NHL, but not in a bad way.
It's finally time some other "big-market" sports team besides the Yankees and Mets spends a lot of money on a few players, that's the New York I know, it's just always been like that, even now in the cap world with Drury and Gomez signing.

Bettman is at fault for the cap, I just don't get why the NHL won't leave it at say $45 million and leave all teams in peace of spending a reasonable amount of money on players, not $7, $8 million thrown around here in there with an annual increase of $3-5 million, that's the way the old NHL was and I'm not happy how the cap's progressed.

7:09 PM Rob sends in his defensive pairings and a comment on Shanahan-Cherepanov:

The Cherepanov rumor might answer your Shanney question.
Swap out Ryan Hollweg and Colton Orr depending on the situation.

Malik, Rozsival
Tyutin, Girardi
Mara, Pock
And maybe throw in Marc Staal.


7:00 PM
The Habs don't only have $3 million left, if you look at it the same way waffledave does:

By the way, Bob's statement of only $3 million left was a bit off...The Habs currently have $12 million, roughtly, left on the cap, with Ryder and Plekanec left to sign. Unless Bob is planning on paying them $9 million between the 2, there is lots of money left over.

Nice job pointing that out, sometimes I think Gainey's afraid of making a splash when it comes to FA/trades, I don't know why, it's just never been in his nature to do something absolutely huge! If this is the case, he should target a scoring centre right now!
And maybe he should do a" sign and trade" of Ryder in order to land that centre?
Anyway, Ryder will probably get $3 million and Pleky might get $1.5 million if he's lucky.
So that's around $4.5 million used up, which means "lots of money left over" means $7.5 million, and Bob, you're telling me you can't get someone absolutely bitching with that money?
Please do!



6:39 PM
Rob sends in his 2007-2008 NY Rangers lines:
Martin Straka-Scott Gomez-Jaromir Jagr
Sean Avery-Chris Drury-Brendan Shanahan
Petr Prucha-Matt Cullen-Ryan Callahan
Marcel Hossa-Blair Betts-Colton Orr
My questions to Rangers fans:
How can you afford to keep Shanahan, re-sign Lundqvist AND Avery at the same time?
Where's Ryan Hollweg in all this?
And on defence? :)
6:35 PM Wow, some pretty wild rumours out there, some I just received by email, and this is not from me so DON'T quote me, the Rangers would apparently attempt to buy out the remainder of Alexei Cherepanov's Russian contract so he could play in the NHL next year!
Wow, will this be another Evgeni Malkin saga? But is he really ready for the NHL?


6:21 PM
Tom, over at Sabre Rattling, has a great piece on the Sabres losing Drury and Briere, here's the juicy part:

Here’s the newsflash for all of those who are upset over this situation. Briere had worn out his welcome with the Buffalo Sabres. That’s the truth. If he hadn’t they would have made him a serious offer for his services… think $6 million over 5 years. Even though he wanted to stay here, they didn’t want him back. Maybe it’s because they don’t believe they can win a cup anymore with Briere as their #1 center. Maybe, and this is a serious maybe, they are so committed to winning a championship they made the unpopular choice to let him walk.

And maybe, just maybe, Chris Drury leaving with him was a mistake on his part as well. Because, while Drury is all about winning that does not mean he is the best judge of how to go about doing so. His decision to play alongside Jaro-me Jagr supports that argument nicely, especially in light of the extension the Sharks threw at Joe Thornton and that they are 6 million below the cap right now and vulnerable to an offer sheet tender to Henrik Lundqvist.



6:10 PM
The Toronto Star is reporting that the Red Wings have interest in acquiring Andrew Raycroft from Toronto.
NO, NO, Ken Holland! IF this is an indication Hasek's gone, then Holland should target Ilja Bryzgalov, who is available according to an earlier statement made by Brian Burke.

6:07 PM
Rob inquires about Souray:
Anything new on Souray?

