NHL Canadian Corner – July 25, 2013.

Roberto Luongo hires new agents, updates on the contract statuses of Nazem Kadri, Phil Kessel and Jared Cowen, and the Saddledome will be ready in time for the Calgary Flames season.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo has dumped longtime agent Gilles Lupien, replacing him with the powerhouse duo of J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson of CAA Sports. Barry said he’d leave it to Luongo to explain the change, adding agents do more than simply negotiate contracts for their clients. It’s been speculated Luongo was unhappy it was Corey Schneider, not himself, who was traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some are speculating Luongo’s change in agents is a sign of his continued unhappiness with his current situation. You can read more in today’s “Rumors” section.

Nazem Kadri confident he'll be under contract in time for training camp.

Nazem Kadri confident he’ll be under contract in time for training camp.

In other Canucks news, they re-signed Jordan Schroeder to a one-year, one-way deal worth $600K, and avoided salary arbitration with Dale Weise by signing him to a one-year, $750K contract.

TSN.CA: Nazem Kadri is optimistic he’ll be under a new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in time for training camp. It remains to be seen if he receives a lucrative, long-term contract or a short-term “bridge” deal. Teammate Phil Kessel, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, told reporters he hasn’t thought about contract negotiations yet.

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs signed defenseman Paul Ranger to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri is coming off his entry level contract and lacks arbitration rights, so if the Leafs opt to sign him to a shorter bridge contract, he’ll have little leverage (apart from staging a holdout) to force a longer term deal. I expect he’ll get a two-three year deal.

As for Kessel, there’s no rush to open contract talks now, but I wonder if the Leafs have tried? If they have, the Kessel camp could prefer to wait, gambling another strong season will increase his value and net him a lucrative long-term contract, either from the Leafs or via the UFA market. I believe it’ll cost between $7-$8 million per season for the Leafs to re-sign him.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Gord Holder reports Rick Valette, the agent for Senators RFA defenseman Jared Cowen, expects contract talks with the Senators will pick up soon. Cowen is coming off his entry-level deal and lacks arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Kadri, I expect Cowen will have to accept a short-term “bridge” contract.

CALGARY SUN: Flames president and CEO Ken King said the Saddledome, which was damaged by flood waters in June, will be ready for the club in time for the preseason.


  1. Kadri has nothing to worry about the way Nonis is throwing money around. Expect $4M

    It’s funny how people say Kessel is crap and in the same breath say they will pay him $8M or $9M to join their team as a UFA next year. Leafs should trade this guy he isn’t worth $8M even though he will probably get it. He is not a game changer like a Crosby/Messier/Gretz/Lidstrom/StevieY/and the list goes on. He needs to be surrounded by extremely good players to elevate his own game unlike the previous guys mentioned who elevate other players games.

    • Up to this year who has played with Phil? Go thru your list all those guys are great centers who played on great teams and were/are surrounded by other great players Getz and Perry do you cover Sid or Malkin, Messier Gretzky Yezermans was great once he became a two way player but lets look who else was on those cup winning teams Lidstrom Federov Shanahan Hasek Vernon Hull Coffee Chelios Murphy and the list goes on as you say…pretty decent supporting cast definately not Bozak and lupul Steckle and Grabovski… The guy is 5th in goals the last 5 years playin with a considerably weaker players then the other players you mention He definitely deserves to be paid like a to guy in the league..

      • But you love the Bozak signing so he must be good enough as a supporting cast…

        • Never said I loved it but when looking at the alternatives Weiss for 5 mill Ribero 5.5 for 5 I like it more then those thats for sure

          • Grabovski is not a number 1 center either you think we should keep him and that brutal contract that pays him like Ribero who all tho wouldnt be my choice as a number 1 guy at least has numbers comparable to one? Complain about the cost of contracts and then complain about the cheapest option call the Leafs cheap and one week then the next week say they spend like drunk’n sailors…lol

  2. If Kessel makes $8 million per year on his next contract, we truly are nearing the apocalypse!

    He’s a soft player, who lacks leadership skills nor grit.

    • Soft? Besides recovering from cancer How many games he missed? How much Grit did guys like Hull have? Savard? Lafleur Selanne Koivu Naslund Mogilny…the guy gets paid to score goals, grit gets a team so far you also need skill and to score goals (the object of the game is to score) he has it in spades….Leadership skills how do you know? Been in the locker room? Hang out with the team?

  3. Granted I’m just a Habs fan living in To., so I don’t avidly follow the Leafs, but Phil was spectacular against Boston whereas Crosby sucked against them. One series shouldn’t dictate an inflated value, of course, but I just thought I’d toss out a pro-Phil opinion because he showed a lot of grit in that series and led by example. His defensive efforts were fantastic most of the time and often executed after a rush.

    I’m sure Leafs fans may be disillusioned from watching Phil over an 80 game season that means nothing, but I like the player I saw for seven games against Boston. What he is worth … market value I guess. None of them are worth 8 and 9 million a year.

  4. honestly kessel is worth the money he stepped up in the playoffs when noone thought he would against the team that always had his number point a gme player ans is a game changer besides how many points did crosby and co.. have against boston oh thats right not very many case closed pay the man

  5. Basically a bunch of people saying Kessel shouldn’t get the money because they don’t like him, cant back up an argument with any reasonable argument

  6. That conversation would go on and on with you. Kessel had a good playoffs, yes, a whole 3 games (they did loose the other 4 games). He is now worth $8 to $9M? Where is his Stanley cup ring as a proven winner to support that salary? Just because a guy can score roughly 35 goals as he gets top line minutes with top line power play time game in and game out but is always a minus player doesn’t justify that much of a raise. I would say he still has a lot to prove before he is worth that much money. Not that this is possible but a bridge contract for two years at $6M should be reality for this guy but as we all know the NHL isn’t reality so he will get his over payment of $8 to $9M. I just hope it’s not from the Leafs. Nonis is blowing money like water so I assume he will ante up for Phils asking price and you will be crying in two years when Kadri, Gardiner, Rielly plus what ever other young guys step up are looking for big dollars and it’s not available because of all the stupid signings like Bozak, Kessel, and Clarkson taking up $18M between the three of them.

    • Kessel 21 points 22 career playoff games….not bad wheres Ovi’s cup ring? Kessel has more points over the past 4 years Ovi 246 Kessel 253 and is 2 years younger…The guy deserves to be paid like a top guy….

      • That gritty guy Gaborik cap hit 7.5 mill 0 cup rings points over the past 4 seasons 246…..did I mention Kessel had 253? And again 6 years younger

  7. Shticky should join Phil’s agent, he deserves a cut!

    • Just saying there are alot of people that whine and moan about Phil who have nothing to back up that he is not worth what other guys get paid league, the guy is 25 years old and developing in to a super star that besides Sundin Toronto hasnt seen in a decade at least, and say we should trade him these are the same people who whine and moan when free agents sign somewjere else and whine and moan and say we spent to much money on a ufa, and say we should be able to trade Gardiner and a second for Perry right?