Free Agency Coverage
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"We had an early conversation, but no real numbers yet. I think we're going to talk later today or tomorrow," Ellis told ESPN.com on the phone late Wednesday afternoon.
Ellis also wanted to clear up a report out of Montreal that had him stipulating his contract terms: $4 million over two years. To be clear, Ellis said, he was apparently asked by a reporter from Radio-Canada how $4 million over two years would sound to him.
"I said that would be something I might consider," Ellis said. "Guess that's my first taste of Montreal media. No worries, it's all good, but we'll see what happens."
• Of course, the biggest name on the market will be Ilya Kovalchuk. A few weeks ago, Leafs GM Brian Burke told ESPN.com he would not be involved in those sweepstakes and I take Burke's word on that. But "Hockey Night in Canada" reporter Elliotte Friedman, a good friend and a plugged-in hockey observer, wonders if that is the case in his blog Wednesday evening.
Some more updates Wednesday night:
• I reached out to Senators GM Bryan Murray at around 4 p.m. ET and asked him whether anything was happening on the Jason Spezza front. "Nothing," was the reply via text message. Spezza's $4 million bonus kicks in Thursday and Murray told ESPN.com last week he would not trade Spezza once that bonus was paid out.
• As per agent Allan Walsh of Octagon, negotiations with Phoenix regarding pending UFA blueliner Zbynek Michalek continued as of 8 p.m. ET. The Coyotes desperately want this guy back. He's 27 and would be one of the top defensemen on the market.
• As of 5:30 p.m. ET, Larry Kelly, the agent for both Antero Niittymaki and Kurtis Foster (both pending UFAs with the Tampa Bay Lightning) had "absolutely nothing" to report when I asked for an update. Unless there's an 11th-hour deal, which could certainly happen, both could be headed to market.
• As of 6 p.m. ET, there was no progress in talks between the Sabres and Henrik Tallinder. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent.