News Just in
David Beckham switches from Football to Hockey
Lol I know nothing about hockey Im scottish lol
News Just in
David Beckham switches from Football to Hockey
Lol I know nothing about hockey Im scottish lol
BLACKHAWKS WIN DRAFT LOTTERY.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Bob Foltman reports the Blackhawks won the NHL entry draft lottery yesterday, securing the right to select first overall in the upcoming draft. Foltman narrows down the potential choices to four: " One of them is Buffalo native Pat Kane, who, despite being just 5 feet 10 inches and 160 pounds, had 62 goals and 145 points for the London Knights of the Ontario League.
Czech-born center Jakub Voracek, who plays junior hockey for Halifax, is currently the top-ranked player according to the International Scouting Service. Voracek, 6-1, 188, turns 18 in August. Kane is ranked second by the ISS. Other candidates are Burnaby's Kyle Turris, 17; and James vanRiemsdyk, who plays for the U.S. under-18 program."
Spector's Note: Unlike the last couple of drafts there's no clear-cut "franchise player" in this year's draft, but of course that doesn't mean whoever they draft won't become one. GM Dale Tallon also admitted he'll probably get a lot of phone calls about the pick and hasn't ruled out the possibility of shopping that pick, but I would imagine the asking price will be steep. I think there's a better chance of the 'Hawks retaining the pick than moving it.
DENIS TO SIT OUT START OF PLAYOFFS.
TAMPA TRIBUNE: reports Lightning goalie Marc Denis, who started the season as the club's number one goalie, won't be dressed when the Bolts open the playoffs. Having lost his starter's job to backup Johan Holmqvist, he's now lost the backup role to third stringer Karri Ramo.
Spector's Note: The Tribune wonders if Lightning head coach John Tortorella is sending a message or lost faith in Denis. I think it's the latter, given that Denis's salary ($2.8 million) is a lot to scratch just to "send a message". Denis inconsistency has cost him the confidence of his coach, and one has to wonder if that might result in his getting shopped in the off-season if this persists throughout the Lightning's playoff run, however long or short it may be.
MORE CANADIENS NEWS.
RDS.CA: reported Tuesday Montreal Canadiens team president Pierre Boivin indicated the team will have the resources to pursue a top level free agent player this summer.
Spector's Note: The Canadiens biggest need is a top scoring centre, and the three biggest names in that regard could be Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez, but if they hit the market the Habs could find themselves in a bidding war for their services. Failing to land a top UFA player will further reinforce the belief that Montreal isn't a choice destination for marquee free agent talent.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey yesterday reports defencemen Sheldon Souray and Andrei Markov and forward Mike Johnson hope to re-sign with the Habs this summer. All three are unrestricted free agents. Hickey also reported today that it appears Alex Kovalev will be retained but Gainey will either try to trade or buy out Sergei Samsonov.
Spector's Note: GM Bob Gainey admitted during his press conference yesterday that he wants to retain Souray and Markov. Some disgruntled Habs fans believe Gainey shouldn't waste time with Souray as he'd be in their eyes too expensive. Some pessimists suggest all three will be lost this summer. It won't be easy but the Habs will have the cap space to retain them. Much will depend on their contract demands. Should be an interesting couple of months.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey also reported forward Alex Kovalev wasn't happy with his performance this season but dismissed the notion that he'd let his teammates down. Teammate Chris Higgins, however, wished that Kovalev would show more determination in his game. "It's hard to get inside his head. He plays his own game. People don't realize how strong he is and you wish he would just bury his head and go to the net instead of stickhandling around guys, but he's pretty good at that, too."
Spector's Note: Ladie and gentlemen, the future captain of the Montreal Canadiens has spoken, and he's absolutely right. Kovalev has the talent but he just doesn't turn it on as much. I've had a theory that Kovalev only plays well when he's got a superstar on his line, as he did during his career years in Pittsburgh when Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux were his teammates and linemates. When he's expected to be the go-to guy, he just doesn't seem to deliver. GM Bob Gainey suggested in yesterday's press conference that he want Kovalev to remain a part of the team. Who knows, maybe if they can land that elusive marquee UFA forward, that might bring out the best in Kovalev.
