Kovalchuk to the Kings is inching closer. Emphasis on inching.
It sounds like Modano will be a Red Wing this season. If Todd Bertuzzi can play for Calgary, anything is possible, but this will take some getting used to.
Elliotte Friedman's final 30 Thoughts of the season is posted. Arguably the best read in hockey.
Michael Russo breaks down the Koivu signing.
Isles give Schremp a one-way deal. Where does he slot in? Second line center? Second line left wing?
The top six situation on Long Island is interesting. Do they split up Tavares and Okposo?
Pavol Demitra is off to the KHL. He still has the talent to be a top-six forward at the NHL level, but no team was willing to take the risks that come with him. It's too bad Slovakia doesn't have a team in the NHL...
I could see Blake Comeau sliding in with Tavares and Moulson, and then Schremp centering Bailey and Okposo on the second unit. Bailey has looked infinitely better on the wing thus far in his NHL career.
New Jersey signed a few depth players yesterday. One interesting contract to me - defenseman Tyler Eckford. He signed a two-way deal for the same money at the AHL level as he made last season, and even less at the NHL level. Does he have a bad agent, or does he believe he has a good shot at cracking the top six in New Jersey?
I assumed he was headed back to Russia but that doesn't appear to be the case. Anton Khudobin signed a one-year, two-way contract with Minnesota yesterday. I guess he is waiting for the inevitable Harding trade to happen...
The Bruins locked up fourth line center Gregory Campbell yesterday to a two year deal. Campbell, like most of Boston's other players, received a very nice salary figure ($1.1 million per). Peter Chiarelli now has to either dump Marc Savard or find a taker for Michael Ryder if he wants to bring Blake Wheeler back.
There is also no cap space for Tyler Seguin at the moment. I have absolutely no idea how Chiarelli still has a job. I'd say the Kessel trade bought him some time, as did Tuukka Rask exploding on to the scene.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard is exercising but there is no timetable for a return yet.
Lots of players are signing two-way contracts as arbitration approaches. The key to look for is to catch the ones who sign one-way deals. I'll have a lot more on one-way contracts to watch for in the Fantasy Guide, out on August 1st.
Stay tuned for some awesome articles over the coming weeks. Mike Colligan and yours truly will be debating all things fantasy hockey in a multi-part article series titled “The Business of Fantasy Hockey.”
The Minnesota Wild paid a premium to re-sign captain Koivu yesterday. His shiny new seven year extension carries an annual cap it in excess of $6 million. It is slightly above market value for one of the game’s best two-way centers.
Having a few above-market value contracts isn’t the end of the world, but looking through Minnesota’s roster on Cap Geek, I can only see ONE contract that is below market value (Brunette).
All of the stories of recent 1st round picks having great prospect camps are well and good, but I want to see a report that says a 2010 1st round pick has looked brutal/miserable/horrible/awful. There is no such thing as a bad draft pick within the first few months, but they can't all be great picks...
You simply cannot build a winning team by building through free agency and/or paying everyone at or above market value.
Koivu is a better player than his statistics indicate. He has the potential to hit 80-85 points if he gets better wingers than Brunette and Miettinen, which won’t be happening any time soon, as the Wild’s prospect situation is bleak.
Chris Bourque signing with the KHL was confirmed yesterday. Washington wasn’t willing to give him a one-way deal.
Colorado is stacked on the back end from an offensive standpoint. Liles is the current PP QB. Shattenkirk should take over within the next few years. Elliott, Gaunce, Cohen, and Barrie are all looking like really good prospects as well. I don’t see Liles sticking around in Colorado much longer than another year, and it will be interesting to see who emerges as the next offensive star.