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Pressure on agents not to set the market before July 1
With the uncertainty of the salary for next season and beyond, there continues to be significant pressure on agents who represent mid-tier free agents. The top tier players like Marian Hossa and Jay Bouwmeester are going to get their money. The wild cards are players like Martin Havlat, Eric Cole and Petr Sykora.
Agent Allan Walsh represents two key wingers set to hit the open market in Martin Havlat and Petr Sykora. It is believed agents around the league don’t want to see Havlat settling for anything under

 

$5 million per season. The Hawks are believed to be offering a three to four year deal worth $4.5 million per season. The two sides are close but Walsh is going to try to get that figure to $5 million if Havlat is to sign before July 1.
Petr Sykora is important for agents around the league because he is a second tier kind of winger. The pressure is on Sykora to get a deal in the range of atleast $3 million per season.
If Havlat signed for $5 million and Sykora would sign for $3 million – $3.3 million before free agency, this would set the stage for wingers like Eric Cole, Nik Antropov to get their $4 ¬†million per season but it’s a terrible year to be a free agent with the economy and the salary cap expected to drop.
General Managers are obviously trying get the prices down for mid-tier wingers. It’s going to be a very interesting situation to watch.
Lecavalier to Los Angeles?
While the Montreal Canadiens continue to get mentioned as the most likely suitor for Vincent Lecavalier this summer who will be shopped at the draft, look for the LA Kings to be a darkhorse. They have the prospects and young players to make a deal happen and they are looking to add some star power.
2008 1st overall pick Steven Stamkos has 9 goals in his last 16 games. He is finding his comfort zone playing alongside Marty St. Louis.
Bruins find their game
After a tough stretch in late February – Early March, the Boston Bruins are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and appear to have found their swagger back. They have a comfortable seven point lead over the Washington Capitals for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The lack of playoff experience is worrisome but you can’t discount the regular season production and they have the size to be a matchup problem for just about anybody in the Eastern Conference.
Flyers to catch Devils?
The New Jersey Devils have now lost 5 straight games after losing 3-0 to the New York Rangers Monday night. The division is still up for grabs, although the Devils still have a 6 point lead over the Flyers.
Pittsburgh hosts New Jersey on Wednesday and a win would move the Penguins six points behind the Devils. It’s a longshot for the Flyers or Penguins to catch the Devils but the division is not locked up just yet. Philadelphia has seven games remaining with five games against non-playoff teams.
Photo courtesy of Dan4th

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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