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

05 July 2007

2007 Free-Agent Frenzy Live-Blogging Event Part 5.3


All righty, so BBR had to run out for a bit for an appointment and you're stuck with Sherry once again. Feel free to keep the e-mails rolling in! We'll have to make our own news with the signings slowing down a bit.

Also live-blogging:
We Want it Bad

If I did or if you just want to talk hockey, email me at

2:06 pm - All righty, so unfortunately I have to bid all of you goodbye as I have to get back to my actual paying day-job. Hopefully BBR will be back in time to take you through the rest of the signings! Thanks for hanging out with me

1:57 pm - Half an hour later, we only have a re-signing to report. According to Sportsnet Erik Christensen has re-signed with the Pens on a two-year deal.

1:27 pm - The Weekes signing has been confirmed by TSN and it is reportedly a deal for: $1.375-million over two years

1:10 pm - We have news! Well something that could possibly turn into news. Via Kuklas, according to Leafs Lunch, the Devils may have landed former Rangers goaltender Kevin Weekes.

12:57 pm - I apologize for the lack of news and e-mails. I suppose that's expected with most of the big names gone. I suspect there should be some sort of announcement regarding Sheldon Souray soon.

In the interim, keep the e-mails and comments coming! We've got to make our own excitement for now.

12:25 pm - The Prucha signing has been revealed to be for $1.65 million per. Robert, sent us an excerpt from Rangers' beat writer John Dellapina's blog about the latest in the Ranger's salary situation:

The Rangers have re-signed forward Petr Prucha to a two-year deal worth $1.6 million per.

That leaves Henrik Lundqvist, Brendan Shanahan, Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa left to re-up and the Rangers with $10-11 million worth of cap space to do it.

Of course, there are a couple of wrinkles.

• During the offseason, teams can go 10 pecent above the team cap (from $50.3 million to $55.33 million) as long as they get back under the $50.3 million figure by the last day of training camp. But Darius Kasparaitis' $3 million counts in that accounting until he's sent back to the minors at camp.

• Players over 35 can sign one-year deals with lower base salaries and easily-attainable bonuses that allow teams to defer cap compliance. By the end of the season, all the bonuses paid will count and any team over the cap will have that much less cap room the next season. In the meantime, though, players can be sent to the minors and traded in order to clear room. Which means that Brendan Shanahan can sign a lower-base, heavy-on-bonuses deal that can get him back to around $4 million for next season without the Rangers having to count all of it until year's end.

As for the unsigned four, Shanahan is on the verge. Lundqvist is hammering out a new deal. Avery is likely to take the Rangers to salary arbitration. Hossa is unlikely to get much more than his qualifying offer.

12:18 pm - According to Sportsnet, the Flames have signed Anders Eriksson, previously with the Blue Jackets to a two year deal:

Anders Eriksson
79GP 0G 23A 23PTs +12 46PIM

12:08 pm - Kushiro has sent us this really helpful e-mail about the salary cap:

According to an article by Duhatschek last year in the Globe and Mail,
there's no actual penalty for exceeding the cap. During the summer, teams
can be up to 10% over the cap, but must bring their total expenditures under
the cap by the final day of training camp. If they're over, the league
sends the roster back and invites the team to fix it.

Duhatschek goes on to say that the team "a team cannot play a game until
such time as they comply with the rules. If they don't, they presumably

I'm not sure if that's a definite rule (forfeiture), and neither, seemingly,
is Duhatschek. But i think the 'no-play' aspect is true, so it does seem to

Also note that a team can go over in a couple of other cases, such as a Long
Term Injury (as with Mogilny in NJ last year). They can also go over by a
certain percentage (7.5%, I think) to pay bonuses; however, that overage is
counted against their maximum the following year.

That's my take on it, anyhow. I'm sure there's a lot more to it.

12:06 pm - According to, Maxime Talbot has re-signed with the Pens for two years at $1.35 million per.

12:00 pm
- According to TSN, the Rangers have resigned forward Petr Prucha:

Prucha, 24, appeared in 79 games with the Rangers this past season, registering 22 goals and 18 assists for 40 points, along with 30 penalty minutes.

