Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

With The First Pick Of The Draft

The Blues pull no surprises and pick defenseman Erik Johnson. As stated eariler, I will not be blogging the picks, just hanging around for any trades. Scroll down a few posts for the people who are blogging the draft live, they will provide all the picks for you.

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First Trade On Draft Day

via TSN,

The Atlanta Thrashers have traded former top pick Patrik Stefan and Jaroslav Modry to Dallas for Niko Kapanen and a 7th round pick.
more coming...

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Luongo Thought He Had A Deal With Florida

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Goaltender Roberto Luongo says the trade that sent him to the NHL Vancouver Canucks came as surprise since he believed he had a long-term deal worked out with the Florida Panthers. "I'm really sad because I didn't think this was going to happen," Luongo said Saturday in a telephone conference call. "We made great strides yesterday. I thought we were going to get something long term. I was surprised this whole deal went down."
continued

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Report- Laviolette Staying In Carolina

via Sportsnet,

Amid a whirlwind of trade speculation going into the entry draft, the NHL coaching fraternity is making news. Sources told Sportsnet Peter Laviolette has agreed to a 5-year contract extension with the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. Although the deal isn't officially complete yet, it's believed Laviolette has been rewarded for his role in Carolina's success with $1 million per season. An announcement could come as early as Saturday afternoon. In addition, former Detroit Red Wings head coach Dave Lewis is rumoured to be the frontrunner for the head coaching job in Boston, currently occupied by Mike Sullivan.

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Preparing For The Draft

I will be updating throughout the NHL Draft today, but I won't be updating each draft choice. That information is readily available at other sources. James Mirtle has some information about a live blog during the draft and NHL DraftNET is in Vancouver and plans to update on a regular basis too. Alanah at VCOE will be at the draft, and I am sure she will be expressing her thoughts later tonight. Any other bloggers doing something regarding the draft, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your site. added 4:08pm, Phil Coffey of NHL.com will also be blogging the first round of the draft... added 6:06pm, via NHL.com, you can stream audio of the draft right now... added 6:34pm, Eric at Off Wing Opinion has joined the crowd, how long he will last is anyone's guess.

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The Key

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The key to the deal for the Vancouver Canucks is signing Luongo to a long-term contract. If they can do it this summer, the trade is obviously well worth it. If they cannot, the Canucks gave up all those assets for Lucas Krajicek - a guy who's still trying to establish himself as a quality NHL defenceman - and a draft pick. Now Canucks general manager Dave Nonis is confident that he can get Luongo to do what his agent Gilles Lupien would not do - sign a long-term deal before he becomes eligible to get a no-trade clause.
more

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Oh Those Rumors

from the Buffalo News,

Usually, NHL trade rumors aren't worth their salt. And while they offer little substance, they're tasty enough to pass around. Fans eat 'em up. Get this: leading scorer Maxim Afinogenov and goalie Martin Biron to the St. Louis Blues for the No. 1 overall selection. Or this: unreliable-but-potent winger Thomas Vanek to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Jordan Leopold. Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier denied both rumors, but admitted this time of year can be fun. "People on the outside seem to have more fun than the people on the inside," Regier said. "You hear some real beauties out there. And some deals that actually get done are never talked about."
read on

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“The Plan” Shrinking

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Teams now hold the rights to their drafted players for fewer years. Under the terms of the old collective agreement, a player would be drafted at 18 and usually remain the property of a team until he turned 31. Now, the clock begins to tick as soon as a player signs his first NHL contract. Since all but the most precocious of NHL talents require one or two (or more) developmental seasons in the minor-leagues, the window of opportunity to maximize a return on their investment is far narrower than before. Just about everyone will concede that the draft will always be important as a means of stockpiling talent, but the ability of teams to hold on to their homegrown stars appears to be diminishing. The three finalists for the 2005 Hart Trophy -- Joe Thornton, Jaromir Jagr and Miikka Kiprusoff -- all switched teams within the past two years. The days of a player maintaining a cradle-to-grave relationship with the team that drafted him are quickly disappearing. "In the past, you always operated with a five-year plan," said Ray Shero, the Pittsburgh Penguins GM, who owns the No. 2 overall pick today. "Now, that five-year plan might be a three-year plan and depending upon ownership, maybe it's only a one-year plan.
more

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Phoenix Tries To Move Up

from the Arizona Republic,

"We've held discussions with all of the teams above us," General Manager Mike Barnett said. "They will get a talented prospect. We don't hold much optimism that we can move up. For the same reason, we likely won't move down. We will also get a great prospect at No. 8." Barnett declined to discuss details of discussions with the other teams, but there are indications the Coyotes may be shopping a package that includes defenseman Paul Mara to the first five teams - St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Washington and Boston.

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Finding The “Right” Players For Edmonton

from the Edmonton Journal,

You can hear a loud, large chorus of jaded fans already: "Here we go again, back to the future and the old 'catch-and-release' system of talent acquisition." Just when the New NHL seemed so tailor-made for small-market Edmonton, here comes another slap in the face, real or imagined -- big-time players love the Oilers, but their families don't necessarily love the hockey-mad city they play in. Anyway, late on Friday night, Pronger's agent, Pat Morris, confirmed that his client, far and away Edmonton's best player all year, and the Oilers' leading Conn Smythe Trophy candidate, wanted to be traded. ...The high-energy analyst urged Oilers fans not to panic, that Lowe, assistant GM Scott Howson and their staff would leverage the asset that is Pronger into "something big and helpful" on the trade market. That assumes the rumour is true. And that any trade involving Pronger, especially under forced circumstances, could possibly fetch anything like equal value. It does not address a more sensitive issue: that in the New NHL, Edmonton may well remain, in the eyes of some players, an undesireable destination.
more

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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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