For all the trees that fell to give Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke a platform over the past six months, the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t even get the guy they thought would be there at No. 7, let alone swing a trade to get John Tavares.
Los Angles took Braydon Schenn at No 5, two picks ahead of the Leafs. Toronto chose a different London player — not Tavares, but Nazem Kadri — and then went back to their table like everyone else, with no trumpets sounding or bells chiming.
It’s hard to believe isn’t it? Burke said he wanted Tavares, and everyone didn’t roll over and give Burke his man. The nerve.
After all the speculation the order through 10 picks went as close to predicted as you could expect. The Islanders took Tavares first, Tampa took Victor Hedman at No. 2, and Colorado chose Matt Duchene third. That left Evander Kane for Atlanta at No. 4, Shenn fifth, and so on.
For all the trade talk? Nothing but a straight draft happened for the Top 10 picks in Montreal.
Chris Pronger a Flyer? That’s right — he went from Anaheim to Philadelphia alongside minor leaguer Ryan Dingle, for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, and first round picks this year and next.
What that means is, the Flyers aren’t done trading yet. They’re pushing the cap hard, and have to move some salary before the season starts for certain.
Who leaves Philly now? Daniel Briere, who pulls in $7 million? Scott Hartnell at $4.2 million? There is no way Paul Holmgren trades Jeff Carter is there? He’s in the final year of a deal that pays him $5.5 million, and is a restricted free agent after next season.
There’s more dealing to be done for Holmgren, who might already be trying to get a first-round pick back for tonight’s draft.
Amazing, isn’t it, how much value Pronger has retained over the years?
When he demanded out of Edmonton, the Oilers got Lupul, first-round draft Ladislav Smid, two first-rounders and a second-rounder. Now three years later, he is still worth two firsts, a top defensive prospect, and once again Lupul, who has become more of a suspect than a prospect.
Lupul is a good player, but we always wonder about guys who go through teams the way Lupul has.
In Pronger’s case, he moves because he is a proven commodity. Lupul? He’s gone from Anaheim, to Edmonton, to Philly, and back to Anaheim in the span of three seasons.
Maybe Anaheim is his place. He’s never been as good elsewhere as he was with the Ducks.
2:50 pm ET
Here’s a hot one.
The Ottawa Senators, finding out that there isn’t such a great market for a selfish, low-on-character, 45-goal shooter like Dany Heatley, simply refuse to trade him.
He comes back to Ottawa, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Talk about living in a dream world.
“We’re not giving him away because he has made the demand to be traded,” Sens assistant GM Tim Murray told the Ottawa Citizen. “It has to be a good hockey deal or it won’t get done.
“And then we just assume on Sept. 14 or 15 he’ll show up at training camp, and be part of our team and go forward, and (be) a big part of our team, obviously.”
Yeah, right Tim. And the Sens will ride Heatley all the way to a Stanley Cup next season, with Luke Richardson returning triumphantly to post his first 40-goal campaign.
Wake up, Ottawa.
No dressing room in Canada has been as cancerous over the past two seasons as yours has been. You’re finally making some headway with head coach Cory Clouston in, Ray Emery out, and a realization that the players can not run the team, and now you’re going to hold Heatley there against his will?
Sure, it’s a bummer that perhaps your best player wants out. But GM Bryan Murray is a veteran of the wars. He must know better than to hold Heatley against his will.
Murray is going to find it impossible to reap full value for this asset while trading with a gun to his head, but there is no way Heatley opens training camp in Ottawa in the fall.
Word is out that the salary cap will rise by $100,000, to $56.8 million for the 2009-10 season. It’s not going up because of revenues, but because the NHLPA exercised its right to trigger a five percent “inflator clause,” negotiated in the last CBA.
What hasn’t changed from the old system is that teams in struggling markets will have an economic disadvantage as the cap stays high.
What has changed is that those markets are struggling because, in many cases, they are either poorly run or are in lousy hockey markets. Before the salary cap, the teams that struggled were in places like Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Pittsburgh — good hockey towns that were being buried by a bad system.
If a market can’t make it in today’s NHL, then perhaps contraction is due.
How screwed up are things in Tampa?
With rival GMs going over his head to talk trade with Lightning owners Oren Kouoes and Len Barrie, GM Brian Lawton felt compelled to send this note to the 29 other NHL GMs in Montreal.
“Please be advised that in order to avoid any confusion over the next couple of weeks, as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning Organization I am the only person authorized to speak on behalf of the team with regard to player transactions,” the email read.
“No other person is authorized to negotiate player transactions. Any questions, feel free to call.”
As far as dealing Vincent Lecavalier goes, sources are saying that Gary Bettman advised against it when speaking with the feuding owners the other day. It will drive down and already plummeting franchise value.
