DID I MISS SOMETHING?
If I did or if you just want to talk hockey, email me and at firstname.lastname@example.org
10:40 PM: SIGNING OFF Haha, Islanders.com is defending Garth Snow's let downs of Smyth, Blake and Poti, pretty hilarious read, check it out.
Guys, it's getting late and nothing's happened in 3 hours, time to pack in, and I have yet to decide if I will continue my coverage tomorrow, I'll let you know in the morning if I will and certainly if my "life schedule" will allow it.
Thanks for tuning in! And thanks for the hundreds of emails you all sent me!
Even if I don't continue coverage, feel free to email me if you still want to talk hockey or whatever else!
10:04 PM Johnny asks the following question:
1) How do you feel about the signings the Habs have made?
I think defensively we are better, offensively we are not!
2) Do you think the Kings are the silent heroes of this summer's free agent
1) I'm fairly happy with BG's signings, especially in Roman Hamrlik, a great pickup who's going to be our new powerplay quarterback, not as flashy as Souray, but he has much more prowess.
Smolinski's basically a replacement for Radek Bonk with a little more offensive upside and it's argued he could end up as either the 2nd or 3rd line centre.
The Habs still need to get a scoring forward, and I think Alexei Yashin would do the trick and I don't think he's out of reach like many free-agents were for Montreal.
2) I think you could make a case of LA, but they picked up a plethora of secondary scoring, and if you count two trades, the Flyers are the most improved team, picking up Hartnell, Timmonen, Biron, Briere, Lupul and now Smith.
9:50 PM Funny how Darryl Sydor is already off the market and Sheldon Souray is still in uncharted waters...how much longer will Souray stress California-based fans?
Habs fans have resigned to the fact he's gone, and Roman Hamrlik is in, but it's anyone's guess at this point who will win the Souray Sweepstakes.
9:47 PM ESPN also confirmed that the Leafs are close to picking up Dainius Zubrus, no official word around TSN or Sportsnet yet.
9:44 PM It's slow again...sorry Bethany, all the Jackets have done is sign Sheldon Brookbank. :D
9:21 PM Some minor-league signings to report: (yeah, I'm bored)
Per the Columbus Dispatch, the Jackets have signed the AHL's top defenceman Sheldon Brookbank to a 1-year, 2-way contract worth 500K.
ESPN reports the Lightning have signed Mathieu Darche and Craig MacDonald.
The Predators have officially signed the Finnish Teemu Laakso to a 3-year contract. (predators.com)
The Wild have officially signed Steve Kelly to a 1-year contract (wild.com)
ESPN reports the Sharks have re-signed defenceman Patrick Traverse.
9:11 PM I missed this yesterday, but TheFourthPeriod.com is reporting that Pat Quinn could potentially end up coaching the Devils.
9:04 PM Pierre sends in the following:
I got another question now that the Habs have landed Hamrlik and Smolinski.
Do you think that the Habs are still trying to sign Yashin? Is Gainey done
I think they are, Bob Gainey still has cap room left to play with but Smolinski's signing only compensates for the loss of Bonk, and doesn't respond to the Habs need of getting a scorer, which we can assume Yashin still is partly.
Gainey still has enough money left in the tank to pick him up, and honestly, I hope he does, it's a worthy gamble that could wake up Kovalev.
8:36 PM Quote from Roman Hamrlik on signing with les Habs:
I got a few offers from teams in the U.S., but I told my agent I'd love to play in Canada, the 33-year-old Hamrlik said from Zlin, Czech Republic on a conference call, comparing hockey in Canada to playing soccer in England. It's great hockey.
Players should appreciate it - the fans, the organizations, the media. Everything is there.
8:30 PM NOTE: There seems to be some confusion, I apologize to everyone who thought Souray is now a Shark, since it seems I mis-wrote what I really wanted to say, he's not a Shark but it's strongly speculated he could be soon.
8:23 PM Two transactions made by teams in last few minutes:
The Flames are trying to avoid losing their whole roster at next year's UFA market, signing defenceman Robyn Regehr to a 5-year/$20 million contract extension, $4 million a year for those too lazy to divide.
