Release List Reviews Shop Join News DVD Giveaways Video Games Advertise
DVD Reviews | Theatrical Reviews | Adult DVD Reviews | Video Game Reviews | Price Search Buy Stuff Here
DVD Talk
DVD Reviews DVD Talk Headlines HD Reviews


Add to My Yahoo! - RSS 2.0 - RSS 2.0 - DVD Talk Podcast RSS -


Go Back   DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Sports Talk

Sports Talk Discuss all things Sports Related

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-01-04, 12:35 PM   #1
B.A.
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 29,774
NHL Free Agency Thread

Players, teams approach free agency with caution

June 29, 2004
By Wes Goldstein
SportsLine.com Staff Writer


As the opening of free agency approaches, a burning question around the NHL is whether the St. Louis Blues will offer Chris Pronger a qualifying amount of nearly $10 million to keep his negotiating rights?

Of course they will. The Blues don't want to make the same mistake Anaheim did when they gambled and lost Paul Kariya last year, but that doesn't mean St. Louis will give Pavol Demitra the same consideration at $6.5 million.

So Demitra, one of the league's more gifted offensive talents who at 29 is in the prime of his career, will get to test unrestricted free agency a few years ahead of schedule.

High-profile veterans like Brett Hull may be forced to take pay cuts if they want jobs. That might be considered fortunate for a player of his caliber were it not to come at a time when teams will be re-evaluating what a player is really worth to them. Instead, it's a sign of the confounding times facing teams and players around the league as free agency kicks off July 1 and the game braces for a possible shutdown when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in September. As the NHL heads toward a new economic landscape, one that will feature either a hard salary cap or another system intended to discourage dramatically escalating pay scales, no one is quite sure what rule of thumb to use.

Certainly not after high-priced teams like the New York Rangers have gone seven years without a playoff appearance, while low-budget outfits like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks have proven that lavish spending isn't the key ingredient for success.

"I think the best course of action is not trying to predict or crystal-ball the way things will be," said Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey. "Just make the best of the situation we're in."

That's easier said than done. The league, claiming its teams lost a collective $275 million last season, is pushing for a salary cap of $31 million, while the players association, which disputes the level of losses, has argued for a free market system that makes things equitable through a luxury tax and revenue sharing.

With a happy medium not on anyone's radar screens just yet, most teams are trying to maintain as much cost flexibility as possible while at the same time trying not to sacrifice the key assets they have.

That makes for a trying time for nearly 150 players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this week, and the many more who will join them if teams do as expected and let go of players they would have not have thought twice about qualifying a year ago.

Players like Demitra, who has become unaffordable to a team that desperately has to trim its $60-million payroll and already has $16-million committed to Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight before even dealing with Pronger.

The Blues are not the only ones.

Out in Anaheim, where Disney has ordered a salary slash of $12 million to make the team more attractive to buyers, the Mighty Ducks are thinking long and hard about picking up the $2.8 million option on bedrock defenseman Keith Carney. If they don't, he's a free man just like Roman Hamrlik will be if the Islanders don't qualify him at $3.6 million.

The Ottawa Senators already started the ball rolling at the draft when they traded away center Radek Bonk and goaltender Patrick Lalime for nominal mid-round choices, which they felt was better than getting nothing. The Senators had no plans to qualify the players, who would have cost them more than $6 million for the privilege.

"It frees up money and gives us options to make other moves," said Senators GM John Muckler.

One of them is likely to be the signing of free agent goaltender Dominik Hasek, but only to a contract that the future Hall-of-Famer wouldn't even have entertained not that long ago. Reports out of Ottawa say Hasek will get a $2 million base salary, and could earn a $5 million bonus if the Senators win the Stanley Cup.

Given the economic conditions, it doesn't seem to be a bad deal for Hasek, who will be 40 in January, and bombed in his injury-plagued comeback attempt with the Red Wings after a year of retirement. Two of his former Detroit teammates -- left wing Brendan Shanahan and defenseman Chris Chelios -- have been told they'll have to take significant pay cuts if they want to return, while right wing Brett Hull already has been advised to seek employment elsewhere.

If Hull, 39, is willing to take a lot less then the $5 million he made last season, someone will quickly find a use for his talents as a sniper, but if not, he will more likely find himself joining the ranks of other high-profile elder statesmen scrambling for jobs.

