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

STEVE BUFFERY OF SUN MEDIA REPORTS

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.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/06/13/9784896-sun.html

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

BRUCE GARRIOCH OF THE TOROTO SUN REOPORTS THAT

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.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/06/13/9784911-sun.html


Koivu done in Montreal?

BRUCE GARRIOCH OF THE TOROTO SUN REOPORTS THAT

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.

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/06/13/9784911-sun.html


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