Yep, if Waffledave's highly-placed source pans out, then Souray will be a Devil in no time.


6:06 PM So...forget about Forsberg COMPLETELY now folks.
Francois sends in an email again:
Sorry folks.. RDS just annouced that Fosberg was really in Montreal with is
agent but not to meet Bob.

He said he want to return with Phil but still have problem with his foot.

It was fun to dream...

6:04 PM
Perfect timing, I'm back guys, what have I missed? Ah, nothing at all :)

4:27 PM Gonna head home now, be back in about and hour and a half.

4:21 PM Sheldon Souray is going to sign with New Jersey, you heard it here first from Waffledave.

4:19 PM
RDS confirms this signing, $2.6 million, one-year contract.

4:14 PM It appears, at least according to HockeyBuzz, that the Buffalo Sabres have re-signed defenceman Teppo Numminen, taking him off the market.
No big surprise here.

4:07 PM
Waffledave tosses in an email about Souray and the Forsberg case, I think this about explains everything:

My source says Souray is close to signing with either the Rangers or the
Sharks...He was right about Smyth and Montreal making a big offer so I would
put some stock into what he says about Souray.

Second, about the Forsberg stuff, I wouldn't put much into it. Forsberg is
currently looking for a skate that can accomodate his injured foot and so
far, Bauer is the best fit. As you may know, Bauer's HQ is right near
Montreal in St-Jerome and he's often here, with his agent, talking to his
doctors and skate designers.

This is not the first time he comes to Montreal in the offseason. His foot
specialist is from here and he comes quite often for his chronic foot
injury.

3:49 PM
François' reply to Marc-Antoine:
I'd like to answer to Marc-Antoine and also know what you think of it .

First they [CKAC] said that Fosberg and his agent were there (weird for just a problem with
his ankle, but it's possible)

Also CKAC says that he wants to meet Bob tomorrow.
You know, Bob said that he had 2 or 3 million left in his last press conference so if Fosberg is in
that range... why not??

The thing is, make that -$900,000 after the Habs signed Tom Kostopoulos this morning, so that means we have around $1.1-$2.1 million left now, if Forsberg would agree to something like that, I'd be damned, it's worth a shot, at least it's better than netting Yashin.

3:33 PM
Marc-Antoine counters Fran
çois' Forsberg rumour:
I don't think that Peter Forsberg is in Montreal to meet the Canadiens GM, Bob Gainey. Actually, Forsberg's doctor is actually living in Montreal so...I think that he's here because of his ankle injury!
No way Bob wants to sign him!


3:32 PM François with another update on CKAC's Forsberg in town rumour:

They just said that his agent is actually out of town.
When they asked if Forsberg was in Montreal, his secratary said she was not allowed to answer that.

I'm keeping an eye on it.

3:29 PM
DEVILS and 'DOGS for life, death to the Leaf Nation! (haha!) sends in this comment on the Habs and Devils.

There's a lot of rumors floating around right now that just won't go away concerning the Habs trying to "land a big money fish". I continue to read the Marleau rumors but now i'm finding rumors of Elias and/or Gionta from my Devils. While the names coming back seem to be un-mentioned it is suggested, that Higgins is the most talked about with a d-man/goalie and a prospect/pick rounding it out.

What do you think about the possibility of Elias or Gionta wearing the Bleu,Blanc et Rouge and giving up Higgins, Havlak/Komisarek and/or a prospect/pick? If you're wondering why i mention the goalie when we have Marty, i read on Hockey buzz that Marty maybe retiring after THIS season, while i find that hard to believe as he is only 57 wins away from tying Roy for the most victories, if he does we have no-one to take over and you guys don't need Havlak... being i live in Hamilton, ON and i've seen MR. Price (believe me when you play as good as he does they call you MR.) play, in person often, the storied Habs franchise has nothing to worry about!

Thanks for letting me ramble, at least this gives you something to do!

DADFLDTTLN,

I haven't heard of such rumours, but this is definitely interesting.
There was a report earlier in the day out of Vancouver that the Canucks may try to land Patrik Elias for Brendan Morrisson, but the rumour was quickly denied by the organization.

If Elias is indeed on the move, I'd love to see him in a Habs uni next season, as I find it more believable he land here than Brian Gionta.
After losing Gomez to the Rangers, Lou Lamoriello will certainly try to replace him, so please don't kill me for this, but if the Habs really were to inquire about Elias or Gionta, the only way I see the Devils do something like this and salary-cap permitting, is if Saku Koivu is headed the other way.
Chris Higgins/Tomas Plekanec+prospect+pick for is the typical nonsense trade proposal or so-called "rumour" you'll find everywhere, especially on message boards.
I wouldn't do this trade as Elias's salary would be a huge blow to the cap space and likely handcuff Gainey for the years to come, and without a decent centre besides Koivu, alongside who would Elias play? Bryan Smolinski? Tomas Plekanec?
What the Habs need is a centre much more desperately than anything else, and if anything, a big scoring centre. Elias would be an excellent player to get, but I just don't see him fitting in well.

And Eklund is a total moron if he thinks Brodeur will retire once the season's over, there's no way he's going to retire before the end of his contract, and there's no way he's going to retire until he's broken every goaltending record possible.
Halak figures not to be in the Habs' future plans with Carey Price and Yann Danis waiting for a call, and the Habs should use his as a worthy trading chip in 2 seasons, once Price is starting for Montreal and he's stuck to the bench once again, as he will be behind Cristobal Huet this year.
I can see Gainey willing to deal Halak when the time is right for that BIG impact player all Habs fans desire.



3:16 PM
OK, Habs fans will like this, there's a Peter Forsberg rumour going around courtesy of our local CKAC 730 AM radio station, which is Montreal's French sports radio station.

Not sure I'm so high on Forsberg potentially coming here, but I'd take a chance if it were cheap.

François sends in the rumour:

Hi, I'm new to your site and I really enjoy it.
I'm a habs fan and I was just listening to CKAC 730 in Montreal and they just threw out a really interesting rumour.
It's a bit thin but like nothing really interseting is happening in the NHL, maybe it will interest other people.

They just said that Peter Fosberg was seen in a restaurant in Montreal today
with someone who looked like his agent.

They are looking into this.

I'll send you an other message if anything more is said on that.


3:13 PM
Peter sends in the following on David Tanabe and Andy Sutton:

I’d love to see you expand on why you like Tanabe and what you think about Andy Sutton - I haven’t seen him play much but I sure like his size.

I like David Tanabe and feel he is hugely underrated.
Sure he's not a huge robust defenceman, but he gets the job done much better than your average NHL'er.
He played big minutes with the Hurricanes last year...how big? Well, he just led the team's defencemen when it came to ice-time.
Tanabe's a good skating/puck-moving player who can play on the powerplay if needed, he doesn't have a big shot and can be considered more of a passer than a shooter.
He has good vision on the ice and he makes good decisions, Canes fans like him as well but GM Jim Rutherford let him go because the team has too much defensive depth with plenty of good guys waiting in the stands.

Rutherford has surely disappointed Peter Laviolette, who thinks highly of Tanabe and relied on him in key situations during games last year.

Sutton is a decent pointman, but very inconsistent and sometimes frustrating to watch.
He's a big body, and that will make GM's take a good look at him, but he's definitely not a top 4 defenceman anymore.

3:00 PM
Eklund finally has given his followers an e5, which means that there is a deal 100% in place and that it will be announced shortly.
Shane Hnidy signs with the Anaheim Ducks.

What's an e5?

What is the E-System (e1, e2, e3, etc.)?

The E-System was devised with the intelligent hockey fan in mind as a way for Eklund to give subtle clues to rumors that are posted, as well as gauge the likelihood of a rumor turning into an actual trade or free agent signing.