Sutter still has Kipper and Langkow to sign, and after that, save some money to answer Phaneuf's monetary demands next year as an RFA.
The Coyotes have also bought out centre Dave Scatchard's contract, making him a UFA. He was set to earn $2 million this year and he'll be lucky to make $1 million if he's signed by a team.
8:12 PM A few new Leafs for Toronto fans to celebrate, and Habs fans to hate:
Dainius Zubrus, Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala.
Pretty good bunch of names there, the Leafs might just make a run for the playoffs next year again :D
8:02 PM According to the Fan 590 (thanks to Yannick) Dainius Zubrus would have signed on to play with the Leafs next year.
7:51 PM The Calgary Flames have signed forward Owen Nolan to a 1-year contract, wow, someone took a chance to bring him back, that's gotta be Darryl Sutter!
The deal will apparently pay him up to $2 million next year depending on how he does and if he receives bonuses.
7:49 PM Borys sends in the following:
Imagine Souray signed with San Jose, would there still be a trade involving Marleau to the Habs?
It's a possibility, but not a very likely one, the Habs have just spent $7.5 million for next year and they'd have to deal someone cheap but worthy to get him, as SJ wouldn't have much space.
Scratch that, don't see Higgins, Komisarek or Plekanec going for him.
7:42 PM Eklund saying that Alexei Yashin received two offers, one from Montreal, the other from Atlanta or Washington.
Still wondering if Montreal can fit another center under the cap.
Oh, and for some reason, Eklund's been pretty damn hot the last two days. I guess being cold the whole year and making up for it in 2 days is good enough.
7:37 PM The Sharks could be close signing Sheldon Souray, as the Kings have used up a lot of space getting Calder, Handzus and Nagy.
7:35 PM Dean Lombardi's doing well, after getting Nagy and Handzus, he's just picked up Kyle Calder, signing him to a 2-year deal...watch out for the Kings next year.
7:30 PM The Montreal Canadiens have made another move, signing center Bryan Smolinski to a 1-year contract worth $2 million.
The Atlanta Thrashers are also taking a chance on veteran d-man Ken Klee, signing him to a multi-year deal to replace the departed Andy Sutton.
7:22 PM Brian Burke just brought back an old friend from Vancouver...signing Todd Bertuzzi to a 2-year contract.
7:14 PM Sorry for being gone for about 5 hours folks, but the internet connection wasn't up and working and I thank everyone who took the time to send in signings news.
Let's get it started, if you haven't seen who's gone where already:
First off, the Habs have signed defenceman Roman Hamrlik to a 4-year $22 million contract, after Sheldon Souray reportedly turned down a $5.5 million per season offer similar to Hamrlik's deal.
YEESSS! Bob finally did something and it was big enough of a splash for me! Bye-bye Souray!
The Caps have signed center Michael Nylander, and boy oh boy, Oilers fans must want Kevin Lowe's head for not signing this guy, who was rumoured to be on his way there last night.
The terms of the deal are 4 years for $19.5 million, for an average of almost $5 million per season, reasonable enough for a guy who had a career year last year.
The Rangers signed Jason Strudwick, wow, big news here.
The Hawks managed to lure some talent, and have signed centre Robert Lang to a 2-year contract likely worth around $5-6 million total.
Hey, at least Tallon managed to replace Michal Handzus, who signed along with Ladislav Nagy with the Los Angles Kings...not exactly Chris Drury or Daniel Briere, but a pretty good consolation prize.
2:20 PM Do the Kings still have enough space to possibly pick up Sheldon Souray, or can we scratch him off that list too?
If the Kings don't land Souray, then he'll either sign with the Sharks to return with Craig Rivet or go back to some old but forgetful memories with New Jersey, now that they've lost Rafalski to Detroit.
2:17 PM The Los Angeles Kings are close to signing defenceman Tom Preissing to a 4-year/$11 million contract.
The deal has not yet been finalized or oficially announced.
