Kukla's Korner Hockey
Colorado Avalanche star Joe Sakic told a Denver radio station on Monday that it has been difficult deciding whether to return for a 20th NHL season, and he will make up his mind soon.
“I will say I don’t want this to linger too much longer. I should make my final decision pretty soon,” Sakic told radio station KJCD. “Whatever that is, I want to make sure it’s 100 per cent sure.”...
“At the end of the year, to be honest with you, I didn’t know if I was going to come back,” he told the radio station. “I needed that time to really think about my future. It was a tougher decision than I thought it was going to be at the end of the year.”
added 2:12pm, more from Sakic…
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
“It’s just how I feel,” he said. “At the end of the year, to be honest with you, I didn’t know if I was going to come back. I needed that time to really think about my future. It was a tougher decision than I thought it was going to be at the end of the year. . . It’s all about whether I feel I’m ready to go another year. That’s the biggest thing for me: Am I prepared to do what it takes to be successful for another year. I know how much time you have to put in off the ice because playing hockey is the easy part.”
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
This was just a casual skate-around, but Foppa is slated to play in a charity game with a Swedish team named the Icebreakers this week. And, it makes me wonder how bad his foot problems are at the moment, if he’s doing this stuff.
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
I don’t think you’ll see Mats come back to the organization that drafted him and he began his career with (yes, he is a former Nordique, a former teammate of Joe Sakic’s even)....
There’s no way the Avs are going to match that $10 million offer of Vancouver’s, if it came to that, even if Sakic retired. First off, $10 million is about all the Avs have under the salary cap right now, without having Sakic back. They’re not going to blow it all on a 39-year-old center whose best days are well behind him (and, yes, I’m talking about Sundin here, not Sakic!).
added 7:40am, from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
While Sundin has remained mum on his future, observers in Sweden say his actions speak loudly.
For about the past 15 years, Sundin has been the organizer of informal summer skates among NHL players based in Sweden. Those workouts are set to begin Aug. 11 at the Globen Arena.
Normally, this is when Sundin would be working the phones, making sure his countrymen know about the available ice. This summer, however, that task has fallen to someone else and Sundin, though he is in Stockholm, isn’t expected to attend.
“He’s not working out. It doesn’t seem like he plans to, he’s just golfing,” said one source.
Barry said the retirement possibility is “why this whole consideration is taking so long.”
From Adrian Dater at All Things Avs
Raycroft ripped the Toronto media some, for taking comments he made about not watching much hockey away from the rink and branding him as a guy who isn’t dedicated to the game. “I made it to the NHL and have spent the last 20 years of my life dedicated to hockey. I think that shows some commitment,” Raycroft said.
He said he’s looking forward to working with a full-time goalie coach in Jeff Hackett, instead of just a part-timer like the Leafs had, in Bob Essensa. He said he’s working out hard this summer, and is currently in Denver looking for a place for the coming year.
His overall assessment of his future: “I know I still have it.”
from the Guelph Mercury,
Barr said he realized that day had arrived when he saw his peers Craig Hartsburg and Peter DeBoer moving on to NHL head coaching jobs earlier this summer.
“That was a lightning rod for me. I realized I had to get my name out there,” said Barr, who stuck around to the end of the month with the Storm to make sure player contracts were all signed, sealed and delivered.
With his children a little older, it made it a little easier on the home front.
Barr said the biggest adjustment in coming to Guelph after 20 years playing and coaching professionally was the off-ice responsibilities.
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced the signing of forward Marek Svatos to a two-year contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for today.
“Marek Svatos has been a key ingredient to our success the last few years,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere. “He’s scored many big goals for this club and we expect him to be a strong force for us again this season.”
—via Colorado Avalanche, press release
Update 12:53pm ET: According to Adrian Dater at All Things Avs, the contract is worth a total of $4.1 million—$1.75 this year and $2.35 next year.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Stephane Yelle, who remains unsigned and is out there wanting to be signed by somebody, is a guy who might not score many goals either. But he’s not going to get scored on much, and he’s a great penalty killer.
In case Giguere needs any reminding, here it is: the Avalanche’s penalty killing was AWFUL last year….
But Yelle’s teams have a funny way of always being winners, and nobody disputes his PK credentials. The fact is, the Avs have been distinctly unimpressive of addressing this woeful area so far this offseason. They seem hellbent on adding every Hanson Brother-type player they can find, but not interested in finding a guy who can, you know, win a faceoff or get the puck and clear it when one of the Hansons are in the box.
from the Colorado Avalanche,
Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has signed forwards Cody McCormick and Brian Willsie each to a one-year contract.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
If Joe Sakic retires, the Avalanche would have a modest payroll.
The team also would be fortunate to win 25 games next season.
And Denver fans would be introduced to small-market hockey.
In fact, if you tend to be cynical, and my hand is up, it’s not ridiculous to wonder if Sakic’s procrastination is being so docilely and philosophically accepted in the hallways of the Pepsi Center because it sets up a win-win scenario in the eyes of the bean counters.
from Sam Adams of the Rocky Mountain News,
After Sakic and I made a 572-yard walk together up the 18th fairway at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on Thursday, he didn’t have an answer for me.
“I wish I had an answer to give. At the end of the day, it’s how I feel, if I want to do another year or not,” the Avalanche captain said during his round of play in the celebrity tourney….
I came here believing Sakic would call it a career. But being around him briefly Thursday, and hearing him use the term “we” several times, it sounded as if Sakic has more than a Favre-like itch to return.
“Camp is not until Sept. 18, so I still have a little time to figure it out,” he said. “I’ve talked to (Avalanche general manager) Francois (Giguere) a couple of times, and we’re all good.
“Now it’s weighing the options. I just want to make sure the decision is 100 percent and you don’t go back on it. The good thing is, I still have two months….”
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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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