Consider the list of those who should be available July 1: Ed Belfour, Craig Conroy, Vincent Damphousse, Kris Draper, Paul Kariya, Alexei Kovalev, John Madden, Joe Nieuwendyk, Chris Osgood, Ziggy Palffy, Teemu Selanne, Mark Recchi, Mike Ricci, Gary Roberts, Mike Ricci and Alex Zhamnov to name a few. Talents to be sure, but when you factor in their ages, recent production levels and the payroll restrictions teams could face, what will they be worth?

"No one knows what's going to happen," said agent Don Reynolds, whose client Keith Primeau took a slight annual pay cut when he recently chose term over dollars and signed a new four-year deal worth $17 million.

That deal pushed the Flyers over the $45 million mark in salary commitments for next season, a level already equaled by Dallas and being approached by Detroit and Toronto. Those teams seem to believe there will either be a high salary threshold or a forgiving phase-in period, which is a gamble at best.

But so is letting quality restricted free agents go free in the hopes that they can be re-signed later at a lower price. That could happen in some cases, but many good players who normally wouldn't be available should end up with other teams who have far fewer dollars committed to salaries in the future.

Just not right away. If anything, this year's free agent period should be marked by caution rather than signing frenzy as teams wait to see how the market will develop.

"I expect a lot of opportunities July 1," said Florida Panthers GM Mike Keenan, whose team has less than $10 million in contract obligations. "We want to do some things, but we can be patient about it."
__________________
Disregard directions sent from Hell.

Last edited by B.A.; 07-01-04 at 12:37 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-04, 12:37 PM   #2
B.A.
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 29,774
Potential lockout putting stars out on free-agent market

June 30, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports


Eric Lindros joined the free-agent market Wednesday when the New York Rangers declined to pick up the $10.25 million option in the oft-injured center's contract.

When the hockey shopping season opens Thursday, the 31-year-old Lindros will be free to sign with any club. It is unlikely that Lindros will return to the Rangers, with whom he played the past three seasons after being traded by Philadelphia.

Clubs had until midnight ET Wednesday to make qualifying offers to restricted free agents to keep their rights and prevent them from becoming unrestricted. Normally players need to be 31 before becoming unrestricted, but any not given qualifying offers are free to sign anywhere.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were busy Wednesday, signing potential free agents Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts, and Aki Berg.

Belfour, Nieuwendyk and Roberts could have become unrestricted free agents, while Berg would have been restricted.

"These guys are integral contributors to our club and it's great to have them back for at least one more season," general manager John Ferguson Jr. said.

The market is expected to be slow with teams trying to slash payrolls in anticipation of a new financial landscape in the NHL. The league's collective bargaining agreement with the players association expires Sept. 15, and a lockout that could threaten next season is a distinct possibility.

Eric Lindros will be jumping to a new team since the Rangers cut him and his hefty salary loose.(Getty Images)
The NHL is seeking "cost certainty," which the union believes is a synonym for a salary cap -- a solution the players association refuses to accept.

The sides have met a handful of times since October, but no progress has been made on the key issues. The NHL wants to cut the percentage of revenues that go toward player salaries.

But many big-name players are expected to be available come Thursday.

The unrestricted free-agent class could include Alex Zhamnov and Mark Recchi, who helped lead the Philadelphia Flyers to the Eastern Conference finals; Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, who after disappointing seasons with the Colorado Avalanche are back on the market; Dominik Hasek; Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings, the Montreal Canadiens' Alexei Kovalev and the Ottawa Senators' Peter Bondra.

The Los Angeles Kings made deals with two veterans Wednesday night, longtime fan favorite Luc Robitaille -- who is in his third stint with the Kings -- and defenseman Stephane Quintal, whose rights were acquired from Montreal last weekend.

"We are pleased that Luc has re-signed with the Kings," general manager Dave Taylor said. "He remains one of the most popular players ever to wear a Kings jersey.

"We hope that he eventually retires in a Kings uniform."

That seems to be Robitaille's wish, as well. He has played 13 of his 18 NHL seasons in Los Angeles.

"I am both happy and excited to return to the Kings," said Robitaille, who has the most career goals and points among NHL left wingers. "This is where I started my career and this is where I believe I will end my career. This is where I belong. This is my home."

But the Kings cut ties with forwards Jason Allison, Adam Deadmarsh and Anson Carter by declining to make qualifying offers. Allison and Deadmarsh missed all of last season because of concussions.

To keep their rights, the Kings would have had to make an $8 million qualifying offer to Allison and a $3 million offer to Deadmarsh. Carter, traded by both the cost-cutting Rangers and Washington Capitals last season, would have been qualified at $2.8 million.

The St. Louis Blues made a $9.5 million qualifying offer to defenseman Chris Pronger; the New Jersey Devils offered $2.4 million to Jan Hrdina and Viktor Kozlov and $3 million to Jeff Friesen.

The Boston Bruins took care of captain Joe Thornton with a qualifying offer as well as rookie goalie Andrew Raycroft and veterans Sergei Gonchar and Sergei Samsonov.

Ottawa didn't pick up Bondra's $4.5 million option for next season. He will be an unrestricted free agent, but the Senators haven't ruled out re-signing the forward, who was acquired from Washington late last season.

The Vancouver Canucks made a $2.5 million qualifying offer to goalie Dan Cloutier, and re-signed forward Matt Cooke and defenseman Brent Sopel.

The Atlanta Thrashers agreed to deals with S erge Aubin, Brad Larsen, Ben Simon and Kevin Doell, who also could have joined the class of restricted free agents.

The St. Louis Blues re-signed forwards Ryan Johnson and Dallas Drake and defenseman Alexander Khavanov. The Blues also came to terms with defenseman Andy Roach, an American who played in Germany the past five seasons.

The Washington Capitals re-signed forward Brian Willsie, the Phoenix Coyotes agreed to terms with forward Tyson Nash on a three-year contract, and Boston inked defenseman Jonathan Girard.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks defenseman Keith Carney had the two-year option in his contract picked up. The 34-year-old Carney had two goals, five assists and 42 penalty minutes in 69 games last season. He will earn $2.7 million next season.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service
__________________
Disregard directions sent from Hell.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-04, 12:38 PM   #3
B.A.
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 29,774
Potential Free Agents
__________________
Disregard directions sent from Hell.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-04, 03:25 PM   #4
nickdawgy
DVD Talk Hero
 
nickdawgy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southern Cal-ee-for-nee
Posts: 25,329
Note to Kings...make a deal or two this off season.....
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-04, 12:42 AM   #5
So_Cal_SAHM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Posts: 692
Quote:
Originally posted by nickdawgy
Note to Kings...make a deal or two this off season.....
Not a deal or two but............J. Modry is GONE
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-04, 07:51 AM   #6
B.A.
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 29,774
I don't think Demitra will be missed too much in St. Louis. He was overpaid and the guy disappeared in the playoffs from what I can remember.

Tons of rumors about Hull wanting to come back to St. Louis and retire here - supposedly the Blues are very interested, too.

I wouldn't mind seeing Shanny come back either.
__________________
Disregard directions sent from Hell.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-04, 04:44 PM   #7
Lateralus
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,529
Recchi signs three-year deal with Penguins

Link

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Seven-time All-Star Mark Recchi signed a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, returning to the city where he started his pro career 16 years ago.

Recchi led Philadelphia in goals, assists and points last season, helping the Flyers reach the Eastern Conference finals. He scored 20 goals or more in each of the last five seasons.

Recchi's agent, Rick Curran, wouldn't provide details on the contract, but said the right wing is ``absolutely delighted'' to be in Pittsburgh, where he has kept a home for several years.

Recchi became an unrestricted free agent July 1. Flyers general manager Bob Clarke had said he wouldn't attempt to sign Recchi until there was a collective bargaining agreement in place.

Recchi had 252 points with the Penguins from 1988-92. He led the team in scoring during 1990-91, and, in 24 playoff games that season, had 34 points as the Penguins clinched their first Stanley Cup.

Recchi was later traded to the Flyers and played for the Canadiens from 1995-99, before being traded back to the Flyers that year.



Woo Hoo! I heard that this was going to happen but I thought the Pens were so cash strapped that there was no way they could afford Recchi. I guess they are already counting on the Pennsylvania slot machine revenue, I wonder if they are going to sign anybody else?
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-04, 05:11 PM   #8
B.A.
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 29,774
I already started a thread that seems to lack popularity.

NHL Free Agency Thread
__________________
Disregard directions sent from Hell.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-04, 05:24 PM   #9
wabio
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: in Bush territory!
Posts: 11,613
Why he would want to go to a losing team is beyond me.

This coming from a Penguins fan.
__________________
wabio's Economic Threat-O-Meter:
[ ] No biggie. [ ] This sucks. [ ] Oh sh_t! [X] The wheels are coming off!! [ ] Time to fear GOD!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-04, 07:49 PM   #10
Lateralus
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,529
Quote:
Originally posted by wabio
Why he would want to go to a losing team is beyond me.

