Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
While it’s possible Scott Niedermayer will make a decision on his playing future either today or tomorrow, the Anaheim Ducks aren’t pressuring him to do so.
Ducks general manager Brian Burke called Niedermayer on Wednesday to tell him Friday wasn’t a deadline established by the Ducks, adding the real deadline for the team is July 1.
The Anaheim Ducks will find out Friday whether or not defenceman Scott Niedermayer will be joining them for the 2008-09 season.
Niedermayer’s agent, Kevin Epp of Titan Sports Management told TSN on Wednesday that his client will inform general manager Brian Burke of what his future plans will be - playing out the last season of his contract or retiring.
From Dan Wood at Ducks Blog,
Burke, though, isn’t the only name being bandied about by the out-of-control Toronto media. Reporters who cover the Leafs have also mentioned Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks, David Poile of the Nashville Predators, Darcy Regier of the Buffalo Sabres, Doug Risebrough of the Minnesota Wild, Jim Rutherford of the Carolina Hurricanes, Jay Feaster of the Tampa Bay Lightning and even Ken Holland of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. Along with Burke, that’s more than 25 percent of the general managers in the league, and the supposed logic is that any or all of them could become available after next season.
If nothing else, Toronto’s “brain trust” has given all of these men tremendous leverage to negotiate new contracts with their current clubs. Even worse, the Leafs brass has created more than one potential conflict-of-interest scenario. What if, for example, any of these general managers happens to swing a trade with Toronto, particularly if the deal might be construed as somewhat one-sided in either the short- or long-term? You think that might just raise some eyebrows at NHL headquarters?
More on Hiller from Dan Wood at Ducks Blog:
The Ducks on Wednesday announced the signing of backup goaltender Jonas Hiller to a two-year contract that will pay him $1.3 million each season.
From Michael Russo at Russo’s Rants,
As for the big-shot Bergeron, I talked to Risebrough twice Tuesday, once before his flight to Toronto for the goalie equipment trimming meetings and once after. He believes Bergeron will be a guy who can play regular minutes, not just a bunch of power-play minutes. He says part of the motivation was to be a fill-in for Foster while he’s out, but “that doesn’t mean it’s one or the other. It will be an improvement to have both when Foster’s back.”
Bergeron has a club option for next year at $1.653 million. The Ducks almost certainly wouldn’t have exercised that. So why didn’t the Wild wait for free agency? Risebrough says other teams were interested in Bergeron, and Brian Burke was definitely going to trade him. In other words, he wouldn’t make free agency, according to Risebrough.
From the Buffalo Sabres:
The Portland Pirates announced today a new, long-term affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres effective with the 2008-2009 AHL season. The announcement was made by Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek, Pirates Chairman/Governor Lyman Bullard, Sabres’ Managing Partner Larry Quinn, and Sabres’ General Manager Darcy Regier.
The Anaheim Ducks made the decision to sever its ties with the Pirates earlier this month for reasons of wanting their AHL team in closer proximity.
Looking at the map, I’d have to say Buffalo didn’t share the same concern.
Update 2:47pm ET: And as a commenter just pointed out… the Portland Pirates play in Maine. More coffee for me! Let me kill that map…
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
“I am now a U.S. Olympian, which gives me thrills,” Burke told Sportsnet.ca on Tuesday. “I wasn’t a good enough player to represent the U.S. in international competition. This is truly a tremendous honour in my opinion.”
Burke was GM of the 1993 U.S. world championship team and helped put together the previous two world championship squads, but this is his first crack at the big show. And it’s not lost on him that 2010 might be it for the world’s very best players.
“When you add to it the potential historical significance, that this well may be the very last Olympics that involves NHL players, then I think it is a very historically important event,” Burke said from his Anaheim office.
From Helene Elliott at the LA Times,
The general managers’ meetings produced many discussions but little news.
Among the issues debated were whether to disclose injuries and whether to adopt no-touch icing. The consensus was no and no.
“We play the number of games that we play and reporting injuries sometimes could be a detriment to the players’ health rather than a positive,” said Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils.
“We report the player as possible he’s playing or not playing, our practices are open every day. Everybody sees who practices, who doesn’t practice. I’m one who believes you shouldn’t report injuries.”
plus more on the GM meetings, and some words from Brian Burke on his contract status.
Note: Burke also told an interviewer on HNIC on CBC during Game 5 that the meetings produced some positive discussion on the possibility of limiting OT penalties to one-minute in length. He indicated the issue will be passed onto the AHL for further approval and testing.
Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf contributes his thoughts on game #4 and the series in the LA Times:
Being in a similar situation that we faced with Ottawa when we were going home, Detroit gets to go back home and they’re going to be comfortable. The biggest thing is for them to take advantage of the situation they put themselves in. They can’t let it slip. If you let it slip, if you give Pittsburgh any kind of breathing room, you never know what might happen.
Pittsburgh has got to play with its back against the wall. It’s a big task. No one is going to kid themselves. They’ve got to take it one game at a time. That’s the truth. If you have to win three games, you’ve got to get one first.
From CBC’s Satellite Hotstove Notebook,
Hollywood is calling Brian Burke. Yes, Hollywood.
On the heels of, or perhaps in-between, the Toronto Maple Leafs twice asking the Anaheim Ducks for permission to speak with their general manager, now comes word that Jerry Bruckheimer, the famous Hollywood television producer has also asked.
And three times the Ducks have said no, still intent on having Burke honour the final year of his contract
What is interesting about the Bruckheimer call, though, is that he doesn’t have a team. Yet.
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.
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