E5 - This rumor comes from source telling Eklund the deal is 100% done and just has not been announced yet.

2:43 PM
Sheldon Souray is sure taking his time, who thought he'd be unsigned at this point in free-agency?
Everyone expected him to be plucked off the market the 1st day, like Drury, Briere and Gomez...guess not.

2:28 PM Fou sends in the following:
Do you think the Habs will sign at least one more player. Maybe Yashin or Shanny?

No, I don't think they will.
Unless those guys want salaries close to $2 million or less a year (which I doubt they will), then forget about them both.

2:20 PM
It's always a bad move in my book if you deal away your captain, the Oilers did just that yesterday by dealing the big Jason Smith to Philadelphia, and Ethan Moreau is not happy at all.

He didn't even ask, or care, who the Edmonton Oilers got in return for captain Jason Smith yesterday. If Smith is going the other way, he considers it a bad deal.

"When you're losing a guy like that it really doesn't matter what's coming the other way, it's a huge blow to our locker-room," said Moreau, Smith's teammate for eight seasons.

"I didn't even ask who we got. I don't really care right now if we're better or worse"

2:12 PM
It's awfully dull today, come on people! Send in your remarks/comments/questions, let's get some discussion going!

1:56 PM
Peter sends in this email:

I’m amazed that Souray, Shanahan, and Guerin are still around. Sabres report that they are negotiating with someone who doesn’t want a long term contract – maybe Shanahan? I also agree with your comments about the old NHL coming back – crazy to think that Fedetenko gets 2.9 million. – even crazier to think that Daniel Briere will be the highest paid player in the league next year. He wasn’t even the best player on his team last year.
Who do you think are the best defensemen left still available besides Souray?


Danny Markov, Andy Sutton, Teppo Numminen, David Tanabe, Brent Sopel, Ossi Vaananen, Jon Klemm, Vitaly Vishnevski to name a few.
All good names in there and I'm surprised most of them aren't signed yet, David Tanabe is my personal favourite of that list.


1:53 PM
Here's my answer from the heart for Yannick's question, I apologize if some sentences seem clumsy, it's more of a rant than a nice story.

Yannick, Bob Gainey was one of a kind, no question, and I don't think the Canadiens need a French-Canadian born player as bad as they need a good player, period.
If I had a choice between Daniel Briere and Pavel Datsyuk, I'd definitely take Datsyuk, not because of his race, because I simply think he's better, or even Henrik Zetterberg for that matter.

But, alll those guys, Briere, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, even Vincent Lecavalier, I feel have no heart compared to what guys like Bob Gainey, Jean Beliveau, Scott Niedermayer, and even Chris Drury have got.
No question at all Vincent Lecavalier is a terrific and born goal-scorer, but he's also just a one-dimentional player, much like Daniel Briere himself.
Bob Gainey was no one-dimension player, and if anything, Chris Drury is the modern day Gainey, and there aren't many players out there like Drury.
Here's what our Habs need Yannick: a God-given player, we haven't had a terrific player since maybe Guy Lafleur, and how long ago was that?
This city needs someone, this city needs another Bob Gainey, I agree, they do not need more greediness and one-dimentionalism (is that even a word?) that guys like Daniel Briere, Vincent Lecavalier or even Alexei Yashin bring us.

Thank you for this comment Yannick, it was well though and very honest, but I think right now the Habs don't have the luxury to wait around for a French-Canadian player to decide to play here and have the media and fans gushing all over him, kind of like what they're doing now to Guillaume Latendresse and what they had done to Jose Theodore.
If the Habs can nab someone from around here, it'll do wonders for the local media and fanbase, but won't necessarily do much for the team itself...the team needs talent, whether it's from Timbuktu or Yellowknife, they need it badly, otherwise we may never see a Stanley Cup in Montreal ever again and this history will just be one big page in a book of dissapointments and let-downs.

Enough with the mediocrity! I'm tired of trying to stay positive when there's nothing positive happening with this team, I watch the games tirelessly and I try to remember how good this team COULD be but ISN'T really.

Go Habs Go! Even if we have no talent, I'll be with you forever!

Steve (BBR)


1:38 PM The New York Islanders have signed free-agent forward Ruslan Fedotenko to a 1-year contract worth $2.9 million.
Wow, that's a lot of cash for a guy that scored 12 goals last year and only had 20 assists, totaling 32 points.
Is this what the NHL is becoming again? $2.9 million for 32 points!
That's pathetically reminding me of the ominous old NHL, and I fear everyone, that we are headed back into that direction, that we are heading towards the inevitable...another NHL lockout.
The salary cap obviously isn't working, and if GM's like Garth Snow has become don't show me that they're capable of spending their money wisely, then fire them all!

1:35 PM
The loyal Yannick sends in a Hab-related comment:

"The Missing Piece"
I've been a fan of the Habs since I saw this hockey player play with a dislocated shoulder, a real fighter, not with his hands but with his heart. A great example for all hockey players. You ask yourself who I'm talking about, you all know him by the name of Bob Gainey.

I'm really please that he is part of the Habs. I really believe that he will make a great team but he has to finish the puzzle. I understand its hard if you don't have all the piece.

If you listen to what people are saying about what is the missing piece you get the following answer. We need a French Canadian, a strong and talented player, a player that play like Bob, with his heart but mostly we need an idol.

I have found this player, he is the Maurice Richard of this era, he has everything that people have wanted, he has heart like no other and he is Vincent Lecavalier.

This is the missing piece. Jean Beliveau was not able to convince Daniel Briere to come to MTL, but maybe if we pray enough then maybe the spirit of Maurice Richard will be able to contact him :-)

Your thought Steve.

I'll get my thought up in a sec, gotta think about this.

1:31 PM
Aaron asks...
What happens if nobody decides to sign a UFA like Sheldon Souray? I assume he can't play.
Thanks.

Haha, Aaron, there's no way Souray will be unsigned much longer, he scored 19 powerplay goals last year and was an all-star on a mediocre team.
Despite his -28 rating, no GM would be an idiot to let 19 powerplay goals go by, someone will pick him up, and if it gets to the unlikely scenario you mentioned, then I assume Souray would then sign with anyone for much lower, although that definitely will not happen.

1:26 PM
Speculation is flying around that the Oilers would be interested in acquiring Erik Cole from Carolina.
Katy has sent in the following message:

I just wanted to get your opinion on these Erik Cole rumours that are
popping up again. I just can't see anyone from the Oilers fitting here
into the picture that JR is trying to finish up. Do you think there is
anyone in Edmonton who would be worth losing a top winger for the Canes?
-Katy

I'm not so sure I've heard of such rumours, Erik Cole is a top player who's only getting better.
He has tremendous goal-scoring ability, has a knack for getting under his opponent's skin and has can be considered a "game-breaker" (and a Hab-killer).
Unless the Oilers somehow find it in their heart to deal Shawn Horcoff or Jarrett Stoll along with a high pick or prospect, I don't think so.

Again, never heard of such rumours.


1:22 PM Folks, I'm back after a brief power outage of internet (damn!) up here.
First off, the Thrashers re-signed forward Slava Kozlov to a 3-year/$11 million deal, worth a little under $4 million annually.
Bethany has also alerted me the Jackets have stolen (haha, no signed) defenceman Jan Hejda from the Edmonton Oilers, agreeing to a 1-year $1 million contract, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

11:58 AM
Jeremy Roenick has just done the unthinkable...he's going to retire!
He's the best American-born player sadly never to win hockey's revered trophy, la Coupe Stanley (onveutlacoupe! means wewantthecup!).
He had an all-around deceiving year, scoring 11 goals and adding 18 assists for a measly total of 28 points.
He also ended up in Wayne Gretzky's dawghouse for the last part of the season and very publicly said he wasn't happy at all.
The outspoken Roenick has fallen short of the 500-goal mark by just five goals, he has a career total of 495 and I guess he feels he'll be lucky to score 5 goals again next year.
Happy trails JR! You're an awesome guy and I never stop laughing when I see you, go become a comedian or talk show host!