(P.S. Sorry for my delay, I may encounter more as my internet is kind of spotty right now)
12:32 PM Brian asks:
What do you think of Yashin as a hab, for the right price, do you think he has anything left in the tank, and secondly, can he perform in Montreal under the microscope?
I wouldn't mind seeing a healthy Bertuzzi in Montreal colors, and would prefer him over Yashin, although both have baggage, and players like that don't seem to thrive here.
I would be concerned that the mtl media would not be capable of leaving the past in the past for either of these players. And niether are known for bringing strong leadership to the table or being chemistry guys either.
I like Yashin, and I hope the Canadiens do bring him in, should they lose out on Michael Handzus or Ladislav Nagy.
He should be considered a Plan D option for Montreal, if plan C of bringing in Handzus doesn't work out.
I still think he has something to offer, and maybe he could be the one that will wake up Kovalev once and for all.
I'm sure he can perform here in Montreal better than in New York since he was under more pressure there because of his $90 million deal and they hype that came with him from Ottawa.
I'd give it a shot, but I wouldn't give him anything more than a 3 year deal at maximum $3 million per season.
I'm not too keen on Bertuzzi, and unless his deal works out in the Habs' favour, with bonuses if he reaches certain plateaus (20 G, 25 G, 30 G, 35 G...50 PTS, 55 PTS, 60 PTS, 65 PTS, 70 PTS) otherwise, forget about it.
I'd be willing to give Bertuzzi a deal similarly structured, that would pay him more and more the better he did, so if he's a bust, he'll get the money he deserves and won't screw us over.
12:22 PM The Buffalo News report that Chris Drury considered offers from the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks before signing on with the Rangers.
The Sabres offered Drury a 5-year $30 million deal but the Rangers simply topped that offer with $35 million over 5 years, but I'm wondering if Drury really wanted to stay in Buffalo, wouldn't he have accepted $5 million less to play there? A hometown discount?
12:10 PM Steve on David Tanabe:
I saw on your blog about him leading in minutes and him being No.1 Defenseman in Lavi's mind unfortunately we have 8 dmen under contract and Jim Rutherford has decided not to offer Tanabe a contract this year because of that. We had a situation of confusion when a veteran defenseman (Bret Hedican) signed a contract that was passed over and although he was injured for much of the 06/07 season, he is going to "give it a go in training camp." Many of us wish he would just hang up his skates already, but apparently forcing retirement or buying out his contract is out of the question in JR's mind.
12:03 PM Surprised the Leafs signed Battaglia, according to a previous report out of the Toronto Star, John Ferguson Jr. would have let go of Mike Peca, Yanic Perreault, Bates Battaglia, JS Aubin and Travis Green.
Battaglia was a good power forward for Toronto last year and I expect he will have increased ice time this year with the departures of the other players mentioned above.
I'm still waiting for GM's to sign someone big...come on, all we've had in the past 10 hours is Jed Ortmeyer and Bates Battaglia, what does that tell you?
12:02 PM The 12 o'clock hour starts off with a re-signing:
The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed forward Bates Battaglia to a 2-year contract worth $1.3 million, 650K per season.
11:59 AM Let's get one more question in before we head into the "PM" side of time, this one's from Steve:
Well you said you wanted questions...so I have one for you! : )
Can you call Monsieur Gainey and have him make David Tanabe an offer? I really
want him to go to a good team and he isn't a terrible D, although not Souray
Tanabe would be a welcome addition to the Habs, he's a good puck moving defenceman and in most case in underrated and underappreciated, but I guess not by you.
Any team could benifit by having him, but I don't think he's going anywhere, not while he's eating up the most minutes amongst Canes defencemen and is no.1 in Peter Laviolette's mind.
11:56 AM According to the Fourth Period.com again, Sheldon Souray's being sought after by the Devils, the Kings and it's looking like he won't return to the Habs.
Nothing new there, just thought I'd give Habs fans a heads-up.
11:52 AM Reply from Spector regarding the comment made by Dom at 11:23 AM.
