Kukla's Korner Hockey
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
As of this posting, it doesn’t appear the Islanders are going to sign anyone today. Along with Souray, Snow is considering a list that includes Detroit’s oft-injured Danny Markov, Atlanta’s Andy Sutton, Nashville’s Vitaly Vishnevski, Colorado’s Ossi Vaananen and likely a few others. Former Isle Bryan Berard might be a consideration, though he played only 11 games last season and 113 over the past three years because of injuries.
The possibility of trading for Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski has been junked because of his no-trade clause, but a trade for former Islander Bryan McCabe can’t be ruled out even though he has four years worth $28.75 million remaining on his deal.
from the AP via the Santa Barbara News,
‘I want to put in a good first impression,’’ Turris said after the 90-minute skate Saturday at the team’s practice facility. ‘‘I’m working my hardest.’‘
Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky already liked Turris, a 17-year-old player from New Westminster, British Columbia. Gretzky liked him even more in a gray Coyotes practice sweater, with Turris flashing the breathtaking speed that helped make him the draft’s top-ranked North American skater.
‘‘I’m a big fan of his,’’ Gretzky said. ‘‘I think he just plays the game the way the game should be played. He plays with tremendous vision and he’s still only 17 years old. He’s got a lot of great years ahead of him and he just has a tremendous attitude, as do all of the kids we have here….
Turris probably won’t be in Phoenix for a while. He reiterated his decision to play for the University of Wisconsin next season, a move the Coyotes have endorsed. After that, Turris is hoping he won’t have to wait long to make his NHL debut.
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
“We think he’s a perfect addition to our team,” Holland said. “He’s been a premier defenseman in the League for a number of years. He can play in every situation—power play, penalty kill, against the other teams’ best players.
“With his mobility and puckhandling skills, he is a perfect fit for our style of play. We wanted three puck-moving defensemen—and now with Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian and Niklas Kronvall we have that.”
A couple years ago, another player told me; “Forget the size. Rafalski can control a game with his skating, shooting and his smarts.”
The player was Mario Lemieux. Can’t get better than that kind of compliment, can you?
more on Rafalski and the Central Division…
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
“I’ve never seen this kind of reaction,” she continued. “Winkler is known to be sort of calm. But this has taken it to a new dimension.
“I don’t think it’s just limited to town. I’m getting phone calls from all over: Elkhorn, Beausejour, Carman, Morden — every town on the map. It’s become a southern Manitoba type of event.”
Even people from Grand Forks, N.D., and a few other little places in the States want to get in on the action, which gets underway at 1:30 this afternoon in the Winkler Arena.
“Doors open at 1 p.m.,” Penner said. “We expect lineups well before that.”
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Kevin Lowe, in a desperate attempt to make his hockey team better, managed to make everything even worse.
Shortly after Vanek signed a $50-million US, seven-year offer sheet as a restricted free agent with the Oilers, the Buffalo Sabres matched the offer.
Lowe, who couldn’t land an unrestricted free agent waving $18 million of budget money around in the air, just made himself a multitude of enemies around the league.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
After making $925,000 last season and helping the club reach the Stanley Cup final, Emery is going to have a strong arbitration case and Murray knows it. That’s why Murray doesn’t want to risk Emery scoring an award of $4.5 million in arbitration. Ideally, the Senators would like to ink Emery to something similiar to the three-year, $8-million deal that Cam Ward signed with the Hurricanes last summer.
more on the Sens including Gerber asks to be traded…
from Jerry Sulivan of the Buffalo News,
“People ask why we didn’t negotiate with Thomas,” Quinn said. “We didn’t because we didn’t have a party that wanted to, because this was the route they were following. You can tell when discussions get to a certain point that someone has a different option.”
Quinn made it sound as if there had been a long history of talks with Vanek’s agent, Steve Bartlett. That wasn’t quite the case. Asked when he had begun talks with Bartlett, Regier said, “I’ve had a couple of conversations with him.”
Pressed for more details, Regier said he didn’t have an actual date. Finally, he said, “probably a general one a couple of weeks ago.”
from the Tennessean,
So when it was time to sign a new contract last month, Nichol had a difficult decision: Should he stay in Music City despite the uncertainty of the franchise’s situation following this season, or should he hit the open market and find a more stable destination?
In the end, he decided that sticking with a city, an organization and teammates he appreciated outweighed the fear of the unknown.
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
So desperate to prove his innocence and salvage his reputation, Sean Hill has taken a lie detector test and given blood at an independent lab.
The veteran NHL defenseman claims he has passed both tests and has no idea how boldenone, an anabolic steroid mostly used for treatment of horses, was found in his system following a Feb. 16 drug test.
Friday, minutes after signing a one-year contract with the Wild, the 37-year-old Duluth native talked for the first time about becoming the first player to test positive for a banned substance in the NHL’s performance- enhancing drug program.
“I had no idea what it even was when they called me,” said Hill, who has 19 games remaining on the 20-game suspension he received before the New York Islanders’ first-round playoff elimination game April 20. “I immediately asked to be retested, but they said they don’t do that. ... They said, ‘If we have the science, there’s not much you can do.’ “
*Previously on Kukla’s, the Minnesota Wild’s official statement
From Tim Tucker at the AJC,
...the net result is that the average player salary will be higher next season than in the year before the lockout.
Who’d have predicted that? Not Thrashers general manager Don Waddell.
He discusses the swollen cap and its impact on the free-agent market and the Thrashers:
Q. Are you surprised the cap has risen so high so fast?
A. “Looking back at the lockout, I didn’t anticipate after two full seasons we’d be spending more money in the marketplace now than before the lockout. I am surprised about that. It’s encouraging, because the [salary cap] is based on revenues, but the unfortunate part of it is that it’s based on everybody’s revenues. And our revenues are not as high [as many teams’]...”
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