Market watch

Paul Stastny: five years, $33 million

Gifted player, but that’s another crazy second contract. Stastny’s entry-level deal pays him $710,000 this year.

Do you envy Bob Gainey sitting down with the agent representing Mike Komisarek and Christopher Higgins?

• In the Delaware County Daily Times, Anthony Sanfilippo praises Paul Holmgren for another steal: Matt Carle

• Marc De Foy in the Journal de Montréal on the Canadiens’  power-play woes

• Thanks, nightmare_49, for this link to a skeptical look at Carey Price from Canes Country

• And ESPN’s Scott Burnside asks:

Speaking of goalies, how do you feel about the Montreal goaltending situation?
Honestly, slightly uneasy. There is no disputing that sophomore Carey Price is a world talent. But over the past week or so, the Canadiens have proven with a series of erratic performances that they’re not going to run away with the Eastern Conference. Moreover, the up-and-down play of Price — whose goals allowed over the past four starts look like this: 2, 6, 0, 6 — begs the question whether GM Bob Gainey isn’t headed down the same path that cost the Canadiens a trip to the Eastern Conference final a year ago.
You’ll recall that after trading Cristobal Huet to Washington at last year’s trade deadline, Gainey turned over the goaltending duties to two untested rookies, Price and Jaroslav Halak. In the end, that move cost the Habs, as Price wobbled at the end of the first round against Boston and then collapsed in a five-game series loss to Philadelphia. Price is still putting up solid numbers (he’s 8-3-1 with a .915 save percentage and 2.61 GAA), and the Habs are still near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

But the bottom line is the Canadiens’ goaltending lineup lacked a veteran presence this spring, and there’s no reason to think it won’t lack that same presence next spring. That’s why we’d keep our eyes on guys like veteran netminder Dwayne Roloson, who might look in a Canadiens jersey, or Nikolai Khabibulin, or Manny Fernandez, although that’s not going to happen given that the Bruins and Habs are division-mates. Still, food for thought, no?


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Market watch

 Minnesota Wild and Pierre-Marc Bouchard have avoided arbitration – and the Wild have locked up a talented young player who would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

Bouchard, 24, has signed a five year, $20.4 million deal that breaks down to  $3.35 million this season, $4.25 million the following three seasons and $4.3 million in 2012-13.

Bouchard scored 11 goals, added 50 assists and made $2.6 million last season.

It is thought that his long-term signing improves the Wild’s chances of retaining Marian Gaborik.

• The dollar figures on Marek Svatos’s two-year deal in Colorado: $1.75 million this season (very reasonable for a 26-goal scorer) and $2.35 million in 2009-’10.

• Boston made it official today, buying out Glen Murray’s $4.15 contract. Doing so reduces the Bruins’ cap hit on Murray to $700,000-something this season. He’s now a UFA.

 


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Market watch

Pavol Demitra to Vancouver: two years, $8 million.

Canucks are $10 million under the cap  and still a player in the Sundin sweepstakes.

HockeyBuzz says Canadiens’ Plan B is Patrick Marleau.


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Market watch

RFA Matt Stajan stays with the Leafs: two years, $3.5 million.

The Leafs’ second-round pick in 2002 scored 16 goals, 17 assists while making $950,000 last season.

 

 


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Market watch

UFA Owen Nolan signs with Minnesota: two years at $2.75 million per.

Drafted first overall by Quebec in 1990, Nolan, 36, has played for the Nordiques, Colrado, San Jose, Toronto, Phoenix and Calgary. He’s been an All-Star five times, most recently in 2002.

Nolan made $1.75 million last season while scoring 16 goals and adding 16 assists for the Flames.

To the extent that the exuberant Alexander Ovechkin always looks like he’s having fun playing hockey, Nolan – the only NHL player born in Belfast – is exacty the opposite, a player whose mien is that of a s–t salesman with a mouth full of samples.

 


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Market watch

Craig Rivet and a seventh-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to Buffalo for second-round picks in the 2009 and 2010 drafts.

Eighteen months ago, Rivet was worth Josh Gorges and the first-round choice that turned out to be Max Pacioretty.

•  •  •

Steve Bernier, acquired by Buffalo in the trade that sent rent-a-player Brian Campbell to San Jose, has been shipped to Vancouver  for a second round draft pick in 2010 and a third round pick in 2009.


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Market watch

Jaromir Jagr has reportedly signed with Avangard Omsk of whatever they’re calling that Russian league, the club he played for during the lockout season.

Three years, $35 million … and in contrast to socialist countries like the U.S. and Canada, no taxes. This will please a guy who has had problems with the IRS.

