Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday
No one could say for sure Zednik, the former Islander, would survive the horrifying, gruesome, freakish injury he sustained in Buffalo that night when teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate accidentally slashed Zednik in the throat and cut his carotid artery. Zednik lost five pints of blood.
“Every time I think about it, I get chills,” teammate Jason Cullimore told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, recalling having helped Zednik off the ice.
Surgeons spent an hour reconnecting the artery. The operation left a long scar but saved Zednik’s life and restored his career.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
“I didn’t want to leave,” he said. “I signed to play there. I wanted to win there. But circumstances change.
“We didn’t make the playoffs for three years, they bought Darcy out, they bought Razor [Raycroft] out. Who knew if Mats was going to come back or not? When we looked at it, we thought it was time for a fresh start.”
McCabe told Fletcher the Panthers were his top choice. He said the acquisition of defencemen Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes, plus the presence of Jay Bouwmeester, meant he would be joining an up-and-coming defence corps.
from the Sun-Sentinal,
Bouwmeester said he’s frustrated with not making the playoffs in his five NHL seasons with the Panthers and wasn’t going to decide this summer whether to re-sign or leave as an unrestricted free agent after all the latest edition of offseason changes.
“If I wasn’t [unsure], I would have signed something,” Bouwmeester said, adding that he’s “not closing doors” on the possibility of signing long term.
He said the team’s lack of success “absolutely” is why he’s hesitant to commit long term.
from Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post,
DeBoer, who will begin his first camp Saturday as an NHL head coach, will institute an aggressive, puck-possession game patterned after that of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
“We won’t be sitting back. We’re going to be in your face,” said Stephen Weiss, who enters camp as the team’s No. 1 center. He played the same role for DeBoer seven years ago at Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League.
“Our bread and butter is going to be forechecking,” Weiss said. “It’s going to be up-tempo all the time.”
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond
The Panthers just called to tell me that defenseman Keith Ballard has signed a six-year contract extension. Ballard, the key part of the Olli Jokinen deal, was set to become a restricted free agent after the coming season.
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.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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