Sunday, August 06, 2006

Somewhat Slow News Week

There wasn't much out there for big stories this past week, so I'll try to make this little condensed version worth your while.

"Operation Slapshot" (for a refresher, check it out here) took a turn as former New Jersey State Trooper James Harney plea-bargained and plead guilty and help the New Jersey State's Attorney to investigate outcasted Coyotes' assistant coach Rick Tocchet. Harney will face a maximum seven year in prison, which is far less than the possible 25 years that he was facing in the first place.

Tocchet's attorney Kevin Marino says that the former Trooper is just looking out for himself and not caring about the rest of it. Personally, I can see this as a true scenario, as it seems that the State didn't even trying to broker a deal with Tocchet, mainly due to his "celebrity" and trying to get a high profiled case to their names. As the story goes, so shall we.

The Sabres finally came to terms with Daniel Briere, picking up his one-year $5M contract that was awarded by an arbitratior. The Sabres also avoid arbitration with many of their players before the hearings. Rumors are now that J-P Dumont and Martin Biron could be packaged up and shipped out of Buffalo to free up some cap space in the line-up.

The Bruins strike again. Boston walked away from an arbitrator's ruling on defenseman David Tanabe. This is the third time Boston has walked away from arbitation, the first two being with Bryan Berard and Dmitri Khristich. Tanabe is now an unrestricted free-agent and could be picked up in the next week. Tanabe was awarded a one-year, $1.275M contract by the arbitrator.

What more can you say about the Russian Federation that wasn't said during the Cold War?? It seems the Russian were none too happy with the NHL/IIHF transfer agreement after they actually looked at it. That means that no NHL team can sign a player under a Russian League contract this season, unless something miraculous happens.

Of course, there are always loopholes, which we found out about on Thursday. Evgeni Malkin and his agent Don Meehan apparently found in the Russian Labor Law, which allows employees to give a two-week notice to get out of their contract whatever the work. Apparently, Malkin has given that notice and is now negotiating a contract with the Penguins.

However, even silver linings look a little bleak as nothing has come from the talks or negotiations as of yet.

Finally, the Flyers and Blackhawks swapped forwards, as Kyle Calder was traded to Philadelphia by Chicago for Michal Handzus. Calder was awarded a $2.95M contract in arbitration, which seemed to rich for Chicago's blood. Calder has played in 359 NHL games (all with Chicago) and racked up 85 goals and 125 assists.

Handzus is a big playmaking forward, who could work well with recently acquired Martin Havlat and oft-injured forward Tuomo Ruutu. In 509 NHL games, Handzus has posted 112 goals and 180 assists, as well as being a +47 career player.

So that's what I got out of the week. Of course, there were some re-signing and minor signings here and there, but you could have checked those out anywhere. Keep in check with us as we are only 6 weeks or so away from training camps taking place.

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