The Maple Leafs won’t cut Mike Komisarek…Barrett Jackman has yet to talk contract with the Blues…Sabres working to loan Ales Kotalik to Europe…Red Wings could sign Fabian Brunnstrom to a contract…Senators Filip Kuba under deadline to raise his game?
TORONTO SUN (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER) Lance Hornby reports the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t be cutting veteran defenseman Mike Komisarek and his $4.5 million salary by burying him in the minors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs weren’t likely keen to bury another high-salaried defenseman in the minors (Jeff Finger and his $3.5 million per season salary is already there). According to CapGeek.com, Komisarek has a no-movement clause in his contract during the season, meaning they couldn’t demote him to the minors unless he approved it. Figure the odds of that happening!
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeremy Rutherford reports Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman is in the final year of his four-year, $14.4 million contract. He’ll be eligible for UFA status next summer. Neither side is ready to talk contract at this time but both sides believe he belongs in St. Louis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are the only club Jackman has played for in the NHL. Much will depend on his performance this season, but if there’s a willingness on both sides to get a deal done, the Blues could keep him off next summer’s UFA market.
TSN.CA: reports the Buffalo Sabres are attempting to work out an arrangement allowing them to loan winger Ales Kotalik to a European team. Earlier this week the club demoted him to their AHL affiliate after he cleared waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think any is surprised how this is playing out. The Sabres essentially did the Calgary Flames a favor by agreeing to accept Kotalik as part of the deal which brought them defenseman Robyn Regehr, but no one expected the Sabres would find another trade partner willing to take Kotalik. I suggested weeks ago the Sabres might try to loan him to Europe.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports Fabian Brunnstrom has had such a strong performance in Red Wings training camp and preseason that he’ll likely earn himself a contract with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brunnstrom arrived in the NHL three years ago in a much-ballyhooed free agent signing with the Dallas Stars, but failed to play up to expectations with the Stars. He was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and became an unrestricted free agent this summer when the Leafs opted not to qualify his rights. Looks like he’s made the most of his tryout opportunity with the Red Wings, and if he continues to shine throughout the season, he could finally play up to that hype which accompanied his signing with the Stars.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reported Senators defenseman Filip Kuba hasn’t had a strong camp as hoped, noting he’s got a week to raise his game before the regular season opens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have tried unsuccessfully to find takers for Kuba via the trade market. One has to wonder if they would consider burying him in the minors at some point, and then place him on re-entry waivers in hopes another club might find him more palatable at half his $3.7 million salary.