Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal,
With his father, Bill Wirtz, in the hospital and the 2007-08 hockey season about to begin, a memo from the Blackhawks finance department landed on his desk. The team needed an immediate infusion of $34 million to start the season, the memo said, or it wouldn’t be able to make payroll.
The eight-figure request stunned Wirtz. As president of Wirtz Corp., he oversaw a family-owned business with interests in liquor, wine and beer distribution, insurance, real estate, banking and co-ownership of the United Center. The enterprises generated more than $1.4 billion in annual revenue, and none ever came close to missing a payroll.
read on (paid subscription, so hopefully the link will continue to work)
Nick Kypreos and Daren Millard at the Fan 590 spoke with Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon this morning.
The GM of the Hawks joins Hockeycentral at Noon to discuss the progress of the Khabibulin situation, whether the team would consider sending him to the AHL, and how soon we could expect another development with the goalie.
Tallon expects the situation will be resolved before the start of his team’s NHL season. Listen to the complete interview.
Update 2:28pm ET: At Sportsnet.ca another interview cited from Fan590 which featured these comments from Jay Grossman, Khabibulin’s agent:
“There are several teams that have expressed interest, with our permission being given by Chicago to talk to those teams. At the same time, Chicago is aware of a number of options they have by virtue of trade, whether it be now or whether it be down the road. We assume that at least as far as the start of the season is concerned that (Khabibulin’s status) would be determined well before then.”
Khabibulin’s agent, Jay Grossman told TSN that his client has playing options with the Russian Continental Hockey League (KHL).
“Nik has several options, both here and over there,” Grossman told TSN.
“However, nothing has been finalized and by no means is anything imminent.”
Grossman admitted that he would like to get a deal worked out quickly so that Khabibulin could get back on the ice.
“Nobody is looking to drag this thing out,” he told TSN.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin could be headed to Russia after clearing waivers earlier this week.
In order to shed payroll, the Blackhawks are to prepared to loan their high-priced former all-star to a club in the Continental Hockey League (KHL), Sportsnet has learned.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“We’re weighing our options and we’ll decide in the next couple of days what we do,” Blackhawks GM Dave Tallon said via telephone Tuesday. “We’re under the cap, we’re fine. We don’t have a gun to our head. But we’ll decide in a few days what we’re doing.”
Khabibulin became expendable once the Hawks signed Cristobal Huet on July 1. Youngster Corey Crawford is ready for the NHL, as well.
The problem when trying to make a deal like this at this time of year is that everyone basically thinks they’re fine. The puck hasn’t dropped yet. Once the losses start piling up for a team that was supposed to be better, that’s when the trade talks start to heat up.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The Blackhawks are trying to clear salary cap space by getting rid of Khabibulin and insiders say the player they’re targeting now is Washington Capitals center Michael Nylander, who has three years left on his contract with a salary cap hit of $4.875 million.
Sources say the Blackhawks have already made two serious offers to the Capitals for Nylander and believe he would be a good candidate to replace Robert Lang and play with oft-injured Martin Havlat.
more and some Luke Schenn discussion too.
added 12:32pm, as expected, via TSN,
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin cleared waivers on Tuesday as speculation of a trade continues.
Bob McKenzie of TSN just mentioned on NHL Live that Nikolai Khabibulin is on waivers. Bob said maybe Tallon knows someone will pick him up, or, if not, he comes back on re-entry waivers at half price and maybe gets picked up.
from Cris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
First, veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will not play tonight. He had been scheduled to see his first action of the preseason. Savard’s explantation for the switch was the team wanted to get a good look at free-agent signee Antti Niemi.
With rumors of the Hawks looking to move Khabibulin since the signing of Cristobal Huet, there’s always cause for a pause when a change is made without a definitive explanation. If something is going on, it makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to see Khabibulin in the lineup so teams can take a look at him.
more on Chicago…
from Tim Sassone of he Chicago Daily-Herald,
(Denis) Savard appears stressed during the first week of camp, thinner and more gray, and he hasn’t been his normally enthusiastic self with reporters. It could be he’s simply preparing for an incredibly important season. Or he could be wondering what more he must do to get that new deal….
Is it possible there are some people in the front office that think the Hawks should have made the playoffs last spring?
Be serious. Savard didn’t get enough credit for the job he did, bringing the young players along like he did while managing the goaltending situation nicely by calling on Patrick Lalime at key times and getting results.
Now there’s Joel Quenneville sitting in the stands and watching practices, working for the organization as a part-time scout and consultant, which is how general manager Dale Tallon explained it.
from Brad Boron at ChicagoBlackhawks.com,
“They’re both number ones,” Tallon said. “They’re both excellent; they’re both qualified and it gives us a chance to win every night. In the discussions we’ve had with them, they seem to want to battle for the job. That will be a positive.”
While they may be fighting for minutes in the crease, Huet and Khabibulin share a mutual respect for one another.
“Cristobal seems like a really nice guy,” said Khabibulin. “I think it’s going to be fun to work with him.”
“I think [Khabibulin’s] a great goalie and it’s great that we have this tandem,” says Huet.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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