11:45 AM
It's been more than 12 hours since our last FA signing (wow, Jason LaBarbera).
And that was just the Kings re-signing him, the real last FA signing has got to be the Kings signing Brad Stuart about an hour before that, so make that 16 hours.

11:37 AM
Reader Brandon's reaction to my response on his Wings question below:
Definitely agree with you on the Wings need to get younger.
I think that since Mike Babcock has come to Detroit, we have been able to make a youth movement and start rebuilding with younger talent while also maintaining our status as a contender.
I also agree that Kyle Calder and Todd Bertuzzi were non factors in their small stint here, but at the same time, the Wings have an open roster spot for what was Todd Bertuzzi, and do not really have another one since one of our young players was a healthy scratch when Calder was in the lineup.
When it is all said and done, we pretty much just got rid of Jason Williams who needed a change of scenery anyways. I also agree with your insight as far as signing Dominik Hasek goes.
What was a "sure bet" has become a strenuous task.

Have you heard of the Wings talking to Vasicek, or Mike York?
With there being so much room under the cap for the Wings and them not making strides to sign someone, (as well as Holland saying we are on the sidelines for the remaining FA period) I was wondering if a possible trade was in the works?
Sorry about the length, ill try to cut down on my next postings

I, for one, haven't heard or read of ANYTHING at all regarding York or Vasicek, I'm not so sure their names have even been published anywhere over the past few days besides here.
A trade could always be in the works when it comes to Ken Holland, and I would like to see the Wings swing a deal that would make them younger and stronger.

Hasek is starting to annoy me, first he takes a month to make a simple decision that requires a YES or NO, then he drags the Wings thru the long days of free-agency who are desperately trying to sign him.
And if they don't (and I always said they shouldn't), then Holland will almost certainly make a deal to acquire a no.1 netminder, Ducks goalie Ilja Bryzgalov is available as I stated below.
I would like to see Detroit go after him.

No problem, I like long questions!

11:30 AM
BMBKCyr sends in the following on les Canadiens:

Man, that's it!! I guess Big Bob knows what he is doing. Also, we have some amazing talent coming up the pike. Any trade rumors that the Habs might be considering?

You are the man with the plan...
BMBKCyr

As far as I've heard of, the Canadiens don't have many trade rumours circulating around them for the moment, Gainey indicated he could tinker with his roster in the offseason but I don't think a trade is imminent although fans want the monster that is Dandouillon (Dandenault and Bouillon) out of town.

We do have some amazing talent, but the problem is we have too much that hasn't reached its potential or is undeveloped!
Higgins could, will and must do much better next year while I hope Plekanec's lucky streak will last as well, Mike Komisarek is looking like the Chris Pronger of his age and Andrei Kostitsyn's the new AK in town.

Hope the real AK wakes up as well!

Wish there were some rumours to keep me excited as well!

Haha, thanks for that last line there ;)


11:26 AM
Darren Dreger, our favourite frosted flake from TSN, is reporting that the Pens are working with Sidney Crosby on a contract extension that will probably surpass Rick DiPietro's 15-year contract with the Isles, haha, that's just my personal opinion there, not Dreger's.
It's pretty slow again today although there are still decent players unsigned, so I thought I'd let you all know.

11:16 AM
According to theFourthPeriod.com, the Ducks are looking to move Ilja Bryzgalov because Burke feels he's capable of being a no.1 elsewhere.
"We think Bryz has earned the right to start elsewhere," Ducks GM Brian Burke told the paper. "From a budget standpoint, it would make sense for him to go elsewhere, but we're going to make a deal that makes sense. We don't feel we have to move him now."


