July 1, 2009 – Free Agent Day – Rumors and News

Wild puts watchful eye on Koivu’s big brother

Chicago Blackhawks reach out and text Havlat

Red Wings wait for answer from Marian Hossa; other forwards could be leaving Detroit, tooWild puts watchful eye on Koivu’s big brother

MICHAEL RUSSO, Star Tribune

If Jukka and Tuire Koivu had their way, oldest son Saku would be signing with the Wild by roughly 11:01 a.m. today.

If only it were that simple.

The Wild, in need of a second-line center behind Mikko Koivu, is expected to try and unite the Koivu Bros. during free-agency, which begins this morning.

But Mikko Koivu said Tuesday that doesn’t mean Saku, the longtime captain in Montreal, automatically will sign on the dotted line.

“It would be a great opportunity and something special for sure, but there’s a lot of things that he has to figure out with his family, and honestly, me,” Koivu, 8 1/2 years younger than his brother, said by phone from Turku, Finland. “We’ve talked about it, and it would be something special.

“Obviously first he has to see what kind of offer he’s going to get from different teams and figure out the best options. There’s not a lot I can tell you right now, to be honest, but I’m sure by the end of the week, we’re going to know some more and see where he’s going to go.”

With Marian Gaborik’s Wild career likely having reached the end, the Wild must figure out a way to acquire a top-line forward.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/49556237.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUqCP:iUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aU7DYaGEP7vDEh7P:DiUs

Chicago Blackhawks reach out and text Havlat

Chris Kuc | Tribune reporter

With his signature on the dotted line and five years in a Blackhawks sweater ahead of him, Dave Bolland now hopes he’ll be reunited with Martin Havlat, his linemate for much of the 2008-09 season.

Bolland’s five-year contract worth a reported $16.8 million was approved by the league Tuesday, along with fellow restricted free-agent forward Jake Dowell’s two-year deal and goaltender Antti Niemi’s one-year contract.

With those contracts completed, Hawks GM Dale Tallon shifted his focus to retaining unrestricted free agent Havlat and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin before they hit the open market when NHL free agency begins Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Havlat finished his contract worth $6 million per season and has expressed a desire to return, and Tallon has stated he would like the high-scoring winger back. Tallon and Havlat’s agent, Allan Walsh, are trying to work out a deal that would allow the 28-year-old veteran to return without handcuffing the Hawks under the salary cap.

“To have [Havlat] come back would be awesome,” said Bolland, who had a career-high 19 goals and 28 assists while centering for Havlat and Andrew Ladd for the bulk of the season. “Havlat was one of the key guys and is a tremendous hockey player.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-01-hawks-jul01,0,2032632.story


Red Wings wait for answer from Marian Hossa; other forwards could be leaving Detroit, too

by Ansar Khan

DETROIT — When the dust settles from this year’s free-agent frenzy, the Detroit Red Wings could part ways with as many as four forwards who played for them during the postseason — Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler and Tomas Kopecky.

At least two or three won’t be back, perhaps all of them.

So when NHL free agency begins Wednesday, the Red Wings could be in the market for a forward or two.

But they don’t have much money to spend. They have 19 players signed — including nine forwards — for roughly $53.5 million. The salary cap for 2009-10 is $56.8 million.

That leaves about $3 million to spend on three forwards. Hossa alone would cost them between $4 million and $4.5 million a year — if he accepts their take-it-or-leave-it offer of a long-term deal.

General manager Ken Holland said Monday that he is not in a position to negotiate with Hossa. He is waiting for a response from Hossa’s agent, Ritch Winter. The deadline is noon Wednesday, when free agents can begin talking with other teams.

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2009/06/red_wings_wait_for_answer_from.html