Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
Lamoriello has said several times over the last two years that MacLean, 42, will make an excellent head coach “someday”. If that day is not now, then when?
What else does MacLean have to prove? Is there an NHL assistant coach or a minor league head coach more qualified to do the job?
The only other understandable choice would be rehiring Pat Burns. It is unknown, however, whether Burns, after two battles with cancer, is healthy enough to handle the demanding grind of coaching again.
After hiring MacLean, there’s one other important move Lamoriello must make: Get out of the way. It must be clear that he won’t be pulling the strings from behind the scenes—something he didn’t do with Julien.
from the Toronto Sun,
Ferguson must make a decision on unrestricted forwards Jeff O’Neill, Travis Green and Michael Peca and restricted defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo. It’s unlikely all three forwards will be back, with the 33-year-old Peca having to take a salary hit if he wants to stay and prove a broken leg hasn’t affected his game. O’Neill’s 20-goal ability was not enough to keep him from being a healthy scratch at the end of last season.
The most interesting call could be in goal, where coach Paul Maurice had indicated he would like the hot-and-cold Andrew Raycroft to play 65 to 70 games again, while Ferguson has spoken of bringing in a veteran to both spell off Raycroft and push him for the No. 1 job. Ferguson says that doesn’t mean UFA Jean-Sebastien Aubin is through here, but it’s likely the GM won’t extend the $525,000 one-way deal he had last year.
fro Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
After seeing his Senators come up just short in their bid for a first Stanley Cup, the Senators owner told Sun Media yesterday he will likely boost the club’s payroll to the salary cap—whatever it turns out to be—to take another run at bringing the Cup home.
“My sense is the cap will go up. Everyone knows my commitment to continuing to build a championship team in Ottawa, so in that context, spending to the cap is always a necessary consideration,” wrote Melnyk in an e-mail to the Sun yesterday.
“Having a long playoff run, like we did this year, always helps financially,” wrote Melnyk. “The team will do well this year, but the final numbers are not in yet.”
The Senators already have commitments on the books for next year to the tune of $40.5 million.
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
Goaltender Carey Price has nothing left to prove in the American Hockey League.
Next stop: the Montreal Canadiens.
The 19-year-old Calder Cup MVP has Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey and everyone else associated with the organization giddy with anticipation.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
But the Southern California media—perhaps self-conscious of all the prattle they are hearing from outsiders and feeling too insecure to question or challenge it, and even buying into it to try to justify decisions that give the Clippers more staffing on the road than the Kings or the Ducks—aren’t into challenging the urban myths.
The Ducks now have had 34 straight sellouts. A bandwagon? Of course it is. But that’s also a lot more consecutive sellouts than Detroit (factoring in the playoffs), Dallas and Colorado have had.
The Kings did some major league papering of the house last season, but come on, their official average of 16,859 was still over 90 percent of capacity, so it’s absurd to portray them as a colossal box-office failure, especially since they were the second-worst team in the Western Conference.
from the Financial Times,
David Bonderman, a founding partner of Texas Pacific Group; Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer behind the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise; and Harry Sloan, chairman and chief executive of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, are behind the bid for the franchise.
Mr Bonderman’s TPG is an investor in MGM and was recently part of the consortium that bought Harrah’s Entertainment, the Las Vegas-based casino operator, for $17bn.
Mr Sloan, meanwhile, is leading the revival of MGM after a consortium of investors bought it from Kirk Kerkorian.
Anyone who thinks Vegas would have trouble selling tickets needs to know the major strip hotels would eat up those tickets in a hurry.- offering them to their guests and high rollers. Imagine the out of town visitors from Detroit, NYC, Toronto, etc. that would jump at the opportunity to get to Vegas, using this reasoning, “Had to go see my team play…”
added 6:50pm, from the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
An arena needs to arrive in Las Vegas before a team does, though, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Thursday.
“In order for the NHL to ever have a franchise in Las Vegas, they’d have to build a new state-of-the-art arena in Las Vegas. We’re talking a couple years away, minimum,” said Daly, who confirmed Bruckheimer and others have been in discussions with the league for the past six months.
“I think Las Vegas is a very attractive market,” Daly said. “But there are issues, with respect to gaming, the National Hockey League would have to address. That’s certainly something the board would have to consider, but this is all very premature, and that’s not something to discuss with the board at this point.”
You will be getting a dose of KK Lite this weekend.
Time to re-charge the batteries and get some long put-off chores done.
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from Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports,
Look, if the league wants to further strangle itself with expansion, why not Chicago? It hasn’t had a team since Bill Wirtz disbanded the Blackhawks in the mid-1990s.
Only the NHL could even dream this stuff up. The league needs to contract, not expand. It needs to improve the product, not disperse the talent, dilute rivalries and provide another slap at the game’s tradition.
No offense to Vegas and KC, but we’ve seen this act before. The few million in expansion fees isn’t worth adding a couple more cities that aren’t all that interested in hockey, save the core of 10-15,000 fans who will still be paying attention once the novelty wears off.
As for Commissioner Gary Bettman, well, he hasn’t overseen many good ideas in his first 15 years on the job. At this point our only hope is that his various disasters in leadership were part of a secret 16-year plan and good things are about to happen.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
So, which teams are likely to inquire about Fernandez? Florida, Phoenix and Los Angeles have been mentioned often, but one player agent believes the Maple Leafs are interested in the Toronto native. And that makes sense, as incumbent Andrew Raycroft clearly needs to be challenged for the starter’s job – and their two salaries (in terms of cap hit) combined would come in at $6.33 million next season.
added 12:42pm, from Russo’s Rants,
The reality is it’s not easy to trade a player when the team’s in need of a goalie (Phoenix, Florida and possibly Boston, Detroit and LA) all think the Wild HAS to trade Fernandez.
Right now, Risebrough would be lucky to at least get a mid-round pick for Fernandez because everybody believes he’s got to dump his $4.33 million cap hit. But Risebrough would love at least a first (Phoenix has two firsts), especially when he was able to trade Dwayne Roloson to Edmonton for a first-rounder in March 2006.
A great job putting together the SCF in pictures.
Check it out..
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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.
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