Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
A huge weight has been added to the Air Canada Centre that may take a load off the backs of the building’s chief occupant, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The second of two gigantic dehumidifiers, each weighing 56,000 pounds, was lifted by an equally monstrous crane through and opening in the roof Thursday into the attic of the sports palace.
The units will be fully functional by the time the ice goes in on Sept. 9 so when the Leafs play their first pre-season game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Sept. 20, the fans should find the environment more comfortable and the players should have no reason to complain about the quality of the ice.
from the AP via the Santa Barbara News-Press,
Anaheim had a week to match Edmonton’s offer and waited until Thursday’s deadline had passed before announcing it was letting Penner go.
‘‘We don’t believe these salaries make sense,’’ Anaheim general manager Brian Burke said on a conference call. ‘‘If I believe these salaries don’t make sense and I match then I’m just as dumb as the team that extended the offer.’‘
Burke was incensed by the terms and amount of last week’s offer, and at the time he had especially harsh words for Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe, saying, ‘‘Edmonton has offered a mostly inflated salary for a player, and I think it’s an act of desperation for a general manager who is fighting to keep his job.’‘
Burke’s feelings about Lowe didn’t change as the Ducks decided over the last week whether to match the offer sheet.
‘‘It’s certainly not a priority for me to mend this fence,’’ he said.
Listen to the Oilers press conference with Kevin Lowe and Dustin Penner…
Update 7:54pm ET:
A video of Brian Burke meeting with the press this afternoon, explaining his decision. (Go here, then click the link on that page.)
added 8:23pm, from TSN & the CP,
Lowe didn’t feel the need to make any apologies.
“There’s almost some insinuation from managers that because we’re friends we shouldn’t be doing this to one another,” he said. “I think our responsibility is not to one another, but is to our fan base and our ownership.”
more... coverage of both sides, completing the day!
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Each GM had access to the same nasty little weapon, a sheet of paper that would allow him to steal away another team’s restricted free agents for a handful of draft picks, depending on how much money the offer sheet represented.
For years, GMs kept those papers under lock, in part because the few offer sheets that were presented were invariably matched, including offers presented to established stars like Joe Sakic, Keith Tkachuk and Sergei Fedorov.
There was also the notion that the offer sheet was somehow dirty pool—by using the tool a GM could expect to suffer a similar fate somewhere down the road. Plus, GMs who might have pulled the stunt wouldn’t have been invited to any of the good GM parties.
from David Kolb at MSG Network,
Hey, we all know what Sean Avery can provide. We all saw it on display after his trade from L.A. last year, and yes, everyone is glad he is back.
What no one is talking about, though, is his entertainment value. This guy provides some serious entertainment.
Listening to CFRN radio in Edmonton, they’ve just made the comment on the air that “It is believed that the National Hockey League has informed the Edmonton Oilers that Penner is an Oiler.” However, they went on to insist there is NO confirmation of this information. Penner’s agent had not heard anything from the Ducks as of 2:05pm ET.
Update 2:43pm ET
In an on air interview, Penner’s agent Gerry Johannson has just explicitly confirmed that Penner’s rights have now been transferred to the Edmonton Oilers.
Update 2:52pm ET
The Oilers Get: LW Dustin Penner
Penner, 24, is coming off a rookie season in which he scored 29 goals and 45 points in 82 games, but he has a rare physical package that makes him an even more attractive addition.
Note: Photo is property of Sharkspage.com. Used with permission.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Imagine, if you will, a press conference with the current NHLPA leadership assembled near the podium. Then imagine one of the players – say, Eric Lindros or Robyn Regehr – stepping to the microphone and making a speech like this:
Beginning today, the NHLPA is rededicating its commitment to the sport of hockey and to the fans who support the game. In doing so, we’re taking measures no professional athlete union has taken before.
Firstly, we’re instituting our own program to test for steroids, human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing drugs. Our members have agreed to random, multiple blood and urine tests; the program will be implemented by an independent firm, and testing will occur throughout the regular season, playoffs, and off-season.
from the Standard Freeholder,
After watching on from the front office for the past couple of years, Hawerchuk has decided to make the leap behind the bench this season as head coach of the Orangeville Crushers of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League.
The hockey great - who is also part-owner, president and director of hockey operations of the Crushers - said he felt he could offer something more to the team and the players by taking over coaching duties.
“I enjoy working with the kids. That’s the biggest reason why (I decided to become coach),” Hawerchuk said.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
A 24-year-old who will make $5 million from the Senators this season, Spezza says he has chatted with Heatley this summer and that both of them—while realizing the financial windfalls that await—are more concerned with consistently performing at a high level for a number of years.
Spezza also says he has not dwelled on the offer sheets presented Vanek and Penner, or the chance he could be getting one at some point during the dog days of 2008.
via Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“Agents always hear criticisms of their clients during negotiations but are able to filter that dialogue before it reaches the players,” Morris said. “In arbitration, there’s no filter.
“But as far as this specific case, business is over and now it’s time for Sean to put this behind him and do whatever he can next season for the Rangers.
“Sean is a professional,” Morris added. “There’s no reason to expect this to have any effect at all on his performance.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
If the Anaheim Ducks decide today that Penner, who’s a very large No. 17 there, won’t be one of their biggest ducklings any longer because the Oilers’ $21.25-million US offer sheet is too rich for their blood, the 24-year-old forward can probably have just about any number he wants here. We know No. 71 is available, with Petr Sykora flying the coop for Pittsburgh.
Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who was steamed at Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe last week for making the raid on Penner, has until today to make up his mind.
If Burke decides to match the offer sheet, he notifies the NHL, the NHLPA and the player or his agent that he’s staying in Anaheim for the Oilers’ offer of $4.25 million a year through the 2012-13 season.
Burke can also call Lowe. Or not.
If he decides Penner is too big a financial gulp for his owners, then Burke presumably lets the deadline pass and the Oilers have a kid who scored 29 goals in his first full NHL season last year.
What do you think, does Penner remain a Duck or move on to Edmonton?
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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