Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Haggerty of WEEI,
Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman and Atlanta general manager Don Waddell are actively discussing a potential contract extension for the player who is the NHL’s leading scorer since the beginning of the 2001 season, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Russian takes a wait-and-see approach before signing on the dotted line.
If the 26-year-old rugged scoring machine isn’t locked up by the Thrashers, then pay close attention to the Bruins’ interest level throughout the season after they stockpiled draft picks in the Phil Kessel deal. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli now has seven picks in the first two rounds of the next two drafts, and he owns five of the first 60 picks in next summer’s well-stocked draft rife with blue-chip talent.
Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside of ESPN sit down with Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.
from Naoko Funayama of NESN,
Just telling hockey people you’re going to Quebec City triggers a delightful reaction. But even better was the reaction the people of QC had to us.
“You come for hockey game?” asked our waiter at a quaint corner bistro in Old Quebec City.
“Claude Julien?” he continued in his broken English, asking us about Boston’s head coach and the former Quebec Nordiques defenseman….
Inside Le Colisee, the aura of the old NHL team still remained. Its NHL banners were proudly displayed, with wooden seats high in the “endzones” that were so vertically lined they looked like a wall.
from Damian Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,
Kessel, says Chiarelli, demanded a trade and wouldn’t negotiate a contract, so that was that. Indications are that was indeed the situation, and Kessel’s statement that he “never once” demanded a trade was really just semantics. Whether his agent made the demand or whether his unwillingness to talk contract was a passive aggressive strategy, it really doesn’t matter now.
Clearly, Julien’s coaching style was part of the issue, and so the most fascinating part of Kessel’s career as a Leaf when it begins in two months or so will be how he and Ron Wilson are able to forge a working relationship. Wilson’s a demanding coach, and he can be caustic and pointed in his public and private remarks when he feels it is warranted. San Jose officials make no bones about the fact they believe Wilson’s riding of Patrick Marleau retarded Marleau’s development.
Understand this. While Wilson and Burke are friends from years back, Burke now has more personal prestige invested in Kessel being successful than in Wilson, a coach Burke didn’t hire. The Leaf GM will hope Wilson and Kessel get along very well, but it’s a great deal more difficult to find top six forwards than head coaches.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
According to team principal Charlie Jacobs, the Bruins still hope to include members of the club’s triumphant 1970 Stanley Cup team in a charity event, perhaps a game, while the ice is in place at Fenway Park for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic….
A couple of issues here: 1. Given other civic and charity plans, possibly even public skating, the base paths could be a bit crowded to work in an event of this scale. 2. If it’s not a charity gig, the NHL could raise an objection to a large-scale pay event being staged on its sheet prior to the Winter Classic.
All that said, it would be one fine sight to see Bobby Orr, now 61 years old, take a skate through the Back Bay. Imagine the memorabilia shots of No. 4 cruising through open ice, with the Green Monster in the background.
more topics including Boston GM had no choice but to move Kessel…
added 8:43pm, Since Darren Dreger broke the news, let’s go to his story…
The drama surrounding Phil Kessel has finally come to an end as the Boston Bruins have traded their disgruntled sniper to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 1st and a 2nd round pick in 2010, and a 1st round pick in 2011 pending a trade call which is currently underway.
Kessel and the Maple Leafs then quickly agreed to terms on a new five-year, $27 million deal.
continued and below you can check how this story broke early this evening…
Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Friday evening that the team has obtained the rights to restricted free agent forward Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins. In exchange, Boston will receive the Maple Leafs’ first-round draft picks in 2010 and 2011 and their second-round draft pick in 2010. Kessel and the Maple Leafs agreed to terms on a multi-year contract following the trade
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
I don’t doubt the Nashville Predators have significant interest in Boston Bruins’ restricted free agent Phil Kessel.
And I don’t doubt, all things being equal, Boston would rather move Kessel to Nashville and the Western Conference than to the division rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
But here’s why Nashville, regardless of what it offers Boston, is at a serious disadvantage in the Kessel sweepstakes.
Kessel, it appears, wants to play in Toronto, not Nashville. And as long as that remains the case, Nashville can’t trade for him.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Some won’t believe he’ll ever be comfortable in his own skin, which by itself raises the issue of how will he handle the boondoggle that is Toronto hockey. You can’t hide in Toronto. Some players love that. Some get eaten up by it.
When I spoke to Kessel at the USA Olympic camp, he did seem more grown up. He did make eye contact. He didn’t look at his shoes the way he had in previous conversations.
He will be traded before his Oct. 2 birthday because the Bruins must be under the salary cap by the start of the season. They may even do better in a trade than they would have had someone signed an offer sheet for Kessel.
Kessel will be paid somewhere above $4.5 million US a year, which would entitle the Bruins to a first-, second- and third-round draft pick. The Leafs will pay that much for him, probably more.
added 9:13am, via John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The Predators have offered a combination of draft picks and prospects to Boston for forward Phil Kessel, General Manager David Poile said Wednesday.
“I certainly believe in being aggressive and persistent and going after what I want. But I’ve made it clear what we can do,’’ Poile said. “It’s fairly apparent what other teams are doing.’‘
There have been reports saying Toronto is willing to give up two first-round draft picks and a second-rounder for Kessel.
“If (Chiarelli) gets two firsts and a second, he’s getting really good compensation,’’ Poile said. “But it is all in the eye of the beholder for a 21-year-old player who scored 36 goals.’‘
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports,
It’s been reported that Toronto is offering two first-round picks and a third-rounder for Kessel.
One source said that offer is now the two first-rounders, a second-rounder and a player – although Burke denied that by e-mail Tuesday night.
As for the player, I can’t get confirmation, so I’m not going to guess.
At least one other team isn’t giving up hope.
It’s been a four days since Nashville’s David Poile admitted his interest. Since then, he hasn’t spoken to his Boston counterpart.
“Nothing is happening ... I don’t know where it stands,” the Predators GM said Tuesday afternoon.
“But we’re interested. Who wouldn’t be?”
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.
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