Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Globe & Mail,
Officially, the sale of the Nashville Predators to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie won’t be put to a vote at tomorrow’s National Hockey League board of governors meeting in New York.
Unofficially, it will be the hot topic of the day.
What to do with Balsillie and his bid to buy the Predators has become the NHL’s front-and-centre issue. The co-chief executive officer of BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion Inc. has agreed to pay close to $238-million (all currency U.S.) for a team that is losing money.
As a backup plan, or arguably his true plan, Balsillie is preparing a move to Hamilton, where he is already taking deposits on season tickets.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
And with the first round of the draft set to go in prime time on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, rumors are thick that this draft weekend will see plenty of wheeling and dealing (the following six rounds take place beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. ET).
With a draft that is chock-a-block in offensive possibility, but short in star quality, at least impact star quality like Sidney Crosby, Erik Johnson, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Jack Johnson (the gems of recent drafts), the potential for all kinds of wacky things is great.
“It’s going to be fascinating come Friday night,” predicted St. Louis Blues president and former player and broadcaster John Davidson in an interview this week. “There are going to be some creative things happening. I just have a sense of that.”
The Gov. of Michigan wants to institute a 6% luxury tax on ticket sales.
Christy at Behind the Jersey has all the details…
Not sure how I feel about this yet- The tax would require the owner to pay the tax on every ticket sold. Eventually, the fans would be paying for it, or will they?
from Kevin Paul Dupont at the Boston Globe,
Mike Milbury, whose name surfaced over the weekend as a candidate for the vacant Bruins coaching position, learned today he will not be the choice to succeed Dave Lewis, who was fired Friday.
According to a long-time league acquaintance of Milbury’s, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the 55-year-old former defenseman was told by a Bruins’ front-office official today the club had made its choice for the job and that Milbury was not the choice….
With Milbury out of the equation, that leaves only three possibilities, and rumors around the league late in the afternoon had it that Julien was the overwhelming choice to succeed Lewis.
added 8:49pm, from the Boston Bruins,
Chiarelli indicated that he had contacted all four coaching candidates and that his intent was to have his new coach in place very soon—possibly even by this weekend.
“I’ve spoken to them,” said the GM. “Some (of those discussions) have been interviews, some haven’t.
“But…I’ve spoken to them at length,” he said.
And everyone understands the clock is ticking.
“I guess in an ideal world (it would happen) before the draft,” said Chiarelli. “In a realistic world, it may not happen before the draft.”...
The Bruins Boss was asked if he might be after candidates that might also be in the sights of the Ottawa Senators, who replaced GM John Muckler with Bryan Murray, today.
“Sure,” said Chiarelli, a-matter-of-factly. “That could be the case.
added 9:33pm, via TSN,
The Boston Bruins have found their man to guide the club in 2007-08.
TSN has confirmed an online report that the Bruins have hired Claude Julien to be their next head coach, with an official announcement expected as early as Tuesday.
from the Star Tribune,
Brett Hull is leaving NBC after only one season as an NHL studio analyst.
An NBC spokesperson confirmed the former NHL star has decided to depart the network after working with host Bill Clement and analyst Ray Ferraro. Hull is expected to take on an increased front-office role with the Dallas Stars. He has been serving as a special assistant to Stars’ President Jim Lites since April 2006….
NBC executives will now begin to explore their options for replacing Hull. One potential scenario could see NBC pursue Jeremy Roenick, who could retire after spending 18 seasons in the NHL. Roenick, like Hull, always has been known for speaking his mind.
From the Files of the Strange & Unusual... a story appeared on Hokej.sk earlier today (thanks to David at TIB for dropping me a note about it), but it took me a while to get it translated from Slovakian. Fortunately, Roman of eNHL.cz took pity on me and provided this synopsis of the story, in English:
There was a big fight in the town-square in Trencin, Slovakia. The group of about ten neo-Nazi skinheads charged 39-yrs-old Peter S., who finished with bruised neck and stab wound in his back. It happened in the night from Friday to Saturday. The charged man was a friend of Branko Radivojevic and Marcel Hossa.
When Radivojevic noticed what was going on in the square he ran to help his friend and the group of ten young skinheads ran away. He found his friend lying on the ground and with a piece of knife in his back. Radivojevic and Marcel Hossa took him to the hospital reportedly. Radivojevic told to the media he didnt want do talk about the incident till the end of police investigation.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“There’s certainly enough talk going,” confirmed Carolina Hurricanes’ general manager Jimmy Rutherford. “I would suspect there’ll be deals at the draft – and teams are sitting there, with extra picks because of trades they’d made at the deadline, so that also leads to the possibility of more moves.”
Tom Thompson, the Minnesota Wild’s assistant general manager, also zeroed in on the teams with extra picks, saying: “I can never recall a year when six days before the draft, so many teams had multiple picks in the first round, including two teams with three picks each.”...
Things are starting to roll and after all those years when draft-day moves were limited and without much impact, there is only one thing left to say.
Isn’t it great?
An assault charge against a National Hockey League player has been stayed in a Regina courtroom.
Prosecutor James Fitzgerald says the Crown has decided not to move forward with the case against Derek Boogaard, 24, of the Minnesota Wild. Boogaard was charged with assault causing bodily harm after an alleged fight at a Regina nightclub last August.
Post Updated June 21, 2007 - *sticky* at top through the Draft
*regular live updates will continue below this post
The draft is set of June 22-23 in Columbus as this year’s crop of talent hits the stage.
Below are links to check out for everything from video to draft guides, with tons of in-depth analysis of this year’s prospects. There’s a lot of great media out there, and more will be added to this post as it becomes available. Take some time to check it out.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
It’ll soon become known as the Scott Hartnell theory.
When NHL teams are faced with the decision of keeping an 18-year-old draftee on the roster or send him back to the development ranks, they’ll consider what happened regarding Hartnell.
Hartnell cracked the Nashville lineup as an 18-year-old rookie in 2000-01 even though he had two more seasons of junior eligibility remaining with the Western League’s Prince Albert Raiders.
He had just two goals and 16 points in 75 games that season, but has since evolved into a top-six forward who, according to TSN, signed a six-year, $25.2-million contract with the Flyers Monday.
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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