Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Carolina owner Peter Karmanos offered a blistering critique of the way the Penguins do business during a meeting with Raleigh-area media Wednesday.
He took numerous shots – some subtle, some not – at the franchise, with general manager Jim Rutherford the primary target. Rutherford was the Hurricanes’ GM for two decades until he was replaced by former Penguins center Ron Francis in 2014, shortly before Rutherford was hired here.
Among Karmanos’ observations:
On the large contract Rutherford gave to winger Alex Semin, who was bought out this week – “Ultimately, I take responsibility for everything. I do not have to take responsibility for Pittsburgh signing [Phil] Kessel, however. [The Penguins actually traded for Kessel, who has seven years left on his contract.]”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Perhaps flush from his election into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos did something so out of character Tuesday it was earthshaking. He authorized the $14 million buyout of Alexander Semin’s contract.
And just like that, Jim Rutherford’s $35 million mistake became a $28 million mistake, and Semin will have to slouch around somewhere else not scoring goals next season. And the season after that. And the season after that.
Paying a player that much money to go away is not in the Hurricanes’ DNA. In fact, it pretty much represents the opposite of everything Karmanos and the Hurricanes have done over the years, which is to try to operate on a tight budget while other teams throw money at problems.
That’s one measure of how badly the Hurricanes wanted Semin out, wanted him away from their impressionable young players. After trying to find a less expensive solution at the draft – swapping bad contracts, or sending Semin and an asset to a deep-pocketed team that would then pay to buy him out – they were left with no choice.
via Michael Smith of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
The Carolina Hurricanes placed forward Alexander Semin on unconditional waivers Tuesday with the intent of buying out his contract.
Semin was notified of the club’s decision Tuesday, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and he will need to clear waivers at noon Wednesday prior to being bought out.
Semin, 31, signed a five-year, $35 million extension with the Hurricanes in March 2013, and he has three years remaining on his contract.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
- General manager Ron Francis made it clear that the priority at this point is to try and sign Staal to an extension.
"I’ve had a general and open and honest conversation with Eric’s agent on things," Francis said Saturday. "We’ll continue to have those as we move into the summer. Eric has indicated he wants to be part of the Hurricanes moving forward, and we’ll see if we can get that worked out."
- General manager Jim Benning shed a bit more light on the deal that wasn’t completed with San Jose for Bieksa on Friday. It fell apart because the Canucks wanted a second-round pick in this year’s draft and the Sharks were only willing to provide a second-rounder next year.
"Going in, the market place dictates that Johnny Boychuk went for two second-round picks," Benning said, citing last fall’s deal between the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders. "Kevin is a little bit older. That’s what our asking price was [a second-round pick this year]. I don’t think it’s too much, I think it’s fair. That’s what we were trying to get if we were going to move Kevin."
But for now, Bieksa remains a Canuck, although sources suggest Vancouver is talking to other teams.
"He’s still part of our team. We’ll continue to explore options and see where it goes," said Benning.
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman James Wisniewski from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goaltender Anton Khudobin.
“James is a veteran defenseman who has proven his ability to produce offensively,” said Francis. “He has a big, right-handed shot, and he will be an important part of our blueline and power play moving forward.”
Wisniewski, 31, completed his 10th NHL season in 2014-15, totaling eight goals and 26 assists (34 points) in 69 games with Columbus and Anaheim. The Canton, MI, native ranked tied for third among NHL defensemen in power-play goals (7). He played 56 games for the Blue Jackets before being acquired by Anaheim at the trade deadline in exchange for Rene Bourque, William Karlsson and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
via Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Eddie Lack is on his way to Carolina as part of a shakeup in the Hurricanes crease.
The Vancouver Canucks are sending the 27-year-old goaltender to the Hurricanes in exchange for a third-round pick in Saturday’s draft and a seventh-rounder next year, according to two sources.
The Hurricanes currently have Cam Ward ($6.8-million) and Anton Khudobin ($2.5-million) under contract for 2015-16.
