NHL News and Rumors – August 28, 2009

CLOCK TICKS ON RANGERS’ KESSEL BID

Luongo, Canucks both want contract extension settled by start of training camp

Ice time for Forsberg

SILLINGER HANGS UP HIS SKATES

CLOCK TICKS ON RANGERS’ KESSEL BID

MARK EVERSON

Time is running short for the Rangers to renew their interest — and for the Devils to jump into the bidding — with trade talks said to be heating up elsewhere for Boston’s Phil Kessel.

The Bruins have no cap space left to accommodate the $5 million salary their restricted free agent commands, and would have to dismantle their team to fit him by Oct. 1, when all teams must be under the $56.8 million cap.

The Rangers are believed to have talked seriously with the Bruins about trading for Kessel, but not lately. At least two other teams are believed to have stepped up their bidding of late. Kessel is rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery, but may be ready to skate when camps open next month.

A righty center/right wing, Kessel led the Bruins with 36 goals last season, despite missing 12 games, and stood plus-23. He went 6-5-11 and plus-7 in 11 playoff games for Boston. He won’t turn 22 until Oct. 2.

Once Oct. 1 passes, the Bruins would be unable to match any Group 2 offer sheets, and would thus receive draft-pick compensation for Kessel. For salaries between $4.520 million and $6.026 million, compensation is a first-, second- and third-round pick. Fifth overall in 2006, Kessel is the Bruins’ highest pick since they grabbed Joe Thornton first overall in 1997.

Kessel would fill a major need for either the Rangers or the thus-far uninvolved Devils, both in serious need of a No. 1 center — one with blazing speed, a major scoring touch and defensive skills, as well.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08282009/sports/rangers/clock_ticks_on_rangers_kessel_bid_186901.htm

Luongo, Canucks both want contract extension settled by start of training camp

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has set a deadline of Sept. 12 on contract talks with the team … and general manager Mike Gillis wants a deal done by then, too.

The 30-year-old stopper is in the final year of a four-year, $27-million US contract. He’ll earn $7.5 million in 2009-10.

“We’re trying to get it done before camp,” Luongo said Wednesday. “If it doesn’t happen before camp, I will not be negotiating during the season. I don’t want to have that distraction.”

Gillis responded Thursday by saying he also wants to get Luongo’s deal done before training camp starts Sept. 12.

“I have never talked about contract negotiations and I’m not going to now,” Gillis said. “But I think as far as we’re concerned we want to get something done before training camp as well.”

Luongo, who posted a record of 33-13-7 with a 2.34 goals-against average last season, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July 1.

“Roberto is extremely eager to stay here,” Gillis said in early July.

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/hockey/vancouver-canucks/Luongo+Canucks+both+want+contract+extension+settled+start+training+camp/1935304/story.html

Ice time for Forsberg

Peter Forsberg is back on the ice with his Swedish club Modo.

The former Avalanche star tried to make a comeback in the Swedish elite series in February, but played only two games before his injured foot forced him to cancel the rest of the season. But Forsberg is not giving up.

On Thursday night, when Modo played the first game of a preseason tournament in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, against Geneva, Forsberg was back on the roster.

Wearing No. 7 instead of his usual number 21, the 36-year-old Forsberg played center on the first line. He didn’t produce any points, but was on the ice when Modo scored the first goal of the game. Modo eventually won 2-1.

“The real feeling with the puck is not there,” Forsberg told reporters in Switzerland. “You need a couple of games to get into it.”

Most important, though, Forsberg’s foot didn’t act up.

“It felt really good, no problems at all,” Forsberg said.

Forsberg played two exhibition games with his all-star team, The Icebreakers, this summer and has practiced with Modo for more than a week.

http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_13219182


SILLINGER HANGS UP HIS SKATES

DAN MARTIN

Islanders forward Mike Sillinger, sidelined by hip injuries the past two years, announced his retirement yesterday.

The 38-year-old spent 17 seasons in the NHL and scored 240 goals.

Also, Isles GM Garth Snow added that goalie Rick DiPietro has been skating since last week and “feels great.”

The Isles signed goalies Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron in the offseason after DiPietro was held to five games by knee injuries last season.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08272009/sports/islanders/sillinger_hangs_up_his_skates_186745.htm


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