Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Palm Beach Post,
Tomas Vokoun said today his mission in Florida is to take the Panthers to a place Roberto Luongo could not in his five seasons there: the playoffs.
Acquired Friday in the biggest trade consummated at the two-day NHL entry draft that concluded today, Vokoun was reached on vacation with his family in Turkey, where he had learned he’d been traded by Nashville to Florida when a Predators teammate text-messaged him the news on his cell phone.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Vokoun said, “so I think it would have shocked anyone.”
But, he quickly added, “If I knew I was getting traded, Florida would have been one of my top choices.”
COLUMBUS (June 23, 2007)—Sixty-three U.S.-born players, representing a record 30% of the total, were selected in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft that concluded today. The previous high was 28.2%, set last year.
Following is a breakdown of 2007 Entry Draft selections by birthplace:
United States 63 (highest percentage in Entry Draft history - 30%)
Czech Republic 5
added 5:16pm, more on this topic from the CP via TSN...
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Metronews,
Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie remains in the mix to buy the Nashville Predators despite Friday’s apparent setback.
A source close to Balsillie, the co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, said Saturday that nothing has changed in his bid to complete the purchase of the NHL club from Craig Leipold.
Well the emails have started flowing in again, this time asking about an Edmonton deal.
This morning Alanah pointed to Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun regarding those deals…
No names have been tossed around, even at the time of this post. Just hold onto your pants, not much else you can do right now but wait.
added 4:01pm, Listening to Morley Scott (Oilers Radio Network) on Calgary radio- Morley stated Lowe has been upfront and honest at all times, said deal(s) could be done this week, next week or by July 15th…
Morley also made a great point that this will be the first time the Oilers are actually going into the UFA period with some money to spend.
My breakdown of the quote from Gainey via Habs Inside/Out is… The Habs may want to get something for the rights to talk with Souray before July 1st.
Anyone else have an opinion of what Bob is trying to say?
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Waddell concluded: “There was a lot of talk going on. It’s only June 23.”
more on the draft and lack of trades… but good advice from Waddell… trades are being discussed of course, but nothing official yet.
fromm the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Long after history was made in Friday night’s first round when Patrick Kane (Chicago) and James vanRiemsdyk (Philadelphia) became the first Americans to be picked 1-2, Aliu finally heard his name mentioned before a thinning crowd at Nationwide Arena.
“My dad didn’t see a hockey rink until he was 40 years old,’’ said Aliu, who wants to become the first Nigerian to play in the NHL. “My mom grew up in Russia, but hockey wasn’t really part of her life, her culture. They’re happy about what I’m doing right now. I’m happy for what I’m doing too.’‘
from Alan Adams at Sportsnet,
Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg are both unrestricted free agents this summer and don’t look for them to be back in Nashville next season.
And don’t look for Nashville to be active in the free agent market. You can’t spend money you don’t have. General Manager David Poile has one hell of a selling job on his hand to get anyone to sign with his team.
The Predators didn’t average 14,000 per game in ‘06-07, and it’s in praise of folly to think the fans will pack the Sommet Centre, unless selected suckers don’t mind paying major league prices to see a team that might win a minor league title.
Maybe the Predators should mirror what the Carolina Hurricanes did when they played to sparse crowed in Greensborough. They put a curtain around the upper bowl of the arena in an effort to make the place looked packed.
From Bob Hunter at the Columbus-Dispatch,
The naysayers who said that Columbus would never be a hockey town should have been there. The city will always be known for football first, but last night provided further proof that if the Blue Jackets ever win, this place will go nuts.
Nationwide Arena was full for the first round of the draft. Full. That rarely happens anywhere, even in places where hockey is a clear No. 1. And the fans were into it.
When Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell was introduced, he was greeted by a thunderous ovation. He tried to start talking twice and had to stop because the cheering wouldn’t stop. Then, when he thanked “the fans, who have stuck with us through thick and thin, mostly thin,” he drew another roar.
from ADam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Just about every young hockey player fortunate enough to be selected in the NHL entry draft talks about realizing a lifelong dream that day.
But when Thomas Hickey was chosen fourth overall by the Los Angeles Kings, he literally needed to make sure the surreal scene wasn’t all in his head.
“I got to the stage and I didn’t want to do it there, but as soon as I got off, I pinched myself,” said Hickey, projected by The Hockey News’ Draft Preview as the 22nd best prospect in this year’s crop. “And I felt it, so I thought, ‘that must be good.’ ”
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.
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