Kukla's Korner

Top 25 UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kevin Allen of USA TODAY lists his Top 25 UFAs…

9. Defenseman Mathieu Schneider: The Red Wings are trying to sell him on taking a little less in the name of helping the organization continue to have the budget flexibility necessary to stay highly competitive. He has been respected more in Detroit than he has anywhere else during his career. But it seems as if he will test the marketplace.
Age: 37. 2006-07 salary: $3.3 million. Projection: $5 million

read on for the rest…

added 12:20pm, Scott Burnside at ESPN lists his top UFA dmen…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Take That Bill Simmons

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

I was going to write about my impressions of last week’s NHL draft, but Bill Simmons, a popular American sports columnist, beat me to the punch and I don’t want to be accused of being a copycat.
Never mind I wasted a good part of the night sitting in front of the TV taking notes.
Simmons’ piece was humorous, although there does seem to be a tried and tested formula that all American sports columnist must follow when they write about hockey, and that is:
- Right off the bat, establish the fact that you used to like hockey, but not anymore.
You don’t have to explain why, although an inability to follow the puck is often cited, which is surprising because you can’t follow a bullet yet the No.1 sport in the U.S. is, well ...

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Everyone Silent With Symth Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,

Ryan Smyth’s agent Don Meehan and Islanders general manager Garth Snow talked on Monday and are planning to talk again today, Meehan said last night. The question is whether Meehan and Smyth are using the Islanders to build the pot or whether there is genuine interest in signing up for the long haul on the Island, which probably was among the last places Smyth ever imagined himself going before the trade on Feb. 27.
“We’re having ongoing discussions,” Meehan said yesterday. “Garth is well-intentioned. We’re having good discussions, but it’s complex.”
Asked if there is any possibility Smyth would sign with the Isles before the free agent market opens on Sunday, Meehan didn’t even look at his cards before saying. “It’s too early to tell.”
Have the Islanders made a firm offer? “I won’t discuss negotiations,” Meehan said.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Michigan Kid Shares Columbus Feelings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Gaylord Herald Times,

“I didn’t really know where I would go,” Weber said. “I had thought maybe the sixth or seventh round and then I heard the third, but I was very surprised when I heard my name called. I was glad my family and friends could enjoy it with me.”
Weber was happy to be drafted by the team that had spent the most time and effort scouting him. A natural rival with the Detroit Red Wings, Weber will fit in well with Columbus.
“They told me they hate the Wings more than anybody,” Weber said. “That’s good, because I don’t really care for them either.”

more on Weber…

Filed in: Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Holland On The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings GM Ken Holland was just on WDFN radio in Detroit… Holland mentioned how scary it would be right now if Datsyuk would be a UFA.
He is confident Hasek will sign and claims Wings will have between $11-$13 million to spend.  Wants to get Schneider signed and continues to talk to Bertuzzi’s agent.
Regarding Bertuzzi, said he could sign a 1yr contract with bonuses because he was on IR last year.  Wings doctors tell Holland his back is 100%, but he basically missed a year of hockey.  Wings feel he can be a 80 point man.
Holland was asked about Nashville, said everyone wants to see them stay.  Not good for the league if they move.

Filed in: Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Team Budgets Could Determine Player Demand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The fiscal conservatives suggest that in a year when the salary cap could reach $50-million, more teams will be governed by a second set of restrictions: Their own budgets.
If enough teams cap their payrolls in the low 40s, it may be that the anticipated free-agent frenzy will fizzle in the same way the NHL trading game failed to take off at the recent entry draft.
A more broadly held view, though, is that the old rules of supply and demand will once again rule the market.
There are probably 10 teams with the need and the cash to make a free-agent splash. And if the expected bidding war for the aforementioned four players gets overheated, the feeling is that someone will overpay to get their man.
In fact, principals of both sides of the discussion - agents and general managers - question whether the term overpay applies any more.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sabres Remain Quiet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

The Sabres continued their tightlipped policy.
“I think that the less said the better right now, and we’ll go from there,” managing partner Larry Quinn said.
Briere is said to have received only one brief phone call. Drury’s agent, Mark Witkin, declined to update his client’s status. The Sabres’ exclusive negotiating rights to both players are set to expire. The other 29 teams can extend contract offers at one minute past noon Sunday.
Drury may have a chance to go back to where his career started if the Sabres maintain their current negotiating pace. An industry source said Tuesday the Colorado Avalanche is expected to bid for their third-round pick in the 1994 draft. Drury won the Stanley Cup…

read on

Filed in: Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sharks Trying To Sign Their Own

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

If Hannan has waited this long, however, it’s likely he wants to test the free-agent waters. Friends say he is not an immense fan of Coach Ron Wilson, which might affect the decision. The Sharks might be willing to give Hannan roughly the same money as Rivet - $14 million over four years - but that might not be enough, because the free-agent market has few quality defenseman.
Best guess: Hannan has played his last game for the Sharks, which is too bad. A great teammate and often a shut-down defender, Hannan played an important role in the Sharks’ ascendancy from mediocrity to Cup contender….
“People call me all the time about all the guys on our team who’ll be unrestricted free agents a year from now,” Wilson said. “And I don’t blame them. . . . I’d like to keep Patty. He had one bad series against Detroit and everybody seems to want to dump on him.”

more

Filed in: San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Price Is Right- For Some Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

How much do you think top NHL centres Daniel Briere, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury are going to be offered when the doors open for business and agents start fielding calls? “I hear Drury might get $8 to 8.5 million a year,” said one NHL executive, who did not want to be identified.
With the knowledge that the salary cap might be be about $50.4 million US next season, is Drury worth $8 million? Although he’s a good leader, scores big goals in the playoffs and is a strong team player, the Buffalo Sabres centre has never garnered 70 points in a season. Nevertheless, some GM might show the 30-year-old the money.

much more on UFAs…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Competition Committee Not For Brodeur

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Martin Brodeur may again wear the crown as the NHL’s top goaltender, but that doesn’t mean those in authority are willing to listen attentively to his views on the game.
The New Jersey Devils goaltender, who won his third Vezina Trophy two weeks ago, has abruptly resigned from the league’s competition committee after 18 months of frustration….
“I didn’t feel I was making a difference, and I hate wasting my time when it doesn’t seem to matter,” he said. “I brought up a lot of different points, suggested different ideas like a bigger crease, but nothing’s changed. The protection of goaltenders has just become ridiculous.
“It’s hard when nothing’s improving and your name is associated with it. I didn’t want to live with that.”

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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