Tag: Wade Arnott

Phil Kessel

Kessel’s agent says it’s too soon to talk about re-signing in Toronto


Phil Kessel’s future in Toronto is a hot topic amongst Maple Leafs fans and with good reason. The Leafs are struggling and with Kessel having one more year after this left on his contract, many think he could be traded if the Leafs fall out of the playoff hunt.

James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail asked Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, if there’s a chance he could re-sign with the team. Arnott was in no hurry to start talking about that.

“The season is just 11 games old,” Arnott said. “I know Phil is only focusing on the next game. We’ll see what the off-season brings, but I know he enjoys playing for the Leafs and living in a hockey market.”

Yes, it may be a bit too early to start talking about extensions, but Toronto is in an odd place between deciding if they’re going to push for the playoffs or rebuilding completely. It’s never not fun when it comes to the Leafs.

Kypreos: Parise’s contract will be hugely front-loaded

Zach Parise

It’s no surprise that no matter where Zach Parise signs today he’s going to cash in big. But just how big? Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos says it’s going to be a whopper.

Kypreos says anyone looking to land the Devils’ captain will be asked to pay up with two different $12 million signing bonuses. One will be paid right away up front as a means to protect against a possible lockout, the second to be paid up before next season. Yes, $24 million in the first two years of the deal.

Signing bonuses do count against the salary cap and that means if you want to not wind up with a $12 million cap hit, you have to have a long-term deal with less money in the following years to help knock that number down. Should these demands turn out to be true, you’re looking at Parise getting 10 years or more from whoever lands him to keep the cap hit reasonably sane.

We know Pittsburgh’s offer to Parise will be in the $7-8 million per year range, but with the first two years being that large, you’re looking at a very long contract should the Pens be serious about landing Parise. Teams like Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Ottawa will be hot for him too, but with this sort of demand, the herd should thin out fast.

Meanwhile, Zach Parise will be holed up in Toronto waiting for offers

Zach Parise

Zach Parise’s day on Sunday should prove to be a fascinating one. While it’s expected he’ll get a big offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins, he’ll be hanging in Toronto with his agents waiting to see what everyone else throws his way.

Parise’s agent Wade Arnott tells Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice that his client will be holed up in the offices of Newport Sports Management while the free agency frenzy kicks off Sunday afternoon.

“He’ll get in later tonight and we’ll walk through this one more time and see where things stand, but he’s always said he’s going to include the Devils whether it’s before we start tomorrow or after,” Arnott said.

Gulitti points out this follows the same method Brad Richards used during free agency last summer. Richards then signed with the New York Rangers, something Devils fans are hoping won’t happen with Parise. The New Jersey captain will have a host of offers to sort through including a possible monster proposal from the Minnesota Wild to play in his hometown.

Marchand and Bruins continue to negotiate as training camp approaches

Brad Marchand

Contract negotiations are a funny thing. Sometimes it can seem like there’s no hope—then the two sides come to an agreement quickly. Other times it seems like things are going relatively well, yet they drag on longer than anyone expects (see: Weber, Shea). Teams, players, and agents will all tell you the same thing: as long as both sides are talking, there’s hope. When contract talks break off—that’s when there’s cause for fear.

The good news for Bruins fans is that restricted free agent Brad Marchand and the Bruins are “working every day” to reach common ground. More specifically, the Bruins and Marchand’s agent are working every day to work a deal out. Marchand explained that the talks have increased recently:

“We’re working every day and hopefully something will be done before camp.”


“I am a part of this team and there’s no reason for me not to be. I want to be here and I want to show them I’m in shape and I’m ready to go this year. I’m just waiting to see and get it done here.

From the team’s perspective, that’s exactly what they want to hear. In fact, Marchand is ready to get going—but unsurprisingly, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be able to practice with the team until a contract is finalized. Peter Chiarelli spoke to Joe Haggerty at CSNNE.com about the tone of the negotiations:

“It’s neither contentious nor amicable. It’s just a normal negotiation and it’s not done yet. He’s obviously a good player and a good kid, and we want to get him signed.”

