Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Other Prospects

from Hockey's Future, Players who just missed Hockey's Future's Top 50 NHL prospects list for Fall 2005:

The Best of the Rest Marek Schwarz, G, St. Louis Blues Heading into the 2004 draft last summer, Schwarz was generally regarded as the top goaltender available. A surprising draft day slide saw the Czech netminder drop all the way to St. Louis at the 17th selection, making him the third player taken at his position. This year, Schwarz made the decision to play against WHL juniors in Vancouver as opposed to against professionals at home. Surprisingly, Schwarz struggled most of the year in the new setting, posting very pedestrian numbers, including a save percentage of .900. The highlight of his season was definitely the WJC, where he was named the top goaltender of the tournament. There is little doubt about Schwarz’s talent and pure athleticism, but he remains quite raw and is still several years away from the NHL. Ryan Whitney, D, Pittsburgh Penguins The first four selections in the 2002 draft, Rick Nash, Kari Lehtonen, Jay Bouwmeester and Joni Pitkanen, have all been talked about as potential franchise players. But the player taken fifth overall has had little recognition. While Whitney’s three-year college career was inconsistent and perhaps underwhelming, the talented blueliner had a strong rookie campaign in the AHL this past season. He tallied 41 points in 80 games, and unlike many prospects in their first year out of college, Whitney did not seem to tire at the end of the year or in the playoffs, where the Boston University graduate notched nine points in 11 games. Whitney is blessed with great size and impressive offensive potential, but has to improve his decision-making. Igor Grigorenko, RW, Detroit Red Wings The Detroit Red Wings have proven themselves to be very capable of finding good young players from the draft, despite not having had a top 20 pick since 1991. In 2001, they did not make a selection until No. 62, at which point they grabbed Igor Grigorenko, an undersized sniper from Russia. After a spectacular 2002-03 season, when Grigorenko starred both at home and at the WJC, he was in a very serious car accident, and lost the bulk of the 2003-04 season. He struggled early this year with his regular club team Lada Togliatti, tallying only one assist in 11 games. A transfer to Salavat Yulayev allowed Grigorenko to blossom, with 18 points in 30 games. Grigorenko is a dynamic offensive player, with great hockey sense and a willingness to go into dangerous areas of the ice.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will the Senators Trade Redden

from the Ottawa Sun,

You'd never want to do it. In the old days, you probably never would. But if you're the Senators, it seems you really have no choice. The new NHL is forcing you into a tough decision. It's making you trade a star player. And if you're the Senators, you have to realize that player is Wade Redden. As it stands, you have too many players who are either in or are falling into the $5 million per season range. You have to make sure you lock up your best, Marian Hossa. You also have to sign Zdeno Chara to a long-term deal before he can test the unrestricted free agent market next summer. In Chara, you have a commodity no one else does -- a talented 6-foot-9, 260-pounder who may be the toughest defenceman to play against. He can't be allowed to escape.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins O’Connell- “Favorites for the Stanley Cup”

from the Boston Herald,

"I think this team, with the way it's set up with the rule changes, we have to be considered favorites for the Stanley Cup, and I think the players should feel the same way," general manager Mike O'Connell said. While some of the heavy lifting might be completed for O'Connell, he still has pretty important work to do.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Chris Gratton to Florida

via Sportsnet,

The Florida Panthers continue to play an active role in the free agent free-for-all, this time the Florida club signed veteran forward Chris Gratton. Gratton, who was picked third overall by Tampa Bay back in 1993, split time with Phoenix and Colorado in 2003/04, scoring 13 goals and adding 19 assists. Sportsnet has also learned Gratton's contract is for one-year, and valued at $900,000.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Going After RFA Players

from Spector and Fox Sports,

Under the new CBA it may become easier for a team to pluck away another club's top RFA players. With all teams now under a salary cap, there are some presently attempting to re-sign their respective RFA players but have limited cap space available with which to do so. One example of this is the Detroit Red Wings, who are at present in negotiations with young RFA forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Under the old CBA, they wouldn't have to worry about rival clubs attempting to poach these two away with offers sheets because they weren't limited by a salary cap and could easily match any offer. But under this new CBA, Wings GM Ken Holland has little wiggle room available to re-sign Datsyuk and Zetterberg, which is causing negotiations between those players and Holland to drag. Don't expect there to be a "gentleman's agreement" between the team owners not to raid each other's rosters with offer sheets. At some point there is bound to be a team willing to take the chance to not only test the new CBA's limits but also the payroll limits of a rival club.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hamrlik Signing Reported

The Fan 960 in Calgary is reporting Roman Hamrlik has signed with the Flames. update 7:35pm, via Sportsnet,

It seems as though the Calgary Flames are not done adding personnel to their already re-vamped lineup. According to reports, the Calgary Flames are on the verge of signing free-agent defenceman Roman Hamrlik. Sources close to the Flames indicate the announcement will be made Monday. Hamrlik would bolster an already solid defensive group in Calgary. It is believed the contract will be two-years at $3.5 million per season.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Is a New Sports Network Possible

from CNN Money,

Could the home of Lance Armstrong and professional bull riding be the next home for the Tom Brady and the Detroit Red Wings? Stranger things may happen by 2006. By then, it's possible that the Outdoor Life Network could carrying both NHL and NFL games. Or maybe those games will be found on a new all-sports network from Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Or maybe prime time NFL games will find their way to the league's own NFL Network. Or maybe some cable network will join the fray. It's tough to look at the ESPN empire and think what this nation needs is another all-sports network. But that's pretty much what the nation's sports leagues believe is needed.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ottawa Sign Spezza and Four Others

from TSN, The Ottawa Senators have re-signed five players, with centres Jason Spezza and Antoine Vermette, right-winger Chris Neil, and defenceman Christoph Schubert signing one-year deals. Defenceman Anton Volchenkov signed a two-year contract.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Pittsburgh Revived, Arena Isn’t

from the CP via Canada.com,

Mario Lemieux looks 29, not 39, Craig Patrick has money to spend, Ed Olczyk has players to coach and the Igloo may be sold out for nearly every game this season. These are heady times for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The arrival of first overall draft pick Sidney Crosby in combination with a new collective bargaining agreement that has levelled the playing field for all 30 NHL clubs has the city of Pittsburgh buzzing about hockey again. "I was anticipating a year of recovery," Penguins president and governor Ken Sawyer said in an interview in his office. "Even with all the good news, I thought people would wait and see. But we just eliminated that year." Forget the recovery period, the good times are here.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Leftovers- What are they Worth

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Certainly for the esteemed members of the Leftover squad, the new NHL means having an open mind, in terms of both geography and finance. "To get the price they want, they may have to go somewhere they don't want to go," player agent Sosa said. In presalary-cap days, squeezing an extra $100,000 or $200,000 out of a team wasn't a problem. "But to bend and stretch over a $100,000 or $200,000 now is problematic," said veteran agent Ritch Winter, who this week helped Jan Hrdina land in Columbus, but still has Team Leftover stars Hamrlik, Bondra and Eriksson, along with Michal Rozsival, to deal with. "You have to be aware of the market, and you have to be concerned about it. The only ones who are not concerned about it have to be in a coma."

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

« Previous       ‹ First  < 7572 7573 7574 7575 7576 >  Last ›      Next »

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

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts