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.”

4 Responses to NHL Offseason Notes

  1. kidhenry1 says:

    I hope that the B’s retain Sweeney–it’s always nice if a player can spend his whole career in one place, and he’s still got legs.

    Watch what’ll happen to the ranger$$$: They’ll do the same thing as last year. They thought that they had a chance at Herb Brooks, and wasted their time with him, using him to play hardball with Ken Hitchcock, the best coach available.

    Look for Scotty Bowman to be this year’s Brooks, and Robinson this year’s Hitchcock. Mess is done, and unless the ranger$ are lucky enough to pursuade him to coach, look for Slats behind the bench again.

  2. aaron says:

    Damn, the Panthers should jump on that Pens deal in a heartbeat (if by swap of picks, they mean swap of first round picks)! Martin Straka, when healthy, is a damn good player, and certainly worth the gamble for giving almost nothing up (they already have a goalie). I’d do that in an instant.

  3. Blade2 says:

    O” COnnell’s gonna screw Bruins nation over again.Letting go of Sweeney is reasonable,but this almost stinks of scapegoating him for our defensive problems.Granted he lost a few strides,but with the goaltending problems and overall lack of defensive help what else could he do.It was like Bourque in his last year here,he was playing ok in 3 out of every 5 games.

    If O’COnnell’s really serious about competing with the limited budget we have as is,he needs to go out and grab a legitmate goalie NOW.No disrespect to Hackett,but I see him as being another Dafoe at best,if not less.Potvin may be past his prime,and I find Roman too inconsistent,and don’t even mention Garth SNow.That leaves Burke as the only other avaliable goalie.If not O’COnnell needs to find a way to improve other areas to compensate/lessen the impact of our spotty tandem of Shields/Hackett/THomas/Raycroft.

    I think we either need to add more scoring a la old time Red WIngs/Oilers/Penguins firewagon hockey,or at least shore up the defense/penalty killing/power play more.Thornton,Murray,Samsanov need more help,and I highly doubt Gill/Boynton/Berard/Moran/McGillis/Girard can hold the fort down 82 games long.

    I think either going after a lower level free agent would be the only other thing doable.

  4. GpDogs41 says:

    scotty is done, thats been established bud

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