Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Seinfeld had the Summer of George. I’m predicting 2008-09 will be the Winter of Some Original Six Team. Theoretically, I’m not supposed to cheer, but deep down I’ll have a soft spot this season for these three golden oldie franchises:
Montreal: The Habs are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, they’re holding the All-Star Game and the entry draft at Bell Centre and the club is a bona fide contender in the East. It’d be sweet to see the NHL’s most storied franchise reach the peak again.
via Marsha Lederman of the Globe and Mail on a story about Pam Anderson and her new TV show…
She doesn’t shy away from personal details, revealing in Vancouver that she was up until 4 a.m. a couple of nights earlier “talking” with Lee (with whom she’s bunking at the moment while her new house is being constructed), that she plans to vote for Barack Obama, and that she has a thing for hockey players….
Anderson says she plans to keep one of the units for herself so she can spend more time on the Island, close to family, and adds: “I want to bring my kids here as much as possible. I mean, more Canada, less L.A., more Whistler. We come to Whistler every year. And I have a lot of Canadian friends and I bring my kids around a lot of hockey players. ‘Cause I think L.A. can be destructive on many levels.”
He’s (Brett Hull) done a wonderful job and I knew that he wanted to be involved in putting a team together, but he had just been retired two years and all of a sudden he’s general manager in Dallas and doing a masterful job of putting his team into the third round. I think if they had maybe a little more astute coaching, they might have beat Detroit. I said before the playoffs started that it would be Pittsburgh and Dallas in the finals and I wasn’t far astray.
more from Bobby Hull in a Q & A at the the Daily Gleaner…
Ron MacLean has been doing a little blogging for the CBC Olympics site and since we are in “Gretzky mode” these days, I thought you might enjoy this…
Two stories owned the games in Salt Lake City in 2002. The figure skating judging scandal and the twin wins for Canada in hockey. My highlight was Wayne Gretzky’s outburst following a 3-3 tie with the Czech’s. Gretzky’s tirade lasted nearly 10 minutes. The top moments: “To a man, every one of our guys will say how great (Dominik) Hasek or (Mats) Sundin is. I don’t think we dislike the other countries nearly as much as they hate us….”
And more: “They want to see us lose. We’re the biggest story down here and they love it when we’re not doing well. Now they have two Canadian stories - the figure skating and the hockey team. It’s all a crock of bull. It turns my stomach to hear some of the things being said about us. No one wants us to win except the guys on this team and our fans, but we’re a proud team and we’re still standing…”
It’s by far the most impressive thing I’ve seen Wayne do.
more Olympics talk from Ron…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Risebrough said he planned to call Gaborik this weekend to set up the meeting.
“I haven’t arranged it yet, but obviously I want to sit down with Marian while I’m over there,” Risebrough said Friday from his offseason home in Banff, Alberta. “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”
Gaborik will make $7.5 million in the final year of his contract this season. His average salary cap hit is $6.33 million.
The Wild plans to make an offer averaging in the $8.5 million cap-hit range. As of today, if Gaborik signed any contract averaging more than $7.8 million and less than $8.7 million, he would have the fourth-largest average contract in the NHL after superstars Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and right above Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one step closer to getting rid of Bryan McCabe.
According to general manager Cliff Fletcher, the high-paid defenceman has “softened his stance” in regards to waiving his no-trade clause. With six weeks remaining until training camp opens, the Leafs are now waiting for McCabe to provide a list of teams he would be willing to play for next season.
“That’s controlled by Bryan,” Fletcher said. “I’m not going to start talking to teams until he tells me what teams he is willing to go to.”
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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