Category Archives: Free Agents
Zach Parise interrupted the question as soon as he heard the words “future” and “now that it’s over.”
He is 18 days from becoming the biggest free agent in the NHL, but in the aftermath of the Devils’ 6-1 season-ending loss to the Kings Monday night, he wasn’t about to address it.
“I’m not going to talk about that,” the Devils captain said. “I’m not going to talk about that.”
But his future Hall of Fame teammate — another free agent — said Monday night that the team needed to move quickly to lock up their captain before he ended up in another uniform.
“I think Zach is a big thing that the organization has to take care of first, there’s no doubt about that,” Martin Brodeur said.
“They need to try to lock him in and lure him into staying.
“He’s a franchise player. He’s a guy fans love, and as a captain, he’s a great leader. He did a great job in his first year as a captain to bring a team that was counted out early in the season to what we almost accomplished. It was pretty impressive.”
Will the Devils be able to keep him? The only thing they know for sure is that they’ll have plenty of competition. Detroit, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and yes, the hated Rangers, are all believed to be in the market for the perennial 30-goal scorer.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, Oilers will offer Smyth a one-year deal with bonuses. Unlikely to get a two-year pact. Tambellini said as much.
The clock is not only ticking on the Devils’ season, but on Zach Parise’s career in New Jersey, for when the puck is dropped tonight for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, it will start the countdown at T-minus-60 on the captain’s impending unrestricted free agency
This all but certainly will be the final summer in which, a) players will be allowed to sign front-loaded contracts with huge signing bonuses that this year will also serve as lockout-protection; and b) players will be permitted to sign contracts without term limits.
Indeed, Parise can expect offers modeled after the nine-year, $60 million contract Brad Richards signed last summer with the Rangers, under which the center is receiving $24 million the first two years, including a $10 million signing bonus last July and an $8 million signing bonus due next month.
Parise, who will turn 28 next month, could attract offers of up to 12 years. He will certainly receive front-loaded, bonus-laden offers from the Rangers and Red Wings, who have millions to spend and the inclination to do so.
The Wild will be in, though Parise might want to think more than twice about going home to join a team in which he would be the best player by leaps and bounds.
The Sharks could be in. The Maple Leafs will be, though current general manager Brian Burke doesn’t believe in front-loaded deals. The Bruins could become a serious contender. There will be others.
Given the financial realities in New Jersey, it’s almost impossible to conjure the scenario in which ownership could cut Parise a $10 million check on July 2. And again, that’s even assuming Parise’s first choice is to remain a Devil.
Holland is eyeing Nashville’s Ryan Suter if the Predators can’t sign him. Holland has said with respect to the prize free agents (Zach Parise is in the same boat), he would be willing to trade for their negotiating rights, usually a window of a few days around the draft and before July 1 when they hit the marketplace for one and all.
“I’ve never done it and it would depend on what the price is, but I’m not opposed to anything,” said Holland, who knows the Philadelphia Flyers have made a history of trading for negotiating rights of UFAs such as Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and the Predators’ Dan Hamhuis. They signed the first two, and couldn’t work out a deal for Hamhuis in 2010. They dealt his rights to the Pittsburgh Penguins six days later.
The salary cap is going up to $70.3 million from $64 million as of July 1, but only until a new collective bargaining agreement comes in, when the cap will likely drop substantially because the owners don’t want to give the players 57 per cent of the league revenue, more like a 50-50 split. The Red Wings, like most teams, are likely operating under the old model, so they won’t be spending fools. But they would love Suter; they’ve played against the Predators constantly in the playoffs. Parise, they envision, could play with Datsyuk.
For now, they have Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl as their top five on defence, with two huge holes. Holland knows he’ll have to get somebody to replace Stuart too, but he doesn’t have a lot to trade.
the Oilers’ back end also needs a puck-moving defenceman. There’s no sense having forwards Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Ales Hemsky come back 180 feet to get on the attack, when one 60-foot head-man pass will send them on their way.
That’s a longer story for another day, but Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini certainly is looking. Yes, we know young Carl Gunnarsson’s name keeps coming up because the Toronto Maple Leafs have too many blue-liners and badly need forwards — where the Oilers are top heavy — but is the Swede really the answer? Or has Tambellini filed away the cellphone number of free agent Bryan McCabe?
The 36-year-old unrestricted free agent is hanging out at his South Florida home still pondering his future.
“There have been discussions with several teams,” his agent, Ian Pulver, told ESPN.com on Monday. “Bryan is still considering his options.”
It’s a tough time to be a free agent.
Tomas Kaberle, Christian Hanson and Darryl Boyce are finding that out as unrestricted free agents.
Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak are going to find that out as restricted free agents.
Tuesday is the deadline for MacArthur and Bozak to file for arbitration. If it goes that far, arbitration on their cases could go as late as the first week of August.
Brad Richards has a connection with the New York Rangers because of his association with head coach John Tortorella from 2004 when they won the Stanley Cup together in Tampa Bay.
Well, the Calgary Flames have a connection to Richards of their own.
Today marks hockey’s version of Black Friday, the day when everyone can look for a deal with an unrestricted free agent.
If I were walking into a Vegas sports book right now and they had a list of NHL free agents and their likelihood to sign with certain teams, I would probably empty out whatever meager amount was in my wallet and put most or all of it on “Tomas Vokoun to the Avalanche.”