NHL Offseason Notes
BOSTON (CP) — Defenceman Don Sweeney, who has spent his entire 15-year NHL career with the Bruins, is not being offered a new playing contract by the team, says agent Mark Witkin.
The Bruins have expressed interest in retaining Sweeney in an unspecified role but the St. Stephen, N.B., native is undecided.
“He’s not shocked, nor is he upset or angry,” Witkin told the Boston Globe. “He believes he still can play and, frankly, what he’s trying to decide now is whether he wants to play.”
Sweeney, 36, was paid $1.8 million US last season.
Bonus time for Jackman
ST. LOUIS (CP) — Blues defenceman Barret Jackman of Trail, B.C., received a $250,000 US bonus from his team for winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
Messier mulls over future
NEW YORK (CP) — The Rangers continue to wait for Mark Messier to let them know if he’s going to return for a 25th NHL season. Messier, 42, is under contract for 2003-2004 for $3.9 million US — the same amount he earned last season.
Meanwhile, GM Glen Sather was to meet with Larry Robinson to discuss the head coaching vacancy and with the agent for defenceman Brian Leetch, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Plenty of offers
SUNRISE, Fla. (CP) — The Florida Panthers have the No. 1 pick in the entry draft Saturday, and GM Rick Dudley is getting plenty of trade offers.
“People are calling us,” says Dudley. “Nobody has made me inclined to trade it yet but I have to admit a couple are close.
“They wouldn’t have to tweak very much to make me very interested.”
Some teams would like to move up to No. 1 so they can get Marc-Andre Fleury, who is the best goalie available.
Pittsburgh, which has the No. 3 pick, is dangling Martin Straka and a swap of picks.
Clarke loses a title
PHILADELPHIA (CP) — The Flyers have promoted Ron Ryan to club president, giving him one of the titles GM Bob Clarke had held for nine years. Ryan was chief operating officer since 1991.
“Ron’s been doing all the work as president for a lot of years,” Clarke told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Ron should be the president of the club, not me.”