Kukla's Korner

Bigger Names That May Be Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition),

The final list of unrestricted free agents won’t be finalized until Wednesday morning after teams take final stabs at keeping their players. Marian Gaborik appears to be one of the players who will test the free-agent waters, but Minnesota Wild rookie GM Chuck Fletcher will make a final attempt.

“Every pending UFA – we’re just a few days away – why wouldn’t you look over the fence and see what’s on the other side,” Fletcher said. “I’m just not sure which way the free-agent market’s going to go. I really don’t know. We certainly haven’t closed any doors and [Gaborik and his agent] tell me they haven’t either. Maybe something gets done before and maybe there are conversations afterwards, but it’s all speculation at this point.”

Besides Bouwmeester, Gaborik, the Sedins and the aforementioned Habs, some of the bigger names that could be available on Wednesday include: Nik Antropov, Todd Bertuzzi, Rob Blake, Mike Cammalleri, Martin Havlat, Marian Hossa, Brian Gionta, Mike Knuble, Derek Morris, Mattias Ohlund, Joe Sakic and Steve Sullivan.

more

Also note, teams must make qualifying offers to their RFAs by 5:00pm ET Monday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Money Be Flowing Freely?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatshek of the Globe and Mail,

In the end, the NHL’s 2009 entry draft was more about smoke than fire, with only two prominent players changing teams and half-a-dozen others still on the board, awaiting word on their respective futures.

This slow-go development, which is becoming more pronounced every year, is tied inextricably to the upcoming free-agency period, and the uncertainty about how the market is about to unfold. If the dollars paid out this year are down from the ridiculous sums commanded by players over the past two years, then the trade dynamic will change as well.

It was hard enough for Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray to get good value for Dany Heatley, at a $7.5-million (all currency U.S.) annual salary-cap charge, this past week. If players of Heatley’s stature start to take deep discounts, starting July 1 – and the expectation is that Marian Hossa’s annual salary if he signs an extension with the Detroit Red Wings could average just north of $4-million a season – then it becomes even more difficult to peddle a player signed at the height of the NHL’s wild post-lockout growth spurt.

On the other hand, if teams continue their pattern of overpaying for free agents, then anybody left in the starting blocks once the premier unrestricteds go off the market, may revisit the Heatleys, the Vincent Lecavaliers and so forth – and last week’s exercise in tire-kicking could turn into something far more tangible.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Possible Destinations For The Sedin’s

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

The Sedin’s agent, JP Barry, will spend the next few days in Sweden preparing the 28-year old twins for their next step, unrestricted free agency.

Barry says there has been no progress in contract discussions, including a meeting this week in Montreal with Canucks gm Mike Gillis that failed to encourage a counter offer to keep the Sedin’s in Vancouver.

On the open market, the Sedin’s will command upwards of $7 million and will draw interest from a number of teams, including Toronto, Montreal, Minnesota and Los Angeles.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin

The Word Finally Came

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ferraro at TSN,

We met in the morning to walk over to the arena, Landon wearing a different suit and hoping for a quick selection.

Sometimes you look back at an event and realize its significance only in retrospect. With the 29th pick Friday night, Detroit traded down three spots to No. 32. They acquired a 3rd round pick to move down, and 10 minutes after getting into the arena Saturday morning, we heard words I had dreamt about many times watching my son chase his dream.

Ken Holland was at the microphone and said “with the 32nd pick, the Detroit Red Wings select, from the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels - Landon Ferraro.”

When I write those words, I still have tears in my eyes.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: landon+ferraro, ray+ferraro

Follow Along

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Saturday was a wonderfully disgusting tour of Gary Bettman’s hockey world for fans of the Vancouver Canucks if they were paying attention, espeically those who might be season-ticket holders.

Follow us while we explain. As everyone knows, the Calgary Flames acquired the negotiating rights to Jay Bouwmeester in a trade with the Florida Panthers whereby they gave up a player they weren’t going to re-sign in Jordan Leopold and a third-round pick. That’s fair enough. But in order to clear the cap space to have even a ghost of a chance to sign Bouwmeester, they first off-loaded the $2.3 million U.S. cap hit of defenceman Jim Vandermeer to, of all teams, the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a forward named Brandon Prust who was making just $500,000.

