Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Chicago Tribune,
“We’re getting quite deep at all positions,” Tallon said. “The challenges and fights for jobs is what makes a team successful. When people know there are other people in line for their jobs, they start to compete hard.
“We’re very, very excited about the future, and the foundation is being put together very solidly.”
Though they were merely scrimmages during a July prospects camp, Kane and Toews showed they may be ready to take their acts to the NHL. Each scored two goals and added four assists while creating scoring chances—both with their passing and shooting skills—nearly every shift.
from the Buffalo News,
“For the record, Darcy Regier did call Pat Brisson in January,” Quinn said Friday. “There was no offer back to us about any kind of discount or anything. So I think we ought to make the record clear on that. If there had been and everybody came together and said, ‘Let’s all chip in,’ we would have tried to figure out a way.”
According to Brisson, the Sabres never called his office at any point during the season. In fact, he hadn’t heard from them since last summer, the day before Briere was awarded a one-year contract worth $5 million. Brisson at the time was pressing the Sabres to sign Briere to a fiveyear deal worth $25 million, which the Sabres rejected.
from Larry Felser of the Buffalo News,
I know we’re all supposed to buy the theory that Buffalo’s management is wholly to blame for the departure of the two stars, but I find it difficult to believe that the players’ agents weren’t aware that there would be several pots of gold being stirred by rich and desperate franchises at the end of the season.
I also don’t buy the theory that the departure of Briere is the end of civilization as we know it. Danny is a terrific little player, fun to watch. He’s probably worth the $5 million the Sabres were paying him and another million or so they were prepared to pay him in a new contract. I don’t think he would have been a wise buy at the $10 million the Flyers are going to pay him next season and $52 million overall, especially considering the contract is for eight years.
from Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star,
Still, the first home game was a magical night. There were almost 15,000 people in the stands. Before the game, the winless Scouts were given a long standing ovation.
And they played their guts out that game and outshot a star-studded Chicago Blackhawks team (that team had Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita and star goaltender Tony Esposito). The Scouts lost 4-3, but when it ended there was another standing ovation for the Kansas City players.
“What an amazing crowd,” Scouts coach Bep Guidolin said. He was called Bep because his mother spoke English with a thick accent, and she called her youngest son “Beppy” instead of “Baby.” The nickname was shortened to Bep. He, too, may have been hired for his name.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Poile, the Nashville Predators veteran general manager, was all prepared to talk to the Leafs about a senior position that may have included becoming general manager, when his owner, Craig Leipold, revoked the permission.
• So Scotty Bowman has finally admitted he turned down the Maple Leafs after first lying about it. What he hasn’t admitted is he had a general manager (or assistant) ready to take over. He had Igor Larionov ready to become coach, Craig Ramsay ready to assist him, and he had spoken to other well-known NHL names about taking front office positions with the team.
more hockey talk scattered about…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Had Lowe - whose team is questionable in nets - gone after Lundqvist at $9 million, the Rangers would not have been able to sign Brendan Shanahan. They might have found themselves forced to walk away from Sean Avery’s salary arbitration. They might have been required to move Petr Prucha at $1.6 million.
But Lowe didn’t go after the best player on the market and he didn’t go after the most cap-vulnerable franchise in the NHL. He didn’t do that because of his longtime friendship with Glen Sather, that’s why he didn’t do it, and everyone knows it. His decision to attempt to raid Buffalo for a winger rather than the Rangers for a franchise goaltender had nothing to do with winning and nothing to do with business and everything to do with personal.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
It’s clear after barely three weeks on the job that general manager Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock are on the same page, firm in their belief that the Blue Jackets—with so many young, unproven NHL players on their roster—must now swallow the bitter medicine that comes with young players getting on-the-job experience in the big leagues.
“We’re building,” Howson said earlier this week. “We have to take those steps it takes to build that championship team. This team will be part of that process.”
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
As Burke chills in his deck chair, his mind will be rocking with his ship as he tries to figure how to keep Niedermayer around.
There is no room for a Roger Clemens clause in this sport that lets a celebrity player drop in whenever he wishes, not that Niedermayer would play by those rules anyway.
“What was the quote about Alexander The Great?” Burke said. “He wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. I think that’s part of what’s affecting Scotty as he tries to make this decision.”
It will take some creativity, although one can be assured that the Ducks will give their fans every opportunity to give Niedermayer a hearty say-it-ain’t-so….
Burke is concerned that, after five years or so, teams can buy out the unexpired years. At that point only 75 percent of the bought-out time counts against the salary cap. And how many of those deals are pre-arranged?
“I’m not saying it’s happening with these teams,” Burke said, “but maybe we should have a limit on years in the next agreement.
Comrie had offers from Buffalo and Los Angeles, and the Senators were hoping to clear salary to keep him. But despite Smyth’s departure, the more Comrie talked to the Islanders, the more he liked what he heard.
“It’s an opportunity to perhaps be heavily relied on in an environment where a lot of people will count the Islanders out,” said Comrie’s agent, Rich Winter. “This kid has scored 20 or more goals [four times] and on two occasions he’s scored 30 goals. For some reason, people are still saying, ‘He’s a bit small; I don’t know if he can be our go-to guy.’ This is a unique opportunity for the Islanders’ objectives and Mike’s to marry. I believe Mike will establish himself as a No. 1 center…
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
The Flyers have a new look that’s come about through some key summer moves aimed at transforming the worst team in the NHL into a playoff contender next season.
The most miserable 82 regular-season games in the franchise’s 40-year history could be followed by the Flyers getting into the 16-team Stanley Cup tournament next spring.
Philly may have some tough stretches next season, but with the additions general manager Paul Holmgren has made the team should be really competitive in most games.
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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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