Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Bob Hunter at the Columbus-Dispatch,
The naysayers who said that Columbus would never be a hockey town should have been there. The city will always be known for football first, but last night provided further proof that if the Blue Jackets ever win, this place will go nuts.
Nationwide Arena was full for the first round of the draft. Full. That rarely happens anywhere, even in places where hockey is a clear No. 1. And the fans were into it.
When Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell was introduced, he was greeted by a thunderous ovation. He tried to start talking twice and had to stop because the cheering wouldn’t stop. Then, when he thanked “the fans, who have stuck with us through thick and thin, mostly thin,” he drew another roar.
from ADam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Just about every young hockey player fortunate enough to be selected in the NHL entry draft talks about realizing a lifelong dream that day.
But when Thomas Hickey was chosen fourth overall by the Los Angeles Kings, he literally needed to make sure the surreal scene wasn’t all in his head.
“I got to the stage and I didn’t want to do it there, but as soon as I got off, I pinched myself,” said Hickey, projected by The Hockey News’ Draft Preview as the 22nd best prospect in this year’s crop. “And I felt it, so I thought, ‘that must be good.’ ”
Last night during the Draft, I spent the majority of my time with the writers from NHL.com. We all dream of doing what they do, but let me tell, you this, I don’t know if we could handle it.
First off, these guys are true professionals, they know what they are doing and do it with such amazing speed.
One thing stands out in my mind from last night- Watching Shawn P. Roarke type- with the two finger method. I was going to film it but I don’t think my fps (frames per second) were fast enough to capture his hunt and peck prowess. Simply amazing and I am thinking about them now. During the 1st round, they had about 5 mintures between picks, now they are coming in much quicker.
Those boys deserve a nice steak dinner, perhaps at Morton’s when they are done for the day!
See how the new jerseys look in NHL08… Only a few teams, those who have released their new design.
From the CP via TSN,
The Stanley Cup-champion Anaheim Ducks re-signed defencemen Sean O’Donnell and Kent Huskins to two-year contract extensions Saturday.
O’Donnell will received US$1.25 million per season while Huskins’ deal covers $1.25 million ($600,000 next year and $650,000 in 2008-‘09).
Walking around the media area of the Draft yesterday, I saw an awful amount of folks tuned into Spector’s Rumor site. Lyle I am sure is working his tail off right about now.
I can add a little Detroit talk too, Bertuzzi is looking for a longer contract and may get it from a few teams, one probably NOT being the Wings. Hasek $$$ keeps getting tweaked and Wings are hoping Schneider will take a home team discount.
I left Columbus about 7:30am this morning, and now typing from my desktop at the Kompound.
Just a quick update now, the salary cap talk last night was it should be right around $50.5M.
Some of the GMs are hoping for a home team discount to sign some of their own UFAs.
The NHL Draft was like a huge conference. Numerous break out sessions for different team departments. People gathered here and their, chatting in private and I must have seen Lou Lamoriello in about five of those different chats.
More on my experience at the Draft in a bit.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
The NHL reported that there were 10 Americans drafted in the first round, tying a record set in 2006, but Brandon Sutter - who is listed as having been born in Red Deer, Alberta, said in his interview scrum that he was actually born in New York, when his dad played for the Islanders. That would actually make it a record 11 American first-rounders on a nice night for American hockey, which began when Patrick Kane and James vanRiemsdyk were chosen first and second overall.
more… (plus more odds and ends from day 1)
From Mike Zeisberger at the Toronto Sun,
For the record, Andrew Raycroft did not spend yesterday afternoon chucking blue-and-white darts at a photo of Vesa Toskala.
Nor did he retreat into the woods near his native Belleville and start burning the official flag of Finland, the country Toskala calls home.
On the day the Maple Leafs made a candid statement about the state of their goaltending situation by acquiring Toskala from the San Jose Sharks, most observers figured Raycroft would be oozing with bitterness.
But Raycroft wasn’t about to give his critics the satisfaction of hearing him whine. That wasn’t about to happen.
From Michael Russo at the Post-Bulletin,
With moderately priced, top two-line centers at a premium this summer and the Wild in the market for one, don’t be surprised if the team investigates signing the enigmatic Alexei Yashin when free agency begins July 1.
Yashin, who has alternated between superstar and sleepwalker throughout his 11-year NHL career, had the final four years of his contract bought out by the New York Islanders this month.
The buyout was finalized this week, meaning teams are free to talk to his representatives but can’t sign him until July 1.
Although the Wild has not yet called his agent, the Wild likely would be interested in Yashin if it could sign him to a one-year deal in the $2 million range.
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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