Kukla's Korner

Versteeg Negotiations Progressing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roman Modrowski of ESPN Chicago,

The agent for Kris Versteeg said he is in ongoing negotiations with the Chicago Blackhawks and hopes to get a deal done soon.

Versteeg is the last of the Hawks’ seven restricted free agents who received qualifying offers after the June 29 deadline. The Blackhawks re-signed the other six on Monday.

The National Hockey League Players Association filed a grievance Monday over the Hawks’ handling of the qualifying offers. If the NHL rejects the grievance, the matter will go to an arbitrator. At that point, it would be possible for Versteeg to be declared an unrestricted free agent, and the Hawks could lose the talented, young forward on the open market.

But Versteeg’s agent David Kaye said he doesn’t want it to get to that point.

“We’ve been negotiating with Chicago fairly regularly here, and I expect hopefully something will get done in the next few days,” Kaye said Tuesday.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+versteeg

Kovalev Has High Hopes For Senators

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

Say what you want about Alexei Kovalev’s roller-coaster history, Ottawa Senators fans, but you have to admire his optimism.

“Ottawa is a pretty good team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” the flashy Russian star said in a conference call from Russia Tuesday, when asked about why he chose to sign a two-year, $10 million U.S. deal here on Monday.

“I think I can bring something that was missing to help the team be competitive for the Stanley Cup. They have always had one really good line, year after year, but I think, maybe, I can be part of creating two or three good lines (so the team can be more) successful in the playoffs. I’m not a big believer that one line can do all the damage.”

It’s a rather grand dream to think the Senators can go from missing the playoffs altogether last season to winning it all next season, but at the not-so-tender age of 36, Kovalev realizes the clock is ticking on his career and he doesn’t have many more chances to add a second Cup to the one he won with the New York Rangers in 1994.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Team Tendencies During UFA Period

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

Not that there are strict categories that teams fit into based on their activity during free agency, but a few easily came to mind this year. Consider the Montreal Canadiens and their “Blow It All Up” approach in bringing in three skilled yet undersized forwards: Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez. Clearly, GM Bob Gainey believes a fresh start is in order after last season’s bitterly disappointing Centennial Celebration campaign.

Then there’s the “Here We Go Again” feel of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ryan Smyth Talks About LA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ryan Smyth, recently acquired from Colorado, met with Daryl Evans on his first day in Los Angeles as he joins his new team.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Flames Sign Lundmark & Jaffray

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Calgary, AB – Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the signing of forwards Jamie Lundmark and Jason Jaffray. 

Lundmark, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, is in his second stint with the Calgary Flames after spending parts of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 season with the Flames. Last season, Lundmark played 27 games with Calgary scoring eight goals and adding eights assists for 16 points and 17 penalty minutes. Lundmark has amassed 259 career NHL games over his career split between New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, and the Calgary Flames.

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

A Look At Chicago’s Cap Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cycle Like The Sedins,

This post runs really long and might have some inexact math. The major point, though, is that the Blackhawks have painted themselves into an astonishing corner. It is legitimately difficult to imagine them holding onto two of Kane, Toews and Keith.

If they do keep all three, it will require the Hawks to deal with a stunning lack of depth.

Feel free to prove us wrong and point out mistakes. We expect this post to be a crucial part of how we look at this scenario.

And, obviously, we hope you find it interesting.

continued

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

Report- The Monster Chooses Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

A Swedish source told Sportsnet the long awaited decision by Jonas Gustavsson is over as he’s decided to start his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

An announcement is expected as early as today as “The Monster” signed off on a 1-year, $900,000 to start the 09-10 season backing up Vesa Toskola.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

Obama Pleased To Have Ovechkin In His City

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times,

We knew he was into basketball, but apparently President Obama keeps an eye on Washington Capitals hockey as well namely NHL MVP Alexander Ovechkin.

The Caps left wing made Mr. Obama’s list of great Russian contributors to the world, along with scientists, cosmonauts and pioneers of literature such as Pushkin.

“As a resident of Washington, D.C., I continue to benefit from the contributions of Russians—specifically, from Alexander Ovechkin. I’m very pleased to have him in Washington, D.C.” Mr. Obama said, drawing a laugh from the graduating class at the New Economic School in Moscow on Tuesday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, president+obama

Flyers Take A Chance With Pronger Signing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers prefer to characterize the draft-day move as the opportunity to add a future Hall of Fame player who will solidify the back line for seasons to come. That might be exactly how it will turn out, too, but the stakes and the measuring stick for the Flyers remains as always: Cup or nothing.

And with that, the clock is ticking.

It is ticking because the Flyers paid an enormous price to acquire him, sending away two first-round picks, and - by including talented 19-year-old defenseman Luca Sbisa - the equivalent of a third first-rounder.

Three years from now, if the Pronger acquisition has not produced a Stanley Cup, the talent gap left by dealing those three top picks has the potential to leave some holes on the roster.

As it is, there are a few holes the Flyers will have to plug in the short term, too. Losing Joffrey Lupul in the trade and forward Mike Knuble because the team couldn’t afford to keep him will provide for some challenges on the scoring lines, particularly at right wing.

But those are the chances the Flyers have taken, with the future and with the present. And, for all the right reasons, those were the correct chances to take.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Rangers May Walk Away From Zherdev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Nikolai Zherdev’s decision to file for salary arbitration probably means that it will be one-and-done on Broadway for the underachieving winger.

As it was, there was debate within the organization whether to qualify Zherdev at the required $3.25 million price tag after his uneven season that frustrated both Tom Renney and John Tortorella.

Now, with Zherdev seeking a contract believed in the neighborhood of $4.5M, there’s little doubt the Blueshirts would walk away from an arbitration award that’s even a nickel more than $3.25M, and thus make the 24-year-old winger an unrestricted free agent.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+zherdev

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