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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Goalie Questions For The Minnesota Wild

I can finally access KK after almost 9 hours of down time.

The problem was not with our host, but something much more major than that.

Numerous ISPs had issues today and it was hit or miss if you could get to a website or now.

Things seem to be ok now, so on with the show...

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Who's the goalie? -- Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding, Darcy Kuemper, Ilya Bryzgalov and John Curry (who won his lone late-season start) all had at least one victory in a season of tumult for Minnesota goaltenders . Harding was 18-7-3 with an NHL-best 1.65 goals-against average, but he didn't play after Dec. 31 because of the effects of his battle with multiple sclerosis. Backstrom struggled all season and played a total of 22:25 after Jan. 11 before season-ending abdominal surgery. Minor-league call-up Kuemper (12-8-4, 2.43 GAA) and Bryzgalov (7-1-3, 2.12 GAA), acquired in a trade on March 4, got the Wild to the playoffs.

The question now is who fits where this season. Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo said they are content to go into training camp without a designated starter and see what happens in a competition between Backstrom, Harding and Kuemper (Bryzgalov remains a free agent).

"We have three guys who are quality goaltenders, three guys who at points in the season have been our starting goaltender and played very good hockey," Yeo told NHL.com. "We're expecting some good competition in camp."

more on the Wild...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thomas Vanek Cooperating In Federal Court Case Against Bar Owners

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

WHEC-TV in Rochester, N.Y. is reporting (and has video) that recently-signed Wild winger and former Buffalo Sabre and Rochester Amerk Thomas Vanek was in federal court today in upstate New York as part of an ongoing gambling investigation.

According to the station, Vanek's appearance stems from the June arrest of three owners/managers of the Marina Restaurant and Bar in Charlotte, N.Y. on gambling and money laundering charges. The three men were allegedly conducting an illegal gambling business out of the bar since January 2012 (see above links and this article).

The TV station reports, "Vanek is not charged with any crime and he voluntarily came to the federal court building with his lawyer."

continued including Russo contacting Bill Daly on this subject...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

Minnesota Wild Get Thomas Vanek, What’s Next?

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

The Wild still needs a physical defenseman to replace Clayton Stoner, who hit the mother lode today with a four-year deal worth, wait for it, $3.25 million annually. The wanted Willie Mitchell, but the Florida Panthers wooed the ex-Wild and two-time Cup champ with crazy money $4.25 million a year for two years. Then take into consideration the no state income tax in the great state of Florida, and it’s easy see why he sprinted for the humidity.

The Wild also lost gritty forward Cody McCormick, who went back to Buffalo, although there may not be a sprint to replace his role immediately if at all.

So, what to do? What to do, particularly because the list of physical defensemen still available is pretty yucky.

“Well, certainly we'll have to look at it,” GM Chuck Fletcher said. “We're probably still looking at a defenseman as well to maybe round out our group. Right now it's been insanity out there. I think this is the biggest spending day, if not the history of the world, the history of the NHL. I mean, it's just been crazy. So my first thought is to just go home and come back tomorrow and maybe the tide will turn and management will get the upper hand and we'll get some better deals. 

more

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Minnesota Wild Free Agent Targets

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The draft is over, no player trades were made, so whether it’s Sunday or Monday, bet that Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher and coach Mike Yeo will try to get together in Minnesota with pending free agents Matt Niskanen and Thomas Vanek.

While those have been the most well-publicized names surrounding Wild interest in advance of the market opening across the NHL Tuesday, the Wild has other lines in the water, too.

The Wild has been in contact with Jarome Iginla’s camp, according to multiple sources. It’s unclear if the interest is mutual, but it’s definitely clear that the Wild is interested in potentially signing the future Hall of Fame winger and, ironically, all-time leader in basically every offensive category against the Wild....

Iginla wants to return to Boston, but the Bruins would need to clear cap space to re-sign him. That hasn’t happened, meaning unless Iginla is patient and waits them out, he may need to move on. Wouldn’t it be something if Iginla landed on a Wild team he has roasted for years with 37 career goals and 67 career points?

The Wild, which ranked 24th offensively last season with 199 goals, desperately wants to improve offensively.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Niklas Backstrom And Kyle Brodziak Available In Minnesota

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Chuck Fletcher has a history of draft-day trades and spent last week working the phones.

“Everyone calls everybody,” the Wild GM said. “You don’t see a whole bunch of trades the week prior to the draft. It’s all about trying to figure out who your likely dance partners can be the week at the draft. It’ll take a move or two to get the ball rolling, and then there’s usually a domino-type effect. We’re not there yet.”

