Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Minnesota Wild team website
The Minnesota Wild announced a new, yet familiar look on Friday when it unveiled its 2007 version of the RBK Edge uniforms. While all 30 National Hockey League teams will be playing with newly-designed uniforms, some have made drastic changes. The Wild has remained true to its original design with several minor changes.
The most notable change appears on the team’s Iron Range Red home sweater, which will move up in status from the “third” jersey to become the team’s primary home sweater, replacing the green from years past. That change comes in the form of a new wheat-colored shoulder yolk and the removal of the forest green striping at the waist.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
After last summer’s Wild spending spree, Minnesota made a 20-point jump in the standings, finishing with a franchise-best 104 points. Obviously, that’s not that easy to do.
But the club’s impressive push up the standings might have been even more dramatic if star winger Marian Gaborik had been healthy. In Gaborik’s 48 games, Minny was a dominant 33-9-6. Without him, they were a mediocre 15-17-2.
Because of that interesting stat, I think there’s room for the Wild to better than that 104-point regular-season total. Gaborik staying healthy, however, isn’t a given. He hasn’t played more than 65 games in each of his last three NHL seasons. For the sake of my decision, I’ll roll the dice that he’ll be healthier in 2007-08.
from the Star Tribune,
During an interview with Gaborik last week, the Wild’s chief game-breaker used the word confident or a semblance of the word, such as confidence, no less than a dozen times.
He’s confident with the overhauled training program he engaged this offseason. He’s confident his abdominal muscles are as strong as they’ve ever been. He’s confident his groin problems are history. He’s confident he’ll be able to put in a full season and score 50 goals for the first time. And he’s confident he can guide the Wild during a long playoff run.
All this talk about Gaborik’s confidence has General Manager Doug Risebrough extremely confident.
When it comes to Gaborik avoiding his annual early-season groin injuries, Risebrough believes it has as much to do with Gaborik’s mind as it does with his body.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Citing an unnamed source, ESPN.com reported that “plans are in the works for [Leipold] to step into an ownership role with the Minnesota Wild after cutting ties with the Preds and when current Wild owner Robert O. Naegele Jr. decides to step away from the business.”
Naegele declined to comment to the Star Tribune through a team spokesman. A source close to Naegele said he’d be shocked if Naegele, the lead investor of an ownership group with 21 principals, would sell all his shares to Leipold.
The source said there have been no meetings to discuss ownership changes.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
A source close to the negotiations told ESPN.com that Leipold wants to remain in the NHL and that plans are in the works for him to step into an ownership role with the Minnesota Wild after cutting ties with the Preds and when current Wild owner Robert O. Naegele Jr. decides to step away from the business.
Both Leipold and Naegele declined to speak to ESPN.com about their future plans and Leipold did not respond to a specific e-mail query about his plans with the Wild.
Fair enough. But if such a plan is in the works, it would go a long way in explaining Leipold’s reticence to do anything to tick off Bettman, who continues to rule the board of governors with an iron fist, threatening millions of dollars in fines if team officials speak on the record about the ownership debacle unfolding in Nashville.
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed defenseman Nick Schultz to a 2007-08 contract.
“Nick’s continued improvement and durability make him the consummate team player,” Risebrough said. “He’s established himself as an important presence on our blue line, and we’re very happy that we could reach a contract agreement.”
from the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed left wing Derek Boogaard to a multi-year contract.
“Derek’s development is a testament to his dedication, discipline and the emphasis he places on team above individual,” said Risebrough. “Through his style of play and his personality he has made himself a valued player and person in the organization.”
added 7:22pm, via the Star Tribune,
The Wild signed left wing Derek Boogaard to a three-year, $2.63 million contract Wednesday, avoiding an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Monday.
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
So desperate to prove his innocence and salvage his reputation, Sean Hill has taken a lie detector test and given blood at an independent lab.
The veteran NHL defenseman claims he has passed both tests and has no idea how boldenone, an anabolic steroid mostly used for treatment of horses, was found in his system following a Feb. 16 drug test.
Friday, minutes after signing a one-year contract with the Wild, the 37-year-old Duluth native talked for the first time about becoming the first player to test positive for a banned substance in the NHL’s performance- enhancing drug program.
“I had no idea what it even was when they called me,” said Hill, who has 19 games remaining on the 20-game suspension he received before the New York Islanders’ first-round playoff elimination game April 20. “I immediately asked to be retested, but they said they don’t do that. ... They said, ‘If we have the science, there’s not much you can do.’ “
*Previously on Kukla’s, the Minnesota Wild’s official statement
via the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed free agent defenseman Sean Hill to a 2007-08 contract.
As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The NHL suspended Hill for 20 games on April 20, 2007 for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. He will miss the first 19 games of the 2007-08 season after serving one game of the suspension in 2006-07, sitting out Game 5 of the Islanders Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Buffalo.
MINNESOTA WILD STATEMENT ON SEAN HILL’S SUSPENSION
Sean tested positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone during a league screening last season. Sean acknowledges the use of a testosterone booster for which he was issued a therapeutic-use exemption by the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program Committee. We have talked to Sean at length, and he denies knowingly taking any banned performance-enhancing substance. We also researched the situation and the substance Sean tested positive for and found that boldenone can be ingested inadvertently through health supplements and foods. We cannot determine the source of Sean’s test failure. However, we believe Sean did not knowingly take any banned performance-enhancing substance.
via the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard to a 2007-08 contract.
added 6:55pm, According to Russo’s Rants, $2.6M.
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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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