THE LATEST OILERS NEWS.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently reported the Oilers might make a pitch for Ottawa Senators defenceman, whose contract with the Sens expires July 2008. "If the Oilers want Redden -- they wanted to sign him as UFA last summer -- they'd have to give up a good young D man and a forward. I'd say the Sens would be looking at Jarret Stoll."
Spector's Note: Some folks in Ottawa (not associated with the Sens) are unhappy over Redden's performance this season, even though he missed 18 games due to injury, and that's given rise to some speculation that he might be available. While anything's possible, I doubt Redden get dealt.
EDMONTON SUN: Robert Tychkowski reports one of the Oilers off-season priorities will be to find a scorer for playmaker Ales Hemsky. Tychkowski also reports GM Kevin Lowe expects to add as many as eight new players to their roster for next season via trades and free agency.
Spector's Note: As maddening as Hemsky can be to Oilers fans who say he doesn't shoot enough, there's no question he's a great playmaker. Landing a sniper for his line could make a major impact on the Oilers offensive attack next season.
THE LATEST ON THE LEAFS.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: David Shoalts yesterday reported Toronto Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr expects to have a new contract in place for team captain Mats Sundin by June 15th. "Sources say they are working on a two-year deal for about $5.75-million per year", reports Shoalts, who also reported Ferguson saying goalie Andrew Raycroft will return next season but indicated he may spend more for a backup who can play 25-30 games.
Spector's Note: Evidently the supposed implications of the Leafs rejecting the club option for Sundin to re-sign him to a new, affordable contract isn't a factor as previously believed. No surprise about Raycroft. For all the blather of late out of Toronto about the Leafs need to dump Raycroft and bring in another goalie realistically that wasn't gonna happen. Also sounds like "JFJ" will be back for another season, as anticipated, which should give his critics an entire summer to come up with all kinds of reasons why he should be fired.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger yesterday reported Jeff O'Neill may not be returning with the Maple Leafs next season. His contract expires making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. O'Neill said he'd love to return but sees the limited ice time he received this season as indicative that it won't happen. He's also made no decision on retirement.
Spector's Note: O'Neill scored 20 goals this season but was a streaky scorer and that saw him benched down the stretch. He may not return to Toronto but it's possible he may land elsewhere as a UFA.
THE LATEST FLYERS NEWS.
CAMDEN COURIER-POST: Chuck Gormley yesterday reported Flyers forward Simon Gagne and head coach John Stevens aren't ruling out the possibility of former Flyer Peter Forsberg re-signing with the club as a UFA this summer. The Flyers missed out on the first overall pick in the draft lottery and will draft second, but GM Paul Holmgren hasn't ruled out shopping that pick, perhaps to trade down in the draft. Holmgren also said it wasn't out of the question for Forsberg to return to Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Tim Panaccio reported yesterday Flyers GM Paul Holmgren will have to rework the defence, suggesting Denis Gauthier could be the odd man out on the Flyers blueline. Panaccio also suggested forward Geoff Sanderson may be on the bubble.
Spector's Note: Interesting that the Flyers haven't ruled out bringing back Forsberg, although they were talking like that when they trade him to Nashville. A lot will depend, however, on how they fare in this summer's UFA market.
WHAT ARE THE CAPITALS NEEDS?
WASHINGTON POST: Tarik El-Bashir reported Sunday Capitals owner Ted Leonsis won't divulge how much he intends to spend on team payroll next season, but a significant amount will go toward addressing the club's needs. "On the shopping list is a veteran center, a right wing and two quality defensemen", write El-Bashir, also citing that the club hopes to sign 2006 first round pick Nicklas Backstrom.
Spector's Note: The Caps have less than $19 million committed to payroll next season, after committing just over $30 million this season. If Leonsis should increase payroll to between $37-$39 million that'll give Caps management plenty of space to retain their key players and to be serious bidders in this summer's UFA market.
Sorry wanted to bump this for the start of free agency, which is coming soon.
