Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Hockey News,
Big decisions lie ahead this week as the start of the July 1 free agency looms. The flood gates open at noon ET next Sunday.
“I expect the first two or three days in July to be pretty wild,” said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
No one will feel the heat more than Sabres GM Darcy Regier. He’s got two of the most sought-after players who are pending unrestricted free agents in Drury and Briere.
“It’s different, I can tell you that,” Regier said of having two of the top free agents in the NHL. “I haven’t experienced this before in 10 years. We’ll see where it goes.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Why would anyone who actually follows the sport continue to pay for season tickets in a building that isn’t sold out when the owner is so ruthlessly savaging the entertainment value for that customer? Some teams do it by mistake, but this is being done simply to cut payroll.
This almost certainly means the Predators will lose revenue this season. If they do, they will have done so intentionally, and every single player in the NHL will suffer when it comes time to calculate both the final escrow payment on this coming season’s paycheque and in the calculation of next season’s cap.
What kind of partnership do you have when your partner takes unilateral action that will further his own financial aims, whatever they might be, by taking money out of your pocket without the least consultation or input from you?
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
San Jose GM Doug Wilson said he’s not trying to trade C Patrick Marleau, but admits he’s had conversations. “If teams are going to call, it’s my job to listen,” said Wilson. “I would think that’s a compliment to us that people would want our players. But I’m not trying to trade Marleau.” ... The Wild and Thrashers have shown mild interest in C Alexei Yashin, who was bought out of his contract a couple of weeks ago by the Islanders.
more player movement talk…
from Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
The NHL Draft typically serves as a cauldron of rumor and speculation, and word swept the draft floor Saturday that the Canes were part of a three-way deal that would send Erik Cole to Edmonton and bring Joni Pitkanen to Carolina from Philadelphia.
Except that Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe said he’d never been offered Cole — but joked that he’d pick up the phone if Cole was available — and Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Cole wasn’t being shopped: “Wasn’t, hasn’t been, no.”
COLUMBUS (June 23, 2007)—Sixty-three U.S.-born players, representing a record 30% of the total, were selected in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft that concluded today. The previous high was 28.2%, set last year.
Following is a breakdown of 2007 Entry Draft selections by birthplace:
United States 63 (highest percentage in Entry Draft history - 30%)
Czech Republic 5
added 5:16pm, more on this topic from the CP via TSN...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Waddell concluded: “There was a lot of talk going on. It’s only June 23.”
more on the draft and lack of trades… but good advice from Waddell… trades are being discussed of course, but nothing official yet.
From Bob Hunter at the Columbus-Dispatch,
The naysayers who said that Columbus would never be a hockey town should have been there. The city will always be known for football first, but last night provided further proof that if the Blue Jackets ever win, this place will go nuts.
Nationwide Arena was full for the first round of the draft. Full. That rarely happens anywhere, even in places where hockey is a clear No. 1. And the fans were into it.
When Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell was introduced, he was greeted by a thunderous ovation. He tried to start talking twice and had to stop because the cheering wouldn’t stop. Then, when he thanked “the fans, who have stuck with us through thick and thin, mostly thin,” he drew another roar.
Walking around the media area of the Draft yesterday, I saw an awful amount of folks tuned into Spector’s Rumor site. Lyle I am sure is working his tail off right about now.
I can add a little Detroit talk too, Bertuzzi is looking for a longer contract and may get it from a few teams, one probably NOT being the Wings. Hasek $$$ keeps getting tweaked and Wings are hoping Schneider will take a home team discount.
I left Columbus about 7:30am this morning, and now typing from my desktop at the Kompound.
Just a quick update now, the salary cap talk last night was it should be right around $50.5M.
Some of the GMs are hoping for a home team discount to sign some of their own UFAs.
The NHL Draft was like a huge conference. Numerous break out sessions for different team departments. People gathered here and their, chatting in private and I must have seen Lou Lamoriello in about five of those different chats.
More on my experience at the Draft in a bit.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
The NHL reported that there were 10 Americans drafted in the first round, tying a record set in 2006, but Brandon Sutter - who is listed as having been born in Red Deer, Alberta, said in his interview scrum that he was actually born in New York, when his dad played for the Islanders. That would actually make it a record 11 American first-rounders on a nice night for American hockey, which began when Patrick Kane and James vanRiemsdyk were chosen first and second overall.
more… (plus more odds and ends from day 1)
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.
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