Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Theresa Tedesco And Matthew Sekeres of the National Post,
According to sources familiar with the events, Craig Leipold, owner of the Predators, informed Mr. Balsillie late Monday—less than a week before their deal was to close on June 30—that he has decided to walk away from the US$238-million offer announced last month. Instead, he plans to pursue a less lucrative bid from California businessman William “Boots” DelBiaggio. It is widely expected that Mr. DelBiaggio will relocate the Predators to Kansas City once Nashville’s lease at the Sommet Center arena expires.
added 10:41am, from the Globe and Mail,
A source familiar with the negotiations confirmed that Predators owner Craig Leopold has told Balsillie’s lawyers that he is considering a bid from William “Boots” Del Biaggio, unless Balsillie meets new conditions.
Mr. Del Biaggio is reported to have offered less than $190-million (US) for the team, compared to Mr. Balsillie’s $240-million offer.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Indeed, unless there is a dramatic change in the stances of both parties within the next 48 to 72 hours - there have been no contract offers or requests exchanged - No. 92(Nylander) will go on the open market and the Rangers will plunge into the free-agent pool without either a first- or second-line center on the roster.
Sources have told The Post that under these circumstances, the Blueshirts intend to target both Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to fill the looming holes in the middle. Though both are expected to receive larger offers elsewhere - Gomez from the Kings, Oilers and Flyers; Drury from the Kings and Sharks, with the Avalanche also in play - both have expressed serious interest in coming to Broadway.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
There are at least seven men eligible this time around, most of them for the first time, who belong in the Hall and will get the call someday.
The toughest question isn’t always whom do you leave out. This year, it certainly is.
My four-man class would be Glenn Anderson, Ron Francis, Igor Larionov and Mark Messier.
The group represents two no-brainer picks; one acknowledgment that the shrine in lower level of the Toronto office and shopping complex is the Hockey Hall of Fame and not the NHL Hall of Fame; and one long-overdue choice.
The toughest omissions would be Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis, and there are reasonable arguments, whether for this year’s or subsequent classes, to be made for Pavel Bure, Adam Oates, Dino Ciccarelli, Phil Housley, Doug Gilmour, and Claude Lemieux. And maybe even Tom Barrasso, whose cactus-needle demeanor shouldn’t be allowed to diminish his accomplishments.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
As of Saturday, the New York Islanders depth chart didn’t have Jason Blake’s name on it. However, Ryan Smyth’s name was there in big bold letters.
There is a strong sense the Islanders are about to hit the 31-year-old with an offer he may not be able to refuse.
Speculation suggests the Isles are preparing an offer above $6-million per year over a 7 - 8 year term.
From Jeremy Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues have offered veteran center Keith Tkachuk a two-year contract worth $3.5 million per season, a source has told the Post-Dispatch.
The club will now wait for a decision from Tkachuk, who spent six seasons with the Blues prior to being traded to Atlanta last February.
On Tuesday, the Blues made a deal with the Thrashers to acquire Tkachuk’s rights. The club has the power to negotiate exclusively with the 35-year-old unrestricted agent until Sunday, when the NHL free-agency period opens.
from Rob Brodie of the Ottawa Sun,
Here ‘‘Rudy’’ is again this week, heading up the Czech Republic delegation at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
It’s a tournament that has captured the imagination of this country like no soccer event before it.
But Bata, a jovial 80-year-old from Prague, knows full well which game will always tug at heartstrings here more than any other. He saw it firsthand 35 years ago, playing a not so bit part in what still remains one of the great moments in Canadian sports history.
Bata was one of two officials on the ice in Moscow on that September day in 1972, when Paul Henderson’s goal allowed Canada to triumph in the final game of the famed 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.
read on for some memories…
from Jeff Gordon at St. Louis Today,
In this corner of cyberspace, we believed Scott Gomez would be the ideal addition to the Note. But his free-agent value is pushing $8 million per season this summer and he will hear from several Cup contenders.
Gomez appears to be well out of this team’s range. He is the top player on a lot of shopping lists.
Another option was former Blue Michal Handzus, but the Blackhawks showed more interest in retaining him after shedding defenseman Adrian Aucoin and his contract. Handzus is said to be seeking a $4 million salary in next contract, moving into the range the Blues would like to pay somebody (Tkachuk) with more offensive ability.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The NHL hasn’t landed in Las Vegas yet, but Penguins forward Maxime Talbot is headed there hoping for riches.
Talbot has won his way into the main event of the World Series of Poker, a tournament that draws several thousand players, usually has a $10,000 entry fee and could make the winner $10 million or more.
It starts July 6.
“Everybody’s asking me about that,” Talbot said when he stopped by the Mellon Arena locker room while it was buzzing with the first day of conditioning camp for prospects.
“I’m kind of nervous. It’s a different kind of competition. I don’t know how well it’s going to go, but I’m pretty excited.”
from the AP via ESPN,
Dainius Zubrus anticipates becoming a free agent this weekend, a move that would end the veteran forward’s brief stint with the Buffalo Sabres.
“That’s certainly the direction it looks like it’s headed,” his agent, Jerrold Colton said Wednesday.
With the NHL’s free agency period starting at noon Sunday, Colton declined to say whether he’s had any talks with the Sabres.
“Certainly, these things can get done if both sides are motivated,” Colton said. “But at this point, we’re anticipating that Dainius will hit the market.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of recent columns regarding net size and ways to improve the NHL generated a lot of feedback.
For the most part, the correspondents were clearly passionate about the game and offered a number of thoughtful comments.
But there are still a lot of misconceptions out there, so in the hope of furthering the discussion, it seemed to be a good idea to paraphrase some of those comments and expand on them.
The best way to increase scoring is to reduce the size of goalie equipment.
Of course it is. But this is a league run by lawyers and they can’t figure out a way to do it while following the tenets they learned in law school. It has to be “fair” and “just” and everybody has to be “equal under the law.”
Those of use fortunate enough to have escaped the legal profession would just say, “We’re going to measure your chest, waist, arms and hips when you’re wearing the kind of Kevlar protection the police use to stop bullets.
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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