According to Brooks Shanahan's age was cited as the reason why this could be done, and are apparently legally allowed to exceed the cap.
And here's a reply that confirms Brooks's suggestion from Dennis:
Just to add to the confusion on the CBA.....I think Brooks kinda knows what he's talkin about.....If the Rangers give Shanny 2 mil in bonuses, it doesn't count against the cap unless he reaches those bonuses....sorry if I'm stating the obvious. By the way, great site, just found it yesterday, and I'm not goin anywhere
Thanks to both of these guys, and I hope this has been cleared up.
11:51 AM The Fourth Period reports the Habs are most likely going to inquire about Todd Bertuzzi and Alexei Yashin today, and that both will command at least a $3 million annual salary, with Bertuzzi's being incentive-laden depending if he returns to his previous form.
11:40 AM Funny how TSN posts Jed Ortmeyer's signing with Nashville RIGHT now, when I posted this already last night. Guess I'm still out of luck.
"11:03 PM The Nashville Predators sign forward Jed Ortmeyer to a 2-year deal paying him $1.5 million, or a bit under $1 million per season."
Almost 12 hours later...sigh. I think we need some questions or comments via email to get something started already, haha!
11:39 AM Damn it, come on GM's! Get those pens-a-working already! I'm dying here!
11:23 AM Folks, I've received an email from Dom telling me that what Brooks suggested on Shanahan below was false, but I was quoting Spector who was quoting Brook's blog.
"and this is interesting, the $2 million doesn't count against the cap per the new CBA and it can even exceed the cap limit without any consequences.."
That is false. Selanne salary 3,75M last year, but he got a 2,25M perfomance bonus. The cap hit was 6M, not 3,75. Brooks don't know what he's talking about.
I was just quoting my buddy Lyle over at Spector's Hockey, I emailed him so we can clear this thing up, here's his original quote:
Spector's Note: One way as suggested by Larry Brooks of the NY Post is if Shanahan accepts a base salary of $2 million and another $2 million in easily attainable bonuses, since under the CBA reasonable bonuses for players of Shanahan's age are allowed to exceed the cap.
11: 05 AM Larry Brooks, from the New York Post, on his blog according to Specotr, suggests a way for the Rangers to re-sign impending UFA Brendan Shanahan.
Shanahan made $4 million last year and had a pretty good season, and you can tell the Big Apple fit in well for him...now, back to Brooks, he's actually got a pretty good idea how the Rangers can retain him, even with the signings of Drury and Gomez.
He says the Rangers should sign him to a base contract of $2 million and offer him $2 million in bonuses to match last year's total of $4 million, and this is interesting, the $2 million doesn't count against the cap per the new CBA and it can even exceed the cap limit without any consequences...tell me, if you're allowed, why is it that some other sucker hasn't jumped all over this yet?
11:00 AM In 18 minutes, it will be exactly 10 hours since 1:18 AM, when the Penguins signed Peter Sykora.
Wow, it's been 10 hours since our last signing, come on GM's, wake up already! It's almost noon and we have yet to have a signing past 1 AM!
10:40 AM Michael Russo reports that the Wild have offered Wes Walz a one year deal, and they don't want to offer him a longer one because of his age (37).
10:37 AM A few quick hits...The Chicago Herald reports that Blackhawks are hopeful they will re-sign Michael Handzus, but they probably won't.
Tarek El-Bashir over in Washington reports the Capitals are interested in Alexei Yashin if they can't land Nylander (who's apparently on his way to Edmonton).
Kings and Sharks are surprisingly sitting tight, and haven't made a splash like everyone thought they would.
10:30 AM The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenceman Ray Scuderi to a 2-year contract worth roughly $1.1 million.
10:23 AM The Boston Herald is reporting that the B's would've offered Ray Emery an offer sheet if they hadn't acquired Manny Fernandez...and I'm just thinking about Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen right now.
Both ave very decent goalies and Thomas deserves at best to be a 1B goalie and I'm not so high on Fernandez starting anything more than 50 games next year, he's never been the clear-cut no. 1 and always ends up splitting his game.
