Kukla's Korner Hockey
I left Columbus about 7:30am this morning, and now typing from my desktop at the Kompound.
Just a quick update now, the salary cap talk last night was it should be right around $50.5M.
Some of the GMs are hoping for a home team discount to sign some of their own UFAs.
The NHL Draft was like a huge conference. Numerous break out sessions for different team departments. People gathered here and their, chatting in private and I must have seen Lou Lamoriello in about five of those different chats.
More on my experience at the Draft in a bit.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
The NHL reported that there were 10 Americans drafted in the first round, tying a record set in 2006, but Brandon Sutter - who is listed as having been born in Red Deer, Alberta, said in his interview scrum that he was actually born in New York, when his dad played for the Islanders. That would actually make it a record 11 American first-rounders on a nice night for American hockey, which began when Patrick Kane and James vanRiemsdyk were chosen first and second overall.
more… (plus more odds and ends from day 1)
From Mike Zeisberger at the Toronto Sun,
For the record, Andrew Raycroft did not spend yesterday afternoon chucking blue-and-white darts at a photo of Vesa Toskala.
Nor did he retreat into the woods near his native Belleville and start burning the official flag of Finland, the country Toskala calls home.
On the day the Maple Leafs made a candid statement about the state of their goaltending situation by acquiring Toskala from the San Jose Sharks, most observers figured Raycroft would be oozing with bitterness.
But Raycroft wasn’t about to give his critics the satisfaction of hearing him whine. That wasn’t about to happen.
From Michael Russo at the Post-Bulletin,
With moderately priced, top two-line centers at a premium this summer and the Wild in the market for one, don’t be surprised if the team investigates signing the enigmatic Alexei Yashin when free agency begins July 1.
Yashin, who has alternated between superstar and sleepwalker throughout his 11-year NHL career, had the final four years of his contract bought out by the New York Islanders this month.
The buyout was finalized this week, meaning teams are free to talk to his representatives but can’t sign him until July 1.
Although the Wild has not yet called his agent, the Wild likely would be interested in Yashin if it could sign him to a one-year deal in the $2 million range.
Draft order below is subject to changes (for instance, Florida just exercised its option to take Tampa’s #47 pick). The 2nd-7th rounds of the Draft start at 10am EDT and can be watched on the NHL Network (Canada) or on NHL.com’s live stream online.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
Saturday’s Draft Order
31. Buffalo (from PHI)
33. Vancouver (from L.A.)
From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
What a difference a year makes.
At last year’s NHL Draft, the Florida Panthers traded franchise goalie Roberto Luongo. On Friday afternoon, hours before the 2007 draft kicked off, the Panthers got another in return.
The Panthers, kings of draft-time blockbuster trades, pulled off another by sending three picks to the Nashville Predators for goalie Tomas Vokoun.
From Patrick Maloney via Slam!,
This weekend marks a decade since Thornton—one of the best hockey players in the world—was drafted first overall by a rebuilding Boston Bruins franchise in search of a saviour. On his bedroom wall back then was the iconic photo of Bobby Orr flying through the air after netting the 1970 Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Bruins.
Things to come, perhaps.
But now, the image may be just a reminder of Thornton’s rough luck in Boston and the team’s inability to reach the heights so many thought possible that June day in 1997.
From Terry Jones at the Edmonton Sun,
Today Lowe expects to land a veteran who he figures will create a bit of a buzz.
“I’m trying to land a bigger one, no question, but this one is a good player,” he said in a telephone interview from Columbus last night.
“I’m learning not to hold my breath, but we’ve actually agreed to it,” he said of the pending deal.
“The thing is, it’s tied to somebody else,” he said of a third team involved.
Lowe worked to the wire trying to pull off a deal to move up in the draft but watched it come undone.
“I wanted to move up,” he said of picking even higher than the sixth where the Oilers chose Gagner.
“We went down to the final minute before the draft started with three teams involved. We were even walking up to the trade desk when one team started not to do it,” he said.
continued… (*Lowe says he’s still got a “couple of deals pending”)
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
A short time after signing the richest contract for a goaltender in the history of the Ducks, Jean-Sebastien Giguere took a moment to wonder how he got there.
This time last year Giguere openly wondered about his future with the Ducks, who had given him his big break seven years ago. A season full of injuries and the challenge from backup Ilya Bryzgalov had Giguere’s name swirling in trade rumors.
From Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,
The Montreal Canadiens opened the National Hockey League draft by selecting two Americans, who are expected to provide “size, skill and grit in the future.”
That’s the word from director of player personnel Trevor Timmins after the Canadiens drafted defenceman Ryan McDonagh with the 12th overall pick and power forward Max Pacioretty at No. 22.
For the second consecutive year, the Canadiens turned to a Minnesota high school for their top pick.
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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