Big Free Agent Update – June 12, 2010
Zherdev’s contract with the KHL team has ended – Now he is considering a proposal from the NHL. Most likely, there and gone.. It is possible that “Atlanta” will want him but he will have to wait until July 1, when the NHL opens the market of free agents.
Rob Niedermayer would like to play next season, return to Devils; Scott Niedermayer still undecided. Center Rob Niedermayer has decided he would like to play in the NHL again next season and wants to return to the Devils, his agent, Kevin Epp, said today.
After the Devils were eliminated from the playoffs, Niedermayer , 35, said he wanted to take some time to “evaluate what I want to do going forward” as far as playing again or retiring. After doing that, Niedermayer decided he does not want to retire and he’s already had some talks with general manager Lou Lamoriello about re-signing with the Devils.
“He definitely wants to play,” Epp told me. “He’s ready to go and we’ve had a couple of conversations with Lou. I guess Lou’s biggest challenge right now is finding a coach and getting that in order and then go at it from there.”
Niedermayer is scheduled to become an unresricted free agent on July 1 after signing a one-year, $1 million contract with the Devils on Sept. 25—just eight days before the team’s regular season opener. He seems to be in the same boat as the Devils’ other potential free agents, however, waiting for Lamoriello to pick a coach before he moves on to trying to re-sign players before July 1.
Epp said Niedermayer would like to return to the Devils, though, and expressed hope that they could get a contract get done before July 1.
“I think so, if the situation was right,” he said. “The coach has a lot to do with it. He enjoyed playing under Jacques (Lemaire) last year and got a good opportunity. I don’t think things would be different (with the new head coach). He had a good year there. He enjoyed it.”
Niedermayer had 10 goals and 12 assists in 71 regular season games with the Devils, but had no points in five playoff games.
Whitney mulling future
Ray Whitney isn’t ready to switch hockey sweaters yet.
The Carolina Hurricanes winger said Friday that while he hasn’t signed a new contract with the team, as free agency looms on July 1, it doesn’t mean he will be playing for another NHL team next season.
Whitney and Canes general manager Jim Rutherford have not been able to agree on a financial figure. Rutherford said again Friday he doesn’t expect anything to change before July 1 and that Whitney , 38, would become an unrestricted free agent.
Asked Friday if the door has been closed on a return to the Hurricanes, Whitney replied, “Never. Not at all. Who knows what will happen? A lot can happen.”
At the same time, Whitney is a realist, about his situation, about the team’s situation. The Hurricanes are making a big move toward a younger – and less expensive – lineup, and Rutherford on Friday said the decision had been made that Justin Peters would be Cam Ward’s backup at goaltender next season.