The Swede is a cheaper option — he’s owed $1.3-million in the final year of his deal — and could prompt a subsequent move for the Hurricanes.
added 10:16am, Carolina release is below...
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
Semin also could figure in various trade scenarios, even if Carolina has to retain part of his salary.
Asked about these plans for Semin, Francis said, “It’s too early to say. We’re looking at all the options. Is it best to keep him here or should we do something else? At the right time we’ll do what’s best for our organization.”
That doesn’t sound like a general manager expecting to see a player back in his team’s lineup, but Semin did score 22 goals in 65 games for Carolina in the 2013-14 season. He’s 31. He could have a bounce-back season if healthy and motivated.
Or he could be gone.
A much bigger absence would be the Hurricanes without forward Eric Staal or goalie Cam Ward. Both are entering the final year of their contracts and Francis has met with Rick Curran, the agent who represents both players for the Orr Hockey Group, to discuss possible extensions.
Staal, the team captain, will be paid $9.5 million next season. Ward, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 2006 when the Canes won the Cup, will have a $6.8 million salary.
“Our discussions have been pretty general to this point,” Francis said of extension talks. “It’s still pretty early in the process. In my opinion, I do think they want to be a part of turning this organization around and get it back to where it was. They’ve expressed an interest in doing that.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Both Eric Staal and Ward need to be either re-signed or traded, because their contracts are up after next season. Jordan Staal is signed to a long-term contract but came here to play with his brother and may not want to stay without him. Skinner has three years left on his contract but is one of the Hurricanes’ most marketable assets.
Francis and Curran met Wednesday to discuss the group’s conjoined future, and no matter what happens it’s impossible to separate their fates. No part of this discussion can be conducted in isolation.
“Over the years, I’ve had a number of occasions where I was faced with similar situations, with five or six clients on a particular team and it’s just coincidental with the dates of their contracts being due,” Curran said. “When I’m dealing on behalf of a client, I’m very cautious and very concerned to focus on the individual client. But having said that, you have to step back and look at the big picture and recognize any decision one client might make has a net effect on what someone else might want to do.”
In each case, Francis is more willing to consider a blockbuster trade than he was a year ago when he was just taking over as general manager and wanted to see if a few tweaks could get the Hurricanes back into the playoffs. That failed, and drastic changes are more likely.
“From my standpoint, I would say I have more interest in doing that at this point,” Francis said. “How it plays out, it’s tough to tell.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Another season comes to an early end, and the Carolina Hurricanes are in the same position they were last year.
Out of the playoffs. And 12 points worse.
After being told all summer how close this group was to making the playoffs, this group is actually 17 points farther away from the playoffs after a thoroughly pointless season.
No rebuild or remodel. And no forward progress or positive momentum with the same group, either. Just another season wasted, the fan base pressed for patience again after a sixth straight spring out of the postseason. Only the Edmonton Oilers have a longer playoff drought....
Change the general manager, change the coach, nothing changes. Alexander Semin is still here cashing massive paychecks – with a grand six goals to his credit – as is just about everyone else except top-pairing defenseman Andrej Sekera, traded away at the deadline.
Even the first-round pick the Hurricanes got for Sekera from the Los Angeles Kings will be a year late in arriving after the Kings missed the playoffs, one potential piece for the future kicked another season down the road.
from Kurt Dusterberg at NHL.com,
With one season remaining on a seven-year contract, Staal said he has had no discussion with the team about an extension.
"No contract talks," he said. "I'm not worried about it to be honest. I'm not sure what their plans are or what lies ahead."
Staal, once a steady 70-plus point producer, slipped to 61 points last season, and he enters the season finale with 54 points. He has played parts of both seasons working through injuries. The Hurricanes’ captain was clear he would prefer to stay with Carolina, noting his enthusiasm for the organization and its fans.
But if management were to ask him to waive the no-movement clause in his contract, he would be willing to listen.
"Depending on where I was being shipped off to," said Staal, who has 11 points in the past 10 games. "If it came to that, for sure."
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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