Kukla's Korner Hockey
National Hockey League players have the option to reopen the current labor deal with owners a year early, but likely will not make a final decision until the middle of next season, the players’ union chief said on Friday.
Three years since NHL teams imposed a salary cap after a bitter labor dispute wiped out the entire 2004-2005 season, the National Hockey League Players Association is weighing the merits and challenges of reopening the deal at the end of next season, NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly told Reuters.
“We’re just beginning to have that dialogue with the players,” he said at the Sports Lawyers Association’s annual conference in San Francisco. “I don’t think anyone has a tremendous appetite for serious labor negotiations unless there’s a good, solid business reason for it.”
From PJ Swenson at Sharkspage,
Former Los Angeles Kings coach and current ESPN analyst Barry Melrose said in a short telephone interview today that he is still interested in a head coaching position. “Once you are a head coach, you are always a coach” Melrose said. He believes the position in San Jose is the most desirable opportunity on the market because in his opinion the Sharks could compete for a Stanley Cup next season.
Asked about the feelings of disappointment by players and staff after a second round exit to Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals, Melrose said, “They should feel disappointed, they should still be playing”.
General manager Jim Rutherford said Friday that the team would retain the coach who in 2006 led the Hurricanes to their only Stanley Cup. Speculation swirled for the past month about Laviolette’s future after Carolina missed the playoffs in both seasons after its championship run.
From Michael Russo, Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
Funny, last year when I wrote at the Draft that the Wild was going to pursue Alexei Yashin, people didn’t believe me even though it was true. Now it’s being reported the Wild has interest in Yashin and people believe it when it’s not true.
I’ve been told as of now Yashin’s name has not come up within Wild offices and it has not had conversations with Yashin’s agent, Mark Gandler, as has been reported.
Here’s the deal: the Wild had genuine interest in Yashin last summer when it was reported he’d be willing to sign for little money. The Wild made an offer, and Yashin responded by asking for multiple millions of dollars, according to people in the know.
That left a sour taste in the Wild’s mouth, and as of now, it has no interest in revisiting him despite the strong season he had in Russia. That could change, of course, but this is what I’m being led to believe now.
more on the off-season in Minnesota
More talk from the coaches today, this time from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Michel Therrien. Here’s the transcript.
Q. I was wondering if you could assess Evgeni Malkin’s play the last three games of this series? What have you seen in him the last three games?
COACH THERRIEN: Yeah, you know what, he hasn’t been productive like he was in the past. But he’s going to have to find a win next game to make sure he’s going to be productive like he used to be as soon as the playoffs start.
Some questions for Philadelphia Flyers coach John Stevens today.
Q. Can you talk about what Kimmo will mean not just on the ice, but off the ice in the room if he does come back and play on Sunday?
COACH STEVENS: Well, he’s a huge part of our team. I mean, through this year he’s progressed and in the playoffs he’s really taken his game to another level. I think just his presence around our team all year, he’s got deep respect by all his teammates. He just has composure all the time. I think that’s infectious on our team.
A downtown bar popular with Detroit Red Wings fans is installing bulletproof glass after vandals attacked the establishment Thursday night along with two other hot spots.
“It’s no longer random acts, now it’s senseless acts of violence,” said Gary Kohsman, manager of Cobo Joes. Its front windows were shattered Thursday night after closing time. Kohsman said a bulletproof door was recently installed because the bar has been vandalized so many times in the past two months.
The vandalism spree on Thursday also included Bookies Tavern and Cheli’s Chili, owned by Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
While the Philadelphia Flyers received encouraging news regarding their best defenceman, Kimmo Timonen, the situation regarding their second-best defenceman, Braydon Coburn, became a little more clouded on Friday.
Timonen, who has not played in the Flyers’ NHL playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, said on Friday that he is hopeful he can play on Sunday in the fifth game of the Eastern Conference final. He has a blood clot in his ankle as a result of blocking a shot in the previous round of the playoffs….
The swelling has gone down in Coburn’s eye and his vision has improved, but it looks like he may be suffering concussion-like symptoms. He became nauseous on the Flyers’ flight home from Pittsburgh after Game 2 and those symptoms may be lingering.
Today, some interviews with the Detroit Red Wings. Q&A’s featuring coach Mike Babcock, Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom.
Q. A Franzen update? But can you also talk about what this has been like for him for him to be playing as well as he was and then have to watch.
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Obviously it’s real difficult for him. It’s part of playoff hockey, though. Things like this happen. You know, the bottom line is you just got to overcome it. Every team gets injured.
There is no doubt about it, though: Balsillie wants to own an NHL team.
“I enjoy the pursuit. I do not get frustrated or discouraged. It would be a great thing to do and it may or may not happen. I think the most important thing is that Canada gets another pro hockey team, with or without me. I think the most important thing is to have one or two new markets in Canada.
“There are people who believe I am right and people who believe I am wrong. I have no doubt that Quebec could support a team and I have no doubt that Winnipeg could support a team.”
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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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