Phoenix, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay could all be potential suitors for him, I imagine.



11:09 AM Brandon Gunn has sent us an e-mail:
I will admit, I am a new visitor to your page (I obtained the link from Spector's page) and I would first of all like to say that the bloggers here provide alot of good insight and scenarios. I am just curious what you guys think the wings will do.
Although they look good on paper as a playoff team, I am not sure they can overcome the pickups some other teams have made (mainly the Ducks).
The Ducks have made a big team even bigger signing Todd Bertuzzi.
Even if he only plays as well as he did in the playoffs last here, he could at least be a third line player that would just further grind players into the ground.
I was wondering if you guys thought that Bill Guerin, or Brenden Shanahan (if the Rangers sign Sheldon Souray) would be a good fit.
I am also looking at other suggestions you guys would think would be good fits.

Thanks alot
Brandon Gunn

Brandon,

First off, thanks for the nice words, it's a lot of fun keeping other people informed of what's going around the NHL.
The Wings have lost a few free-agents in Kyle Calder, Todd Bertuzzi, Mathieu Schneider and Dominik Hasek is still unsigned.
Brian Rafalski's signing will replace Mathieu Schneider's loss on the blue-line while Calder and Bertuzzi were hardly useful in their short stint with the Wings, so Ken Holland should fishing for a reasonably-priced checking line player with scoring upside such as Mike York, Josef Vasicek or Mike Peca to replace them.
However, bringing back Brendan Shanahan is out of the question, especially since Holland has just sacrificed a huge chunk of his remaining cap space to bring in Rafalski and is likely saving up to sign Hasek to a new deal, so there definitely won't be much left to go after Shanahan who is likely to get around the same deal he got last year with the Rangers (1 year $4 million).
And if Hasek doesn't re-sign, I think it's time Holland move on and try to bring in a few of those guys I noted above since they're all considerably younger than Brendan Shanahan and I personally feel it's time the Wings got completely out of that golden-oldie look the showed the NHL for years.
Guerin also would belong to this "golden-oldie" category and his deal will probably be similar to Shanahan's, so your best best are Mike York, Josef Vasicek or if really desperate, Mike Peca.

Hope this answers your question!

11:02 AM
Ok, that was 17 minutes, but whatever, haha, let's get back to it.
Here are a few pictures from around the NHL of players being introduced by their new teams to the media:

Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan - Colorado Avalanche


Daniel Briere in a suit - Philadelphia Flyers


Chris Drury and Scott Gomez - New York Rangers


Paul Kariya - St. Louis Blues



Gonna get some more up soon!


10:45 AM Be back in 15 minutes, gonna go grab some breakfast.

10:35 AM
Some Leafs fans on message boards are suggesting that John Ferguson Jr. made another mistake in giving Toskala this contract:
traded for a goalie with one year left at a very good rate and then signed the player to an extension at a much higher rate

Raycroft was signed for 1.3 million when Leafs got him and he [JFJ] gave him a 2 million extension and now is trying to trade him.

[JFJ] got toskala (a 30 year old with good numbers but has never been a number 1) at 1.3 million as a backup goalie and gave him a 4 million a year extension.

This fan's got a point, and you could argue that in terms of games played, Raycroft is more "experienced" than Toskala, but you could also argue Toskala's got more experience because of his age and playoff run 2 seasons ago with the Sharks.
What do you all think about this signing, does this fan make a fair point?



10:30 AM
I'll laugh at whatever team picks up Eric Lindros, Mike Peca or Patrik Stefan...these guys, especially Stefan, are BEYOND finished.
Heck, Stefan's gotta be the worst first overall pick ever, he only had 11 points in 41 games last year and this ever-famous incident in Stars' fans repertoire will never be forgotten:


10:28 AM
Hasek is still unsigned? I thought it was a sure thing he signs with the Red Wings something like 2 weeks ago.

