Kukla's Korner Hockey
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced center Jordan Staal will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a fractured fibula in his right leg. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Kevin Logel and Dr. Marty Isbell at Raleigh Orthopaedic and recovery time is estimated at three to four months.
Staal, 26, was injured during the third period of Carolina’s exhibition game at Buffalo on Tuesday, when he got tangled up with Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native did not miss a single game during his first two seasons with the Hurricanes in 2012-13 and 2013-14, totaling 71 points (25g, 46a) in 130 games.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Peter Karmanos, one of the most venerable team owners in the NHL, is looking for someone to succeed him as owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Karmanos has hired New York investment bank Allen & Co. to help him find an investor who would be willing to commit "hundreds of millions of dollars into the team but let me control it," he told TSN.
Karmanos said he wants to partner with an investor who would buy out his interest in the team over time. Karmanos said he is seeking an investor who would value his team at $420 million or more.
"What I am trying to do is set up a reasonable succession plan because I'm not one of those guys who thinks I am going to go on forever," Karmanos said in an interview. "I'd like to have a partner again...but someone will have to pay dearly for it. (The Hurricanes are) a valuable franchise despite what some of your folk in Canada say about them. I don't see a basketball or baseball or football team coming here. We're going to be the lone ranger here (in Raleigh) for quite some time."
"But I couldn't give somebody me, I couldn't give them 100 percent of me. I wasn't into the game anymore and I didn't think it was fair to give somebody 60 or 70 percent of me.
"I had just built up a lot of anger towards the game. I wanted to get away. I didn't know that I would ever play again, to be honest. … I fell out of love with the sport and didn't have any passion for it. But sometimes you have to lose what you have to realize what you had."
-Chad LaRose who is trying to make a comeback in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. More on LaRose from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Buried in the avalanche of information that came out of the Carolina Hurricanes’ media day a few weeks ago was one interesting little nugget from new coach Bill Peters.
Peters said he’d like one of his goalies to play 60 games, which is pretty standard stuff from coaches who generally prefer to have a No. 1 goalie and a backup. Except in these specific circumstances, it’s reasonably explosive proposition.
Not because the Hurricanes don’t have a goalie capable of playing 60 games. They do. They have two, if (and that’s a big if) Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin are each on their game. And that’s the issue. If one goalie is playing 60 games, that means the other is playing 22. There isn’t enough playing time to go around for two goalies who both consider themselves to be the starter.
Peters did qualify that statement, noting the usual hectic early season travel schedule that sees the Hurricanes play two of their first eight games on the road in an attempt to avoid the hassles of playing at home during the North Carolina State Fair will require extensive use of both goalies. But the desire to have a No. 1 guy seems to conflict directly with the players at his disposal.
Peters, who has been nothing less than impressive in his limited interactions so far with the media and public, clearly gets the benefit of the doubt here. Almost every coach would prefer to have a No. 1 goalie who claims the job and runs with it. Making that statement before training camp begins is practically a reflex.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
His next gig will allow him to stay in Dallas with his family while at the same time reconnecting with the NHL.
``I enjoyed my year with helping my son’s hockey team and now I can continue to do that,” Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com this week after being named pro scout/advisor to Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis.
``I had breakfast with Ronnie in the spring and we continued to talk during the summer. I have a lot of respect for Ron,’’ said Nieuwendyk. ``I played with him on the Leafs in ’04 and we have mutual friends who work for him in Carolina. It just feels like something I wanted to do and hopefully I can help him any which way I can.’’
When Jay Feaster was fired as GM in Calgary last season, rumors -- well-founded ones -- spread that Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke had great interest in bringing former Flames star Nieuwendyk in as Feaser's replacement.
While Nieuwendyk has never talked publicly about that specific possibility, it is clear he’s not ready yet to jump back into that demanding lifestyle of running an NHL team.
more plus a few other hockey topics...
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
It may seem a contradiction, but Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had an uneasy, productive summer.
For Ward, the uneasiness came in persistent speculation he might be traded. Asked this week if he believed he might have played his last game for the Canes, Ward said, “I think I’d be lying if I said no. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
The trade rumors spiked around the NHL draft and then the start of free agency, but there was no move. The tension subsided, Ward said, when general manager Ron Francis called to say Ward and Anton Khudobin would be the Canes’ two goaltenders this season.
“It was an important summer in my career,” Ward said. “These last couple of years haven’t gone the way I expected of myself. I feel like that’s behind me and you move forward. I’ve done everything I can to prepare myself to play with confidence.”
Ward, 30, said he intensified his physical conditioning, looking to add more muscle. He changed his diet, looking to improve his nutrition.
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has hired Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk to serve as a professional scout and advisor.
“Joe brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization,” said Francis. “He will be based in Dallas, and will be a major asset to the Hurricanes in player evaluations.”
Nieuwendyk, 47, served as the general manager for the Dallas Stars from 2009-2013, acquiring many of the players that formed the foundation of the Stars’ playoff team in 2014, including Alex Goligoski, Kari Lehtonen, Cody Eakin, Alex Chiasson, Ray Whitney, Antoine Roussel and Brenden Dillon. Prior to joining the Stars, Nieuwendyk served in advisory roles for the Maple Leafs and Panthers, and served as assistant general manager for Canada’s silver-medal-winning team at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Thursday morning on his radio show, Dan Patrick claimed that “a financial person who’s involved in this” told him the NHL would have a team in Las Vegas by 2016. He further claimed the Carolina Hurricanes were one of two teams that could move there.
“I guess he’s asking an exorbitant price for his team,” Patrick said, after initially identifying Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos as the owner of the Nashville Predators. “That’s also a possibility from what I’m told. They could relocate as well.”
Patrick is probably right about the first part. Expansion, to Las Vegas and beyond, appears inevitable. As for the second, just consider this kind of talk the price of five straight seasons without a playoff appearance. As ticket sales and corporate sponsorships dwindle, as Karmanos sells off chunks of the team to local investors, these kinds of rumors will only intensify.
But Karmanos is getting more involved with the Hurricanes, not less, even as he continues to seek investors.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Though the Carolina Hurricanes made significant changes in their front office and behind the bench – Ron Francis took over as general manager while former Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Bill Peters replaced Kirk Mueller as head coach -- following the team’s 13th place finish last season, the personnel has not fluctuated much.
And considering that the roster remains largely intact, Carolina’s top players really have to step it up, according to former Hurricane Jeff O’Neill.
“When you have a lot of long-term [contracts], guys locked in to big money, there is a philosophy around the league that you are only as good as your bad contracts,” O’Neill told ESPN.com in a recent telephone conversation.
And that leaves at least a few players under some pretty intense scrutiny for the 2014-15 season. Chief among them, according to O’Neill, is goaltender Cam Ward.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Don Waddell has been around the NHL long enough to hear the alarm bells ringing before he even arrived in town as President of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment, parent company of the Carolina Hurricanes. The man who oversaw the sale and move of a struggling Sun Belt franchise to Canada is joining the Hurricanes?
“That was the first thing I had to address with the staff,” Waddell acknowledged this week over breakfast, one of dozens of get-acquainted meals he has brokered since taking over as team president last month.
His message: Waddell is here to grow the franchise, not move it.
Waddell is best known as the longtime general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers, a job he held for 12 years, but he has considerable experience on the business side of things as well. He at one point oversaw the Thrashers, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, before the hockey team moved to Winnipeg, ran minor-league franchises in San Diego and Orlando and served as a consultant for ownership groups interested in putting an NHL team in Seattle.
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