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...because the Americans are indulging in inferior beer and superior fireworks this weekend (Happy Memorial Day to all of you).

Uh oh, Ottawa -- commence your Code Red freakouts -- and it's not a "sources say"! We've been given an actual name: Ritch Winter -- Hasek's agent. The long story short is that Hasek and Muckler have discussed the possibility of the 42-year-old netminder returning next year.

And just when people were beginning to calm down.

The most important part of this piece actually has little to do with Hasek -- we all assumed that Muckler was going to talk to Dom. Here's what the pseudo-GMs of the city need to focus in on:

If the Senators don't bring back Hasek, their options may be limited. Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson will be an unrestricted free agent, but there's going to be a bidding war.

Among the other goalies who could be available, San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov, who lost the No. 1 job with the Sharks, makes $3.63 million. Anaheim's J.S. Giguere, who also lost the No. 1 job, makes $3.9 million.

Florida's Roberto Luongo and Nashville's Tomas Vokoun could both be on the open market.

But Hasek will be looking for a base salary somewhere between $750,000-$1.5 million with games-played and playoff bonuses that were also part of his last contract.

Hasek finished with a 28-14-0 record and six shutouts in 42 games here last season.

The indications are Hasek would be willing to play less regular-season games (40-to-45) and give Ray Emery more of the workload to be ready for the playoffs.

"I'm just not sure there are a lot of options out there this year," said a league source.

"If you're going to move on from Hasek, then you better have somebody who is ready to step in. Ray Emery is going to need more time."

Translation: Edmonton's going to want to keep Dwayne Roloson. Montreal's going to want to keep Cristobal Huet. Other teams are looking for goalies, they'll be looking at some of the names Garrioch listed, and value for backstoppers is at a premium right now. Fans want, want, want...and they expect the team to also retain either Wade Redden and/or Zdeno Chara. Alrighty then. Sometimes Sens fans are so delusional, it kills me. I'm actually shocked that Nikolai Khabibulin's name hasn't come up.

As of right now, I could see John Muckler doing the following: Signing Hasek, and running a 1a and 1b goaltending system until he sees something else fall out. I don't believe he'd wait until the trade deadline. He might wait until he sees somebody fall off and go through a bad patch -- then make an offer. It's important to remember that you never (well, rarely ever) make a trade for someone when they're at their best. There has to be a reason why a team wants to purge a player.

Would this work? No one would ever admit that it has a chance in hell. And you know what? I kind of like that.

I received a truly great response to last week's column where I referenced Scott Radinsky's band, Pulley. There's such a great dynamic between punk rock and sport that few have ever tapped into -- I want to be one of the first. Most writers don't realize that so many players are fans of these bands, and eventually meet, socialize and become friends with them. They're a fantastic resource for information, because they speak honestly, and without the typical clichés. It was a band member who told me that Sean Avery had been spotted with Elisha Cuthbert, long before the media was even aware they were friends (who eventually became a couple). It was a band member who gave me true insight into Scott Niedermayer's feelings, when he wasn't sure if he was going to return to New Jersey. I'm sure most "journalists" wouldn't dream of associating with "undesirables" like "punk rockers", but that mentality is just ridiculous. So many sources are completely oversaturated that it can't possibly hurt to become a bit unorthodox. And ultimately, it's important to remember that this business is not nearly as serious and important as its participants would like to believe. It's just a game, and it's okay to occasionally have fun with your work.

Have a decent weekend, Cynics. More later.

3 responses to "Friday evening deglaze"

  1. Crazy as it sounds, Hasek might be the best choice for Ottawa. I know he burned them, and he represents a giant risk, and I personally wouldn't touch him with Chara's hockey stick. But there just aren't that many options out there who might represent an upgrade. Luongo? Uhm - nope. Vokoun? That's the stupidest goalie rumour I've heard yet - he's signed to a cheap contract with Nashville, and the team is nothing without him. There is zero chance he goes anywhere. (note to self: archive Garrioch's trade rumours for future hilarity).

    Joseph is off the market as of last night, and Roloson, Gerber, and Huet will be re-upped by their respective clubs.

    Hasek will be cheap, and if Emery could play 45-50 of the nothing games, and save Hasek for when they need him most...you never know. He's still got it, when he's healthy. But the question of that health is a major gamble, when you're talking about the most important position on the team.

    My hunch is that Hasek will be re-signed by Muckler, who loves the guy. And if he fails, I actually believe there'll be a lynch mob out for old Mucks.

    A good 1A plan will be to trade Havlat. The team can't afford him, he's talented, and he's a notorious contract holdout. Alfredsson is going noplace, with a relatively cheap contract, and the sky is the limit for Spezza, so Havlat's got to go. But for who, it's anybody's guess at this point.

    P.S., Punk rock is awesome. I met the Ramones on their final tour in a bar in Peterborough many years ago. It's hard to believe that 1.) I got to get drunk surrounded by those guys, and 2.) most of them are now dead.

    Am I over my word count?


  2. Hi,

    Love your Blog and the occasional article you write in the paper.

    What you think I've mine? I'm a Rick the Plush Moose and I'm not ashamed to be
    1) 100% a homer
    2) A bang wagon jumper once my team is out of the play offs.

    I think my site; i.e., all of MSN
    is down now but when its back
    you can find me at:

    Ottawa fans take heart. The Kipper was an AHL goalie neglected by many teams and now he's a superstar. We will find a goa


  3. Oops I meant goalie.

    Ottawa will find a goalie, someday.
    We have several interesting prospects. Hassek next year? Well, if he sticks around I'll rout for him but obviously his health is a concern which is reflected in his cost.

    Always, your friend,
    Ricky Mooston plush Moose sports blogger and temporary Oiler's fan.
    (Next year I will route again for the Sens come hell or high water until they are gone or until they've got the cup.)