Journeyman

“Journeyman” leads list of holiday hockey books

6 Comments

A book makes for a great Christmas gift. It’s super easy to buy, doesn’t take long to wrap, and when the person’s finished with it you can read it too.

Here are four hockey books that people are talking about this holiday season:

Journeyman: The Many Triumphs (and Even More Numerous Defeats) of a Guy Who’s Seen Just About Everything in the Game of Hockey, by Sean Pronger (with Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy) – Perhaps best known as Chris’s brother, Sean never became a star. He played in the NHL, AHL, IHL, ECHL before finishing his career in Germany. He also once told Wayne Gretzky to not pass him the puck during practice because he was too hungover. The Great One then passed him the puck a lot. “If there is just one hockey book you buy this holiday season,” the Globe and Mail says Journeyman should be it. (PHT review: Haven’t read it.)

The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the NHL and Changed the Game Forever by Jonathon Gatehouse – For those who can’t get enough of the lockout, here’s an in-depth look at the man who’s been commissioner for three work stoppages. The Winnipeg Free Press calls it “a crisply written, carefully researched and thought-provoking biography about a sports icon neither beloved nor athletic but who’s arguably the most powerful figure pro hockey has ever known.” (PHT review: Haven’t read it.)

J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey by Jeremy Roenick (with USA Today’s Kevin Allen) – One of the greatest American hockey players ever, Roenick is known for much more than scoring 1,216 points in 1,363 games. Patrick Marleau did not care for this book. (PHT review: Haven’t read it.)

The Best of Down Goes Brown by Sean McIndoe – Hockey’s most popular humorist besides Scott Howson has written his first book. With chapters like “A moment with the guy who has to go out and fix the glass when it breaks” and “An NHLer’s guide to never saying anything interesting,” Amazon commenter Christopher L Hoffman says, “If you love either Sean or hockey, you might kinda like this book.” The book also features forewords by TSN’s James Duthie and Bob McKenzie, but not Darren Dreger. (PHT review: Haven’t read it.)

Preds sign Jarnkrok for six years, with a cap hit of just $2 million

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 09:  Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on December 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Predators defeated the Avalanche 3-0.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Getty
Leave a comment

Nashville’s momentous offseason continued today with the signing of forward Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12 million contract.

That’s a cap hit of just $2 million, all the way through 2021-22.

Suffice to say, it’s not often that a player signs such a long deal, for such a modest cap hit. Jarnkrok notched career highs in goals (16) and assists (14) in 81 games last season for the Preds. He kills penalties, too.

At the very least, the 24-year-old has some financial security now. But for Nashville, as long as his production doesn’t fall off a cliff, he could end up being a great bargain.

Jarnkrok had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4.

Related: Preds avoid arbitration with Petter Granberg — two years, $1.225 million

Red Wings re-sign Mrazek to two-year, $8 million deal

Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek (34) stops a shot by Tampa Bay Lightning center Valtteri Filppula (51) in the first period of Game 3 in a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP
1 Comment

The Detroit Red Wings didn’t need Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing either.

The day after the Wings avoided the process by locking up defenseman Danny DeKeyser, they agreed on a two-year deal with Mrazek, with a reported cap hit of $4 million.

Mrazek, 24, went 27-16-6 last season with a .921 save percentage. Those numbers compared favorably to Jimmy Howard‘s (14-14-5, .906); however, GM Ken Holland has argued that keeping Howard could be best for Mrazek’s development.

“It could possibly be detrimental if we put Petr in a situation where we’re just going to throw him out and play 70 games and no matter how you play, we’re going to keep putting you out,” said Holland.

Granted, it may be that Howard is simply untradeable. He’s 32 years old, hasn’t put up solid numbers the past three seasons, and has three years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of just under $5.3 million.

If Howard remains, the Wings will have just under $9.3 million in cap space allocated to their goaltenders next season, one of the highest totals in the league.

Mrazek, by the way, will still be a restricted free agent when his new contract expires in the summer of 2018.

Tavares ‘would love’ to spend his entire career with Isles

John Tavares
AP
2 Comments

With new majority owners and now talk of a new arena, the future of the New York Islanders has been a popular topic lately.

Not surprisingly, it’s led to plenty of discussion about the future of captain John Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018.

Ownership has insisted that it won’t get that far, that Tavares will be re-signed. The Isles will have “no financial constraints,” owner Jon Ledecky promised.

But what about Tavares? What does he think?

“I think I’ve always showed my commitment, my appreciation and my desire to play on Long Island,” the 25-year-old told Sportsnet 590 radio on Tuesday, per NHL.com. “I would love for that to continue for the long haul. I think you look at some of the greatest players in the game have been able to spend their entire career somewhere. I hope I’m in that same position.”

As for the speculation he could sign in Toronto?

“I would not count on that,” he said.

So start the countdown to July 1, 2017. That’s when Tavares can officially start negotiating an extension with the Isles.

Perhaps by then we’ll even know where the team will be playing its future games. Will it be Brooklyn or somewhere else?

Sens re-sign Hoffman to four-year, $20.75 million deal

Mike Hoffman
AP
1 Comment

Only 18 NHLers have scored more goals than Mike Hoffman has over the last two seasons.

Today, the Ottawa Senators signed the 26-year-old sniper to a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.1875 million.

Hoffman had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4. The breakdown of his new deal, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

His contract done, Hoffman can now focus fully on next season, which he’s excited about.

“New coach coming in, Guy Boucher, I had him in junior when I played in Drummondville of the Quebec League,” Hoffman said recently. “Very good relationship with him, we won a championship together. So definitely looking forward to working with him this year.”

As for Sens GM Pierre Dorion, he’s still got some offseason work to do. Defenseman Cody Cedi is a restricted free agent, and there’s no arbitration date to encourage a settlement in his case. While Dorion is confident that something that will get done with the 22-year-old, what remains to be seen is if it’s a short- or long-term deal.