Willie Mitchell update: I hear he’s gotten a clean bill of health and has begun taking physicals for a few teams. I think he’ll sign soon. The former Wild defenseman, I’m told, actually could sign a contract with performance bonuses because he spent 100 days on injured reserve last year — including the playoffs. The CBA doesn’t spell out whether the 100 days is only during the regular season, so it appears after inquiries from Mitchell and the player interested teams, the league will allow this type of contract. I bet it’ll be for a base of $1 or $1.5 million on a one-year deal plus bonuses.
Free agents Kim Johnsson, Willie Mitchell and Mike Mottau were all 20-minute NHL defensemen last season, and none has a new contract for next season. Paul Kariya also hasn’t found work, nor have Bill Guerin and Lee Stempniak, who had 21 and 28 goals, respectively, last season.
The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Monday parted ways with No. 1 goalie Antti Niemi because they considered his arbitration award too steep.
Think they’ve about run out of cardboard boxes and packaging tape in the Chicago Blackhawks’ dressing room? In the nine weeks since they hoisted the Stanley Cup, eight players have packed up and moved on as part of the team’s salary-cap-induced bloodletting.
Sharks-killing forward Dustin Byfuglien: Gone. Twenty-goal scorer Kris Versteeg: Gone. Energetic forechecker Colin Fraser: Gone.
The slow pace of Carey Price’s contract talks is “relatively normal,” his agent says.
John Kenney, Gazette
Nothing terribly significant to report on contract talks between the Canadiens and goaltender Carey Price, who has been an unsigned restricted free agent for a little more than a month.
As a blurb at the bottom of the Jamal Mayers to San Jose story on Sportsnet.ca they mention that Brian Burke has cancelled his charity lunch this week in order to fly to Europe “in order to negotiate a deal with a prospective player”.