Around the League
The Carolina Hurricanes are closing in on a deal with the San Jose Sharks for Niclas Wallin, while Leafs fans were begging it was Rickard. Kovalchuk turns down $101M, while the Rangers pull out of the sweepstakes due to the asking price. Find out what the Thrashers wanted in return. Also, Dion Phaneuf has his own plan for the remainder of the Leafs regular season.
Reports are that the Canes are close to moving Niclas Wallin to the Sharks. Canes have to wait for Wallin to wave his no trade. Dan McGahan will report more as details follow.
Wallin has played in the NHL for 8 season and was apart of the Canes Cup winning season. He has played 47 games so far this year and has 5 Points and 26 PIM. Drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 4th round (97th overall) in 2000.
The Atlanta Thrashers GM, Don Waddell, has told TSN that Ilya Kovalchuk turned down a $101M dollar contract from the organization. “Our goal from the start of this negotiating process was to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a long-term contract,” said Waddell in the statement. “During the process, Kovy affirmed his desire to be a Thrasher for life. We’ve spent several months exploring scenarios with Kovy and his agent to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and offered many lucrative packages in an attempt to meet his financial objectives. Unfortunately, we’ve reached an impasse and at this point he has declined all of our proposals and we can’t reasonably go any higher.
“Ultimately, we offered Kovy more than $101 million over 12 years, which would have been the highest contract signed by an impending unrestricted free agent in the history of the league. If accepted, this contract would have been the second highest offer ever to any NHL player. We also met his desire to be the highest paid player based on average annual salary with a separate offer of 7 years at $10M per year ($70M). This offer is $0.5M higher per year than any other player.
“If we went beyond these offers, we would not be able to retain the young players on our roster when it came time to sign them, or invest in other top tier players needed to assemble a truly competitive team. Therefore, we are aggressively exploring all of our options as we move forward.”
Kovalchuk’s days are certainly numbered, but he must truly dislike the organization and the city to turn out a contract like that. Keep in mind that the Phoenix Coyotes were sold for $140M.
Mean while, the New York Rangers are believed to have pulled out of the Kovalchuk sweeps due to a ridiculous asking price. Unless that price drops, it seems New York is no longer in the running.
According to NY Post reporter Larry Brooks, posting via his Twitter account, the Thrashers are looking for a combination of packages that include: defenseman Marc Staal; defenseman Michael Del Zotto and forward Ryan Callahan; or Brandon Dubinsky and a first-round pick.
TheFourthPeriod also states that the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames have all balked at the asking price for the Russian sniper.
Dion Phaneuf made a comment about the remainder of the Leafs season that showed optimism on his behalf.
“It’s not over yet,” Phaneuf said after practice. “There’s a lot of games left. We are where we are, but we have to do our best to get points and make a push for the playoffs. … If teams lose and you win a few, you’re right there.”
Phaneuf feels the Leafs playoff hopes are still alive and looks to continue thriving in his new environment to try and get back into the post-season picture.
Micheal A. Aldred