Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
If you want to know why the Maple Leafs gave up on and gave away Bryan McCabe, here it is in a nutshell:
McCabe got to pick where he wanted to play and he chose the Florida Panthers. Translation: He doesn’t give a hoot whether he wins or loses and the Leafs were well aware of that. Who would want an apparent leader who is happy playing for a team in a messed-up market that never contends?
more hockey topics discussed along with other sports notes.
“Jacques was the ‘D’ coach (at the Olympics) so I got to spend some time with him,” McCabe said. “Jacques went out of his way to bring me here and I’m happy to be wanted. Jacques has done a great job (in Florida). He’s got good young talent. And, obviously, the acquisitions this summer have been great.
“Bringing in Cory Stillman, a guy with two Stanley Cups…guys like that are few and far between. And the acquisitions of (Keith) Ballard and (Nick) Boynton is a big upside. With myself added, and Jay Bouwmeester, who is one of the best defensemen in the league, hands down, I think we have one of the best defensive units out there. Plus you have an All-Star goalie.”
more from Bryan McCabe at FloridaPanthers.com.
From Brian Biggane at Inside the Panthers:
More than six hours after Canadian website TSN predicted the Bryan McCabe-Mike Van Ryn would be completed, there was still no announcement forthcoming from either the Panthers or Toronto.
Call it yet another reminder that such deals usually aren’t as clear-cut as they appear on the surface.
While the key components of the deal were already in place, Toronto General Manager Cliff Fletcher told his beat writers that the two sides had very little communication prior to Tuesday, making it likely that some of the ancillary issues still had to be worked out.
Update 5:30pm ET: From TSN—
The long rumoured deal was held up while the Panthers waited for the Leafs to pay a $2 million bonus due to McCabe on Sept. 1. With the payout, McCabe, 33, will earn $4.15 million in each of the final three seasons of the five-year, $29 million contract he signed with Toronto in 2006.
The Maple Leafs will receive defenceman Mike Van Ryn in exchange for McCabe and a fourth round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
McCabe leaves for south Florida today, where he already has located a home in the same beach-side community where former Maple Leaf teammate Wade Belak lives. McCabe’s daughter, Stevie, the oldest of two young children, starts school there tomorrow.
Sounds like a man looking to make a new start, doesn’t it?
The main roadblock to the consummation of the deal will evaporate today when McCabe receives the $2 million signing bonus owed him by the Leafs. Because today is a holiday, a morning conference call between the involved parties is scheduled for tomorrow morning after which an official announcement is expected.
more on McCabe
from Brian Biggane at Inside The Panthers,
Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin looked long and hard before settling on Benoit Groulx as head coach of the Panthers’ AHL affiliate in Rochester. And with good reason.
Nothing against returnees such as Drew Larman, Stefan Meyer and Anthony Stewart, but this year’s crop of first-year pros holds the promise of the future of the organization. And it will be Groulx’s job to ready them for the NHL, sooner rather than later.
Groulx passed up one of the most prestigious jobs in Canadian hockey - coach of the World Juniors entry in this year’s tournament, which will be staged in Ottawa - to take this job.
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
Have heard Richard Zednik’s name tossed about as being possibly traded to Toronto along with MVR (Mike Van Ryn). Have not been able to confirm this in anyway shape or form, but this wouldn’t surprise me. As much as the Panthers like Zednik, there is a thought there that once he comes back his past injury is going to be a distraction. And it will be.
Whatever city the Panthers go to, the local media is going to want to talk to Zednik and do a big story on him. It’s natural. And that means players like Stephen Weiss, Bryan Allen—anyone who was here last year—is going to be asked to comment on said story on just about every road trip.
more on the Panthers…
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
This off-season Bouwmeester and the Panthers nearly went to arbitration, instead settling on a last-minute, one-year deal worth $4.8-million.
Once the contract is up, Bouwmeester is free to go play where he chooses.
“I think both sides were happy with it,” he said. “I wasn’t prepared to sign anything long term at this point. It was good not having to go to arbitration. I’ve done that once before and it’s not fun. It can leave a pretty bitter taste in everyone’s mouth.”...
“I know (free agency) is out there, but it’s not really a big deal,” he said.
“I just want to be in a place where everything fits, you’re happy and hopefully you can have some success.”
from George Richards at On Frozen Blog,
Story is, Mike Van Ryn is for sure going to Toronto, Bryan McCabe coming back….
Florida and Toronto are still talking about other stuff, and it appears someone is going with Ryno to Toronto. But, it won’t be anything major. Perhaps Radek Dvorak, maybe a younger player who is on the roster bubble. Forget reports that Stephen Weiss or David Booth would be traded. That’s not happening. Same goes for Jay Bouwmeester.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Been getting a ton of emails regarding the Jay Bouwmeester trade rumors. Isn’t going to happen, so relax.
and this too,
For Florida to make this move, you would have to gather that Mike Van Ryn would be headed north, his $3-plus million salary in each of the next two seasons going to Toronto in exchange for McCabe and his $6.15 million wage for this season. McCabe is scheduled to make $4.15 million in each of the final two years of his deal (2009-10, 2010-11).
Florida is going to be asked for more than its willing to give, but will probably have to throw in a young players or two along with a Van Ryn/Skrastins type veteran.
added 9:55pm, via Sportsnet,
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos has learned that Toronto Maple Leafs defencman Bryan McCabe has reportedly waived his no-trade clause and may be headed to the Florida Panthers.
There are several teams reportedly interested in the much-maligned Leafs’ blue liner. However, sources in South Beach, Florida tell Sportsnet that the Panthers are interested in McCabe because reports indicate that defenceman Jay Bouwmeester is not interested in signing an extension with the Panthers.
However, this does not mean that a McCabe-for-Bouwmeester deal is in the works.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Spoke to JM today, and he says he does not expect Chad Kilger to play for the Panthers this season….
“He’s still dealing with some personal issues, and at this point, I don’t think he’ll be playing,’’ Martin said. “We still hold his rights. He’s indicated to me that if he were to play, he’d want to play for us. We’re not the issue.’’
On a more positive note, JM says he’s spoken to both Richard Zednik and trainer David Zenobi and the reports are Zednik is doing a lot of physical work and is expected to be in good shape when training camp kicks off.
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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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