Trade Rumors and News for July 29th 2009

Tampa Bay Lightning pays price for scoring flexibility, buying out forward Vinny Prospal’s contract

Tampa after Sykora or Tanguay

‘Narrow’ differences between Wellwood, Canucks

Idea to split Coyotes home games draws criticism from observers

Tampa Bay Lightning pays price for scoring flexibility, buying out forward Vinny Prospal’s contract

By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer

General manager Brian Lawton said he wants one more substantial asset for the Lightning — a top-six forward.

It is not a sure thing given the team’s financial constraints, so Lawton intends to give himself room by buying out the three years remaining on Vinny Prospal’s four-year contract.

The move will cost Tampa Bay two-thirds of the $10.5 million Prospal is owed spread over double the remaining life of the contract. In other words, the left wing will get $7 million over six seasons; $1.17 million a year, a savings for the Lightning of $2.33 million next season.

“Sometimes you can get too expensive in this salary cap world,” Lawton said Tuesday. “This is probably an example of that.”

Tampa Bay has done substantial cost cutting. It saved $1.23 million next season by trading Radim Vrbata, and no one will be surprised if a defenseman is traded, with Lukas Krajicek and his $1.475 million contract a prime candidate.

Tampa after Sykora or Tanguay

The move will save the Lightning $2.33 million in actual salary per season during the next three years and could be a precursor for another move to bring in a top-six forward. Tampa Bay is considered to be among the teams interested in free-agent forward Alex Tanguay and has been tied to discussions with Petr Sykora.

“After fully evaluating our roster and our position in the salary cap world, we arrived at the decision to buy out Vaclav Prospal from his contract,” Lightning general manager Brian Lawton said. “We appreciate Vinny’s service to the Lightning, but in the best interest of the team, we believe a difficult decision needed to be made in this case and we are going to move ahead without him.”

‘Narrow’ differences between Wellwood, Canucks

Brad Ziemer, Canwest News Service

Kyle Wellwood’s salary arbitration hearing was described Tuesday as a civil affair that lasted better than four hours and ended with Vancouver Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman and the Canucks centre shaking hands.

“I think both sides conducted themselves in a very professional manner,” Gilman said by phone from Toronto after the hearing ended. “Both parties put their best foot forward.”

The arbitrator must deliver a decision no later than Thursday.

Wellwood, who made $997,500 US during the 2008-09 NHL season, filed for arbitration after he received a $1-million qualifying offer from the Canucks.

Wellwood scored a career-high 18 goals and collected 27 points in his first season with the Canucks. He snapped out of a mid-season slump to play some of his best hockey late in the season and during the playoffs, when he recorded six points in 10 post-season games.

Idea to split Coyotes home games draws criticism from observers

Carrie Watters

A group expected to bid on the Coyotes is proposing the team play five “home games” in Canada, an idea that sports observers call highly unusual.

Ice Edge Holdings LLC’s plan would include part of any playoff run by the financially struggling team.

Ice Edge says the Canadian games would help subsidize the franchise until its fortunes turn.

But marketing professionals and sports-business professors said Tuesday that splitting a schedule can chip away at a team’s brand and possibly its fan loyalty.

They said it also raises questions about whether owners are testing a market for possible relocation.

Ice Edge says that is not the case. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, or Halifax, Nova Scotia, were selected in part because they wouldn’t pose a threat to Valley fans, because those markets are too small to support full-time professional hockey, they said.

The investment group, one of two interested in buying the bankrupt hockey club, will present its plans to the NHL Board of Governors today.

It’s one of two offers expected for the franchise at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court auction next Wednesday. “Our hope is to deal with the deficit this year,” said Anthony LeBlanc, CEO of Ice Edge. “We have a plan that gets us close.”

2 Responses to Trade Rumors and News for July 29th 2009

  1. Kramer says:

    These pretzels are making me thirsty.

  2. papichulo71 says:

    I can't believe that no one has yet to point out what free agent would sign in Phoenix if on top of the extra travel from playing in the Western Conference they also had to fly to Halifax 5+ additional times a year.

Leave a Reply