July the 4th, 2009 – NHL News and Rumors Roundup

Sundin saga II? Just as long as it’s not like last year

Leafs contend with tampering twitter over Sedin signings

Hawks may have goofed

Kessel-to-Leafs deal is off the table


Sundin saga II? Just as long as it’s not like last year

By Jim Jamieson, The Province

Agent says Big Swede not expected to make up mind until end of month

Based on how Day 1 of free agency unfolded, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis is talking seriously about trying to bring 38-year-old Mats Sundin back for another season.

The kind of eye-popping deals being signed over the course of the day, with the dollar figures and terms being thrown around, simply didn’t fit with Gillis’s salary cap management model.

With all the blue-chip forwards — both real and imagined — having been signed on Wednesday, it leaves the Canucks to look at other options. And, that’s where Sundin comes in.

Some in Canucks Nation will be groaning at this prospect, but take a look at it from Gillis’s perspective.

Sundin is a known quantity here, he’s immensely respected in the dressing room, he’s established some chemistry on the ice, and presumably he’d sign for less than the $5.36 million he received for half a season’s work.

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Sundin+saga+Just+long+like+last+year/1754891/story.html

Leafs contend with tampering twitter over Sedin signings

Jason Botchford, The Province

For a couple of days now, Internet message boards have been humming with amateur sleuths who have been trying to determine if the Toronto Maple Leafs should be investigated for tampering with the Sedin twins.

Even if most media have ignored this story, they are not alone.

Privately, team execs have been wondering the same thing. Did Leafs coach Ron Wilson breach NHL bylaws on a Toronto radio show when he suggested his team was targeting the Sedin twins a day before the start of free agency?

“I heard what he said and it seems to be a clear-cut case of tampering. He basically tells those two free agents: ‘Hey, we’re coming for you, wait for us,’” one NHL executive said. “There’s not a question in my mind. It could have left the Canucks high and dry. Look at what he said, then look at what (Leafs GM) Brian Burke did. He flew to Sweden.”

On June 30, Wilson was on Prime Time Sports, hosted by Bob McCown on The FAN590 in Toronto. He was asked an abstract question about the difference between North American and European players. Wilson quickly got off track, turned his attention toward the twins. He implied the Leafs planned to go after the Sedins on July 1 when they were scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Leafs+contend+with+tampering+twitter+over+Sedin+signings/1754907/story.html

Hawks may have goofed

Tribune news services

The NHL and NHLPA are investigating whether the Blackhawks correctly filed qualifying offers to several key players, including Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Ben Eager and Troy Brouwer, TSN reported Friday.

If the offers are ruled invalid, the players could be deemed unrestricted free agents.

One source told TSN the players involved didn’t receive the necessary notification of the offers. The NHL is trying to determine whether the situation was remedied in time. Hawks GM Dale Tallon said the qualifying offers were mailed to the players in time — on June 29 — but said because of the July 1 Canadian holiday, some of the players didn’t receive them in time.

Additional sources said qualifying offers are not supposed to be mailed. Tallon said fax copies of the offers were sent to the league, so he doesn’t anticipate any significant fallout. But sources said some of the offers were not faxed to the agents.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-04-nhl-bits-jul04,0,5968645.story

Kessel-to-Leafs deal is off the table

By STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is not about to book Phil Kessel a flight to Toronto.

Burke reported yesterday that a deal between the Leafs and the Boston Bruins, which would have seen Toronto defenceman Tomas Kaberle head to Boston for the high-scoring Kessel, is not on the table anymore, at least not at this point.

In fact, Burke added that interest in Kaberle’s services, once very high, has cooled down.

Kessel, 21, is a restricted free agent, meaning that the Bruins can match any offer sheet he receives from other NHL clubs, and reportedly is looking for something in the neighbourhood of $5 million US. The Bruins, however, quickly are running out of cap space and probably would have to deal some players to keep him. If not, a trade with the Leafs may again become a possibility.

Kessel, a native of Madison, Wis., led all Bruins with 36 goals last season (the only Beantowner to score more than 30) and added 11 points in 11 playoff games. Kessel has been criticized for his defensive game, but was plus-23 under head coach Claude Julien.

The deal between the Leafs and Bruins fell apart over a miscommunication, that is, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli thought that Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2009 draft (seventh overall) was part of the swap. Burke said it never was.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/07/04/10020991-sun.html