Tag: expiring contracts

Toronto Maple Leafs v Phoenix Coyotes

J.S. Giguere is willing to waive his no-trade clause … but who would even want him?

Much like he did last season when the Anaheim Ducks traded him to his current team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jean-Sebastien Giguere told Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star that he might be willing to waive his no-trade clause if Leafs GM Brian Burke asked him.

Giguere certainly has name recognition on his side, with a Conn Smythe during one magical run to the 2003 Stanley Cup finals and a ring from the 2006-07 championship.

But the bottom line is that the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent’s value might just be at an all-time low. He’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistent play over the last few years as Jonas Hiller and Jonas Gustavsson usurped him in Anaheim and Toronto.

That’s not the worst part of it, though, as Giguere’s boasts a big salary this season ($7 million) and a large cap hit ($6 million). That makes the prospects of him being traded much bleaker, especially considering the fact that Tomas Vokoun brings a similar expiring contract to the table ($6.3 million salary, $5.7 million cap hit) while he’s playing better hockey.

Yet that’s really the only one way the Leafs could sell a Giguere trade: the fact that he possesses an expiring contract. Perhaps a team will want to move a troubling long-term contract (maybe Brian Campbell’s $7.1 million albatross in Chicago or Sheldon Souray’s $5.4 million cap hit in Edmonton’s system, for instance?) and also give Giguere a chance to redeem himself in the playoffs or at the end of the season.

Of course, the flip side of that is Burke would need to be comfortable with the return. Sadly, the pattern of big, desperate (and expensive) moves would indicate that such a deal might be a ridiculous possibility, but the Leafs would be better off allowing Giguere’s $6 million cap hit turn into space they can use to shoot for unrestricted free agents. I hear there’s this Brad Richards fellow who is supposed to be pretty good at hockey, after all …

Tampa Bay Lightning hope to open up contract extension discussions with Steven Stamkos


The Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the most improved teams in the NHL this season and Steven Stamkos might just be the league’s most explosive offensive talent so far. He leads the league with 20 points and shares the goal scoring lead with Brandon Dubinsky and Patrick Sharp at 10.

Being that he is in the third (and final) year of his entry-level contract, it’s natural to wonder (and worry) how much progress is being made between the player and team when it comes to a new deal. Normally, I’m a proponent of reaping the benefits of the natural motivation that comes with a contract year – just look at the elite production the Dallas Stars are enjoying from Brad Richards – but in cases of young phenoms such as Stamkos, it’s good to wrap them up as soon as possible.

Teams are allowed to sign would-be free agents to deals once they have one season left (the Washington Capitals did it with Alex Ovechkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins signed Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in similar situations), so the Lightning could sign Stamkos right now if they wanted to.

Still, Damian Cristodero points out that there is no timetable for negotiations, yet he shares some details about the situation between the team, Stamkos and his agent Mark Guy.

Speculation is he could sign for at least five years at up to $7 million per season. Tampa Bay would love to get a deal done before the season is finished and Stamkos becomes a restricted free agent.

“Both sides are open to it,” Guy said. “It’s going to depend on the factors that come into negotiations. But both sides are comfortable and happy to start the process and get something done before the season is out.”

“I’d like to get it done as soon as possible,” Stamkos said. “It’s a great organization. They’re going to do their stuff. But for me, I’m just focused on my game.”

It’s difficult to argue with Stamkos being worthy of such a deal. After all, he is scoring at an elite level and has plenty of room for improvement at only 20 years old. One must wonder if the Lightning wish that the NHL didn’t close up the loopholes that should ban lifetime contracts in this case.

There are two players who could be especially impacted by the Stamkos negotiations in Tampa Bay: Vincent Lecavalier and Victor Hedman. Adding a hefty $7 million-plus annual salary cap hit would make Lecavalier’s bad value deal even more glaring, potentially justifying another round of trade speculation. Meanwhile, Hedman will be in the same contract year situation next season as Stamkos is in now, so the Lightning might have to make some tough choices in the next two summers.

Either way, signing a unique talent like Stamkos (and Hedman) is a good problem to have. We’ll fill you in as more details surface, even if that takes a while.