Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Simon Gagne has a few words of encouragement for Flyers fans that have seen R.J. Umberger, Jason Smith and Sami Kapanen leave Philadelphia to play elsewhere next season.
“The way I look at it, I might be the free agent the Flyers signed this year,” Gagne said. “I wasn’t a big part of the team last year and I want to be a big part this season.”
Gagne said the concussion symptoms that kept him out of all but 25 games last season are completely gone, thanks to an innovative injection therapy called prolotherapy.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
To say John Tavares’ star has fallen would be a stretch, but it seems he’s no longer the consensus No. 1 pick.
A little more than a year ago, there was a push to change the NHL entry draft rules to accommodate Tavares as a 17-year-old, while the Leafs were examining whether they could fast-track him on a minor-league contract, amid talk that an all-out rebuild could see a last-place Toronto team pick him first overall.
Now, some NHL scouts contacted by Sun Media are wondering if his No. 1 ranking will be challenged in the coming season.
from John Glennon of Chilling Out at the Tennessean,
The Minnesota Wild’s decision to buy out forward Mark Parrish means there’s another established goal-scorer on the free-agent market, but I don’t suspect the Predators will be making a beeline for the telephone.
For starters, I think David Poile wants to get some resolution on the Alexander Radulov situation before he starts making commitments to any new forwards.
Second of all, I’m not sure Parrish is exactly what the team is looking for. On the plus side, he’s scored at least 16 goals in all nine of his NHL seasons. On the down side, he’s posted only 39 and 30 points, respectively, in Minnesota’s defensive system the last two years and – at age 31 – might be on the downside of his career.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It is great sport to engage in dog-chase-tail arguments over whether Howson extracted good value in every trade or paid too much for this free agent or that one. But to do that would be to miss the big picture, and the big picture is this:
At last season’s prices, about $18 million went out the door, all told. At this season’s prices, about $20 million was imported. Essentially, the money spent on the deals washed out—and the team was upgraded. Which is to say that Howson’s plan was an intelligent one, and well-executed.
There is a greater depth at forward. Nash, a 60-point scorer, now has a 70-point guy in Huselius on the other wing. The second li, ne looks like Fredrik Modin-Derick Brassard-Torres.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
Once upon a time, the Stanley Cup was revered in the offseason by players who had won The Mug, but with each year, the trophy has been undergoing the most unusual rituals. Most recently, in Pitea, Sweden, Tomas Holmstrom allowed his cousin to use it as a baptismal font for a christening of 7-week-old Alva Felicia. We hasten to think of what will happen to Lord Stanley’s chalice next. Or, to put it another way, Heaven help the NHL if Sean Avery ever wins it!
more from the Maven…
J.P. Barry was just on Team 1040 in Vancouver and said Sundin has yet to decide if he wants to play.
The timeframe for his decision is not August 1st, it is sometime in August. As Barry said, anytime in August, sometime before training camp starts.
Barry thinks more teams will get involved if Mats decides to play and right now it is six teams that have interest. Teams have called him and said, we will make room if you give us some time.
Barry said the Rangers are one team that will not go away and Detroit is not in the running.
added 9:22pm, from David Shoalts of the Toronto Globe and Mail,
The Canucks have that $10-million-a-year offer, but Sundin has never been motivated by money and it is hard to believe he would be willing to put up with all that travel on a non-contender.
So that may leave it between the Leafs and Rangers, who have cap room but are not a surefire Cup contender.
In any event, Sundin has to decide soon. A lot of NHL GMs are on vacation right now, but in the next couple of weeks, arbitration decisions on players will start coming in and the GMs will have to finalize their rosters. They simply won’t have time to wait any longer for Sundin’s decision.
RDS reports Bob Gainey phoned J.P. Barry, Mats Sundin’s agent, on Tuesday.
While the sports network did not reveal the substance of the conversation, a source in Sweden has sent a recording of it to Habs Inside/Out.
Gainey: If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down
If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
-Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
The NHL hasn’t given up hope of mending the fences with Russia’s Continental Hockey League (KHL) and other foreign hockey federations.
Paul Kelly, the executive director for the NHLPA, told Sporting News on Wednesday that the league will proceed with September’s planned meeting that includes the NHLPA, International Ice Hockey Federation, KHL and all major hockey federations. It will take place during the first week of September in New York in hopes of settling the transfer agreement controversy.
“In Zurich we agreed to get together to have a dialogue about these issues,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately, the ongoing issues with the NHL and KHL have put a damper on the spirit of cooperation.”
Goaltender Pascal Leclaire has signed a three-year contract worth $11.4 million with the Blue Jackets, The Dispatch has learned.
The deal will pay Leclaire $3 million this season, $3.6 million in 2009-10 and $4.8 million in 2010-11.
added 5:22pm, from the Columbus Blue Jackets,
“We’re very happy to have signed Pascal to a new contract that will keep him with the Blue Jackets for the next three seasons,” said Howson. “He is an important part of our team and we think he will continue to improve and play a significant role in helping us reach our goals.”
Mike Vogel at WashingtonCaps.com sits down with Jose Theodore for a one-on-one interview.
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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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