Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance at the Thrashers Blog,
Slava Kozlov and not Keith Tkachuk, is looking like the potential Thrashers free agent who will be drawing the most interest come July 1st (assuming the Thrashers don’t get him locked up in the next couple of weeks, which isn’t out of the question).
The rumors of Kozlov’s return to Detroit continue to circulate, as James Jahnke points out in the Detroit Free Press roundup. The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson says the Florida Panthers are interested in Kozlov, but there are concerns down in South Florida that his asking price might be a little too high. The other Southeast Division team with some cash to spend, the Washington Capitals, might be a Kozlov suitor as well.
from The Maven,
• It says here that the Rangers or Devils would be attractive to Yash, who makes his home in Manhattan with gal-pal Carol Alt. Question is, do either Glen Sather or Lou Lamoriello have any interest in him?
• Thousands of Islanders fans are nervous about the possibility that Ryan Smyth may not opt for Nassau after all.
Not that we want to make them any more anxious but one whisper going the rounds has it that none other than Glen Sather may have Smyth in his fiscal crosshairs!
more on numerous NHL topics…
This morning, Paul had a chance to speak with Las Vegas Wranglers’ co-owner Jonanthan Fleisig about the NHL in Las Vegas. More about Jonathan from the team’s website:
Fleisig, 37, is a New York City native, and is the co-owner of the Las Vegas Wranglers as well as the principal owner and CEO of Flying Puck, LLC (dba Bakersfield Condors). This is Fleisig’s second year in Las Vegas and he is entering his eighth season in Bakersfield. While in the WCHL, Fleisig was a member of the league’s Executive Committee, and actively conducted the assimilation into the ECHL for 2003-04.
Along with his hockey holdings, Fleisig is the sole owner of Flyball, Inc., parent company of his baseball club in the Northeast League. He also sits on the Northeast League Board of Directors during this, his eighth season of ownership in the baseball world.
Jonathan is personally involved with many national charities. The Wranglers plan to mirror that charitable commitment, and his belief that minor league sports provide valuable and responsible assests to the community through involvement in local charitie, schools and civic organizations.
Our thanks to Jonathan for taking the time to share his thoughts with KK readers.
You can download the audio file here, or click on the player below to listen online.
With such noticeable changes to the series last season, the overarching goal for NHL 08 seems to be refining the new-look controls and adding depth to the overall experience. A big part of that refinement will be in improved skating controls, which look to add more variety and depth to how you move your players around the ice.
from Tripp Mickle at SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),
NHL owners rewarded Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly coming out of the lockout, giving each of them a roughly $2 million raise for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, according to the league’s tax return.
Bettman’s salary rose 57 percent from June 2005 to June 2006, topping out at $5.9 million for the first fiscal year following the lockout, which ended in July 2005. The salary includes a $400,000 contribution to his retirement plan.
Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, a member of the NHL’s executive committee, which submitted Bettman’s salary to the board of governors for approval, said the raise was a reward for the commissioner’s work during hockey’s 2004-05 lockout.
“The owners were so happy with the way he handled the labor situation, because it was a bit like herding cats,” Karmanos said.
Daly, who was lead negotiator during the lockout, was rewarded, as well. His promotion from chief legal officer to deputy commissioner came with a 215 percent raise for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006. His total compensation reached $2.78 million last year. That number reflects a $113,126 contribution to his retirement plan.
added 1:34pm, Thanks to the folks at SportsBusiness Journal, the full article can be read here...
from the CBC,
Hockey players in an isolated northern Manitoba community are looking up to NHL players for more than just their hockey skills after learning the big-league players are outfitting them with brand new gear.
Children in Berens River, a fly-in aboriginal community on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, will receive complete sets of new equipment from the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s Goals and Dreams fund.
Until now, the children have been a ragtag group on the ice. Most children don’t have helmets, and not everyone has gloves.
I took part in a Detroit Roundtable Discussion hosted by Behind the Jersey. The discussion revolved around what makes Detroit a great sports city and well known Detroit related bloggers participated in the discussion.
Christy broke it down in five parts so you can begin here to find all the different questions asked of the group.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Two league sources told the Sun yesterday they believe the Columbus Blue Jackets may seek permission to speak with Murray about the club’s vacant GM’s job.
“If the Senators don’t sign Bryan Murray, then he’s going to have options if he doesn’t mind leaving the city,” said an NHL executive yesterday.
The Jackets were poised to hire Anaheim assistant GM Bob Murray last week, but sources say he pulled out of the running when he realized he wasn’t going to have full say with coach Ken Hitchcock already under contract.
from the Tennessean,
But one item that needs to be completed before the Board of Governors would even consider Balsillie’s bid is a formal application for sale of the Predators.
As of late last week, that item — which includes a purchase agreement — had not been submitted to the league. It’s expected to be completed in the near future.
“The only significance (of it not yet being completed) is that it affects timing of the approval process,’’ NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said last week via e-mail.
Until Balsillie’s bid is approved, current owner Craig Leipold is still the man pulling the trigger on salary issues, which raises interesting questions.
Should Leipold spend liberally to try to re-sign some of his current free agents?
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
Top defensemen always draw a crowd.
Sheldon Souray, Scott Hannan, Brad Stuart and Kimmo Timonen are prime unrestricted free agent targets for a lot of NHL teams.
But, scratch below the surface and you’ll find two prominent blueliners who despite their contract status might be considered available, to the right team.
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