The lack of casinos in Omsk may not please Jagr, but that’s another story.

A slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer, Jagr has won five Art Ross trophies, three Lester B. Pearsons (players’ MVP) and a Hart. He’s been a first-team All-Star seven times.

Jagr comes from Kladno, a small city in the Czech Republic that cranks out hockey players, including Tomas Plekanec.

Arguably the greatest European player in the history of the league, Jagr indisputably had the greatest hair of the 1990s.

At 36, Jagr’s best days are behind him. But he’s still got some game, and that big body and Jennifer Lopez ass make him hard to move off the puck.

Ironic that Jagr is off to play in Russia. As an NHLer, he wore number 68 in memory of the Prague Spring of 1968, the year his dissident grandfather died in prison.

Times change, however. And most people sell out their idealism for a lot less than $35 million.

 


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Market watch

 Sean Avery to Dallas: Four years, $16 million.

•  •  •

Dealt to Carolina for Erik Cole yesterday, Joni Pitkanen signed a new contract with the Hurricanes today.

Three years, $12 million: $3.5 million, $4 million, $4.5 million.

Pitkanen, who will be 25 in September, was Philadelphia’s first-round pick, fourth overall in 2002. He was dealt to Edmonton last summer in the trade that brought Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul to the Flyers.

Pitkanen played a shade over 24 minutes a game last season, second on the Oilers to Sheldon Souray. He was making $2.4 million.

•  •  •

Marian Hossa.

WTF?


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Market watch

Buffalo has signed Paul Gaustad to a four year contract worth $9.2 million. A seventh-round draft choice in 2000 who has developed into a decent physical forward (his 85 PiM were second only to Andrew Peters on the Sabres) who scores once in a while (10 goals, 26 assists), Gaustad will earn $1.7 million this season and $2.5 million in the next three years of his contract.

Gaustad made $750,000 last season and would have become a RFA tomorrow.

• Detroit has signed Andreas Lilja to a two-year contract at $2.5 million per – a raise of $1.5 million over what he was making. Lilja was eligible to become a UFA tomorrow.


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Market Watch

Florida Panthers have re-upped forward Rostislav Olesz, 21, who would have become an RFA tomorrow.

Sources told TSN it’s a six-year, $18.75 million deal with an annual salary cap hit of $3.125 million.

Olesz, picked 7th overall in the 2004 draft by the Panthers, was hampered by a hand injury most
of the season. He ended up with 14 goals, 12 assists and 26 points in 56
games while earning $984,000.

 


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Market watch

RDS reports Ryan Malone will sign with Tampa Bay, which obtained his rights from Pittsburgh on Friday..

Seven years. $31.5 million. That’s $4.5 million per but is probably front-loaded to make a buyout cheaper at the end of the contract, when a guy who plays like Malone will be barely able to walk (see BERTUZZI, Todd).

Malone, who was born in the city he’s left, will be 29 in December. At 6’4 and 224 pounds, the son of former NHLers Greg Malone is the proptype of a rare and highly desirable breed in the NHL: the power forward.

He scored 24 goals, added 27 assists and was plus-14 – all career bests, in his UFA season – and added six goals and about five nose fractures in the playoffs.

Malone made $1.45 million in Pittsburgh. 

 

 


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Market watch

 
Calgary has locked up four potential UFAs: Daymond Langkow, former Canadien Craig Conroy, Eric Nystrom and goaltender Curtis McElhinney.

The big prize is Langkow. A first-round (5th overall) draft choice by Tampa Bay in 1995, the Edmonton native scored 30 goals and added 35 assists for the Flames in 2007-’08.

 •  •  •

Loui, Loui, oh baby, he’s not going anywhere:

The Dallas Stars have signed left wing Loui Eriksson to a two-year contract worth $3.2 million, $1.5 million in 2008-09 and $1.7 million in 2009-10.

Eriksson, 22, had 14 goals and 17 assists, both career highs, in 69 games last season. He was making $650,000.

•  •  •

Big names on the waiver wire:

Andrew Raycroft, Todd Bertuzzi.


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Market watch

Sportsnet reports Jeff Carter will re-up with the Flyers: three years, $15 million.

Carter in 2007-’08: 29 goals, 24 assists, plus-6

Andrei Kostitsyn,  chosen one spot ahead of Carter in the 2003 entry draft: 26 goals, 27 assists, plus-15


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Market watch

In an interesting piece titled Five Questions About the Draft, Mathias Brunet of La Presse speculates the Canadiens could be looking to launch their centennial season with a bang by making a big draft-day trade.

Players said to available: Olli Jokinen, Marian Gaborik, Patrick Marleau, Mike Cammalleri.

