Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Poile, the Nashville Predators veteran general manager, was all prepared to talk to the Leafs about a senior position that may have included becoming general manager, when his owner, Craig Leipold, revoked the permission.
• So Scotty Bowman has finally admitted he turned down the Maple Leafs after first lying about it. What he hasn’t admitted is he had a general manager (or assistant) ready to take over. He had Igor Larionov ready to become coach, Craig Ramsay ready to assist him, and he had spoken to other well-known NHL names about taking front office positions with the team.
more hockey talk scattered about…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Had Lowe - whose team is questionable in nets - gone after Lundqvist at $9 million, the Rangers would not have been able to sign Brendan Shanahan. They might have found themselves forced to walk away from Sean Avery’s salary arbitration. They might have been required to move Petr Prucha at $1.6 million.
But Lowe didn’t go after the best player on the market and he didn’t go after the most cap-vulnerable franchise in the NHL. He didn’t do that because of his longtime friendship with Glen Sather, that’s why he didn’t do it, and everyone knows it. His decision to attempt to raid Buffalo for a winger rather than the Rangers for a franchise goaltender had nothing to do with winning and nothing to do with business and everything to do with personal.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
It’s clear after barely three weeks on the job that general manager Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock are on the same page, firm in their belief that the Blue Jackets—with so many young, unproven NHL players on their roster—must now swallow the bitter medicine that comes with young players getting on-the-job experience in the big leagues.
“We’re building,” Howson said earlier this week. “We have to take those steps it takes to build that championship team. This team will be part of that process.”
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
As Burke chills in his deck chair, his mind will be rocking with his ship as he tries to figure how to keep Niedermayer around.
There is no room for a Roger Clemens clause in this sport that lets a celebrity player drop in whenever he wishes, not that Niedermayer would play by those rules anyway.
“What was the quote about Alexander The Great?” Burke said. “He wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. I think that’s part of what’s affecting Scotty as he tries to make this decision.”
It will take some creativity, although one can be assured that the Ducks will give their fans every opportunity to give Niedermayer a hearty say-it-ain’t-so….
Burke is concerned that, after five years or so, teams can buy out the unexpired years. At that point only 75 percent of the bought-out time counts against the salary cap. And how many of those deals are pre-arranged?
“I’m not saying it’s happening with these teams,” Burke said, “but maybe we should have a limit on years in the next agreement.
Comrie had offers from Buffalo and Los Angeles, and the Senators were hoping to clear salary to keep him. But despite Smyth’s departure, the more Comrie talked to the Islanders, the more he liked what he heard.
“It’s an opportunity to perhaps be heavily relied on in an environment where a lot of people will count the Islanders out,” said Comrie’s agent, Rich Winter. “This kid has scored 20 or more goals [four times] and on two occasions he’s scored 30 goals. For some reason, people are still saying, ‘He’s a bit small; I don’t know if he can be our go-to guy.’ This is a unique opportunity for the Islanders’ objectives and Mike’s to marry. I believe Mike will establish himself as a No. 1 center…
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
The Flyers have a new look that’s come about through some key summer moves aimed at transforming the worst team in the NHL into a playoff contender next season.
The most miserable 82 regular-season games in the franchise’s 40-year history could be followed by the Flyers getting into the 16-team Stanley Cup tournament next spring.
Philly may have some tough stretches next season, but with the additions general manager Paul Holmgren has made the team should be really competitive in most games.
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
As of this posting, it doesn’t appear the Islanders are going to sign anyone today. Along with Souray, Snow is considering a list that includes Detroit’s oft-injured Danny Markov, Atlanta’s Andy Sutton, Nashville’s Vitaly Vishnevski, Colorado’s Ossi Vaananen and likely a few others. Former Isle Bryan Berard might be a consideration, though he played only 11 games last season and 113 over the past three years because of injuries.
The possibility of trading for Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski has been junked because of his no-trade clause, but a trade for former Islander Bryan McCabe can’t be ruled out even though he has four years worth $28.75 million remaining on his deal.
from the AP via the Santa Barbara News,
‘I want to put in a good first impression,’’ Turris said after the 90-minute skate Saturday at the team’s practice facility. ‘‘I’m working my hardest.’‘
Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky already liked Turris, a 17-year-old player from New Westminster, British Columbia. Gretzky liked him even more in a gray Coyotes practice sweater, with Turris flashing the breathtaking speed that helped make him the draft’s top-ranked North American skater.
‘‘I’m a big fan of his,’’ Gretzky said. ‘‘I think he just plays the game the way the game should be played. He plays with tremendous vision and he’s still only 17 years old. He’s got a lot of great years ahead of him and he just has a tremendous attitude, as do all of the kids we have here….
Turris probably won’t be in Phoenix for a while. He reiterated his decision to play for the University of Wisconsin next season, a move the Coyotes have endorsed. After that, Turris is hoping he won’t have to wait long to make his NHL debut.
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
“We think he’s a perfect addition to our team,” Holland said. “He’s been a premier defenseman in the League for a number of years. He can play in every situation—power play, penalty kill, against the other teams’ best players.
“With his mobility and puckhandling skills, he is a perfect fit for our style of play. We wanted three puck-moving defensemen—and now with Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian and Niklas Kronvall we have that.”
A couple years ago, another player told me; “Forget the size. Rafalski can control a game with his skating, shooting and his smarts.”
The player was Mario Lemieux. Can’t get better than that kind of compliment, can you?
more on Rafalski and the Central Division…
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
“I’ve never seen this kind of reaction,” she continued. “Winkler is known to be sort of calm. But this has taken it to a new dimension.
“I don’t think it’s just limited to town. I’m getting phone calls from all over: Elkhorn, Beausejour, Carman, Morden — every town on the map. It’s become a southern Manitoba type of event.”
Even people from Grand Forks, N.D., and a few other little places in the States want to get in on the action, which gets underway at 1:30 this afternoon in the Winkler Arena.
“Doors open at 1 p.m.,” Penner said. “We expect lineups well before 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.
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