Kukla's Korner

Flames Sign Tim Jackman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Calgary, AB - Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the signing of forward Tim Jackman to a two year contract.

Jackman was drafted in the second round, 38th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 6’4” 210 pound forward has played the past two seasons with the New York Islanders, leading his team in penalty minutes each year and in hits (151) during the 2008-09 campaign. In 191 NHL career games, the native of Minot, ND has recorded 28 points and 357 penalty minutes.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tim+jackman

A Great Day For Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

“I think it’s a great day,” said Gillis. “Those are the two guys [Hamhuis and Ballard] who we really wanted to try and get. It gives us a lot of flexibility moving forward and addresses some needs we had.

“[The Ballard deal] allowed us to be patient and target the one guy we wanted on free-agency day. That’s why we didn’t have to go and get a guy we weren’t necessarily as keen on because we had Keith Ballard.”

The odd-men out should be Mitchell and Kevin Bieksa. One isn’t fast enough for 2010, the other is far too mistake prone. Not a good combination for a team that loves to pinch and pressure from its blueline.

None of the moves are going to jolt Las Vegas with a sudden surge of bets on the Canucks to win the 2011 Stanley Cup. But together, they represent progress, an indication the team isn’t into treading water.

Acquiring Hamhuis has to change the prism from which many viewed the Ballard deal, a trade criticized by those who thought the Canucks gave up far too much. Now, Ballard and Hamhuis on the same defence give the Canucks an entirely different look. Even when the expected shoe drops and Bieksa is traded, Vancouver will have five defencemen competing for the top two spots on its blueline. This is a good thing.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Sign Sabourin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Dany Sabourin 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.

Sabourin, who will turn 30 on Sept. 2, played 43 games in the NHL in 2007-08 and ’08-09 while with the Penguins, posting a 16-17-3 record in that time. This season marked the first time since the 2004-05 work stoppage that he didn’t play at least one game at the NHL level. He was named the AHL’s top goaltender in 2005-06 when he led the league with a 2.26 goals-against average with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+sabourin

Iginla Happy With Tanguay & Jokinen Signings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,

The Olli Jokinen signing might have caught Calgarians off guard. The Alex Tanguay pickup might seem like an ill-advised dalliance with a past best forgot. But the Flames captain oozed delight over both acquisitions and the season ahead — even if he is in the minority.

In fact, the news brought extra cheer to Iginla as he celebrated his 33rd birthday with a round of golf and family barbecue in the chilly Okanagan.

“I think Olli and Alex could be two of the best signings — at the best prices and payoffs — of this free agency,” Iginla said Thursday. “I understand people are going to be on both sides of the fence. People are going to be debating it.”

Are they ever. On a Canada Day that seemed more like April Fool’s Day, the Flames signed Jokinen to a two-year deal worth $6 million US.

read on

added 9:12am, from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Darryl Sutter has hitched his future as an NHL GM to the wrong horse.

Again.

But this time Sutter’s penchant for giving mulligans to aging retreads will surely determine his fate as the Flames GM.

As if the damage done by the failed Olli Jokinen experiment wasn’t extensive enough the first time around, the stubborn cowboy opened old wounds Thursday by re-acquiring the underachieving centre via free agency.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Nieuwendyk Talks, Now He Must Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Joe Nieuwendyk said he believes the Stars will stay in their budget and still can re-sign restricted free agents James Neal, Nicklas Grossman, Matt Niskanen and Fabian Brunnstrom.

He said he still is open to signing Jere Lehtinen if the 37-year-old winger decided he wants to play.

He said he believes it’s important to have the grit and grind of players like Adam Burish, Steve Ott, Krys Barch and Brian Sutherby.

He said the Stars can fit all of his into their budget.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The New-Look Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

What a week. Let’s recap.

Gone are Ladd, Burish, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, John Madden, Nick Boynton and possibly Jordan Hendry.

That’s roughly $10 million in committed salaries for Ladd, Byfuglien, Versteeg and Sopel off the books for 2010-11.

