Slow free agency to blame for slowed trade market

The Bruins had plans to be active in the trade market throughout the offseason, and as anyone who’s seen their current cap situation could infer, they would have been in far better shape had they been able to move contracts out as they brought new ones in. Yet in all their moves thus far, they’ve crept closer and closer to that $59.4 million cap ceiling with moves still left to be made.

Done Deal-ya: Kovalchuk returns

Monday, 07.19.2010 / 11:34 AM / News
By Eric Marin
Kovalchuk returns to New Jersey.
Big decisions take time, but Ilya Kovalchuk has made up his mind: he’s coming back to the Devils.

Since the free agent signing period began on July 1, almost every day brought new speculation on where the two-time 50-goal scorer might be headed. One of the most coveted unrestricteds in history, Kovalchuk finally ended the suspense Monday, following the Devils’ announcement that he’s staying in the Garden State. A 1 p.m. press conference will be held Tuesday at Prudential Center.

Source: Kovalchuk nearing decision

Once again, it appears the Ilya Kovalchuk saga is nearing its end, though the two-time 52-goal scorer still is deciding among a few teams, a source close to Kovalchuk says.

The inference is that the choice is among the Kings, Devils, St. Petersburg of the KHL or perhaps even some silent NHL bidder.

The Kings reportedly have been solving differences with Kovalchuk, while one source said the Kings believed they had a 50-50 chance of signing the 27-year-old.

Acquiring Simon Gagne an intriguing thought for Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning has interest in acquiring Flyers left wing Simon Gagne. It is difficult to tell the level of interest because no one with the organization has commented publicly, but it would be naive to believe otherwise.

Why wouldn’t Tampa Bay inquire about a proven goals and points producer being shopped by a team desperate to clear cap space?

Mate in 3

MLSE Off Season Checklist

Sign a defenseman despite being log jammed at the position, check

Trade away draft picks or prospect for a support cast player, check

Sign a depth UFA forward, check

Yep, the more things change the more they stay the same. A typical Maple Leaf off season where management produces just enough change to spark mediocre interest in the team. Staying faithful to the script there are couple new faces but the additions of Lebda, Versteeg and Armstrong do little to realistically inspire faith that change is on the horizon.

This is disappointing because Burke disrupted this narrative last summer. The additions of a promising blue chip 1st round pick in Kadri and acquiring a legitimate top line winger in Kessel were unfamiliar actions of a Leaf GM. Though bringing in two top four blueliners in Komisarek and Beachemin were deals Leaf Nation are more accustomed too. Burke continued to flip the script as he cleared baggage during the season with in the Phaneuf and Giguere deals.