10:25 AM
Still a good load of talent left out there.
Sheldon Souray (who seems to have priced himself out of many team's markets), Brendan Shanahan, Bill Guerin, Alexei Yashin (good luck to whoever nets him!), Mike Comrie (surprised he's not signed yet), and last but not least Peter Forsberg, who a few years ago was the hottest commodity available and today he's still unsigned and should seriously consider retirement.
Teemu Selanne is technically an unrestricted free-agent too but I doubt he goes anywhere but back to Anaheim if he indeed decides to play next year, but my guess is he's already told Burke he will retire since the Ducks signed Todd Bertuzzi to a pretty rich deal (at least for him and his sucky play with Detroit last year) at 2-year/$8 million.

10:17 AM
The newspapers up in Vancouver are reporting that 'Nucks GM Dave Nonis had talks with Bill Guerin earlier in the week but has not yet offered him a contract.
I doubt Nonis can get his hands on Guerin, if reports that he's commanding at least $3-$4 million are true, then the fans in Vancouver along with Nonis can forget about bringing him in, they just don't have the cap space to give him that kind of deal.

10:14 AM
Philippe agrees with me about Sykora, and sends in the following interjection:
PIT got robbed!

I can't imagine a better way to sum his signing up.


10:10 AM
Does anyone realize that Petr Sykora will make $6 million per season over the next two years in Pittsburgh?!
Has Ray Shero gone mad, sure Sykora had a good year, but come on, $6 million, he could've gotten Paul Kariya and at least there would've had some kind of assurance he WILL get production out of him.
Who knows if Sykora will repeat last year's numbers with Edmonton, don't forget he was on a huge downhill decline before signing on with Edmonton last year.

10:05 AM
Toskala's signing means that Andrew Raycroft is almost certainly on the move. Both goalies are going to make a combined $6.25 million next year, a bit less than half of that ($2.25 million) belonging to the former Calder trophy winner.
Or, if JFJ doesn't want to move Raycroft, bye-bye Pavel Kubina!

10:02 AM
The Calgary Flames have re-signed Jarome Iginla to a 5-year contract extension worth around $7 million per season, it's done now, while the Leafs have re-signed goaltender Vesa Toskala to a 2-year/$8 million contract extension.

Quadd sends in the following comment on Toskala's signing: "CRAZY!"

Well said Quadd, that is kinda crazy for a guy who's never been a clear-cut starter for a full season in the NHL.

9:57 AM
When I first heard Zubrus got SIX years from the Devils, I was like: "Whoa, what the heck? He's not worthy of a six-year deal!"
But really, is Dainius Zubrus really really THAT great?

Devils fans may want to ignore this somewhat obvious fact, but his success last year was due mostly if not entirely to the fact he played alongside some guys named Alexander Ovechkin in DC and another nobody called Chris Drury in Buffalo.
I still don't think the Rachunek/Zubrus signings will come close to replacing the Gomez/Rafalski "tandem"

9:52 AM
Curtis and Dyan send in the following comment on the Oilers choice of going after Michal Nylander:

I would take Yashin over Nylander to play with hemsky any day.....would have been nice to have bertuzzi on the wing.....

Curtis and Dyan, I'm not so sure having Yashin would be such a great thing, the guy comes with a reputation of being a cancer in the dressing room, and tell me why would you take him over Nylander?
Nylander's career has been far more consistent and succesful than Yashin's, whose only good seasons came in Ottawa before he was dealt to the Islanders a few years ago.


9:49 AM Per RDS, the Montreal Canadiens have signed power forward Tom Kostopoulos to a 2-year deal worth 900 000$ per season, or $1.8 million total.

The 28-year old scored 7 goals and added 15 assists in 76 games last season with the Los Angeles Kings, adding 73 penalty minutes.
Habs fans should consider him an improvement over the Steve Begin/Garth Murray duo.

1 fanatics have replied:

I Want it! said...
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