21 JUNE 2007.
Updated: 11 am AT
ANOTHER BRAD RICHARDS TRADE RUMOUR.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports league sources claiming Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster might be willing to shop Brad Richards and his $7.8 million per season contract to Chicago, Philadelphia or Phoenix in hopes of landing one of the top three picks in this year's draft. Garrioch claims Richards might be expendable after the Bolts acquired centre Chris Gratton last week from Florida, and this move would be done to clear up cap space to land a quality goaltender. The Blackhawks want an impact player "and Richards would fit the bill", writes Garrioch, who suggests parting with the first overall pick would be "a high price to pay".
Spector's Note: Interestingly, there's nothing about this in the Tampa media this morning. Anyway, Lightning GM Jay Feaster has repeatedly stated that he has no plans to trade Richards, Vincent Lecavalier or Martin St. Louis, yet these rumours of one of the three getting dealt refuses to die. Trading Richards is also almost impossible because of his salary and the fact his "no-trade" clause kicks in on July 1st, meaning any team that deals for him now won't be able to move him without his permission.
Dealing him to Chicago doesn't make sense unless the Blackhawks dump some salary. Presently they're sitting at just over $34 million committed to 13 players, and adding Richards for only a first round pick pushes payroll up to almost $42 million, leaving the 'Hawks precious little room to flesh out the rest of their roster. Forget Philadelphia, whose payroll is now at $42 million for 19 players, giving them no room to comfortably afford Richards salary. Phoenix seemingly has the cap space ($27.43 million for 13 players), but they're not expected to go above $40 million for next season, which again means no space to comfortably absorb Richards' salary. And considering Richards "expendable" because of the acquisition of Chris Gratton is laughable.
IGINLA TO REMAIN A FLAME.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: Allan Maki reports that rumours of Jarome Iginla's potential departure from the Calgary Flames are baseless. Maki claims the Flames will re-sign Iginla to a contract extension worth virtually the same as he makes now ($7 million), that Iginla is committed to helping the Flames win the Stanley Cup, and re-signing him won't adversely affect the Flames efforts to retain Miikka Kiprusoff and still assemble a formidable team.
Spector's Note: If the Flames had to face a choice between retaining Iginla or Kiprusoff they'd retain the latter, but I'm not surprised that the club will retain both. The surging Canadian dollar and the Flames strong fan support means they can keep pace with the cap and retain their key players.
THE LATEST ON THE SENATORS.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Allen Panzeri reports limited cap space could force new Senators GM Bryan Murray into making some major roster decisions in the coming weeks. Depending on what next season's salary cap ceiling is, Murray could have between $3-$6 million in available space, which won't be enough to re-sign key restricted free agents like Ray Emery, Chris Kelly, Olaf Saprykin and Christoph Schubert let alone retain UFAs like Tom Preissing and Mike Comrie. Panzeri suggests this could mean Murray might engage in a salary dumping trade in order to free up some much-needed cap space, with Wade Redden and Martin Gerber considered likely trade candidates. It's believed the Edmonton Oilers and LA Kings might have interest in Redden. The Kings are also believed interested in Gerber as well as the Phoenix Coyotes. Other potential trade bait includes Joe Corvo, Bryan McGratton and Peter Schaefer.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Redden isn't interested in waiving his "no-trade" clause, hopes to return with the Senators next season and is willing to meet with Murray to discuss a contract extension. The Edmonton Oilers are oft-mentioned as interested in Redden but Murray said he hasn't spoken to the Oilers about him. Garrioch also reports it's possible Murray might try to move Corvo and possibly Oleg Sapyrkin.
Spector's Note: So much for all the talk of Redden pining to play for the Oilers. Rumourmongers love to claim that players waive their "NTCs" all the time, but that predominantly happens near the trade deadline with players on non-playoff clubs, rarely with players in Redden's situation. I think it's very likely Murray will try to move Gerber and Corvo but their salaries won't make them easy to shop. Murray will undoubtedly have to swing a salary dumping trade or two to free up the money to retain guys like Emery, Schubert and Kelly.
SHANAHAN HOPES TO REMAIN A RANGER.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Brendan Shanahan has no interest in testing this summer's UFA market and hopes to re-sign with the Rangers.
