Kukla's Korner Hockey
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
According to league sources, the NHL is planning another outdoor game for the 2007-08 regular season. The date, site and clubs involved were not disclosed.
The sources did indicate the game will likely include at least one American-based team and it will be televised in the U.S. by NBC as part of its regular-season schedule.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Giguere is finishing a contract that paid him $3.99 million this season. Winning the Cup, and perhaps a second Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs, would make him a very popular person the second that the free-agency period opens July 1.
Even if he isn’t the playoff MVP, he is destined to become a very, very rich man. The question is whether his paychecks will have a Ducks logo on them.
The NHL’s salary cap is expected to rise from $44 million to about $48.5 million next season, but the Ducks have a lot of high-priced players to get in under that limit.
They’re obligated to pay Chris Pronger $6.25 million and Scott Niedermayer $6.75 million and they’ll surely want to bring Teemu Selanne back after his 48-goal season.
more (reg. req.)
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
You hear it all the time in hockey circles: Who really cares about the never-ending drama at the NHL Players’ Association?
Well, I do, for more than a few reasons. But here’s a good example why fans should be interested in a strong, healthy players’ union:
You know the Nashville Predators? The franchise that almost assuredly will be relocating sometime in the next couple years? Yeah, them.
read on and many more hockey bits too…
from the National Post via Canada.com,
Owner Craig Leipold has signed a letter of intent to sell the Predators to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, a deal with a closing date of June 30.
The National Hockey League’s free-agent window opens the very next day.
Nashville has seven players set to become unrestricted free agents, including captain Kimmo Timonen and forwards Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg.
The NHL’s board of governors still has to approve the sale, leaving players and agents in need of answers from the team and general manager David Poile.
“I don’t think the league wants David Poile to hit July 1 not knowing who his owner is and not knowing what direction it’s going to go in,” Timonen’s agent, Bill Zito, said Tuesday. “We have a 100-point team, and now, all of the sudden, it’s going to disintegrate because of the timing of legalities? That doesn’t make any sense.”
from Spector at his Fox Sports blog,
As always, some of the speculation over potential free-agent movement is a little wild, specifically that some forget teams now operate under a salary cap.
That cap is expected to rise from the current $44 million to possibly $48 million, perhaps even higher, leaving roughly half of the 30 NHL teams with more than $20 million in available cap space with which to bolster their respective rosters for next season.
Sadly, some rumormongers seem unaware which of those teams have this available cap space.
A recent internet rumor suggested the Dallas Stars might have interest in Montreal Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray should he become an unrestricted free agent on July 1….
So to those reporting on potential destinations for this summer’s top free agents, remember to keep the salary cap in mind when posting your speculations.
Enough of the complaining from the hockey “experts”!
Read on at my NHL.com blog.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
Gary Bettman’s annual State of the NHL Union address is kind of like highlights of a hockey game. You see a few hits, the odd fight and most of the goals, but a lot times the filler – sometimes the meatiest and therefore most nutritional parts – is left out. That’s really unfortunate since often times it’s the mysterious gristle which makes the sausage taste so good.
Q. What’s going to happen with Nashville?
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: What’s going to happen with Nashville? We have an application by the club for Craig Leipold to sell the Nashville Predators to Jim Balsillie. That is a process that requires us to do some more due diligence, even though we did some in Pittsburgh, we have more to do.
It will require a three-quarter approval by the Board of Governors in terms of whether or not Mr. Balsillie as an owner and this transaction should be approved.
The Predators have a lease that goes, I think, for another 14 years, give or take. There is a possibility that the lease could terminate in a year if certain things do or don’t happen. But as far as we’re concerned right now, Mr. Balsillie’s request for approval and the transaction related solely to him buying the Nashville Predators subject to whatever lease is in effect, and if, in fact, at some point the lease is terminated and he seeks to relocate the franchise, that is something that would have to be considered under the league’s constitution and bylaws at the time.
Q. Would you be concerned of the perception that it could be a foregone conclusion or a self-fulfilling prophecy that the franchise would be moved?
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: That’s why I answered the question the way I did. I’m hoping to dispel the perception. If the attendance mark is satisfied, even if it’s not, if the city cures what would then be the default, this team is not going anywhere.
There is a lease, and sports leagues aren’t in the practice of letting teams violate their leases. I believe Mr. Balsillie understands that and it’s conceivable that this team will be in Nashville for as long as its lease, however long that may be.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Accordingly, it took a brave man to set foot in front of the assembled media hordes Monday and extol the virtue of the product that he was selling. That was commissioner Gary Bettman’s duty Monday and true to form, he stayed mostly on message — that while things were not perfect, the NHL’s challenges were “a mere fraction of what they were a few years ago.”
The most revealing moments came when Bettman talked about Canada and the possible return of the NHL north of the 49th parallel. Bettman essentially said the possibility of a return to the two markets that the NHL left in the 1990s — Winnipeg and Quebec — “intrigues me” and that while it isn’t something they’ve studied, “it seems to me more likely than it was two, three, four or five years ago.”
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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