Tons of Rumors as Free Agent Season Nears

1. Peter Chiarelli, Bruins press on with Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton

2. MCKENZIE: EVERYTHING GOING ON AS JULY 1 NEARS

3. Plenty of NHL teams will be looking to hop aboard the A-Train when free agency begins Thursday.

4. Gillis must bolster blue line beyond Ballard acquisition

5. Players that the Canucks May target

Peter Chiarelli, Bruins press on with Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton

There was little high news value at the Garden yesterday.

The occasion was the introduction to their new city of Bruins [team stats] top pick Tyler Seguin and recently acquired veteran Nathan Horton. The most significant aspect of the brief press conference – unless you’re counting the impact on jersey sales in the North Station pro shop – was the unveiling of Seguin’s No. 19 and Horton’s No. 18.

Both players expressed pride at becoming Bruins and excitement for the coming season.

“For me personally, it’s a dream come true to come to join such a stable and successful and historic organization,” Horton said. “I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a joy to be here. I can’t wait for it to start, I’m excited to be a Boston Bruin and be part of the Bruins family.”

Seguin, obviously well-schooled and experienced in dealing with the media, redirected most questions toward a stock answer: That his first challenge is earning a spot on the team.

The choice of number for Seguin was found interesting by some, since he becomes the first Bruin to wear No. 19 since Joe Thornton was dispatched to the San Jose Sharks by Jeremy Jacobs & Co. Turns out Seguin would have preferred to stick with the No. 9 he’s accustomed to wearing, but that is one of the B’s retired numbers and general manager Peter Chiarelli wasn’t about to ask Johnny Bucyk for the OK to unretire it.

“Chief would whup me for even asking,” Chiarelli said with a laugh.

So Seguin went with the number of his idol, Steve Yzerman, a player to whom he is frequently likened.

“Growing up I’ve always loved the number 9,” the remarkably poised and articulate 18-year-old Seguin said. “I used to use No. 97. When I went to the OHL, I used 9 again. But here I can’t get 9. So I’ve always idolized Steve Yzerman. He was No. 19 (with the Detroit Red Wings), so I thought it was best suited for me. I know I’ve still got to make the NHL club, but if people want to compare me to guys like (Joe Thornton), I’d be thrilled.”

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/hockey/bruins/view/20100630peter_chiarelli_bruins_press_on_with_tyler_seguin_nathan_horton_future_present/


MCKENZIE: EVERYTHING GOING ON AS JULY 1 NEARS

By the way, agents are now permitted to seek offer sheets on restricted free agents – as long as neither the player or the club have requested salary arbitration. So the best targets for offer sheets are RFAs with no arbitration rights – James Neal (DAL), Bobby Ryan (ANA) and Marc Staal (NYR) amongst others.

– Ethan Moreau, Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan were all placed on waivers by the Oilers on Tuesday, and are buyout eligible. Other players placed on waivers include the Ducks’ Nathan Oystric, the Lightning’s Todd Fedoruk and New York Rangers’ Donald Brashear, Aaron Voros and Patrick Rissmiller. Jonathan Cheechoo, Petteri Nokelainen, Ales Kotalik, Jim Vandermeer and Ville Koistenen all cleared waivers today and are eligible to be bought out by their former clubs.

– I do not believe the Calgary Flames intend to buy out forward Ales Kotalik. It’s more like, “we can now bury you in the minors, maybe you want to play in Europe instead?” Also, the Flames can’t afford to use valuable cap space on a buyout. The aim is to find a spot for Kotalik, where he doesnt count against cap and someone else pays.

– The Toronto Maple Leafs may have some interest in Marc Savard (BOS) and Mike Ribeiro (DAL) but there is no sense of urgency whatsoever at the moment. Most likely mid-July More likely mid-July depending on how things go in free agency.

– It’s funny how the KHL could be the NHL team’s best friend, now that there are contracted players they are trying to move to offset costs and open up cap room!

– Dialogue between the Penguins and Dan Hamhuis continues. Nothing is carved in stone by any means, but the odds favor Hamhuis going to market on July 1. That does not mean the Penguins would be out of it. Far from it – the player may just want to see everything on the table before making a decision.

