Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago
The Summer of 2015 will be remembered as the Summer of the Offer Sheet Threat, which in turn made it the Summer of the RFA Long-Term Deal, as evidenced by the trade-and-sign journeys of Dougie Hamilton and Brandon Saad.
Does that mean that the bridge contract – short-term, lower cap hit than if the contract gobbled up unrestricted years – is on the wane? As James Mirtle of the Globe & Mail wrote on Monday:
“The landscape is shifting rapidly in the favour of players such as Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis), Derek Stepan (the Rangers) and Braden Holtby (Washington), who can all make a case they deserve to be paid like stars.”
True, but there are some stragglers. We saw Nazem Kadri sign a $4.1 million deal for one year from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, and on Monday the Washington Capitals signed Evgeny Kuznetsov to a 2-year, $6-million deal.
From the Caps:
Because how many guys can do this in a playoff game?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago
The Chicago Blackhawks believe they’ve earned a couple of rights after winning three Stanley Cups in six years.
First, they believe they have the right to expect players to play sign deals that are favorable to the Blackhawks’ cap situation. That means veteran players that will take less than market value to play for a chance at the Cup, and that means players that are on the roster signing contracts that won’t blow out the team’s financial structure.
And if a player decided he wants a contract that does blow out the salary structure? Well, we hear Columbus is lovely in the winter.
The Blackhawks also believe they have the right to ask for patience until they get their financial house in order, which is why center Marcus Kruger and defenseman Johnny Oduya – two players bound to have attracted interest as free agents – are biding their time while GM Stan Bowman figures out what to do with either Patrick Sharp ($5.9 million) and/or Bryan Bickell ($4 million). Because both want to remain Blackhawks.
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Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs ago
The Summer of Sweeney continues!
The Boston Bruins announced a trio of signings on Monday, and they all fall in the “yippee, GM Don Sweeney!” category rather than the “Dougie Hamilton debacle” category.
From the Bruins:
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, July 6, that the club has signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year contract through the 2017-18 season worth a cap figure of $2,300,000, forward Brett Connolly to a one-year contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $1,025,000 at the NHL level and forward Brandon DeFazio to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $575,000 at the NHL level.
Hayes is the type of “on the way up” goal-scorer that Sweeney said the Bruins were seeking this summer. He had 19 goals in 72 games for the Florida Panthers last season and is 25 years old. And of course, his acquisition was a cause for celebration in Dorchester pubs.
If you want to understand how much the Bruins have changed in the last year, give this a look from Nick Goss:
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 18 hrs ago
“Talked to my mom and my wife this week: They seem to be in the minority. They don’t think I’m the worst person in the sports world ... Amazing how many fans were offended by my column on the Kessel trade and how many hockey people — coaches, GMs, scouts, media — thought it was dead on.” – Steve Simmons, July 5, Toronto Sun.
If you want to see a textbook example of “oblivious,” read the passage above and then read Simmons’ all-timer on the Phil Kessel trade, which will go down as one of the most pedantic screeds ever written about a player leaving town, one where you can actually hear Simmons’ fingernails clawing at a narrative that had long slipped out of the media’s grasp.
But we should applaud him for holding back from calling Kessel a “cancer” given his medical history, instead opting for the all-too-obvious “infection.”
He couldn’t hold back from turning his column’s lede into a protracted fat joke about Kessel, of course:
Which, it turns out, was pretty easy to do.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 20 hrs ago
Not too long ago, the faithful in Kansas City would get downright indignant if you didn’t include their fair city when discussing expansion and relocation options in the NHL.
And why not? The geography worked for a Western Conference team, with immediate rivals. The Sprint Center was, at the time, a state-of-the-art facility managed by NHL darlings AEG. Plus, exhibition games in KC received high marks from those involved.
Hence, Kansas City was used as a viable relocation bargaining chip by Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Charles Wang and the New York Islanders during negotiations with their municipalities.
Lamar Hunt Jr., who owns the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks, a minor-league hockey team that plays in Independence, called the NHL’s $500 million price tag for an expansion franchise “a ridiculously big fee,” and said that he is not aware of anyone in Kansas City who will make a push for a team.
“You could say that,” he said. “That’s certainly the truth.”
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 22 hrs ago
The annual ESPN Body Issue is out, which means another collection of naked athletes that can make us all curse our metabolism and lethargy while marveling at their muscle tone.
As we mentioned earlier, Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars is our hockey representative in this year’s issue, and it’s a little change of pace. Instead of the Adonis poses of Ryan Kesler and Zdeno Chara, ESPN captures the whimsy of being a 23-year-old multi-millionaire hockey player, posing Seguin naked on a machine that is not a Zamboni but an "ice resurfacing machine."
As well as giving him the ultimate goofball sports star pose: Having him hold something in front of his penis. (See also: Gronkowski, Robert.)
This is honestly the most oddly arousing episode of SESAME STREET we’ve ever seen…
It's a (gettin' down on Fridays) edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
• NHL Free Agency!
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: Who impressed you the most in the free agent frenzy!? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
According to Igor Eronko of Sports-Express, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will begin his jail sentence on Monday, July 6.
Voynov pled no-contest on Thursday to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse, and his jail time will be up to 90 days along with 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and eight hours of community service (that better damn well be at a women’s shelter).
Voynov’s NHL agent, Rolland Hedges, said in statement: “Mr. Voynov accepts responsibility for his actions the night of the incident and will complete his sentence as required by the court. Mr. Voynov and his wife believe that ending domestic violence both inside and outside of professional sports must be a high priority.”
Another priority, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times?
Ending Slava Voynov’s time with the Kings.
The Kings can terminate his contract, trade him, or keep him with the team. Here's a vote for one of the first two options.
If he can play again, of course. As Elliott writes:
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It’s something that brings us great sadness when we think about: a diminutive New York Ranger, deciding to walk away from something we all celebrate.
No, not Martin St. Louis retiring; Mats Zuccarello refusing to embrace his legacy of being the Norwegian Hobbit Wizard, which was his Elijah Wood-inspired nickname when he entered the NHL.
Well, nothing speaks to the magnitude of St. Louis’ retirement on Thursday after 16 season than the fact that Zuccarello gave him an Instagram send-off using the very meme he’s attempted to avoid for years.
Check out the Tolkien-esque celebration of Mats and Marty, a.k.a. Frodo and Samwise:
What, no Henrik Lundqvist as Aragorn and John Tortorella as Gollum?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 4 days ago
T.J. Oshie was traded by the St. Louis Blues on Thursday to the Washington Capitals.
Whenever a fan favorite is sent packed, emotions will run high, and Oshie was certainly a favorite of Blues fans. Especially young ones, because he had really big eyes like an Anime character.
Like, for example, this five-year-old girl, who hid in a closet weeping upon finding out that “T.J. OSHIE LEFT THE TEEEEEEEEAM!!!!!”
Kelly Manno found her, and conducted this brief experiment in burgeoning fandom, as Manno discovered our young Oshie fan can’t accept the idea of rooting for him when the Capitals play the Blues … which is a level of dedication we’d expect from, say, a six year old.
This entire sub-genre of “Adult Sports Fans Filming Children Who Don’t Yet Have The Emotional Capacity To Deal With Loss” exists somewhere in between exploitation and guilty pleasure entertainment. We’ll just go ahead and assume this moppet is being filmed so her family can have a good-hearted chuckle when Troy Brouwer skates the Cup next June.*
* Provided he’s traded to the Blackhawks, of course.