Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Kevin Paul Dupont at the Boston Globe,
Meanwhile, in Anaheim, general manager Brian Burke awaits word on whether the esteemed likes of Teemu Selanne and/or Scott Niedermayer will suit up for the Cup-defending Quacks.
“Still waiting to hear,” Burke said Friday morning, some 10 weeks after watching his squad rub out the Senators in the Stanley Cup finals. “I’m not sure if we’ll have an answer here over the weekend, or if this is something that could drag out through training camp, or even into the season. These are two players we’d love to have back, but whatever the case, we feel we’ve made the necessary moves if they don’t return.”
Both Selanne and Niedermayer have enrolled their children in area schools for the upcoming academic year; perhaps that’s a harbinger of good news for the Ducks, or perhaps it’s just a couple more multimillionaires who feel SoCal isn’t a bad place to spend their dough and live out their dotage.
more NHL talk inlcuding this…
Persistent rumors on the Internet this summer have hinted that the Bruins were looking to deal Patrice Bergeron. Never the case, said general manager Peter Chiarelli, who confirmed that Montreal GM Bob Gainey called him at the February trade deadline to inquire about the Quebec-born pivot. “Anyone who has called, I’ve emphatically told them we’re not interested,”
Have you been wondering which NHL club has the best logo? NHL Tournament of Logos is on a mission to find out. They are pitting nickname against nickname, logo against logo with the lone goal of determining the champion. And now you can vote!
A lot of logo information!
thanks to a KK reader for the tip…
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
Vegas thinks NBA is hot. She knows he’s the quickest ticket to social royalty, but also the hardest ticket to get. She bats her eyes at him from across the room and flashes a smile. He ignores her like a polar bear ignores the salad bar. He has definite interest in her but – again – there’s that reputation.
What NBA needs is a sacrificial lamb.
What Vegas needs is a sacrificial lamb.
I think NHL is about to ask her to dance.
read on... you’ll get it…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Michael Peca finally has a job.
But Bryan Berard, the first overall pick in the 1995 NHL entry draft, has swallowed his pride and will be going to the Islanders as a training camp invite, literally begging for a job.
And how about Jeff Friesen, Mike Johnson, Jeff O’Neill and Danny Markov? They’re all veteran free agents still waving the “Needs Work” sign with only a few weeks left before National Hockey League camps open.
The NHL free-agent landscape is going through a transformation. While there’ll always be a market for big names like
Peter Forsberg, there’s a whole group of seasoned pros who are feeling the crunch, mostly due to the salary cap.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Heading into 2007-08, however, a considerable number of teams have far more cap space and thus more flexibility should the need arise early in the season to bolster roster depth.
Twenty-five of the NHL’s 30 teams presently sit well below this coming season’s $50.3 million cap.
Of those, nine clubs — Atlanta, Buffalo, Carolina, Los Angeles, Minnesota, N.Y. Islanders, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay — have payrolls presently around the mid-point range ($42.3 million) between the cap’s $50.3 million maximum and the $34.3 million minimum.
However, those teams have self-established cap ceilings and aren’t expected to spend much more over what they’ve presently committed to this season’s payrolls.
Two teams, Columbus and Florida, are currently well below the mid-point but also aren’t expected to spend much beyond $40 million in payroll.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
What’s left is a collection of unrestricted free agents whose best days are clearly behind them, but can still contribute to a team that might just need a little something extra to clear that last hurdle. There are also a handful of restricted and unrestricted free agents who, because of contract issues or various “reputation issues (injuries, character problems or the like), might be obtainable for teams willing to take a risk.
It’s not necessarily a bargain bin, but what follows is a Sportsnet.ca non-inclusive list of discounted, disrupted, discouraged or just dissed players who might help your hockey team (or perhaps your hockey pool if you or your favourite general manger can get them to the table on time.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Ah the lazy, hazy days of summer — sunshine, a hint of fall in the air, back-to-school sales … and NHL general managers, in a bargain-hunting mode, making one last pass at the free-agent market, with training camps less than a month away.
This week, two of the most respected players that had slipped through the cracks, found work — Trevor Linden and Michael Peca, who agreed to one-year deals respectively with the Vancouver Canucks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Linden received $600,000 in base salary; Peca will get $1.2 million as soon as he passes his physical; and both contracts include incentives that could increase their eventual take-home day, depending upon how their seasons unfold.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
In the coming days and weeks, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is going to be asked to make difficult decisions on two prickly issues, decisions whose ramifications may reverberate around the league for years.
Both decisions involve how to deal with men who have run afoul of the law. Both will require Bettman to balance the desire for good public relations with what is right and just, and possibly even compassionate.
First, there is the issue of what to do with disgraced assistant coach Rick Tocchet, who pleaded guilty to a variety of gambling offenses and was ordered to serve two years of probation last week.
continued and Scott’s second issue is Mark Bell…
from Black Athlete,
I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever seen or been privy to a hit-and-run situation, you know that the act itself is tantamount to attempted murder when alcohol is added to the equation.
I’m amazed that an advocacy group like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) isn’t after Bell’s ass with the same passion as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in Vick’s case.
For Bettman to make light of these incidents is to imply hockey has no problem—and the treatment in both issues further gives the impression ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the ice.
Bettman’s laissez-faire attitude says “No problem—because ‘our guys’ aren’t troublemakers like those in those “other leagues”—and there are no moral issues in conflict with our athletes.”
Meanwhile, 50 years since the first black player, Wilie O’Ree, laced up his skates for the Boston Bruins, the NHL still wants to pretend that Black folks in America aren’t worth cozying up to sell their game to.
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