NHL News and Rumors – July 6, 2009

Wild waiting on decision from Saku Koivu

Leafs chase Monster’s mate

Monster praise for Leafs

Predators won’t get paid if Steve Sullivan hurts back

Wild waiting on decision from Saku Koivu

MICHAEL RUSSO, Star Tribune

One day after signing winger Martin Havlat to a six-year, $30 million deal, General Manager Chuck Fletcher spent much of Thursday trying to fill another significant hole in the Wild’s lineup.

Fletcher said “negotiations are ongoing with Saku” Koivu, the decorated older brother of Wild center Mikko Koivu.

But according to sources, the deal appeared to be heading south fast after the team believed Koivu-to-Minnesota was a lock Wednesday night.

“We’ve expressed some interest. I think a lot of teams have expressed interest,” Fletcher said. “He’s a great hockey player and there aren’t a lot of centermen in the market place, so I’d be stunned if 10 or 15 teams haven’t reached out to him by this point.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/49769627.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUBP7hUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

Leafs chase Monster’s mate

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

If things work out the way Brian Burke hopes, soon he can start referring to a team in Sweden as the Maple Leafs unofficial farm club.

Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League is the home of much recruited goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, a player the Leafs general manager is hotly chasing. But it doesn,t end with the kid they call the Monster, as the Leafs also are in pursuit of the team’s captain, centre Rickard Wallin.

“We’ve talked to him and expressed some interest but there’s nothing to report,” Dave Nonis, Leafs senior vice-president of hockey operations, said yesterday. “It’s a little early.”

Sources in Sweden say talks have progressed further though, as Wallin could be the latest player stripped from the Farjestad roster. Last year, the big recruit was forward Fabian Brunnstrom, who settled on the Dallas Stars after being wooed by the Leafs.

Toronto was able to procure defenceman Jonas Frogren from the Swedish club and is pulling out all the stops to snag Gustavsson. Burke has just returned from Sweden where he was to meet with Gustavsson face-to-face earlier this week.

And now there is Wallin, who scored 18 goals and added 27 assists in 55 games this past season, the second consecutive campaign that he led his club in scoring.

The 29-year-old, who had a brief stint in the NHL earlier this decade, might be added incentive for Gustavsson to pick the Leafs over the other three teams actively recruiting him.

“He’s a good two-way player who has played over here before,” Nonis said of the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder who was a sixth-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 1998. “We’ve got a lot of things on our plate right now and he’s a little way down.”

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2009/07/06/10034621-sun.html

Monster praise for Leafs

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

The Monster picked up his cell phone and said nothing.

In the background, a couple of women could be heard chatting away (apparently in Swedish), the mood very light-hearted, like everyone was having a good time.

Only after the caller asked if it was Jonas Gustavsson on the line, did The Monster speak.

Turns out, Gustavsson is on holiday in the south of Sweden, attempting to recharge after the death of his mother in May and a recent whirlwind trip to North America, where the free-agent goaltender visited four NHL cities, Toronto, Dallas, Colorado and San Jose.

http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2009/07/05/10030391-sun.html

Predators won’t get paid if Steve Sullivan hurts back

John Glennon • THE TENNESSEAN

That’s good news for the franchise in more ways than one.

It’s obviously encouraging for the team’s offense, but it’s also important to the organization’s wallet. Here’s why:

When Sullivan suffered his back injury in February 2007, the one that kept him out for almost two years, insurance paid 80 percent of his $3.2 million annual salary. But if Sullivan were ever to injure the back again, insurance would no longer pick up any of the tab.

“It would be an exclusion, because once you have a pre-existing injury, that’s it,” Predators General Manager David Poile. “So if he was ever to go down with the back, insurance is out. If he injured a knee or something else, you could get the insurance. But not if it’s the back.”

Sullivan, who played in 41 of 42 games after returning from the back injury in January, said he’s sticking with the exercise regimen that helped him get back on the ice.

When he re-signed with the Predators last week, forward Steve Sullivan said his back was still feeling great.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090706/SPORTS02/907060338/1028/Predators+won+t+get+paid+if+Steve+Sullivan+hurts+back


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