Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Forslund at WRAL,
On July 1 the Hurricanes pulled the trigger on a significant and emotional trade by shipping off Erik Cole to the Edmonton Oilers for Joni Pitkanen. The time for analyzing that one is long gone - it’s time to move forward.
For the Hurricanes to get where they want to be this season, this Finnish blue-liner will be a the focal point of it all. There was no question watching last year’s crew go through their set of 82, that the Canes were aching for that defensemen who could put it all together - handle an abundance of minutes, anchor the power play, kill penalties and defend in his own end by managing the puck out of trouble.
They believe they have their man in this 24 year-old Finn.
From Lyle Richardson at FoxSports:
The Hurricanes are following a league-wide trend which began in the summer of 2007 of re-signing potential restricted and unrestricted free-agent stars well before they become eligible to entertain other offers.
Since July, the notable re-signing was Vincent Lecavalier—who was eligible for UFA status next summer—inking a staggering 11-year, $85 million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The most recent such deal was the Florida Panthers re-upping defenseman Keith Ballard to a six-year extension believed worth over $4 million per season.
read on for more on this trend and a look at the names that may sign some big offers before next summer
*Article references the news of Eric Staal’s new contract, announced earlier today
The Carolina Hurricanes have called a news conference for Thursday afternoon where they are expected to announce the signing of centre Eric Staal to a multi-year contract extension.
continued and we will update here when it becomes official.
Update 2:19pm ET (alanah): Deal announed. From the News Observer:
The Carolina Hurricanes and star center Eric Staal have signed a seven-year contract that will play the All-Star an average $8.25 million a year, the team announced today.
“This won’t change the way I play hockey. I play to win,” Staal said. “This won’t change my game. I’m a competititve guy. The numbers won’t be in my head. I’ll do my thing.
From the Carolina Hurricanes:
Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today unveiled the team’s new alternate uniforms. The Hurricanes will wear the mostly-black uniforms for 15 home games this season, and the new Hurricanes third jerseys go on sale to the general public on Sunday, Sept. 21, at the team’s annual season kick-off event, the Caniac Carnival.
“We’re very proud of our traditional uniforms,” said Rutherford. “But after ten seasons in North Carolina and a lot of different ideas from our fans, we felt it was time to introduce an additional look for our team.”
Update 2:59pm ET: This note from Slapshot at the NYT -
BTW, this sweater is different than what was described by Howard Berger in a late July blog post [on HockeyBuzz.com] that claimed to have descriptions of 18 different third jerseys.[...] We hate to say we told you so, but….
from Canes Country,
As everyone knows, Forslund is the television play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Hurricanes and has been with the franchise for 17 years now. He’s done such an outstanding job for the Canes that he has also been called upon to work for Versus and ESPN.
Q. According to Multichannel.com, you have signed on to work for Versus again next year. I was wondering how that agreement with Versus coincides with your commitment to the Hurricanes and FSN?
...This season I’m looking at doing 17 regular season games for them, starting with the October 5th game between Tampa Bay and the Rangers in the Czech Republic, although we will be calling the game from stateside
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
When negotiations conclude on a long-term contract extension for Carolina Hurricanes superstar center Eric Staal, a process that could end soon, there are two certainties about what that contract will look like.
One, it’s going to be for a ton of money, the most the Hurricanes have ever paid a single player. Two, it’s not going to be for any longer than seven years.
Not because the Canes don’t want Staal around any longer than that—clearly, they do—but because the NHL’s leaguewide insurance plan will only insure player contracts for seven years.
Beyond that, if the player gets hurt, the team is on the hook for the full amount of his contract.
from Chip Alexander of Lord Stanley’s Blog,
Carolina Hurricanes general Jim Rutherford said today that the team hoped to sign star forward Eric Staal to a long-term contract in the next week to 10 days.
Rutherford would not disclose the financial figures being discussed, but it is believed Staal could receive a seven- or eight-year contract that will pay him between $7 million and $10 million a year.
“We’re continuing to talk and have talked more of late,” Rutherford said. “I would expect us to get a deal done soon. We’re getting to the point we’re just trying to fine-tune it.”
from Lord Stanley’s Blog,
Hurricanes players and staff members were saddened today to learn of the death of Julia Rowe, the young girl whose battle with leukemia proved so inspiring to the team during its run to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Rowe, a neighbor of Canes coach Peter Laviolette, was the impetus behind the “relentless” motto that the team adopted during the playoffs.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
Asked if he is a bit calmer and—how best to put it?—a bit more mature than when he left Raleigh in 2005, O’Neill smiled.
“Oh, yeah, that’s for sure,” he said.
(Jeff) O’Neill also said he’s in better shape. He said he began working out this spring at a fitness center in Toronto that specializes in training hockey players.
“I skated and worked out last season,” he said. “Obviously, that’s nothing compared to an NHL season. But [the training] helped me prepare for coming down here.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
It wasn’t Erik Cole’s unique combination of speed, size and skill that reminded Deborah Halaby of the son she lost so long ago, although that certainly helped make her a fan of the former Carolina Hurricanes forward.
There was more to it than that, something harder to define about the unspoken braggadocio embodied in Cole’s bull-rushes past flat-footed defensemen and his occasional petulance with the officials that stirred her emotions—and her memories.
“The arrogance—his whole stance,” Halaby says. “Something just clicked. Every time I saw him, it was just Michael. When Erik got hurt and they’d show him on the Jumbotron, my seatmates would look over at me and I’d be crying.”
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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