Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Canucks Looking For Scoring

from the Vancouver Province,

The Canucks have 14 players under contract for $40.095 million. Regardless of how high the cap ceiling rises—$48-50 million is a safe bet—landing a top-six forward to spark a 23rd-ranked offence and adding a defenceman will be done through trades. Or, perhaps a cautious foray into free agency.
“We’re going to explore all of our options including free agency in the first couple of weeks of July,” said Nonis. “But those players [free agents] just don’t grow on trees and there are a lot of teams looking to add players.
“It’s going to depend on the price and the term you have to sign certain players, but I’ll expect we’ll find a player or two to fill some holes. But when and where, I don’t know.”

read on

Filed in: Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Emery Could Be RFA Target

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Because of his age, Emery might be the only attractive restricted free agent out there. Should Emery be offered a contract worth less than $4.5 million per season, all it would cost the team making the offer is a first-, second- and third-round draft pick in 2008.
If you think that’s a high price to pay, think again.
That’s pretty much what the Toronto Maple Leafs gave the San Jose Sharks to get goalie Vesa Toskala before the first round of the draft on Friday at Nationwide Arena.
Conversations between agents and teams for restricted free agents can begin today, but no offer sheets can be tendered until July 1. There are plenty of teams—including St. Louis, Boston, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay—looking for goaltending help.

more

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Delicate Nashville Situation

But moving into the backyard of the Leafs and Sabres is another can of worms entirely, one that could put the legality of the territorial rights veto to the test.
Consider Gary Bettman’s plight: At the end of the day, no matter what the outcome, one or more of his constituents are going to be mighty, mighty unhappy, and the lawyers are already sharpening their pencils.
Makes sense for him to chip away at Balsillie’s character, to try to stall a deal by procedural means, to encourage him to walk away or, at very least, to prevent a vote, and a veto, at all costs.
A rock and a hard place, indeed.

Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail breaks it all down for us…

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Scouts Take Center Stage

from the Arizona Republic,

Everybody plays a role on draft day, from General Manager Don Maloney to coach Wayne Gretzky to bird-dog scouts.
Maloney, recently hired after 10 years as assistant general manager with the New York Rangers, was clear about the significance of scouting reports as he prepared for his first Phoenix draft.
“Quite frankly, I’m not the most-important guy in this organization right now,” he said. “It’s Keith Gretzky. He’s the most-important guy because he and his staff are running the draft.
“He’s on the cusp, one of the best young evaluators out there right now. That’s not me. It’s people in the scouting community. It’s a very ruthless community. If somebody is not very good, they’ll weave you out and spit you out.”

read on...

Filed in: d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Decision Time Nearing

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Hockey News,

Big decisions lie ahead this week as the start of the July 1 free agency looms. The flood gates open at noon ET next Sunday.
“I expect the first two or three days in July to be pretty wild,” said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
No one will feel the heat more than Sabres GM Darcy Regier. He’s got two of the most sought-after players who are pending unrestricted free agents in Drury and Briere.
“It’s different, I can tell you that,” Regier said of having two of the top free agents in the NHL. “I haven’t experienced this before in 10 years. We’ll see where it goes.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No Miracle For Oilers

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

“It’s the summer. We’re going to do something. Two deals I thought were going to happen.
“Actually three. But for whatever reason they didn’t happen,” said Lowe via cell phone prior to boarding a plane last night.
“I guess you get to a point where people expect too much and you better step back a bit.
“Miracles aren’t going to happen.
“This draft is evidenced by very few trades. It can be a place where guys get together and trades could get done. But any of the deals we were involved with involved picks for next year, not this year.
“We had one team saying they were going to do it for sure but ...

more

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

We Need Answers

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Why would anyone who actually follows the sport continue to pay for season tickets in a building that isn’t sold out when the owner is so ruthlessly savaging the entertainment value for that customer? Some teams do it by mistake, but this is being done simply to cut payroll.
This almost certainly means the Predators will lose revenue this season. If they do, they will have done so intentionally, and every single player in the NHL will suffer when it comes time to calculate both the final escrow payment on this coming season’s paycheque and in the calculation of next season’s cap.
What kind of partnership do you have when your partner takes unilateral action that will further his own financial aims, whatever they might be, by taking money out of your pocket without the least consultation or input from you?

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

He’s Smiling All The Time

from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,

The goaltender who this week signed a four-year, $24 million contract extension to stay home, helped his Ducks to their first Stanley Cup earlier this month. He was the masked man they mobbed when they won and the first-time NHL champion who raised the trophy into a heavy rain of confetti and fans’ love.
He cried that night. But not so much because of hockey.
He cried out of joy for what his life has taught him since the morning of April 3. He celebrated what life has shown him about having supportive friends and teammates, having access to gifted doctors and mostly about being a caring husband and a nurturing first-time father to a child who, at birth, could barely see half his world.

read on

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

A Big Thanks

I hope Alanah doesn’t read this until Sunday evening which means she is catching up on some well deserved sleep.
I left her on her own during the draft and wanted to publicly thank her for the work she did at KK.  Remember, she was dealing with a 3 hour time difference too and I am sure those very early morning posts she made were done in half-daze mode but she came through with flying colors.
Great job “A”!

Filed in: KK Website Business, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Mood At Nationwide

from the Acid Queen who attended the NHL Draft,

So we’re all chillin’ in the corner, when this guy who looked like an exhausted (but tanned!) Tony Soprano comes walking past us. He looks around the corner, and then comes back towards us. “I’m looking for a guy who calls himself Tapeleg.”
Then I see the media cred around his neck.
Tapeleg’s not here yet Eric, but you’re welcome to come grab a seat.
Lemme tell you; for a cat with a Celtic surname, Eric McErlain looks more Italian than I do. Bada-bing!

much more from the AQ and I heard those drunk at the draft guys too AQ!

Filed in: | 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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