NHL Rumors and Notes for July 8th

1. Salary Cap could squeeze out veteran players

2. Leafs Not Done Yet

3. Kris Versteeg to Resign with Hawks

4. Claude Lemiux retires

1. Salary Cap could squeeze out veteran players

Fox Sports is reporting that due to the Salary Cap veteran players could be left out. limited cap space could force some of these clubs to forsake the free-agent market and look instead at promoting affordable young players from their farm teams into their rosters.

It could impact the eventual contract signings of the aforementioned players, but it’s a good bet all will eventually sign with new NHL teams.

Where it will have the most impact will be upon aging veterans and marginal players.

Brendan Shanahan, Todd Bertuzzi, Mathieu Schneider and Mats Sundin were in recent years among the most prized free agents but this summer, they could be faced with a stark choice: accept considerably less money with teams they normally wouldn’t consider signing with or risk going unsigned when next season begins.

Shanahan, Schneider and Sundin could be forced to sit and wait through next season for a contract offer which might never come, which would be a sad ending to their long careers.

They’re not the only ones facing that possibility. Chris Chelios and Jeremy Roenick hope to return next season but could have retirement forced upon them if they cannot find any takers for their services.

Players who serve as fourth line forwards, sixth and seventh defensemen and backup goaltenders could also have trouble finding new clubs to sign with this summer. They far outnumber available star talent and will find it difficult to attract interest as the available dollars dry up.

To Read More….


2. Leafs Not Done Yet

The Toronto Sun is reporting that the Leafs are not done Yet. “We’re not done. We’ve still got cap room and you can go over the cap in the summer,” said Burke. “I think we’ve made some major steps but we’re not done,” said Burke yesterday.

“We’ll probably take a deep breath now and see how things shake out. There are still some (free agent) names of interest and there are going to be trade possibilities now.”

The Leafs have nine, possibly 10 defencemen capable of starting the season with the big club and are likely to break camp with seven on the roster.

Ian White showed he is capable of moving up to the wing, but that still leaves a couple of defenders for Burke to market.

The blue chip on the blue line is Kaberle. He is reasonably priced at $4.25 million (U.S.) for two more seasons and his no-trade clause doesn’t kick back in until Aug. 15. Kaberle could bring a top-six forward, as demonstrated by the potential Phil Kessel trade that fell apart, and Burke is certainly willing to listen to offers for the 31-year-old. But none have enticed him yet.

“There is interest, but nothing that requires thinking about,” he said. “If I had to handicap this, I’d say he will be a Leaf at the start of the year. That can change with one phone call, but I haven’t been given any offers that approach what I would think it would take to make that deal.”

Among the teams still looking for a puck-moving defenceman are St. Louis, Los Angeles and Columbus.

Burke’s pattern is to build his blue line and goaltending first, and that mission has been accomplished with yesterday’s signing of Gustavsson, a coveted free agent from Sweden. Improving the defence was particularly pressing because, as Burke noted yesterday, “sometimes it took us a week to get out of our own end.”

Beauchemin’s smarts with the puck are sometimes underestimated and his addition, along with Komisarek and Exelby, give Toronto much more muscle and grit on the back end, which Burke was trying to achieve.

“You don’t want your heavyweight to be a defenceman, the ice time is too valuable. That’s why we got (winger) Colton Orr,” said Burke. “But you need some bite back there (on defence). You need some knuckles on the blue line, too, some five-minute majors. I think with the changes we’ve made, there’s some bite there, there’s some size there.”

Although Burke is actively pursuing more offensive punch up front, he said not to underestimate what is already there, especially now that the skill players should feel better protected.

“Sometimes (Mikhail) Grabovski spent more time on the ice than the Zamboni. These (forwards) were getting knocked down and picking their teeth out of the glass all year. Let’s see how they do with a little toughness around,” he said.

“I don’t know if we’re good enough to make the playoffs yet. That’s our goal and I think we’re a lot closer than we were five days ago and we’ll keep trying to improve the club.”

The Leafs are about $3 or $4 million under the cap, depending on how you put their roster together, and they can be as much as 10 per cent over the $56.8 million until the end of training camp.

To Read More….


3. Kris Versteeg to Resign with Hawks

NHL.com is reporting that the Hawks are about to resign Kris Versteeg to a three-year contract that will pay him more than $9 million. Versteeg, a 23-year-old right wing, was second among NHL rookies in 2008-09 with 53 points and fourth with 22 goals and a plus-15 rating. He followed that with 12 points in 17 playoff games, tops among all first-year players and tied for fourth among all Blackhawks players.

Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round of the 2004 Entry Draft, he was traded to the Blackhawks in February 2007 for Brandon Bochenski. He had 4 points in 13 NHL games during the 2007-2008 season, spending most of time in the American Hockey League. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder was expected to be back in the minors this season, but made the team in training camp and then had 7 goals and 20 points in his first 20 games.

To Read More….


