NHL Rumors: Where Will Ilya Kovalchuk, Simon Gagne and Mike Modano End Up?
While most of the big-name signees have put pen to paper and are now preparing for a whole new training camp, there are still a couple of interesting names out there. There are also some big pieces to be acquired through trade, restricted free agents that need contracts, and teams that need buying.
Although this is that typically quiet time we get between the second week of July and the first week of August, plenty can still happen. Here's a look at what's got ears burning around the NHL right now...
Ilya Kovalchuk is going...Somewhere
Guess what: The Los Angeles Kings are rumored to be "close" on a deal with Ilya Kovalchuk.
In other news, Hank Steinbrenner is prepared to sink millions into figuring out a way Billy Martin can manage the Yankees once again, and Yanic Perreault will sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs by the end of the week.
While neither of those are true, they both happened multiple times, ending in some disappointing (and sometimes awkward) results.
So what does that mean? Well the Kings COULD sign him. Or they could drop out of the process for a third time to...you know...give us something more to talk about.
I mean...who doesn't want another 20 days of "Where in the World is Ilya Kovalchuk?" Chris Bosh should take notes: This would've at least been long enough to make a documentary about free agency.
Simon Gagne Needs a Home Too...
If the Kings sign Kovalchuk, then they'll have no interest in Gagne.
Although if they did still have interest in him, they could pull a Miami Heat and make it work with both guys. They'd just have to fill out the roster with two players at the veteran minimum and have little-to-no cap space heading towards the season.
But as cool as that would be to see, Gagne is headed somewhere else.
It was suggested in the St. Petersburg Times that he might look good playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the cap space to do so and the short-term commitment, Steve Yzerman could put together a pretty good top line.
Wherever he goes, he'll help out offensively so long as he's healthy.
Mike Modano Still Has a Choice to Make
From the sounds of it, Mike Modano may not be ready to walk away from the NHL.
Although he's still no closer on making a decision, Modano has two concrete offers on the table: A one-year, $1.5-million deal from the Detroit Red Wings that's open ended (Meaning Ken Holland will leave it out there as long as it takes Modano to make a decision), or retire as a life-long Star.
While there may have been some truth to the Minnesota Wild rumor earlier in the off-season, it seems to be Detroit or bust for the Dallas great.
The Dallas Stars are Still for Sale
Speaking of the Stars, the "For Sale" sign is still on the lawn.
And it seems that there are a few different price points floating around.
For starters, Dallas was ranked seventh-most valuable among the NHL franchises this year by Forbes at $246-million. Since rumors of the sale have started, some have speculated the Stars could go for much closer to $300-million or farther down the scale at $225-million (Although many have denied that the team would sell for something that low).
Current owner Tom Hicks has said that, if the new owner wants to spend to the cap, it's going to come out of his own pocket. The team can't just go throwing coin around at free agents because they're losing money.
That means there's some work to do in Dallas.
What is known is that Bill Gallacher has a very good chance of landing the Dallas Stars. Probably the best.
Mark Cuban has said that he isn't interested in the team, so it may come down to Bill Gallacher and Tom Gaglardi.
In other, kind of related news: Kevin Bieksa, who the Stars reportedly have interest in, probably won't be moving to Dallas anytime soon. They want to get this situation sorted out first.
Nothing New for RFAs...
Both Mason Raymond of the Vancouver Canucks and Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks remain unsigned.
Raymond has an arbitration hearing scheduled a week from now on July 26.
The Canucks winger more than doubled his production last year, going from 11 goals and 23 points to 25 goals and 53 points, and will probably crack seven-digits as far as pay figures go.
Raymond made $760,000 last year, but even if he were to re-sign for that number it would put the Canucks over the cap.
Ryan meanwhile simply hasn't signed. He's said he's not worth as much as
Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf, and a five-year, $25-million offer wouldn't give him more than they make.
So the Ducks will simply wait on the high-scoring winger, while reportedly carrying an interest in the Cancuks' Bieksa.
That, of course, could give Vancouver the cap room to re-sign Raymond.