Friday, July 29, 2005

Nolan, Holik and Ozolinsh

Things continue to heat up between Owen Nolan and the Maple Leafs. The Leafs have actually decided not to buy him out. They believe his injury is not hockey related and therefore owe him nothing.

As far as the Leafs are concerned, the knee injury that led to Nolan's surgery earlier this week was not a hockey-related one and so the option Nolan had for another season on his contract is void. They believe, and they reportedly have the backing of the NHL, that Nolan has no right to exercise the option for $5.6 million (all figures U.S.) in 2005-06. According to several sources, the Leafs believe they are off the hook for the contract and are prepared to allow Nolan to become an unrestricted free agent Monday without buying him out for the two-thirds of this season's salary.

I'm sure Nolan and the NHLPA will have something to say about that.

In other news, Bobby Holik was bought out by the Rangers today, as everyone predicted.

Sandis Ozolinsh is heading back to the Ducks, with GM Brian Burke giving the defenseman a two year deal. It's reported he signed for a little over $2 million a season. That is a good deal for both parties involved. If he stays healthy, the Ducks paid a reasonable amount for a perennial all-star. On the other hand, Ozolinsh got some decent change considering he is coming off an injury plagued season.