Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Washington Post,
Hanlon said that Backstrom’s comprehension of team meetings conducted in English is better than Ovechkin’s was in his rookie season.
“He understands. He’s way more advanced. In Sweden, there’s a lot more English spoken, a lot more English TV channels and they all seem to watch MTV.
“With him, it’s more getting used to our training, getting used to some of our systems,” he continued. “We’ll spend more time showing him our system play than we would some of the others.”
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from the Phiily News,
While there are a number of years separating the playing careers of Joe Watson and Derian Hatcher, they mirror each other’s thoughts on many issues. That might be because Hatcher is also an old-timer, heading to his 16th NHL camp in September. They talked about everything from the effects of concussions to the current state of their game…
Hatcher: I can go back 15 years ago and I would say that there’s definitely . . . players in the league with less heart. I don’t know why. I don’t think that, you know, when I came in, it was really never an issue. The players were there because they wanted it. It’s weird, and money probably does come into it. Something does, because I see players throughout the league who sometimes look like they don’t even want to be on the ice.
more, entertaining feature…
from the Star-Ledger,
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello returned from his trip to Minnesota, where he laid the groundwork to sign restricted free agents Zach Parise and Paul Martin.
“I met with Mr. Lamoriello and we had lengthy discussions,” said Parise’s representative, Neil Sheehy. “Multiyear is something we discussed. We talked about all the different possibilities and we’re still in discussion.”
Parise, who earned $703,000 in 2006-07, is in position to command a deal in the neighborhood of $4 million per season. A four-year, $16 million contract would seemingly suit both sides.
Martin, who made $2 million last season, figures to at least double his salary.
That would seemingly prevent Lamoriello from signing a big-ticket free agent such as Sheldon Souray or center Alexei Yashin. Souray might be headed for San Jose while Yashin has several lucrative offers to play in Russia.
more on the Devils…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
...it’s a complete mystery as to why Glen Sather would have agreed to spend that much money in order to avoid a salary arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for July 24.
The GM may have been willing to go well beyond the likely arbitration award of $2.3-$2.7 million as part of an unspoken agreement with Lundqvist on a future long-term contract to be negotiated in January that would go into effect in 2008-09. But the Rangers’ 2007-08 cap situation would have been far better served by the franchise goaltender taking less this year and more the following five seasons.
from Brian Milner of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s biggest financial headache, economists and other sports industry watchers say, is not clubs’ costs, but their vastly uneven revenues and profits. And the cap on salaries has done nothing to address the disparities, which have actually widened as the richer clubs have grown even fatter under the new system.
“The collective bargaining agreement has probably done its job on the cost side,” said a U.S. banker who has studied the finances of several teams. “The problem is that without a national [U.S.] media contract to speak of, all their revenues are variable.”
from the NY Daily News,
The Daily News also has learned that Sather is shopping center Matt Cullen, with a trade back to the Carolina Hurricanes very much on the front burner. Should the Rangers shed Cullen’s contract (three years left at $2.8million per), they’d trim nearly $3million from this season’s cap hit.
That could simply provide flexibility for potential in-season moves. But it just as easily could be the first step in a plan to clear enough cap space to sign free-agent defenseman Sheldon Souray, whom the Devils and Islanders have pursued. Unloading defenseman Paul Mara’s $3million salary undoubtedly would be another requirement.
more on the Rangers…
from Darren Dreger & Bob McKenzie at TSN,
NHL sources tell TSN that Sutter is stepping down from his junior club to pursue a head coaching job in the NHL and that Sutter is the odds-on favourite to be named the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils.
“I really can’t comment,” Sutter said. “We will have an announcement regarding the Rebels tomorrow. That’s all there is to say at this point.”
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail,
“For Nashville to keep the team and make it a viable team, the number we need to be looking at is 16,000, not 14,000,” David Freeman told The Tennessean. “You don’t want to be at the absolute league minimum on salary cap because I don’t think anybody wants a team that is here but is habitually in last place. Certainly, our investor group, that’s not what we want, either.
“So to have a team that’s also above the league minimum salary cap, we’re right back to that 16,000 number.”
The salary floor in the NHL next season will be $34.3-million. Right now, the Predators have a payroll of slightly more than $30-million.
Ted Leonsis on Alexander Ovechkin remaining a Capital via Capitals Insider,
“I’m sure that the Ovechkin family and the Washington Capitals will come to a place where both think is fair and right and Alex will be here for a long time,” Leonsis said. “That’s his goal and I’m sure it will work out. He’ll save some money by not having an agent.”
from the Ottawa Citizen via the Star Phoenix,
A bigger problem for Murray is what to do with the $7.4 million due to backup Martin Gerber in the next two seasons. Murray has talked to a couple of NHL clubs with interest, but they want to dump similar contract burdens this way, so Murray wouldn’t be any farther ahead.
“Maybe later in the summer, when it comes time to talk trades and balance rosters, something can be done,” Murray said. “We need two goalies here, and Martin is a good goalie. If we have to pay his salary, then that’s how it will be. If we can move him, there could be a few million dollars left to add a player.”
Murray said that under no circumstances would he send Gerber to Binghamton of the American Hockey League just to get his contract off the salary-cap books. The Senators would still have to pay Gerber’s full salary and would still require an NHL-experienced goaltender as Emery’s backup.
more on the Sens negotiation with Emery…
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