The new Hawks are John Scott, Marty Reasoner, Vishnevskiy and Viktor Stalberg. Combined they would make less than $4 million if they’re all on the opening night roster, which is no guarantee.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Grading Day One Of The UFA Period

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Day 1 of free agency was a busy one. Here’s a look at the top 10 signings (through 10:30 p.m. ET) in descending order of the impact each player will have on his new team:

1. Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek to Penguins

Within minutes of watching Sergei Gonchar sign with Ottawa, Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero moved quickly to steal Phoenix Coyotes prize blueliner Zbynek Michalek and then lock up former Devils defender Paul Martin.

continued

added 8:47am, from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Here are a few other awards to hand out:

Best collection of former Blackhawks in one city: Atlanta Thrashers.

The Thrashers have officially become the first team not to make the playoffs that has to worry about a Stanley Cup hangover. With their trade on Thursday for Andrew Ladd, they now have four Blackhawks (Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Brent Sopel) off the 2010 Stanley Cup champions.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s All About The Money For Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

As night fell on the launch of the NHL’s annual exercise in throwing money at problems, the Kings had not signed free-agent left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, the marquee player and prolific scorer they need and had targeted.

They have the resources and cap space and face little competition for the two-time 50-goal scorer. But they didn’t reach an agreement Thursday and General Manager Dean Lombardi, through a team spokesman, declined to comment on the state of the talks.

Word from various corners of the hockey universe was that Kovalchuk is aiming high — think $10 million a year for 10 to 12 years — and the Kings are uncomfortable with that. The deal isn’t dead, but its pulse could be less than robust. The New Jersey Devils might be hovering, ready to remind Kovalchuk that travel in the East is less taxing on the body and worth taking a slightly lower payday.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Flyers Comfortable With Their Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

With each signing, it became more and more likely the Flyers will head into next season with Michael Leighton as their starting goaltender. He agreed to a 2-year, $3.1 million deal on Tuesday night.

Most telling was the signing of Dan Ellis, a goaltender who reportedly interested the Flyers. He signed for 2 years at a price less than Leighton to be the starter in Tampa Bay under new general manager Steve Yzerman.

Now, even with Evgeni Nabokov and Marty Turco - two of the biggest goaltending names available in free agency - still unsigned, the Flyers don’t have the cap room to sign either player without first making a trade. The Flyers have approximately $1.7 million in space without Riley Cote and Oskars Bartulis on the roster, two players with NHL contracts.

“Right now, it’s not high on our priority list,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “We’re comfortable. Does that mean we’re not going to look around and see if there’s something else out there that makes us better? We’ll certainly continue to do that. But if the season were to start tomorrow, I’d certainly feel comfortable right now with our goalies.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can The Rangers Afford A First Line Center?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers, who were approximately $17 million under the summer cap going into yesterday’s opening of the free-agent market, committed an aggregate $4.45M of 2010-11 space to Derek Boogaard ($1.65M), Vinny Prospal ($1M, plus approximately $1M in deferrable bonuses) Erik Christensen ($925,000) and Martin Biron ($875,000).

This leaves GM Glen Sather and the Blueshirts in the neighborhood of $12.55M with which to sign restricted free-agent defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi—the defense pair will likely command between $7.5M-8M, depending on the length of their deals—and Group II winger Brandon Prust before addressing other issues.

The summer cap, which remains in effect through the end of training camp, is 10 percent higher than the season ceiling of $59.4M. All one-way contracts in the organization count under the summer cap. Players who might be waived won’t come off the cap until camp ends. And Donald Brashear’s $1.4M will remain on the cap unless the Blueshirts can somehow trade him.

Thus, if the Blueshirts are going to add a legitimate first-line center via a trade, (e.g., Brad Richards, whom Dallas may not be able to afford at $7.87M), they will have to move money back in the deal in order to make it work before the end of camp.

continue for more Rangers talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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