Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Denver Post,
In a move to clear salary cap space for this season, the Avalanche has declined to pick up the options for next season on the contracts for Joe Sakic and Rob Blake - meaning both can become unrestricted free agents. Sakic and Blake would have earned close to $7 million each had their options been picked up. Based on age and length of NHL service, they will be eligible to become unrestricted July 1. They could avoid that scenario by signing extensions with the team before then.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Are the Edmonton Oilers about to Heritage Classic themselves? Is Craig MacTavish's team already in the process of doing - in and around the latest larger than life event, the Paul Coffey/Wayne Gretzky game - what they did following the outdoor game played before 60,000 fans by sewering their season? Are the Oilers about to blow another Battle of Alberta before it begins? Are they headed down the road to handing the Calgary Flames 11 of 12 points or even more now that they play eight instead of six?
from the London Free Press via Slam,
Of all the surprises unwrapped in the first two weeks of the NHL season, few expected the New York Rangers to look good and Eric Lindros to look great. The previous brittle and boring Boys of Broadway, who haven't made the playoffs since Mark Messier sported some hair and Jaromir Jagr owned the world's biggest mullet, are off to a rocket start since big-league hockey decided it would be smart to play games and make money again. In their first seven contests, the Rangers won four and lost three by a single goal, including two in overtime.
The frustration of NHL fans grows daily and I receive about 10-15 emails a day asking if anything is being done about the problems fans have trying to watch the OLN broadcasts. from the NY Times,
If you're a Cablevision or a DISH Network satellite subscriber who looked forward to watching National Hockey League games on OLN, you've fallen victim to an anti-fan policy that boggles the mind. The games you've expected to see since last Monday have been replaced by other programs on OLN - which, until making its deal with the N.H.L., was known largely for carrying the Tour de France - because its parent company, Comcast, wants to boost the number of its own subscribers. But do you deprive Cablevision and DISH viewers of what they were expecting so you can pursue the goal of rapidly increasing the number of subscribers?
from the Journal News,
Jaromir Jagr, fresh off explaining how his stick managed to snap in half during his failed shootout attempt, started reminiscing about the bad old days of defensive hockey — like, for instance, in 2003-04. "Did you like it?" Jagr said, before extolling the virtues of the league's new emphasis on offense. "I like (this). There's a lot of chances." The season is only three weeks' old, but the effects of the NHL's crackdown on obstruction are plainly clear, perhaps never more so than in the Islanders' 3-2 shootout victory over the Rangers last night at Madison Square Garden. The teams conclude their home-and-home series tonight at Nassau Coliseum.
from the Toronto Sun,
Mats Sundin, for now, does not need laser eye surgery. That was the diagnosis after the Maple Leafs captain spent yesterday in New York, undergoing tests with renowned eye specialist Dr. Stanley Chang. "Mats had thorough tests and all in all it was extremely positive," Sundin's agent, J.P. Barry, said. If there is a need for the laser surgery, it will be for drainage of the retina in Sundin's left eye. "That's something to decide in the next four or five days, and it would be done to speed up the healing process," Barry said. "The only immediate issue is the draining of the fluid."
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
When free agent Paul Kariya opted to sign with the Nashville Predators last summer, it was akin to a political candidate receiving a major political endorsement. As much as the Predators wanted Kariya's talent, they also appreciated that Kariya's decision would be viewed leaguewide as a highly respected player putting his stamp of approval on Nashville as a desirable place to play. "He didn't change the look of the Predators," Nashville right wing Scott Walker says. "He just makes the look better."
Yashin said "no" last night when asked if he got any assurances from Islanders owner Charles Wang that the team wouldn't buy out his contract and join the post-lockout scramble across the NHL for free-agent talent. "And because I had no control over that, I just didn't worry about it," Yashin said. Still, this should be the year Yashin - a favorite of Wang - either has to come up big for the Islanders or he's told to move on when the second buyout rolls around. For the five years he's been here, Yashin hasn't been a bust. He says all the right things. But he's maddeningly inconsistent, even tepid. They don't know what to expect from him game to game. Yet Islanders management keeps heaping more responsibility on him anyway.
from the Boston Globe,
Even though OLN is on Dish's 180 tier, the network is withholding NHL games to the system. OLN is negotiating to get a spot on Dish's less-expensive 120 tier. OLN spokeswomen Amy Phillips said, ''Traditionally the NHL, like all major professional sports, has been broadly distributed on a basic tier. We believe that hockey fans deserve the right to watch the hockey the way they watch all other major professional sports, and we are actively working with Dish to do that."The article also discloses issues some Bruins fans had trying to find a recent B's game on OLN.
from the CP via TSN,
Sweeping changes have reinvigorated the NHL, the commissioner said in a speech during the annual Sports Media Canada luncheon Wednesday. "For the first time in a long time, the NHL has momentum," he said. "I'm determined to see us build on that."
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com