– It appears as though the Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Nikolai Kulemin are making progress on a new deal. Nothing is done yet, however the two sides appear to be closing the gap. If it gets done, I’m guessing it would be around $2.5 million per year or somewhere a little south of that. Kulemin and his agent have reportedly been looking for a deal closer to the $3 million mark.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=326057

Will brother join Koivu? It’s up to Saku

The Wild needs a center or two, but just like last summer, Mikko Koivu said he won’t put any pressure on his older brother, Saku, to sign with the Wild as a free agent.

“It will be his decision,” the Wild captain said Tuesday. “I know his contract’s up again, but to be honest with you, we haven’t talked about that — not once this summer. At the end, it’s his and his family’s decision to do what they feel is best for them.

“Obviously, if he asks about Minnesota and the team and stuff like that, I’ll tell what I feel, but I don’t want to add any pressure to him making a decision by what I say.”

Last July, the Wild offered Saku, the longtime Montreal Canadiens captain, a two-year deal worth about $8 million and a three-year deal worth about $10 million. He instead opted for a one-year, $3.25 million deal in Anaheim to “protect Mikko.”

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/97442694.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUBP7hUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

Plenty of NHL teams will be looking to hop aboard the A-Train when free agency begins Thursday.

NHL executives say Anton Volchenkov, the 28-year-old blueliner, will be in big demand, with at least 10 teams expected to check in.

Volchenkov is expected to be one of the first free agents to move on when the signing period opens Thursday at noon. It’s unlikely Volchenkov will return to the Senators. His agent Jay Grossman, who met with Volchenkov in New York twice in the last month, wouldn’t comment.

The Capitals are expected to make a pitch and the Sharks could look at Volchenkov as a replacement for veteran Rob Blake, who retired last month. The Thrashers, Ducks, Blues and Rangers are also likely suitors.

After turning down a five-year, $20-million deal from the Senators, Volchenkov, who has spent his whole career in an Ottawa uniform, is expected to get $4.5-$5 million per season on the open market.

“He’s going to have options,” said a league executive.

The belief is the Rangers and Capitals are the two teams most serious about signing the shot-blocking Volchenkov, who was drafted 21st overall by the Senators in the 2000 draft.

If the Rangers decide to make the move, it could be bad news for Volchenkov’s former Ottawa teammate Wade Redden.

The Rangers could move his $6.5-million contract to the AHL to clear cap space.

The Rangers have warned Redden he’d better show up at cam
p prepared to earn his money, following two sub-par seasons in New York.

While the Senators may lose Volchenkov, they haven’t closed the door on either winger Matt Cullen or defenceman Andy Sutton.

http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2010/06/29/14561201.html

Gillis must bolster blue line beyond Ballard acquisition

You can always find something of value sifting through the rubble.

When the Vancouver Canucks’ battered, bruised and confused blueline brigade exited the postseason, injuries and indifferent play — especially an inability to defend down low — told a telling tale in being outscored 17-7 in three home-ice losses to the Chicago Blackhawks.

However, the real story in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal was attrition. Alex Edler was lost in the first period to a right ankle injury, Willie Mitchell had long been lost to a concussion while Sami Salo found the courage to play through intense testicle pain after two pre-game injections to dull the ailment.

That same script unfolded on too many occasions during the regular season.

Despite missing 90 man-games to injury, the back end combined for 171 points. Only Chicago (188 points), Pittsburgh (186) and Washington (179) mustered more and there was resiliency as the Canucks claimed the Northwest Division title.

In 19 games from Jan. 20-March 10 with Kevin Bieksa sidelined by ankle tendon tears and Mitchell lost for the season, the Canucks went 13-5-1.

Makes you wonder how far they could have advanced in the playoffs with a healthy defence.

Then again, you could argue the Canucks weren’t built for postseason success because they lacked the will to grind out third and fourth-line goals and didn’t fall in front of shots nearly enough.

The Canucks ranked 27th in hits last season and 24th in blocked shots.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Gillis+must+bolster+blue+line+beyond+Ballard+acquisition/3217762/story.html

Players that the Canucks May target

Dan Hamhuis, 27, 6-foot, 208 lbs., $2.5 million

Why yes: Good in all areas if Mike Gillis wants to still massage top-four mix. Good for 30-40 points per season and major minutes. Will hit, blocks shots and has missed just seven games the last five seasons.

