Kukla's Korner

Available UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle of From The Rink,

By my count, there are really only about 60 or 70 unrestricted free agents worth looking at, especially if you limit your list to players who played at least 30 games last season and in at least 10 minutes a game. With an assist to Behind The Net and some of Gabe Desjardins’s nifty advanced metrics, what follows is an evaluation of who’s left, and how they can help a team.

First, a look at 42 UFA forwards and how they stacked up at even strength last year.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Good-Bye Saku

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Habs Inside/Out,

Canadiens fan Megan Martin, a Concordia University journalism student who is interning this summer as a City reporter at The Gazette, shares her thoughts at the departure of Canadiens captain Saku Koivu:

The state of team loyalty in sports is a far cry from the Canadiens’ glory days. But when a captain like Saku Koivu heads elsewhere, even my 92-year-old grandmother has a heavy heart.

Koivu’s reach as a member of the community extended far beyond those who bleed bleu, blanc et rouge.

Habs fan or not, the sense of loss that comes with Koivu’s departure is hard to swallow.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: saku+koivu

Turco Wants To Prove Last Season Was A Fluke

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

For all the hype about Gustavsson and his NHL potential, the plan still is for Turco to have his hands firmly on the wheel of the Stars in 2009-10.

And Turco, who will turn 34 on Aug. 13, is aware of that.

“It’s a huge year for me in a lot of regards,” said Turco, whose contract ends after next season. “But, honestly, the thing that is most important for me – like I think it is for every player on the team – is that I want to prove last season was a fluke. I want to prove that we are a much better team than we showed.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

Finding The Leak

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey,

Before the deal was completed, before Heatley had officially waived his No Movement Clause, somebody or somebodies leaked to various reporters that Andrew Cogliano, Ladislav Smid and Dustin Penner were headed to Otttawa.

Both Oilers GM Steve Tambellini and Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk have already complained about this leak.

Said Tambellini: “It’s extremely disappointing that someone in the business, whatever part of the business, would feel it’s right to name players in a potential trade, whether it’s accurate or not. So it’s not fair to them. And I wasn’t happy about that.”

And Melynk’s reaction, according to the Ottawa Citizen: Melnyk is particularly angry at whoever leaked Heatley’s trade request. He said he has a good idea who did it, but says all it did was make everyone’s life miserable, “including Dany’s.”...

So far as I can tell, TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Penner was going from the Oilers to Ottawa. McKenzie also strongly hinted that Smid was involved in the deal. In a story that was posted some time on Friday afternoon, June 30th, McKenzie wrote: “Ottawa wants Dustin Penner as part of the package . . .Throw in a young roster defenceman - Ladislav Smid used to be in Anaheim, too - and a prospect or another young roster player and that’s a deal that could fly.”


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

Watch Pronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Heck, a very slow news day so far, so why not watch Chris Pronger live today?

via PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,

Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger will meet with the media today at noon. The press conference will be streamed live here on philadelphiaflyers.com. Also taking part will be Ed Snider, Peter Luukko and Paul Holmgren.

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

Chicago’s RFA Mistake

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Chicago Blackhawks appear to have made a very big procedural mistake.  Six of their players, Cam Barker, Troy Brouwer, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Aaron Johnson and Kris Versteeg (many reports have called this group the Chicago Five - it is unclear if that means one of these six is not involved), may have not received qualifying offers correctly.  If this is the case, these players would become unrestricted free agents.  Apparently, these players had their qualifying offers mailed to them on June 29th.  The deadline for players to receive their qualifying offers is 4PM ET on June 29th (early stories incorrectly listed July 1st as a deadline).  Usually, qualifying offers are sent by courier or by fax to the player’s agent, but this was not done in these cases.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Twenty NHLers File For Salary Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Wingers Nikolai Zherdev and Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers were among 20 players who elected to take their teams to salary arbitration, the NHL Players’ Association said Sunday.

The only other club to have two players go that route were the Phoenix Coyotes, who are set to have hearings with forwards Nigel Dawes and Daniel Winnik.

continue for a list of players who have filed for arbitration…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

These UFA Signings Look Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam McCaig of The Hockey News,

Here are five UFA contracts that should work out well for the player’s new team:

Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver (3 years, $7.5 million)
For $2.5 million per season, the Canucks have added a two-way winger with a lethal, heavy shot. He loves to shoot the puck and has quick, accurate release….

Hal Gill, Montreal (2 years, $4.5 million)
A 6-foot-7 defenseman who has some mobility, plays physical and is a penalty-killing demon. All for the low, low price of $2.25 million per season. That’s pretty good bang for the buck, as long as Habs fans don’t look at the gargantuan Gill and start upsizing their expectations….


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Questioning The Ohlund Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

He’ll be 33 by the time training camp finishes this fall and when his agent began with an opening salvo of $5 million per for five years, Vancouver quickly determined he was too rich for their blood. It wasn’t fair to everyone else on his own team to pay that much.

But not Tampa. Not a team that sells $10 tickets and each year begs for NHL revenue sharing so that Vancouver fans, who so generously contribute to the fund, can shell out for such a team to take their better players. And take them at numbers which are so staggering, you’re left wondering about this league and the fairness of the collective bargaining agreement.

Ohlund’s deal begins with him making $4 million in the first two years, which is great, perhaps just about bang on where he should be, although the $2 million paid in signing bonus seems a bit over the top.

But then it turns into a pyramid, and Matty is mighty grateful to the Egyptians for conceiving of such a structure. At age 35, he’ll begin the third year at a cool $5.5 million and follow that up at 36 with another $5 million….

But here’s the kicker. How the hell do you agree to a contract structured so bizarrely 15 minutes into free agency without any tampering going on?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mattias+ohlund

Wearing #15 In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Deachman of the Ottawa Citizen,

I decided to buy one of these semi-precious Heatley jerseys—now a mere $99.99 plus tax—and wear it on Ottawa’s streets and in its sports bars to see what hockey fans had to say.

No sooner had I taken one off the rack when a customer in his early 50s commented: “You might get beaten up wearing that.”

A young woman looking at non-Heatley sweaters for youngsters, meanwhile, added, “You’re gonna get pelted.”

And as I left the store in the jersey, I heard a third customer, a teenager, call out: “You’re a brave man.”

more plus a chance to win that Heatley sweater…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dany+heatley

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