Brunet also writes that Quebec prospect Nicolas Deschamps may not be available when the Canadiens exercise their 25th-overall first-round pick.

The Bruins, picking 16th, are said to like Deschamps.

Cristobal Huet’s agent told the Washington Post negotiations with the Capitals have been "productive and well-intentioned."

Huet wants a three-year contract – which, Hello trade dealine, he never would have got from the Canadiens.

Meannwhile, the Marian Hossa soap opera has taken another turn.

Hossa’s agent, Rich Winter, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that reports the Penguins have offered $50 million to $52 million over seven years are "way off base."

"The newspaper and television reports generated so far are
completely inaccurate," Winter told the Post-Gazette. "None of the information has come
from the principles involved in the discussions. Ray Shero and I have
not spoken with anyone about a contract, so I have no idea where the
information is coming from. There is not even one basic piece of
information from those reports that are true."

Hossa made $7 million this season. He wants to stay in Pittsburgh, but
a hometown discount that involves almost no raise is ridiculous –
especially when Boston probably will offer Hossa what Pierre McGuire
says could be Daniel Brière money to reunite Hossa with his old Atlanta
linemate, Marc Savard.

 


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Market watch

Nashville has signed defenceman Ryan Suter to a four-year, $14 million contract.

In 2007-’08, Suter, 23, scored seven goals., added 24 assists and had 71 PiM – all career highs. He has played all but six of the Predators’ games over the last two seasons, averaging in excess of 20 minutes per game.

Suter’s salary was $942,000. He would have become a restricted free agent on July 1.

 


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Market watch

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey writes the Penguins may not be able to keep Evgeni Malkin.

With several big contracts on the books – Sidney Crosby, possibly Marian Hossa and soon Marc-André Fleury and Jordan Staal – the Penguins might have to choose which superstar to keep and which to deal.

Obvious choice. 

"Malkin’s not the one with the ‘C’ on his jersey," Starkey writes. "He’s not the one who might get a $50 million winger. He’s not the one who lives with the owner. He’s not the one who runs the power play, and he’s not the one whose job description includes saving the NHL." 

•  •  •

Minnesota general manager Doug Risebrough told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press the Wild will make Brian Rolston their top signing priority – and bid farewell to Pavol Demitra.

"The most important guy is Rolston," said Risebrough, who wants to have the veteran right winger under contract within the week so he knows how to maneuver at the NHL draft.

If Rolston doesn’t sign, the Wild could turn their attention to Demitra, but one thing is certain:

"Both are not coming back," Risebrough said. "That gets back to me deciding I need more flexibility to see what else I can do. With some risk, I might add."


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Market watch

Carolina has signed Patrick Eaves to a three-year contract that will pay him $1.1 million in 2008-’09, $1.4 million in ’09-’10 and $1.7 million in ’10-’11.

Eaves made $942,000 this season. The 24-year-old RW had 5 goals, 10 assists and was minus-2 in 37 games for Ottawa and Carolina.

Eaves had shoulder surgery in March.

His best scoring season was 2005-’06 when Eaves got 20 goals in 58 games as a rookie for the Senators. In ’06-’07 he slumped to 14 goals in 73 games for Ottawa, which dealt Eaves and Joe Corvo to the Hurricanes for Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore.


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Market watch

Dallas defenceman Trevor Daley signed a three-year, $6.9 million contract with the Stars this week.

Dallas’s second-round draft choice (43rd overall) in 2002, Daley, who’ll be 25 in October, played in all 82 games, plus playoffs, this season. He averaged 19:48 of ice time while scoring five goals and adding 19 assists. Daley had 85 PiM and was minus-1 on the season.

He’s 5-11, 207 and plays bigger. The Toronto native, who made $800,000 this season, is a good skater and puckhandler who frequently jumps up to join the Stars’ rush.

Daley’s salary – $2.1 million, $2.3 million and $2.5 million over the next three seasons – is useful as a benchmark in contemplating what the Canadiens might pay Josh Gorges, who’s a RFA on July 1 and made $495,000 this season, and Mike Komisarek, who’ll make $1.9 million for the upcoming season and become a UFA on July 1, 2009 unless Canadiens sign him to an extension. 


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Market watch

Calgary Flames have signed Dion Phaneuf to a contract extension: six years, $39 million.

Phaneuf is making $942,000 and was due to become a restricted free agent this summer.

Which begs the question …

Mike Komisarek is signed through next season. His salary is $1.5 million and will be $1.9 million in 2008-’09, after which he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

For my money – not a nickel of which will be invested in the deal – signing Komisarek long-term is the Canadiens’ biggest contract priority.

