FA Market in Three Days, Balsillie Loses, Rumor Monger Scout

It’s that time of the year again where the GMs play and the players relax, at least…most of the players. It must be quite a feeling to be a player…say of Ryan Smyth’s caliber and just sit on the couch, looking at the date and say to yourself “Man, in three days I will be destined to become a millionaire.” How about that huh? Anyway, some teams to look at.

Jim Balsillie is apparently losing the bid. Sure, the NHL will risk moving to Kansas City, but who gets the blame?

And….someone replies, via e-mail, from a rumor monger’s Web site. I’ll call him the rumor monger scout who scouted my articles. Geee, I wonder where he came from.Well, here we are waiting for July 1 and the clock to hit 12,00-pm eastern time. I’ve heard a lot of rumors and most of them show:

Gomez, Briere, Drury, Smyth, Souray, Buffalo, Hamrlik, Stuart, Calgary, Rangers, Islanders, Flyers, Montreal, Toronto, LA Kings, Sharks, and Edmonton.

How about Colorado, St. Louis, Phoenix, Columbus, and Minnesota? These teams will definitely be active in the market, same with Atlanta.

Colorado they could bring back Drury, but they’ll look at big name players as big as Briere. Sheldon Souray is someone that could fit in.

St. Louis has gone American as they may try to re-unite Guerin and Tkachuk together with Doug Weight. Drury and Gomez are also US born. The Blues have the money to spend and they are seeking some key players to add as they are hunting the playoffs in 2008.

Phoenix always made interesting acquisitions in the free agent market, expect them to do the same, although they will try to go young and avoid over 30’s players. Of course Gretz is thinking Gomez, still young, and a key center. Yet, they may be interested in Bertuzzi, despite his age as he may be an exception.

Columbus needs to change the look of the team, and expect GM Howson to make a difference. He’ll go via free agency and maybe he wants to pull a biggie with Drury possibly coming in and getting the captaincy role as well. They need help everywhere, so big name or low profile names, Columbus will use a lot of ink.

Minnesota will lose a few free agents, which clears up their budget. They need to refine their offense and put stronger depth on the defense. If they want to go BIG, then I think Jason Blake is their kind of player.

The New York Rangers are making the Big Apple media talk as Michael Nylander has still not signed. Larry Brooks of the New York Post recently wrote a column saying that Slats is in no rush to re-sign Nylander. I recall saying the same thing on a Rangers fan message board a couple of weeks back, or so. And, he is right. I think Michael Nylander does not want to leave New York. I actually give the guy the benefit of the doubt that despite his demand in a salary raise, he wants to remain a Ranger and have success. He can just go for the money and risk of never succeeding again, but I think he will remain a Ranger and Sather knows that, which is why he is taking his time. Slats has more important things to do, such as re-sign Henrik Lundqvist, Sean Avery, and Petr Prucha. Also, the Rangers still need that center and either way, they will go after Scotty Gomez or Chris Drury. Just because one of those two may sign July 1, does not mean that Nylander is replace. Now if you see both of them signed, then yes, Nylander will not come back. I doubt that will happen, but a Double Decker American Sandwich in NYC will draw loads of attention. The Rangers may also seek a left-winger in case they are not too sure of Marcel Hossa, and possibly a defenseman despite having good depth.

The New Jersey Devils may end up losing Brian Rafalski, despite his saying that he wants to remain a Devil. Sure, at what price? $5M per? Ah, ok…see ya. If Scotty Neidermeyer retires before Rafalski signs anything, then I think Brian Burke will take Rafalski. They are also losing Scott Gomez to free agency, which means that they will need a center as depending on two youngsters in Parise and Zajac won’t be so safe. If the Sharks manage to sign Drury, or Gomez, then Patrick Marleau will be under Lamoriello’s radar. I think the Devils may struggle finding free agents to add offense. After a poor showing against the Senators, the Devils offense is in major need of help, and they will have a fair amount of money to spend this year.

The Carolina Hurricanes will look for some improvements as well. Apparently a trade is pending with the Philadelphia Flyers, but that won’t guarantee them anything. They need some improvements, nothing major, but Peter Laviollette may seek Jason Blake, maybe Michael Peca as well.

Dallas Stars may have other plans as nothing has been done yet with Ladislav Nagy. The Stars want some more energy to the line up and Jason Blake could be sought after, possibly Scott Gomez as well. Dallas has been too quiet in recent years, they want to be more competitive and may seek youth as well via free agency.

