“I’ve got no guarantees here,” Sykora said today from the Czech Republic. “I have no contract here, so if I find the right place to play and most importantly for family and for my son to go to a U.S. school in Europe, then I’m probably going to stay here the whole season.”
This is the tough spot unsigned players have. If they sign a deal in Europe, there’s a good possibility they’ll have to stay there for the entire season. Most players that have already landed in foreign leagues are already under contract with an NHL team.
Guys like Sykora don’t have that option, meaning they’d have to wait long enough to see if there will even be an NHL season before deciding to go to Europe. Sykora says he wants to be playing before Christmas so he’ll be sweating it out until then hoping a new CBA can be done.
PHT Morning Skate: Where the Red Wings are reportedly interested in Bouwmeester
Speaking of the Red Wings, they’re reportedly talking to the Calgary Flames about the possibility of acquiring Jay Bouwmeester. (MLive.com)
Mark Spector weighs in on the ongoing CBA negotiations. Among other things, he thinks the notion that “both sides are doing everything they can to avoid a lockout” is a myth. (Sportsnet)
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Thursday that the owners don’t plan to play next year under the current CBA, which is set to expire on Sept. 15. Tampa Bay’s B.J. Crombeen categorized that as “something you don’t want to hear,” but he still seems optimistic. (Tampa Bay Times)
The New Jersey Devils might still re-sign Petr Sykora. (Tom Gulitti)
Christian Hanson, who signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Boston Bruins, says it’s “do or die time” for him. He’s 26 and has played in 42 NHL games. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.
40-27-15, 95 points. Third in the Pacific Division, eighth in the Western Conference.
Defeated Vancouver (4-1) in the conference quarterfinals, St. Louis (4-0) in the semis, Phoenix (4-1) in the finals and New Jersey (4-2) in the Stanley Cup finals.
Scott Parse (UFA, still unsigned)
First round, 30th overall — LW Tanner Pearson (OHL Barrie)
While it might not seem like L.A. did much this offseason, GM Dean Lombardi made a plethora of moves to retain last year’s Cup-winning team — including a major one for Jonathan Quick.
The Conn Smythe winner received a 10-year, $58 million extension in late June, putting the Kings in the unique position of having four players under contract through 2019 (Quick, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty.)
As such, the Kings will head into 2012-13 with a near-identical squad. The most notable change came behind the bench, where ex-Blues head coach Davis Payne was named as Darryl Sutter’s assistant, replacing Jamie Kompon (who signed on in Chicago.)
The Quick signing was soon followed by reports that backup goalie Jonathan Bernier — the 11th overall pick in 2006 — expected to be shipped out of Los Angeles. The highly-touted ‘tender has high pedigree (Bernier was named the AHL’s top goalie in 2009-10) and could net Lombardi a nice asset in a trade, which has to be tantalizing given the Kings have nearly $8 million in available cap space.
Other than Bernier, the Kings’ focus will be on trying to successfully defend the Stanley Cup for the first time since Detroit won back-to-backs in 1997-98. Rarely do teams return almost their entire Cup-winning rosters — consider the last three:
— Boston lost Tomas Kaberle, Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi.
— Chicago lost Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg and Antti Niemi.
— Pittsburgh lost Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, Miroslav Satan and Petr Sykora.
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