Spector's Note: Colour me unsurprised, and I fully expect the Rangers will re-sign "Shanny" within the next two weeks. Don't be nervous, Rangers fans, if talks extend beyond July 1st. That won't mean he'll leave if there isn't a deal in place by then.
THE LATEST SABRES NEWS.
BUFFALO NEWS: Tim Graham reports the Sabres don't have a pick in the first round but they're not particularly interested in trading for one. Management hopes to add as many picks as possible with each year, keeping the focus on maintaining the team via the draft. GM Darcy Regier also said talks with Daniel Briere and Chris Drury are continuing but thus far there's been no substantive developments. John Vogl meanwhile suggests the Sabres are ripe for the picking regarding offer sheets from rival teams, with Tomas Vanek the obvious target.
Spector's Note: The reasons Vogl listed for potential rise in offer sheets (the lowered compensation levels and salary cap constraints) definitely increases the possibility for more offer sheets. As for those hoping financial restraint or the unwillingness to part with compensatory draft picks will prevent this sort of thing, I honestly believe that's wishful thinking now. We've all seen that the salary cap hasn't prevented overspending, and too many GMs have a "win now" attitude, lacking the patience to build through the draft. Indeed, most teams rarely build through the draft unless financial constraints force them into it. Vanek will most likely receive an offer sheet, but I believe the Sabres will match it, even at the potential cost of losing either Briere, Drury or both.
THE LATEST LEAFS NEWS.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports it's doubtful Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. will re-signed impending UFAs Bates Battaglia, Mike Peca, J.S. Aubin, Yanic Perreault, Travis Green and Jeff O'Neill. He also reports contract negotiations between "JFJ" and Carlo Colaiacovo's agent appear to have bogged down. Colaiacovo is a restricted free agent. Meanwhile, CanWest News Service reporter Howard Berger reports Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe has shot down speculation he'd consider waiving his "no-trade" clause to facilitate a trade to the New York Islanders. Globe & Mail reporter Tim Wharnsby reports of discussions on "some sort of three-way deal involving the Leafs and (Dallas) Stars and an unknown third team, but the Leafs appear to be "dragging their heels" on it.
Spector's Note: McCabe denied this a couple of weeks ago, but it seems some in the Toronto media are trying to push the Leafs into moving McCabe, who didn't play up to his expensive contract last season and at times earned the wrath of Leafs fans and media. As for this potential three-way trade between the Leafs, Stars and the mystery club, it doesn't sound as though it's going to go through unless the Stars or the mystery club make it more palatable for the Leafs.
WINGS WON'T RE-SIGN LANG.
DETROIT FREE PRESS/DETROIT NEWS: report the Red Wings won't re-sign impending UFA forward Robert Lang. GM Ken Holland also intends to meet with the agents for defencemen Mathieu Schneider and Danny Markov and goalie Dominik Hasek, although cap constraints means one of them might not return. The Anaheim Ducks might have interest in Schneider if Scott Niedermayer retires.
Spector's Note: No surprise about Lang, as it's been long speculated they wouldn't re-sign him. Hasek is certain to return, meaning it comes down to Schneider and Markov.
DECISION ON ROBERTS & RECCHI SOON.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Penguins GM Ray Shero figures he'll have a pretty good idea within the next few days if Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi return next season. Molinari also reports Shero won't be re-signing UFAs Nils Ekman, Ronald Petrovicky, Eric Cairns and Joel Kwiatkowski, and there's "various degrees of interest" in retaining Jocelyn Thibault, Rob Scuderi, Alain Nasreddine and Josef Melichar. Shero admits he'll have to look for replacements for Roberts and Recchi if they don't return but he'll look internally first. He also intends to make bolstering his defence a priority. Regarding potential contract extensions negotiations with Sidney Crosby, Shero said they will not necessarily being on July 1st, which is when Shero is allowed by the CBA to do so.
Spector's Note: I still believe that if Roberts doesn't return Recchi will because he makes his home in the Pittsburgh area. As for Crosby, don't worry, Pens fans, Shero will get it done.
HURRICANES SEEKING THIRD LINE CENTRE.
RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER: Lorenzo Perez reports the Carolina Hurricanes now have $41.7 million committed to 21 players for next season, giving GM Jim Rutherford roughly $2.3 million to flesh out the rest of the roster. Perez claims a priority is landing a free agent third line centre to replace Josef Vasicek, whom the club won't be re-signing, and Rutherford hasn't rule out other moves.
Spector's Note: Rutherford's a savvy guy so don't be surprised if he finds that centre soon.
THE LATEST WILD NEWS.
PIONEER PRESS: John Shipley reports Minnesota Wild GM Doug Risebrough won't negotiate with their free agents until after the draft weekend. If Risebrough is to re-sign impending UFAs Todd White, Martin Skoula and Wes Walz he'll have to move quickly as he'll have only a week to do so before the start of the UFA market on July 1. Shipley also doubts the Wild will make any blockbuster UFA signings this summer.
Spector's Note: Risebrough's priority now is to find any takers for goalie Manny Fernandez as well as re-sign young stars like Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
NO QUICK FIX IN STORE FOR BLUES.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Bernie Miklasz reports Blues fans shouldn't get their hopes up for any "quick fix " signings this summer. The club needs a strong centreman but Miklasz believes the best the Blues might do is try to land Michal Handzus.
Spector's Note: The Blues have made some good moves over the past year via trades so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of their going the same route to address that need. It's also interesting to note that there's been no indication of the Blues bringing back Keith Tkachuk or Bill Guerin.
20 JUNE 2007.
Updated: 9:15 pm AT
SHARKS RE-SIGN RIVET.
RDS.CA REPORTS THE SAN JOSE SHARKS HAVE RE-SIGNED DEFENCEMAN CRAIG RIVET TO A FOUR-YEAR, $14 MILLION CONTRACT. RIVET WAS ELIGIBLE FOR UFA STATUS ON JULY 1.
Spector's Note: Hat tip to Kukla's Korner. Analysis shortly on my blog.
HURRICANES RE-SIGN WALKER.
TSN.CA REPORTS THE CAROLINA HURRICANES HAVE RE-SIGNED FORWARD SCOTT WALKER TO A THREE-YEAR, $7.5 MILLION CONTRACT. WALKER WAS ELIGIBLE FOR UFA STATUS IN JULY.
Spector's Note: Hat tip to JP Marcoux. Analysis later today on my blog.
I miss loving Colorado.
i wonder if this means Hannan's gone? still hoping we deal Nabby at the draft, move Tosk to starter, bring up Patzold, and sign Ryan Symth.SHARKS RE-SIGN RIVET.
RDS.CA REPORTS THE SAN JOSE SHARKS HAVE RE-SIGNED DEFENCEMAN CRAIG RIVET TO A FOUR-YEAR, $14 MILLION CONTRACT. RIVET WAS ELIGIBLE FOR UFA STATUS ON JULY 1.
Join the Buy BWii Campaign and Buy BWii!
Midna is the Twilight Princess.
Not sure about hannan, but your next comment brings me to one of today's biggest stories. I won't post everything, not much happening really yet today other than this:Originally Posted by FWELR
THE GLOBE & MAIL REPORTS THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS HAVE ACQUIRED GOALTENDER VESA TOSKALA AND FORWARD MARK BELL FROM THE SAN JOSE SHARKS IN EXCHANGE FOR THE LEAFS FIRST ROUND PICK (13TH OVERALL) PLUS THEIR SECOND AND FOURTH ROUND PICKS IN THIS YEAR'S DRAFT.
We got Vesa now, sorry dude.
have been talking it about elsewhere (wiichat is not the first place i come for hockey talk). basically, we cleared up cap space with bell and tosk (3.5 mil i think) and now we have 3 2nds and the 13th overall to tangle if we wanted to go into the top 10. hopefully we can use the cap to lock up JT and Marleau (FOR THE LAST TIME HE WILL NOT BE TRADED!!) long term and make a run at Smyth and Rafalski.Originally Posted by CantGetAWii
PS as far as Tosk goes, i wanted to keep him over Nabby but unfortunatly, not too many teams want a 35 year old goalie making 5 mil a year, no matter how good he is.
