Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Dallas Morning News,
For Stars fans concerned by the team’s inability to land a scoring forward in the early days of NHL free agency, the message from team president Jim Lites is clear:
“We’re not dumb, we’re not cheap and we’ve not fallen asleep,” he said this week.
The Stars planned to spend $4 million to land an impact scorer when free agency began last week. Their goal remains the same, even if the timetable and method might have changed. Now, any major acquisition will come from a trade and is likely to happen months from now.
“Are we likely to make a trade? Yes, but not in the next week,” Lites said, emphasizing the Stars intend to be patient. “Are we preparing to do something? Absolutely. But we’re not going to do anything stupid.”
from the Tennessean,
The Predators can stay in Nashville by averaging 14,000 in paid attendance this season, but a leader of a local group bidding for the team said the average needs to be 16,000 for owners to break even.
The Predators have never averaged 16,000 — their highest average was 15,364 in 1999-2000 — and with about three months to go until the 2007-08 season begins, they have about 7,000 season-ticket holders. That’s about where they were at this time last year, the team said.
from the Courier-Post,
With Scott Hartnell, Jason Smith, Derian Hatcher and Ben Eager, who led the NHL in penalty minutes last season with 233, the Flyers have players willing to fight. But they lack a true heavyweight who can take on Pittsburgh’s Georges Laraque, the Rangers’ Colton Orr and Buffalo’s Andrew Peters.
Riley Cote just might be that heavyweight.
Cote played most of last season with the Phantoms, where injuries limited him to one goal and 125 penalty minutes in just 37 games. He was scoreless and had 11 penalty minutes in eight games with the Flyers.
“I’m rooting for him,” Holmgren said. “The last three years all he’s done is try to get better. He’s hired his own skills coach, his own skating coach and now he’s taking karate lessons to work on his balance. He’s trying his (behind) off to be a better player. Can he do that role? Yeah, why not?”
from Ted Leonsis at WashingtonCaps.com,
Thanks to a heads up from George McPhee, I knew who we would be pursuing in free agency before I left for China. It was great to hear that three of those names will be joining us in the fall.
Free agency is a crazy time, as I’m sure many of you found while hitting “refresh” on your favorite hockey website or blog. I know it seemed frantic to me, perhaps even more so since I was so far away. What’s impressive to me is that amid that chaos, George and his team stuck to their plan, got what they felt we needed and did it all with contracts that will not hurt us competitively or financially down the road.
more from the Caps owner…
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The 2007-08 National Hockey League schedule will be unveiled this afternoon, and because of its unbalanced setup, the Canadian teams of the Northwest Division will not play the three Canadian teams of the Northeast Division next season.
Therefore, the CBC will broadcast four games for its popular Hockey Day in Canada on Feb. 9, beginning with the Detroit Red Wings visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs and ending with Ryan Smyth and the Colorado Avalanche in Vancouver to play the Canucks. In the other matches, the Ottawa Senators will host the Montreal Canadiens, and the Edmonton Oilers will travel south to play the Calgary Flames.
more on the schedule & it looks like Pens/Sabres for the possible outdoor game…
from the Winnipeg Free Press,
When the Pittsburgh Penguins signed $id the Kid yesterday to a five-year, US$43-million contract extension, the ongoing evolution of the NHL’s economic panorama continued unabated.
My, what a curious animal, the NHL.
After all, it was only a few years ago that the Penguins had a payroll of $23.4 million for the entire team. Now they’re going to shortly be shelling out $9 million per year to Crosby alone. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers, not so long ago the league’s poor sister, were last week throwing $50 million at Buffalo sniper Thomas Vanek, although to no avail, as the Sabres matched the offer to the restricted free agent.
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
Asked if he would have been so quick to sign that new three-year contract if he’d known what was coming, Ruff said, “Hindsight is 20-20, but it’s something that I’d rather not even comment on.”
Surely, Ruff knew he would get that question. He had nearly a week to prepare himself. He could have given the easy, diplomatic answer and said he signed his deal because he loves the team and the city and there’s no place he’d rather be, regardless of the roster.
Ruff did say some of the right things. He said the Sabres had overcome adversity before and would do so again. But he couldn’t lie. He could not say that, given the recent chain of events, he wouldn’t have at least considered another NHL coaching job.
from USA TODAY,
NBC wants to put a cameraman in skates on the ice during NHL shootouts.
read on for some “behind the glass” talk but the article covers TV networks looking for more access when covering sporting events…
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post on the negotiations with Lindqvist, Avery and Hossa,
Assuming a top-end settlement for each of the three players, the Rangers would be at almost $50 million for 23 projected roster spots. That could change in camp, of course, but at this point - even with an expanded summer cap that’s largely eaten by Darius Kasparaitis’ contract - the Rangers will have little room with which to maneuver without shedding a significant contract.
more on this topic and Souray siging for one year?
If you are a hockey fan, I suggest you listen to the interview Bob McCown and Jim Kelley did with Ralph Mellanby yesterday evening on The Fan590 in Toronto.
Ralph is the former executive producer of HNIC and speaks out on why Sidney Crosby should not be the captain of the Pens, why Hamilton will never get an NHL team, the “old boys” network, Jim Balsillie and a few other topics.
You may wat to start around the 2 minute mark unless you want to hear about the advantages of HDTV.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org