Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Evan Weiner at the NY Sun,
NHL fans are about to find out just how powerful the owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Phil Anschutz, is. Anschutz — who is not a publicity hound and rarely gives interviews — now has a chance to orchestrate the league’s next expansion between now and 2009 by placing teams into arenas he has built or is building in Kansas City and Las Vegas….
The NHL’s expansion plans were solidified when Anschutz’s AEG entered into a partnership with Harrah’s to build an arena on Harrah’s property near the Las Vegas strip. The new building will be opened in 2010 and it appears that Las Vegas already has an owner in movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who has spoken with NHL officials about placing a team in Las Vegas.
Neither Kansas City nor Las Vegas is a big TV market. But if Anschutz wants teams in those markets, the odds are pretty good that his fellow NHL owners, along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly, will see it his way.
from the Hockey News,
The scaremongers of the hockey media have been out in full force this summer, reaching a frenzied peak in early July after Philadelphia threw $52 million at Daniel Briere and the Rangers backed up the Brinks truck to the homes of both Scott Gomez and Chris Drury.
This won’t continue. And that’s not guesswork, either.
First, let’s review the facts that back up all the fears.
added 1:40pm, Spector at his Soapbox has an interesting take on this topic and I tend to lean in the direction he is pointing out.
from the Hockey News,
“I saw that all the local pros and top junior and collegiate players were skating at different arenas and at various ice times,” Vastamaki said. “I thought of bringing them all together under one roof to make the best possible summer scrimmage league in Thunder Bay and also give these guys a venue where they could actually challenge and improve themselves.”
This year’s Pro Camp headliners include all four Staal brothers; Eric, Jordan, Marc and Jared, along with Taylor and Tom Pyatt, Patrick Sharp, Trevor Letowski and Alex Auld.
Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal, in his third summer at Pro Camp, said the scrimmages are a fun and very competitive way to tune up over the summer.
In my NHL.com blog today, I choose players who fit in some categories I have come up with.
It is a spinoff of the recent Top 50 Players most of us have read.
added 5:31pm, A reader just submitted a whole new set of categories…
from Spector at Fox Sports,
A notable trend emerging in the NHL’s salary cap era has seen teams signing young players to lengthy long-term contracts.
Prior to the imposition of a salary cap expensive long-term deals were usually reserved for veteran unrestricted free-agent players over the age of 30 and were based on their past performances rather than their potential.
Under the cap, however, more “20-something” players are receiving the kinds of deals once reserved for older players.
One reason is the lowering of the eligibility age for unrestricted free agency, resulting this summer in UFAs like 27-year-old Scott Gomez signing a seven-year, $51.5 million contract with the New York Rangers and 29-year-old Daniel Briere inking an eight-year, $52 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers.
continued... As a Wings fan, I sure hope we are paying for the “right” potential!
from the Calgary Sun,
Sure, it’s easy to say the Chicago Blackhawks drafted a couple of potential stars in Patrick Kane—the first overall draft this year—and last year’s No.-3 pick Jonathan Toews.
But can anybody say the ‘Hawks have a better group of up-and-comers than the Los Angeles Kings, who boast Jack Johnson, Thomas Hickey and Jonathan Bernier in their stable?
Or the Washington Capitals with Nicklas Backstrom, Semen Varlamov and Karl Alzner?
from the Puck Stops Here at Fox Sports,
The Hockey News Top 50 player list is out and I want to respond to it (as I did last year) by listing my top 50. I believe these are the 50 players I would most want to build a winning hockey team right now. As The Hockey News (THN) did, I will consider Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne likely retired and thus not include them. I have also included comments for the top 10 players and any players omitted in The Hockey News list.
continued... Agree? Who is at the top of your list?
added 9:13pm, Spector also touches on this topic at his Fox Sports blog.
There has been some doubt if Eddie Belfour was really going to Sweden this fall to play.
The Vail Daily had a story about some NHLers gathering for some conditioning this past week and Eddie was there…
Belfour, donning his signature mask with an eagle — he’s been long known as Eddie “The Eagle” — looked sharp in net during drills, and was his always-competitive self. At the other end of the ice, a goalie with a similar style moved around the pipes. Dayn Belfour, who plays Junior “A” in Canada, got a chance to work alongside his father at the end of Friday’s session in a shootout. As Eddie left the net after stopping a shot, he skated to Dayn for a quick chat.
“We wanted to stop everything so we’d win,” Eddie said.
The Belfour’s came up on top.
In October, Eddie, the sure-to-be future Hall-of-Famer, will be heading to Sweden, where he’ll play for Leksand, a second division team in the Swedish Elite League.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and opportunity,” he said.
Sounds like Belfour is indeed heading to Sweden.
added 10:21am on 8/27/97, A limited translation from Leksandsif confirming Eddie in Sweden,
The previous season played he 58 games in Florida Panthers in NHL.
This autumn, he plays pursues Leksand’s IF.
This season gets the hockey audience in Sweden possibility to make more detailed acquaintance and to take part of an off the sport’s really big profiles over time.
Curse” Eddie The Eagle” Belfour has typed on for Leksand’s IF.
- I see the as a renown that few to play for a so classic klubb as Leksand, says you when we sheep a chat with him.
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
Here’s the reality: Despite Canada’s fervour for the NHL, very little outside information about a player’s off-ice life ever sees the light of day in the mainstream media, unless it’s presented in a highly sanitized version.
Undoubtedly league traditionalists and myopic observers prefer it this way.
It helps to preserve the NHL’s “good guy” image of players from small towns with good families who were raised proper. Regardless of the perception, the truth is some players do engage in activities or behaviour that is hardly pedestal-worthy….
The next time said player is in the penthouse or doghouse, just remember there’s always more to a tale than the rehearsed responses given—which could suddenly make that “gossip” far more relevant than you originally thought.
from the Detroit Free Press,
QUESTION: You grew used to seeing bold moves while you were with the Wings. What are your thoughts on the Rangers signing marquee free agents Chris Drury and Scott Gomez last month?
ANSWER: “I think they identified those two players as the top two on their wish list, so to be able to get both was a success. Center ice is such an important position, and to know that that position basically has been solidified for the next five years, I think that’s pretty important. They have similarities in that they’ve both played on championship teams, but they’re different in their styles and both bring a lot of different things to the team.”
A few more questions for Shanahan…
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