4. Claude Lemiux retires

NHL.com is reporting that Claude Lemiux announces his retirement. Forward Claude Lemieux today formally announced his retirement from the game of hockey at the age of 44. One of the most successful NHL players in the history of the League, Lemieux won four Stanley Cups and is one of only eight players to win hockey’s greatest prize with three different teams (Montreal, 1986; New Jersey, 1995 and 2000; Colorado, 1996).

“I want to thank my former teammates from my entire career for all of their support,” said Lemieux. “I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a career like I had. There have been many great NHL players who did not get the opportunities to win that I had. I played for a long time but it went by so very fast.”

In 1,215 National Hockey League games with Montreal, New Jersey, Colorado, Phoenix, Dallas and San Jose, Lemieux posted 786 points (379 goals, 407 assists) and 1,777 penalty minutes, along with 58 game-winning goals.

To Read More…


22 Responses to NHL Rumors and Notes for July 8th

  1. Nevyn says:

    The leafs thing is interesting just in that there was an offer on one of our blueliners.   One would have to imagine that the 3 new acquisitions on defense are off the table.   The offer could be for Luke Schenn (who is the only one other than Kaberle who could return a top 6 forward), but I'd be surprised.

    That leaves Van Ryn, Stralman, Finger, White, and Frogren.

    I can't imagine any offers for Finger.  White, Stralman, and Frogren could easily be on the move, but one would not expect much return for any of them, perhaps a middling one-dimensional offensive prospect with scoring potential.

    Van Ryn would make the most sense to move and for another team to pursue. Contract small enough that another team could do it, veteran presence and decent defender, and in the meantime, the leafs get rid of one of the FIVE leaf defenders (Schenn not among them) making over 3 million per season.

    Still, again, how much could you get back?  Again, a mediocre prospect perhaps ready to make the jump, or maybe an aging guy who used to be a scorer.

  2. goose says:

    I just saw an interview with Burke and the girl
    reporter stated that Burke is done in the free agency
    market right now with defenseman but isnt done
    trying to move them, as he has 10 potential starting
    defenseman for next season and will likely move one or two
    to obtain a top 6 forward and possibly draft picks along with it,
    and he also said he isnt done with free agency as hes interested
    in forwards and could potentially sign one or two free agent forwards.
    names like afinogenov, tanguay, sykora, satan, moen, malhotra????
    what about the fa's on arbitration like zherdev, zajac, etc????

  3. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    As it stands Jeff Finger really has no shot of making this team. His role is filled much more adequately by Beachemin, and the other defensemen are more versatile.

    Is Finger untradeable? To a GM with a functioning brain, the answer is no. However this time of year tends to make GM's make increadibly stupid moves. I would look for a GM who maybe didn't find what he wanted on the UFA market.

    As far as UFA's go, I say go after Bertuzzi and Lang for 1 year deals. The guy I cant believe is still a UFA is Blair Betts. He's an awesome PK specialist. I would most certainly go after that guy.

  4. lukeleim says:

    Zherdev would be an interesting addition. It seems he is to be set to become UFA.

    three-year contract for 13.5 million?

  5. lukeleim says:

    Trade Mike Van Ryn to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Raffi Torres.

    Sign Travis Moen three-year contract 3.6 million.
    Sign Todd Bertuzzi one-year contract 3 million.

    Alexei Ponikarovsky – Mikhail Grabovski – Nikolai Kulemin
    Todd Bertuzzi – Matt Stajan – Jason Blake
    Niklas Hagman – John Mitchell – Raffi Torres
    Travis Moen – Jamal Mayers – Colton Orr
    Lee Stempniak, Jiri Tlusty, Tyler Bozak, Christian Hanson, Benjamin Ondrus

    Tomas Kaberle – Mike Komisarek
    Francois Beauchemin – Luke Schenn
    Ian White – Garnet Exelby
    Jeff Finger, Jonas Frogren, Anton Stralman

    Vesa Toskala
    Jonas Gustavsson
    Justin Pogge

  6. goose says:

    stempniak, tlusty, and bozak will be on the roster next year-

    -kaberle to boston for kessel straight up
    -sign moen to a 3 year, 4.5 million dollar contract
    -sign kessel to a 5 year, 20 million dollar contract


    Ponikarovsky- Grabovski- Kulemin
    Hagman- Kessel- Blake
    Stempniak- Stajan- Tlusty
    Mayers- Bozak- Moen

    extras: orr, mitchell, hanson, ondrus


    white- beauchemin
    komisarek- schenn
    exelby- stralman

    extras: van ryn, finger, and frogren


    1. Toskala
    2. Gustavsson

    extras: Pogge

  7. JustYouW8 says:

    Saku Koivu signed with the Ducks. 1 year – 3.25M

  8. PTack says:

    dude tucker isnt even on the leafs anymore its time to lay off the raffi torres trade rumours.

  9. 93killer93 says:

    rumor is Burke is working out a deal that could see Kaberle, Tlusty and a pick go to Los Angeles for Brayden Schenn, Alex Frolov and possibly a 1st or 2nd rounder

  10. pezzz123 says:

    Alex Auld traded to Dallas for a 6th round pick.

