Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
The San Jose Sharks are among the favorites to land the services of free agent forward Shane Doan, a source has told CSNCalifornia.com.
Doan, who will turn 36 in October, is the top unrestricted NHL free agent still available.
According to the source, the Sharks, who are generally very tight-lipped about personnel decisions, have flown “under the radar” in their pursuit of Doan.
Doan reportedly met with the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, and has also drawn interest from the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. His preference is to remain in Phoenix, but the uncertain ownership situation there has led to him exploring other options.
There are reports that Doan is seeking a four-year contract worth $30 million, averaging out to a $7.5 million cap hit. According to CapGeek.com, San Jose has approximately $5.57 million in cap space.
Mark Messier has been awarded a $6-million settlement in the Hall of Famer’s long-standing grievance over money he claimed he was owed by the Vancouver Canucks.
George Nicolau, an 87-year-old New York-based arbitrator with a long history of handling high-profile sports arbitration cases, rendered his decision recently after meeting with both sides earlier this year.
The Canucks made only a brief comment on the decision.
“Canucks Sports & Entertainment is aware of the arbitrator’s decision and will have no further comment on the matter,” the team said in a statement to The Vancouver Sun Thursday.
Messier did not return a message left for him with the New York Rangers, for whom he serves as special assistant to the president.
Messier signed a five-year, free-agent contract with the Canucks in 1997 for $6 million a season. The dispute between Messier and the team is believed to centre on deferred money the hockey player felt was owed to him.
It has been reported that Messier had a clause in his contract that would compensate him if the value of the Canuck franchise increased over the life of his contract, which expired in 2002.
Messier ended up playing only three seasons with the Canucks, who exercised an option in the contract to buy him out for $2 million after the 1999-2000 season. Messier, now 51, returned to New York and played four more seasons for the Rangers before retiring after the 2003-04 season.
When Jonathan Bernier, the Los Angeles Kings‘ well-regarded backup, announced his desire to be traded, rumours swirled that Toronto would be an appropriate landing spot. Here are five reasons why a Bernier-to-Leafs deal should not be struck.
1. They already have him.
More or less: Canadian goaltender chosen in the 2006 draft; will enter the 2012-13 season at 24 years of age; never played a playoff game; save percentage just on the friendly side of .900.
Take away the Mennonite background and last season’s rash of injuries — not a small deal, we know — and James Reimer is Jonathan Bernier. Neither is quite ready to carry a team into the postseason, but both have shown hints of brilliance that, with patience, health and some strong coaching, could get them to that proverbial next level.
Thing is, on paper, the Leafs goalie looks equal to or better than Bernier, who carries with him the perception of a potential star netminder being selected 11th overall (to Reimer’s 99th) and having won gold with Canada at the 2008 World Junior Hockey Championships. (Bernier went 1-1 in the tournament, splitting post duties with Steve Mason.)
Sure, there are hockey minds out there that believe Bernier’s hybrid stand-up/butterfly style and quick reflexes make him a prime candidate to improve with experience, but who’s to say a healthy Reimer (or even the untested Ben Scrivens, for that matter) won’t appreciate at the same rate?
Reimer has played 71 games to Bernier’s 48, has actually won more games than he’s lost (34-24-9 to Bernier’s 20-17-5), and has posted comparable stats — despite playing behind an appreciably worse defence. Reimer has six shutouts, Bernier five. Bernier has a .910 save percentage, Reimer’s is .914.
2. Bernier wants to be a starter now, but might not deserve it.
Bernier told TVA that he wants to be a starter in this league, but his impatience could be his undoing. Yes, it was only one interview, but Bernier and his Stanley Cup ring could have chosen to play things cool. There are worse jobs than getting paid millions to platoon in for a quarter of a season in a gorgeous city on a young, excitable winning team, allowing your skills to improve under limited scrutiny behind the second-best defence in the entire NHL.
A person with knowledge of the decision says the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Nashville star defenceman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth more than $100 million.
The Sports Network in Canada first reported the offer.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Flyers hadn’t announced the offer.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren confirmed early Thursday that the Flyers did sign Weber to an offer sheet. He gave no further details. The Predators issued a statement late Thursday morning confirming they had received the Flyers’ offer sheet, which gives the team seven days to make a decision on matching the deal or letting the defenceman go.
“We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it, and all of its ramifications, in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.”
It may not have been the big fish Canucks fans were hoping for, but you can bet pumping a 140-pound tuna to the surface in Panama was memorable for a vacationing GM Mike Gillis.
Those tuna are renowned fighters and that was a huge fish. It’s not easy.
Much like trying to land Shane Doan.
The Canucks are in on the Doan sweepstakes, having offered the power forward a competitive multi-year contract that is at least three years in length.
How competitive? Well, it’s relative, but teams aren’t in on Doan if they’re offering one- and two-year deals.
The Canucks offer probably is not near the four-year, $30 million monster an Eastern Conference team reportedly tabled.
But that offer did have a ring of absurdity to it. You could see it coming from the Magical Man who lives in Happy-Land on Lollipop Lane.
Whether it’d be enough to sway Doan remains to be seen. But, remember, this is a player who has dedicated his entire career to the Phoenix Coyotes organization. Could that same player be lured to a situation that doesn’t fit his criteria just because it’s the largest financial windfall?
First and foremost among Doan’s criteria is to stay in Phoenix.
He wouldn’t be rounding into late July without a contract otherwise. And his return to Phoenix became more likely Monday when Glendale formally rejected the petition which was seeking a referendum on the Coyotes lease agreement.