Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Buccigross at ESPN,
The Pittsburgh Penguins are history. Gone. You can kiss them goodbye. And there is nooooooooooo doubt about it. New owner-in-waiting Jim Balsillie has given Mario Lemieux a giant hockey bag of cash that will allow Mario to join seven more country clubs and buy 18,378 more bottles of wine. Balsillie will also take away Mario's legacy as a player when he moves the team to Hamilton or Toronto or Las Vegas or Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan. Mario will not have an NHL sweater anymore. Scratch my back with a hacksaw and buy my dog one, too.continued
Note from Paul: I wanted to bring this post by George back to the front page. George posted this last Friday around 6pm, just about the time KK readership drops for the weekend. Very well written and I did not want it to get lost, never to be read again... By George Malik: As soon Jim Balsillie got involved in the bidding for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was assumed that the CEO of the Blackberry-producing RIM corporation would attempt to move the team to Hamilton, ON. Balsillie was part of an earlier group of Hamilton-based investors who approached the NHL directly about moving the Penguins to Steeltown, but the league's desire to keep the Pens in Pittsburgh--provided that the franchise receives a new arena--nixed those plans. But Balsillie's purchase of the Penguins sparked renewed the hopes of those who believe the Maple Leafs Ontario monopoly must end.
Anyone care to join (will open wmp video) me?
from Anthony Colton at the Denver Post,
No matter the sport, one of the biggest goals for any professional athlete is to leave the game on his terms. More often than not though, things don't work out that way. Such was the case with Steve Konowalchuk. A 13-year NHL veteran, the forward was hoping to make a big comeback after losing most of the 2005-06 season to a wrist injury. However, just before the start of training camp, a physical revealed the presence of long QT syndrome, a disease that can lead to irregular heart rhythms. Immediately afterward, Konowalchuk announced his retirement. Recently, the 33-year-old chatted about what happens next. Anthony Cotton: Long QT syndrome - had you ever heard of it before? Steve Konowalchuk: Yeah, a little bit. Someone in my family had had it in the past, so I had a little bit of an idea of what it was.continued
In a bid to draw in sports-mad Atlanta residents, AirTran Airways has launched its new series of advertisements featuring star Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk. A legend among fans of the Georgia-based NHL team, Kovalchuk will now also be a star on billboards and radio slots across the city as he endorses the airline, whose principal hub is Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International. AirTran has a history of using well-known sporting names to push its product, including football stars Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick. Kovalchuk features along with captions like "He shoots. He scores. He flies with us" and also the carrier's own "Go. There's nothing stopping you" line, which the hockey star delivers in both English and his mother tongue, Russian.continued
[T]hanks to the miracle of modern Web-ology, the [Islanders organization] can reach beyond the coverage it gets from FSNY (limited, other than the games themselves) and Newsday. It's called Islanders TV, and its target is the insanely dedicated fans who stayed awake until the end of Thursday's dismal opener in Phoenix, wondering why throwback announcer Jiggs McDonald didn't bring Billy Smith and Mike Bossy with him. The Islanders believe it is the most extensive, ambitious Internet-based TV service ever offered by an American sports team.continued
KK member Spector is the random winner of the "It's Here" contest. Thanks to everyone for participating and look for the next "KK Contest" in the very near future, which will be open to any KK member. By the way, Mr. Spector decided on this beauty.
from the Ottawa Citizen via Canada.com,
Both Daniel Briere and Chris Drury will be looking for new contracts. Briere is making $5 million U.S. this year, Drury $3.07 million U.S. Whether the Sabres can afford to pay both is the question, and the speculation has begun that, if Briere has a good year and becomes too expensive -- say, in the $6 million U.S. range -- the Sabres will wave goodbye. Briere wants to stay in Buffalo, though, and that could influence negotiations, even to the point of Briere accepting a pay cut.many more NHL tidbits...
from the NY Post,
When injury or ineptitude strikes, Lamoriello will have to make a move, and will be tipping the cap again. Lamoriello will be looking for some flexibility soon, and the way to that is by trading a high-paid player. Unlike other teams, however, the Devils have no overpaid slugs, so subtraction would be costly. The first place to look would seem to be Scott Gomez, who won a $5 million deal in arbitration from Lamoriello, and can turn unrestricted next summer. It will be a surprise if he re-signs with the team and goes to Newark, and that uncertainty, combined with his salary, makes him seem the most likely to be dealt.read on
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
Curtis Brown went through a season last year that was terrible on the ice and tragic off of it. Everything began with such promise. Signed to a big-money, multiyear deal by the Blackhawks before the NHL lockout, Brown was eager to impress as his wife and their three young children prepared for a new life in Chicago. Then, during training camp, something awful happened. Brown and his wife, Ami, put their 4-month-old daughter, Aubri, in her crib to sleep. She never awoke, a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.continued
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 firstname.lastname@example.org