Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Douglas Flynn of the Hockey Journal,
Hardcore hockey fanatics and the casual sports fans alike turned out in droves, and the heart of a hockey city began beating once again.
“I think, frankly, that a lot more people have tuned in and understand just how close this team is (to a championship),” said Bruins principal Charlie Jacobs. “People have reconnected with this franchise that maybe hadn’t in the previous years. It was really started to reflect that in this community, and we’re seeing that. We’re seeing that interest on our Web site. We’re seeing that on our broadcasts. And we’re seeing that at the box office. People by and large in this city feel good about where their team is today when they think of the Boston Bruins, and that only bodes well for us.”
from .Frolundaindians.com (translated),
Frölunda Hockey Club and forward Per-Johan “Pebben” Axelsson has signed a contract for four seasons.
from James Murphy at NESN,
Both Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien have stressed the importance of a quick transition game, mobility and that first defensive pass out of the zone. And with the addition of Morris, Chiarelli believes he has completed his plan of putting together a blue line that excels in those areas. Despite losing some physical presence with the trade of Aaron Ward and departure of Shane Hnidy, Chiarelli thinks Morris can bring the right combination of skill and size and maybe even join captain Zdeno Chara on the club’s top defensive pairing.
“We feel we’ve added a No. 2 defenseman to our mix,” said Chiarelli. “We feel we’ve upgraded. He’s a guy who brings more skill to our lineup. He can retrieve pucks, he can get to pucks and he can compete. I really like the makeup of our defense now.
The Boston Bruins have wasted no time restocking their blue line as they have signed defenceman Derek Morris to a one-year deal worth $3.3 million.
added 11:18am, from Joe Haggerty of Big Bad Blog at WEEI,
The $3.3 million price tag is a pretty high price for Morris and leaves the Bruins with roughly $1.3 million under the salary cap with Phil Kessel still sitting unsigned as a restricted free agent. The feeling at this address is that the Bruins tried to deal Kessel through much of June, but couldn’t a deal to their liking and aren’t going to deal the 36-goal sniper this summer.
Either he signs a one-year deal with the Bruins for less than $4 million — and the Bruins are forced to trade another valuable dressing room/grit commodity like Chuck Kobasew — or Kessel sits and watches the Black and Gold hockey world move forward without him.
RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman Aaron Ward from the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Patrick Eaves and a fourth-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
“With this trade, our defense really takes shape,” said Rutherford. “Aaron played very well during his time in Carolina and had maintained that consistency with New York and Boston. We envision him complementing Joni Pitkanen well as a defensive pairing.”
added 11:42am, via the Boston Bruins,
The Boston Bruins have traded Aaron Ward to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2010 draft pick and Patrick Eaves. Eaves is on waivers.
From the Boston Bruins:
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed defenseman Matt Hunwick to a multi-year contract extension. Per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, So, with about eight weeks to go before the start of training camp, here’s how it’s shaping up for the 21-year-old winger, who potted 36 goals last season. Kessel can:
►Cut a one-year deal, accepting only a slight bump over his 2008-09 wages, and use it as a bridge to arbitration as of next July 1. If he popped in another 36 goals or more in 2009-10, he could ring up the Causeway cash drawer for $5 million per year or more next summer. Remember, the players who scored more than Kessel last year will average $6.5 million in the coming season.
►Take something akin to David Krejci money (three years/$11.25 million), forget about finances for 36 months, and come to the table in the spring of 2012, ideally with a more mature and proven overall game.
►Force his way out of town, either by requesting a trade or refusing to sign, leading Chiarelli to deal away a non-performing asset (probably at the post-Olympic trading deadline).
read on plus numerous hockey topics…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
...You’d expect, then, that the NHL would have finally gotten around to inviting Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to perform on such a stage wouldn’t you?
Instead, the NHL and broadcast partner NBC have settled on the Philadelphia Flyers, a compromise decision according to multiple sources.
No offense to Simon Gagne, new Flyer Chris Pronger and repatriated bad-boy netminder Ray Emery, but the decision to have the Flyers face off against the Bruins, announced at a press conference in Boston Wednesday afternoon, is a decision that simply flies in the face of logic.
If the point of the Winter Classic is to showcase the game’s greatest talents on a grand and unusual stage, to appeal to an audience that might not otherwise tune in to NHL games, then it behooves the NHL to do it right. It behooves the NHL not to compromise on a product that has proven to achieve those lofty goals.
NEW YORK (July 15, 2009) – The National Hockey League’s annual outdoor game will return on New Year’s Day with the Boston Bruins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park—home of the Boston Red Sox—in the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter ClassicTM. The Eastern Conference rivals will face-off at 1 p.m., ET in the classic, which received the SportsBusiness Journal “Sports Event of the Year” award for its inaugural edition in 2008.
“A unique event deserves a unique venue, and we are delighted the Bruins and Flyers will renew their rivalry with the ‘Green Monster’ providing the backdrop,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We welcome our fans, our teams, our sponsors and the great city of Boston to this annual celebration of our sport.”
The NHL is holding a press conference today at 2pm ET to announce the Winter Classic Game at Fenway Park. Representatives from the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers will be on hand and the press conference can be seen on the NHL Network and NHL.com will be streaming the event too.
Also, the schedule for the 2009-10 NHL season will be released later today.
added 10:59am, Schuyler Baehman is Twittering from Fenway and taking some cool pictures too!
Watch the press conference from Fenway Park below…
added 2:07pm, Bettman noted NBC/NHL contract extended for 2 more years.
note: original post was 10:04am this morning.
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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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