Durability on Fernandez's side is also an issue...undes Jacques Lemaire, he was never overworked, but who knows how Claude Julien will treat him now.
Toivonen had a disastrous 2005-2006 season after a spectacular rookie year, a year that was cut short due to an ankle injury, and when he came back, he was just terrible.
I'm confident Toivonen can get back to his old form, but I don't think that'll happen in Boston, a trade should be expected, and don't expect much in return besides a mid-level pick or minor-league player.
10:17 AM Here are a few reactions from Islanders fans on their recent losses.
Great blog…It is tough being an Isles fan right now. Where do we turn next? The possible group that we bring in can’t replace the old group but if we do nothing it looks like we are throwing in the towel. It feels like a no win situation now…
I'm not so sure...Snow has a tough challenge ahead altough he should aggressively pursue any quality FA's left, like Nagy, Guerin, Hamrlik, Stuart...anyone, he needs new players to replace the old bunch otherwise your team's toast next year!
Agreed…I am a die hard Isles fan. I felt like calling in to work this morning because I felt we lost all of our fire power. If you include Yashin, the Isles lost approximately half of all their points scored last year. It leaves me wondering where the fire power will come from.
Thanks, Frank (long Island)
10:04 AM Just went to grab some breakfast, looks like after losing Rafalski, the Devils have re-signed Johnny Oduya.
9:43 AM Speculation: The Habs might just ditch signing a defenceman like Roman Hamrlik and end up re-signing Souray, and I'm not so sure it's going to be a good thing, especially with the price tag he's going to get and how he'll probably never come close to the numbers he put up last season again.
9:39 AM I'm curious to know: How do you Sabres and Islanders fans feel? Shoot me a line over at my email and we can talk.
9:33 AM Guerin's seeking $3.5 million...while here's some info regarding Slava Kozlov courtesy of Pascal and the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:
- LW Slava Kozlov, Atlanta: Murray has always loved this guy and he'd fit right in. He'd be a strong replacement if Murray is successful in dealing LW Peter Schaefer and the three years and $6.3 million left on his contract. There is, however, going to be a bidding war for Kozlov.
9:29 AM Which team lost the most? At first sight, I'd say Buffalo talent-wise with the losses of Drury and Briere...but on the other hand, Garth Snow's Islanders seems to be stuck in a rut.
They lost Ryan Smyth, Jason Blake, Viktor Kozlov and Tom Poti...those were key players in the Islanders team last year and I think Snow's status as GM after acquiring Smyth has been heavilt affected now...I'm getting hate emails telling me what kind of a bozo Garth Snow is, and I don't blame them...losing those 4 guys might just bring the Islanders back into the misery they've been stuck into for too long.
9:26 AM Leafs might use up that extra cap space left and sign Mike Comrie.
9:19 AM Many Sens fans inquired about what Ottawa would do yesterday, and they were mighty quiet...well, according to Bruce Garrioch, "it's believed Murray contacted Bill Guerin, Martin Gelinas, Viktor Kozlov and Peter Sykora"
The two last ones have already been signed, but it's always a possibility one of Guerin or Gelinas ends up in Ottawa to compliment the loss of Mike Comrie, Guerin would be the ideal choice.
9:17 AM Borys sends in this commentaire: (Oh, and I would like it if these comments became a little LESS political, please, thank you)
To add to greg's reaction to Fiscalhawk's comment:
First of all, if you are going to talk about taxes why don't you get your facts straight? There is no point in comparing income taxes when there is also property and sales taxes. Second of all, taxes are by far not the only problem in this case. The french media influences the players' choice greatly.
Third, "So until you guys in Quebec decide to end your love affair with socialism and slash your tax rates" are you blaming US? Is it our fault, that the PQ has installed a ridiculous Union which overpays its workers for doing absolutely nothing i.e. snow removal. Just because, the PQ wanted to get more votes from the dumb truckers living in their own backseats, they created an enormous quantity of gouvernement jobs (to be precise about 50% of all jobs) thus raising our taxes.