The 6-0, 175-pound forward has skated in 147 career games with the Rangers, recording 87 points (52 goals and 35 assists) and 62 penalty minutes.

The Red Wings have re-signed Jiri Hudler to a new two-year deal:

In his first full season in 2006-07, Hudler appeared in 76 games and led all Detroit rookies in goals (15), assists (10) and points (25).

The Czech Republic native also made his playoff debut in 2007, playing in six games and tallying two assists.

Aaaaannnnd finally, the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Jan Hejda to a two-year contract:

Hejda, 29, tallied one goal and eight assists for nine points, 20 penalty minutes and averaged 20:23 of ice time in 39 games with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2006-07 season, which was his first in North America.

He also appeared in five games with Hamilton of the American Hockey League, collecting 0-3-3 and 21 penalty minutes.

11:55 am - All right, so the news appears to be slowing down and since I inexplicably still have a day job, I thought I ought to make an effort to pretend there's a reason they pay me to be here. So! Keep the e-mails coming and I'll post updates as they come in but I apologize if they are a bit delayed.

11:47 am
- The Fourth Period is reporting some news on Detroit and Edmonton. Apparently, Detroit will still like to add another veteran winger to the mix, I'm guessing to replace the departure of Todd Bertuzzi

According to the paper, Wings GM Ken Holland is scouring the market for a proven forward.

Among the remaining free agents that might be of interest to the Wings, Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin and Michael Peca led the list.

The Detroit Booth News reports the Wings have just over $7 million of available salary cap space.

When Mike Comrie is considered a 'veteran', is it officially a sign of slim pickings?

The hard luck of Edmonton continues as GM Kevin Lowe says that he also made a point to try and sign Paul Kariya and Slava Kozlov.

Oilers GM Kevin Lowe acknowledged that he went after winger Paul Kariya, who signed a three-year, $18 million deal in St. Louis, as well as Slava Kozlov, who re-signed in Atlanta.

The Oilers only had about $28 million committed to players for next season and the Journal claims ownership gave him the green light to spend on free agents.

"I wasn't trying to spend the money for a bunch of over-the-hill guys, guys looking to grab one more paycheque," Lowe told the Journal.

"It wasn't like we didn't want to spend the money. It's the first time we've ever been in the high-end market. We're in the win-now mode ... we really are, but it didn't work (free agency)."

Lowe also confirmed that he tried to get Ryan Smyth back in an Oilers uniform and contacted his agent, Don Meehan, on Sunday, but Smyth went to Colorado.

Lowe did want Ryan Smyth after trading him to Long Island Feb. 27 because they couldn't agree on a five-year deal. He says he made a call to agent Don Meehan early in the free-agent proceedings Sunday, but Smyth opted for Colorado.

The Journal suggests Lowe could go after a Group II free agent, such as Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, New Jersey's Zach Parise and Anaheim's Dustin Penner, although it's highly unlikely their current teams will let them go.

Meanwhile, the Oilers are also still very active on the trade front and could find a scoring winger that way. According to the paper, Lowe has had Boston sniper Glen Murray, who has two years left at $4.15 million, in his sights for some time.

11:35 am - waffledave sends us this e-mail addressing a number of points:

1) In response to Beding-Bedan's question as to what happens to a team that goes over the cap...Teams are allowed to be over the cap during the offseason up until a certain date, where they are required to be under again. As to what happens, well, the official answer is nothing, because in simple terms, the NHL will not allow it. I'm not sure exactly what this means, but every time the question is asked to an NHL official, that's what they say. The NHL will simply not allow it to happen.
2) I did some digging and found the official cap number for the Canadiens currently. The Habs are at $38,451,166 with Ryder, Plekanec and Gorges left to sign. This includes the buyouts of Salmelainen and Cullimore, as well as Kostopoulos' contract. As you can see, there is definately some money left to play around with.
3) As for the Marleau/Elias rumours with Montreal, one thing I can absolutely gaurentee you is that Higgins and Komisarek are untouchable and will not be moved barring an incredible deal for Montreal. They were both recently signed for identical contracts, which was done to show that they are both the foundation of the young up and coming core in Montreal. It will not happen, and if anyone is moved it will be Michael Ryder.