Don’t be surprised if the Florida Panthers may show some interest in Paul Kariya, who likes the quiet franchise atmosphere, wanted to stay in Nashville but is uncertain as of late. With Vokoun coming over from Nashville, and the Panthers being a young team ready to make the playoffs, Kariya may find himself gaining interest from Martin. Yet, it’s a bit of a long shot idea as Martin said no big name free agents, but added depth, like Todd White, possibly Vik Kozlov.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will continue to play desperate hockey, but not on the ice. GM JFJ needs to put this team in the playoffs and is losing a couple of free agents, possibly. He is definitely pursuing a well known player and will add depth. It’s a crapshoot with the Leafs and you can’t really even make an educated guess. Canadian media mentions anyone or everyone signing with the Maple Leafs, so it’s hard to say.

Here are some guesses of mine regarding free agents:

Smyth: Colorado, Detroit, St. Louis
Drury: Columbus, Los Angeles, Rangers
Briere: Sabres, Flyers, Montreal
Gomez: Colorado, St. Louis, Washington
Souray: Calgary, Colorado, Atlanta
Hannan: Calgary, Dallas, NYI
Stuart: Edmonton, LA
Nylander: Rangers, Flyers, Atlanta
Slava Kozlov: Washington, Detroit, Buffalo
Schneider: San Jose, Detroit, Edmonton
Jason Blake: Columbus, Colorado, St. Louis
Guerin: St. Louis, Anaheim, Montreal
Preissing: Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Atlanta
Bertuzzi: Phoenix, Anaheim, Detroit
Daniel Markov: Phoenix, NJ, Columbus
Nolan: Anaheim, St. Louis, Florida
Hamrlik: Dallas, Montreal, LA
Yashin: Atlanta, Washington, Chicago
White,T: Florida
Belfour: LA, Boston

Feel free to add your own and add more free agents.

Nashville Predators

I like Jim Balsillie’s passion for hockey and his willingness to bring another team to Canada. I am all for it and I am glad he is a Canadian as well. I supported him over the city of Pittsburgh back when the Penguins could have been bought. But ever since he started pulling some odd stunts with the Nashville Predators, the guy has lost some of my support.

People should stop using the Mark Cuban comparison as well because I don’t think Cuban was willing to spend millions of dollars on a team he did not even own. That’s what Balsillie has been doing. I think the sale of fantasy season tickets was a silly idea, and it did not sit well with many people, including Mr. Leipold. Did the guy learn from that? No. A report later on, and a couple of weeks back or so, said that Balsillie wanted a contract with MLSE, ownership of the Maple Leafs, to air Nashville Predator games on Leafs TV this season. Why? Balsillie, you don’t even have a team yet and you’re willing
to spend millions? The guy was skipping too far ahead and I think his antics of spending millions of dollars without much care ridiculed Leipold by saying “Hey, I got SOOOOO much more money than you do, just give it to me”.

Watching Balsillie in this game is like watching a Texan entering an upper society auction with an ugly tuxedo and waiving dollar bills around and bragging about his richness. “This 14th century cup of glass was from King Henry the VIII. The starting bid, $200,000 dollars.” And the Texan (Balsillie) goes “WHAT!? I’ll bid $2 million on that thing and drink my whiskey in it!”

Balsillie pushed too much to a point where he was annoying the NHL, Leipold, who asked Balsillie to fire his lawyer, and other owners. Why?

All that Balsillie had to do was buy this franchise without doing anything crazy. He was the projected buyer and with his antics he was telling the core fan base of the Predators that he was stripping the team from them, he was telling the employees of the organization and the stadium that they will no longer have a job by June 2008. He didn’t have to say a word about Hamilton or Southern Ontario in general. All he had to say, and do, was “I want to buy the Nashville Predators”. But he did not say that. Basically, what he said was “I want to buy the soon to be Hamilton Predators”. It was a dumb thing to do.

Balsillie did not play anything smart here. He was wreck less and careless about this situation. He should have bought the team, that’s it. Once the team was under his name, then he could have done whatever he wanted. But, he overdid it. Did Tom Hicks, who of all sports owners is a mess, ever pull any idiotic moves when buying and moving the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas? No.

