Kukla's Korner Hockey
Scott Burnside of ESPN takes a look at and possible destinations of the UFA forwards…
Although the big money will chase the big three (Gomez, Briere and Drury) as teams try to build down the middle, there is surprising depth in the free-agent market at the center position. Handzus, an underappreciated player in Philadelphia who was hurt early on in Chicago last season, is an intriguing possibility. Although he’s not regarded as a true first-line center, the defensively sound Handzus is a fine faceoff man. Sounds like a pretty good fit for a team looking for help on both sides of the puck. One team that might be interested is Columbus, where coach Ken Hitchcock is well aware of Handzus’ value from their days in Philadelphia.
The equipment looks like it is going to be more fun than the old pants designs, and I want one of those undershirts bad. But you can see how the whole thing is treated like a system. It looks like the tucking the jersey into the pants thing was a myth, or RBK would have done it to their models. And with that fully dressed model, it doesn’t look like he has elbow pads on. Remember how the players at the All Star Game looked? Like Robocop. Time will tell, but at least this is a start.
- Tapeleg on the RBK Edge System
Read more and view the pics taken at the NHL Draft where RBK had a display.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So if you’re that free agent and you’re considering those dollars, who, exactly are you agreeing to work for?
Ferguson? Peddie? Larry Tanenbaum? Bowman? Muckler? Patrick? Paul Maurice? Carlton the Bear?
At that point, don’t you just move on to the next team that’s interested?
The top-heavy Leafs seem to believe the answer to their problems is adding yet another layer of bureaucracy, something similar to the role in which Wayne Embry fills with the Raptors.
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The Hockey News.com has learned Penguins enforcer Georges Laraque injured his shoulder during an off-season training session and is expected to travel to Pittsburgh this week to be evaluated by team doctors.
Laraque’s agent refused to confirm the right winger was had been hurt – and a call requesting comment from Pens GM Ray Shero was not immediately returned – but a source said the injury occurred while the right winger was lifting weights.
from Alan Adams of Sportsnet,
Kariya is exactly what Mats Sundin needs, a speedster who is all about skill and finesse. It has been years since Sundin could look over to his left wing and see someone who comes closes to matching his skill set. Sundin needs a finisher and Kariya fits the bill.
Kariya isn’t the only ultra-attractive unrestricted free agent available this weekend. There’s also Ryan Smyth and Jason Blake, both of New York Islanders fame, along with Scott Gomez of the New Jersey Devils.
The bidding wars for Smyth and Blake will be fierce, and Gomez isn’t coming north of the U.S.-Canada border unless it is on a road trip.
from the Calgary Sun,
Post-draft rumblings point to a contract extension being all but a formality for the Calgary Flames captain.
Player agent Don Meehan confirmed yesterday he has been talking with Flames general manager Darryl Sutter about locking his client up for at least another season, which would prevent Iginla from becoming an unrestricted free agent a year from now on his 31st birthday.
from the Miami Herald,
The Panthers are in the market for more offensive help, with Minnesota forward Todd White likely headed south.
Martin also has said Florida will look at free agents Slava Kozlov and former Panther Viktor Kozlov.
Both players would help Florida’s offensive needs. Other targets could also be searched out, including trying to re-sign forwards Jozef Stumpel and Martin Gelinas before July 1.
Last week, owner Alan Cohen said Florida’s payroll next season would near $45 million. It looks like it might be more than that once the dust settles.
‘‘We have to make sure we have the proper order by looking at what our needs are,’’ Martin said.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Roberts also agreed to a one-year deal even though he probably could have received two years from Ottawa or another team. At 41, he knows that second season isn’t promised to him. He’s worried about winning now. He thinks the Penguins give him the best opportunity.
If Roberts believes that strongly, it makes it a lot easier for the rest of us to believe. Remember, he is a guy who had to be talked into waiving his no-trade clause to come to Pittsburgh last season by Mario Lemieux. Now, they can’t lure him away.
from The Record,
“Brian wants to stay, so we’re going to do whatever we can to make it work,” Zito said.
Zito said he had a productive sit-down with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello while at the NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend.
“That went well and we’re going to continue to talk,” he said.
more on the Devils…
from the OC Register,
When Derrick Johnson flew to Minnesota in February 2004 to watch the NHL All-Star Game, he thought he might buy a few collectible jerseys, acquire autographs, and rub elbows with his favorite players.
He left with a larger-than-life bobblehead figure of Ducks forward Teemu Selanne.
“I saw the Teemu bobblehead and had to have it,” the Orange resident said.
The mammoth replica-man set Johnson back a cool $7,400. Proceeds from the sale benefited Hockey Fights Cancer, an NHL charity.
The figure stands 6 feet, 6 inches, weighs approximately 200 pounds, and bears a striking resemblance to the Ducks’ All-Star.
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.
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