UPDATE: it's been an exciting day for the Sharkies, let's recap:
TO TORONTO: Vesa Toskala (1.375 mil)
Mark Bell :thankyougod: (2.175 mil)
TO SAN JOSE: 13th overall 2007 draft
2nd round pick 2007
4th round pick 2007
TO ST. LOUIS: 13th overall 2007 draft
2nd round pick 2007
3rd round pick 2008
TO SAN JOSE: 9th overall 2007 draft (Logan Couture taken here, smart, good character center with an awesome shot, extremely soft hands, a poor man's Joe Thornton passing skills and absolutely no skating skill, his only weakness)
TO WASHINGTON: 2nd round pick 2007 (41st overall)
2nd round pick 2008
TO SAN JOSE: 28th overall pick 2007 (Nick Petreski taken here, basically more bad-ass than Pronger without the offense, 6'3", 213 pound heavy hitting, mean-streak guy)
so, at the end of the day we traded Toskala, Bell, a 2nd rounder this year, a 2nd rounder next year, and a 3rd rounder next year for the 9th and 28th overall picks, as well as a 4th rounder this year. we cleared up almost 3.5 mil in cap space (used nicely on Rivet) and got a terrific center and a bad-ass d-man. now, we just have to find a quality left-winger (ryan symth, ryan symth, please, lord, ryan symth) and a top 4 d-man(hannan if he'll stay cheap or rafaskli if we can afford him). pretty good day.
Last edited by FWELR; 06-23-2007 at 01:24 AM.
Join the Buy BWii Campaign and Buy BWii!
Midna is the Twilight Princess.
Some Day 2 action
REPORT: KINGS TO SIGN PREISSING.
THE OTTAWA SUN REPORTS FORMER SENATORS DEFENCEMAN TOM PREISSING HAS AGREED TO A FOUR-YEAR, $11 MILLION CONTRACT WITH THE LA KINGS. THE DEAL ISN'T YET OFFICIAL AS IT HASN'T BEEN FINALIZED.
Spector's Note: Like the reports last night of Ryan Smyth's signing with the Avalanche, this is probably a done deal, given the details of the contract.
BATTAGLIA RE-SIGNS WITH LEAFS.
TSN REPORTS THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS HAVE RE-SIGNED UFA FORWARD BATES BATTAGLIA TO A TWO-YEAR, $1.3 MILLION CONTRACT.
THE LATEST UFA NEWS & RUMOURS.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NEWSDAY: both reported on the prospect of the Rangers re-signing UFA winger Brendan Shanahan in the wake of yesterday's major signings of Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. John Dellapina of the Daily News wonders how the Rangers can fit Shanahan under the cap and believes he might not get the same money as he made last season ($4 million), whilst Greg Logan of Newsday reports Rangers GM Glen Sather expressed his determination to re-sign Shanahan.
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.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Lonnie White reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi was busily working the phones yesterday but was unable to land Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, who was high on Lombardi's wish list.
Spector's Note: Lombardi's getting pilloried by some Kings fans for his inability thus far to land a big name UFA player, but remember, spending a lot of money doesn't guarantee a winner. The Kings must find a good fit for their rebuilding club, and there's still plenty of good talent available at reasonable prices.
NEW JERSEY STAR-LEDGER: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello admitted the loss of Brian Rafalski to free agency was huge but claimed confidence in Andy Greene, Johnny Oduya and Paul Martin.
Spector's Note: Expecting one of those three to step up and fill Rafalski's shoes is a tall order. I suspect Lombardi will be shopping for affordable replacements for Rafalski and for Scott Gomez.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: David Pollak reports Sharks GM Doug Wilson declined to identify the free agents he was pursuing but added he wasn't surprised by the huge contracts Scott Gomez and Chris Drury landed yesterday.
Spector's Note: Hat tip to GJ Berg, who foreward that the Sharks might not land one of the top UFAs like Drury as oft-rumoured. Still, there's plenty of available and more affordable talent out there for Wilson to pursue.
WASHINGTON POST: Tarik El-Bashir reports Capitals GM George McPhee continues to weight offers to other UFA players, the most tantalizing option being Michael Nylander. A source also claimed that McPhee is interested in Alexei Yashin, although the Capitals haven't made him a formal offer and McPhee was unavailable for comment.