Now, I am also blaming the NHL and Bettman here for being way too complicated towards Balsillie. Canada deserves another team, it will help the NHL financially, so do it already. I think that in a couple of years, or five, a team will be on the verge of moving anyway and Balsillie will get his team. Or, now is the time to push for an expansion team on his part. If the guy is willing to spend so much money for marketing, then he should get in touch with hockey fans in Canada and in the USA, and start building a good PR. He should build a stadium or renovate the old one in Winnipeg, and push for an expansion team. But, if a team comes along for sale, the guy better have learned his lesson.

How I would have played it if I were Balsillie?

I would have been optimistic about buying the Nashville Predators and make attempts to improve the market size of the team in Nashville. If approached about relocating the team the answer of “not ruling that idea out” would have been perfect. “Where if possible?” My answer: “Possibly Kansas City, Las Vegas, Portland, or maybe Hamilton. A lot of options.” I would have concentrated on this hockey year. That means, the idea of relocating the team was not going to be talked about at all during the process of buying the team. Balsillie did not just talk about it, he took actions for it. He was thinking about the 2008-2009 Predators.

Mark Cuban was unorthodox in his doings, but he was not this dumb. Sorry Balsillie, you kind of screwed this one up yourself. But, better luck next time and I hope you will bring a Canadian team in the NHL soon enough.

So! As of late, many of you have seen my previous columns take a serious look at Eklund’s rumors, as I have placed some strong doubts about the validity of those rumors. I actually received an e-mail on June 21. Was it Eklund? No, too good to be true. But, it must have been one of his followers who did not find my criticism fair, so he sounded grumpy. Anyway, he did not give out a name and of course I won’t put his e-mail address on here, but here is what “H C” said:

I’ve never visited your site. Never even heard of it actually.

Someone posted your Eklund story over on hockeybuzz so I thought I’d click on the link. Wow, I felt like I was getting hit with grenade shrapnel with all the pop-ups. Anyway, if you don’t believe the rumours to be true, you’ve got Brian Burke to thank.

It was Burkie’s trade deadline diary in the USA Today that made most hockeybuzz readers appreciate all the rumours and speculation.

There’s quite a few supposed deals that didn’t go down in that diary. We’re all thankful Eklund has the inside sources to be able to speak freely about ongoing talks…while guys like you rely on TSN, Sportsnet and Spector’s pages for deals that have already happened. Have fun with that!

Hmmmmm-okay. Never heard of HockeyTradeRumors.com? Go to google.com, or yahoo.com, and type in hockey rumors, or hockey trades, and HTR.com is always listed as #1. Never heard of it? HTR was established in 1996, long before Hockeybuzz. We still remain #1 and twice HTR.com has been on Askmen.com’s top coolest Web sites, for sports web pages anyway, I think.

Wow, I felt like I was getting hit with grenade shrapnel with all the pop-ups.

Yes, true. We have a couple of annoying pop-ups but that’s also because we do not charge our members money for visiting our Web site. We do not charge our members to write their own articles. Trademan is the owner of HockeyTradeRumors.com, and his vision to gather up thousands of hockey fans to share ideas, share thoughts, and contribute to news articles is the foundation of greatness for HTR.com. I rather write columns for free, and satisfy my readers by trying to give well thought-out ideas and opinions that they enjoy. Our articles are Copyrighted, protected, and it’s all thanks to Trademan’s contribution and he pays a price for it too.

Our members are thankful for that, and applaud HTR for what it offers. We don’t need to get paid to have that, sir.

Personally, I do not see a big connection between Eklund and Burke’s diaries.

We’re all thankful Eklund has the inside sources to be able to speak freely about ongoing talks…while guys like you rely on TSN, Sportsnet and Spector’s pages for deals that have already happened. Have fun with that!

Oh, you mean when Eklund reported of a well placed source that had Horton going to Ottawa and Jacques Martin being interested in Gerber? Truth: Martin said he was never interested in Gerber. Truth: I contacted an executive in the Panthers organization that replied saying “Horton will re-sign”. Or recently, Eklund reported that Brandon Shanahan and Scott Gomez have been seen working out together. Here is his quote: “The current line on Scotty Gomez is… There are teams willing to pay $8 million dollars for the guy. He has been seen running with Shanahan, so the Rangers are being speculated.” Truth: Go to John Dellapina’s (New York Daily News) blog where he talked to Shanahan about the report and Shanahan said: ““That’s pretty funny,” Shanahan said from Cape Cod. “I haven’t seen him at all. I heard he was in Alaska. Where do they come up with this stuff?””