Why no: Price point. With negotiation rights now held by Pittsburgh, could command $5 million annually. Canucks had trade-deadline interest, but didn’t want to part with Cody Hodgson and a first-round draft pick.

Anton Volchenkov, 28, 6-foot-1, 227 lbs., $3.2 million

Why yes: Finished eighth among NHL blueliners with 172 blocked shots and tough in his own zone. Averaged 20:41 last season and paired with Chris Phillips to help get Ottawa to the 2007 Stanley Cup final.

Why no: See Hamhuis. Already turned down five-year, $20 million extension and could pocket $4.5-$5 million annually on open market. Durability may be an issue. Played 64, 68 and 67 games the last three seasons.

Zbynek Michalek, 27, 6-foot-2, 210 lbs. $1.5 million

Why yes: Even with a healthy raise, a financial fit at No. 5. Willing to sacrifice his body and led Phoenix in blocked shots (156) and average ice time (22:38). Has missed just 17 games in five seasons with Coyotes.

Why no: Depending on how you read the playoffs, he either got needed experience in a pairing with Ed Jovanovski for a combined minus-11 in seven games or some shortcomings in his game were exposed.

Shaone Morrisonn, 27, 6-foot-4, 217 lbs., $1.975 million

Why yes: In a pairing with Mike Green, the Vancouver native wasn’t afraid to lean on people. Durable. Played 80, 72, 76, 78, 80 games with Washington last five seasons. May take discount for a chance to play at home.


http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Unrestricted+free+agent+defencemen+Canucks+consider/3217767/story.html


50 Responses to Tons of Rumors as Free Agent Season Nears

  1. nordiques100 says:

    Cox is now saying in his star blog that its Hamhuis the Leafs will go after.

    But if that happens, the Leafs will definitely need to trade Kaberle.

    Could they get a max return doing a trade "under the gun"?

    that is hard to say.

    or, do they decide to move Schenn? that to me is a major mistake and would make Burke no better than Ferguson as a Leaf GM. I dont care of the return, especially since teams were rumoured to be just offering a late 1st for Schenn.

    trading the picks to get Kessel. ok. fine. that road has been crossed. but you simply cannot give away any more high picks.

  2. Kev_Leafs says:

    Some reports were saying that it was Dallas that offered the 11th pick for Schenn – so Burke would have turned down the option of Fowler, Gromley and everyone else.

    I think the only way Burke trades Schenn is if he gets one of his favourites in return – like Bobby Ryan, Perry, or Parise.  Boyond that he wouldn't do it.

     

  3. PatsLeafs says:

    Parise would be great. Pretty well impossible though

  4. Kramer says:

    Resigning Finger should be a top priority.

  5. Kev_Leafs says:

    Yes, I didn't say any of those players were accessible; merely that he'd consider moving Schenn for either of them.  I guess I could have added Crosby and Ovechkin to the list.  There is a small chance that someone from the Ducks moves, however.

  6. Bure96 says:

    Predictions:

    Ilya Kovalchuk (not including KHL, which is probably more likely then any NHL team) – Colorado Avalanche – Cost: 8 years, 9.5 million per year. Think about it. They have almost 30 million dollars in cap space! This isn't a franchise that has to stay under a strict budget, and they could use some fire power in their top 6. Few teams will be able to offer as much as they can, but it's also a good franchise as well, media coverage isn't too intense (he's not going to Toronto!), and Denver is a fairly nice city to live. People say LA is the other logical choice, but I think it makes a lot more sense for Colorado. The Kings will have too many big contracts to hand out in the next few years and a Kovalchuk move would put them at the cap. Colorado could extended Peter Mueller, Chris Stewart, Craig Anderson, sign Kovalchuk, and still be 10 million under the cap! They have some good prospects, but nobody else other then the 3 I mentioned already will be in line for a huge raise soon (except Duchene too)

    Dan Hamhuis – Los Angeles Kings – Cost: 4 years: 5 million per season. Dan Hamhuis to the Kings makes a lot more sense than Ilya Kovalchuk. They Kings don't need any more star power, they need a top 4 defensemen, and top 6 forward though. They have cap space (once again, not enough to take a 10 million dollar a year contract though), and need another top 4 defender after Drew Doughty (Rob Scurderi is solid, but Jack Johnson is vastly overrated).

