Kukla's Korner Hockey
“Alex Ovechkin, I think, is a historic player and will go down as one of those great players and great personalities,” Leonsis said. “We’re fortunate in that he’s a remarkably gifted talent, but he has crossed over. Is he Russian or North American? The way he plays is North American. He speaks beautiful English. He’s funny. He has embraced the tradition of the game. He’s very kind to the fans. He’s telegenic. He’s embraced it all and he is one of the two faces of the new NHL with Sidney Crosby.”
-more on the Washington Capital from Dan Rosen at NHL.com.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
According to a report in Newsday, Islanders GM Garth Snow has whittled down his coaching wish list to just three names: former Hurricanes/Leafs bench boss Paul Maurice, ex-Avalanche/Thrashers coach Bob Hartley and current Providence Bruins (AHL) leader Scott Gordon.
If the report is true—and Newsday’s Greg Logan does a good job covering the Isles—Snow should tap Gordon.
Yeah, I know Gordon doesn’t have any previous NHL head-coaching experience. He has spent the last five seasons working behind the bench in Providence. In that role, Gordon has been dealing with young players, trying to get them ready for the next step.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
With both Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez entering the final year of their contracts, the Bruins have a game plan to address their goaltending in 2009-10 and beyond. At this point, it would make sense to extend the 34-year-old Thomas, especially if Tuukka Rask isn’t ready for the NHL in 2009-10. Thomas, in the last season of a contract worth an annual $1.1 million, would most likely be seeking a multiyear extension - with a raise, of course. An interesting comparable for Thomas and the Bruins would be Chris Osgood’s extension (three years, $4.25 million) the netminder signed with Detroit before winning the Cup.
more plus other hockey topics too…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
After a painstaking interview process in which he spoke with eight known candidates and contacted a few others, an NHL source indicated Snow has narrowed his list to three finalists. Former Atlanta coach Bob Hartley, former Toronto coach Paul Maurice and current AHL Providence coach Scott Gordon still are in the running, and Snow is expected to name one as the Isles’ next coach early this week.
more on the coaching search…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
If his career continues, it will be with a team that ignores statistics and values the impact he has on others. You want points? Find somebody else. He’s not a 60-goal scorer or a 140-point guy for his career. You want a selfless teammate, a tireless worker, a consummate professional, a leader by example? He’s waiting by the phone.
Unfortunately, players like him aren’t in high demand in the NHL. The Blackhawks thought the world of his intangibles last year, but they’re over the salary cap after signing defenseman Brian Campbell. Don’t be surprised if they make some moves to get their salary structure in order and bring back Adams, who made $600,000 last year, for another season.
The Blackhawks acquired him because they thought he could mentor rookies Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews while boosting the penalty kill. After all, he’s been a respected leader for years and helped Carolina win the Cup in 2006. The Hawks wound up treasuring him more for his work while he was injured than they did for his play on the ice.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
No one, least of all Glen Sather, knows what the Rangers would do if Mats Sundin unexpectedly declares his interest in playing this season on Broadway rather than in Vancouver, where the Canucks have a two-year, $20M offer on the table; or in Toronto, where the Maple Leafs unfathomably have a one-year, $7M offer out; or in Montreal, where the Canadiens have been holding a uniform for No. 13 since February.
It would be as difficult to reject Sundin as it would be to conjure the strategy to fit him under the team cap, and no, there is not a shred of truth to reports of the Blueshirts working on a massive salary-dump in order to clear space for him.
more NHL topics, from ‘Boots” to Radulov….
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
When a player comes back from an injury, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau explains, it’s almost like adding a free agent. He is referring specifically to center Michael Nylander, who struggled through last season with a shoulder problem.
But Boudreau could be the coach or general manager in any NHL city. Almost every team has someone looking to rebound from an off year or debilitating injury.
Five players to watch—plus selected others—with the season only two months away:
1. Simon Gagne, LW, Philadelphia Flyers
Gagne played 25 games last season because of the effects of multiple concussions. He has been cleared to play and should be 100 percent when the season begins.
Finally, the last thing I wanted to give you my thoughts on was our free agent signing this year – Michael Ryder.
I know in some circles we’ve been criticized for paying the money we paid to Michael.
We saw him on numerous occasions (he being in the same division as us), and I’ve seen him on a number of occasions prior to that with Ottawa. He’s a player that we made an organizational decision on to bring into our mix, and I don’t feel the need to justify or to address the criticisms that we’ve been given on signing him. At the end of the day, as a management team, we’re judged on these decisions and we’ll be judged on this one. We were and are excited to get Michael, as he’s a young player who can score goals and competes hard. We feel he’s really going to fit into our mix, and we’re going to have some success with him.
-Peter Chiarelli in his blog at the Bruins site.
from Erik Erlendsson at Bolts Report,
And finally, all that talk of Tampa Bay possible being interested in trading for Bryan McCabe, it’s not happening. While the Lightning continue to seek out a trade or two to find a veteran defenseman in some capacity who can not only act as a mentor, but also provide some quality minutes in a stay-at-home type of role. McCabe doesn’t fit that bill at all, and a well placed source informed me that McCabe is not on the team’s short list of targets.
more on the Ligtninng, mostly season tickets talk…
Columbus fans submitted question for GM Scott Howson at Puck-rakers,
Q: Are the Jackets done adding NHL-caliber players to the roster for the offseason? The team is still nearly $9 million under the cap and there are teams out there looking to shed payroll. Has your phone been ringing a lot? Are you more likely to save that money in case you need it at the trade deadline?
A: “We are likely done adding NHL caliber roster players until we get through training camp and get a better feel where some of our young players are with respect to being ready to contribute at the NHL level. If possible, I believe that a NHL team should not operate close to the cap. You need flexibility to deal with injuries and opportunities that may arise. It is very quiet right now as it usually is in August but we are ready for any opportunities that may come our way.”
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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