Yes, be thankful that you are receiving wrong information while we are having fun reading the truth. I also like how so many of Eklund’s reports for trade rumors on Draft Day came out to be true. How many? A big, wonderful ZERO.

Ok, look folks. I enjoy reading rumors around the hockey media, and what Eklund does is interesting, but to a certain extent where responsibility becomes an issue. I already expressed my feelings towards Eklund’s doings, no need to repeat them. I myself have had sources and have been told some information before it actually happened, but I respect the people that share that information with me, and If anything I ask permission if I can share it. Most of the time I received a “No” for an ans
wer. And you know what? It was fine with me. I remember saying Bobby Holik to the Rangers when he was a free agent, and the infamous HTR member from a few years ago, mantaray, shut me down yet who turned out to be right? Less than a couple of weeks ago I told you guys to expect Nathan Horton to re-sign. I never said a source told me, but that’s what I was told. Who turned out to be right?

So, I respect information that needs to be kept private. It’s their business, not EVERYONE else’s business. My kind of philosophy completely contradicts Eklund’s kind of philosophy, but you know what my fellow hockey fans? I rather share just one piece of information regarding a transaction that I know for sure is true instead of sharing hundreds of pieces of information where possibly 2% turn out to be true.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this piece and HTR will be on High Alert for July 1, 2007, at noon eastern. We’ll have the latest. Like a motto of a news media TV channel says here in the US, “We Report, You Decide”.

Thanks for reading as always,

Micki Peroni

48 Responses to FA Market in Three Days, Balsillie Loses, Rumor Monger Scout

  1. wheresthesoda says:

    Really good piece

    I think the Rangers will go after Gomez more than Drury and I never thought of the possibility of signing Nylander after July 1st because of the fact there are teams that are willing to shell out massive amounts of money. Anyway i really hope they can hold onto him and give Hossa another legitimate shot and hope he does not get injured. I really loved what i saw from him last season when he was playing with Jagr, i know if Ortmeyer played with Jagr he would probably score also but I have faith in Hossa.

    About Eklund, that guy isn't serious right?
    I thought it was like a comic strip or something like that, he's pretty damn funny

  2. habs_punk says:

    Yes, I am very unimpressed with Eklund. I was somewhat on the bandwagon around draft day, it was the first time I had really looked at that site, and it's easy to get caught up in the craziness. I mean, maybe he is just reporting every little thing that he hears, but with the ridiculously low percentage of his rumors that actually result in anything, I'm thinking the large majority is just bullshit. If the Habs pick up Marleau in the next week or two, he might gain a little bit of interest back from me, but who knows.

    There is a place for what he does, it can be fun to look at all these rumors and discuss them. But for him to be charging money for the complete bullshit that he posts is sick. Maybe he keeps his identity hidden so he can't be charged with fraud.

  3. max_fisher says:

    Dude, you really have to let this go.  Your two sites both deal in speculation and rumors and by definition MUST be taken with a grain of salt. It's a little like PEOPLE magazine *****ing about US WEEKLY's sources or content.  What Eklund does is pass on what he hears and speculates on it. His rumors are usually pretty laughable, but thats just it, they're hockey rumors.  He's not claiming he knows a cure for cancer and with a monthly subscription, you can know it too.  I enjoy both sites greatly and visit both several times a day, so keep your cool and stick to speculating on and analysing trades, leave the *****ing to leafs fans.

  4. gocanes0506 says:

    Where did you get your info from?  Jason Karmanos has put salary limit for next year at 44 million.  The Canes have 41.7 in salary.  I do not believe there is a way that JR can sign Blake with 2.3 mil needless to say Blake and Peca.  Also, the Canes need a third line center and I dont think Blake really fits that mold, Peca maybe.  As I have read from the hometown newspaper White, Stumpel(who was just resigned), Zubrus, or maybe Peca are the main targets for the job.  

    They only way I see both signed is if Edmonton is in the 3 way trade and the Canes trade Cole and Wallin.  If so, the expectation Lupul would come to Carolina in that trade.  If not, Carolina would have to get both of Edm's 1st rounders for the 2008 draft and D prospect for Cole.  Then Carolina could sign Blake to a Cole sized contract of 4 mil a year.  I just dont see that happening.

  5. mojo19 says:

    Good stuff Micki. I have to say this was your best article in a long time.

    Also sounds like the hockeybuzz people are a little bit jelous of you. Hahaha.

