Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
Vancouver Canucks left-winger Mason Raymond has avoided salary arbitration but he hasn’t avoided a pay cut.
The 26-year-old forward agreed Monday to a one-year contract for $2.275 million, which represents a $325,000 reduction from his $2.6 million wage of last season. Maybe he’ll even have Shane Doan on his line after Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman confirmed the team is pursuing the unrestricted free agent captain of the Phoenix Coyotes.
“I have spoken to Shane Doan on behalf of our organization a couple of times,” Gilman said Monday. “I spoke with him on July 1 to express our interest in bringing him to Vancouver and subsequently followed up with Shane last night. I know from my experience in Phoenix that he has been interested in Vancouver in the past. He’s a western Canadian guy whose wife is from Kamloops. So I think there is interest there. I had productive discussions with both Shane and his agent.”
Gilman was quick to note there will be many suitors for Doan, 35, if he opts to leave the Coyotes and their unstable financial situation.
“Shane is a sought-after commodity and there are a number of teams who would be interested in adding him to their roster,” Gilman continued. “So we’ll see what happens.”
Well, we’re well into Day 6 of free agency, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have easily been one of the league’s quieter teams.
Especially if you look at all those that finished near the bottom of the standings alongside them.
The Carolina Hurricanes, for example, finished two points ahead of Toronto, dealt for Jordan Staal and are working to add another top six forward.
he Blue Jackets traded for Nick Foligno (and are working on a Rick Nash deal), the Oilers signed Justin Schultz, the Ducks added a pair of defencemen (and are looking for good return on Bobby Ryan) and the Wild may have hit a homerun in adding Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
There is, of course, still a lot of off-season to go, and Leafs GM Brian Burke insists he isn’t close to being finished. He’s listed his team’s top three priorities as (a) getting bigger (b) adding a veteran goaltender and (c) adding another top two centre.
Those aren’t easy holes to fill, even with some $12-million in cap space. In one case, it’s probably not even the right one.
This hockey town isn’t big enough for Paul Stastny, Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly.
Three outstanding centers are one more than Colorado needs.
Somebody needs to go.
Somebody needs to be bait for the well-known, top-scoring, fed-up wingers on the NHL trade market, Bobby Ryan of Anaheim and Rick Nash of Columbus.
The Avs have a need for somebody to put the puck in the net and a happy surplus of playmakers.
So what’s Colorado general manager Greg Sherman going to do about it?
Whenever the Avs lose two in a row, fans automatically take out their frustration on Stastny, whose rock-solid (and often boring) work on the ice never matches the expectations of his $6.6 million salary.
But here’s a different take: Duchene is the center who makes the most sense for the Avs to trade.
His flash would be an easy sell for a GM in another market. At 21 years old, his potential stirs the imagination. His new two-year, $7 million contract is easy to digest under the salary cap.
C’mon, LA, keep your grubby mitts away, won’t you? Isn’t pilfering one athletically gifted, civic-minded Canadian away from Phoenix enough already?
On the heels of Steve Nash’s departure to Los Angeles comes word that nearly a dozen suitors are courting Shane Doan, including the Kings, according to several reports, should the Coyotes captain choose to leave the Valley.
That isn’t the lament of a homer sportswriter. It is the reaction of a journalist who has spent several decades covering the games people play and knows how unique Doan is. Rarely does an athlete come along who spends his entire career with one organization and in the process serves as leader, scorer, mentor, promoter.
Yet his 16-year stay in Arizona is at risk of ending because of an ownership mess that appears to be growing more complicated by the minute. And it’s not just the Kings who appear to have interest in Doan. Eleven teams have inquired about the player, his agent, Terry Bross, said Friday. New York, Detroit and Montreal are among the group, according to various reports.
Doan deserves better.
Ray Shero has undoubtedly used knowledge and strategy he learned serving for eight years as David Poile‘s assistant in Nashville to become the tour de force general manager he is now in Pittsburgh.
Today, however, it might be time for mentor Poile to follow the lead of his former pupil.
Poile needs to handle the Shea Weber situation the way that Shero dealt with the Jordan Staal situation: You offer the player the best contract extension you can afford. If he doesn’t accept, you trade him, preferably to a place he wants to play.
The Predators probably don’t want to believe this, but it’s the best strategy for the organization and for the player. It’s the respectful approach. It’s the dignified approach. It’s the forward-thinking approach.
It certainly isn’t difficult to determine what to offer Weber: It’s the Sidney Crosby contract of $104.4 million over 12 years.
We know the Predators can go that high, because they were at least in the neighborhood in their bidding for Ryan Suter.
If the Predators make that offer, they are telling Weber they value him as much the Penguins value Crosby. And that’s the truth. They would be paying him more than Ryan Suter received when he left the Predators to sign with the Minnesota Wild this week. And that’s important. That offer also would tell their fans that the Predators are willing to do whatever it takes to build a winning organization.