Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s a tossup which team is in the worst position vis-a-vis the salary cap in the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings or the Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings are $12 million below the $40-million floor and they have been non-players in the free-agent market. They do have some restricted free agents like Jarret Stoll and Patrick O’Sullivan to sign, but they might be forced to overpay just to meet the minimum.
The Ducks are one of four teams that are currently above the $56.3-million cap. They have overspent by $2.4 million and it can’t all be Kevin Lowe’s fault. Other teams over the cap are the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and the Calgary Flames.
more NHL topics…
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
* Get ready for the Mats Sundin sightings in certain towns.
* Did Marian Hossa really sign with Detroit or am I still dreaming?
* Rumor has it the third jersey will make an appearance this year.
* Have the L.A. Kings found their coach yet?
From Kevin Allen at USA Today,
•Brendan Shanahan: He’s 39, but he had 23 goals last season for the New York Rangers. He still can be effective on the power play with his one-timer.
•Jason Williams: Teams would look at him to improve their special teams. The right wing owns a big shot on the point on the power play and has nifty moves in the shootout.
•Ladislav Nagy: An intriguing scorer, his 2007-08 season was undermined by injury.
from Jamie Fitzpatrick at Jamie’s Hockey Blog,
After three seasons, the new salary system is “an abject failure in regard to the goal of ‘cost certainty’” according to Jim Kelley at SI.com.
He’s wrong. NHL player costs are certain, down to the penny. Just ask the army of accountants who calculate league revenue every year. The players’ share is set at just over 56 percent for next season. You don’t get much more certain than that.
Bottom line: If the money wasn’t rolling in, the players wouldn’t be getting it.
Maybe the Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes don’t have enough of that money. That’s their own fault for not selling enough tickets.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We must admit we find all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the media and fans over the amount of money spent during the first days of free agency a bit confusing.
We’re pretty sure Chicago GM Dale Tallon did not knock down some old woman at the Billy Goat Tavern and pull $56 million out of her handbag to pay Brian Campbell to come and play defense for the Blackhawks.
Nor did Cliff Fletcher panhandle on the sidewalk outside the Air Canada Centre to raise the $12 million it took to bring in the anonymous Jeff Finger to play defense for the Toronto Maple Leafs….
Memo to owners: This is what you wanted. If you can’t make it work, boo hoo.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
As Tom Reed of The Dispatch reported this week, a twist of the collective bargaining agreement has shorn 25 percent of league-sponsored subsidies due the Jackets. This is a small-market American franchise that can be a great asset to the league at-large. And league subsides are being cut at a time when they’re needed most.
Not only is this senseless, it impugns the memory of Mr. Mac. He was neither a perjurer nor a swindler. He knew hockey would work here. He knew what he was getting into, but he no doubt was promised help. Isn’t that why the league acceded to a crippling lockout?
Bettman has done many good things, his radio show notwithstanding. His vision of the game as continental, if not worldwide, might have its flaws. But it also holds some promise.
Right now he can’t spot a crook when he meets one, and there are strange and gaping cracks in a system that was only recently revamped. Bettman must swallow some of his hubris and tend to the problems for the sake of long-term prosperity for the league in general, and for the Blue Jackets specifically.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Thirteen burning questions, answers and observations following a wild first week on the NHL free-agent front:
1. The Sundin saga.
Mats Sundin, the erstwhile Leaf, received much criticism for his dithering, which in one way, mirrored Marian Hossa’s decision not to chase every last dollar that’s out there. The two-year, $20 million offered by the Vancouver Canucks will likely disappear by early August, when Sundin finally determines he really, truly does want to play again, but it won’t matter because there’ll be a mini-Mats sweepstakes at that point anyway.
CBC asks the question, “What’s behind the big NHL free-agent salaries?”
That’s the word New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello used when asked for his reaction to the amount of money tossed around on July 1, the first day of the National Hockey League’s free-agency period.
From Habs Inside/Out:
To a suggestion that the NHL might need another lockout to restore salary sanity, Gazette Travel Editor and Canadiens super fan David Walker quips:
“Yes, and this time they should lock out the general managers.”
Today is the final episode of NHL Live! on the NHL Network for the 2007-2008 season. Tune in today between 12 and 2pm ET for the final show before Don LaGreca and E.J. Hradek go on their summer hiatus.
Watch on the NHL Network (television) or online at this link.
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 email@example.com