Spector's Note: Nylander might not be available but if he is McPhee should try to get him. As for Yashin, stay away, George, stay far, far away. You want a player who'll help build your team, and Yashin ain't it.
MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild have a one-year contract offer on the table for UFA forward Wes Walz. Wild GM Doug Risebrough doesn't want to offer him more than a one-year offer due to Walz's age (37).
TAMPA TRIBUNE: Erik Erlendsson reports Lightning GM Jay Feaster is fishing around for a defenceman and is interested in landing depth forwards.
Spector's Note: Given Feaster's limited cap space he's obviously fishing for minnows.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE/CHICAGO DAILY HERALD: both report Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon is still hopeful of landing a quality UFA centre after signing Yanic Perreault on Sunday to a one-year contract. The Tribune reports Tallon might target Michael Nylander, Robert Lang, Mike Comrie and Michael Peca, while the Daily Herald reports Tallon still remains hopeful of re-signing centre Michal Handzus.
Spector's Note: Nylander may have signed with Edmonton last night, which would leave Lang, Comrie and Peca for Tallon to consider. Handzus's value may have increased after yesterday's signings.
DETROIT NEWS/DETROIT FREE PRESS: report the Wings still hope to have Dominik Hasek re-signed soon and hope to re-sign Todd Bertuzzi, although yesterday's signings might drive up his value. The Wings might re-sign Danny Markov but his value too may have risen. The Free Press suggests the Wings might pass on Bertuzzi if his value rises over $2.5 million per season.
Spector's Note: You can bet Bertuzzi's agent is shopping around to see if he can find a better deal for his client. It remains to be seen if Markov's still an option for the Wings after signing Brian Rafalski yesterday.
BOSTON GLOBE/BOSTON HERALD: reported on potential moves for the Bruins following the opening day of the UFA market. The Herald reports GM Peter Chiarelli might try to sign UFA blueliner Karel Rachunek, who played for Ottawa when Chiarelli was assistant GM there. The Globe meanwhile reports the Bruins have a crowded crease after acquiring Manny Fernandez over the weekend, which could have Chiarelli considering shopping either Tim Thomas or Hannu Toivonen.
Spector's Note: Interesting tidbit about Rachunek, who might make an affordable addition to the Bruins blueline. Of the two goalies, Thomas has the most value but Toivonen could be the guy Chiarelli likely tries to move.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports the Stars were in talks for Jason Blake yesterday but found his price too high. There were also in talks with Paul Kariya and Slava Kozlov.
Spector's Note: Kariya signed with the Blues last night so that only leaves Kozlov, whom the Thrashers are trying to re-sign.
BUFFALO NEWS: Tim Graham reports the Sabres were never in the running to re-sign Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, who signed with Philadelphia and New York respectively Sunday to huge multi-year contracts. Briere admitted his agent last spoke with the Sabres management last Thursday when he rejected the club's five year, $25 million offer, while it's unknown if Drury called the Sabres, who tabled a five-year, $30 million offer to him.
Spector's Note: The loss of Briere and Drury was a huge blow to the Sabres and their fans, the result of management's standing policy of not negotiating contracts during the season. GM Darcy Regier now has to consider diving into the UFA pool for possible replacements, although it's doubtful he'll find players who'll come close to bringing to the Sabres what Briere and Drury did. Still, the Sabres are filled with plenty of good young talent so they're not about to wither and die, but they're not the same team they were over the last two years.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray is believed to have yesterday contacted Bill Guerin, Martin Gelinas, Slava Kozlov and Petr Sykora. Garrioch also reports Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli considered sending an offer sheet to Sens goalie Ray Emery before acquiring Manny Fernandez on Saturday from Minnesota. Sens UFA blueliner Tom Preissing is believed considering offers from San Jose, Colorado and the LA Kings, while the Leafs, Capitals, Devils and Kings are believed to have interest in centre Mike Comrie. Forward Oleg Saprykin's agent said his client won't accept the Senators qualifying offer thus making him eligible for UFA status on July 15th.
