Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Can’t say this is a bad trade for the Leafs, and can’t say its a good one that will help significantly. It certainly shouldn’t be heralded as any great achievement, for having to move McCabe is really a sign of failure for both the team and player after he was signed to his lucrative contract and managed to play out only two of the five years in Toronto before finding it impossible to play in Toronto any longer. Mike Van Ryn is four years younger and the Leafs gain some salary cap flexibility, although with the club’s payroll now at $46 million and the cap at $56.7 million there didn’t seem to be an urgent need to chop salary.
It’s the final nail in the coffin of the comfy cartel that was the Muskoka Five, but more than anything, its another piece of intriguing evidence on the manner in which the Leafs have struggled terribly to manage assets in the post-lockout era.
Q: Do you root for any Canadian NHL teams?
A: Well, back when I was a kid I went by the philosophy that they all were Canadian teams, because they all were filled with Canadians. Now they’re all Finnish teams. Everybody’s named Ruutu. Growing up my favourite team was the Boston Bruins, although in my era of the Maple Leafs it was Davey Keon, and the Canadiens were Cournoyer, Beliveau, Pocket Rocket, Mahovlich, all those guys. But with the Bruins, it mostly was a Bobby Orr thing. Bobby Orr was just God. And Pie McKenzie, I liked him. Phil Esposito was a great cherry-picker. It was kind of old-school, you know?
-Michael J. Fox as he enters Canada’s Walk of Fame. You can read more of the Q & A from Bill Harris of the Toronto Sun but not much more hockey talk.
from Pierre Durocher of Sun Media,
“Twice last season I asked the Flames to trade me, and Montreal was on my wish list both times,” he said, vowing to carve a permanent niche for himself in his home province.
“I’m 28 and this is my ninth NHL season, so I’m very happy to be here.”
Tanguay acknowledges he ran into trouble last year in Calgary with a meagre production of 58 points (18 goals, 40 assists), down from 78 and 81 points tallies during his two previous seasons.
Coach Mike Keenan used him on a defensive line with Craig Conroy and Owen Nolan which did not please him at all.
“I thought they traded for me from Colorado because I could generate offence,” Tanguay said with a bitter smile.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
Even those of us who believes that defenseman Andrei Meszaros is a good fit for the Tampa Bay Lightning believe they paid too much to get him.
While Meszaros has the most potential of anyone included in the deal between Tampa and Ottawa, it’s my assessment that the Senators have spun a bad situation into a good deal for their hockey club.
from Lindsay Kramer at Syracuse.com,
Former Syracuse Crunch enforcer Brandon Sugden is getting closer to finding out which teams are keeping him from getting a chance at the NHL.
Sugden said Monday the NHLPA is working the case for him. And it turns out four teams actually said no to his return, not three. Two votes came in after the deadline, one was no and one was no comment. I love that no comment one.
Sugden was going to try out for the Islanders this preseason. But before he can sign a deal with an NHL component he has to get approval from all 30 teams. That’s because when he left the Crunch two seasons ago he termed it a retirement. He then immediately joined the Quebec League.
This is a follow-up story that appeared on August 27th.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Unlike the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins lost several key players in the offseason — moves which can have an adverse effect on team chemistry this season….
Recent Cup finalists unable to keep their rosters intact fail to return to the big dance the following year. Even losing several lesser lights can have a potentially adverse effect on team chemistry. With their established young stars the Penguins should remain a dominant club this season but it remains to be seen if their new players can mesh well with the rest of the roster and help them return to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Three keys in my opinion are Crosby, Malkin and Fleury. How they go, so do the Penguins of 2008-09.
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
• Who was that masked man? Which Carey Price do we get this season? The cucumber-cool kid who gave the Canadiens rock-solid goaltending down the stretch and stoned the Bruins in Game 7? Or the jittery rook who was mediocre, to put it charitably, against the Flyers and made R.J. Umberger look like Mike F. Bossy?
• How much does Saku Koivu have left in the tank?
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
In a wide-ranging telephone interview from Montreal, Luongo talked like someone who expects to be in Vancouver longer than the two years remaining on his current deal.
“The great thing is we’re on the same page and we both want to win,” Luongo said of Gillis. “We’re here to win and we want to build a winning team that can contend for the Cup every year.
“When I spoke to him, it was very reassuring for me because that’s why I’m playing in Vancouver—to have a chance to win it all. When you hear something like that from your GM—that he’s as committed to winning as Mike is—it gives you a comfort zone that the organization is all about putting the best team on the ice.”
read on including Luongo hitting the ice with white pads…
“I think about getting hit and that’s what we have to worry about,” he said of playing in the preseason. The shoulder “has to be 100 percent, it has to be as strong as the other one. I’ve been working out hard to get there.
“I would like to play at least two preseason games, but I can’t say that I’ll be able to. I just don’t know how it’s going to feel. I don’t know how it’s going to react. I’m confident I will play in the regular-season opener but I can’t predict the future, so we’ll have to see.”
-Vinny Lecavalier quoted by the Tampa Tribune where you can read more as Lecavalier recovers from shoulder surgery.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
McCabe leaves for south Florida today, where he already has located a home in the same beach-side community where former Maple Leaf teammate Wade Belak lives. McCabe’s daughter, Stevie, the oldest of two young children, starts school there tomorrow.
Sounds like a man looking to make a new start, doesn’t it?
The main roadblock to the consummation of the deal will evaporate today when McCabe receives the $2 million signing bonus owed him by the Leafs. Because today is a holiday, a morning conference call between the involved parties is scheduled for tomorrow morning after which an official announcement is expected.
more on McCabe
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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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