Well the Salary Cap Floor is now higher than the ceiling was the first season after the lockout. Hockey is booming for many of the cities in NHL...in some cities MUCH more than others, and the problem remains that the cap goes up the same for everyone, yet revenues don't. This new floor is going to be very difficult for some teams to exist...more on that AFTER the UFA signing period.
On the Flames...
The Calgary Flames have waived Nilson, Eriksson, and Warrener....Warrener WILL be picked up by someone...I am almost 100% sure. The bigger question may be...Who are the Flames clearing cap space for?
Sources are continuing to tell me that it is more likely than not that Mats is NOT signing until after July 1, leaving the Leafs out in the cold as far as compensation goes...and yet I would still say that Mats is likely to Montreal, but don't count out the NY Rangers or Ottawa Senators in the Leafs hunt...
With Niedermayer announcing his return, look for Schneider to be moved, and quite a few teams have interest including NY Islanders (e3) and Buffalo (e2)
On Mike Green...
Here's your first offer sheet rumours for the day...I am hearing that Green WILL get a sheet if he goes past July 1, and some teams are so worried that they are trying to trade for Green's rights. One rumour that I am hearing is that the Sabres may offer up Afinogenov to Washington for Green's rights in a deal that could go down this weekend IF the Capitals feel that Green is out of reach. Other teams interested in Green (and yes all 29 are interested, but these are the teams that I am hearing specifically) are San Jose, Toronto and the NY Rangers.
From Earlier...So if you are a solid NHL starter who is a Restricted Free Agent, this is how it works:
The Anatomy of a NHL Team/RFA Relationship
Chances are your team has qualified you by now. That makes you feel pretty good about yourself, hell at least you will have a job right? So you have some time to mull over whether or not to accept the qualifying offer, which is only a set small percentage higher than what you made last year...Not very romantic, but it's security.
Or you or your team may file for Arbitration (Warning: This is like couples therapy only the person who is wrong pays.)
Or starting today you can "officially" talk to all of those teams your friends have been telling you that "they like you." (I mean they REALLY "like you")
Starting today you can hold hands in public and talk about what each of you can bring to your relationship...
Here are the top RFAs that are as of now unsigned....I have sources connected to all of them and as today progresses my goal will be to try and find out for all of you who's dating who.
Here are some of the more significant RFAs to look for in rumours in this space as the day goes..
Marc-Andre Fleury (team taking to arbitration)
Although much has been written that Scotty Bowman will NOT be joining the Blackhawks, I can confirm that the discussions did indeed take place. The sticking point I am told was that Scotty Bowman wanted complete control over hockey operations and it would have signaled the end of Dale Tallon in Chicago.
I really believe the Hawks made the smart move here. In many ways Tallon NEVER gets the credit for the great things he has accomplished in Chicago in the past few years. Look at it:
He hired Rick Dudley. (One of the best in the business, a three time GM himself and maybe the most respected scout in hockey)...He hired Mark Kelly (the scout who built the Pens) and another highly respected scout in Marc Bergevin. (a tireless worker)...Tallon drafted Toews and Kane, acquired Patrick Sharp for nothing, Havlat for nothing, stole Byfuglien and Burish with late round picks and made what I think will be the best "under-the-radar" signing of the summer when he inked Niemi, who may be the Hawks starter for years to come in goal. The kid has Kipper qualities.
So while Bowman is an amazing hockey guy and hard to pass by, Tallon has done a hell of a job and deserves the time to see his work come to fruition, just my two cents...
Also yesterday on XM I heard a lot of people talking about Bill Clement being their pick to replace Barry Melrose on ESPN and how they missed Bill's personality covering hockey on national TV. Couldn't agree more...
I will be back as the day goes to update and I will be popping in and out of the chat room as well.
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