Author: Jason Brough

Johnny Oduya

‘Hawks would like to re-sign Oduya, but still working through ‘financial hurdles’


Johnny Oduya is still waiting for the Blackhawks to clear enough cap space to re-sign him, according to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.

But the ‘Hawks may have to clear it soon, because Oduya won’t wait forever.

ESPN’s Craig Custance reported on July 1 that the 33-year-old defenseman was “sitting on a very good offer.”

Presumably that “very good offer” wasn’t from Chicago; otherwise, he would’ve signed it.

“We would like to try to bring him back,” GM Stan Bowman said of Oduya, per CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers. “We have financial hurdles we’re working through.”

Even though the Blackhawks traded Brandon Saad, they added Artem Anisimov’s $3.3 million cap hit for next season, and they still haven’t dealt Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell, or any of the other players rumored to be out the door.

The ‘Hawks have five NHL defenseman under contract for 2015-16 — Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, David Rundblad, and Trevor van Riemsdyk.

If they can’t re-sign Oduya, they could either look elsewhere for a cheaper free agent, or commit to giving roster spots to youngsters like Stephen Johns and Ville Pokka.

Related: UFA of the Day: Johnny Oduya

NHL-KHL fail to reach player-transfer deal


From Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston:

Players under contract to KHL teams will be unable to make the jump to the NHL for at least another year.

The leagues recently held discussions about expanding their transfer agreement to look more like those the NHL has with other European federations, but couldn’t reach a new deal. Instead, they’ve extended their pre-existing memorandum of understanding through June 2016.

Essentially, the NHL and KHL are vowing to continue respecting each others’ contracts.

It was reported earlier in the month that a transfer agreement was close. As we explained in the post:

The difference is that a transfer agreement would create a system where there could be fees per player that switches leagues. Right now the memorandum of understanding only states that the two leagues have to respect each others contracts. So, for example, Ilya Kovalchuk had to get his NHL contract voided before he could go to the KHL.

As you may have heard, the KHL is in a tough spot these days. For any free agent considering signing over there, stories about players not getting paid have to give them pause.

Moreover, the KHL has to be worried about the NHL potentially raiding its talent — something that would be easier with a transfer agreement in place.

“Ultimately, the KHL wasn’t interested in a player transfer agreement,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Day told Sportsnet.

Regime change complete: Canucks fire assistant GMs Gilman and Henning

Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks announced today that assistant GMs Laurence Gilman and Lorne Henning, as well as director of player personnel Eric Crawford, have been relieved of their duties.

“On behalf of our entire organization I would like to sincerely thank Laurence, Lorne and Eric for their commitment and dedication to the Vancouver Canucks,” said club president Trevor Linden in a statement. “They have been important members of our staff for a long time and made significant contributions to the success of this team. Further still, they are great people and respected members of the hockey community.”

Gilman and Henning were hired together in 2008 to work under then-new GM Mike Gillis.

Gilman was an especially popular and prominent figure during his time with the club. Best known as the Canucks’ “capologist,” he was kept on when Gillis was fired and replaced with Jim Benning.

But after a season of transition, the new regime — Linden, Benning, and VP of player personnel John Weisbrod — is on its own now, for better or worse.

“We have made some difficult decisions to our roster and staff recently after a thorough review of the team,” said Linden. “These are not easy decisions, nor were they taken lightly. But they’re important as we transition this team and build for the future.”

Related: Gilman believes he’s qualified to be Canucks GM