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The Kids Will Miss Vokoun

from George Richards at the Miami Herald,

‘‘It’s a big loss for Nashville and a big loss for these kids and their families,’’ said Jennifer Miller, a director at the Vanderbilt hospital. ‘When they found out about the trade, it was like, `Are you serious?’ He loves these kids and the kids looked up to him so much. He had such a big heart.
``To them, he could do no wrong. He could walk on water to these kids here.’‘
It’s expected Vokoun—a father of two children—will continue his work once he takes up residence in South Florida. It’s unfortunate, but pain and suffering isn’t restricted to one community.
‘‘Life is not fair,’’ Vokoun said. ``You see kids who are sick, and they did nothing to deserve that. They are just innocent kids with their whole lives in front of them. Yet they’re sick. It’s not fair, that’s for sure.’‘

more and for some bonus material, check out George’s blog, On Frozen Pond...

Filed in: Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Columbus Confident With Their Goaltending

from the Columbus Dispatch,

“We’ve had a couple of calls from agents wondering if we have interest in their clients,” Howson said.
But the conversations have been brief, always ending with a “No, thanks.”
“We believe in the two goaltenders we have,” Howson said. “It’s just as simple as that.”
The Blue Jackets will head to training camp with oft-injured Pascal Leclaire and veteran Fredrik Norrena duking it out for the No. 1 job.
It’s not among the most highly regarded 1-2 punches in the NHL, but Howson doesn’t appear worried.

read on

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

Moving Gerber Isn’t So Easy

from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,

Bryan Murray may want to trade Gerber, but he can’t cut off the nose to spite the Senators’ face.
It will require a delicate balancing act to ensure that Ottawa’s net and wallet are not left sparely filled—and it’s a move that could set the tone for Murray’s tenure as GM in this city.
However, don’t be surprised if the other shoe fails to drop before Emery’s situation is settled.
After all, who knows how much longer Gerber will reign as the highest paid goaltender in the city?
Right now, there’s no clear-cut answer on how to deal with Gerber.
But if Murray finds him too difficult to unload, with Emery standing by in the meantime, palms outstretched, the solution may be thrust upon the GM far quicker than he expected.


Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Buy A Jersey- Help A Big Market Team

from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,

Fact is, however, that higher ticket prices beget more revenue, which begets a higher cap, which ultimately benefits the Rangers and every big-market franchise and consumer around the league.
The fans all across Small Market NHL might want to consider that before buying all the new apparel and licensed products the league is creating for this season with its introduction of new uniforms and new team logos, for without any meaningful revenue-producing programs coming from Sixth Avenue, the 2008-09 cap will increase in direct proportion to increased ticket prices and merchandising dollars.

more from Brooks, including Sutter talk, and Larry has a question for Kenny Holland…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Small Market Disadvantage

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

In fact, big-market teams do have a distinct edge. Teams from larger (see: wealthy) markets, such as Philadelphia and New York, can offer longterm deals loaded with more money up front because they can afford to buy out players toward the end of the contract. The structure of the deals helps them circumvent the salary cap while still drawing the better players.
Understand, the big-market advantage wasn’t the reason the Sabres lost Drury and Briere. They could have kept both for less money over fewer years than the co-captains eventually received as unrestricted free agents. It wasn’t until Drury and Briere hit the open market that New York and Philly could impose their leverage.

read on

added 8:41am, from the New York Times,

But the small-market teams appear to be struggling again. Buffalo lost Drury and Brière without seeming to make a serious move to keep either one. Edmonton struggled to lure players — including Rangers center Michael Nylander, who agreed to a contract with the Oilers, then backed out to go to Washington — until it finally landed Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray last week for five years and $27 million.
The small-market teams have the same amount of money to spend as teams like the Rangers, although some would rather stay closer to the cap’s minimum figure ($34 million next season) than to the top.


Filed in: NHL Talk, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

John Ferguson, Sr. Dies

imageFrom TSN,

John Ferguson Sr. has passed away at the age of 68.
The five-time Stanley cup winner succumbed to his second bout with cancer on Saturday at his home in Windsor, Ontario.
‘‘On behalf of my entire family, I’d like to thank the many friends, professional colleagues, medical personnel, and hockey fans who have supported us through this difficult time. Your expressions of sympathy have helped bring comfort to us. Your kind words have helped strengthen us.’’ John Ferguson Jr. said in a statement.

Ferguson’s son, John Ferguson Jr., is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.


*Note: a profile of John Ferguson, Sr. can be found on Legends of Hockey

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Erik Johnson Gets The Message From Murray

from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues coach Andy Murray had a meeting with Johnson on Friday at the Blues’ developmental camp. Murray wants to make sure Johnson realizes the in-house expectations for the University of Minnesota’s early defector are the same as they are for all the newcomers in camp, nothing more and nothing less.
“What I wanted to make him aware of ... I saw it in a newspaper where he was asked if he felt he would be on the power play in St. Louis, and this and that,” Murray explained. “And he said, ‘I have to make sure first of all that I’m good in practice. I know coach Murray is a guy that wants commitment and work ethic. I’ve got to go in there first and show them I belong on the team.’
“I brought him in and talked about that and thanked him for the position he’s taken, because, and I told him, ‘You’ve been around here the last week and I guess you’ve come to understand that’s exactly the way I’m going to treat you.’”


Filed in: St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cap Is Working- Just Ask The Pens

from Mike Zappone at KDKA in Pittsburgh,

It’s laughable when I hear people around the league complaining every time a player signs a large contract. The instant knee-jerk response is that the lockout didn’t work. Those naysayers can’t be more wrong. Players will always jump from team to team, and there will always be teams overpaying for players. That’s the nature of free agency. Why don’t the same people complain when the same signings happen in the salary capped NFL?
The NHL’s cap system is actually more foolproof than the NFL’s. Teams can’t play around with bonus money to soften the cap hit or hide dollars like they do in the NFL. The NHL’s system counts every part of the contract towards the cap numbers.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hot Dogs & The Cup

frm Larry Brown Sports,

We all know how the Stanley Cup goes to each player of the Cup-winning team for a day. Well, the Ducks won it, and low-and-behold, it appeared on the front page of the LA Times on Thursday. Chilling at Pink’s Hot Dog in Hollywood. How tight is that?

continued... and to follow the travels of the Cup this summer, don’t forget to check out NHL Connect - Stanley Cup...

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Looking At Who’s Left

from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,

Two weeks into what has been a busy free agency period for the NHL, the big-ticket items are basically gone, although lots of shopping remains to be done.
Salary cap room is the biggest issue for teams still looking to fill holes, but for those with the space, there are some attractive names remaining. Here’s a look at some of them:
Brent Sopel, D: The Canucks have stockpiled defensemen, which makes Sopel, who finished the season in Vancouver—where he began his career in 1998—expendable. Sopel is prone to mistakes in his own end, but has a great shot from the point and can play a physical type of game. He should be a top-four defenseman on most teams, and he made $2.4 million last season.

read on for more…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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