Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Damien Cox in The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Fair or not, Tucker was viewed as one of the leaders of the so-called Muskoka Five, a gang now broken up by GM Cliff Fletcher. Fletcher vowed big changes, and you have to give him credit for following through. Tucker’s gone, Mats Sundin’s all but gone, and Kyle Wellwood, John Pohl and Andrew Raycroft are also no longer Leafs.
Bryan McCabe, by autumn, will almost certainly be playing somewhere else, as well. So the players who banded together to defy the wishes of management and remain Leafs at the 2008 trade deadline have, really, gained very little in the end.
Tomas Kaberle, at this point, seems the only one of the five certain to stick around.
from the Florida Panthers blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
I just spoke on the phone to Joe Nieuwendyk, who was playing with his kids and sounded like he’s enjoying the extra time with family. Anyhow, here are his thoughts on a few issues:
Q: What are you looking to do when your contract runs out with the Panthers on June 30? Are the Maple Leafs, your former team, a team you’d want to work for?
A: “I’m keeping my options open. I should know more down the road. ...I’d certainly would listen to what they have to say. [A move there] may or may not make sense.
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
The NHL’s money season is just around the corner. Come Tuesday, July 1, the wallets come out in full force from the NHL’s 30 teams. Here’s my look at some notable players slated for unrestricted free agency (with age and current team also listed):
Marian Hossa, 29, Pittsburgh Penguins:
GM Ray Shero is off the hook here. He offered Hossa $7 million a year and a chance to continue playing alongside the best centre in the world. That’s a darn generous offer given all the other moving parts Shero has to figure out on his roster.
read on for the estimated values of a pile of UFAs
The Florida Panthers placed veteran centre Jozef Stumpel on waivers on Wednesday, making him a buyout candidate if he clears at Noon et/9am pt on Thursday.
Stumpel is entering the last season of a two-year contract extension that will pay him $2.25 million. The 35-year-old had seven goals and 20 points in 52 games last season.
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
Here are nine teams, in alphabetical order, where Emery might fit:
Chicago – Nikolai Khabibulin can become an unrestricted free agent next summer and the up-and-coming Hawks will be looking for a goalie who can grow and develop with its young, talented team.
Colorado – If the Avs don’t re-sign Jose Theodore, they’ll be desperate for a No. 1.
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:
Can it get any better for us, hockey fun in the summer time? All teams are at 0-0-0-0. All teams have an equal shot at the Stanley Cup. We all believe, all our team needs is a little tweak here and there, and we are on our way to hockey in June.
These are the days we have been waiting for. An opportunity exists for our team to get better quickly, giving us hope for a dream season. Some teams will go all out, making a big splash in the UFA market while other teams will continue to build from within. Which way is correct? Well, we won’t know until the games are played, but it sure is fun knowing every team has a chance to improve by signing that key player(s)!
from David Littman at the Hockey News,
Every young hockey player dreams of being drafted and playing in the NHL, so how do you maximize the chances for that to happen?
Let’s start at the beginning.
During ages six to 14, make sure you’re on a good traveling team. The better the team, the farther it will go not only in your local league, but in regional and national tournaments, too.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The final touches are still being worked on and nothing can be formally announced until July 1, but sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning and superstar centre Vinny Lecavalier have agreed to terms on a mega-deal that will pay him $77 million over nine years.
The annual salary cap hit to the Lightning will be about $8.55 million for the length of the contract, but the final year of the contract is said to be only for about $3 million, which means that if Lecavalier retired after eight seasons, his average salary would be as much as $9.4 million.
from Habs Inside/Out,
Don Meehan has told La Presse he expects to conclude negotiations on a new contract for Andrei Kostitsyn by the end of the week.
Meehan will meet with Canadiens capologist Julien BriseBois today. Kostitsyn has told his agent he wants to stay in Montreal and is not interested in offers from other NHL teams.
Negotiations that were expected to be difficult and complex, Meehan said, have turned out to be merely complex.
From Elena Bergeron and Sarah Turcotte at ESPN Magazine,
9. If it weren’t for silly trades, the draft would last 10 minutes. The first round took 90 million hours, because GMs insisted on brushing by tables like a chesty cocktail waitress.[...]
10. We need to start calling ourselves The Worldwide Leader, Except in Canada. No one knows what ESPN is in Ottawa. We had to tell people we were “the TSN of America.” They probably thought we were making it up to meet Mike Fisher.
11. Canadiens are nice to everyone—except Ray Emery. The Sens’ decision to place Ray Emery on waivers during the draft kind of soured things for us.
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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