    Sergai Gonchar – Pittsburgh Penguins – Cost: 2 years, 4.75 miliion per year. No reason for him not to stay. He probably wants to test the market, and see what he can get, but Pittsburgh will pay as much for him as anybody else would. Pittsburgh has the cap space, and only 3 d man signed right now. He should be back next year.

    Ray Whitney – Los Angeles Kings – Cost: 1 year, 2.5 million. Ray Whitney wants a Cup, and this is a team on the rise. Add Whitney and Hamhuis to this lineup and they looked really scary all of a sudden.

    Alex Frolov – Toronto Maple Leafs – Cost: 4 years, 4.75 million per year
    Maxim Afinogenov – New York Islanders – Cost: 2 years, 4 million per year
    Paul Martin – Vancouver Canucks – Cost: 4 years, 3.5 million per year
    Mathew Lombardi – Phoenix Coyotes – Cost: 4 years, 3.75 million per year
    Evgeni Nabokov – Tampa Bay Lightning – Cost: 3 years, 4.25 million per year

    I couldn't find a fit for Olli Jokinen anywhere really … that guy has really fallen off since 2007 …

  7. LeafsneedSteen says:

    I read a rumor that Nonis likes cake.

  8. LeafsneedSteen says:

    Kovalchuk wants to play for a franchise moving in the right direction (which seems to comprise his demand for an extrobitant cap hit), is that really Colorado?  They have Duschene and…. ummm 6.5 tied up in Stastny.  I think he likes the spotlight and there is more money and fame to be made in Toronto and LA than Denver.  If he was attracted to big dollars and a low profile he would have re-uped with the Atlantas.

    In this market Frolov is a lock for 5.5-6. No thanks.

  9. cam7777 says:

    It should be noted that the pick stuff is all garbage, because all we know is that a 1st was offered for one of our defensemen not named Kaberle.  Howard Berger, the idiot that he is, decided to start telling everyone it had to be Schenn because no one else on the roster is worth a 1st.  Umm, hello, if Jimmy Hayes is worth a high 2nd, you're telling me that Gunnarsson wouldn't return a late 1st?  Of course he would.  Same with Beauchemin.  I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the offer was the 25th overall for Beauchemin, from Vancouver, and when Burke said no, he turned to Ballard.

    There's absolutely nothing to say that it was Schenn people were asking about except for Berger, who spends his whole life spinning everything he can to make the Leafs players worthless.  Again, trades like the one made with Chicago show you the real value of those picks.  To say that Schenn, who's played two full NHL seasons and just turned 20, is only worth slightly more than Jimmy Hayes is absolutely *****ing ridiculous. 

  10. mapleleafsfan says:

    Yea I don't really see the leafs signing Frolov.. He's gonna be pretty exensive and he's soft as hell.. I don't see burke being interested.. let the habs take him.
    I also think Whitney will probably make more than 2.5.. his production is decreasing but he's still good for over 20 goals.. I see him making 3, maybe a little bit more.

  11. Kev_Leafs says:

    Frolov is not a Burke player.  Neither is Kovalchuk – but I think Burke might bend considering he's good for 40plus goals.

    No way Toronto is paying anything for Frolov.

    And I don't want them to get Lombardi either (just saying) – next year UFA centres are much better; Leafs should go with Bozak/Kadri over any UFA centres.  Trades are a different story.

    To be honest aside from Armstrong and Kovalchuk, I'm not enthused about much of any of the UFAs this year. 

  12. assman says:

    whats burke doing? its july first and nothing still. hes got to get top 6 scorers, forwards. savard for sure. neal is good, armstrong also. i like carter. any of those but at least 2. for sure, or the least. we got to make the playoffs. no ifs, ands, buts this time.

  13. assman says:

    your like 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.

  14. Mapleleaves says:

    Are you from the future?

  15. Mapleleaves says:

    Thats a heavey bag..  how big is it??  whats it made of?

  16. Bure96 says:

    Hows Colorado not moving in the right direction? They need to tweak there roster during free agency a bit, but if you add Kovalchuk then the team is a playoff lock.

    Nobody wants to play in Toronto. I'm not a "Leaf Hater" but the reality is if your a high profile UFA, and aren't from Eastern Canada you probably don't have much interest in the Leafs. Media is horrible, not exactly great city to reside in, and this team is making strides in the right direction, But is still ways away from even being in the same level as Colorado. They have ZERO offense outside of Kessel, and secondary players like Bozak, and Kulemin. Who wants to build a Stanley Cup contending team around Ilya Kovalchuk, Dion Phaneuf, and Phil Kessel? If you sign Kovalchuk then those are the franchise guys – swim or sink with them. I just think Toronto makes very little sense.

    Los Angeles makes more sense, but that would put them at the cap, and they still need to upgrade the defense. You have Drew Doughty's contract expiring next summer too. Do you really want two 7 million dollar players, and one 10 million dollar player on your roster? I'm not ruling out Los Angeles, but aside from having enough cap space to make it work (barely) it doesn't make too much sense to me either.

    Alex Frolov is overrated and his production has been going down every year. I GUARENTEE he won't make over 5 million a year on his new deal (unless he's in KHL). He's not a 1st line forward, and will never be a 1st line forward, so no one is going to pay him to be "the guy".

  17. mapleleafsfan says:

    Noone wants to play in Toronto? Are you new? Fair enough not everyone is lining up to play here but it's one of the biggest hockey markets in the world… Not exactly a great city to reside in? What is one thing that is undersirable about toronto.. especially considering you're saying DENVER is more ideal… What a joke..

  18. mapleleafsfan says:

    hahahahahha

  19. LeafsneedSteen says:

    Berger is annoying, he can't write an article or do an interview without prefacing everything he says with the foley of the Kessel and inflate the tragic history of the Maple Leafs when the real tragedy is that he's fanboy by trade who's is too ugly to even host a radio show.

    Nice post.

  20. LeafsneedSteen says:

    There are so many assumptions in your post I don't know where to begin, so I'll bullet point them.

    Leafs have Kaberle to play in addition to being able to get Savard or Riberio without sacrificing too much and good young pieces Kadri and Bozak. 

    Colorado has been fortunate with getting Duschene with 3 spot (anyone could have made that pick) and hit pay dirt with Anderson.  They've been lucky, not brilliantly managed.

    Colorado is a long shot to remain competitive in the West

    It has been reported that Kovy has Toronto on his short list. 

    If he cared about a low profile, he'd still be a Thrasher.  If LA and Toronto made his short list then perhaps he likes attention/celebrity.

    Brian Burke inspires more faith among players than Greg Sherman.

    Burke likes big names.

    We're not building a contender at the moment we have to become competitive first.

    No one is suggesting the Leafs are the only horse in this race.

    The Leafs being thin up front makes a case for pursuing Kovalchuk, not avoiding him.

    I agree with your assement of Frolov, that said, UFAs routinely get overpaid.  He might be a good fit for a second rate market like Colorado.

  21. LeafsneedSteen says:

    If you were one of the best players in the league wouldn't you want to routinely be on the third page of the paper behind the Broncos and Mavericks?

  22. mapleleafsfan says:

    Versteeg and the rights to Bill Sweatt to the leafs for Stalberg, DiDomenico and Paradis.. what does everyone think?

  23. inurface says:

    true
    http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=533345

    versteeg is a top 6 2nd liner (on tor a 1st liner)
    for wht we gave up this is a deal works for leafs 50points 20 goals..
    3.06 mill caphit for  two more yrs

    paradis was overated he is a 2nd rounder type prospect
    didomenico is a guy i hope gets into nhl and makes an impact
    stalberg is the wild card

  24. LeafsneedSteen says:

    Mixed feelings about Versteeg.  No sure what target this costs us (I'm clearly Kovalchuk obsessed).  So mixed feeling….

    We traded parts that would have made sense to land Savard but Versteeg gives up a good top six and emphasizes our need for an established center.

