Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Brian Burke sneers at conventional wisdom and just about anybody else in his way. It is part of who he is, part of what his hockey club has and is about to become.
The Anaheim Ducks look like their general manager, play like him, occasionally bark like him. They have edge and temper and the ability to annoy. Yet they play with purpose and intelligence and with a definitive and obvious style.
Burke isn’t your typical hockey man and this is not your typical hockey team.
from Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail,
A Senators fan finds it hard to admit the following: Ducks fans are good fans, even nice and knowledgeable ones. Walk around the Honda Center in a Senators sweater and nobody is abusive. A few drunks shout “Ottawa sucks,” but compared with the reception in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and especially Toronto, Anaheim is a team party.
Very few people lorded their team’s triumph over us battered Senators souls. Most Ducks fans, like most Americans, have only the vaguest notion of things Canadian, but they do sense that hockey counts up north.
Maiers certainly does. She’s been to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto three times, a game in Montreal and the draft in Vancouver. She knows about hockey being hard-wired into the Canadian psyche, but she’s sorry: “I want the Cup.”
from the Ottawa Citizen,
The Ottawa Senators are on the verge of resurrecting a notorious nickname they had thought they shed: choking dogs.
The team that needed only 15 games to win three NHL playoff series leading to the Stanley Cup final against the Anaheim Ducks has disappeared with barely a whimper.
The Senators have been virtually unable to create scoring chances unless they have a 5-on-3 advantage, and they’ve been largely unresponsive to the wave of bodychecks the Ducks have thrown at them.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Balsillie could still try to move the team, of course, but would likely face a thicket of legal woes – the last thing any CEO would want, let alone one whose company is entangled in controversy over the alleged backdating of stock options.
Yet even if Balsillie was able to navigate the Predators out of Nashville, there are indications any move could be complicated. While the NHL board of governors would ultimately decide whether Balsillie could move a team to southwestern Ontario, one investment banker who specializes in sports transactions said the RIM executive is similarly interested in burgeoning Las Vegas.
That city is in the midst of trying to coax architects and builders to make proposals for a new downtown arena suitable for hockey and basketball. They were due back to a sports marketing firm representing Las Vegas yesterday.
from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,
NEW SENS EXCUSES ON HOLD. The Ottawa fans were too loud, couldn’t concentrate. The Ducks are bigger than we are, it’s not fair. The Ducks have bigger, bushier beards than we have, they scare you with them. The Ducks get to stay in nice hotel rooms away from their nagging wives and girlfriends, not us.
much more on the SCF…
iLiveSports.com is a social network for connecting athletes worldwide.
I was browsing it last night by sport, inserted hockey in the search and up pops Dany Heatley.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Owner Dave Checketts, who lowered ticket prices to entice fans back to the arena, has said the Blues’ payroll would be about $40 million for the 2007-08 season. That leaves Davidson and Co. with about $5 million to spend in free agency — probably not enough to land a player such as Briere. He made $5 million with the Sabres this season, and after posting 32 goals and 95 points, could net $8 million to $9.5 million per year in a new deal.
So, three years after salaries bordering on $10 million forced the NHL into a lockout, salaries are back in the same neighborhood. This time, it was planned.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Giguere is finishing a contract that paid him $3.99 million this season. Winning the Cup, and perhaps a second Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs, would make him a very popular person the second that the free-agency period opens July 1.
Even if he isn’t the playoff MVP, he is destined to become a very, very rich man. The question is whether his paychecks will have a Ducks logo on them.
The NHL’s salary cap is expected to rise from $44 million to about $48.5 million next season, but the Ducks have a lot of high-priced players to get in under that limit.
They’re obligated to pay Chris Pronger $6.25 million and Scott Niedermayer $6.75 million and they’ll surely want to bring Teemu Selanne back after his 48-goal season.
more (reg. req.)
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But rather than reflecting the “old” NHL, where teams like New Jersey used to lie back in the neutral zone, grab onto opposing players as they tried to gain the offensive zone and thus limiting much offensive creativity, the Ducks seem to have found the perfect hybrid of the old and the new.
Under Anaheim GM Brian Burke’s tutelage—and making good use of prospects acquired by Murray when he was Ducks GM—Anaheim has achieved success by using a lethal blend of size and speed to shut down the Senators.
As Burke is fond of saying, he wants a team that can do it all—play with speed, punish opposing teams and, if push comes to shove, drop the gloves.
from the Wall Street Journal,
Why has it been 14 years since the last Canadian Stanley Cup win? One easy place to point the finger is at salaries. Most of the Canadian franchises are in small markets, and the disparity between the Canadian and American dollars had made it increasingly difficult for teams like the Oilers to keep stars in the mold of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier when they become eligible for free agency or to lure other players to replace them….
The other trend was the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and the influx of East European players. For reasons ranging from economic factors to the intense rivalry that stemmed from the hard-fought games the Canadian national team played against several Eastern European opponents in the Canada Cup series (now known as the World Cup of Hockey), Canadian teams didn’t add Eastern European stars to their rosters as quickly as American franchises did. For example, between 1994 and 2003, five winners of the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s most valuable player, were born outside North America, but none played for a Canadian 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.
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