Monday, November 17, 2008
Sundin suited up by mid-December?
The list of suitors for Mats Sundin, we're told, is around 10-11 NHL teams. The Sundin camp will likely narrow that list down to three to four serious contenders by the end of the month.
Sundin is obviously leaning toward playing this season, and if all goes well in his skating and workouts, he might be signed by mid-December.
We were interested to hear that Sundin spoke with Tampa Bay Lightning co-owner Oren Koules last week. Were they talking about Koules' latest "Saw" movie hit, or was this a serious attempt at wooing The Big Swede to Tampa?
The Lightning need to win some games under new head coach Rick Tocchet for Sundin to take them seriously.
At this point Vancouver, in my mind, remains the heavyweight because the Canucks not only have the most cap space and most money available to spend on Sundin, but they also are playing some decent hockey right now. Should Sundin sign the $20 million, two-year deal that's apparently still on the table from last July, then one of the perks will be the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Vancouver in 15 months.
Still, the Canucks are far from a lock. Sundin could easily turn around and sign a deal for less money with the cap-challenged Rangers and decide to take a shot at a title from the friendly travel confines of the Eastern Conference.
Time will tell. And that time is coming soon.
Should the New Jersey Devils decide to make a play for Edmonton Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson, and we're not saying they will, but if they do, consider this: Because Roloson is over 35 years old, his $3 million salary counts against the salary cap, regardless of whether he's in the NHL, in the AHL or playing on the moon. We make that point because if, again we say if, the Devils decide to upgrade their goaltending, they would likely using Martin Brodeur's long-term injury situation to get cap relief. But once Brodeur comes back from injury in March, the Devils have to get back under the cap. Usually they could just do that by sending a player down to the AHL. Except Roloson, in this case, would do them no good. Goalie Kevin Weekes makes $700,000, so it wouldn't do much good sending him down. Another player would need to be sent down. Food for thought.
More goalie talk
Hard to believe the Chicago Blackhawks would still be willing to move Nikolai Khabibulin, given how he's outplayed Cristobal Huet, but that is what we're being told. The Hawks really want to acquire help at center.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have received a few phone calls on veteran backup Olaf Kolzig, but for now they appear happy to hold on to him.