June 8 Rumor Roundup

Phoenix Coyotes’ mess heads to court

Long line for vacant GM position in Florida

The goalie roulette continues for Flyers

Hawks winger presents long-term solution to Crosby line dancePhoenix Coyotes’ mess heads to court

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star reports that

It’s a mess that could blow up in the NHL’s face in court tomorrow, according to one legal expert who believes Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has a strong enough case to win because his offer of $212.5 million (all figures U.S.) for the team ought to carry a lot of weight with Judge Redfield Baum.

“(If) Judge Baum is focused on helping creditors, (it) means Balsillie should win,” says Penn State law professor Stephen Ross. “But many judges are reluctant to challenge the tradition of sports, which helps the NHL.”

Scatchard is listed as an unsecured creditor, meaning he’d be among the last in line to collect money from the sale of the team. He’s in the same category as Coyotes coach and minority owner Wayne Gretzky, who is owed $9.3 million in deferred compensation.

The money due Scatchard is listed as a debt by the team because he was bought out by the Coyotes for $2.1 million in 2007.


Long line for vacant GM position in Florida

Jim Matheson, Canwest News Service reports

Agent Bryon Baltimore wouldn’t be surprised if Bouwmeester’s negotiating rights were dealt to another club (Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montreal and Vancouver appear to be possibilities) for a player and/or high draft picks shortly before the free-agent doors open July 1.

Philadelphia would have to unload Daniel Briere first, however, and at a salary-cap hit of $6.5 million US for four more years – that’s a big gulp for anybody.

The Los Angeles Kings were close to signing Briere, along with the Habs, two years ago and that will be revisited because of the connection between Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and Kings GM Dean Lombardi and his assistant Ron Hextall. Lombardi used to be a pro scout for the Flyers and Hextall played and worked for them.
Wild look to deal Harding

Minnesota has targeted four teams – the Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers – to try and trade backup goalie Josh Harding, who had a 2.21 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 19 games in the 2008-09 season.


The goalie roulette continues for Flyers

The names in just my time with the Flyers could be inserted in any of the aforementioned story angles. Some of the bigger targets in this were Roman Cechmanek, Brian Boucher, Robert Esche, Jeff Hackett, Antero Niittymaki and, for the last 2 years, Marty Biron.

They came in accompanied by big headlines, they became stories unto themselves, and went out accompanied by big headlines.
And here we go again.

Sometime this week the Flyers will officially announce what has become common knowledge, that the current answer in net, Biron, is going to be replaced by the next big answer in net.
His name is Ray Emery.

The Flyers and Emery have come to terms on a deal that reportedly will pay him $1.5 million for 1 year. The deal can’t be signed until July 1, when free agency starts. But the team is expected to announce the deal sooner.
It means the end of Biron’s time as a Flyer, and another player – a goalie – the Flyers are going to take a chance on.


Hawks winger presents long-term solution to Crosby line dance

Bruce Garrioch reports that

DETROIT — The Penguins’ search to find Sidney Crosby a permanent linemate will start up again in the off-season.
It could wind up in the Windy City.

While there’s a good chance that looming unrestricted free-agent winger Martin Havlat will stay with the Blackhawks, he could be the long-term solution for Penguins GM Ray Shero.
The solution was Marian Hossa coming into this season, but he went to the Red Wings, where he felt he had the best chance to win a Stanley Cup.

So Shero went the trade route, acquiring Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin at the deadline to fill the void beside Crosby, but only on a temporary basis.

Havlat, coming off a standout season while making $6 million (all terms US), would be one of the most sought-after free agents on the market. His No. 1 choice is to stay with the ‘Hawks, but will test the market if he can’t get an 8-10-year deal.

While health has been an issue for Havlat, he didn’t sustain any injuries this past season while recording 29 goals and 48 assists in 81 games.

Several other teams could make a pitch for Havlat.

The Senators might consider bringing back the rejuventated winger, but would have to move salary (such as those of C Chris Kelly, D Jason Smith and others) while Minnesota, Vancouver and Edmonton would also show interest.