A dramatic change in our political situation would take years of work with extreme determination from all of the political partys, I do not see anything of the sort happening soon, for our friend Jean Charest prefers to fill his pockets with gouvernement money and his rival Mario Dumont is still trying to figure out how to get milk from a cow.
8:56 AM Dj_yanno sends in the following comment:
Now I am sick and tired the situation in the NHL. I really consider never watching hockey again. It is us, in Canada, that support the life of the sport. Now with the revenue sharing, canadian teams are supporting teams such as Nashville, New Jersey, Carolina and even Anaheim. It is also the Deal with CBC, and to a lesser extend RDS, that gives revenues to the league. What do we get in return? Nothing. We see playoff hockey sturday afternoon to make NBC happy (and that doesm't stop them of cutting short a game for a fricking horse race). And we see all the good players going to the US. The only power we, canadian fans, have is to stop going and watching games. It's not going to happen as a mass movement, but I will do it, I am sick and tired of all this. And what about the salary cap that is already $10M more than it was 2 years ago.... unbelievable BS!
8:34 AM Honest Reaction to Fiscalhawk's comment on free-agency not working in Montreal below (7:05 AM) from greg:
If they sign for say..6 million for ONE year and taxed on 45-50 % they still take home around 3 million for ONE year.
Not bad for 9 months work at something you love and enjoy doing.
IT IS GREED , PURE AND SIMPLE! The way teams are throwing money around makes me wonder why they had a lock-out in the first place...The NHL is eating itself with this horse crap. Anyway, I am gonna blow an artery if I don't stop writing, so thanks for posting this.
8:08 AM This may have gone unnoticed, but the Dallas Stars have re-signed Sergei Zubov to a one-year extension worth $5.35 million, taking him off next year's UFA market.
8:05 AM Reports coming out of Edmonton that the Oilers have agreed to terms with centre Michal Nylander, no word yet on the length of this contract.
Expect 3-5 years/at $3.5-$4.5 million per season.
7:48 PM Wo, wo, this year's UFA pool is far from over...in fact, there are still a huge handful of quality players available on the market, don't think this is over because Drury, Briere and Gomez are gone!
Check out who's left here!
7:16 AM I know I'm behind, but here are the signings if you missed them:
-The Penguins, early this morning signed both Petr Sykora and defenceman Darryl Sydor to 2-year contracts.
Sydor will make $2.5 million in each of those two years while Sykora's terms were not disclosed, but judging on last season's performance, he will make between $1.5-$2.5 million as well.
-Paul Kariya signs with St.Louis...no big surprise here, thanks to Keith Tkachuk who put in a little phone call at the beginning of the day...for 3 years/$18 million.
He will make on average $6 million per year.
7:05 AM Just woke up to find out Ryan Smyth has indeed officially signed off with the Colorado Avalanche and once again, has left Habs fans in despair.
The terms of his deal are 5-year/$31.25 million, front-loaded at 8 million for the first two seasons.
I received many emails regarding Smyth and the Habs offer, which was appararently higher, and one thoroughly explaining the principle of why "free-agents don't want to come to Montreal."
Take Smyth for example. Montreal offers him $250k more than Colorado. Big frigging deal!!. The top marginal tax rate in Colorado (federal taxes only - there are no state income taxes) is 35%. In Quebec, federal and provincial taxes are 55% for god sake. On an after tax basis Smyth would be way behind if he accepted Montreal's deal.
Why do you think you guys had to pay Markov $5.75 million to stay in Montreal, when he wouldn't have
gotten much more than $4.5 million as a free agent ?
In BC the marginal tax rate is 43%. Luongo wanted the $6 million Florida offered him - before they traded him - on a tax adjusted basis.So the Canucks had to pay him $6.75 million. Montreal would have had to pay him close to $8 million on a tax adjusted basis.
Alberta has the least problems with a tax rate at 39% versus the US federal tax rate of 35%.
So until you guys in Quebec decide to end your love affair with socialism and slash your tax rates - and ridiculous levels of government spending - you will never attract free agents, and the rest of your players will continue to leave once they hit free agency.