July 19, 2008

The Wings re-sign RFA Jonathan Ericsson

Newspaper Aftonbladet is in my option a reliable source, when it comes to news about Swedish players signing in the NHL, which I think my earlier posts have showed. Today they are reporting that Swedish defenseman Jonathan Ericsson has re-signed with the Detroit Red Wings.

It's according to Aftonbladet a one-way contract on 3 years and worth a total $2.7 million. He will be making $550k in the first year, $900k in year two and $1.25 million in the last year.

The big defenseman was the last player drafted in the 2002 NHL Draft and is seen as another one of Detroit's late-round steals. Detroit being stacked at defense though has made for example Kyle at WTF Holland worried about Ericsson's future in the organization. I think this contract shows though that he's a big part of their future plans.

By the way, sorry for the long silence. I blame it on a combination of being busy with work and a computer crash. Only one week left of work now though until a month of vacation before another year at the university and I bought a new laptop the other day, so hopefully less time will go by before my next post.

July 06, 2008

Frögren's a Leafie, Videll's an NHLer soon too?

As you may or may not know, Jonas Frögren did end up signing with Toronto. A one-way contract on 2 years, where he will be making $470k the first year and $900k the second year according to Aftonbladet. He also gets a sign-on bonus to help pay the $420k that he needs to buy out his contract with Färjestad.

Now the same newspaper is reporting that another SEL player, Linus Videll, is close to sign with the Nashville Predators. A two-way contract worth a total of about $1.3 million.

23-year-old right winger Videll was originally drafted by Colorado in 2003. Last season he had a breakout year at the SEL level with 13 goals and 13 assists in 53 games and 12 games with the national team, which is why he has started attracting interest from the NHL again.

Detroit and Nashville are two teams that have showed interest, but the lack of agreement between NHL and Europe has caused problems. With players like Frögren and Peter Regin being able to leave to the NHL, things look brighter though.

- It looks a lot more promising than it did a couple of weeks ago. I'm hopeful and really think this will get solved, says Videll.

Videll got an NHL out-clause in the contract with his SEL team Södertälje, unlike Frögren had. The contract is more similar to the one Regin, who signed with Ottawa about a month ago, had - a SEL contract with an NHL out-clause and a set transfer fee. In Regin's case, the SEL team ended up not getting any transfer money at all.

Time will tell if the solution will be like Frögren's or Regin's.

July 03, 2008

Jonas Frögren to the Leafs?

Stay-at-home defenseman Jonas Frögren had an excellent World Championship in Canada about 2 months ago. The performance attracted interest from Chicago and Colorado earlier this off-season, but the lack of an agreement between the NHL and Europe stopped the transfer.

Frögren got a contract with the SEL team Färjestad and the contract lacks an NHL out-clause. Färjestad wants 2 million SEK (about $335k) for him, but the NHL teams aren't allowed to pay transfer fees. In other words, Frögren would have had to pay the transfer fee himself, so the negotiations fell apart that time.

Now it looks like he could be on the way to the NHL again and this time to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher hinted it in The Globe and Mail, when he said "it's not a current NHL player" the Leafs have on their radar. Hockeysverige.se has followed it up and gotten a confirmation from Färjestad that Frögren is the player who Toronto is going after.

- They are pulling in him and seem very interested. Our demand on more money in compensation than under the old NHL/Europe agreement ($200k) is still there though, says Färjestad's GM Thomas Rundqvist to hockeysverige.se about Toronto's interest.

- It's not impossible that we can reach a solution, but it depends on them. But I don't want to speculate about percentages left and right on the chances of it happening or not. It should also be said that we preferably want to keep Jonas.

For how long are you willing to negotiate?
- It's late enough already. So if anything will happen, then it has to happen pretty soon. It's nothing that will drag out for a couple weeks or so, concludes Rundqvist.

Personally I'm hoping that Färjestad ends up letting him go. It's not every day a player gets a chance like this and 27-year-old Frögren has been in the Färjestad organization since his junior days. They should award his loyalty.

Solution? I don't know how much Frögren is willing to pay to realize his NHL dream, but I guess Färjestad either needs lower their demands or Toronto overpaying a bit to give Frögren some extra cash for paying the transfer fee.