  6. Penssuck says:

    If i'm not mistaken i also brought up Boyton in phoenix being on the move, and Regher (sp) from calgary.  What happens next?  Rumors about the two.

  7. PTack says:

    HockeyTradeRumors.com 4 life! ***** Hockeybuzz!

  8. markjohnston says:

    who even sees popups anymore anyways?

    firefox just kills all the ads.

    it's 2007 dudes.

  9. habs_punk says:

    Oh ***** off.

    He's charging people money to access certain areas of his site. He's using, if what Mikster is saying is completely accurate, complete bullshit, made up stories (i.e. Gomez running with Shanahan) to pique the interest of hockey fans and get them interested enough to pay him money. If he's making everything up, and claiming that it's all from real sources in order to make money, that is at best very unethical, and at worst fraud.

    My cool is very kept. But let me pose you a question. How do you know his sources are real?

  10. vindictiveb says:

    Everytime I hear that Eklund guy talk it just sounds like he does not know what he is talking about.  Just ask kipper on CTV sports net a couple of times he looked real pissed at him at the trade deadline! and everytime I go on and question him or anybody on is site I get eather banned for three days or i get jumped by 5 or 6 of hes fans….you eather suck hes ass on his site or dont go on!

  11. vindictiveb says:

    The inside source reports that "Eklund" who actually goes by the name Trevor Whitley is no more than a postal room worker for The Hockey News; "Trevor is a good kid, he has good intentions and probably never meant for this to grow to this extent, but what he doesn't realize is that his shenanigans are effecting a lot of young hockey fans who are buying into his lies" said the unnamed source. "What makes it worse is that now it has apparently spread to legitimate news sources"

    Federal investigators have been contacted about the allegations; however they fear that not much can be done. "The web is a completely free source of information" said Doug Janney, Director of Internet Investigations. "It's unfortunate when you have someone twisting the truth in this manner, but unfortunately, that is their God given right. If people choose to believe the rumor, that’s completely on them." This is from a site that I found!

  12. leemon says:

     Great piece expcept for one thing. Balsillie tried to do it  the right way when he tried buying the penguins, Bettman and the BOG were the ones who threw water on the whole thing when it was learned Balsillie wanted a team in canada.What did K.C.'s prospective owners do when the Penguins were in trouble? they offered to buy the team and build a rent free arena for the team to play in.Isn't it also funny that that the Preds are being sold to a man that has another ownership with another team in Sanjose and the arena thats being built in K.C. is by a company who also owns the L.A. Kings. All K.C. did was show a willingness when they say "we think it could work here after all these years".All Balsillie did was prove that it would work in Hamilton by selling out in 2 days.Is that  not what the owner did when he moved the winnipeg  jets to pheonix.and the same with the nordiques.
     Something foul is a foot with the BOG and has Bettman writin all over it. Everyone says that the BOG votes the deal down But they get there direction from Bettman.
     Here's another thought,It took only 8 votes form teams during the lock out to keep it going(because it was writin in Bettmans contract). So there would be no giving in even if the other 22 teams wanted to end the lock out.So the question is, who says that the same thing isn't going on now?So say what you will, Balsillie maybe doing bad business but there is two sides to a sword and Bettman and the BOG is just as guilty.Something very fishy is going on there!

  13. gohabs11 says:

    I think montreal has a good chance of getting briere  hamrlik   schneider    regher   and zubrus(wife wants to come back to montreal read this last week)

  14. mikster says:

    Not information, speculation. The Canes are rumored to make a trade involving Pitkanen, so maybe they will also clear up some salary as it won’t be Wallin for Pitkanen straight up, obviously.

    I did not know about the budget put in place by ownership, thanks for the information and thanks for making a correction. Although Peca would be a nice fit.

  15. mikster says:

    Boynton cleared waivers (shocking i know), and not so sure about Regher….i don’t think he will be traded.

  16. mikster says:

    I managed to find that link, it’s from a blogger so who knows if that is true. But, at least it’s worth keeping just in case 😉 thanks for this post.

  17. mikster says:

    Good points and i would blame the BOG and Bettman. But Balsillie should have been smarter and didn’t have to expose all of his plans and strategy. He only had to make a transaction of buying the Nashvile Predators and make “attempts” to keep them there. Instead, he immediately put forth plans to move them to Hamilton in 2008. It was stupid on his part.

