Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Climer of the Tennessean,
It is a slap back to reality. With the franchise up for sale, owner Craig Leipold is playing it close to the vest and tight to the wallet.
All of which means the Predators are back in their comfort zone. This franchise was born as an expansion team with a roster of no-names. Many of its best days came as an underdog overachiever. This was The Little Team That Could.
Perhaps it is the team’s birthright. Some organizations are more comfortable at higher altitudes and with loftier salaries. Not the Preds. They seem best suited to squeezing the most out of every dollar.
from Arace on hockey at the Columbus Dispatch,
You don’t have to be Toe Blake to figure this out, but here’s what I’ve got for the forward lines:
Rick Nash-Sergei Fedorov-David Vyborny.
Fredrik Modin-Jiri Novotny-Nikolai Zherdev.
Jason Chimera-Alexander Svitov-Dan Fritsche
Jody Shelley-Manny Malhotra-Gilbert Brule
There he is, the Blue Jackets’ huge free-agent splash, ladies and gentlemen . . . Jiri Novotny. Yowza.
New GM Scott Howson has been charged with maintaining a budget and he’s playing Moneyball, looking for complimentary players he thinks will have a chance to flourish. In a way, it’s refreshing.
If last year is any indication, many deals were announced on July 4th.
from Allen Wilson of the Buffalo News,
Suddenly, that dream has become a nightmare. You are mad. You want to storm the Sabres’ offices and voice your disapproval. I hear some of you are planning to boycott games next year. I’ll believe that when I see it.
You might not want anything to do with the Sabres right now, but you’ll come back to them. You always do. Come October, you will flock to HSBC Arena in droves. You’ll go back to wearing your Sabres jerseys and putting those Sabres flags on your cars.
There are no fans quite like Buffalo fans. Few have experienced the pain and disappointment that you have, given the legacy of postseason failures by your beloved sports teams.
from the Pioneer Press,
“I think we have one more (move) we’re looking at, and we’ll see how it plays out,” general manager Doug Risebrough said, “but for the most part we’re pretty much done.”
The Wild are looking into signing veteran defenseman Sean Hill, but complications surrounding his 20-game suspension have made it a slow process. Hill tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance late last season and still has to sit out 19 games.
An announcement could come today, but in either case, don’t expect a major move in what has been a relatively quiet offseason for the Wild, whose biggest move was to trade goalie Manny Fernandez to Boston for a prospect and a fourth-round draft pick.
more on the Wild…
added 8:11pm, from the Star Tribune,
The contract is stuck in a holding pattern, Wild assistant GM Tom Lynn said Wednesday, because the team is awaiting answers to a number of questions it has posed to the league office regarding the 19 games Hill has left to serve on his 20-game suspension for becoming the first NHL player to violate the league’s drug policy.
“This might take a while,” Lynn said. “It’s a holiday [Wednesday], and I don’t know how long it’ll take to get answers from a league that doesn’t want to prejudge things. So it makes it hard for us to make a decision.
from Tim Calishaw of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars apparently were getting more than a few calls from disgruntled fans, so they posted a story on their Web site titled “Stars Remain Prudent.”
Not exactly sure that’s the kind of headline that is going to have Web surfers plunging onto the next page to order tickets, which, for the most part, are not available to the more “prudent” spending sports fan.
“I know it’s not the sexiest approach,” general manager Doug Armstrong said Tuesday. “We feel like the smartest thing is to sign our players. When we re-signed Brenden Morrow and Jere Lehtinen last fall, that sort of made the bed that we are lying in.”
from the Denver Post,
Joe Sakic does not want the added position of “recruiter” to his official one of center with the Avalanche. The way the Avs captain sees it, he didn’t have to do much to help sell Ryan Smyth and Scott Hannan on the benefits of joining the team.
“There’s not much (need) when it comes to Colorado,” Sakic said from his offseason home in British Columbia. “It’s a great place to play, and I don’t think I had to tell them too much.”...
“I love our chances right away now,” Sakic said. “Both guys are really good players. I think everybody can’t wait to get training camp started.”
from Terry Jones at the Edmonton Sun,
Can you sue to get a free agent hockey player you believe you already had acquired?
Is that what the Edmonton Oilers plan to do to get Michael Nylander, er, back? Will NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman become involved to force the “return” of Nylander to the team?
Would the Oilers really want Nylander here after this? Would the Washington Capitals be forced to provide player compensation to Edmonton? Was the agent negotiating with the Oilers and the player with the Capitals?
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Meanwhile, the next time the NHL and the NHLPA go to the mattresses, the board of governors would do well to instruct Gary Bettman to forget the salary cap and cap the calendar instead. Fifteen years for Rick DiPietro, eight years for Briere, seven years for Gomez - it’s absurd.
Go back to the NHL record books seven or eight years ago and look at the number of players who were stars then, but are half-forgotten now.
Like to have Pavel Bure, anyone? Alexander Mogilny? Donald Audette? Jeremy Roenick? Michael Peca? Owen Nolan? Jose Theodore?
Put it this way: Signing free agents is a crapshoot and the longer the deal, the more crap in the chute.
much more... and note to Jack, there is hockey talk in the States, you just have to know where to find it.
from the LA Times,
But that didn’t stop Schneider, a fine defenseman in his own right, from taking his own stab at persuading Scott Niedermayer to put off retirement for another run at the Stanley Cup.
“I think if Scotty’s there, we’re a better team,” Schneider said after signing a two-year, $11.25-million deal Sunday. “If he’s not there, then it’s going be a bigger role for me to fill.
“I hope he decides not to retire. If he does, more power to him. Either way, I’m just excited about the opportunity and the possibilities. I think we have a tremendous chance to defend the Stanley Cup.”
read on (reg. req.)
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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