Kukla's Korner Hockey
via press release:
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the team has signed free agent defenseman Matt Walker (6-3, 213) to a one-year contract.
Update 12:36pm ET: Release available at Blackhawks website.
via Russo’s Rants,
According to a knowledgeable source, it’s official. The NHL’s second outdoor Winter Classic will take place New Year’s Day at the storied Wrigley Field when the Blackhawks take on the Stanley Cup-champion Detroit Red Wings.
An announcement is expected next week in the days leading up to the three-day inaugural “Blackhawks Convention” at the Chicago Hilton.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
The fact of the matter is if I’m an NHL GM and I’m starting up a team and I have one year to win a championship, Huet is not among the top 10 goalies I’d pick to be my starter.
Here are 10 goalies I wouldn’t hesitate picking before Huet: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kiprusoff, Evgeni Nabokov, Henrik Lundqvist, J-S Giguere, Ryan Miller, Ilya Bryzgalov, Tomas Vokoun and Marty Turco.
I’d probably even pick some of this next tier of goalies before Huet: Niklas Backstrom, Vesa Toskala, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rick DiPietro, Tim Thomas, Chris Osgood, Carey Price, Cam Ward, Martin Biron and Kari Lehtonen. That’s why Huet may not be among my top 15.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
“We have a pretty good 1-2 punch now with Campbell and Dunc,” said Savard. “One of them is going to be on the ice every other shift.
“Campbell gives us a lot of options now. I don’t care how many good forwards you have, it takes a good defenseman to get the puck to the forwards. He fits in with us perfectly. He’s got great skill, but he’s also good in his own end.”
As for how Campbell will fit in on the power play, Savard envisions the two-time all-star playing the point on the right side.
“We’ll see where he fits best, but I know he’s going to be out there with (Jonathan) Toews, (Patrick) Kane and (Martin) Havlat,” said Savard.
“We’ll make adjustments, but he gives us a lot more options. He’ll bring it up the ice on the power play, which will have us spending less time going back for pucks.”
more on Chicago…
via press release from the Chicago Blackhawks:
James Wisniewski to Undergo Knee Surgery
The following statement was issued today by Chicago Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry of University of Chicago Medical Center:
“James reinjured his right knee while training for the upcoming season. He has torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and will undergo surgery this week. We anticipate full recovery and his return during the 2008-09 season.”
from Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune,
The whole organization is going through what Savard might call a great spin-o-rama.
That’s what his signature move was called during his playing days. And this is what Savvy wants from his team, a little old-time hockey, a little regard for the face on that blouse. “Commit to the Indian,” as the coach put it last season.
Campbell is a commit-to-the-Indian kind of guy.
“I love him,” Savard said. “He and Duncan Keith together as a 1-2 punch are going to make a huge difference.”
via Icing at the Chicago Tribune,- A fan question…
“The idea of a $12 million goaltender tandem is hard to believe. Publicly, the Hawks say they’re going to stick with both, but I think this is posturing until a deal is in place. What do you think?”
Having two top goalies is a luxury, indeed, and puts the Hawks over the salary cap, but general manager Dale Tallon seems sincere in keeping both. He firmly believes that to win in the NHL you need great goaltending. With Nikolai Khabibulin’s contract up following the season it will pave the way for Huet to take over the No. 1 job in 2009-10 and at less than Khabibulin’s salary. I have no doubt Tallon would trade Khabibulin if the right deal comes around. Certainly at the trade deadline in February,
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times, ‘
‘Huet was the No. 1 goaltender in this [free-agent market],’’ Tallon said. ‘‘We like Nik, but we wanted to make sure we were good in the net. Khabby’s contract is up at the end of the year, and we’ve got a lot of young goalies who aren’t ready yet.’‘
That’s not the stance Tallon took after last season, when he declared that Corey Crawford ‘‘deserves a shot’’ after two good seasons in the minors. And Finland’s Antti Niemi came with rave reviews when Tallon signed him in the offseason.
More to the point, the Hawks probably couldn’t find a taker for the last $6.75 million on Khabibulin’s contract. They might find one as the season winds down, though, and by then Huet will be the solid starter and either Crawford or Niemi the up-and-coming backup.
From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News,
There must be a second part to this move.
The Chicago Blackhawks signed goaltender Cristobal Huet to a deal worth $5.625 million per season for four years, THN has learned.
Now, the Hawks still have No. 1 goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on the books for a very cap-unfriendly $6.75 million next year, so something’s gotta give here.
Not only do the Hawks now have quite a lot of cash tied up in goaltenders, but the funny thing about that position is you can only have one on the ice at any given time and most starting netminders tend to want to be out there as much as possible.
On TSN about 15 minutes ago, Darren Pang reported that in his conversation with GM Dale Tallon today, Tallon claimed they would be carrying both goalies into next season. To add intrigue, Bob McKenzie also mentions that Tampa goalie Mike Smith—who just signed an extension earlier today—might now be shopped.
From RDS (French) Brian Campbell is said to have signed with the Blackhawks.
Bob McKenzie on TSN states that the deal is still being finalized.
Note: RDS was originally reporting it’s for 8 years, $7.1 million per. That information is uncertain.
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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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