  18. Neely4Life says:

    Something has to be done with Bettman, thats what this has pretty much come down to.  A lone person, writting on a blog isnt going to do anything, but it needs to start somewhere. 

    Lockouts, strikes, bad expansion, relocation, the list goes on.  True hockey fans need to do something to get this guy out of the NHL and into the unemployment line. 

    And now hes just reloacating another failing team in a non hockey market, to a place where they have already had their shot at an NHL team back in the 70's, instead of the moving a team to a place where it will be sold out everynight, for years, before the doors even open. 

    The canadian dollar is almost on par with the american dollar now, and financal experts are now saying the Canadian dollar will be worth more in a few years period.  But i guess the NHL and Bettman are ok with 6 Canadian teams, along with NYR, Detorit and Philly supporting the NHL and the players salaries. 

  19. habsoverserver says:

    Moving from Nashville to KC is a waste.  The strong Canadian dollar is a huge reason a US team should be relocated to Ontario. 

    Ekllund is hockey's version of the pyschic friend's network. 

  20. habsoverserver says:

    i meant psychic.

  21. Kashin says:

    I want either Hannan or Preising to replace the cheater sean hill.

    I still see the isles resigning smyth. blake wont be back and i can see him getting overpayed wherever he goes.

    How about Guerin to SJ. he was happy when he was traded there and he'll probably want to compete for a cup so why would he go back stl over sj.

    i hope everything works out for the nashville predators.

  22. vindictiveb says:

    NP there Mikster!

  23. simplyhabby says:

    No doubt that Basille did shoot off a couple toes with his promos but its a tough pill to swallow that another potential owner with full intention to move a team for less money is being considered.  There are other factors involved that the genreal public will likley never know.

    BTW, I love the rivalry building between the two sites.  I frequent both sites regulary and I must admit, I am intruigued at the rumors put out by EK however, HTR is a much better forum for hockey fans.

    Keep up the great work Micki!

  24. ericthered1961 says:

    firefox sucks!

  25. mikster says:

    Atlanta made a good come back 😉 as did Columbus, Ohio where it used to have the team in Cleveland.

    But i see where you are coming from and i partially agree. Remember, though, that Bettman really helped the economy side of things for the Canadian teams back in 1995 with the equalization program. If it wasn’t for that the Flames, Nucks, and maybe Oilers could have been moved as well.

  26. Neely4Life says:

    Sens too, but he had to have had some forsight there.  2 Candian teams in a league that just had 8 when he took over?? sounds more like a problem for the league, and no so much Canada.  And everyone knew the currency rate wouldnt stay like that forever.

    Ya, the barons, i wasnt even born, how long were they around for a week?  Same with Oakland or California, or w/e u wanna call the ugliest uniforms in all of sports history. 

    Something has to be done, i am not sure what though.  You know the NHL is going to expand to 2 more cities, and its going to kill the league even more, but the owners in Miami, and Pheonix, Carolina, just want the expansion money thats coming to them, to help minimize loses.  Just digging a bigger hole.  The NHL needs to contract 4 teams, and move 2 others to Canadian cities.  26 team league, with 8 canadian teams, gee, pretty much the same look the NHL had before Bettman took over. 

  27. ranger_fan says:

    How long will the CDN dollar be strong though? I remember just a few years ago I could get 45% exchange rate.

  28. LEAFSLEAFSLEAFS1967 says:

    I'm not sure why you think that NONE of those big free agents will be going to Toronto. While I agree that Canadian media overdoes it by stating every FA as coming to the leafs, you can't honestly say the leafs aren't a front runner for one of those players. According to the TSN the cap should hit about 50 million for this season, which while i think is ridiculous isn't going to hurt the leafs. This will give us about 7 million to spend. With 7 million they can probably put up just as much money as other teams will for MOST of these free agents.

  29. HabsRUs says:

    LOL at this site being better than Hockeybuzz.com!!!!

    Micki, you just wrote a great article and I truely believe that you're a great writer. I even think that you're better than most Hockeybuzz writers.

    However, this site doesn't come NEAR Hockeybuzz in the quality category. I agree than Eklund's rumors are usually BS (although some are true), but that site isn't only about eklund. You have some very intelligent writers who blog about their favorite teams such as Garth, Tim, Al, Eric, Gus and so on. Most of these guys attend games, follow the teams, and even talk with NHL players in person. Many of these bloggers have the scoop on their teams.