    We pick up a replacement for Nik Hagman to fill our top six  but we need size on the wing, losing our best bet a developing a power forward in Paradis doesn't help.

    Kaberle remains in play, we're set on RW (again a good LW is on the market) now with a good young affordable winger.

  25. LeafsneedSteen says:

    Something doesn't sit right, not a player I'd expect Burke to target, he could be package with Kaberle but now it's clear that Burke is weighing options otherwise Paradis/Stalberg could have been shipped for Savard by now.

  26. inurface says:

    eh another american prospect……………(personally i think burke goes for too many americans..but teen again hes there gm and wilson was the coach,,,so i dunno )

    uncle sam loves tml

    i know versteeg is canadian
    am just curious of how many american players/prospects we have compare to other type of markets.

  27. Bure96 says:

    Ilya Kovalchuk doesn't seem like the type of guy who would enjoy that sort of spotlight. I meant it wasn't the greatest city to reside in as a player … the city itself isn't any worse then Denver obviously lol

    And there is a reason no superstar has ever became and unrestricted free agent and signed in Toronto. Guys don't like getting shit on everyday by the media, especially when they could go to Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, etc. and get the same media attention, but with way less bullshit.

  28. Bure96 says:

    I just don't think Kovalchuk is coming to Vancouver. Besides, do you really want to build your franchise around Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, and Ilya Kovalchuk? All fantastic talents with major red flags (considering there price tags and how important they are to the teams success) … I don't see that trio working out. Kovalchuk and Kessel for 14 million makes no sense. Too much money for one dimensional (though that one dimension is outstanding) players that don't hit, aren't team leaders, and just are playoff built hockey players.

    Maybe he could end up in Toronto, but I think it would set the franchise back, more then truly help this team. 

  29. Bure96 says:

    Since when did the Mavericks move to Denver …

    Broncos are horrible, don't even worry about them either =

  30. LeafsCaines says:

    Leafs got Versteeg! one step at a time Burkie!
    The Chicago Blackhawks have unloaded another key player that helped them win the Stanley Cup, sending right-winger Kris Versteeg to Toronto in a five-player deal Wednesday night. The Maple Leafs also acquired the rights to left-winger Bill Sweatt in exchange for forwards Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis.

  31. leafmeister says:

    Kovalchuk is not a playoff player, and I am totally fine with staying clear of him. Kessel is a PPG guy in the playoffs, which for his age is outstanding. He does hit, but you dont have to be physical to step up in the playoffs. Kovvy does suck in the playoffs though.

  32. leafy says:

    Good and bad. The good is that Versteeg has very good hands and is entering his prime. He's also known to play well defensively.

    The bad is that we lost Stalberg. I don't know how others feel, but I was really high on Stalberg. When he motors through the neutral zone with those long legs, he reminds me of Joe Niewendyk.

    We also lost Paradis and DiDomenico, two promising players. I don't know about Bill Sweatt.

    I hope this doesn't come back to bite us in the ass.

  33. leafymofo says:

    trading stalberg was a big mistake imo

    what does everybody think about signing modano? on top of being a great leader, im sure he still has a littleeeeee bit left in him
  34. Kev_Leafs says:

    By trading away that many prospects it emphasizes the fact that Burke wants to win now.  With THAT left-winger the Leafs are more likely to win more games, or at least score more goals – probably nice ones.

  35. LeafsCaines says:

    stalberg and versteeg are the same age i think….i like vertsteeg a little bit more lol….Modano..wouldnt mind a deal for one year to help the younger guys out 😛

  36. leafy says:

    Well here's the low down on Bill Sweat. He's a 7C prospect, which means he "may reach" second line status. One positive is that he has tremendous speed.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/billy_sweatt

  37. LeafsneedSteen says:

    Of all the reaction I've read fans are mourning Stalberg, I liked him too but keep in mind if he blosoms he hits the trade market because Huet and Campbell should still be forcing talent out of Chicago.

    All I know about Sweatt is that he's a Burke type player in that he came up through USA hockey and we still have to sign him.

    A handle of raw pieces for a polished one, not terrible in my eyes.

  38. LeafsneedSteen says:

    I'm hearing that this means we're out of THAT sweepstakes but this feels more like the end of Kulemin emphasizing need of the left side. 

