- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr 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:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr 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.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 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.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
Is it possible that our favorite curfew breaker/miscreant could return to the NHL after next season?
Oh my god, please let Igor Eronko’s tweet about Alexander Radulov’s potential return to the NHL in 2016 be true. Please let it be true so we can see Keith Jones carve him on national television again. So we can see him taunt every human on the other team like a pro wrestler. Please let it be true because Alex Radulov entertains like a speeding locomotive heading for a wall.
Here is his translated interview in the Russian publication Business-Gazeta.
This is my favorite line:
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at email@example.com.
• Eichel Mania has begun in Buffalo. [Sabres]
• RIP the bridge deal for young NHL stars. You will be missed. [Globe and Mail]
• Ryan O’Reilly’s rich new deal with the Buffalo Sabres puts the New York Rangers in a tough spot with Derek Stepan. [NY Post]
• In a move that will likely earn them a future asset at the trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs have inked Shawn Matthias to a one-year, $2.3 million deal. [Maple Leafs]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 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.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy7 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.
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)
Friday afternoon, while everyone was getting good and prepared for the Independence Day weekend, the Sabres snuck in a contract that surprised the hell out of the hockey world, and seems to have even led to many a derisive chuckle from the peanut gallery.
“Seven years and $7.5 million for Ryan O'Reilly? Seems like a whole lot.”
It is, in point of fact, the largest contract ever given to a Buffalo Sabre, and it therefore seems at least a little bold — especially because, in three years' time, Jack Eichel is going to get a much, much bigger one — to give that kind of money to a guy who is perceived as having never in his life played first-line minutes.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 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…
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy1 day ago
As of publishing, there are 23 players who have elected salary arbitration proceedings to drive their contract negotiations. Only restricted free agents can opt-in to the hearings.
(For the first time in what feels like ages, Ryan O'Reilly and P.K. Subban are not listed.)
From the NHLPA, here's a list of the lucky contestants:
There are some heavy hitters on this list. Players and teams can continue to negotiate contracts up until the day of the arbitration hearing date (sometime between July 20 to August 4). Conventional wisdom is to try to avoid the actual proceeding because things can get ugly.
Each side puts in a contract number they think is reasonable, and a neutral third party hears why the number is or isn't justified.
Usually the player wants more than the team is willing to hand over. From there, the club puts up a 'this is why you suck' argument as to why they shouldn't pay what the asking price is. Hurt feelings taken away from this hearing (yes, it happens) can impact a player's decision as to if he wants to resign with the team when he hits unrestricted free agent status in the future.