    I mean, seriously Dude, do you honestly believe that this site is better than Hockeybuzz? lol. Come on Micki, you are a great writer, but look at some of the other BS posted here from guys like LeafyMaleaf (or whatever his name is). These guys are in their early teens and just write stuff which has no thought or purpose, and HTR actually posts this stuff.

    Micki I agree with most things you say, but you are wayyyyyyyyyyyy off on this one. I like this site and think it's very fun, which is why I come here…. But #1? I think its a shame for you to put some of these writers at Hockeybuzz down so low as the guys here. I mean, theres about an average 20-30 year age difference between the writers of both sites. Some guys here don't even have pubes for Christ sakes!

    And the part about typing in Google just doesn't make sense at all. If you type in "Hockey Rumors" then obviously the site with "hockeyrumors" in its address would come up first. Now thats not "always" the case but as you said, this site was created first.

    I just want to note that I'm not shooting down your site here, I really like it. Im just comparing it to hockeybuzz, and in my opinion, there is no comparison.

    I really think you should drop your case on this one Micki, because there is no argument there. Anybody who frequently uses both sites would think you're comments are hilarious regarding this matter. It would even make the site look bad.

    I agree, Eklund is wrong 99% of the time regarding rumors, but there are some damn good writers on that site. One of Eklund's articles gets about 600 comments, so how can you say this site is much better? Wouldn't most people flock to the best site? Or do they just skip over "HTR" in the search engine because they don't like the name?

    Most mature fans want to view a mature site. On hockeybuzz, I can read an excellent, thought out article, and have an interesting conversation at the end with mature hockey fans.
    When I make a comment on this site, people are saying stuff like "STFU you idiot", "you don't know hockey", "the crabs suck" and stuff like that. On hockeybuzz, if somebody acts like an idiot and bashes a writer, he is banned for a month.

    BTW, about 75% of rumors here start off by saying, "according to Eklund on Hockeybuzz.com"

    So how is this site so much greater, when the rumors come from hockeybuzz? For example, the Marleau to Montreal situation thats been brought up here many times. That rumor came directly from Hockeybuzz, as did the Smyth to Toronto one.

    I am yet to read an article on Hockeybuzz that starts off by saying "according to HTR….."

    Anyways, nice article Micki. I just think you should leave this matter alone

  30. markjohnston says:

    uh…well said (?)

  31. AHLoldie says:

    I hate to tell you this but 5 of the 6 Canadian teams lost money this year.  Four of them lost more than 8 Mil each.  It will get worse next year with a higher cap.  It has nothing to do with the Canadian dollar, it is the size of the TV markets.

  32. Pony says:

    Not that Im disagreeing but Id like to see a link. I find it hard to beleive one of Montreal and Toronto lost money last season. Espcially Toronto who Bettman called the most financially sound team in the NHL.

    If this is true back it up with some linkage.

  33. Neely4Life says:

    1/3 of the leagues rev is generated by the 6 canadian teams. Ottawa made it to the finals, and ur sayin they lost money?  Montreal and Toronto NEVER lose money.  I find it hard to believe that Vancouver lost money, as well as Calgary. both were sold out pretty much every night.  Edmonton maybe.  Send me the link too, im dying to see this. 

    And if 5 of the 6 lost money, what markets brought in so much money?  You have Philly, NYR, Detroit, maybe minnisota, Pitts might have helped, Colorado, and ya, thats about it.  Your full of shit buddy, might wanna stop posting bullshit like this.

  34. Atomic_Wedgy says:

    I haven't seen a pop up or an banner ad in years….

  35. AHLoldie says:

    Read Forbes Magazine.  I meant to say 2005-06 season, not the just past season.  Calgary lost a ton of money, as did Ottawa and Edmonton.  You guys keep bringing up the fact that these teams are playing to sell-out crowds.  This will generate about 37Million tops, or enough to cover salaries.  What about other expenses?  What do you think one charter airline flight costs?  They make over 30 of these flights a year in the East.  The West could be even more.  Front office and scouting costs are in the millions.  Rental and advertising is in the millions.  The TV markets in all but two cities in Canada generate little revenue.  This is why Winnipeg and Quebec lost their teams.  The league is not stupid.  They will put minor league teams in small market cities, but not an NHL franchise.  As for a link, I don't have one.  Search Forbes Magazine for data on NHL losses by team.  The article was in 2006.

