Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of recent columns regarding net size and ways to improve the NHL generated a lot of feedback.
For the most part, the correspondents were clearly passionate about the game and offered a number of thoughtful comments.
But there are still a lot of misconceptions out there, so in the hope of furthering the discussion, it seemed to be a good idea to paraphrase some of those comments and expand on them.
The best way to increase scoring is to reduce the size of goalie equipment.
Of course it is. But this is a league run by lawyers and they can’t figure out a way to do it while following the tenets they learned in law school. It has to be “fair” and “just” and everybody has to be “equal under the law.”
Those of use fortunate enough to have escaped the legal profession would just say, “We’re going to measure your chest, waist, arms and hips when you’re wearing the kind of Kevlar protection the police use to stop bullets.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Maybe it’s a tribute to the Sabres that they have what are universally considered the top two soon-to-be unrestricted free agents in the game -Chris Drury and Daniel Briere and the most coveted restricted free agent -Thomas Vanek (with centre Derek Roy a close second) heading to market, but the view from here is that that’s not exactly a good thing. The Sabres absolutely refused to discuss contract extensions with their key players during the season claiming it was “club policy.”
Really? Since when? The Sabres twice extended Dominik Hasek’s contract when he was the premier goaltender in the NHL and playing in Buffalo.
much more from Jim…
from RDS (translated),
At least three players were placed at the ballot in the national League Wednesday. Thus, in Vancouver, Canucks made available to the other teams, the attacker Marc Chouinard.
In Phoneix, the Coyotes made the same thing with the center Kevyn Adams and the defender Nick Boynton.
Kevin Allen of USA TODAY lists his Top 25 UFAs…
9. Defenseman Mathieu Schneider: The Red Wings are trying to sell him on taking a little less in the name of helping the organization continue to have the budget flexibility necessary to stay highly competitive. He has been respected more in Detroit than he has anywhere else during his career. But it seems as if he will test the marketplace.
Age: 37. 2006-07 salary: $3.3 million. Projection: $5 million
read on for the rest…
added 12:20pm, Scott Burnside at ESPN lists his top UFA dmen…
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
I was going to write about my impressions of last week’s NHL draft, but Bill Simmons, a popular American sports columnist, beat me to the punch and I don’t want to be accused of being a copycat.
Never mind I wasted a good part of the night sitting in front of the TV taking notes.
Simmons’ piece was humorous, although there does seem to be a tried and tested formula that all American sports columnist must follow when they write about hockey, and that is:
- Right off the bat, establish the fact that you used to like hockey, but not anymore.
You don’t have to explain why, although an inability to follow the puck is often cited, which is surprising because you can’t follow a bullet yet the No.1 sport in the U.S. is, well ...
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Ryan Smyth’s agent Don Meehan and Islanders general manager Garth Snow talked on Monday and are planning to talk again today, Meehan said last night. The question is whether Meehan and Smyth are using the Islanders to build the pot or whether there is genuine interest in signing up for the long haul on the Island, which probably was among the last places Smyth ever imagined himself going before the trade on Feb. 27.
“We’re having ongoing discussions,” Meehan said yesterday. “Garth is well-intentioned. We’re having good discussions, but it’s complex.”
Asked if there is any possibility Smyth would sign with the Isles before the free agent market opens on Sunday, Meehan didn’t even look at his cards before saying. “It’s too early to tell.”
Have the Islanders made a firm offer? “I won’t discuss negotiations,” Meehan said.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The fiscal conservatives suggest that in a year when the salary cap could reach $50-million, more teams will be governed by a second set of restrictions: Their own budgets.
If enough teams cap their payrolls in the low 40s, it may be that the anticipated free-agent frenzy will fizzle in the same way the NHL trading game failed to take off at the recent entry draft.
A more broadly held view, though, is that the old rules of supply and demand will once again rule the market.
There are probably 10 teams with the need and the cash to make a free-agent splash. And if the expected bidding war for the aforementioned four players gets overheated, the feeling is that someone will overpay to get their man.
In fact, principals of both sides of the discussion - agents and general managers - question whether the term overpay applies any more.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
How much do you think top NHL centres Daniel Briere, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury are going to be offered when the doors open for business and agents start fielding calls? “I hear Drury might get $8 to 8.5 million a year,” said one NHL executive, who did not want to be identified.
With the knowledge that the salary cap might be be about $50.4 million US next season, is Drury worth $8 million? Although he’s a good leader, scores big goals in the playoffs and is a strong team player, the Buffalo Sabres centre has never garnered 70 points in a season. Nevertheless, some GM might show the 30-year-old the money.
much more on UFAs…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Martin Brodeur may again wear the crown as the NHL’s top goaltender, but that doesn’t mean those in authority are willing to listen attentively to his views on the game.
The New Jersey Devils goaltender, who won his third Vezina Trophy two weeks ago, has abruptly resigned from the league’s competition committee after 18 months of frustration….
“I didn’t feel I was making a difference, and I hate wasting my time when it doesn’t seem to matter,” he said. “I brought up a lot of different points, suggested different ideas like a bigger crease, but nothing’s changed. The protection of goaltenders has just become ridiculous.
“It’s hard when nothing’s improving and your name is associated with it. I didn’t want to live with that.”
I don’t know how I never heard of these guys before, but 2 Man Advantage is producing some entertaining video judging from the newest episode of their show, released yesterday. Thankfully, they dropped us an email about it.
In this episode, the guys interview one-time NHL GM Neil Smith and get some entertaining scoops on the Rangers, the origins of fantasy hockey and a wee bit of trash talk.
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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