Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And then there was 2?

As the "soft" deadline for Mats Sundin approaches it seems that Cliff Fletcher has moved on, and now made it a two horse race to the finishline. It is now between Vancouver and Montreal, a quote from the Vancouver Sun stated "started to operate on the basis that [Sundin] probably won't be back." Fletcher said.

Take it for what its worth but it seems that there is a very good chance that Sundin will not be going back the Toronto. Fletcher also went on to state that there will be about 10 new faces on his Maple Leafs team, so you have to wonder, would Sundin want to go back? Its not the team it was in June.
Now it seems that Sundin has to decide between Montreal and Vancouver, and even though Sundin has been linked to New York, I see that being nothing more than just a rumour. In my opinion, Sundin will land in Montreal, with all the rumours of Vermette, Afinogenov, and Gionta really heating up, maybe there is something Mike Gillis knows that we dont, or maybe he is truely trying to sweeten the deal for Sundin with more offensive support. Whatever the case maybe, one thing seems certain. This ride is finally coming to an end.

More News on the Leclaire Contract

In case you missed it, earlier today Pascal Leclaire was resigned by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Details of the deal were not disclosed but now sources are saying the contract is for 3 years, 11.4 mill. Its will pay Leclaire 3 mill in 2008-09, 3.6 mill in 2009-10 and 4.8 mill in 2010-11.

LIVE CHAT INTERACTIVE: 6 teams in it for Mats?

As mentioned in our Live Chat by one of our readers, the radio station Team 1040 just asked JP Barry, the agent of Mats Sundin about his possible destinations, and his reply was that there are now SIX teams that now have a legitimate shot at Mats.
JP also stated that Mats is in Stockholm as of now. He usually rounds up some Swedish veterans to train with him there around this time, so take what you want out of that. But if anyone is interested in stalking him in Stockholm....I will stop right there....

Here's what our live poll stated about the teams we all thought are in the picture. All these answers are from HB fans:

New York( 5% )
Montreal ( 52% )
Philly ( 0% )
Vancouver ( 24% )
Toronto ( 19% )
Colorado ( 0% )

Gainey Contacts Sundin's Agent

Bob Gainey contacted Sundin's agent J.P. Barry last night. Gainey feels Sundin is nearing a decision and felt it was necessary for him to just let Sundin know he is still very interested in his services. Gainey has kept quiet about this whole situation, which is why we call him Silent Bob. Sundin is expected to give his decision on whether he is playing or not in or around August 1st and then decide on a team a few days later.

Columbus Blue Jackets Re-Sign Goaltender Pascal Leclaire

The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed goaltender Pascal Leclaire to a three-year contract through the 2010-11 season, club General Manager Scott Howson announced July 30. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Filppula inks 5 year deal with Wings

According to Valtteri Filppula has signed a 5 year deal worth $15 Million with the Red Wings. Good young talent, Good signing!

How Much Are They Worth?

With Ville Koistinen's recent signing with the Predators, and Valtteri Filppula's signing with the Cup Champs today, there is only one more player that is required to go to arbitration. He has been subject to many trade rumors, and this could shape up to be a major move for the Ottawa Senators if they decide to move him. He is, Antione Vermette.

Antoine Vermette- Senators[Hearing set for July 31st]
The St-Agapit native had a very good year, improving his career high by 14 points. He had a 24 goals, 53 points season and had a +3 rating. Vermette was brilliant on the PK, scoring 3 goals and adding 3 assists. The 26 year old center can become one of the best two-way forward in the league. He has all the tools, speed, very good faceoff abilities, good vision and a good shot.

But the question much this guy worth?
Antoine Vermette is a player you can use in every situation. He is very good in his own zone and he can win crucial faceoffs. This guy can play quality minutes on both the PK and the PP. This is why I think, he should earn an average of $3.75 million a season. Having a guy who can be effective in many aspects of the game is a key to success in the NHL.

Valtteri Filppula-Red Wings[Hearing set for August 1st]
Finland has not produced a bunch of good young players in recent years, but Filppula is an exception. The young center more than doubled his last year's point production, during the 2007-2008 season. The Vantaa native notched 19 goals and added 17 assists in 78 games, and had an impressive +16 rating. Filppula is quite ready to have some top 6 minutes, he could breakout as soon as next season, as a 2nd line center.

But the question much this guy worth?
The 24 year old Red Wing still needs to improve some assets in his play in order to become a second line player. He does have goal scoring potential, he is good in his defensive zone but next season will say a lot. I think it is too soon to give this guy a really long term contract worth big bucks. A 3 years, $2.5 millions a season looks alright (It was 5 years, $15 million) . If Filppula keeps improving and playing like he did last season, he will become an even more important player to his team. Expect him a regular and important member of the Finnish national hockey team soon.
- Analysis provided by Habs_Marc
- Edited by Brodes

Hennessy in the Canadian capital for 2 more years

The Ottawa Senators resigned one of their RFA, center Josh Hennessy. The American prospect agreed to a two year, two-way deal. The money involved is unknown.

Hennessy who played his junior hockey with the Quebec Remparts, was drafted by the San Jose Sharks, 43rd overall in the 2003 entry draft. But in July 2006, he was part of the three-way deal who shipped Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski to Chicago, who brought Mark Bell to San Jose and sent Tom Preissing to Ottawa.

Since that time, he played most of the time in the AHL, with Binghampton. Last season, the Brockton, Massachusetts native played 76 games with the NHL affiliate club, scored 22 goals and registered 51 points. He also played 5 games with the Senators, while not beeing on the scoresheet, he had a -1 rating. He scored his first NHL goal during the 2006-2007 season, during the time he was called up for 10 games.






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