Kukla's Korner Hockey
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."
Alexander Semin shows his offensive talent.
In my opinion, a very underrated hockey broadcaster.
RALEIGH, NC – Don Waddell, President of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes will honor television broadcaster John Forslund with a special pregame ceremony on Saturday, March 21, in celebration of his 20th year as the television voice of the franchise.
Hurricanes General Manager Ron Francis and the Hurricanes players will recognize Forslund’s milestone during the pregame ceremony, and tributes will be shown on the PNC Arena video board throughout the game. Thanks to Buffalo Brothers, the first 5,000 fans in attendance at the game will receive commemorative t-shirts featuring Forslund’s signature catchphrase, “Hey, Hey, Whaddya Say?!”.
added 10:09am, Carolina press release is below...
added 12:01pm, Washington release is below... added 12:06pm, Carolina release added below too...
added 6:47pm, LA Kings release is below...
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
With the NHL trade deadline a week away, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis on Monday looked to end one bit of speculation.
Disputing media reports out of Pittsburgh that the Penguins could be interested in reacquiring Canes center Jordan Staal, Francis said, "We're not moving Jordan Staal."
Francis said the Hurricanes, 15th in the Eastern Conference with a 21-30-7 record, likely would be moving some players, saying it could be "sooner rather than later." But he indicated they probably would be pending unrestricted free agents that the Canes have not been able to re-sign.
Francis did not name names, but Carolina's UFAs include veteran defensemen Andrej Sekera and Tim Gleason and forwards Jiri Tlusty, Jay McClement and Pat Dwyer. Any could be of value to a playoff contender or hopeful looking to bolster their lineup before the March 2 deadline.
from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Penguins are interested in reacquiring center Jordan Staal, sources told Trib Total Media.
A move likely would not take place until after the season, though the Penguins have inquired about what it would take to obtain the Carolina Hurricane before the March 2 trade deadline, sources said.
Such a move would require the Penguins to slash significant salary, as they are less than $1 million under the $69 million salary cap.
Staal signed a 10-year, $60 million contract in July 2012, days after the Penguins traded him to Carolina. Current Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford signed Staal to the deal after swapping center Brandon Sutter, defenseman Brian Dumoulin and the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Rutherford told the Trib five days ago he would like to acquire forward help.
Staal, 26, has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but sources close to Staal said he would forgo that if it meant returning to the Penguins.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
... as the March 2 trade deadline approaches, the Blueshirts’ primary need is for a reliable left defenseman to partner on the third pair with Dan Boyle rather than a bottom-six forward to bolster the team’s depth up front.
Getting both would, of course, be optimum, but general manager Glen Sather may not have the cap space or the expendable assets with which to pull off the double. And if the Blueshirts — who moved into second in the East and fifth overall in points per game following Monday’s thrilling 6-5 victory at the Coliseum, trailing only acknowledged Cup front-runners Nashville, St. Louis, Montreal and Anaheim — can fill only one hole, then it has to be on the blue line, where the John Moore-Matt Hunwick rotation has grown increasingly deficient under pressure.
To that end, sources have told The Post the Blueshirts have joined a crowded field dreaming of acquiring Carolina’s Andrej Sekera as a rental property. The price at this point, sources said, is a first-rounder plus a prospect, which is too rich for just about any suitor’s blood, and certainly Sather’s.
But chances are that the price will drop, and if it does, there is no reason the Rangers shouldn’t be willing to offer one of their two second-rounders (their own or Tampa Bay’s) and a prospect not named Anthony Duclair, Pavel Buchnevich or Brady Skjei.
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