Anaheim Ducks star forward Teemu Selanne is actively courting close friend Paul Kariya to Anaheim and Kariya is eyeing a return to Anaheim.
Agent Don Baizley who represents both Selanne and Kariya, has spoken with Ducks GM Bob Murray on multiple occasions throughout the past 7-to-10 days. There is a mutual interest from both sides but it is not a slam dunk that Anaheim will make an offer or sign Kariya.
As of this morning, the Ducks have yet to make an official offer and Kariya is not operating on any kind of timetable.
“No timetable and nothing imminent, ” Don Baizley the agent for Kariya told Inside Pittsburgh Sports via email today, when asked if a deal with Anaheim is imminent and if a timetable was established from Kariya to pick his next NHL home whether it be Anaheim or elsewhere.
Those in Kariya’s inner circle have indicated that Kariya is determined to play for Anaheim even at a salary in the $1.5-to-$2 million range.
However, Anaheim’s brass has not come to the conclusion yet whether the team will decide to push forward in talks or not. A decision though internally is expected this week.
Kariya, 35, is not the player he use to be but when healthy is still a productive top-6 winger. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound winger had 18 goals for 43 points last season with the St. Louis Blues.
Kariya scored 300 goals and had 369 assists during nine seasons with the Ducks before signing with Colorado for the 2003-04 season.
If Anaheim does decide to pass on Kariya. Kariya will then consider other options or retire. Kariya prefers to stay in the West but options out East could emerge. Pittsburgh is one of those teams who could try to lure the veteran to Pittsburgh.
The Penguins offered Kariya a three year deal worth $12 million in the summer of 2007 and were a finalist along with Vancouver and St. Louis
For now Pittsburgh has been on the sidelines and is currently not in on Kariya. A team contact though wasn’t ready to rule out the team exploring the possibility of signing Kariya. However, the contact said that Pittsburgh is under the assumption as others are that Kariya is only focused on Anaheim at this time.
Anaheim is believed to be the only team that Baizley has held substantive talks with this summer. Kariya began free agency contemplating retirement.
More NHL Buzz
The NHL is staying true to their word and are going after other long-term contracts. Contracts that have been previously approved and registered by the league.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis confirmed in an email to the Vancouver Sun that the league is investigating Roberto Luongo’s 12-year, $64 million contract.
“We have complied with the NHL request for information and are awaiting further instructions,” Gillis told the paper. “Cannot say anything further at this point.”
The NHL feels it can go after Luongo’s deal because it was signed last September and begins this season. Luongo is due to make $10 million this season and will be 43 at the end of the deal when he is due to make $1 million per season. The deal is structured similar to Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17 year deal that was rejected by the league.
It is also being speculated the league may explore extensions signed by Boston Bruins centre Marc Savard and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger.