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The Small Market Disadvantage

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

In fact, big-market teams do have a distinct edge. Teams from larger (see: wealthy) markets, such as Philadelphia and New York, can offer longterm deals loaded with more money up front because they can afford to buy out players toward the end of the contract. The structure of the deals helps them circumvent the salary cap while still drawing the better players.
Understand, the big-market advantage wasn’t the reason the Sabres lost Drury and Briere. They could have kept both for less money over fewer years than the co-captains eventually received as unrestricted free agents. It wasn’t until Drury and Briere hit the open market that New York and Philly could impose their leverage.

read on

added 8:41am, from the New York Times,

But the small-market teams appear to be struggling again. Buffalo lost Drury and Brière without seeming to make a serious move to keep either one. Edmonton struggled to lure players — including Rangers center Michael Nylander, who agreed to a contract with the Oilers, then backed out to go to Washington — until it finally landed Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray last week for five years and $27 million.
The small-market teams have the same amount of money to spend as teams like the Rangers, although some would rather stay closer to the cap’s minimum figure ($34 million next season) than to the top.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

John Ferguson, Sr. Dies

imageFrom TSN,

John Ferguson Sr. has passed away at the age of 68.
The five-time Stanley cup winner succumbed to his second bout with cancer on Saturday at his home in Windsor, Ontario.
‘‘On behalf of my entire family, I’d like to thank the many friends, professional colleagues, medical personnel, and hockey fans who have supported us through this difficult time. Your expressions of sympathy have helped bring comfort to us. Your kind words have helped strengthen us.’’ John Ferguson Jr. said in a statement.

Ferguson’s son, John Ferguson Jr., is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

more…

*Note: a profile of John Ferguson, Sr. can be found on Legends of Hockey

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Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Erik Johnson Gets The Message From Murray

from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues coach Andy Murray had a meeting with Johnson on Friday at the Blues’ developmental camp. Murray wants to make sure Johnson realizes the in-house expectations for the University of Minnesota’s early defector are the same as they are for all the newcomers in camp, nothing more and nothing less.
“What I wanted to make him aware of ... I saw it in a newspaper where he was asked if he felt he would be on the power play in St. Louis, and this and that,” Murray explained. “And he said, ‘I have to make sure first of all that I’m good in practice. I know coach Murray is a guy that wants commitment and work ethic. I’ve got to go in there first and show them I belong on the team.’
“I brought him in and talked about that and thanked him for the position he’s taken, because, and I told him, ‘You’ve been around here the last week and I guess you’ve come to understand that’s exactly the way I’m going to treat you.’”

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Filed in: St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Cap Is Working- Just Ask The Pens

from Mike Zappone at KDKA in Pittsburgh,

It’s laughable when I hear people around the league complaining every time a player signs a large contract. The instant knee-jerk response is that the lockout didn’t work. Those naysayers can’t be more wrong. Players will always jump from team to team, and there will always be teams overpaying for players. That’s the nature of free agency. Why don’t the same people complain when the same signings happen in the salary capped NFL?
The NHL’s cap system is actually more foolproof than the NFL’s. Teams can’t play around with bonus money to soften the cap hit or hide dollars like they do in the NFL. The NHL’s system counts every part of the contract towards the cap numbers.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hot Dogs & The Cup

frm Larry Brown Sports,

We all know how the Stanley Cup goes to each player of the Cup-winning team for a day. Well, the Ducks won it, and low-and-behold, it appeared on the front page of the LA Times on Thursday. Chilling at Pink’s Hot Dog in Hollywood. How tight is that?

continued... and to follow the travels of the Cup this summer, don’t forget to check out NHL Connect - Stanley Cup...

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Looking At Who’s Left

from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,

Two weeks into what has been a busy free agency period for the NHL, the big-ticket items are basically gone, although lots of shopping remains to be done.
Salary cap room is the biggest issue for teams still looking to fill holes, but for those with the space, there are some attractive names remaining. Here’s a look at some of them:
Brent Sopel, D: The Canucks have stockpiled defensemen, which makes Sopel, who finished the season in Vancouver—where he began his career in 1998—expendable. Sopel is prone to mistakes in his own end, but has a great shot from the point and can play a physical type of game. He should be a top-four defenseman on most teams, and he made $2.4 million last season.

read on for more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Just Say No

from the CBC,

Canada’s so-called Prince of Pot said he’s received a legal notice from the CBC telling him to stop promoting a hockey game screening event as Hockey Night in Vansterdam.
The CBC alleged Marc Emery has violated its trademarks….
Emery had purchased a 50-inch (125-cm) plasma-screen TV and decided to start showing playoff hockey games at the B.C. Marijuana party’s Vapour Lounge earlier this year.
The reason for the move, said Emery, was that there are plenty of places in Vancouver to have a beer and watch a game but nowhere to smoke pot and enjoy some sports viewing.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sinden Another Senior Consultant Option

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It’s not clear whether the Maple Leafs will ever get around to hiring somebody to fill the role of “senior consultant” to the club’s hockey department.
But they’re sure kicking the tires of a veritable Who’s Who of the sport.
In fact, you can now add long-time Boston Bruins executive Harry Sinden to the list of possible candidates for the job that officially doesn’t yet exist….
So far, it’s believed the contact between the Leafs and Sinden has been limited to so-called “backchannel” discussions, which likely means friends of Sinden’s are talking to people with influence at the Leaf board of directors, which in the bizarre Leaf world could mean anyone from Larry Tanenbaum to Tie Domi. Sinden’s assistant with Team Canada ‘72 was, of course, John Ferguson Sr., whose son is now GM of the Leafs.

read on

Filed in: Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Art Of Decking An Opponent

from the Pioneer Press,

Thursday night, about two dozen players ages 12-18 paid $50 apiece to learn from the Boogeyman and his protégé, Aaron, his youngest brother and a former Wild prospect now under contract to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The kids learned how to leverage their strength when decking an opponent, protect themselves against punches from various angles and condition their bodies for the physical play that is the cause of, and solution to, the NHL’s identity crisis.
The second “Derek Boogaard Fighting Camp,” which includes T-shirts splotched with blood-red dye, was staged inside a stuffy miniature rink with boards, glass and plastic ice.

read on

added 12:07pm, from Russo’s Rants,

Trevor Lakness, who runs Puckmasters and first had the idea for the Boogaard’s to run the camp, has received several complaints from parents about the Boogaard’s teaching children how to fight.
The Drew Remenda Show on CJME has also received calls from angry parents referring to it as a “Goon School.”
Boogaard, however, says he’s not trying to teach kids how to fight or “hurt people.” He feels fighting is inevitable in hockey and he’s trying to teach these children how to defend themselves and not to get hurt.

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canes Still Looking For A Center

from the News & Observer,

The New York Rangers had been trying to trade Cullen to clear salary-cap room, ostensibly to sign Souray. But when the free-agent defenseman signed a five-year, $27 million deal with the Oilers on Thursday, the Rangers’ cap problems became considerably less pressing.
Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, who has declined to comment about any potential Cullen trade, said Friday he continues to pursue a third-line center without success.

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Filed in: Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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