Author: Mike Halford

PNI Coyotes Deal 0611

Coyotes want long-term deal with Glendale


Last week, the Coyotes and Glendale resolved their contentious arena lease dispute.

Now, the Coyotes want to extend the deal.

“I would like to see us structure something with the city of Glendale on an extended basis sometime over this next year,” team president Anthony LeBlanc said, per the Arizona Republic. “Because I don’t want to go into free agency next year having Don [Maloney, Arizona GM] dealing with the same uncertainty he was dealing with this year.”

That uncertainty, according to the Republic, affected negotiations with RFA winger Mikkel Boedker, who opted to sign a one-year pact rather than a long-term extension.

The Boedker negotiations, in turn, apparently played a role in the Coyotes’ decision to target long-term with Glendale, rather than wait for the renewed lease — which went from a 15-year agreement to a two-year — to expire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

The desire for a long-term pact isn’t surprising. Though the Coyotes were able to land free agents like Steve Downie, Anders Lindback, Brad Richardson and ex-Coyotes Zbynek Michalek and Antoine Vermette, none of them signed on for longer than three years. The Republic reports that “a number of players [were] uninterested in the Coyotes because of their drama.”

If the club is going to be a significant player in free agency moving forward, Maloney needs to sell potential targets on a number of things.

Like, y’know, where they’re going to play.

“We will begin in earnest in the month of August having discussions about what we need to see on both sides to extend this,” LeBlanc explained. “Nobody benefits from a short-term deal like this, in particular, our hockey department.”

Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game One

Jim Benning wasn’t kidding when he called Brandon Sutter a “foundation piece.”

Just days after acquiring Sutter from Pittsburgh in a multi-player trade, the Canucks GM is reportedly close to inking the 26-year-old to a fairly large extension, per Sportsnet:

If accurate, the extension — which would kick in for 2016-17 — will make Sutter one of just two players on the active roster signed until 2020, the other being defenseman Chris Tanev. The estimated cap hit would also make Sutter one of the highest-paid forwards on the team next season, behind the Sedins ($7M each) and Alex Burrows ($4.5M).

Sutter’s two-year, $6.6M deal expires at the end of this season.

Given the reported money and term, it’s pretty clear Benning sees Sutter as the fix to Vancouver’s second-line center problem. Nick Bonino, part of the package sent to Pittsburgh for Sutter, looked over his head at times last year as the No. 2, and the club isn’t keen on rushing promising prospect Bo Horvat into the role.

“Horvat, the last half the year, played really well for us,” Benning said on Tuesday. “We don’t want to put pressure on him to be somewhere in the lineup that he can’t handle it going forward. We want to make sure that he keeps developing as a player.”

Whether Sutter can fill the No. 2 role remains to be seen. He was largely a No. 3 guy throughout his time in Pittsburgh, though some of that had to do with being stuck behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the depth chart.

Bruins in talks with veteran d-man Zidlicky

Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three

Per TVA, Boston GM Don Sweeney said he’s had discussions about bringing defenseman Marek Zidlicky to Boston.

Zidlicky, 38, split last year between New Jersey and Detroit, and showed relatively well upon getting dealt to the playoff-bound Wings. He had 11 points in 21 regular season games — averaging over 18 minutes a night — but was a bit of a disappointment in the playoffs, going scoreless in the first six games of the Tampa Bay series before missing Game 7 with an injury.

The former Wild and Predators blueliner has played each of the last two seasons on one-year, $3 million deals with an additional $1M in performance bonuses.

In Boston, Zidlicky would provide even more veteran experience to a group that already includes 38-year-old Zdeno Chara and 34-year-old Dennis Seidenberg. He’d also fill some of the offensive and PP duties that Dougie Hamilton had prior to his trade to Calgary.

While some are clamoring for the B’s to go younger to fill the Hamilton void — like, say, still-unsigned UFA Cody Franson — Zidlicky would likely be a cheaper option, and one seeking less term.

Related: B’s among five or six teams in on Franson, who’s ‘sick of doing one-year deals’

Report: Haula seeking $1.2 million in arbitration, Wild countering at $775K


Here’s the latest on Erik Haula’s negotiations with Minnesota heading into Friday’s arbitration hearing, from the Star-Tribune:

The Wild is looking to pay Haula $775,000 next season and Haula is seeking $1.2 million, sources confirm. If the sides go through with arbitration and don’t settle before an arbitrator makes his decision, the arbitrator will choose his own number equal to or between the ranges after hearing each side’s argument.

Since Haula filed for arbitration, the Wild gets to pick the term. The Wild has opted for a one-year award, sources say.

The $775,000 would represent a pay cut for Haula, who had a $900,000 cap hit on his last deal, a two-year pact.

The speedy Finnish forward is coming off an uneven campaign. While he did post career highs in games played (72), goals (seven) and points (14), the 24-year-old was scratched for eight of Minnesota’s 10 playoff games. That was a far cry from Haula’s breakout ’14 playoff run, in which he scored four goals and seven points in 13 games.

All that said, Haula is one of the Wild’s best penalty killers, and the Wild had the NHL’s best PK unit a year ago.

Ex-NHLer Ling charged with battery, theft

David Ling in action

David Ling, a journeyman that appeared in 93 games with Montreal and Columbus during his NHL career, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with battery and third-degree grand theft.

Ling, 40, was apprehended in Florida following an incident at a Miami Beach hotel.

More, from the Kingston Whig-Standard:

According to a complaint/arrest affidavit furnished to the Whig-Standard on Wednesday by the Miami Beach Police Department, when officers first arrived, the female victim was crying hysterically on the hotel room’s phone.

Police said she then hung up the phone and calmed down before speaking to police.

She told them she just had a verbal altercation with Ling, whom she said had been drinking and was jealous of other men giving her attention.

She said that the argument escalated and Ling became very aggressive and took her cellphone, passport and wallet out of her purse and fled down the hallway.

Following an attempt to retrieve her items, Ling became more enraged, yelling obscenities at her and striking her on the side of the head with a closed fist. Fearing for her safety, according to the report, she pushed Ling away causing a laceration on his cheek.

Ling last suited up in the NHL during the 2003-04 campaign — with the Blue Jackets — but was still playing professionally as recently as last season, splitting time between the ECHL and AHL.

He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Aug. 4.