Ducks Soup: NHL Free Agent News and Notes


It’s arbitration time – sit back and watch the fireworks light up the sky!

Right off the start, let me tell you: I know nothing about the contract talks between the Anaheim Ducks and Carl Hagelin or Jakob Silfverberg.

So don’t ask!

It may be Dullsville in SoCal, but there are definitely some fireworks being fired around the NHL as players and teams negotiate dollars and cents.  Arbitration, baby!   Drama, the hockey way.

The biggest name in the arbitration game is Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who spoke to an arbitrator earlier today.  From the sounds of it, the Capitals and Holtby don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on what he is worth:

"Oh, to have been a fly on the wall while Braden Holtby and the Capitals gave their briefs to an NHL arbitrator in Toronto earlier today.What kind of dirt did the Caps have to dig up to convince an arbitrator their 25-year-old goaltender is worth their proposed $5.1 million, which would make him the 17th highest-paid goalie in the NHL?And what kind of flowery language did Holtby’s agent come up with to justify his $8 million asking price, which would make him the second highest-paid goalie in the NHL next season, behind only Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5 million)?No matter what an arbitrator rules in the case of Holtby – and he has 48 hours to render a decision – there’s a good chance the fiery goalie will come out feeling he has something to prove next season, especially with restricted free agency looming for him again next summer."

I don’t like to get bogged down in talk about salary negotiations, but I feel pretty good about stating that Holtby is NOT the second-best goaltender in the NHL.  That’s the real problem I have with this sort of crap – I have no problem with Holtby wanting a raise, but then he goes and loses his perspective and asks for $8 million.

Try getting your playoff winning percentage to at least .500 first, dude.

Here’s a list of

In case you missed it today, the Toronto Maple Leafs went from “team that was giving away players for not-even-magic beans” to somehow convincing  Lou Lamoriello to leave the New Jersey Devils to become the general manager for the Leafs. Toronto head coach Mike Babcock was so excited that he even started referring to himself in third person:

"Every coach I’ve ever talked to about Lou, and most of them have been fired by him, love him.  I talked to Pete DeBoer the other day about him. He raves about him. Lou has got a way of doing things, but Lou is a smart, smart guy, and just like all of us who are in the pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of winning, we’re sure willing to adjust to somebody who has a better idea.This was a home run for Mike Babcock."

Either substituted Babcock’s name instead of Brendan Shanahan, or Babcock is more influential in Toronto than I thought!

Finally, having written twice about the possibility of the Anaheim Ducks bringing Alexander Semin to SoCal, I feel it is my responsibility to point out that his agent, Mark Gandler, informed that Semin was close to signing a new deal.

Should you want to read more about this, you should head here, as that first site was in – you may have guessed it – Russian.  We’ll know soon enough which team he signs with – any guesses?

Next: Anaheim Ducks Final Grades: Andrew Cogliano