Fletcher has been shopping center Kyle Brodziak, sources say, and may be willing to retain salary and cap space to trade goalie Niklas Backstrom, who is recovering well from season-ending abdominal and hip surgeries.

read on for a look a the Wild schedule...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thomas Vanek No Longer A Lock For The Minnesota Wild

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

You will hear this term a lot leading into free agency: There is a “price point” the Wild is willing to reach for certain players. Thomas Vanek is no longer a given. Four or five months ago, I think it was a given. But the bright future that many of the kids provide the Wild coupled with Vanek’s tough postseason with Montreal has changed things.

The Wild has a lot of players 28 and older, a lot of players 24 and younger. You don’t want to get too many players north of 30 on long-term deals, so there’s a specific price point I think the Wild’s willing to reach with Vanek. I don’t get the impression the Wild’s willing to sign him to a long-term deal anymore. Vanek will have good options in free agency, so is he really going to sign in Minnesota for two or three years? Hard to believe, especially after reportedly turning down a seven-year, $49 million deal with the Islanders. While that contract probably won’t be on the table with any team anymore, he certainly should still be able to get decent term of four or five years with some teams.

much more on the Wild...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

Thomas Vanek Or Marian Gaborik In Minnesota?

from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,

As much as Vanek disappeared for the Canadiens in the playoffs, Gaborik has grabbed the spotlight. Of course, we always have to clarify that by saying "a healthy" Gaborik has grabbed the spotlight. Still, it's fascinating to watch. And Gaborik, too, is about to be a free agent.

There's no question the Kings will make every effort to re-sign him, but Gaborik still will field offers before making his decision. He is 32 years old. Vanek is 30. For the sake of decision, let's look at some numbers.

Vanek is coming off of a seven-year, $50 million contract originally signed with the Buffalo Sabres. He didn't help himself with his playoff performance, but he is still going to command a long-term deal. Gaborik is coming off of a five-year, $37.5 million contract originally signed with the New York Rangers. With his history of injuries, he won't be able to command a long-term deal.

Let's say they end up with similar money on the open market -- I don't know that they will, but we'll assume that -- but Vanek insists on five or six years while Gaborik will take three years or maybe even two. Does that make it more interesting? After all, the Wild have young players coming up through the pipeline. It might be tough to commit that much money for that long.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik, thomas+vanek

Minnesota Wild Make Mike Yeo Extension Official

from Mike Doyle of the Minnesota Wild website,

For Mike Yeo, the first three years as the Minnesota Wild’s head coach has been a process. In his second season, Yeo guided the team to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in five years. This season, the bench boss led Minnesota to its first playoff series win since 2003.

Yeo and the Wild will continue the process, as General Manager Chuck Fletcher announced the club has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Head Coach Mike Yeo.

”I am very excited to continue to coach the Minnesota Wild and pursue a Stanley Cup for the State of Hockey,” said Yeo. “Our fan support has been amazing and it went to a new level during the playoffs this season. We are all motivated to reward them.”

continued

added 5:05pm, Wild press release is below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+yeo

Videos- Good Job Boys

First up, the Chicago Blackhawks post-game in the dressing room...

 

Below, three more videos...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Minnesota Wild Believe They Were Capable Of Doing More

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The sound of that stanchion may reverberate inside the heads of every Wild player, coach, front-office person, Wild employee, arena worker and fan for a long time.

The second I heard that hideous clank, I took a big gulp because I knew something abnormal was about to happen, and that it did.

What a brutal way to end a hockey game and certainly a season for the Wild.

The Wild earned a lot of respect around the league for how it performed this postseason. Tonight, the Wild outplayed the Blackhawks but just couldn’t finish and fell because of it, 2-1, in overtime thanks to yet another Patrick Kane big moment.

“It hurts to lose, and we really believe that we were capable of doing more than just winning this game tonight,” coach Mike Yeo said.

So many glorious Wild chances left on the ice will haunt the Wild this offseason, whether it would be shots Corey Crawford saved (about time he gets the respect he deserves league-wide) or shots that hit the post (Mikael Granlund) or shots that were swung at and missed (Dany Heatley and Jason Pominville) or shots that were blocked with wide-open nets in front (Justin Fontaine and Mikko Koivu).

continued

A short video below of the Kane OT, series wining goal.  Kane just happened to be mic'd up.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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