That’s right. The Phoenix Coyotes, whose bills are being paid by the NHL, felt free to expand their payroll by taking on an expensive Flames defenceman. That means the Flames now have the best chance to sign a player the Vancouver Canucks might liked to have signed, by off-loading a cap liability in Vandermeer to the Coyotes, a team whose bills are being paid partly by the Aquilini family through revenue sharing and most recently by league dues.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Where Some Of The Teams Stand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Here’s a look at how some teams managed that navigation at this weekend’s draft and what lies ahead:

Anaheim Ducks: Many GMs we spoke with marveled at the job Anaheim GM Bob Murray has done since taking over last season when Brian Burke took the top job in Toronto.

Murray acquired what amounted to four first-round draft picks in his Chris Pronger deal with Philadelphia on Friday night in the form of former first-rounders Joffrey Lupul and Luca Sbisa and two first-round picks (2009 and conditional pick in 2010). The Ducks sent veteran defenseman Pronger and a minor-league forward to the Flyers.

Murray achieved the almost impossible task of getting younger, cheaper and more explosive offensively. Yes, they’ll miss Pronger, but with Sbisa looking to step into a full-time NHL role and Scott Niedermayer returning to act as a mentor, the Ducks have positioned themselves nicely for next season….

Calgary Flames:  The Flames are already set to pay Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff $7 million, Daymond Langkow $4.25 million, Dion Phaneuf $6.5 million, Robyn Regehr $3.5 million, Cory Sarich $3.7 million and Olli Jokinen $5.5 million. That’s more than $37 million for seven players, and if you figure Bouwmeester will be around Phaneuf numbers, then the Flames’ payroll jumps to about $43 million for about a third of their roster.

For a team that had to play with a shortened lineup because of cap issues down the stretch last season, Sutter has some work to do to shed salary and keep things on the rails.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Cold Winter

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Checking in from my unannounced, but very obvious, break from blogging…to ask this question:

Does Rich Winter belong in the Jackatoreum?

He’s doing his job, or at least he’s looking out for his own very personal interests.  He wants as much cash as he can gather.  Everybody’s momma’s got to eat.  So he’s going to push this thing as far as he can, for as long as he can.

Tell me. Do you think Marian Hossa is going to ok a deal with LA, so that he can earn two million more per season?  On the face of things, that’s an idiotic question.  Two million more? Of course he has to consider it.  He has to.  But with that two million comes a lot of losses.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Time To Retire Joe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,

It’s time to say goodbye, Joe Sakic.

This town isn’t big enough for you and Matt Duchene, an 18-year-old wunderkind the Avalanche desperately needs to be the fresh, new face of an NHL franchise whose golden reputation has turned old and gray.

When a boy who grew up idolizing a framed Sakic jersey is old enough to be counted on to save the local pro hockey team, that can be regarded as a sign it’s time for Captain Joe to go….

New Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said he has met with Sakic and has been informed by the greatest player in team history that the decision on his future has been made, but an announcement must wait until later in the summer.

OK, we can all live with those conditions. No hurry. Sakic should be allowed to say goodbye on his own terms.

After 20 NHL seasons of service to a single hockey franchise, the Avalanche cannot really afford to have Sakic hang around any longer.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sakic

Wild Ready To Spend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

The sales calls will soon go out fast and furious. The Wild is going to advertise the arena, the passionate Minnesota fan base and the offensive—stress on the word offensive—system that will be installed by a young, innovative coach.

Free agency opens Wednesday, and Leipold says the Wild has the loot to throw at upper-echelon players.

The Wild struck out last summer with Marian Hossa. If Detroit’s unable to re-sign him, expect the Wild to step up to the plate and try again. Maybe it’s the Sedin twins. Maybe it’s Michael Cammalleri or Martin Havlat.

“We want to be a team that’s competing next year and we’re going to have money available to sign one of those top guys, and I’m including Marian Gaborik in that,” Leipold said. “Gaborik can still be the guy. If not, there are three, four, five other guys you would put in that category.

“We’re a team that’s got everything to offer. And we would have the cap space to do it and the ability and the desire to do it.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sharks GM Talks Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

During a phone conversation following the draft, (Doug) Wilson was asked how many new players he expects to see on the team by the time training camp opens in September. Half a dozen? A dozen?

“Don’t hold me to this,” Wilson said, “but we’re looking at potentially six, seven, eight changes on the roster. As I say, don’t hold me to that or to a time frame.  But that would be realistic.”

In other words, don’t expect a nuclear teal explosion. But don’t expect a small firecracker, either. The Sharks’ roster shake-up will fall somewhere between those two extremes, with the needle leaning toward a surgical and significant attack….

Best guesses on those names: Mike Grier, Travis Moen, Claude Lemieux. Maybe one or two others. Rob Blake? A coin flip.

more

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

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