Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Phil Coffey at NHL.com,
A vintage Dominik Hasek is like a classic chess master, seemingly knowing every move opponents are going to make before they make them, Wigge said of Hasek. He stares down his opponent like a witness to a crime scrutinizing suspects in a lineup. His green eyes glare with attentiveness, noting every detail. He hates to even let in a goal in practice. His style is almost like an attack mode.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Edmonton Oilers, who have been embroiled in controversy in which they claim they signed Michael Nylander before the Washington Capitals, found time this morning to sign Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek to an offer sheet.
Globesports.com has learned that the Oilers are willing to pay Vanek a stunning $50-million (U.S.) over seven seasons. Now the Sabres have seven days to decide whether they will match the lucrative offer sheet to retain the 23-year-old sniper.
added 1:37am, via TSN,
The Sabres have called a news conference for 12:30pm et/9:30am pt to address the news.
added 11:45am, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
I think that Thomas was shocked,” Steve Barlett said. “I kept telling him I was going to get him a deal, and I don’t think he believed me. I don’t know if I believed it myself.”
Bartlett said there “were discussions with more than one team” about Vanek, meaning that teams seem to be viewing the signing of restricted free agents as a plausible strategy.
“There was a whole range of discussions that went on here,” Steve Bartlett said. “They wanted to know what it would take, and whether I thought Buffalo would match.”
added 12:11pm, You can listen to the Sabres presser at WBEN 930am... but you will have to register first…
Update 12:35pm ET (alanah)
The press conference with the Sabres has revealed that the Buffalo Sabres fully intend to match the Oilers’ offer sheet. GM Darcy Regier said he contacted Kevin Lowe last night and tried to persuade him not to make the offer, that they were always going to match whatever offer the Oilers might make. Larry Quinn’s statement: “We were never not going to match an offer on Thomas.”
Update 6:20pm ET (alanah)
Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe spoke with the media on Friday afternoon via conference call to address the Thomas Vanek offer sheet, matched by Buffalo, earlier in the day. You can listen to it at the Oilers website here.
from the Spi, the blog of Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,
This is about Leaf politics, pure and simple. This is Richard Peddie and his political allies giving in to the demands of Larry Tanenbaum and his allies, but not totally.
Tanenbaum and Co. want John Ferguson out. Peddie, the epitome of a corporate politician, doesn’t, but understands a little compromise will buy him - and JFJ - some time.
So you pretend, through the addition of a Muckler or someone like him, to be improving the team’s hockey office, when in reality what’s going on is jostling for positions of strength at the MLSE board of directors level.
Make it about hockey if you want. But that’s not what this is. Not even for a second.
from the Ottawa Senators,
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today that the club has named John Paddock as its sixth head coach in franchise history. Murray also confirmed that assistant coach Greg Carvel, strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee, and video coach Tim Pattyson would remain on the club’s coaching staff.
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
You don’t make your star player wait. You swallow hard and do the deal. They knew the market was taking off. When Briere got $5 million for one year from the arbitrator, you figured Drury would command well over $6 million a year on the open market. Drury got a shade over $7 million a year from the Rangers, and he didn’t test the market. If he’d opened it up to the entire NHL, he probably could have gotten $8 million.
But the Sabres left Drury hanging for two weeks, and it cost them. They choked. They let the Sabres’ competitive soul get away. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but it will go down as Quinn’s failure. Anyone who has done business with Quinn knows he can be a bully. This was one time where the Sabres needed a bully to get the deal done.
from the Palm Beach Post,
Mike Keenan offers his harshest criticism of the Panthers since his dismissal 10 months ago in a wide-ranging interview that serves as the cover story for the July issue of The Hockey News.
“We never made the playoffs and they still haven’t because, quite frankly, the team isn’t good enough,” he said. “Does that mean anything? No, it means you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I understood those risks.
“Florida had five GMs and five coaches. You talk about my methodology and my coaching, but whatever it was, those four other guys don’t have the methodology then, either. The reality is the team isn’t good enough.”
via the Denver Post,
Here is the breakdown of the five-year contract signed by Ryan Smyth with the Avalanche on Sunday:
Smyth will make a base salary of $5 million this season, and he received an additional $2.5 million signing bonus. His salary for the following four years will be $7.25 million, $6.5 million, $5.5 million and $4.5 million. His averaged salary cap number for the full term is $6.25 million.
First I have heard of a player receiving a signing bonus, not sure if this would be the proper term? CBA experts feel free to chime in…
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
How can the National Hockey League, so obviously struggling postlockout in many of its 24 American markets, with all of those empty seats and punchline television ratings, in fact be thriving as a business?
How can a no-loopholes salary cap attached to a percentage of overall revenues be soaring if commissioner Gary Bettman’s vision of the NHL is so clearly headed for the tank?
The answer lies with the almighty dollar — in this case, the Canadian dollar, which continues to ride high against the American greenback.
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
John Miller owns a small business in the city of Orange and has had experience with workers who make mistakes. Sometimes they are big ones.
So when the subject comes up about Todd Bertuzzi, signed by the Ducks on Monday, Miller’s reaction is tempered by that experience.
“Everybody deserves a second chance,” he said. Miller is not alone.
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 email@example.com