NHL Free Agent News – Friday, September 9, 2011.

Updates on Brad Marchand, Zach Parise, John Tavares, Drew Doughty and Steve Staios.

BOSTON GLOBE/CSNNE.COM/ESPN.COM: report there’s nothing new to report on the contract talks between the Bruins and the agent for forward Brad Marchand, who continues to remain optimistic over getting a deal done, adding he wants to remain a Bruin. Marchand doubts there’ll be any lingering “bad blood” resulting from this.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been some speculation the Bruins might shop him if they can’t get him under contract by training camp, but I doubt things get that far. I still believe they’l reach an agreement, probably on a two-year deal worth between $2-$2.5 million per season.

NHL.COM: Dave Lozo reports New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise doesn’t feel his current contract is a one-year-and done deal, adding he remains hopeful of re-signing a long term deal with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t surprise me if Devils GM Lou Lamoriello asked Parise to hold off until next summer, when he’ll have more available cap space, plus could also have a better idea as to what might be contained in the new CBA.

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside reports NY Islanders forward John Tavares will be a restricted free agent next summer, but he remains committed to sticking with the Isles and helping them build a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many of the Isles free agents over the past year or two have committed to the Isles by re-signing, so I don’t see Tavares doing anything different. They believe they’re on the right path toward playoff contention.

LOS ANGELES TIMES’ Helene Elliott reported via Twitter Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Drew Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, have agreed not to publicly discuss contract negotiations, but thus far, it doesn’t appear an announcement of a new contract for Doughty is imminent.

HAMILTON SPECTATOR: Steve Milton reports former Oilers and Flames defenseman Steve Staios is unconcerned he’s yet to sign with an NHL club. Staios admitted he’s had a handful of chances to pursue but none were quite right, adding he’ll continue to be patient and wait for the right situation.


  1. My thoughts exactly on Marchand, however I figured he would sign for closer to $2 even. I’m expecting he’ll be signed as early as Monday of next week.

  2. I hope that Tavares DOES NOT sign with the Islanders.

    Tavares deserves to play in a strong hockey market in front of the fans on a nightly basis and should be the new “poster boy” and image of the league everywhere.

    Sidney Crosby needs to take a year off (or two with the lockout) and worry about his health and life and not worry about hockey. Hockey should be the last thing on his mind.

    Let Tavares hold the flag until Sidney is healthy to return.

  3. I don’t think we can always take a player at his word that he wants to remain with his respective team. I mean most times it’s probably true I guess, but if he doesn’t, would he honestly come out and say it? Take Parise for example, maybe he does want to sign long term, but if he doesn’t, would anybody expect him to say he’s looking forward to being a free agent next year?

  4. Last time I checked New York is a pretty good hockey market. And if Tavares is going to be the new “poster boy” for the entire league maybe having him less then 30 miles from the NHL headquarters as well as the media capital of North America might be the best choice.

    The market isn’t the problem. If Snow is able to the keep his ship on course, without too much disruption for management and public votes and all the other nonsense, the team will continue to get better and the Islanders will become relevant again. And the biggest part of that continued improvement in Tavares. He should resign with the Islanders and I believe he will.

  5. I agree with Mr. Wiggles re: Tavares. The market isn’t the problem on the Island, and while they have off-ice issues to deal with, if the team can start winning games, the fans will be back. The Islanders had no problem gaining media attention when they won four back-to-back cups.

  6. If Crosby takes a year off, I don’t see the NHL looking @ Tavares to be the new face, but more like Stamkos.
    Sorry Islander fans, but there is nothing inspiring happening there at this moment.
    Whereas TB made it further than anyone thought in the playoffs last season and Stamkos played a big role in their success.
    Tavares is no doubt a cornerstone for NYI to rebuild their team on, but he’s no Crosby, or Stamkos for that matter.

  7. Duchene is better then Tavares.

  8. You hope Tavares DOES NOT sign with the Isles? He “deserves” to be in a strong hockey market? What was Pittsburgh, before they drafted Malkin, Staal, Fleury, and lucked into Crosby? They had one foot out the door with a crap arena and nearly bankrupt team. What was Chicago before they drafted Toews, Kane, and Keith?

    Both were considered shipwrecks on paths to no where; now both are considered model franchises in strong hockey markets (to jar your memory a little more, recall Chicago ownership even blacked out the games! That was some hockey market back then).

    This Tavares-deserves-to-be-in-a-strong-hockey-market garbage is just that– garbage. While the Isles (and their fans) have endured more than their fair share of boneheaded moves, both on and off the ice, they appear to finally be back on a path to success, and have a lot of exciting young players and prospects. Tavares will play a big role in the renaissance this team is undergoing, and as people above have said, winning will bring the fans back in the building.

  9. @delvecchio

    Ovie or Stamkos would be the poster boy over Johnny T

  10. Tavares has maturity and poise that would make him a great face for the league.

    Personally, I like to think the league has many different faces. Crosby being out doesn’t change that (though he is an important asset to the league.)

    I don’t see why Tavares can’t play that role on the island. In fact, he’s a key piece in rehabilitating that franchise (as, if you’ll recall, Crosby was in Pittsburgh).

  11. Maybe Tavares will be the next rfa to be offered a monster deal from another team.
    This will be a big year for him……

  12. @ James

    People obviously don’t remember that the Red Wings were horrible before Yzerman and all of the players that followed.

  13. He wants high 2’s at the low end closer to mid 3’s….Boston would have sighn he long time ago for 2-2.5mil

  14. if crosby sits out the year (and i dont think he will), ovechkin will be the new face of the NHL. these two were sparring for 1 and 2 for the last 3 years with sid winning most of the time. now, its gonna be up to the kid to regain his spot! and i hope he does!

  15. There is something wrong with the statement “I agree with Mr. Wiggles….”