A bit of a busier day in hockey rumors covers everything from free agents to potential trades and the sale of an NHL franchise. Did Jaromir Jagr get snubbed by the Florida Panthers after he thought there was a deal in place? Is Matt Duchene finally on his way out of Colorado? Is the sale of the Carolina Hurricanes to Chuck Greenberg falling apart at the seams?
Jagr Snubbed By Panthers?
Earlier this week, it was reported by Larry Brooks of the NY Post that Jagr was promised a contract by the Florida Panthers after NHL Expansion had come and gone and the Panthers could see how their team was affected. Jagr is still one of the NHL’s most prominent free agents, yet somehow sits in the Czech Republic without a contract offer from a single NHL team. His offer from the Panthers never came.
If that’s the situation, one could understand Jagr being frustrated with the Panthers as it may have affected his ability to reach an agreement with another franchise. Jimmy Murphy of murphyshockeylaw.net is citing that Brooks story may not be entirely accurate and it was less about new coaching and more about a change of heart than anything else.
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) August 1, 2017
Murphy goes on to explain in a series of follow up tweets that after going through the expansion draft, hiring new coaches and Jagr testing the market, the two sides simply decided on an amicable split. This matches the theory that Jagr was told to see what was out there in the NHL marketplace and circle back to the Panthers after exploring his options. Murphy finally closes stating there was never a verbal agreement or a “wink-wink” deal.
As it stands now, Jagr is still looking for a new deal with an NHL club.
Many are surprised that Matt Duchene has not yet been traded by the Colorado Avalanche. Duchene was skating at Connor McDavid‘s camp in Toronto and was asked about his situation, his standing with the team and if it’s a distraction.
“Yes and no,” Duchene said. “I think right now I’m pretty relaxed, I know whatever’s going to happen is gonna happen. I don’t really have control of it and I’m just worried about being at the top of my game and kind of getting to where I was kind of the first half of last season, before everything kind of fell apart everybody in Colorado. I feel good right now, probably as good as I felt at any point during the year.
“It is what it is and let it happen.“
When it comes to Duchene, there is quite the differing of opinion around NHL media. TSN‘s Dave Poulin notes that while he expects a deal to get done, nothing will matter if the Avs don’t come down on their asking price for Duchene. Poulin describes Duchene is a very good complementary player, but not necessarily a stand alone guy. Meanwhile, NHL Network’s, Kevin Weekes calls Duchene dynamic and a harder player to come by. He’s amazed that this deal could still happen since Duchene grew up dreaming of playing for Avs. Weekes suggested, sometimes the deal you don’t make is the best deal.
Currently, the relationship between Duchene and the Avs is not in a good place. Most believe the two need to part ways.
Hurricanes Deal off the Table?
It seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Carolina Hurricanes were going to be sold to former Texas Rangers owner and CEO Chuck Greenberg. That deal might not be as solid as was once announced. Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer writes that Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. said the asking price for the franchise is $500 million for now and Greenberg is only one of many interested parties.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 1, 2017
Karmanos Jr. has a “term sheet” in place to sell the team to a group headed by Check Greenberg but “there is no purchase agreement.” In short, nothing is official. 11 or 12 groups have shown interest in the Hurricanes at some point and Karmanos is doing his due diligence to ensure a good fit for the team and himself. Still, he was giving Greenberg time to put the pieces together.
“Once he’s (Greenberg) done that we’re going to examine his offer and see if it cuts the mustard,” Karmanos said. “He was supposed to be done a while ago. I like working with Chuck … (but) if we get a few more weeks down the road and he can’t raise enough money, I’m going to tell him sayonara.”
Karmanos wasn’t afraid to suggest as well that if this process is delayed and he has to go back and start the process again, the asking price for the team will increase. He wasn’t shy about suggesting a $550 or $600 million price tag.
It appears Karmanos is growing a tad frustrated. He’s 74 years old and wants to find a deal that will keep the team in Carolina but also allows him to remove a huge asset from his portfolio to help his family as he reaches a much older age.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”