Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Surely the players won’t want to give back their contractually earned gains. Surely the owners, knowing the fans, at least the fans in Canada, will always come back (didn’t the post-lockout season prove that), will argue mightily for yet another lockout to fix everything that’s oh so wrong on their side once again.
What will Bettman—assuming he’s not fired beforehand—say then?
Surely “cost certainty” won’t be a rally cry that will be heartily embraced then.
After all, if it’s “all good” now, what will be the definition of bad?
From Mike Chen’s Hockey Blog,
I’m reserving comments on the whole free-agent idiocy until the second day finishes so that we get the remaining chips (hopefully) off the table. So far, though, what a bunch of freakin’ morons (the GMs, not the players).
From Bruce Dowbiggin at the Calgary Herald,
It’s July 1—free-agent liberation day—and agent J.P. Barry rolls through the door of his Calgary office at Creative Artists Agency. The burly Barry has already had a full morning—and the clock has not even hit the magic 10 a.m. opener for offers and signings.
continued… following the day of agent J.P. Barry yesterday.
From James Duthie at The Good, the Bad and the Duthie,
Bingo! Welcome to The Summer of Lunacy! Seriously, I knew there would be silliness, but this was a cartoon. You’ve heard of spending like drunken sailors? How about spending like billionaire sailors on crack.
10 million dollars a year offered to Mats Sundin? Twenty-two million dollars for Cristobal Huet? (When you already have an overpaid goalie in Khabibulin.) Michael Ryder, a healthy scratch in Montreal, four million a year? Fourteen million over four years for Jeff Freakin’ Finger!?!
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.
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