Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Once Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson gets Mats Sundin signed, before the June 15 deadline to pick up the option on Sundin’s contract, and then gets himself signed to a contract extension by the end of the month, he will set his sights on a more important signing, at least as far as the team’s immediate future is concerned.
Ferguson’s No. 1 target on the free-agent market, according to those who know him best, is winger Ryan Smyth. Then again, you could say this about every GM in the National Hockey League with a minimum of $6-million (all figures U.S.) per year to spend.
There are four top-end forwards among the pending free agents - Smyth and centres Chris Drury, Daniel Briere and Scott Gomez. Given Smyth’s pedigree as a gritty character player who can score, he will be the object of the fiercest bidding war.
Q. First off, here you are one game away from laying claim to the Cup. What do you expect from the Sens? They played some great hockey and they’ve played some not so great hockey. Is there a sense if they played their best hockey for three periods that you would have to match their intensity?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Again, your expectations are that when you play in the Stanley Cup Final, your opposition is going to be desperate. And we know that we’re going to have to play our best game.
We respect the opposition. They’re an excellent hockey club. We know that they’re quite capable, and they’ve proven to us in this series, for stretches, that they can dominate us.
So it’s important that we don’t lose the focus and we have to even create more focus for our group. We think that we have a certain style that we have to play to that we can be effective. But we know that they’re a hockey club that will play their best game in the series.
Q. Coach, do you have the Ducks right where you want them, back in Anaheim down 3-1?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: We have to win a game here if we have a chance in this series. At any rate, we have to win a game here. That’s the position we’ve put ourselves in after Game 1 and 2 and so tonight is an opportunity.
Q. What do you have to do tonight that’s different? Or just really play like you did in period one of -
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: That’s the key, play 60 minutes. I’m not sure what happened in second period. We had breakdowns, gave up odd-man opportunities, two of them, and they took advantage of it. And I think that’s the thing that we try to impress upon our players more than anything, is that play the way you’re supposed to play, play your position, and if they beat you, it will be because of good play rather than plays that we’ve allowed them to make.
And I think all the goals the other night were exactly that reasoning.
From Liz Mullen at SportsBusiness Daily (paid sub.),
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the league has been in discussions with powerful film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer about owning a franchise in Las Vegas, amid growing speculation that the NHL is on the verge of proposing expansion to Las Vegas and K.C. A group led by Bruckheimer, an avid hockey fan, is the front-runner for the Las Vegas expansion and has been in talks with NHL officials for months, sources said….
Daly, asked to confirm or deny whether the NHL had discussions with Bruckheimer about owning an NHL team in Las Vegas, said in an e-mail, “Bruckheimer is one of many people we have spoken to about their desire to own a team in Vegas.” Daly added that “no decisions have been made” by the NHL BOG about expanding the league from 30 to 32 teams and that “there’s no ‘agreement’ with anyone” to own an expansion team.
But he said, “There have been many expressions of interest by a number of individuals and a number of cities,” including Las Vegas and K.C., where AEG manages the city-owned Sprint Center, set to open in October. At the Stanley Cup Finals Game Four in Ottawa on Monday, there was a buzz that an announcement about the league considering expansion to Las Vegas and K.C. was imminent, hockey sources said.
Asked about that, Daly wrote, “I don’t know if or when there might be an announcement. We will update the Board on the expressions of interest we have received.”
from Jim Baumach at Newsday,
“I don’t understand the Alexei Yashin contract. I don’t understand why it’s 10 years, but it’s not my team and not my money. Time will tell whether it was the correct move on their part.”
Those words were spoken by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about a month after the Islanders signed Alexei Yashin to the largest (and silliest) deal in league history, an $87.5-million, 10-year contract.
from Scotty Bowman at NBC Sports,
The Ducks are one win from the Stanley Cup. When you get down to needing one to win, it’s all the outside stuff that you need to shut out. You’ve got a lot of good-meaning people, friends and relatives who are planning the Stanley Cup party, but they’re not the ones on the ice. So it works two ways, it puts pressure, but it provides motivation for them to finish it
To answer a few of your emails all at one time, Nik Antropov has NOT re-signed with the Leafs. Perhaps close to signing, but not a deal yet.
added 12:04pm, Fan590 in Toronto reports the Leafs have agreed to a contract with Antropov, 2 years for $4.25M. Contract hsa not been finalized.
Now, what about Yashin, who wants him?
added 11:12am, from an open letter to Yashin from The Maven,
Who could have figured the nosedive that followed the wonderful Spring war with the Maple Leafs? Not me.
But it happened—and it was messier than a spilled Samovar.
You know what I’m talking about. The business about this coach not handling you right; and Steve Stirling not being your kind of mentor and Michael Peca being a pain in the prose.
And this and that and the other thing and you being the captain as well.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators might have won at least three games in a row on 11 separate occasions this year, but the sticking point in doing it a 12th time is none of those three-game streaks were against the Anaheim Ducks.
Also working against the Senators digging out of a 3-1 hole in the Stanley Cup final—it would be only the second time a team has done it—is, well, the Senators are the other team.
They are exactly where they deserve to be in this Stanley Cup final because they have managed to play but four good periods in four games and when you are playing in June, that ratio means your summer will be spent lowering your handicap and wondering what if, not raising the Stanley Cup and relishing what was.
NEW YORK (June 6, 2007) – In a first for all major professional sports leagues, the National Hockey League (NHL) is partnering with Sling Media, Inc. around the company’s upcoming Clip+Sling technology. The NHL and Sling Media have signed an agreement whereby Sling Media’s Clip+Sling technology will enable all current and future Slingbox™ customers to clip and share live or recorded segments of NHL programming online with friends, family and others.
“Having the most tech-savvy fans of all major professional sports, who also tend to be early adopters of new technology, makes offering NHL content through Clip+Sling a natural fit,” said Keith Ritter, President, NHL Interactive CyberEnterprises. “This partnership expands the visibility of our NHL games online and we are excited and proud to be the first sports league to offer this service to our fans.”
from Ed Moran at the Philly News,
Now that the Ducks and Senators are the two teams left standing and are playing with a fierce combination of size, skill and brutal, relentless hitting, the questions for the Flyers are: What kind of team do they want to be? And who will they bring in to accomplish that?
“I think we want to be a combination of all three teams [Anaheim, Ottawa and Buffalo],” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. “They are all good, competitive teams. We want to be a good, competitive team. When we look at players, size is an issue, skill is an issue and skating is an issue….”
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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