Seven players hoping to avoid “one-hit wonder” tag, the Wild reportedly lost $30 million last season, Steve Sullivan ponders his future, several notable RFAs still unsigned, and more.
NHL.COM: Chicago Bryan Bickell, Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky, Montreal’s Lars Eller, Anaheim’s Viktor Fasth, NY Islanders Thomas Hickey, Toronto’s Nazem Kadri and Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty head into 2013-14 hoping to avoid the “one-hit wonder” tag.
PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshysnki cites reports from the Pioneer Press claiming the Minnesota Wild lost $30 million last season, wondering if the $20 million in signing bonuses handed to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contributed to those losses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If these reports are true, the Wild front office has no one to blame but itself. Handing out $20 million in signings bonuses to two players heading into a lockout year is never a good idea, especially for a team whose owner okayed the signing of two players to the kind of heavily front-loaded “cheat” contracts he was supposedly against only three months prior to those signings.
SAULTSTAR.COM: Veteran NHL forward Steve Sullivan is training for the upcoming season as he has for every one in his career, but is “99.9% certain” retirement is in the cards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If so, the 39-year-old had a good run. He made the NHL during the clutch-and-grab “Dead Puck Era”, when small (5-9, 165lbs), speedy forwards were at a disadvantage, overcame a career-threatening back injury which cost him an entire season (winning the Masterton Trophy for perseverance in 2009), and still went on to play 16 NHL seasons with six NHL seasons, amassing 747 points in 1011 NHL games.
DENVER POST: Francois Allaire, the Colorado Avalanche’s new goalie coach, sets his sights on revamping Avs netminder Sergei Varlamov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Too bad Allaire can’t do anything to revamp the Avalanche’s blueline.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jason Brough provides links to the wrongful death lawsuit paperwork filed by the family of the late Derek Boogaard against the NHL, provides the full list of odds of winning the Stanley Cup next season for every NHL team, and noted a number of notable restricted free agents lacking arbitration rights (including Alex Pietrangelo, Derek Stepan and Adam Henrique) remain unsigned.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason those players remain unsigned is their respective teams believe the lowered salary cap could prevent rivals from trying to poach them with offer sheets.