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Blue Jackets Better

from Arace on hockey… and other stuff at the Columbus Dispatch,

To quote Wally Lamb, I know this much is true: The Blue Jackets are better today than they were yesterday – and they’re a lot better today than they were last week. I don’t know if they’ll score 82 goals, but Ken Hitchcock is smiling. He can trot these guys out, ruin the game – and win at a greater clip than he did previously. He has a better team now. He doesn’t have Hossa or Jagr or Sundin. There has been no big splash. But the Jackets are better. There’s no doubt about it.

There are some fans out there who are chafing, and that is understandable. The carnival huckster is long gone, and some excitement went with him. We’ve gone from Doug MacLean, the Jerry Springer of GMs, to Scott Howson, who is vaguely reminiscent of Niles Crane.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bits Of Information

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

**From what I’ve been told, Brendan Shanahan’s agent Rick Curran received phone calls from several teams expressing interest in signing in the UFA left wing today. None of them were from the Devils.

**The Rangers are still in the bidding for Marian Hossa and Mats Sundin, but don’t have the room to sign both. Edmonton is said to have the best offer on the table for Hossa. Word is it’s for more than $9 million per season.

**If the Rangers land Hossa or Sundin, Jaromir Jagr’s days as a Ranger are likely over. There is a possibility that Jagr could go back to Pittsburgh, but it appears the market for Jagr is waiting on Hossa’s decision.

**Bobby Holik on whether the Devils’ fans will welcome him back after boing him since he left New Jersey to sign a five-year, $45 million deal with the Rangers in 2002: “I’ll tell you what, fans in New Jersey are somewhat spoiled and I don’t mean it in a bad way. They want their team to be successful. There’s nothing more important to them and because it’s been a great 12-13 years prior to last year. But if I give my best as I always had and make the team better, I think that’s all they (want). Yeah, there are going to be people who have opinions. I have opinions, too. So, we all do. And we’re all entitled to them. But the bottom line is I’m on that team to make the team better and I believe I can with whatever role they designate for me.”

more, Devils related…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ryder Was Wanted

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

“Claude played a big factor based on his relationship with him,” Chiarelli said. “They have a real good relationship and trust. Cam spoke about the city and the growing emergence of the Bruins, how we’re trying to turn things around. He’s seen that firsthand. He liked what he saw.”

According to Chiarelli, Montreal granted exclusive negotiating rights to Ryder to an undisclosed team prior to free agency. Chiarelli said there were at least two other teams chasing Ryder.

more on the Bruins who are at the cap max…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+ryder

Signing Thoughts

from Jamie’s (Fitzpatrick) Hockey Blog,

Thoughts on a few of the fat deals signed July 1, opening day of the 2008 NHL free agent season.

G Cristobal Huet to Chicago: 4 years/$5.6 million per year
G Jose Theodore to Washington: 2 years/$4.5 million per year

Each man takes over as the top goalie on a young, exciting team looking to break through sooner rather than later. Given their checkered pasts, it’s hard to believe either of them is up to the job. Nikolai Khabibulin has just one year left with the Blackhawks, so Huet suddenly becomes crucial to their rebuilding effort. Scary prospect.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Direction

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Glen Sather wouldn’t give Avery an extra $4M over four years - Page Six Sean is believed on his way to either Detroit or Dallas - but the GM instead lavished a six-year contract worth $6.5M per on 31-year-old Wade Redden, a reasonably dependable puck-moving defenseman who had a dreadful 2007-08 in Ottawa and has never been regarded as a game-changer over 11 seasons with the Senators….

Jagr, meanwhile, is on hold. Unless there’s a new math by which Sather is operating, it would seem impossible for the Blueshirts to make an offer to No. 68 that he’s not going to refuse.

Jagr laughed when asked about whispers from the underground that the Penguins will invite him back to finish where he began -Boo! - if the lure of Broadway proves greater for Hossa than the opportunity to skate with Sidney Crosby. leaves Pittsburgh.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Signs of Commitment

from Jim Matteson of rhe Edmonton Journal,

The Edmonton Oilers remain in the Marian Hossa hunt with their new, billionaire owner, Daryl Katz, offering between $9 and $10 million a season, according to some sources. And not for one year; for many, many years.

Mats Sundin has an offer on the table—again reportedly for $20 million over two years—to play in Vancouver. He’s 37 years old. His best years are behind him, but he’s going to the Hall of Fame and nine teams are trying to convince Sundin to play for them.

The Detroit Red Wings want him, but only for one year and not for $10 million, to bridge the gap before they have to sign Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.

“I wish I was a player,” admitted Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon.

“You always overpay (now), then it trickles down and you get the bargains in August,” said Tallon. “But we had to make a statement. We’ve created a buzz in this market. We’ve started to sell more and more tickets, more sponsorships and we decided we’d try to make an impact to continue the momentum.

“We had to send a message to our young players that we’re committed.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Summer of Lunacy

From James Duthie at The Good, the Bad and the Duthie,

Bingo!  Welcome to The Summer of Lunacy!  Seriously, I knew there would be silliness, but this was a cartoon.  You’ve heard of spending like drunken sailors?  How about spending like billionaire sailors on crack. 

10 million dollars a year offered to Mats Sundin?  Twenty-two million dollars for Cristobal Huet?  (When you already have an overpaid goalie in Khabibulin.)  Michael Ryder, a healthy scratch in Montreal, four million a year?  Fourteen million over four years for Jeff Freakin’ Finger!?!

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: free+agents

Kings Need Defense

Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings spoke with Kings GM Dean Lombardi tonight.  Some highlights from that conversation:

—The Kings were right there on Brad Stuart, and apparently didn’t have a problem with either the term or the money, but Stuart decided that he wanted to play for the Red Wings. To this, Lombardi basically tipped his hat and said, ``I can’t blame him for that.’‘

—Lombardi still has his eye on a defenseman who, in his words, fits with both the present and the future. He’s not at liberty to name names, obviously, but I don’t think it’s hard to do some reading between the lines, right?

—Rob Blake is still there as a strong possibility, and discussions are ongoing.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+stuart, dean+lombardi, free+agents, rob+blake

Flames Bring Back Giordano

From the Calgary Flames:

Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the signing of defenseman Mark Giordano.

“Mark is an NHL player and we are glad to have him back,” said Sutter. “He was a good player when he left to play in Russia and has improved playing against European players on the larger ice. He is a year older and year more mature.”

The Flames also re-signed Brandon Prust and David Van Der Gulik as well as Ryan Wilson, a free agent from the OHL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+prust, david+van+der+gulik, mark+giordano

AO Receives His College Degree

From Sportsbox.ru, translation by the Alex Ovetjkin blog,

“I was very nervous, almost like during the game” confessed Ovi to “MK”. “Still, these are different emotions. Probably because of the fact that at the games I work out physically, but here it was different, it was brain’s work out! Now I’ve realized that I can succeed not only playing hockey, but in other areas of life… College education will to add to my game, now I’ll try to think more during the game, to use the theory in practice…”

Ovechkin’s diploma thesis was about “Speed training of the top level hockey players”. He defended it with an “A”

more including a photo of Ovechkin receiving his degree

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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