  11. mojo19 says:

    Jeff Finger's two-way contract makes him an easy casuality. He will be a rock for the Marlies and bring us from 3 or 4 million $ under the cap to about $7 million.

    I like the Bertuzzi idea, he could be a good veteran to have around for sure. I love the way he played for Calgary in the games I saw last night. For all his grit, Bertuzzi's hands are very underrated. He's got some soft, magic hands sometimes.

    Lang I love, but only if his achilles tendon is okay. Always been a fan of this guy since the Pittsburgh days.

  12. JoelJoel says:

    What to you think about Satan. I think he's always been underrated. Was great in buffalo, didn't get the ice time in Pittsburgh but was great in the playoffs.

    It was a shame the sent him down to the farm team before the playoffs.

    Could get him cheep for a year and think about resigning if he performs.

    You could probably sign him for 3 or less.

  13. reinjosh says:

    stop posting this rumor without a link to it
    it just makes you look like a fool

  14. Rico420 says:

    Rumour is Dean Lombardi will be looking for work if he made this trade.

    Again…just a rumour.

  15. quick_stick says:

    Honestly, if this trade were even close to happening, it would be the other way around for the draft picks.  If you assume Kab for Frolov about equal, Schenn is a much higher rated prospect than Tlusty.  Even if you think Kabs is over greater value (which I could accept), it wouldn't be enough to pry Schenn away.  A 2nd rounder at least would be going to LA.

  16. 93killer93 says:

    I can't find the original article but here is a link to the bleacher report were there is a similar trade posted.


  17. 93killer93 says:

    First can i say i know the above trade is lopsided. I don't agree with it i am just reporting a rumor i found. It seems I made a mistake i found the original article and the trade was speculation.  It had a link to another article with a trade that has apparently been leaked but is still considered just a rumor.
    Aparently the trade is

    Colten Teubert

    1st 2010(top 10 protected. should the leafs pick be in the top 10 LA get the Leaf's first rounder in 2011)

    Apparently the Kings took Schenn out of spite. They were after Evander Kane and new Burke wanted Schenn. They figuresd they could get more from the Leafs if they drafted him and traded him later

    The link is below if you want to read more.

  18. mojo19 says:

    No Satan. He's pretty much done. He was a pretty consistant scorer in Buffalo, but was really overrated there because he was always their leading scorer even though he only hit 70 pts twice!

    If you wanna take a chance on a streaky scorer who has some talent, Afinogenov might be worth it cuz he's 5 years younger than Satan, and only 2 seasons removed from his 61 points in 56 games season of '07. Those types of numbers Satan has never been capable of.

  19. DJTOKid says:

    Afinogenov makes way more sense then Satan.

    Explain Fingers contract…Thye leafs can send him to the marlies and hes off the cap hit? That seems to simple….You would think you would hear more of these types of contracts.

  20. mojo19 says:

    Its just that simple. His contract is similar to one you would give a player who is borderline NHL, the difference is that its gotta be the most expensive 2-way contract in the NHL.

    It's my understanding that Finger accepted a 2-way deal in exchange for more $. Maybe Fletcher offered him an extra $1 million per season (or something) in exchange for Jeff accepting a 2-way deal. For Finger, its guaranteed money, either way. But for the Leafs when he's sent down the difference is no cap hit!

    The reason you don't see more players accepting deals like this is because most players want the security of being part of an NHL team. A 1-way deal means they have to clear waivers to be sent down, and if they're claimed they'll still be in the show.

    Hope that clears things up for you.

  21. mojo19 says:

    $4.5 not bad.

    My concern with him is character. I think he's really skilled, but he was a contract hold-out with Columbus and now again in New York.

  22. cam7777 says:

    Hmm, I don't know who, besides Leaf-haters, would classify Kaberle and Frolov as equals.  He is a 55 point man, with a ceiling around 70 points, and he's also on-again off-again. That puts him in the middle of the pack as far as forwards are concerned.  Kabs is top 15-20 for defensemen in the league, with contract status pushing him up that list further since many teams are now forced to consider back for the buck. 

    Frolov is unrestricted next year.  If the Leafs wanted him, they could just sign him then (or watch him go to Russia).  Schenn is not that much higher rated than Tlusty, and especially not when you consider the age difference.  Tlusty is ready now, and Schenn has a couple years to go. 

    I don't take much stock in them personally, but it gives you vague idea – Hockey Future's had Tlusty as an 8.0 B, and they will likely rank Schenn an 8.5 B. 

    I'm not by any means saying that they have the same value, but it would be foolish of Burke to trade Tlusty for a prospect further behind than he is.  Basically we're trading 3 years of development for a marginal increase in talent.  I like Schenn, but to suggest, without having seen him play a single game, that he is better than a 21 year old ready to make the jump, is just doing what everyone has done with Schenn, and lumping him into this category because of the hype surrounding Luke.  There's a reason Glennie was a shocker at number 8, and it's because a lot of smart hockey people think Schenn was carried by Glennie, and not the other way around.   He is not a sure-fire NHL talent by any means.  

    Still, I would love to have him, but no way the Leafs throw in a 1st as well. 

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