Red Wings’ Jurco says two-year deal close, report claims otherwise

Jared Clinton
Tomas Jurco (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings have only one big, outstanding free agent, and that’s restricted free agent Tomas Jurco. But when the 22-year-old told a Slovakian outlet he was on the verge of a two-year deal, that claim was disputed and it doesn’t appear a contract is as imminent as Jurco may believe.

According to MLive.com’s Brendan Savage, a source said that no two-year deal is close, partly because Jurco has just recently hired a new agent.

When asked by Hokejportal.net when he would be signing his new deal, a rough translation of Jurco’s answer said he believed he could wait until the end of the week for the new deal. He added that the new deal would be, “probably two years,” and that because of injury risk he was wary of signing a one-year contract. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Blueline buzz as free agency continues

Christian Ehrhoff (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The Columbus Blue Jackets could add a veteran defenseman before the start of 2015-16. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports sources claiming Jackets management have had discussions with free-agent blueliner Christian Ehrhoff, who’s coming off a one-year, $4-million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Portzline suggests a deal between the Blue Jackets and the 33-year-old Ehrhoff is possible, provided the latter remains on the free-agent market long enough to drive down his asking price. Despite missing 33 games last season due to head injuries, the puck-moving rearguard could help the Blue Jacket’s power play.

The Jackets only have around $3.6 million in cap space for 2015-16, which Portzline believes is why they’re willing to be patient in their dealings with Ehrhoff. He also notes several other defensemen, including Andrej Meszaros, Cody Franson and Marek Zidlicky are available, but hasn’t yet confirmed if the Jackets are interested in them. Read more

Addition of Johnny Oduya gives Stars more Stanley Cup bling

Patrick Sharp (left) and Johnny Oduya (right). (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the players who finished last season for the Dallas Stars stuck out their hands, only three Stanley Cups were to be found. Two of them belonged to Tyler Seguin and Alex Goligoski, guys who played small roles in their teams winning championships.

With his moves this summer, Stars GM Jim Nill has tripled that number, with the most recent coming in the form of defenseman Johnny Oduya, a two-time Cup winner who signed a two-year deal with the Stars worth $7.5 million. Add to that Patrick Sharp’s three Cups with Chicago and Antti Niemi’s championship with Chicago in 2010, to go along with the Stanley Cup Travis Moen won with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

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Rumor Roundup: Red Wings, Senators trade buzz

Lyle Richardson
Jimmy Howard (Mike Stobe/National Hockey League)

The Detroit Red Wings made a couple of recent notable additions via free agency, signing defenseman Mike Green and center Brad Richards. Still, one Detroit sports talk show host believes there’s more to be done.

Writing for the Detroit Free Press, Jamie Samuelsen suggests Wings management try to find a taker for goaltender Jimmy Howard. Samuelsen notes Petr Mrazek proved himself as a starter during Detroit’s first-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In his estimation, that makes Howard (earning $5.5 million in actual salary for 2015-16) an expensive backup.

Howard, 31, might attract some interest around the league. The Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks currently lack experienced starting goaltenders. Back in April, however, Wings GM Ken Holland said his preference was to have Howard and Mrazek battle for the starter’s job in training camp. Read more

Gustav Nyquist signs four-year, $19 million contract with Red Wings

Jared Clinton
Gustav Nyquist (Getty Images)

So begins the changing of the guard for the Detroit Red Wings.

The club announced Friday they have inked Gustav Nyquist to a four-year, $19 million dollar deal that will make him one of the centerpieces of the next generation of Red Wings mainstays. With Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in their 30s, now begins the passing of the torch to the youth of Detroit — players such as Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and, eventually, Dylan Larkin.

“We’re very happy to have Gustav locked up for four more years,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland in a statement. “He’s quickly become an important part of our team, and is a critical piece to the Red Wings’ future. He is just now entering the prime of his career.” Read more

Arbitration season: Derek Stepan is gonna get paid

Derek Stepan. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL arbitration process is really no fun for anyone involved, since it brings negotiation into a formal setting and forces teams and their players to square off. Teams have to pretend that their own players aren’t really that good and hurt feelings can have long-standing consequences.

Which is why most arbitration cases get settled before the actual hearing. In fact, the Washington Capitals and goaltender Braden Holtby are already saying all the right things and trying to get something done beforehand. So there might not actually be much arbitration to hear about this summer, but there are some interesting scenarios nonetheless. Here’s a look at five high-profile cases:

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Edmonton big winner, insanity big loser in Free Agent Frenzy

Andrej Sekera  (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

The same day Connor McDavid wore his Edmonton Oiler colors for the first time ever on the ice, his bosses were upstairs going about the process of giving him some legitimate NHL players to surround him.

It’s difficult, nay impossible, to declare the winners and losers of a free agent frenzy day before Canada Day has even included, but it’s difficult to not get excited about what’s going on in western Canada these days. The oil patch has been sucked dry of good hockey for so long that sometimes it looked as though neither the Oilers nor the Calgary Flames were ever going to get it right.

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Red Wings hoping for more of the same from Brad Richards

Ken Campbell
Brad Richards (right) and Duncan Keith  (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s safe to say things turned out probably better than both Brad Richards and the Chicago Blackhawks could have imagined last season and the Detroit Red Wings are banking on a repeat performance, both for Richards and the team.

Richards, who was thought to be on his last stop when he signed for just $2 million with the Blackhawks last summer, earned himself at least a $1 million dollar raise on his new deal, a deal that will escalate to a total of $4 million if the Red Wings advance to the Eastern Conference final in 2015-16. If that happens, that is a total the Red Wings will only be too happy to have to pay.

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