    Land one big fish and we're a center away from a complete rebuild.  With that stability we could hold onto our prospect and picks.

  39. LeafsneedSteen says:

    I'm not accusing you of being a homer (of course Vancouver couldn't sign him), just a little anti-Toronto to suggest it's hell on Earth.

    I would love to build a franchise with Kessel, Phaneuf and Kovalchuk.  A lot of egos there, entertaining and don't shy from the spotlight (expection being Kessel but I like his game).  Savard also has a ego bring him in.  Players with egos have presence and don't play shy.  Last time we had a bad dressing room was the Corson/Tucker/Roberts/Niewendyk clique during the Quinn years and we actually won playoff games.  On the other hand JFJ had a good guys that got along, not only did they suck but they were boring.

    Kessel and Kovalchuk would combine for 80 minimum and you don't get it?  Does Marleau and Heatley work? 

    I'm tired of hearing one dimensional about top line forwards, scoring goals is the hardest thing to do hockey, it trumps all other intangibles.  Is Ovechkin, Crosby, Heatley, Getzlaf, Frolov etc… one dimensional? So basically you're suggesting unless a you sign Datsyuk or Kesler a player is a waste of money?

    I'd love to risk getting set back with Kovalchuk rather than whimpering on tweeking a failure.

  40. LeafsneedSteen says:

    Kovalchuk was the only player to show up in the playoffs for NJ.

  41. Mapleleaves says:

    He was never not on the ice thats why. I havent seen enough of kovy to know how good he really is besides stats. Always here hes no good though… all i can say is he's not close to worth what he was asking in atlanta, and since he is asking for way to much i think he's only in it for the money and doesnt really care that much about winning. He wanted to go to a contender probably because playing with better player would pad his stats and make him worth more.

  42. LeafsneedSteen says:

    If you can get him at a cap hit between 7-8.8 he's worth it. Better than trying to get cute on two 5 million guys, hard to find those players on the open market.

    No one was carrying him or padding his stats with the Thashers.

    Debating Kovalchuk's playoff performance aside, ask yourself what has cemented the Leafs from reaching the post season? Shootouts and overtime, we're the fifth worst team all time in shootouts.  Last season we left 14 points on the table from OT losses.  Kovalchuk/Kessel will be difference makes 4 on 4 and in shootouts.  By all means pad those stats.

  43. leafy says:

    Hey LeafsneedSteen, which other Twitter sources do you recommend? I've got LeBrun, Mckenzie, Dreger, Kypreos, Cox, etc.  Any other good ones?

  44. Mapleleaves says:

    Excactly he didnt have anyone to pad his stats in atlanta, and he knew he wasnt worth his asking price and even after getting traded to a better team (a contender) his Value didnt go up even though thats what he was hoping.. thats what i meant when i was saying.

    haha  i agree with you at the end there, kavy could put us where we want to be so maybe it would be ok to land him, but dont give him a NTC pleeaase..  if worse came to worse at least give us the option to trade him anywhere.

  45. mojo19 says:

    Lullabies to Paralyze B-Sides and off their live album. Nice job Kev

  46. Boston_Bruins says:

    For Modano he's only ever shown interest in playing for Dallas and Boston so I don't think it's realistic to expect him to go to a random team after his long career. I think he's done.

  47. LeafsneedSteen says:

    You've got more than my list, I'll check out the local papers of other markets (i.e. Boston globe, Boston herald) for balanced opinion.

    Eklund's twitter is targeted for obessive fan which I'll admit I am at this time of year.

  48. DannyLeafs says:

    I don't think it's just that Burke is targeting more Americans, but Americans have done a lot of catching up to us in every level, so we are seeing more quality American prospects. They came within a hair of winning gold at the Olympics, two of the last 5 first overall picks were American born prospects, and there were 11 Americans taken in the first round of this years draft.

    I do think Burke probably chooses a few more Americans than most GM's, but that probably has as much to do with being more familiar with them. All in all I think he targets the players that he believes would be the best fit for the team. He didn't take part in going after Byfuglien because he probably realized that Versteeg is the more talented player, and that Byfuglien got so much hype during the playoffs that he would likely have cost too much.

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