Runners-up: Tomas Plekanec, who will make $1.8 next season and become an RFA; Andrei Kostitsyn, $612,000 and an RFA this summer.

Oh, and also Mark Streit.

And Cristobal Huet.

104 Comments

  1. krob1000 says:

    Why so his first few months can be spent lounging on a beach somewhere??? If the price is too high then we don’t do it and we get someone in the offseason….no matter what something ahs to be done and it os going to cost more than people will like…..reality whether it’s dollars or players. I’d rather get a guy this year and see what happens in the playoffs but Hossa probably won’t go somewhere as a rental he will probably go somewhere and stay there. Personally I’d rather have Jokinen but I’d be happy with Hossa as well.

  2. The Teacher says:

    I see it has now been fixed, and that we know who left it open!

    Wenczzzzz

  3. sidhu says:

    I’m seeing the same thing Teach. I think someone did not close their bold code and the rest of the page after that is appearing in bold.

  4. sidhu says:

    I would not make this trade if I were BG because Hossa would only be a rental player – there’s no guarantee he will resign with us in the off-season. Plus, Higgins has the character and the potential to be a real star for us in the future.

    I’d be more comfortable trading Grabovski, Fishcer, and 1st, plus a conditional pick if Hossa resigns with us.

  5. The Teacher says:

    Is it just me, or are all comments on this article showing up in BOLD?

  6. likehoy says:

    sign him in july…

  7. coutNY says:

    Here are my estimates I think we could do… noting: without extentions for key players…Pleks, Komi

  8. The Big O says:

    Komisarek will not get more than $3.5 million, check out the contracts of Colin White, Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov, Kyle Mclaren! Those are guys that Komisarek is comparable too, great defensive guys, big hitters, big shot blockers, minimal offence….that’s what Mike will make…not more than that! Sign him for $5 plus and you’ve screwed up your cap for the term of his contract, see Maple Leafs for handicaps of that sort!

  9. Will Longlade says:

    Everyone that follows the team closely realizes that B.G. doesn’t do deals for rental players and my post doesn’t advocate this approach w/Hossa or anyone else for that matter. B.G. has a long-term plan for the team and it doesn’t involve mortgaging the team’s future for a one-time shot at the cup. That being said, I don’t see how signing an underachieving RW who will likely demand between 7.5 million and $10 million per season fits into B.G.’s long-term plan for the team either. It would handcuff the Habs and place them in the exact same position as Calgary has been in this season. The Habs signing Hossa to an extension before the trade deadline? Sorry, but it ain’t gonna happen. And if it does, the team will have to learn the hard way what Ottawa and Atlanta already know.

  10. krob1000 says:

    I would. Hossa would ensure we had serous depth up front which is our only real vulnerability. Right now our defense is one of the best in the league (only Anaheim and Ottwa are better and deeper to me) as is our goaltending situation. The Kovy line is one of the best in the league and our third and fourth line mathhup with almost anybody. Our 2nd line is where we lose ground to some teams and by adding Hossa or Jokinen,etc we strengthen our 2nd line and our third by default at the same time. The salary cap wil rise 3 million next year now is the time to make a big move. Hossa is still in his productive years and should be good for 35-40 every year for a few more seasons anyway. I don’t want a rental….I want another top six guy for the next few years….Hossa would fit that bill.

  11. likehoy says:

    they screwed themselves by trading coburn away…on defence

    higgins and a first rounder should suffice…or one of our dmen prospects and a first rounder…wouldn’t send 3 assets for hossa.

  12. Wencz says:

    Of course every team is in a different situation (they don’t all have Price in the waiting and Halak to back him up), but for Huet salary speculators, here is a rundown of salaries for decent to superstar goalies in the early to mid-30′s age range. Of course some of these guys haven’t been earning it lately (Khabibulin), but all the same.

    Khabibulin (35 yrs) – 6.8
    Giguere (31 yrs) – 6.0
    Kiprusoff (32 yrs) – 5.8
    Turco (33 yrs)- 5.7
    Vokun (32 yrs) – 5.7
    Nabokov (33 yrs) – 5.4
    Theodore (32 yrs) – 5.4
    Brodeur (36 yrs) – 5.2
    Toskala (31 yrs) – 4.0
    Backstrom (30 yrs) – 3.1
    Huet (32 yrs) – 2.9

    Source – The Hockey News: http://thehockeynews.com/salaries/team_listing.html?gclid=COnd0tCyspECFQmkQAodGn01Ng

  13. Wops says:

    I agree, he doesn’t have the offensive upside to get the 5millions range.

    Expect him to get a contract a la Regehr
    _______________________________________
    CH is for Chris Higgins


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