Kukla's Korner

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
 

Islanders Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from GameOn,

Stan Fischler caught up with No. 1 pick overall John Tavares, No. 12 pick overall Calvin de Haan, Isles Owner Charles Wang and Isles GM Garth Snow on a busy Draft night for the Islanders.

I’ve posted the Tavares interview below & watch the other interviews here.

Continue Reading »

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

Devils May Have Their Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

With the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal completed, Lamoriello said hiring a head coach was the next thing on his agenda. When I asked him today (Saturday) if he will hire a coach before July 1, he cryptically replied, “We’ll see.”

Most of the signs still point toward Jacques Lemaire returning for a second stint with the team. Lemaire coached the Devils from 1993-94 to 1997-98 and guided them to their first Stanley Cup in 1995.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Is Antropov Worth $5M?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Sather meanwhile categorized the contract demands from impending unrestricted free agent Nik Antropov, whom the Blueshirts acquired from Toronto at the deadline for a second-round pick, as “ridiculous.”

“Based on the first volley from [agent] Mark Gandler, there is a slim chance [of Antropov returning],” the general manager said following the fifth round of the Entry Draft. “There’s a snowball’s chance in hell that’s going to happen. It’s ridiculous. I hate to criticize an agent, but let’s have a little bit of reality here.”

Antropov, who scored seven goals in 18 regular-season games for the Blueshirts but was barely a factor in the first-round defeat by Washington, earned $2.05 million last year. He’s believed seeking a long-term deal for at least $5 million per. Good luck to him.

more on the Rangers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nik+antropov

Holland Hopeful He Can Sign Hossa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he sat and talked with Ritch Winter, the agent for Marian Hossa, in the lower bowl of the Bell Centre stands in Montreal on Saturday and remains hopeful the two sides can work out a long-term contract.

“We’ve got a limited amount of cap space to play with or determine how we’re going to spend it,” Holland said. “Obviously for us to bring Marian back, we’re going to have to let people go.

“I’ve sat with Ritch here and told him to what cap level we’re prepared to go. The only way we can make it work is to offer a long-term deal. I would say to you they were hoping to do better. At the same time, they understand the challenges we’ve got and understand that probably in order to be where they want to be we can’t get there.”

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“We won’t be as dangerous offensively, we know that,” Holland said. “It’s impossible for us to keep all our forwards from last year. If we re-sign Hossa, if he buys what we’re selling, we’ll be losing three or four or five players. And even if he’s not here, we can’t keep the entire team together. Under the cap system, we cannot be on paper next season what we were last year.

“We’re excited and optimistic because we’re moving in three or four young kids that we think are ready to play regularly in the NHL.”

more

added 8:55am, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

“If there’s a (salary) cap number we think can fit in, we’ll sign him. We’re prepared to do a long-term deal,” Holland said. “(Hossa’s agent) Ritch Winter is hoping for a bigger cap number, more than what we’re offering.

“He’s talking to Marian. We’ll talk in the next couple of days. I’m not optimistic, but we’ll see.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

A Look At The Pronger Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

A boatload of young talent was traded. Moreover, Pronger is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $6.25 million. There are no assurances that he will stay beyond this season, though Holmgren is eager to negotiate an extension, and Pronger’s agent, Pat Morris, is optimistic that a long-term deal can get done.

The trade also leaves the Flyers with precious little salary-cap space.

They are about $5 million under the new $56.8 million cap - and still have to add a backup goalie, a right winger (they want to re-sign Mike Knuble, who has drawn interest from the Penguins), and perhaps another defenseman and a fourth-line center adept at winning face-offs.

It is the second daring move Holmgren has made in the off-season. The first brought a controversial goalie, Ray Emery, whose low salary of $1.5 million and promise caused the Flyers to overlook his previous antics - and enabled them to afford Pronger.

more

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

Thrashers Plan To Trade A Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Waddell still needs to improve the roster to convince star Ilya Kovalchuk to re-sign. Kovalchuk told the Journal-Constitution at the end of the season that he needs to see that the Thrashers moving in the right direction before he will re-sign.

The NHL free agency period begins July 1. However, Waddell said the Thrashers are more likely to improve via trade. The Thrashers have depth at goaltender with Kari Lehtonen and Johan Hedberg on the roster and top prospect Ondrej Pavelec being NHL ready. Waddell said it is likely that either Lehtonen or Pavelec will be traded. He fielded several phones call on each at last year’s trade deadline.

read on if you wish to be informed about the Thrashers draft picks…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Day After The Draft Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

If the Canadiens can’t swing a deal for Tampa C Vincent Lecavalier, Flyers C Daniel Briere could be the prize behind door No. 2.

While Flyers GM Paul Holmgren didn’t get any bites as he shopped around his high-priced centre at the draft, it doesn’t mean he struck out.

Habs GM Bob Gainey could turn his attention to landing Briere, if his bid for Lecavalier fails.

Sources say the Flyers would also like to trade W Simon Gagne.

Chicago GM Dale Tallon told Sun Media he’s still trying to sign Martin Havlat before the winger becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. “We’re trying to get something done. We want him to be a part of the team. We’re looking at several different options. We have until (Wednesday) and we’re hopeful,” said Tallon.

more talk

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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