Kukla's Korner

Rangers Get An Offensive Boost

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers upgraded their offensive capabilities yesterday by signing left wing Alexander Frolov to a one-year, $3 million deal that is not only cap-friendly but should serve as motivation for a player looking to build leverage in the market.

There is nothing negative about the signing of the 28-year-old winger whose personally disappointing 51-point season (19-32) in Los Angeles would have made him the Rangers’ third-leading scorer and whose contract leaves general manager Glen Sather enough cap space with which to maneuver.

The Blueshirts currently have approximately $6.7 million of space under the summer cap with which to sign restricted free agent Marc Staal and perhaps another defenseman.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+frolov

Why Is It So Slow?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey,

The real reasons for the slow market this summer are two-fold; lack of depth of quality talent and too many teams with little available cap space.

Heading into this summer’s UFA market many observers agreed it wasn’t as deep in talent as in previous years.

Kovalchuk was the only superstar available; after him the depth of talent noticeably dropped with most of those available being aging stars passed their prime.

The notables included Paul Kariya (35), Marty Turco (34), Evgeni Nabokov (34), Sergei Gonchar (36), Pavol Demitra (35), Jose Theodore (33), Ray Whitney (38), Mike Modano (40), Saku Koivu (35), John Madden (37), Owen Nolan (38) and Bill Guerin (39).

This list of names would’ve been impressive, say, five or seven years ago, when all of these players were still in the playing primes.

Of those available who are in their primes – Afinogenov, Lee Stempniak, Denis Grebeshkov – most of them would’ve been considered second-tier in a much deeper market.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Stralman Reaches Contract Agreement With Columbus Before Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Aaron Portzline tweet,

#CBJ and D Anton Stralman reach terms on a one-year, $1.95 million contract, avoid arbitration.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+stralman

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If you don’t have a good case, you don’t go (to arbitration).”

-Bill Zito, agent for Antti Niemi.  More on this topic from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi

Kings Go To The Backup Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum,

And so Plan C — as in “consolation” — came to pass Tuesday when the Kings signed left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky for one year at $3 million plus a $200,000 signing bonus.

This is a lateral step and not a leap forward, an emergence from limbo to grab the best second-tier player available and compensate for losing the frustrating but undeniably talented Frolov and his two 30-goal seasons….

He’s not awful. You don’t score 20 goals in the NHL by being incompetent. Inconsistent? Yes. He scored six goals in 15 games in January and only two in his final 21 games.

Soft? So his reputation says despite his 6-foot-4, 220-pound build. But Lombardi likes his size enough to have pursued him at the trade deadline — and considered Ponikarovsky the best consolation prize 27 days into a free-agent market that was thin on forwards to begin with.

“So much time and energy went into this Kovalchuk thing that you’re exposed. Because it dragged on for so long and arguably has continued to drag on, we weren’t addressing other needs. It was impossible anyway,” Lombardi said. “And then you get into the problem that we are in a free-agency mode and everything is tied to this guy that you’re clearly telling the marketplace that everybody else is second fiddle.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ponikarovsky

Fisher Loves Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Mike Fisher plans on being a Nashville resident some day, but he has no interest in giving up his Ottawa address any time soon.

“I definitely love it here. I don’t see that happening,” the Senators centre said in an exclusive interview with the Sun — when asked about any desire of finishing his career as a Predator — a little more than two weeks after being wed to country singing superstar Carrie Underwood.

“When I’m done hockey, she’ll still be working. I’m sure she can always work. We’ll settle in Nashville. I love it there. I’ve got lots of friends there now, I love the area. I like a lot of things about it. There’s a nice church that we love, that we go to ... that being said, it’s a little ways away. I want to obviously play a few years, a bunch of years here yet.

“She likes it here. I’ve been here for so long, She would never want her to be the reason I leave here, because I like it so much. Obviously, family is going to be important decision. But it’s not like I can’t wait to go there. I really want to stay here and finish my career. That’s what she really wants, too.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Latest On Ice Edge & The Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at the Globe and Mail,

The group trying to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and keep the NHL club in Arizona insists progress is being made despite reports Tuesday its rescue plan is in trouble.

Ice Edge Holdings spokesman Robert Johnson said in an e-mail to the Winnipeg Free Press they’ve been working with the City of Glendale for seven weeks to hammer out a deal to lease the arena that was built for the Coyotes in 2003.

“We are making great progress,” Johnson said. “Our focus is on buying the team from the NHL and we remain confident in our ability to complete the deal.”

Questions about the arena lease arose Tuesday after the Arizona Republic reported Ice Edge had lost its right to be the sole party negotiating with Glendale to lease the hockey team’s home because Ice Edge hadn’t submitted all the required financial papers.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Golf On Tallon’s Mind This Weekend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun at the Montreal Gazette,

Dale Tallon, the general manager of the Florida Panthers and the very first draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, has had a lifelong love affair with golf.

This week, Tallon gets to tee it up with some of the world’s best senior golfers at the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Golf Club near Seattle.

Before heading to Sahalee, he talked about his game with Postmedia News reporter Brad Ziemer:

Postmedia: Is it true you almost didn’t bother going to your qualifier for the U.S. Senior Open?

Tallon: Yeah, I had just gone through a busy six weeks since taking over as GM in Florida and hadn’t played much golf. Fortunately, I had a 9:50 tee time as opposed to the normal 7:50. My wife said, ‘Why don’t you just go for a walk anyway’ and I had made arrangements for a kid to caddy for me and I didn’t want to let him down. So I went out there and after making a bunch of pars I birdied six and birdied eight and then I three-putted nine and bogeyed 10 and thought, here we go. But I made birdie on 11 and made a bunch of pars coming in.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dale+tallon

Devils Owner Expects A Quick Decision On Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,

Jeff Vanderbeek, the Devils’ owner, said Tuesday night that he thought an arbitrator would make a prompt decision regarding wing Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million contract with the team, which the National Hockey League rejected last week.

“I see no reason why that won’t be done,” Vanderbeek said….

In an interview before a function for Devils fans at a beachside restaurant, Vanderbeek said he would not comment about the Kovalchuk matter either to the news media or to about 150 fans who attended the function.

“They’d like to see closure,” he said of Devils fans.

But the Devils benefited from last week’s news conference at Prudential Center in Newark when the announced that Kovalchuk, an unrestricted free agent, had re-signed. Vanderbeek said there had been a spike in season-ticket sales since then.

a bit more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Tomas Fleischmann Signed By Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have signed forward Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fleischmann, 26, set career highs in goals (23), assists (28), points (51) and plus/minus (+9) in 2009-10. He finished sixth on the team in goals and seventh in points and ranked sixth in the NHL with a 19.0 shooting percentage. Fleischmann scored 10 of his 23 goals in the first period and scored eight goals in the 10 games that Alex Ovechkin was missing from the lineup. He established offensive career highs despite missing the first 11 games of the season recovering from deep vein thrombosis in his leg.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+fleischmann

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