NHL Offseason Rumor Roundup
With nothing much going on right now at this point in the offseason, there are just a few rumors that need dealing with, while a handful of players are still drawing interest on the free agent market.
Oh...there's also that Ilya Kovalchuk thing. But that's old news. I mean, no one could possibly want to read more about him, could they?
Unfortunately many of the names haven't changed over the course of the offseason. All of the same players are drawing the same headlines for the same reasons.
Hugh Jessiman could change all that though. After signing on with Chicago, imagine all of the press he'd get if he scored 20 goals and turned his career around! The former first round could write a book about it all, and then walk it over to Oprah and put the "Must-Read" sticker on it himself!
Until that happens though, it's just front-page filler in a been-there, done-that rumor mill. And yes, I'm just as surprised that Jessiman made it to the front page.
Well, the "$100 million kid" (what an awful nickname) is expected to know his future by next Monday after a Thursday hearing.
That would be Monday, August 9. Only...you know...seventeen days after he signed his 17-year deal with the New Jersey Devils, which is only 19 days after free agency began.
It's surprising that anyone cares, although with the potential for him to go to the open market yet again, GMs will be keeping their eyes and checkbooks open—just slightly less open than they were before.
Then maybe we'll get a resolution to this mess.
Price Not Quite Right, No on Niemi
While the Montreal Canadiens have yet to agree on a deal with Carey Price, that doesn't mean they're looking other places.
The idea that Antti Niemi, the Chicago netminder whose arbitration award was left on the table by the Blackhawks, is a candidate to man the crease in Montreal is nonexistent.
Reports are that the two sides, while not close, have had positive talks, and that Carey is going into the season as the man in Montreal.
The other reason that having an interest in Niemi would make life difficult for Les Habitants, would be the whole "Alex Auld" thing. He was signed to be Price's backup for this year.
Granted, trading Auld or sending him to the minors if Niemi were to be brought on isn't impossible, but with the way goalies are moving on this market, it's way less than likely.
Speaking of Niemi...
When he initially hit the market, Edmonton and Colorado were mentioned as possible locations along with San Jose.
Now you could practically throw in any team that needs goaltending help to that mix.
Washington has been mentioned, and for you HockeyBuzz fans they've mentioned Florida too (Although...I don't buy it. Yes there's Dale Tallon, but they've already got their "future stud" in Jacob Markstrom).
Well how about this for an idea:
Look, this has no value whatsover and isn't true, it just makes sense to me.
What about New Jersey?
Yes they have the Kovalchuk thing, but who's the "heir apparent" to Martin Brodeur? Niemi probably wants to start, and while he won't get to right away in New Jersey, I don't think there's a long-term starter's job that's going to be open as soon as the one with the Devils'.
Niemi would jump right to the top of the depth chart, and there'd be no disgruntled Thomas Greiss, Jeff Deslauriers (Who just signed a new deal so Edmonton might be out), or another young goalie pushing for time.
Food for thought at the very least.
Some Are Signed While Others Wait....
Paul Kariya's name continues to come up in different places. One week it was Buffalo. This week? If Selanne comes back, they could both go "home" to Anaheim, or they could try that thing they did a few years ago.
You know, where they both sign in one place (It was Colorado...this year people are saying Pittsburgh) and hope it works and they win a cup but don't?
Remember, if they were to sign it's not going to work just because it's Sidney Crosby. We thought it would work with Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg.
You can also start up a new office pool on free agents. Which will be the next to sign: Lee Stempniak, Mike Comrie, or Tim Kennedy? Kennedy is probably a fairly good bet.
In other news, Jamal Mayers signed with the San Jose Sharks and Mike Modano made his decision and signed with the Red Wings instead of retiring.
But wait! Francis Lessard signed too! With Ottawa!
And yes, you needed to know that last bit of information.
Where Am I Going?
We still have no idea about what's happening with Tomas Kaberle, Marc Savard, or Bobby Ryan this offseason.
While I've maintained that the Ducks would be in a whole heap of trouble if they dealt Ryan (and they've also said there's no chance of that happening), he's still not signed. So someone must ask: What gives?
As for Savard, he's said that he wants to be a Bruin, although he's not sure whether he'll stay put, or the team will find a deal for him anyhow. And just because you're thinking it: No word on teammate Tim Thomas either.
And what of our dear friend Tomas Kaberle? Well, for the fourth time in the past six months, a deal seems to be "on."
For the fourth time in six months, take that for what it's worth.
Some are saying that it depends on Kovalchuk now more than ever with New Jersey and Los Angeles being interested in both players. That is probably a big factor in this, but we've heard this all before.
It's basically up to what you want to believe. If you want to believe that the Leafs have real offers and will trade the All-Star defenseman, then believe that. If you want to believe that Kaberle is going to stay a Leaf for at least this season, then believe that. The only way there will ever be a concrete, accurate report on he puck-moving blueliner, is the day he's actually traded.