This coming from a Penguins fan.
With the new Pennsylvania slots law passed and the collective bargaining agreement coming I can say publicly that:


“The Penguins will win the Stanley Cup before the Flyers will.”



There I said it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-04, 08:37 PM   #11
Dr_Evil
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Dr_Evil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: the igloo
Posts: 6,528
The Pens should be a pretty decent team next year, if they actually have a season. They finished last year quite strongly, and have a ton of young talent. I would not be surprised to see them sneak in the playoffs this coming season.

Good to see the Wreckin' Ball is back in town. I think he was crushed when they traded him back during the second cup run. Glad to see hes coming back, he was always a fan favorite.

In other Penguins free agent speculation, where do you think Lemieux is going to sign?
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-04, 09:17 PM   #12
Amel
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,186
OOOOHH YEAH!! Good news indeed. Glad to see the Pens are sticking to what they said about signing some FA's.

I too am thinking the Pens could sneak into the playoffs next year. They finished the season very strongly. Some seriously talented young players (Koltsov, MAF, Orpik, & Malone), some key vet players (Lemieux, Rosival) returning from injury, and a great season from a young, 1st time coach, has me thinking they'll be competing for the Cup next year. If there's a season.

Quote:
Lateralus quote:
“The Penguins will win the Stanley Cup before the Flyers will.”



There I said it.
I'll agree with that!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-04, 07:08 AM   #13
Lateralus
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Lateralus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Valley of Megiddo
Posts: 9,529
New article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Article

It seems like they are going after John LeClair and Alexei Zhamnov!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-04, 10:21 AM   #14
Dr_Evil
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Dr_Evil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: the igloo
Posts: 6,528
An article in the Tribune Review said they are looking to bring Kovalev back, so it appears that they are not done free agent shopping. Thank god for the slots, Craig Patrick can finally start going after some decent players.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-04, 05:49 PM   #15
indianajdp
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Central Hoosierland
Posts: 3,384
As a Flyers fan I am saddened by teh loss of Recchi (again). He is one of my all-time favs to wear the Orange'n'Black and will be missed. And from the sound of it the Flyers could definitely have retained him...76 point in '03-04 is not a sign of a guy losing his worth, and for less than $4 mill?

*sigh*

And I'd love to know how the Pens "sneak" into the playoffs
__________________
"I've got a fever, baby. And the only prescription is more cowbell!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-04, 06:27 PM   #16
TheMadMonk
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 3,233
I hope the Pens do go after Zhamnov. I don't think they should bother with LeClair, though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-04, 09:08 PM   #17
Jericho
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Columbia, MD, USA
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally posted by wabio
Why he would want to go to a losing team is beyond me.

This coming from a Penguins fan.
A bigger question is why would Pittsburgh sign him? This is a team that sold off every spare part it could in recent years. Why spend money on an old veteran?

And you're right, I have no idea why Recchi would want to play in Pittsburgh either. Lemeiux will probably hurt himself 10 games in, and there will go any decent linemates.
__________________
I can't believe I ate the whole thing
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-04, 03:25 AM   #18
Copenhagen
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Danville, CA
Posts: 10,495
For Shark fans, not really FA related but it sort of fit in here.

From the San Jose Merc:
Quote:
Pete Stemkowski, the Sharks' radio color analyst since 2000, won't be back next season. An NHL veteran who played for four NHL teams in 1963-78, Stemkowski also was the team's TV analyst in 1992-96.

The Sharks said the move was made for economic reasons. Plans tentatively call for play-by-play announcer Dan Rusanowsky to go solo on some games and possibly work with guest commentators on others.
Kinda sad to hear Stemmer won't be back calling games. Whoever they dig up as a guest more than likely won't be anywhere near as good.
__________________
"lesbians don't benefit heterosexual males - their existance actually lessens the number of available females" - ziggy
My Dvd's | DVD Talk Gold Trader |My Games
Xbox Live Gamertag: Copenhagen | YOUR HEAD A SPLODE
DTSL: Doppelgangers (84522)
kvrdave runs Bartertown
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-04, 02:55 PM   #19
B.A.
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 29,774
Brett Hull just signed a two-year deal w/ the Phoenix Coyotes.


I just want to say **** YOU LARRY PLEAU. Hullie mad his name as a Blue and he should retire as a Blue.

The Blues are going to suck, they might as well have given us something to watch.
__________________
Disregard directions sent from Hell.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:31 AM.

Rules - DVD Talk - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0
Copyright 2011 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.