Category Archives: HTR Feature Article
Everyone knows the Vancouver Canucks have as good a chance as any team to secure the most sought-after free agent since Cindy Crawford, that being one Justin Schultz, to whom they made their pitch in Toronto on Wednesday.
Whether or not they land the fellow whose parents apparently own season tickets to Canuck games will have an effect on which players they pursue when the July 1 green flag falls on unrestricted players.
If Schultz is not in the fold, they might go looking hard for somebody somewhat like him named Jason Garrison, a defenceman with the Florida Panthers with some considerable offensive abilities who hails from White Rock and might consider giving Vancouver a small hometown discount.
But will it be a sufficient discount to have it make sense for the Canucks, who hope to get Sami Salo back for at least one more year, and maybe more, and already have another young right-handed shot in Chris Tanev in the fold?
New Jersey Devils veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur could be wearing a new uniform when the puck is dropped for the 2012-2013 season.
Brodeur, an unrestricted free agent on Sunday, has hired player agent Pat Brisson to represent him and might be ready to test his value on the open market.
The 40-year-old netminder has had limited conversation with the Devils on a new deal and though he could still re-sign with the only NHL team he’s played for, his new agent says he will entertain offers from other teams if an agreement is not reached at the beginning of the free agent period.
“He will be testing free agency if a deal is not in place by Sunday,” Brisson told TSN on Friday.
Source tells me it’s official: Olli Jokinen’s days with the Flames are over and he will head to free agency July 1.
— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) June 28, 2012
While Vancouver Canucks starter-to-be Cory Schneider says he’ll take his time to sign a new deal, the team probably wants to get that whole Roberto Luongo mess cleaned up sooner rather than later. Darren Dreger provides the latest update on that front: the Florida Panthers remain the “frontrunner.” The Toronto Maple Leafs, meanwhile, appear to be lagging behind.
Bob McKenzie paraphrases Dreger as such:
Insider Trading hilites: @DarrenDreger says dialogue continues between FLA and VAN on Luongo. Not so much TOR and VAN. FLA frontrunner.
Plenty has been made of the Panthers’ interest in bringing back Luongo; it’s even clear that the team’s ownership seems OK with his lengthy, risky contract. It appears that Luongo wants to go back to Florida, too, as a report surfaced that he wouldn’t accept a swap to two other interested parties in Toronto and the Chicago Blackhawks.
If Brian Burke is to be believed, don’t expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be big players in the free agent market this summer.
Speaking at the P.E.I. Special Olympics Festival Luncheon on Wednesday, Burke discussed his plans heading into free agency beginning July 1.
“With the salary cap and the new collective bargaining agreement that’s coming up, I don’t know what our plans are for filling out our roster,” Burke said. “Free agency starts on July 1, it’s a really thin group.
“Teams are locking all these quality players up now, so the group that is getting to the market is thin, it’s shallow. There are really two high-end players and that’s about it, (Nashville defenceman) Ryan Suter and (New Jersey forward) Zach Parise.
Although Suter or Parise would provide the Leafs with an immediate infusion of star power, it seems unlikely either will be wearing the Blue and White next season.
“I don’t think we are going to be in on either one of them,” Burke said.
And despite missing the playoffs each season since being named GM of the Leafs in 2008, Burke said he isn’t ready to abandon his long-term plan for short-term success — even if it costs him his job.
“People say if you don’t make the playoffs you are gone,” said Burke. “That’s fine. I am not going to do anything short term to make the playoffs and keep my job.