Spector's Note: Sykora's now off the market having signed with the Penguins Sunday night. Preissing and Comrie will become more attractive options to teams that are shut out of the bidding for the top UFA talent. It remains to be seen if any team will tender an offer sheet for Emery.
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: Craig Custance reports Thrashers GM Don Waddell had negotiations with his UFA forward Slava Kozlov and remains hopeful of re-signing the veteran forward.
Spector's Note: Waddell has better move fast, as Kozlov is bound to attract more lucrative offers as more of the top free agents are snapped up.
THE TENNESSEAN: John Glennon reports Nashville Predators defenceman Marek Zidlicky has been the center of recent trade rumours but he won't be moving. Glennon points out Zidlicky has a "no-trade" clause in his contract plus GM David Poile is expecting Zidlicky to fill the void left by the trading away last month of Kimmo Timonen.
Spector's Note: Those facts won't stop the rumourmongers from dreaming up fantasy trades involving Zidlicky, but unless he suddenly tells Poile he wants out he won't be dealt.
NEWSDAY: Greg Logan reports Sunday was like a dispersal draft for the NY Islanders, losing forwards Jason Blake, Ryan Smyth and Viktor Kozlov and defenceman Tom Poti to free agency. Logan wonders if the Islanders are willing to pay the price to replace them.
Spector's note: GM Garth Snow faces a daunting task as losing those four key players won't be easy to replace. As one reader suggested the Isles roster now looks like Rick DiPietro backstopping a minor league team.
EDMONTON JOURNAL/EDMONTON SUN: both reported Oilers GM Kevin Lowe tried unsuccessfully on Sunday to land a top UFA forward yesterday, including former Oiler Ryan Smyth. The Journal reports Lowe is expected to re-sign recently acquired RFA defenceman Joni Pitkanen to a one-or-two year contract. Lowe intends to keep shopping today.
Spector's Note: Lowe's inability to sign a big name UFA yesterday did little to dispel the myth that Edmonton isn't a favoured destination of UFA players. There was a report last night however that the Oilers had signed Michael Nylander but there's been no further confirmation as of yet.
CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak reports Flames GM Darryl Sutter wouldn't set a timetable for re-signing captain Jarome Iginla and is awaiting Miikka Kiprusoff's return from Finland before commencing contract extension talks with the netminder. Sutter also shot down a trade rumour involving Flames forward Alex Tanguay heading to Florida for Olli Jokinen, stressing Tanguay's importance to the Flames. Sportak also reports the Flames recent additions of Cory Sarich and Adrian Aucoin likely means Roman Hamrlik and Brad Stuart won't be returning with the Flames.
PALM BEACH POST: Brian Biggane reports Florida Panthers GM Jacques Martin also denied the rumour of a blockbuster deal sending Jokinen to Calgary.
Spector's Note: That was a stupid rumour. The Panthers aren't trading Jokinen, period. And yes, Stuart and Hamrlik are gone, the question now is where they'll sign, a question that could be answered as early as today.
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. said any more moves by his team won't happen until mid-week and might involve a trade. The Leafs yesterday signed winger Jason Blake.
Spector's Note: There's lots of rumours about the Leafs trying to shop Pavel Kubina and Andrew Raycroft, none of them making any sense, so this story will only add fuel to the fire. It'll be interesting to see what JFJ might have up his sleeve.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports Sheldon Souray is still a Canadien but wonders for how long. Jack Todd questioned GM Bob Gainey's willingness to gamble to bring in offensive talent.
Spector's Note: Todd's suggestion/critique is unfair to Gainey, who's tried to land a top UFA forward over the last three summers but has been shut out due to Quebec's high taxes, the fishbowl existence of Habs players in Montreal and in the case of some English UFA players, language. Looks like Gainey may once again have to settle for UFA leftovers if he fails to land a quality second-tier player this week.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers GM Glen Sather attempted Sunday to re-sign centre Michael Nylander but passed when Nylander received offers from rival teams of four years at more than $20 million. Sather instead signed Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to hefty long-term contracts.
Spector's Note: A report last night (see below) claimed Nylander had signed with the Oilers but there's been no further details as of yet.