Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
• Revenues for 2008-09 have yet to be finalized. But based on current projections, players will earn only 85-87 percent of their contracts because of escrow. For example, Alex Ovechkin, due $9 million in 2008-09, would take home $7.65 million in pre-tax earnings. For 2009-10, escrow could become even more significant to make up for any revenue shortfalls. The 2009-10 figure hasn’t been set yet, but some agents are informing their clients that 20 percent of their salaries could be tucked away via escrow. “You always err on the side of caution,’’ said Andrew Ference, the Bruins’ player representative….
• For those fretting about Phil Kessel remaining unsigned, remember that there is no rush for either side to put pen to paper. The 21-year-old forward might not be ready to play until December because of rehabilitation following shoulder surgery. Kessel can continue his rehab and see if the Bruins sputter at the start, which could put pressure on the club to lock him up….
more hockey notes, most Bruins related…
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Perhaps the biggest contribution Recchi made last season was helping Bergeron rediscover his skills. Bergeron, who suffered a serious head injury in 2007 and another lesser concussion in December 2008, looked like his old self when teamed with Recchi.
If Bergeron returns to the form that saw him score 70 points in two straight seasons from 2005-07, it would have an effect similar to signing one of the top available free agents this summer. Recchi thinks it can happen.
“You can see Bergeron is regaining his confidence,” Recchi said. “When you go through what he’s been through the past 1 1/2 or two years, it’s not easy. But I think he’s back to being the player everybody has seen in the past. He’s holding onto the puck and playing with strength. He’s a great two-way player.
“It’s fun to see him getting back to health and it’s fun to play with him. I’m just trying to support Chuck and Patrice by going to the areas that they need me to go.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins, deep in discussions about the sweater they’ll wear for the Winter Classic, are hoping to create a jersey that can catch a piece of the magic the Penguins created two years ago. For the 2008 outdoor game at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Penguins went retro, pulling their 1968-69 jersey design out of mothballs. Today, the powder blue sweater - the Penguins switched to black and gold in 1979-80, following in the footsteps of the Steelers and Pirates - remains one of the league’s top-selling items.
“That worked,’’ said Bruins principal Charlie Jacobs, “because they’re not necessarily their team colors. There’s no black or gold. It’s a powder blue jersey, and that made it unique. It’s certainly recognized in their market. It’s not like the Pirates, Steelers, or anything else. It’s unique.’’
Jacobs hopes that by the end of August, the Bruins, in conjunction with Reebok and the NHL, will settle on a design that will serve multiple purposes: capture the Bruins’ heritage, stand out as a unique item for the New Year’s Day game against the Flyers at Fenway Park, and convince fans to hand over their money.
more plus additional NHL talk…
from James Murphy of NESN,
I spoke to Phil Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, on the ride up Thursday night and got the latest on Kessel and his contract negotiations with the Bruins.
“Nothing really new to update,” Arnott said. “I wish I had some new news for you, but there’s really nothing major to report.”...
nterestingly, unlike many, Arnott said that he and Kessel did not initially believe the Aaron Ward trade was made as a precursor to re-signing Kessel.
“No not at all,” Arnott said.
So that is where the two parties stand. There were no reports of offer sheets, and while there have been recent rumors of the Islanders and Sharks inquiring about a Kessel trade and the Islanders possibly looking at Marco Sturm, follow-ups have turned up nothing substantial.
As of now, it appears both sides would like to make this work, but the chance is still very real that this might trickle into camp.
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.
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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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