Hockey Trade Rumors and News for Aug. 1st

Hudler not rejoining Wings

Bertuzzi looking for work, but not with Flames

Jim Balsillie dropping gloves in NHL battle

Agent: No Progress Between Kessel and Bruins

Hudler not rejoining Wings

Dave Waddell, The Windsor Star

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland denied a Sportsnet report Friday saying forward Jiri Hudler will return to Detroit after an arbiter awarded him a two-year deal worth more than US$5 million.

Holland said he hadn’t got word on the outcome of Thursday’s arbitration hearing in Toronto but said Hudler will play in Russia next season.

“It’s not true,” Holland said. “We’re moving on.

“They’re (Sportsnet) just making up crap. How can they come up with this stuff?

“Deal in the facts. They’re misleading the public.

“Every conversation I’ve had with (Hudler’s agent) Petr Svoboda he’s told me he was playing in Russia. Hudler has publicly announced he’s playing in Russia, so let’s use some common sense.

Bertuzzi looking for work, but not with Flames

Vicki Hall, Canwest News Service

Over the last three months, the veteran NHL forward hasn’t heard a word from the Flames, the team Bertuzzi played for last season, about whether they are interested in bringing him back for a second season.

“They never called me,” Bertuzzi, an unrestricted free agent, said Thursday night from his home near Kitchener, Ont. “No calls from them whatsoever. So obviously, I’m out of their picture.”

The picture became clear in recent weeks as Flames GM Darryl Sutter stocked his cupboard with a new group of younger, cheaper forwards, such as Brandon Prust, Nigel Dawes and Frederik Sjostrom.

“You know what, I’m too old to throw stones anymore,” Bertuzzi said about the silence from the Flames. “You know what? I had a great time there. You know what? The fans were awesome there. Everything about playing there was awesome.

Jim Balsillie dropping gloves in NHL battle

Paul Hunter – Sports Reporter

Canadian Jim Balsillie claims, in do*****ents written and submitted by his lawyers in bankruptcy court yesterday, that “it appears that the NHL has attempted to sabotage the sale process” of the Phoenix Coyotes by freezing him out as a bidder.

Balsillie maintains that his $212.5 million (all figures U.S.) bid “will be found (to be) the highest and best” offer for the team and his exclusion from the bidding, which the NHL is trying to assure through the courts, is because commissioner Gary “Bettman and a number of the governors have a personal grudge” against him.

That’s the inflamed backdrop as a U.S. bankruptcy court will hold an emergency hearing Monday to determine whether it will delay an auction for the Coyotes. That auction for bidders planning on keeping the Coyotes in Arizona was to be held on Wednesday but the NHL and the city of Glendale are pushing to move that process to September.

The two groups interested in buying the team and keeping it in Arizona have requested more time to conduct due diligence and finalize arena negotiations with Glendale.

Agent: No Progress Between Kessel and Bruins

James Murphy

I spoke to Phil Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, on the ride up Thursday night and got the latest on Kessel and his contract negotiations with the Bruins.

“Nothing really new to update,” Arnott said. “I wish I had some new news for you, but there’s really nothing major to report.”

Arnott said that he and Kessel have had some discussions with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli recently, but nothing serious. Both sides have made it clear that they would like to reach an agreement, but unfortunately, that has been about the only common ground found so far.

“We’ve had a few more discussions recently,” Arnett added, “but are we any closer to an agreement? I’d have to say no at this point.”

Interestingly, unlike many, Arnott said that neither he nor Kessel believed the Aaron Ward trade was made as a precursor to re-signing Kessel.

“No not at all,” Arnott said.

So that is where the two parties stand. There were no reports of offer sheets, and while there have been recent rumors of the Islanders and Sharks inquiring about a Kessel trade and the Islanders possibly looking at Marco Sturm, follow-ups have turned up nothing substantial.

As of now, it appears both sides would like to make this work, but the chance is still very real that this might trickle into camp. With Kessel reportedly not due back from shoulder surgery until late November or December, a holdout is very possible. From the Bruins’ stance, Kessel is already out for almost two months into the season, so a holdout during that period would be rendered meaningless on the ice.

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