Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Chicago Daily Herald,
The Hawks have a hole at first-line center with Michal Handzus likely to sign elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent. Handzus is looking for a four-year contract in the neighborhood of $16 million.
Tallon has said he won’t pay that much for Handzus, which would appear to be good business. Handzus is coming off major knee surgery and isn’t considered a premier offensive player.
“I’ve tried to get it done, but we have a Plan B,” Tallon said.
Several free-agent centers who could be of interest to the Hawks are Michael Nylander, Jason Blake, Robert Lang and Mike Comrie.
fromm the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Long after history was made in Friday night’s first round when Patrick Kane (Chicago) and James vanRiemsdyk (Philadelphia) became the first Americans to be picked 1-2, Aliu finally heard his name mentioned before a thinning crowd at Nationwide Arena.
“My dad didn’t see a hockey rink until he was 40 years old,’’ said Aliu, who wants to become the first Nigerian to play in the NHL. “My mom grew up in Russia, but hockey wasn’t really part of her life, her culture. They’re happy about what I’m doing right now. I’m happy for what I’m doing too.’‘
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
It looks as if the Phoenix Coyotes will move into the top spot in the 2007 NHL entry draft, by flipping picks with the Chicago Blackhawks in order to draft Kyle Turris of the BCHL’s Burnaby Express. Phoenix was positioned at No. 3 and in theory, Turris could have fallen to them anyway.
But by stepping up, they get the player that they wanted a 6-1, 170-pound play-making centre who finished the year as the top-ranked player in the Central Scouting rankings.
Or as one NHL coach said of the decision made by the Wayne Gretzky-led Coyotes: “He (Turris) probably reminds him (Gretzky) of someone.”
Update 7:20PM EDT:
So much for that story. Chicago retained it’s #1 pick.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
Chicago defenceman Adrian Aucoin has agreed to waive his no trade clause to permit a deal to the Calgary Flames along with a seventh-round pick in 2007.
In exchange, the Flames will send defenseman Andrei Zyuzin and prospect Steve Marr to the Blackhawks.
Sources tell TSN that Chicago defenceman Adrian Aucoin has agreed to waive his no trade clause to permit a deal that would send him to the Calgary Flames.
But sources said the paperwork and formal approval of the transaction will not be completed until Friday. The deal, therefore, cannot be deemed official until then. But Aucoin is prepared, the sources said, to be a Flame and the Blackhawks and Flames have agreed on the terms.
The Flames were in the market for a defenceman and zeroed in on Aucoin.
At $4 million a season, Aucoin carries a price tag the Blackhawks were looking to shed.
From Erick Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Hope needs to turn into performance, and performance into success before they’re playing in front of packed houses again, but Tallon is keeping his fingers crossed.
“We sent out an e-mail about a draft party on Friday and I think we have close to 3,500 people coming,” Tallon said. “That’s new. That’s good, and there’s a buzz about it. It’s certainly not where you want it to be.
“You’re competing heavily with so many different entities here. Our owner [Bill Wirtz] is not the most popular guy in the world because of the television deal [Blackhawks home games are not broadcast locally] and not making the playoffs. So we’re trying to be positive.
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the team has acquired the five-time 20-plus goal scoring left winger Sergei Samsonov from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Jassen Cullimore and left winger Tony Salmelainen.
“We believe Sergei can rebound a give us a spark on the power play and offensively as well as improve our overall skill level,” said Tallon. “We feel he has a lot left in the tank and playing under Denis Savard will bring out the offensive creativity that he has shown in the past.”
added 1:13pm, from Habs Inside/Out,
The Gazette’s Pat Hickey says the Canadiens intend to buy out Cullimore, who earned $1.9 million this past season and would have earned $1.925,000 in 2007-08.
It would have cost the Habs $1.175 million each of the next two years, against the cap, to buy out Samsonov. Cullimore will cost them $611,666 each of the next two years.
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
So what if Patrick Kane, an 18-year-old right wing whom many expect the Blackhawks to select with the No. 1 overall draft pick, is relatively short at 5-10?
‘‘How big is the puck?’’ general manager Dale Tallon asked Wednesday. ‘‘The size of his heart is more important than the size of his body. Obviously, we’d prefer that he’d be 6-2 and weigh 210. He’s not. But he plays big.’‘...
‘‘We need goal-scorers,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s why we’re looking at the top three forwards.’‘
This will be the first time the Hawks will pick No. 1. The highest they have picked is third, which they’ve done four times, including 1980, when they selected head coach Denis Savard.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
If the Chicago Blackhawks, as expected, take center Patrick Kane with the No. 1 pick of the NHL draft in June, they are probably setting themselves up to have one of the league’s most dangerous rosters in two or three seasons.
Nobody has been paying much attention to the Blackhawks because they have not been in the playoffs since 2002, but quietly the ‘Hawks have been assembling a fascinating collection of talent.
By 2009-10, their top two center men will be Jonathan Toews and Kane. The twosome will presumably be among the league’s top one-two center combinations.
from the Chicago Tribune,
“The rich, historical, traditional feelings [Chicago] fans have may be among the deepest in the league,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told the Tribune on Wednesday via phone from Anaheim, where the expansion Ducks and Ottawa Senators were skating in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals. “There has always been something special about all of the Original Six clubs.”
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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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