Such is life with restricted free agents these days. The Bruins aren’t the only team dealing with a situation like this; and this isn’t the first year we’ve seen restricted free agents go down to the wire. Each team wants to get a deal done—because barring a freak offer sheet, each of these players is going to play for their respective teams during the 2011-12 season. They aren’t going anywhere. The sooner they can get signed and into camp, the better for any team trying to compete this season. No one wants to see a situation where the player ends up holding-out.

Like the saying goes, “if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.”

Both sides are looking at a shorter-term deal in the Marchand discussions. If both sides agree on a two-year deal like Haggerty says, then it will just come down to money. Is he worth Logan Couture’s $2.9 million per season? Is he worth the approximate $2.4 million per season that Teddy Purcell signed for in the offseason?

Odds are that his contract will end up in the Purcell neighborhood while he tries to prove that his incredible playoff performance was more than an aberration. If he can prove that he’s a perennial 20-goal scorer, who plays with grit, and has the ability to raise the bar in the playoffs, he’ll make his money in the future.

Of course, first thing is first. He needs to sign his “second” contract before anyone starts worrying about his “third” contract.

Brad Marchand practices with Bruins, remains unsure about contract situation

Brad Marchand

Sometimes it seems like having some extra cap space might be a curse wrapped up in a blessing. Surely Brad Marchand’s agent Wade Arnott must realize that the Boston Bruins are in a pretty healthy cap situation – especially for a defending Stanley Cup championship team during the salary cap days – so it’s possible that he’s asking for a robust reward for the restricted free agent. From the Bruins perspective, it’s not easy to gauge the value of player with such a small but promising sample of games on his NHL resume, which might partially explain the current impasse.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports that Marchand practiced with teammates today, even though he’s not under contract just yet. That’s a promising sign that this dispute might lean more toward being “just business” rather than getting personal, but Marchand did express some concern that a new deal might not be in place before training camp begins.

Marchand’s agent, Wade Arnott, indicated to CSNNE.com last month that “it’s not a done deal” that the restricted free agent signs a contract before training camp begins, but the player said on Thursday he hasn’t yet truly entertained the positives and negatives of holding out.

“That’s how it goes sometimes. It’s been a long summer and I’m anxious to get something done. I just want to be here and be on the ice with the guys,” said Marchand. “I’m not thinking that far ahead right now. It’s just day-to-day and hopefully it’s done before [training camp].

“I hope so, but we’ll see. With the Stanley Cup win, it’s been a very short summer and there’s a lot of stuff to do in a very short time. Some things take longer than others . . . that’s all.”

As Haggerty points out, finding comparable contracts could be a little bit tricky considering the bargain deal Logan Couture signed versus the high-risk, high-reward contract that James van Riemsdyk inked shortly afterward. As useful as Marchand’s mixture of sandpaper, agitation and scoring skill is, it’s hard to imagine the Bruins forward eclipsing the work of either of those examples, although it’s not out of line for Arnott to ask for the approximate $2.88 million per year average that Couture is receiving.

(Again, as Joe pointed out, the San Jose Sharks really deserve kudos for signing a budding star like Couture for such a reasonable amount.)

Interestingly enough, Arnott has some history with the Bruins when it comes to tough negotiations. He represented Phil Kessel during contract talks that hit a wall, eventually “forcing” the Bruins to trade the goal-scoring forward to the Toronto Maple Leafs for an impressive package of picks. Marchand’s situation seems different, though.

So there’s no Phil Kessel situation going on with No. 63 if anybody was afraid of the agitator shooting his way out of town just like Kessel did when he forced a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I’d never thought about it. I had no idea,” said Marchand. “I knew that [Arnott] was [Kessel’s] agent, but this is a totally different situation.”

Ultimately, it’s hard to imagine Marchand going without a contract by the time the 2011-12 season starts, but the murky question of his value could bleed into training camp. In the grand scheme of things, the Bruins’ have a relatively small amount of problems compared to most teams dealing with a Cup victory in the post-lockout era, which might explain why Marchand was making jokes about Michael Ryder dropping the Stanley Cup when asked about his off-season partying.

Perhaps that dent is a good symbol of this situation: a small blemish on a mostly sublime summer in Boston that we should all expect to be smoothed over in good time.