To Barrie, we offer this sage advice from the Flintstones: “Don’t do it, Len.”
We keep hearing that the Sedin brothers will back off the outrageous, 12-year, $62 million contact demand to try and forge a deal with Vancouver GM Mike Gillis. But they haven’t done so yet, and if Gillis commits to Marian Gaborik at the July 1 deadline, there may be no turning back for the Sedins.
On Friday, their agent J.P. Barry told Sportsnet’s Ian Mendes, “We’ve been negotiating for more than a year, so it’s hard for me to say I’m optimistic. We haven’t really made a lot of progress in a year. We’re going to have to address the gap that we have – but we’ve only got five days to do it.”
If the twins wish to move on, then they have every right to do so. But if it is true what they say — that they truly want to remain in Vancouver — the let’s hope the brothers don’t forget that agent J.P. Barry works for them, not the other way around.
There has to be shorter term deals on the table. If not, you can take that as a sign the Sedins want out of Vancouver.
Duel 12-year, $62 million deals? A GM would have to be out of his mind to take that on. It would be an anchor on the Canucks franchise long, long after Gillis had moved on.
What’s with handing over assets to the Florida Panthers to be get negotiating rights for Jay Bouwmeester? If his agent doesn’t play the field on July 1, he’s crazy.
And if Bouwmeester signs with the team that gets the rights, that tells me he would have gone there anyhow after July 1.
12:09 pm ET
There are a record number of names being floated in trade rumours in Montreal this week, as we return to a day that went missing in the couple of years after the new economy was established. Perhaps now, a Tomas Kaberle for Phil Kessel trade can be a reality, where we have pined for the past few years for the good old “hockey trade” of yore.
Of course, there is always a reason why a GM like Boston’s Pete Chiarelli has Kessel — a 21-year-old who scored 36 goals lat season — on the market for the second time sine the trade deadline in March. Any kid who has scored 55 goals just two seasons into his NHL career should be a cornerstone player.
So why isn’t Kessel that guy? He was a plus-23 player last season, with 36 goals and 60 points.
Let’s read the tealeaves.
Kessel is a restricted free agent. Chiarelli hasn’t signed him yet, because obviously Kessel’s camp is asking for a boatload of cash that could seriously mess up Boston’s salary grid over the next few seasons, if the GM does not value Kessel as highly as his production suggests he should.
So he needs to move fast on Kessel, because the gates have been pried open on the signing of Group II free agents, and a 39-goal scorer is awfully sexy to one of those teams who might make a Group I offer. Like Minnesota, where Kessel went to school. Or Edmonton — where no free agent wants to go, unless they back up the Brinks truck like they did for Dustin Penner.
Edmonton has the mobile defenceman that Chiarelli seeks, but not one who embodies all the qualities that Kaberle does, for a great price at $4.25 million.
So Chiarelli smells trouble, and is ready to offload Kessel to Toronto, where Brian Burke could use a young talent like Kessel, even though there are still holes in his game. Problem is, Kessel is a sign-and-trade. You can’t acquire him until you have a contract ready to go, or Burke could find himself having given up Kaberle, only to be held up by Kessel’s agent for a new deal.
It seems mighty hopeful that all of that will be consummated over these next two extremely busy days at the draft.
It’s a great deal for Boston: Get rid of what is looking like a contract hassle, for a top-pairing defenceman who is in his prime, and comes cheap at $4.25 for the next two seasons.
That contract, by the way, is the reason why there is no chance the Bruins acquire the Leafs No. 7 overall in this deal.
You think Anaheim GM Bob Murray is getting a little bit tired of the annual Scott Niedermayer/Teemu Selanne saga? He flew to the draft with no idea whether he needs another second line winger and top pairing defenceman, or whether he should dealing Chris Pronger or signing him to an extension.
Personally, I have a ton of respect for both players. But Niedermayer and Selanne hijacking the Ducks at this draft — for the third year in a row, remember— waiting until this afternoon to decide whether or not they will play next year.
“I’ll know when I get to the draft,” Murray said. “If I don’t, I’m going to be upset. I’ll hear from Scotty. He’s supposed to tell me – that’s all I know. Then I’ll call Teemu.”
That’s no way for s GM to do business.
It comes as no surprise that the Flames and Mike Cammalleri aren’t able to business on a new deal. Weren’t we saying back on Deadline Day that the acquisition of Olli Jokinen spelled Cammalleri’s ticket out of town back in March?
Cammalleri is 27 — right in his prime — and coming off a 39-goal, career season. This is THE contract in Cammalleri’s career, and he’d be a fool not to shop himself on July 1 to the many teams who were goal starved last season.
To be fair, Jokinen has averaged 35 goals per season over the past four years. That’s five more goals per year than Cammalleri has averaged.