Fantasy Guide is updated as of today.
Salak signing with Farjestad is a good thing. He needs to play games. It's not on an NHL surface, but the competition in Sweden is solid enough to make it a positive learning experience. He will get very good coaching from Erik Granqvist as well (Gustavsson, Karlsson recent students). Overall, ~50 SEL games > 15-20 AHL games. Good move in my opinion, the kind of move that Antti Niemi should really consider.
Kindl is waiver eligible, so for him to be sent down to the AHL he would need to clear waivers. He would never clear, so the Wings would never send him down. They would sooner send down Meech and pay his one-way salary. That said, I would be surprised if Kindl played 60 games this year if Salei is healthy. Kindl will be one of those talented players who spends 20 games in the press box, and another 10-20 games in the AHL on a "conditioning assignment". The Red Wings program is a slow, but sure one. And it's usually pretty easy to see how prospects will be brought in.
A thank you to fzusher in the forum for finding this. Apparently Alexander Salak has agreed to a contract to play in the SEL next season. Translation from Swedish source here.
The Tomas Kaberle trade window is closed in five days. Burke isn't one to bow under pressure though - he'll walk away from a deal that he only 99% likes, just to show his fellow GM's that he wants 100% of what he likes or nothing.
Damien Cox is reporting that Leafs prospect Jerry D'Amigo will leave school and sign an entry level contract. Negotiations are under way, but he had a strong prospects camp and has a small chance at cracking the Leafs. What would be best for him, however, is a year in junior (Kitchener owns his OHL rights) and then see what happens next fall.
The Red Wings have signed Ruslan Salei to a one-year deal. He'll be good for 65 or 70 games after missing most of last year with a back injury. All the same, that's enough to knock Jakub Kindl into the AHL for the much of next year. Kindl's NHL transition will be much like Kronwall's and Ericsson's - slow. A few games one year, even more the next, and then finally a full campaign.
Tampa signed Czech rearguard Radko Gudas to an ELC. He has some offesnive upside and because he was drafted late (he was 20 this past draft when he was taken 66th overall) he may not be as far away as you'd think.
Ilya Kovalchuk rant - the media: I see a lot of complainers about this arbitrator's decision and I'm not exactly sure why. I admit that I expected it to go the other way, but I was not steadfast in that expectation. Because there needs to be a line somewhere. So should that line be at the Hossa contract? The Zetterberg contract? The Luongo contract? Maybe. But the NHL let it slide because they hoped that GM's and agents would be smart enough not to take it any further. But like your four-year-old, if you give them some rope they'll pull it as far out as they can. So what is the media hoping to accomplish by citing this contract and that contract as comparables? Why is the NHLPA NOT doing that? I'll tell you why - because if the NHLPA did it (and if the media keeps it up), then the NHL will start digging into those other contracts. Then the agents could really start losing money. The Luongo deal hasn't started yet. Do you really want to embarrass the NHL into looking into that one? I'm reminded of the four-year-old who whines about how Jimmy gets to play with the ball, so why can't he? And so we take the ball away from Jimmy, too. And everyone suffers. Oh no, mark my words - the NHLPA will be nice and quiet about this and wouldn't dare mention the preceding contracts.
Dumbest reaction from a media source: Larry Brooks says that one of the prior contracts (probably Hossa's) pays out 94% of it before it nosedives into small figures over the final years and that Kovalchuk's paid 97% before the nosedive. He questions why the NHL takes one but not the other. Seriously? Would it have made a difference if the discussion was about 84% and 87%? You need a line and I have no problem with that line being 95%.
Smartest reaction from a media source: Bob McKenzie Tweets this: "Kovalchuk contract pushed envelope further than it had ever been pushed. 17 years? Unprecedented. Age 44. Unprecedented. 6 big dropoff years at end? Unprecedented. I'm no lawyer but if it was 15 yrs, age 42 and 4 dropoff years, it's a lot more defensible."
The Vancouver Sun is reporting that the NHL is already investigating the Luongo deal.
Ilya Kovalchuk rant - the options: If he signs with the Devils for say 12 years or 15 years, the cap hit would be too much for NJ to take. The Kings signed Ponikarovsky and are out of the mix. So Kovy either a) Takes a paycut b) goes to the KHL c) Takes a term cut. I vote for c. I think he signs for a year or two for big bucks. Maybe the Islanders. And I don't care how much he said he liked New Jersey's schools. That's just sound bytes.
The Fantasy Guide will be updated later today. I got about 40% through the update yesterday, but Monday's tend to be busy for me even without the Guide. Tuesdays are often easier.