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PRINCE OF PUCKS: Back to Big D?

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  • It's not looking good for the Ottawa hopes of re-signing restricted free agent forward prior to training camp. The Ottawa Citizen reported Havlat's agents rejected a two-year, $1.9 million offer from the club, claiming they consider it insulting. They're comparing their client to Tampa Bay forward , whom the re-signed to a three-year, $9.25 million contract last week. GM John Muckler claimed to be "baffled" by the Havlat camp's rejection of his offer, noting that just because the Sens have new ownership, it doesn't mean they're going to change the way they conduct contract negotiations. That's all well and good for Muckler to say, but when he's re-signed forward and defenseman to multiyear deals worth $10 million and $14 million respectively, is it any wonder Havlat's agents are miffed at Muckler's low-ball offer?
  • The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the agent for had contacted the Dallas about a possible return of his client to the Lone Star State. Nieuwendyk played seven seasons with the , winning the Conn Smythe trophy as the 1999 playoff MVP as he helped them win their only Stanley Cup. There are a couple of things hampering a potential return to Dallas. Nieuwendyk's age and injury history are a factor, but more importantly, so is the number of centers already on the roster. They're deep at center with , , , and , and they couldn't even give away Turgeon this past summer. So unless the are planning on shopping Arnott or Barnes, it just doesn't make sense for them to bring in another center.
  • As the Toronto try to wade through the fallout from 's retirement, new GM John Ferguson Jr. still has to find help for the depleted blueline he inherited from former GM Pat Quinn. The Toronto Sun reported the Leafs, who had interest in free agent defenseman , now risk losing him to another club, possibly either the Atlanta or St. Louis . Talks with Klee's agent have apparently run cold, and if another club snaps him up, Ferguson will have to consider either trading for a defenseman, or landing one via the waiver draft on Oct. 3.
  • With the Boston now out of the running for with their recent signing of free agent netminder , speculation is once again brewing over a potential destination for CuJo. The Detroit Free Press reported the Atlanta were believed interested in Joseph and suggested the New York might also get involved, as could the Washington , provided a third club was also in the mix. Given the depth of goalies already in the system, as well as their tight budget, I doubt Joseph will end up in Atlanta. And as I've noted all summer, the have NOT expressed interested in CuJo. If Detroit is willing to take off the Caps' hands (forget about , he's too expensive for even the Wings), Joseph could get dealt to Washington, if a third team is in place to take him off their hands. And who might that third team be? I still believe it's the Colorado , who not only need a proven starter if they're to make a serious playoff run next spring, but could also afford to absorb a good portion of Joseph's contract. At home in Prince Edward Island, Canada, he's known as Lyle Richardson. But around these parts, he's known as Spector, FOXSports.com's Prince of Pucks. Check in with Spector for the latest NHL rumors from around the league and buy his book.
  • Tagged: Bruins, Red Wings, Stars, Devils, Rangers, Senators, Lightning, Maple Leafs, Capitals, Jets, Stu Barnes, Bryan Smolinski, Mike Modano, Joe Nieuwendyk, Pierre Turgeon, Jason Arnott, Wade Redden, Martin Havlat, Curtis Joseph, Ken Klee, Jaromir Jagr, Niko Kapanen, Brad Richards

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