  36. Neely4Life says:

    so, all of the sudden its just 3 teams?? and i did look at the forbs for 2005/2006

    This is the opperating income for all 6 canadian teams.
    Toronto 41.5 mil
    Montreal 17.5 mil
    Edmonton 10.7 mil
    Ottawa 4.2 mil
    Calgary 2.3 mil
    Vancouver 1.1 mil

    So, where are the loses there?? please, show me!! And wait, i do have a link, surprise, actualy fact to back up my statement!

    Now again, stop posting your bullshit.
    So, now tell me, where are the loses there??

  37. rojoke says:

    I've got theory about Eklund.

    Eklund isn't a single person.  Eklund is actually Bruce Garrioch, Al Strachan and Larry Brooks.  That's the reason why the Eklund on Sportsnet's trade deadline coverage was never actually seen.  It was some Rogers intern reading the site.

  38. AHLoldie says:

    The link you supplied is from November of 06, the article I was referring to was from 2005.  Also the operating income for these teams is not from the hockey team alone.  Let me explain…The Leafs own Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment which owns the Leafs, the Raptors of the NBA & the Air Canada Centre.  They maximize their revenue by keeping their building among the busiest in the world.  All of this income is not from the Leafs.
    Now for the Montreal Canadiens…They own the Bell Centre and the owner borrowed $240 Mil in 2005, and received a $72Mil dividend which boosts their average operating income over the next ten years.  Their current debt is at 104% of their estimated worth.  This is the highest debt in the league.
    I'll throw one more at you.  Things got so bad in Vancouver that they went to Pay per view for some games to show a profit.
    You can play with figures all you want but in the final analysis only 3 or 4 teams will make money.  The list you linked shows the Pens as making money when in reality they lost close to $7 Million on the hockey operations.

  39. vindictiveb says:

     bashes a writer, he is banned for a month

    So what do you call that???????????????????????

    HAHAHA…..Not freedom of speech! that is for sure!

  40. HabsRUs says:

    No, I bash writers on that site too.. But in a sensible way

  41. Neely4Life says:

    well, if u were lookin at 2005, that was before the lockout, so you have made absolutly no point.

  42. mikster says:

    Fair comments and thanks for the compliments.

    I did not initiate any comparisons between HTR and Hockeybuzz. They are two completely categories and Eklund also gets broadcast coverage, so obviously his site gets a much bigger audience. Hockeybuzz has a different structure than HTR, so there is no comparisons.

    However, when someone tells me that we have to depend on TSN and whatever, i fairly reply that “yes, we depend on what is the truth, not speculation”. We’re not going to sell members guesswork as his web site does.

    As for the google and yahoo searches, it was a reply towards H C’s statement that he never heard of HockeyTraderumors. This web site falls into the category of hockey rumors or trades, news…and when people search for that kind of web site, they get HTR.com as #1 on Yahoo and Google. Hockeybuzz also shows as a result, but not #1.

    And, we rarely consider Eklund rumors. I don’t see how you came up with 75%. Once in a while Hockeybuzz gets posted on here, but strictly considered as speculation.

    We may be smaller…we may not be “as good”, but we are for the average hockey fan and we certainly don’t ban hockey fans who criticize us unless they use excessive foul language in their criticism.

    I won’t leave the matter alone because i am not trying to make HTR better than Hockeybuzz. My case is trying to see what Eklund’s motives are and if it turns out that i can accuse fraud…..then i will take action.

  43. AHLoldie says:

    Boy are you thick!  2005-2006 was before the article and after the lockout.

  44. GlenSather says:

    Lol LArry Brookes spreads rumors through the New York Post using his own name. Why would he have to pose as Eklund?

  45. Neely4Life says:

    wow, u just said 2005, now its 05/06, and at first it was last year.  I gave the link for the 05-06 numbers from forbs.  Why am i even responding, you have absolutly no clue.

  46. HabsRUs says:

    fair enough

    But like I said, I really like this site aside from a few writers here.

  47. mojo19 says:

    AHLoldie, I just read that whole arguement/discussion. I suggest you re-read the things you said because your story changed about 5 times. You made very little sense and none of your points seem valid. Sorry have to give this to Neely

  48. habsoverserver says:

    the canadian dollar is strong becuase canada's economy is based on natural resources that are in very high demand.  the us dollar continues to slip against every other currency – the euro, the canadian dollar, the yen and even south american currencies. 

    this trend started in 2001 and shows no sign of changing.

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