Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Dietz of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
If fans want to place blame anywhere, it should be with Saad, who said he allowed his agent to handle all contract negotiations with the Hawks.
Had he been willing to accept a deal in the $5 million range, he'd probably still be a Blackhawk. He'd hear that earsplitting national anthem 41 times a year, be playing in front of a packed house every night and on a team that figures to compete for the Stanley Cup year after year after year.
Instead, he wanted an extra $1 million a year. And that's his right. So now he's playing in Columbus.
Then there's Andrew Desjardins, who signed a two-year deal with the Hawks on Friday for less than he could have made elsewhere. He stayed for the chance to win and because he loves the city and the players in that locker room.
And he played here for less than four months.
"Obviously the desire for players is to win. That's why they play," Bowman said two days after the Hawks eliminated the Lightning in the NHL Final.
"So there's always that point -- what is enough for them and that's something I can't answer. That's always an individual thing.
"But we know that all of our guys that are here, that have been here for a long time, they all sacrificed. And they all took less money than they could have, because they wanted to be part of something special.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
... after I read Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom’s piece entitled, “It’s my theory on the Blackhawks trading Brandon Saad, and I’m sticking to it.”
I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman consigned the young, talented, money-hunting winger to one of the NHL’s maximum security prisons.
Rosenbloom’s subject is the blockbuster trade consummated on Tuesday, when the Blackhawks swapped Saad — a 22-year-old burgeoning star — and two prospects to the Blue Jackets for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round draft pick.
Again, I could be wrong, but Bowman not only changed on the fly when Saad’s side reportedly demanded $6 million a year, but he also seemed to send a message to other players who want to take a hard stance in negotiations. You can collect your jackpot in hockey’s hinterlands.
Such moves aren’t new in the NHL — all sports, actually. Teams have tried to punish players this way for years.
It’s why Buffalo, Winnipeg and Edmonton have existed in the NHL. It’s why Oakland and Jacksonville exist in the NFL. It’s why Sacramento and Philadelphia exist in the NBA. It’s why Cleveland exists, period....
... I was unaware that Chicagoans could be so arrogant.
Rosenbloom is punching down — which can be done, if one so chooses — from the City of Broad Shoulders. I love Columbus, where I have been content to raise a family. So, punch me. It has nothing to do with anything.
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed left wing Brandon Saad to a six-year contract through the 2020-21 National Hockey League season, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed. Saad was acquired by Columbus from the Chicago Blackhawks along with center Alex Broadhurst and defenseman Michael Paliotta on Tuesday.
Saad, 22, has posted 52 goals and 74 assists for 126 points with 44 penalty minutes and a +44 plus/minus rating in 208 career NHL games and added 15-19-34, 16 penalty minutes and is +16 in 67 career playoff games, helping Chicago win a pair of Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015.
“Adding a player of Brandon's caliber is exciting for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and our fans and we are extremely pleased to have reached this long-term commitment that assures he will be an important part of our team for years to come," said Kekalainen.
Well, who saw that coming? The Blackhawks had spent the past few months insisting that Brandon Saad would still be a Chicago player by the time the new season started, but that all stopped when the reigning Stanley Cup champions decided to trade the 22-year-old to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of a seven-player deal. Joining Saad in moving to the Blue Jackets will be forward Alex Broadhurst and defenceman Michael Paliotta, with Columbus sending Artem Anisimov, Corey Tropp, Jeremy Morin and Marko Dano to Chicago, as well as a fourth-round selection in the 2016 Draft.
added 5:21pm, Columbus release is below...
from Rob Mixer of the Blue Jackets website,
The Blue Jackets have options. They are considered one of the more well-equipped teams to make noise this weekend, given that they have a few key items in their arsenal: salary cap space, a surplus of forwards under contract at the NHL level, and multiple picks to work with.
As of Thursday afternoon, GM Jarmo Kekalainen has six of the first 69 picks, including three second-rounders and two third-rounders.
“It seems to always heat up and the frequency of phone calls gets a little higher the closer you get to the draft,” Kekalainen said. “We’re about 24 hours away, a little more than that, and it’s starting to get there. We’ve been up since 7 (a.m.) this morning trying to figure out what we need to do, and how we need to get it done.”
Needless to say, plenty of folks will be watching the Blue Jackets – but don’t count on the GM to give any of his secrets away. Regarding speculation that he’s in discussions with the Arizona Coyotes to move up to No. 3 overall, Kekalainen smiled and politely declined comment.
“We’re working on all kinds of different scenarios,” Kekalainen said, diplomatically. “I’ve talked to every other team ahead of us to see if there’s a chance, what the chance might be, and what it would take. I think we’re in a good situation with what we have. We have a lot of forwards on our reserve list right now, too. It’s an exciting time for us.”
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
To watch the video of last week’s “exit” news conference featuring Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson and his general manager, Jarmo Kekalainen, is to figure the Jackets are on the cusp of a dynasty.
JD: “When the dust settles and you clear your head and think about it, we’ve got a good thing going on here.”
As the old saying goes, if you have to say you’re good, you’re probably not any good, or you’re trying to sell tickets. In any case, we’ve enlisted the devil’s advocate to assess the talking points.
JD: “I think going into next season, this team will have more internal competition (for roster spots) than it has ever had, in its history.”
DA (devil's advocate): One would hope. This team has missed the playoffs 12 times in 14 seasons.
JD: “I think we’ll be better next year than we were planning to be this year.”
DA: You were a lottery team.
JD: “When you look at it from the inside, the Blue Jackets were in the playoffs last year and they weren’t in it this year. A step back? For some people, that’s an obvious thought. But when you really analyze it like we do … ”
DA: Some people?
"We have a great team. We're very young. We have great prospects coming up. We need to keep developing how we're going to evolve leadership-wise, and (president of hockey operations) John Davidson and (general manager) Jarmo Kekalainen are focused on that. We need the older players to guide the young players, but we have a lot of talent. I'm very excited about the future. This is a great team. Next year is our year."
-John P. McConnell, majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets. More from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Jackets beat the Penguins 5-3 before a raucous crowd on Saturday. It took the fans back to last spring. That was a fun time, but really, the Jackets didn’t accomplish anything other than hint at a promise of something better. Now, it’s happening all over again.
“For me, what’s forefront is the disappointment of where we’re at,” coach Todd Richards said. “That, to me, has to be the driving force behind our summer. We know what we can do. When we’re all together and healthy … when guys are committed and playing the right way and doing the right things, you can see the results.
“But to me, the driving force has to be the disappointment of our season.”
Roger that. The Jackets are showing what they can do and it both stokes the imagination and feeds the disappointment. That is the very definition of mediocre. We wait for them to get beyond.
Brandon Dubinsky received a penalty for tripping in the first period on Saturday, but if you ask the Penguins’ announcers, maybe the call should have been harsher.
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