Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
There is no questioning what Jason Smith brings.
The only question is what Smith has left to give.
A traded captain of the Edmonton Oilers just a year ago and not a serious consideration to return with the rising Philadelphia Flyers, Smith will have to prove he is still the top four type of defenceman that Bryan Murray believes he is bringing to the Ottawa Senators.
“I’m really excited about what this club can do,” (Brian) Campbell said. “The main thing for me was going to a place that loves hockey and sells out their building and wants to win. I think the [Hawks] organization has proven that.
“This town is going to embrace us. I can’t wait for that [and] I can’t wait to show my personality to my teammates … to the fans and the media and get the excitement going in the city for the Blackhawks.”
via Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune
from the Universal Cynic,
Where the bloody (expletive) is the puck-moving defenceman that the Senators desperately require? Things with Meszaros have yet to be settled, and do you really want to put all your eggs in that basket? Same goes for Brian Lee—he’s just a kid and can’t be expected to shoulder that load. The lack of a definitive defensive system in Ottawa already puts Lee at high risk for stunted development. They need someone who’s fully developed with the skills and mindset to pick up from Redden’s massive regression, and move the team forward (both literally and figuratively) at the blueline.
from David Pollak at Working the Corners,
Confirming that Christian Ehrhoff has signed a new contract that will pay him $9.3 million over the next three years, including $2.75 million in the 2008-09 season. The official announcement is expected tomorrow (today)....
The Sharks like to present their re-signings in mini-packages for some reason, so it doesn’t surprise me that the team hasn’t made anything official yet. When it does become official, expect it to be packaged with a new deal for Ryane Clowe.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s a tossup which team is in the worst position vis-a-vis the salary cap in the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings or the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings are $12 million below the $40-million floor and they have been non-players in the free-agent market. They do have some restricted free agents like Jarret Stoll and Patrick O’Sullivan to sign, but they might be forced to overpay just to meet the minimum.
The Ducks are one of four teams that are currently above the $56.3-million cap. They have overspent by $2.4 million and it can’t all be Kevin Lowe’s fault. Other teams over the cap are the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and the Calgary Flames.
more NHL topics…
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
This year, starting with this week in Wilmington, both natives of La Belle Province (Bergeron hails from Quebec City, Fernandez from Montreal) are hoping 2008-09 will be scripted in a different fashion.
“It’s obviously going to be a step-by-step kind of thing,” said Fernandez, who skated with Bergeron and Providence assistant coach Rob Murray for approximately an hour yesterday. “It’s been a long time. But I want to get in there. I need to get in there.”...
Bergeron has been symptom-free all summer and has been working out six times a week, mimicking the workouts he has gone through during previous offseasons.
“It does feel like routine,” Bergeron said. “I’ve been working out like this every summer since I’ve been playing pro. The only thing that’s different is that I started a little bit earlier.”
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
Ray Emery’s NHL career is taking a detour—through Russia, where he’ll collect his paycheque in rubles.
The goaltender—whose contract was bought out by the Senators last month—has agreed to a one-year deal which could pay him in excess of $2 million plus bonuses next season with Atlant Mytishchi of the newly-formed Continental Hockey League in Russia, Sun Media has learned.
Update 11:15am ET: From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
“The reality is that since Ray’s buyout there hasn’t been a lot of interest, it doesn’t seem like someone (in the NHL) wants to give him a second chance right now,” Emery’s agent J.P. Barry told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “It’s a terrific offer from Russia and we’ve been speaking to them for several weeks since the buyout.
“I’ve been talking to Ray a lot over the last couple of months and I know he’s taken a lot of steps to make changes. This is his best opportunity to play next year.”
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Peterburg Times,
Ollie Kolzig said he seriously considered retiring after leaving the Capitals as an unrestricted free agent; that is, before the Lightning presented him with a situation that “made sense.”
Now the 38-year-old goaltender, with a one-year, $1.5-million contract, is talking about proving, “I can still be a dominant goalie in the NHL,” and that last season “was more an aberration than anything.”
continued plus Andre Roy and Chris Gratton will not be back with the Bolts…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Here’s a look at where the teams in the Western Conference stack up after a week of free agency, which has left the cupboard bare with the exception of a handful of players… Check out our Eastern Conference trends here.
Tallon overpaid for both; but if the emerging Hawks become a playoff team, it will be worth every penny to a long-floundering Original Six team around whom there is now a palpable buzz. Now the pressure is on everyone from Campbell to Huet to coach Denis Savard not to screw it all up. Trending: Up
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
But the intriguing aspect Wednesday was the fact that Bobby Ryan, without even teeing it up for the Ducks in the playoffs, has apparently become entrenched as the other second-line wing.
“Our coach (Randy Carlyle) doesn’t just give people jobs,” General Manager Brian Burke said. But Burke also praised Ryan’s work in the American Hockey League playoffs last year.
There were none of the usual qualifications about Ryan. The No. 2 pick in the 2005 draft (behind you-know-who) has gone through his initiation process and will be one of Anaheim’s top six forwards, although he still hasn’t shown he can handle it on the NHL level. He clearly will get that chance now and presumably will be allowed to play through a few mistakes.
more on the Ducks…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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