Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Goaltender Steve Mason and forward Jake Voracek are entering the last year of their entry-level deals, which means that since July 1, the Blue Jackets have been able to sign them to extensions. But general manager Scott Howson isn’t talking about the matter.
It doesn’t matter. The Blue Jackets believe that Mason is going to be a franchise goaltender, so his sophomore slump works to the club’s advantage. If Mason had followed the 2008-09 season, when he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, with another big year, he might have been looking at $6 million per season. Now, it’s probably half that.
The team’s personnel people think that Voracek will ultimately be a point-a-game guy, so they will try to lock him up long term before he becomes that. The question is whether Voracek will opt for a little more security or take a chance that a big year is coming up. The argument in favor of Voracek waiting is that he could end up on the first line with Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette, which could inflate his totals.
It’s easy to see why Howson wouldn’t want to discuss this in public.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
The best chance for Hitchcock to be hired as a coach now - even he admits this - is during the 2010-11 season, when, inevitably, an NHL team fires its coach after a slow start.
But the Blue Jackets won’t wait that long. Priest and Howson have had general discussions about Hitchcock in recent weeks, and they plan to begin hammering out details of his new job when Hitchcock returns to Columbus late this week.
It’s a matter they want settled before training camp opens Sept. 17, Howson said. Many are treading lightly on the subject.
“As long as he’s under contract with us, we’ll find something for him to do that brings value to our organization,” Priest said.
But nobody’s quite sure what that will entail, though there are at least a handful of possibilities.
“I’ll wait for Mike or Scott to come tell me,” Hitchcock said. “I have my own plans of what I would like to do, but I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes or be in the way.”
via Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets offered no players from their NHL roster in trade talks with Toronto for Tomas Kaberle, the Dispatch has learned. This is hardly surprising given that Kaberle had only one season remaining on his deal. (Some of the projected proposals—i.e. Jake Voracek—were entertaining.) It’s believed the Jackets’ offer was centered around draft picks and prospects. While Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said he was looking for a top-6 forward—hey, there’s nothing wrong with putting that out in the media, right?—it’s thought he was amenable to draft picks or prospects or a combination of both.
Clearly, Burke did not get what he wanted from the Jackets or anyone else. Who knows what happens next, but Kaberle holds the hammer with his no-trade clause. Remember, last season at the trade deadline, when given a chance to play for a playoff contender, Kaberle reportedly submitted a list of three teams where he would agree to be traded. Three teams. Kaberle is like George Costanza refusing to leave Play Now no matter how hostile a work environment management creates.
via Darren Dreger tweet,
One team from each conference still in the hunt for Kaberle. Sources say there’s still a chance he gets traded tonight, but not likely.
The Jackets are no longer in serious contention for Kaberle, an NHL source told the Dispatch. Jackets general manager Scott Howson and Toronto general Brian Burke had several good discussions, the source said, but there’s “no fit there.”
added 9:15pm, via Nick Kypreos tweet,
With Bieksa and Mitchell in play, its slowed the urgency for Kaberle. As of now teams like SJ seems more interested in grit than finesse.
added 11:00pm, via Scott Burnside tweet,
Barring a miracle (ie. In the next hour) Tomas Kaberle will remain a Maple Leaf. Now back to Madmen.
added 11:59pm, via Darren Dreger tweet,
No trade for Kaberle
added 12:07am 8/16/10, via MapleLeafs.com,
STATEMENT FROM BRIAN BURKE
The hockey club confirms this evening that Tomas Kaberle remains a Leaf. While a number of Clubs made offers to trade for Tomas, none of them reflected Tomas’s value to our team. I understand a period like this is stressful to the player, and we are pleased that there is a resolution, and we can all continue to prepare for the coming season.
How much does a club in a non-traditional market, with scant playoff history, surrender for a player who has only one year remaining on his deal? It’s a tough question. I think Kaberle-to-Columbus remains a long shot, but it makes for an intriguing weekend.
-Tom Reed of Puck-rakers. More on is Kaberle a fit in Columbus.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Question: You look like you’ve added some muscle. Are you bigger?
Answer: Yes, of course. I’ve gained, like, 14 pounds. I’m at 186 or 187 (pounds).
Q: This is the earliest you’ve arrived in advance of a season. Why?
A: Lots of factors. The changing of coaches is (part of it). I just changed my mind, that maybe it would be better if I was here earlier. More time to get ready, to get comfortable.
via Aaron Portzline tweet,
#CBJ and D Anton Stralman reach terms on a one-year, $1.95 million contract, avoid arbitration.
“The biggest motivation comes from what I want to accomplish here (Columbus). The problems that we had in Edmonton ... it wasn’t really my health. It was more just a situation where we had a bad team. It’s hard for anybody to look good in that situation….”
-Ethan Moreau of the Columbus Blue Jackets. More from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The big news of the sleepy summer of 2010 is the Anton Stralman arbitration hearing. Yowza.
“There’s not much going on,” Howson said yesterday. “We’re going to get through this Stralman arbitration, get that settled and see where we are. We’ve had a few conversations with teams (about trades), but there’s nothing imminent. But the market is pretty dry, and pretty slow.”
It is true that the market has slowed considerably over the past three weeks. What is more, from a local perspective, there isn’t much the Jackets are willing to do right now. They have about $50 million tied up in the current roster. The salary cap for next season is $59.4 million. The Jackets are a “budget” team; they spend to a budget, not the cap. If they are to do anything, it will be a trade that fits their budget.
Indirectly, that injects some interest into the Stralman arbitration. The hearing is set for Wednesday morning. Speculation is that the sides are about $1 million apart in annual salary. The Jackets have elected to offer a one-year deal, which means they will have the option to walk away if they are not satisfied with the arbitration ruling.
Jill R. Dorson of ESPN Page 2 takes a look at the different license plates that are offered by states…
OHIO: Appears to be the only state with a plate for its Major League Soccer team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. All other pro teams are available, too, and all feature a team logo.
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.
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