The reality of the NHL returning to ESPN


Could hockey fans dreams of the NHL returning to ESPN actually come true? Most likely not this year but rumors are ESPN is interested in getting the NHL back at a reduce rate. They are not desperate by know means to get the NHL back but according to a source, “if the NHL ever wants to send a offer at a reduce rate of the 60-65 million their receiving from Versus, ESPN will listen.” What will it take?Excerpt from May 31, 2005 “ESPN executive vp, programming and production Mark Shapiro: Gary Bettman was uncomfortable with cutting fees anywhere under the $60 million mark,‚Äù Shapiro said, adding that even should the NHL return today, ‚Äúthey‚Äôd be worth a…modest rights fee, well below half of what they‚Äôre asking now.” Fast Forward to 2007: A anonymous source said, the NHL hasn’t explored the idea of returning to ESPN but it is believed ESPNRead More »

Palffy eyeing return to NHL?


For the second summer in a row, Ziggy Palffy is giving signals he is mulling a return to the National Hockey League according to reports out of Slovakia. Palffy has not played in the NHL since February of 06 when he abruptly retired from the game. Palffy has signed a 1yr contract to play with Skalica and is looking forward to getting back into game shape and has not ruled out a return to the NHL according to the report.. This is not confirmed but it is rumored Palffy has a out clause in his contract. As for a return to the NHL: Some hockey people believe it is very unlikely Palffy returns to the NHL, but a former agent of Palffy’s is speculating that if all goes well, Palffy could be interested in joining a playoff contender in late January. Penguins news:The Penguins have signed center Tim Brent.

Pirates acquire shortstop Izturis from Cubs


The Pirates today acquired shortstop Cesar Izturis from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later and cash. Is this the end of Jack Wilson? The Pirates have made it known for the past month Wilson is on the trading block. This deal backs that argument. Wilson is hitting .254, with a .309 on-base average. Wilson is signed through 2009: His salary is $5.25 million this year, and he will make $6.5 million next year and $7.25 million in ’09. Wilson has drawn minimal interest since being on the trading block. The problem is the only true contender with shortstop issues are the Boston Red Sox. Trading Wilson might be easier during the off-season as teams such as the Cardnals and Giants could be losing Eckstein and Visquel Potential suitors for Wilson1. St.Louis Cardnals – David Eckstein leaving via free agency.2. San Francisco Giants – The Giants willRead More »

Gossip around NHL


There was speculation going around last week, the Penguins were looking to move a defenseman on the current roster which led to rumors they were looking to acquire another defenseman through trade or free agency. One source told me thats where the Morris speculation came from but the Penguins had no interest in him. A lot people believe if Ray Shero wants to go get a Kovalev or Murray during the season, he has the role players to do it. Heres a new one: A source told me the Boston Bruins inquired about Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton. Sign Markov or Sopel and send Eaton to Boston. The Boston Bruins are looking to cut payroll and are looking to move Glen Murray and P.J. Axellson. Axellson has became expendable with the addition of Peter Schaefer. According to Metro news in Calgary, the Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff has rejected the club’sRead More »

Latest Gossip


The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed goaltender Ty Conklin. Conklin was 3-5-2 with a 3.34 G.A.A. He will battle Danny Sabourin for the #2 spot but Conklin will most likely start the season in Wilkes Barre. The Penguins also had interest in Alex Auld who is still available. Pirates Reliever Shaun Chacon is seeking a long term extension but the Pirates are looking to move him at the deadline. Two teams out West have inquired about Chacon. Chacon will draw some interest at the deadline. The Colorado Rockies have also inquired about reliever Solomon Torres. The Pirates are interested in Rockies CF Ryan Spilbourghs. David Littlefield is telling General Managers around the league, he is not listening to offers for left fielder Jason Bay. The Mets have inquired about Bay and are willing to put a offer on table that includes outfielder Lastings Miledge & top/mid tier prospect. The Mets areRead More »

Markov & Sutton the mystery’s of Free Agency


The mystery of NHL free agency has to be Andy Sutton and Danny Markov still being on the market. Both are quality defenseman but are asking for to much money and until their demands come down a bit, both will be without a team. Markov rejected two offers on the first day of free agency.Pit offer – 2 years – 6 millionChicago – 2 year 6 million When the Calgary Flames signed defenseman Cory Sarich to a 5 year – 18 million deal on July 1st, Markov’s demands went up to at least 3.5 million per season. In the early hours of free agency his agent was seeking 2-3 years at 3 million per season. After he rejected the Penguins offer, the Penguins moved on and signed Daryl Sydor. 18 days later Markov is still on the free agent market as few teams are willing to meet his demands. BlameRead More »

Steelers don’t want to lose Polamalu


One year away from free agency, strong safety Troy Polamalu is seeking to become the leagues highest paid safety and the Steelers seem willing to match his demands, as the two sides are close to agreeing to a long term extension that would make Polamalu the games highest paid safety, according to sources close to the situation. Currently Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is the games highest paid safety. Reed signed a 6 year extension worth 40 million including a 15 million signing bonus in the spring of 06. I’ve been told Polamalu is seeking atleast a 17 million dollar signing bonus. Faneca effect: The negotiations with Troy Polamalu have no effect on Alan Faneca. It is believed the Steelers offered Faneca a four year extension before draft weekend and will not increase that offer. The latest speculation is the Steelers offered Faneca 9 million upfront which led to FanecasRead More »

NHL Roundup


Per, The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired forward Matt Cullen from the New York Rangers for defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, forward Joe Barnes and a third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is interested in unrestricted free agent Chris Simon, but Philadelphia has only about $800,000 left to spend under the salary cap. Former Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Star tough guy Todd Fedoruk, believes Philly needs another tough guy to help last season’s NHL penalty minutes leader Ben Eager, 23. “Eags did a good job last year,” Fedoruk told the Courier-Post. “He saw a lot of heavyweights and I think he’s very capable of fighting the heavyweights in this league. “But I think at his age he does need a veteran heavyweight or maybe a young up-and-comer.” A Flyers bum and career minor leaguer named Riley Cote, 25, says if he is given the chanceRead More »

Some Quick hits regarding Michel Therrien’s 1 year extension


Sources have confirmed Michel Therrien is not happy with being offered a 1 year extension. Therrien was seeking a three year extension at 800k per season. I have been told the offer has been on the table for over five weeks but after it became evident Shero wasn’t going beyond a 1 year extension,Therrien had no choice but to accept the one year extension. It is obvious Therrien had little leverage in negotiations. There has also been some speculation Therrien has not had as much input in personnel decisions this off-season compared to last season. Heading into last season, Michel Therrien had a lot of say in the Penguins roster decisions. Ray Shero took the approach that he didn’t know a lot of the young players and let Michel Therrien have the final say in some early roster moves Libor Pivko (Ray Shero) vs Michel Ouellet (Michel Therrien): Shero madeRead More »

Throw out the three year theory in Jim Tracy’s case


A manager for a small market team is usually given three years before his long term status is decided. Rightfully so, in most cases thats how it should be. Pirates manager Jim Tracy has been on the job for a year in a half but many Pirate fans will agree its been long enough. I tend to agree with the three year theory in most situations but watching tonight’s game against the Colorado Rockies, i made up my mind that Tracy needs to go. I’m not even going to waste my time writing ideas why he should be fired because anyone with some baseball knowledge knows the horrid job he has done. When he was hired i said give him three years to see what he can do but its pointless to keep him around for another season. Plain and simple he is not a small market coach. Case inRead More »