Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Pagnotta at NBC Sports,
Smyth, who will become an unrestricted free agent in less than two weeks, has averaged 30.5 goals and 63.5 points per season over the last four years, reached the 70-point plateau, and won Olympic gold.
If Hartnell’s worth $4.2 million, you can be sure the Smyth camp will be asking for more than $6 million on the open market.
Smyth, 31, had spent all 11 of his NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers before being traded to the New York Islanders on February 27. Just prior to the move, Smyth turned down a five-year, $27 million contract from the Oilers, which prompted the team into dealing him.
Had he accepted the offer, Smyth would have made $5.4 million, per season.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Speaking of Souray, the Canadiens chances of re-signing him went from possible to unlikely after the Philadelphia Flyers secured the rights to Nashville defenceman Kimmo Timonen and signed him to a six-year deal worth an average of $6.3 million U.S. a season.
Souray’s history of injuries might discourage a team from offering him a six-year contract, but he should command the same kind of money as Timonen. Souray is a year younger, has a definite edge in size and is more of a force on the power play.
more hockey talk…
from the Maven,
• One possible destination for Alexei Yashin could be Washington. Yash would be a nice fit with fellow countryman Alexander Ovechkin. Of course, that’s contingent on Yash passing the puck!
• Detroit will only bring back Todd Bertuzzi if the price is right. Big Bert must regain his form next season if he’s to make the big bucks. Speaking of the Wings, rumor has it that management thinks Valterri Filppula is ready for a second-line center role, which would mean Robert Lang becomes trade bait.
more from Stan… and yes, Lang is a UFA…
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
And with the first round of the draft set to go in prime time on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, rumors are thick that this draft weekend will see plenty of wheeling and dealing (the following six rounds take place beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. ET).
With a draft that is chock-a-block in offensive possibility, but short in star quality, at least impact star quality like Sidney Crosby, Erik Johnson, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Jack Johnson (the gems of recent drafts), the potential for all kinds of wacky things is great.
“It’s going to be fascinating come Friday night,” predicted St. Louis Blues president and former player and broadcaster John Davidson in an interview this week. “There are going to be some creative things happening. I just have a sense of that.”
from the Star Tribune,
Brett Hull is leaving NBC after only one season as an NHL studio analyst.
An NBC spokesperson confirmed the former NHL star has decided to depart the network after working with host Bill Clement and analyst Ray Ferraro. Hull is expected to take on an increased front-office role with the Dallas Stars. He has been serving as a special assistant to Stars’ President Jim Lites since April 2006….
NBC executives will now begin to explore their options for replacing Hull. One potential scenario could see NBC pursue Jeremy Roenick, who could retire after spending 18 seasons in the NHL. Roenick, like Hull, always has been known for speaking his mind.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“There’s certainly enough talk going,” confirmed Carolina Hurricanes’ general manager Jimmy Rutherford. “I would suspect there’ll be deals at the draft – and teams are sitting there, with extra picks because of trades they’d made at the deadline, so that also leads to the possibility of more moves.”
Tom Thompson, the Minnesota Wild’s assistant general manager, also zeroed in on the teams with extra picks, saying: “I can never recall a year when six days before the draft, so many teams had multiple picks in the first round, including two teams with three picks each.”...
Things are starting to roll and after all those years when draft-day moves were limited and without much impact, there is only one thing left to say.
Isn’t it great?
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
It’ll soon become known as the Scott Hartnell theory.
When NHL teams are faced with the decision of keeping an 18-year-old draftee on the roster or send him back to the development ranks, they’ll consider what happened regarding Hartnell.
Hartnell cracked the Nashville lineup as an 18-year-old rookie in 2000-01 even though he had two more seasons of junior eligibility remaining with the Western League’s Prince Albert Raiders.
He had just two goals and 16 points in 75 games that season, but has since evolved into a top-six forward who, according to TSN, signed a six-year, $25.2-million contract with the Flyers Monday.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
-If Ryan Smyth is smart and gets the same sort of money to sign in either Detroit or Colorado, it’s a no-brainer. He should take the Wings.
They’re always in the playoff hunt and he talks about winning being important. It should be at 31. Plus, does Smytty want to play for the Avs, which means playing against the Oilers eight times a year in the Northwest Division? That might be a little uncomfortable.
-Chris Pronger apparently offered up $5,000 to any Ducks’ player who got the winning goal the night he was suspended in the finals against Ottawa. Dustin Penner was the lucky recipient.
much more NHL talk…
Spector at his Fox Sports Blog has all the talk regarding the big time UFAs.
On a sidenote and my one prediction per year is Drury is a lock to go to the LA Kings.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
This Jim Balsillie is really starting to become a pain.
How dare he attempt to bring his maverick money into the staid old National Hockey League (twice) and dictate how things are done?
How dare he recklessly disregard due process and try to circumvent the rules?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org