NHL News and Rumors – June 10, 2010


Jason Williams won’t return to Wings

Hamhuis prepares for free agency, has considered Vancouver

Senators will likely buy out Cheechoo ’s contract
Jason Williams won’t return to Wings

The Red Wings officially set forward Jason Williams free Wednesday.

General manager Ken Holland said Wednesday he told Williams, an unrestricted free agent, the Wings will not extend him a contract offer.

Holland said he has yet to speak to unrestricted free agents Andreas Lilja and Brett Lebda . However, Holland had several conversations with Pat Morris, the agent for unrestricted free agent Todd Bertuzzi .

“We are certainly interested in having him back and we think he is interested in coming back,” Holland said. “But, right now, it’s really early in the process. The player has to do what is right for him and we have to do what is right for the club.”

Bertuzzi, 35, made $1.5 million last season. It is believed he is seeking a two-year deal at close to the same amount.

“We’ve had conversations; we just have to see where it goes,” Holland said.

Holland said he didn’t know if Bertuzzi plans to shop himself on the open market before committing to the Wings, and Morris did not return phone calls.

“The deadline is noon, July 1,” Holland said. “Sometimes I will get a call late June 30. Sometimes I get a call at 10 a.m. July 1. The only urgency is if we run out of money. We’ll just see where it goes.”

http://www.detnews.com/article/20100609/SPORTS0103/6090429/1128/Jason-Williams-won-t-return-to-Wings

Hamhuis prepares for free agency, has considered Vancouver


Dan Hamhuis
certainly gets recognized when he walks down the street in his Northern B.C. hometown of Smithers, where he spends his summers.

Whether the Nashville Predators defenceman is wild about the idea of the same experience in downtown Vancouver is a another question.

Hamhuis , 27, will be an Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1 and the two-way defenceman is unlikely to be re-signed by the Predators for budgetary reasons. They have pending Restricted Free Agents Patric Hornquist and possibly Denis Grebeshkov to re-sign and can’t likely afford to offer Hamhuis the $4 million-plus he’ll command on the free agent market.

The Canucks expressed an interest in Hamhuis at the trade deadline, but the price tag of Cody Hodgson and a first round pick was far too high. Hamhuis is a very solid defensive player who could possibly replace Willie Mitchell on a back end that is in need of some re-tooling.

Hamhuis , who was in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti on Wednesday along with former NHL player Georges Laraque visiting the earthquake-ravaged country on behalf of the NHL Players Association to announce more than $1 million has been raised to help rebuild a children’s hospital there, said he was preparing himself for the open market on July 1.

He hasn’t closed the door and his agent Wade Arnott will speak with Preds GM David Poile next week for a last-ditch attempt at re-signing the six-year vet.

“It’s pretty vague,” said the well-spoken Hamhuis over the phone from Haiti. “We talked to David Poile at the end of the season and he wanted some time to meet with his ownership group to figure out the budget and what kind of money he has to work with.”

Poile’s comments in the Tennessean newspaper on Wednesday regarding Hamhuis didn’t sound optimistic and suggested the only way a deal gets done is if the D-man agrees to a hometown discount.

Don’t count on that, either, and Hamhuis says he’s preparing himself for free agency.

Certainly, he would be one of the most sought after UFA blueliners on July 1, so there will be plenty of competition for the Canucks.

http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/whitetowel/archive/2010/06/10/hamhuis-prepares-for-free-agency-has-considered-vancouver.aspx

Senators will likely buy out Cheechoo’s contract

Jonathan Cheechoo’s short and unsuccessful stint with the Ottawa Senators will come to an end as early as Tuesday, when the annual two-week period to buy out unwanted contracts begins.

Even Cheechoo knows he’s on the way out.

The Senators have not yet spoken to Cheechoo about their plans for him, but the 29-year-old right-winger is a “realist,” his agent said.

“I think Jonathan knows that when you’re making $3.5 million (US), you have to be seen to be justifying that salary,” Thane Campbell said in an interview on Tuesday.

Cheechoo , who joined the Senators last fall with Milan Michalek in the trade that sent Dany Heatley to the San Jose Sharks, was unable to show he was worth the money.

In 61 games before being sent to the American Hockey League Binghamton Senators, he managed just five goals and nine assists. In 25 minor-league games, he had eight goals and six assists.

He
managed to get into one playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that said more about the organization’s lack of depth than about Cheechoo . He played 7:13 and didn’t have a shot in a 7-4 loss in Game 4 of the conference quarter-final.

Unless the Senators have a dramatic change of heart or manage to trade him, which is just as unlikely, that game will go into the books as his last in an Ottawa uniform.

He’ll collect $1 million this year and next year as the buy-out fee, and the Senators will be able to use the $2 million or so left over on another player. Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is already paying buyout money to goalie Ray Emery ($562,000 this year and next) and Daniel Alfredsson ($700,000 this year and next, for money owed on his previous contract).

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/hockey/ottawa-senators/Senators+will+likely+Cheechoo+contract/3133487/story.html#ixzz0qTIPXLFx


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