Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Baker at NHL.com,
When it comes to earthquakes, floods, and just-shoot-me traffic, we all know California is king, but now we can add another notable item to the Golden State’s royal list: goalies.
With three world-class NHL goalkeepers now plying their trade in California (Jonas Hiller, Antti Niemi and Jonathan Quick), the country’s most populous state is also the most populous state of superstar goalies (sorry, New York and Pennsylvania, but it’s true!).
But which of these three top-notch keepers is California’s best right now?
from Dan Arritt of ESPN LosAngeles,
The hit that sidelined Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty with an upper-body injury for a week to 10 days continued to produce a domino effect elsewhere on the team.
Dustin Penner, who instigated a fight with Flyers rookie forward Zac Rinaldo after his first-period collision with Doughty on Saturday night in Philadelphia, left the ice midway through practice Monday at Toyota Sports Center because of a knee injury suffered during the skirmish.
Despite being “reassured” by a doctor in Philadelphia and the Kings training staff that the injury was just a bruise, coach Terry Murray said Penner decided to have the injury further examined by the team physician.
“He wanted to get it checked out by the doctor and see if there’s anything further on that,” Murray said. “The plan was full practice (Monday) and there was nothing before the practice that was going to lead me to think that it was going to be anything different than that, so obviously it’s bothering him.”
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Had the Flyers won the Cup in 2010 instead of falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in the final, you never know. This might have turned out differently. But they didn’t, and it didn’t. And so less than four months after his shocking trade to the Los Angeles Kings, Mike Richards had to settle for this:
An orange sign behind the Kings’ bench during warm-ups: “RICHIE YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A FLYER IN OUR [HEART].” A thank-you message on the scoreboard from the Flyers and a standing ovation from the fans early in the first period – while he was preparing for a defensive zone faceoff. Boos just about every time he touched the puck afterward. Oh, and the cherry on top – the first assist on the overtime goal that gave his new team a 3-2 victory over his old one.
“I know he was very anxious about this game,” Kings coach Terry Murray said, “and at the end of the day, how fitting is that?”
All things considered, maybe this is for the best.
This hit from Zac Rinaldo of the Flyers forced him out of the game tonight after 24 seconds of play.
added 8:36pm, via Helene Elliott tweet,
seven to 10 days is minimum for doughty. again, told NOT head.
“We feel we can compete for the Stanley Cup, and that’s what we’re preparing for. The big thing is when your general manager and the ownership goes out and makes the moves and spends the money that they did, it’s a vote of confidence in us as a group to say that they think we’re ready. It’s like anything in life. When people believe in you, you tend to get the best out of people.”
-Willie Mitchell of the LA Kings. More on the Kings from the CP at The Hockey News.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Trent Hunter to a one-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
Hunter, 31, has spent his entire NHL career (2002-03 through 2010-11) with the New York Islanders. Last season he recorded four points (1-3=4) and 23 penalty minutes in 17 games, missing most of the season with a lower body injury.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
On the face of it, Drew Doughty finally beat down the Los Angeles Kings, forcing them to accept his terms on a new contract.
But this is a win for the Kings just as it is for Doughty, 21, who agreed to an eight-year deal for an average of $7-million per year late Thursday night. The agreement ended a bitter standoff between Doughty and the Kings, which grew increasingly nasty in the last few weeks when the Kings refused to increase their offer beyond the $6.8-million per year centre Anze Kopitar, 24, is making. Doughty and his agent, Don Meehan, would not take less than $7-million a year.
By giving in to Doughty and Meehan, the Kings secured its most important player, who is already one of the league’s best defencemen, for the next eight years. It reassures a fragile fan base they are serious about winning.
From the LA Kings:
The Los Angeles Kings have reached a verbal agreement with restricted free agent defenseman Drew Doughty on a multi-year contract, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced tonight.
Update 11:24pm ET: From Bob McKenzie’s Twitter —
Doughty deal is 8 years at $7M per year.
added 12:40am 9/30/11, from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
from Randy Kovitz of the Kansas City Star,
AEG president Tim Leiweke and Kansas City Mayor Sly James met before Tuesday night’s NHL exhibition game at the Sprint Center and came to a conclusion:
Don’t chase just any NHL or NBA team.
“Kansas City can take its time,” said Leiweke, whose company manages the Sprint Center, where an announced crowd of 17,779 saw the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in an overtime shootout.
“The key is you can chase a team, but you’re going to end up not making a great deal and maybe being disappointed. Or you can wait and not only try to find the right situation, but economically make the right deal.
“We’re not chasing, and I love the mayor’s attitude, which is: ‘Under our terms.’ ”
from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum,
Tim Leiweke, president of the Kings’ parent company, AEG, said Monday he supports General Manager Dean Lombardi’s stance in negotiations with unsigned defenseman Drew Doughty and emphasized Lombardi’s offer of an average $6.8 million annually is based solely on allocating dollars to improve the team and maintaining a strong nucleus that will allow the Kings to compete for the Stanley Cup for years to come.
Doughty, a restricted free agent, remains at home in London, Canada, working out with a junior team while the Kings get deeper into training camp and prepare for their season-opening trip to Sweden and Germany.
Leiweke told The Times on Monday that the Kings are not trying to be cheap with Doughty and, in fact, plan to spend up to the salary cap of $64.3 million. But they want room to upgrade their talent before the trading deadline and maneuver in case of injuries, and paying Doughty the $7 million-plus that he’s seeking would change the allocation and budget and have long-term implications.
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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