NHL News and Rumor Roundup – June 14, 2009

Leafs GM Burke ‘wants and expects’ Fletcher to be back

With Jay walking, Panthers desperate to deal defenceman before losing him for nothing

Koivu done in Montreal?

Leafs GM Burke ‘wants and expects’ Fletcher to be back


Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is not about to trade Trader Cliff in for a newer model.
Burke said yesterday that his plan is to bring former Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher back, likely as the club’s senior adviser, and expects to ink Fletcher to a new deal as soon as possible.

“The deal’s not done, but I want and expect him back (next season),” Burke said.
The deal with Fletcher won’t be difficult to finalize. Reached yesterday by Sun Media, Fletcher said he would be more than happy to remain with the organization and expects to do so.

“Toronto is home for me. I have a daughter and son-in-law and grandkids and tons of friends here,” said Fletcher, who was first hired by the Leafs as GM in 1991 and rehired as interim GM on Jan. 22, 2008, before stepping aside last fall when Burke was brought in.

“If Brian wants me to remain in Toronto, then I’m looking forward to it. I have told people that I have no interest in going with any other team at this stage.”

That, despite the fact that Cliff’s son, Chuck, was hired as the GM of the Minnesota Wild last month and Joe Nieuwendyk, who was considered Fletcher’s protege, recently became the Dallas Stars GM.


With Jay walking, Panthers desperate to deal defenceman before losing him for nothing


One of the first players on the move before the June 26-27 draft could be Panthers defenceman Jay Bouwmeester.
League sources say the looming unrestricted free agent has already told the Panthers he won’t return. Now Florida is pressing hard to trade the blueliner.

“The Panthers just want to get something done,” a league executive said yesterday. “They don’t want to let him walk away for nothing.”

The price for Bouwmeester’s rights could be as high as a first-round pick.

That, combined with fitting his salary under the cap — Bouwmeester made $4.875 million (all terms US) this past season, but will almost certainly get a big raise — could put him out of range for a lot of teams.

The Flyers would like to fit him in despite their cap issues. One option to clear space for Bouwmeester is moving winger Joffrey Lupul. He will make $2.9 million next season before a four-year, $17-million extension kicks in.
The Oilers, Canucks, Flames and Senators could also make a push for Bouwmeester.


Koivu done in Montreal?


It would appear C Saku Koivu’s days with the Canadiens are finished. The Habs’ captain will likely test the UFA market, although talk has resurfaced that he’s going to pack his bags for Minnesota to play with brother Mikko. The Habs, meanwhile, are trying to sign D Mike Komisarek and RW Alexei Kovalev. Komisarek is expected to test the market, while Kovalev is expected to stay in Montreal … The Stars’ hiring of coach Marc Crawford has left hockey types mystified. Crawford coached Team Canada at the 1998 Olympics, when he selected the likes of Joe Nieuwendyk (now his boss in Dallas) ahead of Wayne Gretzky in the shootout during the semi-final loss to the Czech Republic.


5 Responses to NHL News and Rumor Roundup – June 14, 2009

  1. cam7777 says:

    I know it was just Garrioch who reported it, but anyone who pays a 1st round pick for the rights to Jay Bouwmeester is a complete retard.  The guy is going to listen to all offers on July 1st.  If you are a team that can afford him, simply tender him an offer then.

    These teams that are supposedly interested, like Philadelphia, should focus more on making the room to fit someone like him into their roster, and less on trying to acquire his useless rights.  In all honesty, I think the guy is going to listen to offers on July 1st regardless of who is foolish enough to give florida a 1st round pick. 

    Also, Lupul does not make 2.9 million next year; his extension begins next season and he will be making 4.25 million.

  2. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    If I am Paul Homgren I would pay a pick and a cap-clearing player assuming Bouwmeester will sign a long term deal to play in an orange jersey (I think FLA's are red).

    Bouwmeester's agent knows what he is worth. He also knows that it is a DEEP recession and that if he can get a VERY strong (9 out of 10 on a scale of 1-10) deal done without testing the open market – why not take it. 
    If the deal is weak – then Bouwmeester should test the open market. If FLA will take Lupul's salary then Bouwmeester's agent has all of the power in the negotiation as in UFA there is no guarantee that Lupul can be moved. Where to? Phoenix? Who is just going to take the player off your hands? Why not wait for him to be waived but then again that's not enough cap room. 
    Its better to do it now for all parties involved.
  3. jonnygf40 says:

    I was just going to say the same thing about Lupul's contract.

  4. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Florida could trade J-Bo's rights for a conditional pick.  For example, trade him for a fourth rounder if J-Bo walks but if he signs a contract with his new team then it becomes a higher pick, but even then a first rounder might be a bit steep.

    Can anyone see players like J-Bo and Havlat signing short term deal for lower money to play with a team that has a better shot at winning the Cup next year, a la Hossa last year?  For example, J-Bo signs in Pittsburg for two years making $5 million per year.  He gets to play with two of the best players in the world and gets a legitimate shot at the Cup next year.  When the recession is done he's a UFA again and can go for a longer term deal worth the big bucks.

    Anyone see that happening?

  5. njpenguins08 says:

    Trying to predict who is going to win the cup the season before is pretty difficult to do. You may have a decent idea of who will be a contender but there are no guarantees. Take Hossa, who left the Penguins to lose to them in the finals. If I was J-Bo, I would just take the top offer. Keep in mind that the only effect of the recession is that the salary cap did not go up. Hopefully it stays where it is. I don't think it will have a large impact on signing players with the cap in place. If it was going to, the cap would probably be lowered. If he is offered a long term deal, he will probably take it. If he gets more money though in a shorter deal, he will probably take the highest amount offered. At least I would….a lot of teams are tied down by the cap this season so there will be more movement in following seasons, so it will be difficult to predict who will be successful in the long-term.

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