Thanks waffledave!

In terms of the date of the cap allowance, I believe it is first day of training camp although it might be first day of regular season? I'll have to do more digging to find the official word on that.

As for Higgins and Komisarek, I agree that those two aren't going to be moved unless it is for a spectacular deal. However, for the likes of Elias and Marleau, it would take a lot more than Ryder to complete the deal, which is why I'm thinking that Gainey will explore free free agency options rather than trade. That being said, I don't think Elias is immediately available either since Gomez is gone.

11:18 am - Some rumours to pass your way courtesy of Spector's and our very own waffledave:

heard an interesting rumour, by the way, but I don't know how reliable it is. Apparently Souray is going to go to the Canadiens with the best offer he gets and will allow them to make a final counter offer/match. Don't know what to think of it though, and the source I got it from has never broken anything major to me before, so we'll see.

For those of you keeping track at home, the Devils, Rangers, Oilers and Sharks are the major clubs interested in Souray's services.

And via Spector...

NEWSDAY: Greg Logan reports NY Islanders GM Garth Snow declined to comment on reports he's pursuing Phoenix Coyotes defenceman Ed Jovanovski, who would have to agree to waive his "no-trade" clause. If Jovanovski isn't an option, Logan suggests Snow might shift his attention toward Toronto's Bryan McCabe. He also suggests it's logical to assume Snow is pursuing UFA centre Mike Comrie.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports of rumours Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. shopping goaltender Andrew Raycroft to free up cap space. The Detroit Red Wings are believed interested because they're having trouble re-signing Dominik Hasek.
DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports there's very little available in the UFA market for the Red Wings to find a replacement for Todd Bertuzzi. Kulan suggests Alexei Yashin might be worth considering, floating the notion that Yashin might be willing to change his ways on a veteran Red Wings club.
Spector notes that Yashin is simply not worth the gamble. I'm inclined to agree.

11:12 am - C. Win sends us this e-mail about player decisions:

I noticed you guys want to move Ryder for a centre man. It's known from "reliable sources" that MTL has talked to SJ about Marleau and NJ in the last few days about Elias(who is a natural centre but plays the wing in NJ).

Now the 1st question is, what's the trade package look like if your Gainey and you're trying to land Marleau..SJ wants a top notch D-man to start, or Elias..... NJ wants a top 6 forward to start?

My guess is some combination of below depending on the team....


We've heard all the Higgins and Ryder Rumors,that Gainey wants the "Big Money Fish" and he's openly talked to SJ and NJ. That the guessing begin.........

Oh yeah, the 2nd question... what factors into the decision as to who you pursue?

Marleau is younger but unrestricted next summer with the risk of losing him, where as Elias maybe older by 4 yrs but he's got 6 more yrs on his contract which guarantees he's in a Habs uni for more than a season... decisions, decisions!


That's a great question C. Win. It's hard to gauge what goes into the thinking of the GM when they decide which player to pursue via trade, as I'd imagine there are a lot of factors that play into it. The first thing would be to try to gauge the immediate need of the team and then to see whether or not it could realistically happen financially. Contract length and terms are something that will take a bit more negotiation, but I'd imagine it's not as important as the first couple of factors.

In terms of Marleau or Elias for Montreal, I would say you would have to see what is suited best for the needs of the Canadiens, which is obviously a top-line forward. If it's offensive production that you need, than Elias is on paper, the smarter move. If it's leadership that you need and more defensive responsibility, than the choice would be Marleau. Another aspect to consider is what the other team is asking for return.

Seb has sent us his interpretation of the Canadiens line-up for next season:


11:09 am - No news to report as of yet, although there are rumours are plenty. You'll have to bear with me as I sort through all of the stuff BBR reported on before so I don't repeat myself and become redundant. Also, if you would like an update on what's happening with the Senators', please mosey on over to my latest post on Scarlett Ice.

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